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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.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Clinical Enterobacteriacae isolates with a colistin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ≥4 mg/L from a United States hospital were screened for the mcr-1 gene using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and confirmed by whole-genome sequencing. Four colistin-resistant Escherichia coli isolates contained mcr-1. Two isolates belonged to the same sequence type (ST-632). All subjects had prior international travel and antimicrobial exposure.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Conveying information cohesively is an essential element of communication that is disrupted in schizophrenia. These disruptions are typically expressed through disorganized symptoms, which have been linked to neurocognitive, social cognitive, and metacognitive deficits. Automated analysis can objectively assess disorganization within sentences, between sentences, and across paragraphs by comparing explicit communication to a large text corpus.
Little work in schizophrenia has tested: (1) links between disorganized symptoms measured via automated analysis and neurocognition, social cognition, or metacognition; and (2) if automated analysis explains incremental variance in cognitive processes beyond clinician-rated scales. Disorganization was measured in schizophrenia (n = 81) with Coh-Metrix 3.0, an automated program that calculates basic and complex language indices. Trained staff also assessed neurocognition, social cognition, metacognition, and clinician-rated disorganization.
Findings showed that all three cognitive processes were significantly associated with at least one automated index of disorganization. When automated analysis was compared with a clinician-rated scale, it accounted for significant variance in neurocognition and metacognition beyond the clinician-rated measure. When combined, these two methods explained 28–31% of the variance in neurocognition, social cognition, and metacognition.
This study illustrated how automated analysis can highlight the specific role of disorganization in neurocognition, social cognition, and metacognition. Generally, those with poor cognition also displayed more disorganization in their speech—making it difficult for listeners to process essential information needed to tie the speaker's ideas together. Our findings showcase how implementing a mixed-methods approach in schizophrenia can explain substantial variance in cognitive processes.
An emerging recombinant norovirus GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain caused a gastroenteritis outbreak amongst attendees at a large health function in regional New South Wales, Australia. This was the third outbreak caused by the recombinant GII.P16/GII.4 Sydney 2012 strain in this region in 2017, which appears to be emerging as a common strain in the Hunter New England region.
Vaccination remains a mainstay of companion animal population health. However, how vaccine use at a population level complies with existing guidelines is unknown. Here we use electronic health records to describe vaccination in dogs, cats and rabbits attending a large sentinel network of UK veterinary practices. In total, 77.9% (95% CI: 77.6–78.1) of animals had recorded vaccinations. The percentage of animals with recorded vaccinations was higher in dogs, neutered animals, in insured dogs and cats and in purebred dogs. Vaccination rates varied in different regions of Great Britain in all species. Dogs and cats belonging to owners living in less deprived areas of England and Scotland were more likely to be recorded as vaccinated. In the vaccinated population, cats received more core vaccines per year of life (0.86) than dogs (0.75), with feline leukaemia vaccines almost as frequent as core vaccines. In dogs, leptospira vaccines were more frequent than core vaccines. This descriptive study suggests a substantial proportion of animals are not benefiting from vaccine protection. For the first time, we identify potential factors associated with variations in recorded vaccination frequency, providing a critical baseline against which to monitor future changes in companion animal vaccination and evidence to inform future targeted health interventions.
The SPICA mid- and far-infrared telescope will address fundamental issues in our understanding of star formation and ISM physics in galaxies. A particular hallmark of SPICA is the outstanding sensitivity enabled by the cold telescope, optimised detectors, and wide instantaneous bandwidth throughout the mid- and far-infrared. The spectroscopic, imaging, and polarimetric observations that SPICA will be able to collect will help in clarifying the complex physical mechanisms which underlie the baryon cycle of galaxies. In particular, (i) the access to a large suite of atomic and ionic fine-structure lines for large samples of galaxies will shed light on the origin of the observed spread in star-formation rates within and between galaxies, (ii) observations of HD rotational lines (out to ~10 Mpc) and fine structure lines such as [C ii] 158 μm (out to ~100 Mpc) will clarify the main reservoirs of interstellar matter in galaxies, including phases where CO does not emit, (iii) far-infrared spectroscopy of dust and ice features will address uncertainties in the mass and composition of dust in galaxies, and the contributions of supernovae to the interstellar dust budget will be quantified by photometry and monitoring of supernova remnants in nearby galaxies, (iv) observations of far-infrared cooling lines such as [O i] 63 μm from star-forming molecular clouds in our Galaxy will evaluate the importance of shocks to dissipate turbulent energy. The paper concludes with requirements for the telescope and instruments, and recommendations for the observing strategy.
