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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 Rio Grande Cone is a major fanlike depositional feature in the continental slope of the Pelotas Basin, Southern Brazil. Two representative sediment cores collected in the Cone area were retrieved using a piston core device. In this work, the organic matter (OM) in the sediments was characterized for a continental vs. marine origin using chemical proxies to help constrain the origin of gas in hydrates. The main contribution of OM was from marine organic carbon based on the stable carbon isotope (δ13C-org) and total organic carbon/total nitrogen ratio (TOC:TN) analyses. In addition, the 14C data showed important information about the origin of the OM and we suggest some factors that could modify the original organic matter and therefore mask the “real” 14C ages: (1) biological activity that could modify the carbon isotopic composition of bulk terrestrial organic matter values, (2) the existence of younger sediments from mass wasting deposits unconformably overlying older sediments, and (3) the deep-sediment-sourced methane contribution due to the input of “old” (>50 ka) organic compounds from migrating fluids.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
Introduction: Abdominal pain is one of the most frequent reasons for an emergency department (ED) visit. Most cases are functional and no therapy has proven effective. Our objective was to determine if hyoscine butylbromide (HBB) (BuscopanTM) is effective for children who present to the ED with functional abdominal pain. Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, superiority trial comparing HBB 10 mg plus acetaminophen placebo to oral acetaminophen 15 mg/kg (max 975 mg) plus HBB placebo using a double-dummy approach. We included children 8-17 years presenting to the ED at London Health Sciences Centre with colicky abdominal pain rated >40 mm on a 100 mm visual analog scale (VAS). The primary outcome was VAS pain score at 80 minutes post-administration. Secondary outcomes included adverse effects; caregiver satisfaction with pain management using a five-item Likert scale; recidivism and missed surgical diagnoses within 24-hours of discharge. Analysis was based on intention to treat. Results: We analyzed 225 participants (112 acetaminophen; 113 HBB). The mean (SD) age was 12.4 (3.0) years and 148/225 (65.8%) were females. Prior to enrollment, the median (IQR) duration of pain prior was 2 (4.5) hours and analgesia was provided to 101/225 (44.9%) of participants. The mean (SD) pre-intervention pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 62.7 (15.9) mm and 60.3 (17.3) mm, respectively. At 80 minutes, the mean (SD) pain scores in the acetaminophen and HBB groups were 30.1 (28.8) mm and 29.4 (26.4) mm, respectively and there were no significant differences adjusting for pre-intervention scores (p = 0.96). The median (IQR) caregiver satisfaction was high in the acetaminophen [5 (2)] and HBB [5 (1)] groups (p = 0.79). The median (IQR) length of stay between acetaminophen [235 (101)] and HBB [234 (103)] was not significantly different (p = 0.53). The proportion of participants with a return visit for abdominal pain was 4/112 (3.5%) in the acetaminophen group and 6/113 (5.3%) in the HBB group. The most common adverse effect was nausea (9% in each group) and there were no significant differences in adverse effects between acetaminophen (26/112, 23.2%) and HBB (31/113, 27.4%) (p = 0.52). There were no missed surgical diagnoses. Conclusion: For children with presumed functional abdominal pain who present to the ED, both acetaminophen and HBB produce a clinically important (VAS < 30 mm) reduction in pain and should be routinely considered in this clinical setting.
Objectives: The present study constitutes the first randomized controlled trial to investigate the relation of lutein (L) and zeaxanthin (Z) to brain function using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It was hypothesized that L and Z supplementation in older adults would enhance neural efficiency (i.e., reduce activation) and cognitive performance on a verbal learning task relative to placebo. Methods: A total of 44 community-dwelling older adults (mean age=72 years) were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or L+Z supplementation (12 mg/daily) for 1 year. Neurocognitive performance was assessed at baseline and post-intervention on an fMRI-adapted task involving learning and recalling word pairs. Imaging contrasts of blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal were created by subtracting active control trials from learning and recall trials. A flexible factorial model was employed to investigate the expected group (placebo vs. supplement) by time (baseline vs. post-intervention) interaction in pre-specified regions-of-interest. Results: L and Z appeared to buffer cognitive decline on the verbal learning task (Cohen’s d=.84). Significant interactions during learning were observed in left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (p < .05, family-wise-error corrected). However, these effects were in the direction of increased rather than decreased BOLD signal. Although the omnibus interaction was not significant during recall, within-group contrasts revealed significant increases in left prefrontal activation in the supplement group only. Conclusions: L and Z supplementation appears to benefit neurocognitive function by enhancing cerebral perfusion, even if consumed for a discrete period of time in late life. (JINS, 2018, 24, 77–90)
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.
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
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.
Crystalline silicon based photovoltaics continues to be the dominant technology for large scale deployment of solar energy. While impressive cost gains in silicon based PV have come with scale, there remains a strong push for increased efficiencies and further lowering of manufacturing costs to achieve true grid parity. So far, however, there has not been a production proven approach that reduces the cost while maintaining or increasing the efficiency. Attempts to reduce the amount of silicon used, for example, have led to development of various kerfless wafer manufacturing approaches. While some of these approaches have shown the potential for reduced costs, they also compromise the efficiency mainly due to the inferior quality of the material.
