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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.
Reductions in insulin sensitivity in periparturient dairy cows develop as a means to support lactation; however, excessive mobilization of fatty acids (FA) increases the risk for peripartal metabolic disorders. Our objectives were to investigate the effect of prepartum body condition score (BCS) on systemic glucose and insulin tolerance, and to compare direct and indirect measurements of insulin sensitivity in peripartal lean and overweight dairy cows. Fourteen multiparous Holstein cows were allocated into two groups according to their BCS at day −28 prepartum: lean (n = 7; BCS ≤ 3.0) or overweight; (n = 7; BCS ≥ 4.0). Liver biopsies were performed on day −27, −14 and 4, relative to expected parturition. Intravenous insulin or glucose tolerances tests were performed following each liver biopsy. Relative to lean cows, overweight cows exhibited lower dry matter intake, lost more BCS and displayed increased plasma FA and β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations and elevated liver lipid content during peripartum. Glucose clearance rate was lower for all cows postpartum. Prepartum BCS had minimal effects on insulin and glucose tolerance; however, the ability of the cow to restore blood glucose levels following an insulin challenge was suppressed by increased BCS. Glucose-dependent parameters of insulin and glucose tolerance were not correlated with surrogate indices of insulin sensitivity. We conclude that prepartum BCS had minimal effect on systemic insulin sensitivity following parturition. The observed inconsistency between surrogate indices of insulin sensitivity and direct measurements of insulin and glucose tolerance adds support to growing concerns regarding their usefulness as tools to estimate systemic insulin action in periparturient cows.
The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of the most commonly cited factors that may have influenced infants’ gut microbiota profiles at one year of age: mode of delivery, breastfeeding duration and antibiotic exposure. Barcoded V3/V4 amplicons of bacterial 16S-rRNA gene were prepared from the stool samples of 52 healthy 1-year-old Australian children and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Following the quality checks, the data were processed using the Quantitative Insights Into Microbial Ecology pipeline and analysed using the Calypso package for microbiome data analysis. The stool microbiota profiles of children still breastfed were significantly different from that of children weaned earlier (P<0.05), independent of the age of solid food introduction. Among children still breastfed, Veillonella spp. abundance was higher. Children no longer breastfed possessed a more ‘mature’ microbiota, with notable increases of Firmicutes. The microbiota profiles of the children could not be differentiated by delivery mode or antibiotic exposure. Further analysis based on children’s feeding patterns found children who were breastfed alongside solid food had significantly different microbiota profiles compared to that of children who were receiving both breastmilk and formula milk alongside solid food. This study provided evidence that breastfeeding continues to influence gut microbial community even at late infancy when these children are also consuming table foods. At this age, any impacts from mode of delivery or antibiotic exposure did not appear to be discernible imprints on the microbial community profiles of these healthy children.
The properties of the acoustic modes are sensitive to magnetic activity. The unprecedented long-term Kepler photometry, thus, allows stellar magnetic cycles to be studied through asteroseismology. We search for signatures of magnetic cycles in the seismic data of Kepler solar-type stars. We find evidence for periodic variations in the acoustic properties of about half of the 87 analysed stars. In these proceedings, we highlight the results obtained for two such stars, namely KIC 8006161 and KIC 5184732.
Effects of soil tillage systems and nitrogen (N) fertilizer management on spring wheat yield components, grain yield and N-use efficiency (NUE) were evaluated in contrasting weather of 2013 and 2014 on a clay soil at the Royal Agricultural University's Harnhill Manor Farm, Cirencester, UK. Three tillage systems – conventional plough tillage (CT), high intensity non-inversion tillage (HINiT) and low intensity non-inversion tillage (LINiT) for seedbed preparation – were compared at four rates of N fertilizer (0, 70, 140 and 210 kg N/ha). Responses to the effects of the management practices were strongly influenced by weather conditions and varied across seasons. Grain yields were similar between LINiT and CT in 2013, while CT produced higher yields in 2014. Nitrogen fertilization effects also varied across the years with no significant effects observed on grain yield in 2013, while in 2014 applications up to 140 kg N/ha increased yield. Grain protein ranged from 10·1 to 14·5% and increased with N rate in both years. Nitrogen-use efficiency ranged from 12·6 to 49·1 kg grain per kg N fertilizer and decreased as N fertilization rate increased in both years. There was no tillage effect on NUE in 2013, while in 2014 NUE under CT was similar to LINiT and higher than HINiT. The effect of tillage and N fertilization on soil moisture and soil mineral N (SMN) fluctuated across years. In 2013, LINiT showed significantly higher soil moisture than CT, while soil moisture did not differ between tillage systems in 2014. Conventional tillage had significantly higher SMN at harvest time in 2014, while no significant differences on SMN were observed between tillage systems in 2013. These results indicate that LINiT can be used to produce similar spring wheat yield to CT on this particular soil type, if a dry cropping season is expected. Crop response to N fertilization is limited when soil residual N is higher, while in conditions of lower residual SMN, a higher N supply is needed to increase yield and improve grain protein content.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
There are many biological macro-molecules such as nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. While each of them plays a vital (and interesting) part in life but there is something special about the proteins. Proteins are the key link between the processes of information and replication that take place on a genetic level and the infrastructure of living features. Understanding the properties of proteins is the key to understanding the spark of the life. In this paper we describe our study of various electrical properties of protein when performing measurements at the nanoscale. To achieve this goal we designed and fabricated a nanoelectronic probe. This nano structure consists of four thin film layers. There are two conductive layers and an insulative layer in between. There is also a protective oxide layer as the top most layer. This layer is to prevent the exposure of conductive electrodes to the solution. Underneath the bottom electrode, there is another oxide layer, which can be a thermally grown oxide. This layer insulates the first electrode from the substrate. In this study, while we use non-specific detection of streptavidin protein as a proof of concept, we emphasize that the findings of this study can be extended to specific detection of target proteins, where in this case a specific probe molecule would also be immobilized on the sensor surface.