Giant electromagnetic pulses (EMP) generated during the interaction of high-power lasers with solid targets can seriously degrade electrical measurements and equipment. EMP emission is caused by the acceleration of hot electrons inside the target, which produce radiation across a wide band from DC to terahertz frequencies. Improved understanding and control of EMP is vital as we enter a new era of high repetition rate, high intensity lasers (e.g. the Extreme Light Infrastructure). We present recent data from the VULCAN laser facility that demonstrates how EMP can be readily and effectively reduced. Characterization of the EMP was achieved using B-dot and D-dot probes that took measurements for a range of different target and laser parameters. We demonstrate that target stalk geometry, material composition, geodesic path length and foil surface area can all play a significant role in the reduction of EMP. A combination of electromagnetic wave and 3D particle-in-cell simulations is used to inform our conclusions about the effects of stalk geometry on EMP, providing an opportunity for comparison with existing charge separation models.
Underlying mechanisms responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of β-glucan have been proposed, yet have not been fully demonstrated. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether the consumption of barley β-glucan lowers cholesterol by affecting the cholesterol absorption, cholesterol synthesis or bile acid synthesis. In addition, this study was aimed to assess whether the underlying mechanisms are related to cholesterol 7α hydroxylase (CYP7A1) SNP rs3808607 as proposed by us earlier. In a controlled, randomised, cross-over study, participants with mild hypercholesterolaemia (n 30) were randomly assigned to receive breakfast containing 3 g high-molecular weight (HMW), 5 g low-molecular weight (LMW), 3 g LMW barley β-glucan or a control diet, each for 5 weeks. Cholesterol absorption was determined by assessing the enrichment of circulating 13C-cholesterol over 96 h following oral administration; fractional rate of synthesis for cholesterol was assessed by measuring the incorporation rate of 2H derived from deuterium oxide within the body water pool into the erythrocyte cholesterol pool over 24 h; bile acid synthesis was determined by measuring serum 7α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one concentrations. Consumption of 3 g HMW β-glucan decreased total cholesterol (TC) levels (P=0·029), but did not affect cholesterol absorption (P=0·25) or cholesterol synthesis (P=0·14). Increased bile acid synthesis after consumption of 3 g HMW β-glucan was observed in all participants (P=0·049), and more pronounced in individuals carrying homozygous G of rs3808607 (P=0·033). In addition, a linear relationship between log (viscosity) of β-glucan and serum 7α-HC concentration was observed in homozygous G allele carriers. Results indicate that increased bile acid synthesis rather than inhibition of cholesterol absorption or synthesis may be responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of barley β-glucan. The pronounced TC reduction in G allele carriers of rs3808607 observed in the previous study may be due to enhanced bile acid synthesis in response to high-viscosity β-glucan consumption in those individuals.