Epitaxy based kerfless silicon wafers, on the other hand, has shown the potential to reverse this trend offering lower manufacturing costs while maintaining or even enhancing the efficiency due to the high quality of the n-type and p-type silicon epitaxial (Epi) wafers. In this work, we present key aspects of Crystal Solar’s patented high throughput production silicon epitaxial reactor and its use in the manufacture of standard thickness N and P wafers. Besides the advantage of having significantly reduced cost, these Epi wafers have high quality, better mechanical strength and resistance to light inducted degradation due to significantly reduced oxygen content.
Over the last decade, X-ray observations of Sgr A* have revealed a black hole in a deep sleep, punctuated roughly once per day by brief flares. The extreme X-ray faintness of this supermassive black hole has been a long-standing puzzle in black hole accretion. To study the accretion processes in the Galactic center, Chandra (in concert with numerous ground- and space-based observatories) undertook a 3 Ms campaign on Sgr A* in 2012. With its excellent observing cadence, sensitivity, and spectral resolution, this Chandra X-ray Visionary Project (XVP) provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the behavior of the closest supermassive black hole. We present a progress report from our ongoing study of X-ray flares, including the brightest flare ever seen from Sgr A*. Focusing on the statistics of the flares and the quiescent emission, we discuss the physical implications of X-ray variability in the Galactic center.
With the goal of investigating the link between black hole (BH) and star formation (SF) activity, we study a deep sample of radio selected star forming galaxies (SFGs) and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Using a multi-wavelength approach we characterize their host galaxies properties (stellar masses, optical colors, and morphology). Moreover, comparing the star formation rate derived from the radio and far-infrared luminosity, we found evidences that the main contribution to the radio emission in the radio-quiet AGNs is star-formation activity in their host galaxy.
We present our very recent results on the sub-mJy radio source populations at 1.4 GHz based on the Extended Chandra Deep Field South VLA survey, which reaches ~ 30 μJy, with details on their number counts, evolution, and luminosity functions. The sub-mJy radio sky turns out to be a complex mix of star-forming galaxies and radio-quiet AGN evolving at a similar, strong rate and declining radio-loud AGN. While the well-known flattening of the radio number counts below 1 mJy is mostly due to star-forming galaxies, these sources and AGN make up an approximately equal fraction of the sub-mJy sky. Our results shed also light on a fifty-year-old issue, namely radio emission from radio-quiet AGN, and suggest that it is closely related to star formation, at least at z ~ 1.5 − 2. The implications of our findings for future, deeper radio surveys, including those with the Square Kilometre Array, are also discussed. One of the main messages, especially to non-radio astronomers, is that radio surveys are reaching such faint limits that, while previously they were mainly useful for radio quasars and radio galaxies, they are now detecting mostly star-forming galaxies and radio-quiet AGN, i.e., the bulk of the extragalactic sources studied in the infrared, optical, and X-ray bands.
Preliminary work indicates that cognitive vulnerability to depression may be associated with variants of the serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) and the valine to methionine at position 66 (val66met) polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene; however, existing reports come from small samples. The present study sought to replicate and extend this research in a sample of 375 community-dwelling children and their parents. Following a negative mood induction, children completed a self-referent encoding task tapping memory for positive and negative self-descriptive traits. Consistent with previous work, we found that children with at least one short variant of the 5-HTTLPR had enhanced memory for negative self-descriptive traits. The BDNF val66met polymorphism had no main effect but was moderated by maternal depression, such that children with a BDNF methionine allele had a heightened memory for negative self-descriptive traits when mothers had experienced depression during children's lifetimes; in contrast, children with a methionine allele had low recall of negative traits when mothers had no depression history. The findings provide further support for the notion that the 5-HTTLPR is associated with cognitive markers of depression vulnerability and that the BDNF methionine allele moderates children's sensitivity to contextual factors.
There are limited data examining whether outcomes of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are worse when caused by community-associated (CA) strains compared to HA strains. We reviewed all patients’ charts at our institution from 1999 to 2009 that had MRSA first isolated only after 72 h of hospitalization (n = 724). Of these, 384 patients had a MRSA-HAI according to CDC criteria. Treatment failure was similar in those infected with a phenotypically CA-MRSA strain compared to a phenotypically HA-MRSA strain (23% vs. 15%, P = 0·10) as was 30-day mortality (16% vs. 19%, P = 0·57). Independent risk factors associated with (P < 0·05) treatment failure were higher Charlson Comorbidity Index, higher APACHE II score, and no anti-MRSA treatment. These factors were also associated with 30-day mortality, as were female gender, older age, MRSA bloodstream infection, MRSA pneumonia, and HIV. Our findings suggest that clinical and host factors, not MRSA strain type, predict treatment failure and death in hospitalized patients with MRSA-HAIs.
The purpose of this study was to examine global epidemiological trends in human norovirus (NoV) outbreaks by transmission route and setting, and describe relationships between these characteristics, viral attack rates, and the occurrence of genogroup I (GI) or genogroup II (GII) strains in outbreaks. We analysed data from 902 reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction-confirmed, human NoV outbreaks abstracted from a systematic review of articles published from 1993 to 2011 and indexed under the terms ‘norovirus’ and ‘outbreak’. Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated that foodservice and winter outbreaks were significantly associated with higher attack rates. Foodborne and waterborne outbreaks were associated with multiple strains (GI+GII). Waterborne outbreaks were significantly associated with GI strains, while healthcare-related and winter outbreaks were associated with GII strains. These results identify important trends for epidemic NoV detection, prevention, and control.