Current-voltage characteristics of Au contacts formed on β-SiC films grown heteroepitaxially on both nominally (100) oriented and off-axis (100) silicon substrates have been investigated. Logarithmic plots of the I-V characteristics in the forward direction indicate space charge limited current conduction through the active volume of the diodes. The β-SiC films grown on nominally (100) oriented substrates show the presence of two deep levels located approximately between 0.26 eV and 0.38 eV below the conduction band edge. In some films on nominal (100) substrates, the I-V characteristics are also influenced by additional traps which are exponentially distributed in energy with a maximum occurring at the conduction band edge. In contrast, the films deposited on off-axis substrates have only one deep level located at approximately 0.49 eV for the 2° off (100) substrates and 0.57 eV for the 4° off (100) substrates. Previous microstructural analysis revealed that the nature and density of defects in the β-SiC heteroepitaxial films on both nominal and off-axis (100) silicon are similar except that the films on nominal (100) substrates have a high density of antiphase domain boundaries. Therefore, the presence of the shallower deep-level states observed in the β-SiC films grown on nominal (100) substrates is speculated to be due to the electrical activity of antiphase domain boundaries.
Effects of high carbon concentration upon oxygen precipitate formation in Cz silicon have been investigated by combining various furnace and rapid thermal annneals. Even though oxide precipitate density increases with increasing carbon levels, Cs, synchrotron radiation section topographs of processed high carbon content wafers (Cs ∼ 4ppma) exhibit Pendellosung fringes, indicating a strain free bulk state. Our optical microscopic data have also shown very few defect etch features inside the bulk. A model based upon a direct coupling of both SiO2 and Si-C complex formation reactions is used to explain rather unique oxygen precipitation characteristics in the high carbon content Cz Si materials.
We report the dielectric functions of various GaN samples as measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry. Structure related to the A and B excitons is resolved at room temperature, in principle allowing strain to be assessed. However, the data indicate that dead-layer and dispersion effects are present, preventing a simple interpretation. We discuss various complications including the Edn/dE contribution to dispersion, which is important for laser action. Our data appear to indicate that the spin-orbit splitting of GaN is about 15 meV, somewhat larger than the currently accepted value of about 11 meV.
Epitaxially grown GaN by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on SiC were implanted with 100 keV Si+ (for n-type) and 80 keV Mg+ (for p-type) with various fluences from 1×1012 to 7×1015 ions/cm2 at liquid nitrogen temperature (LT), room temperature (RT), and 700 °C (HT). High temperature (1200 °C and 1500 °C) annealing was carried out after capping the GaN with epitaxial AIN by MOCVD to study damage recovery. Samples were capped by a layer of AIN in order to protect the GaN surface during annealing. Effects of implant temperature, damage and dopant activation are critically studied to evaluate a role of ion implantation in doping of GaN. The damage was studied by Rutherford Backscattering/Channeling, spectroscopic ellipsometry and photoluminescence. Results show dependence of radiation damage level on temperature of the substrate during implantation: implantations at elevated temperatures up to 550 °C decrease the lattice disorder; “hot implants” above 550 °C can not be useful in doping of GaN due to nitrogen loss from the surface. SE measurements have indicated very high sensitivity to the implantation damage. PL measurements at LT of 80 keV Mg+ (5×1014 cm-2) implanted and annealed GaN showed two peaks : one ∼100 meV and another ∼140 meV away from the band edge.