The Taipan galaxy survey (hereafter simply ‘Taipan’) is a multi-object spectroscopic survey starting in 2017 that will cover 2π steradians over the southern sky (δ ≲ 10°, |b| ≳ 10°), and obtain optical spectra for about two million galaxies out to z < 0.4. Taipan will use the newly refurbished 1.2-m UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory with the new TAIPAN instrument, which includes an innovative ‘Starbugs’ positioning system capable of rapidly and simultaneously deploying up to 150 spectroscopic fibres (and up to 300 with a proposed upgrade) over the 6° diameter focal plane, and a purpose-built spectrograph operating in the range from 370 to 870 nm with resolving power R ≳ 2000. The main scientific goals of Taipan are (i) to measure the distance scale of the Universe (primarily governed by the local expansion rate, H0) to 1% precision, and the growth rate of structure to 5%; (ii) to make the most extensive map yet constructed of the total mass distribution and motions in the local Universe, using peculiar velocities based on improved Fundamental Plane distances, which will enable sensitive tests of gravitational physics; and (iii) to deliver a legacy sample of low-redshift galaxies as a unique laboratory for studying galaxy evolution as a function of dark matter halo and stellar mass and environment. The final survey, which will be completed within 5 yrs, will consist of a complete magnitude-limited sample (i ⩽ 17) of about 1.2 × 106 galaxies supplemented by an extension to higher redshifts and fainter magnitudes (i ⩽ 18.1) of a luminous red galaxy sample of about 0.8 × 106 galaxies. Observations and data processing will be carried out remotely and in a fully automated way, using a purpose-built automated ‘virtual observer’ software and an automated data reduction pipeline. The Taipan survey is deliberately designed to maximise its legacy value by complementing and enhancing current and planned surveys of the southern sky at wavelengths from the optical to the radio; it will become the primary redshift and optical spectroscopic reference catalogue for the local extragalactic Universe in the southern sky for the coming decade.
We examined longitudinally the course and predictors of treatment resistance in a large cohort of first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients from initiation of antipsychotic treatment. We hypothesized that antipsychotic treatment resistance is: (a) present at illness onset; and (b) differentially associated with clinical and demographic factors.
The study sample comprised 323 FEP patients who were studied at first contact and at 10-year follow-up. We collated clinical information on severity of symptoms, antipsychotic medication and treatment adherence during the follow-up period to determine the presence, course and predictors of treatment resistance.
From the 23% of the patients, who were treatment resistant, 84% were treatment resistant from illness onset. Multivariable regression analysis revealed that diagnosis of schizophrenia, negative symptoms, younger age at onset, and longer duration of untreated psychosis predicted treatment resistance from illness onset.
The striking majority of treatment-resistant patients do not respond to first-line antipsychotic treatment even at time of FEP. Clinicians must be alert to this subgroup of patients and consider clozapine treatment as early as possible during the first presentation of psychosis.
To detail the activities of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative and evaluate outcomes of the program.
The VHA is a large integrated healthcare system serving approximately 6 million individuals annually at more than 140 medical facilities.
Utilization of nationally developed resources, proportional distribution of antibiotics, changes in stewardship practices and patient safety measures were reported. In addition, inpatient antimicrobial use was evaluated before and after implementation of national stewardship activities.
Nationally developed stewardship resources were well utilized, and many stewardship practices significantly increased, including development of written stewardship policies at 92% of facilities by 2015 (P<.05). While the proportional distribution of antibiotics did not change, inpatient antibiotic use significantly decreased after VHA Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative activities began (P<.0001). A 12% decrease in antibiotic use was noted overall. The VHA has also noted significantly declining use of antimicrobials prescribed for resistant Gram-negative organisms, including carbapenems, as well as declining hospital readmission and mortality rates. Concurrently, the VHA reported decreasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection.
The VHA National Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative includes continuing education, disease-specific guidelines, and development of example policies in addition to other highly utilized resources. While no specific ideal level of antimicrobial utilization has been established, the VHA has shown that improving antimicrobial usage in a large healthcare system may be achieved through national guidance and resources with local implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
Adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) demonstrate increased susceptibility to interfering effects of anxiety on cognitive control; although under certain conditions adults with MDD are able to compensate for these effects. The brain mechanisms that may facilitate the ability to compensate for anxiety either via the recruitment of additional cognitive resources or via the regulation of interference from anxiety remain largely unknown. To clarify these mechanisms, we examined the effects of anxiety on brain activity and amygdala–prefrontal functional connectivity in adults diagnosed with MDD.
A total of 22 unmedicated adults with MDD and 18 healthy controls (HCs) performed the Tower of London task under conditions designed to induce anxiety, while undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment.
During the easy condition, the MDD group demonstrated equivalent planning accuracy, longer planning times, elevated amygdala activity and left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) hyperactivity relative to HCs. Anxiety mediated observed group differences in planning times, as well as differences in amygdala activation, which subsequently mediated observed differences in RLPFC activation. During the easy condition, the MDD group also demonstrated increased negative amygdala–dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) connectivity which correlated with improved planning accuracy. During the hard condition, HCs demonstrated greater DLPFC activation and stronger negative amygdala–DLPFC connectivity, which was unrelated to planning accuracy.
Our results suggest that persons with MDD compensate for anxiety-related limbic activation during low-load cognitive tasks by recruiting additional RLPFC activation and through increased inhibitory amygdala–DLPFC communication. Targeting these neural mechanisms directly may improve cognitive functioning in MDD.
Introduction: Acute upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding is a relatively common emergency resulting in death in 6 to 8% of cases. UGI endoscopy is the intervention of choice which requires procedural sedation and analgesia (PSA). The Halifax Infirmary emergency department (ED) performs 1000 PSAs annually, performed by advanced care paramedics (ACPs). This has been shown safe for other indications for PSA, such as orthopedic procedures. Considering that UGI endoscopy involves upper airway manipulation, and patients are at an increased risk of massive bleeding, this procedure would be expected to be more complex and have an increased risk of adverse events (AEs). This study aims to compare PSA for UGI endoscopy performed by ACPs to that for orthopedic procedures for AEs, airway intervention and medication use. Methods: This study is a retrospective review of an ACP-performed ED PSA quality control database. A dataset was built matching 64 UGI endoscopy PSAs to 192 orthopedic PSAs by propensity scores calculated using age, gender and ASA classification. Outcomes assessed were hypotension (SBP < 100, or 15% decrease from baseline), hypoxia (SaO2 < 90), apnea (> 30sec), vomiting, arrhythmias and death in the ED. The need for airway intervention and medication use was assessed. Results: The UGI endoscopy group was 4.60 times more likely to suffer hypotension than the orthopedic group (OR=4.6, CI:2.2-9.6), and a fifth as likely to require airway repositioning (OR=0.2, CI:0.1-0.5). One endoscopy patient required endotracheal intubation. No patient died in either group. Compared to the orthopedic group, the UGI endoscopy group was one-third as likely to receive fentanyl (OR=0.3, CI:0.2-0.6). When fentanyl was administered, endoscopy patients received an average 26.7 mcg less than orthopedic patients. The endoscopy group was 15.4 times more likely to receive ketamine (OR=15.4, CI:4.7-66.5), and received 34.4 mg less on average. Four endoscopy patients received phenylephrine compared to none in the orthopedic group. There were no other differences. Conclusion: ED PSA for UGI endoscopy appears to differ significantly from that performed for orthopedic procedures. It was associated with more frequent hypotension and increased use of ketamine as a sedative. Patients undergoing UGI endoscopy were less likely to receive fentanyl and require airway repositioning. Only patients in the endoscopy group required intubation or a vasopressor agent.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common and disabling condition with well-established heritability and environmental risk factors. Gene–environment interaction studies in MDD have typically investigated candidate genes, though the disorder is known to be highly polygenic. This study aims to test for interaction between polygenic risk and stressful life events (SLEs) or childhood trauma (CT) in the aetiology of MDD.
The RADIANT UK sample consists of 1605 MDD cases and 1064 controls with SLE data, and a subset of 240 cases and 272 controls with CT data. Polygenic risk scores (PRS) were constructed using results from a mega-analysis on MDD by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium. PRS and environmental factors were tested for association with case/control status and for interaction between them.
PRS significantly predicted depression, explaining 1.1% of variance in phenotype (p = 1.9 × 10−6). SLEs and CT were also associated with MDD status (p = 2.19 × 10−4 and p = 5.12 × 10−20, respectively). No interactions were found between PRS and SLEs. Significant PRSxCT interactions were found (p = 0.002), but showed an inverse association with MDD status, as cases who experienced more severe CT tended to have a lower PRS than other cases or controls. This relationship between PRS and CT was not observed in independent replication samples.
CT is a strong risk factor for MDD but may have greater effect in individuals with lower genetic liability for the disorder. Including environmental risk along with genetics is important in studying the aetiology of MDD and PRS provide a useful approach to investigating gene–environment interactions in complex traits.