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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
This article addresses recent advances in liquid phase transmission electron microscopy (LPTEM) for studying nanoscale synthetic processes of carbon-based materials that are independent of the electron beam—those driven by nonradiolytic chemical or thermal reactions. In particular, we focus on chemical/physical formations and the assembly of nanostructures composed of organic monomers/polymers, peptides/DNA, and biominerals. The synthesis of carbon-based nanomaterials generally only occurs at specific conditions, which cannot be mimicked by aqueous solution radiolysis. Carbon-based structures themselves are also acutely sensitive to the damaging effects of the irradiating beam, which make studying their synthesis using LPTEM a unique challenge that is possible when beam effects can be quantified and mitigated. With new direct sensing, high frame-rate cameras, and advances in liquid cell holder designs, combined with a growing understanding of irradiation effects and proper experimental controls, microscopists have been able to make strides in observing traditionally problematic carbon-based materials under conditions where synthesis can be controlled, and imaged free from beam effects, or with beam effects quantified and accounted for. These materials systems and LPTEM experimental techniques are discussed, focusing on nonradiolytic chemical and physical transformations relevant to materials synthesis.
Registry-based trials have emerged as a potentially cost-saving study methodology. Early estimates of cost savings, however, conflated the benefits associated with registry utilisation and those associated with other aspects of pragmatic trial designs, which might not all be as broadly applicable. In this study, we sought to build a practical tool that investigators could use across disciplines to estimate the ranges of potential cost differences associated with implementing registry-based trials versus standard clinical trials.
We built simulation Markov models to compare unique costs associated with data acquisition, cleaning, and linkage under a registry-based trial design versus a standard clinical trial. We conducted one-way, two-way, and probabilistic sensitivity analyses, varying study characteristics over broad ranges, to determine thresholds at which investigators might optimally select each trial design.
Registry-based trials were more cost effective than standard clinical trials 98.6% of the time. Data-related cost savings ranged from $4300 to $600,000 with variation in study characteristics. Cost differences were most reactive to the number of patients in a study, the number of data elements per patient available in a registry, and the speed with which research coordinators could manually abstract data. Registry incorporation resulted in cost savings when as few as 3768 independent data elements were available and when manual data abstraction took as little as 3.4 seconds per data field.
Registries offer important resources for investigators. When available, their broad incorporation may help the scientific community reduce the costs of clinical investigation. We offer here a practical tool for investigators to assess potential costs savings.
Genetic research into human sexuality was scarce at the end of last century. In 1992 Nick developed a 12-page questionnaire to send to twins to investigate the underpinnings of sexuality. The questionnaire included items about sexual orientation, sociosexuality and sexual behavior, and was completed by almost 5000 twins. The resulting data, unique at the time, has been used to investigate many previously unexaminable research questions. Here we describe how Nick’s questionnaire contributed to our understanding of human sexuality and how we got involved in this endeavor.
The USA is the largest consumer of legally, internationally-traded wildlife. A proportion of this trade consists of species listed in the Appendices of CITES, and recorded in the CITES Trade Database. Using this resource, we quantified wildlife entering the USA for 82 of the most frequently recorded wildlife products and a range of taxonomic groups during 1979–2014. We examined trends in legal trade and seizures of illegally traded items over time, and relationships between trade and four national measures of biodiversity. We found that: (1) there is an overall positive relationship between legal imports and seizures; (2) Asia was the main region exporting CITES-listed wildlife products to the USA; (3) bears, crocodilians and other mammals (i.e. other than Ursidae, Felidae, Cetacea, Proboscidea, Primates or Rhinocerotidae) increased in both reported legal trade and seizures over time; (4) legal trade in live specimens was reported to be primarily from captive-produced, artificially-propagated or ranched sources, whereas traded meat was primarily wild sourced; (5) both seizures and legally traded items of felids and elephants decreased over time; and (6) volumes of both legally traded and seized species were correlated with four attributes of exporting countries: species endemism, species richness, number of IUCN threatened species, and country size. The goal of our analysis was to inform CITES decision-making and species conservation efforts.
President Donald Trump faced substantial scandal coverage early in his presidency. Can these stories about presidential controversies change the opinions of Trump’s fellow Republicans, or are the efforts of the news media to inform partisans about prominent issues futile? Past research on partisan reactions to major political scandals were confounded by problems with self-reported media use and single-shot experimental treatments. We address these concerns using a unique, repeated-exposure experimental design that either randomly supplied participants with news about the Trump-Russia scandal, or removed most of those stories from view, over the course of one week in June 2017. This design mimics sustained media attention to a political scandal and disentangles the effects of media coverage from selection in the context of a high-choice media environment. We find that Republicans randomly assigned to see more Trump-Russia headlines reacted more negatively than Democrats or Independents, rating Trump’s performance lower and expressing more negative emotions about him. Republicans’ perceptions of media bias were not affected by Trump-Russia stories, and effects were not contingent upon clicking the articles. Intense media focus on a story can alter partisans’ evaluations of politicians by shifting the balance of headlines.
Using existing data from clinical registries to support clinical trials and other prospective studies has the potential to improve research efficiency. However, little has been reported about staff experiences and lessons learned from implementation of this method in pediatric cardiology.
We describe the process of using existing registry data in the Pediatric Heart Network Residual Lesion Score Study, report stakeholders’ perspectives, and provide recommendations to guide future studies using this methodology.
The Residual Lesion Score Study, a 17-site prospective, observational study, piloted the use of existing local surgical registry data (collected for submission to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-Congenital Heart Surgery Database) to supplement manual data collection. A survey regarding processes and perceptions was administered to study site and data coordinating center staff.
Survey response rate was 98% (54/55). Overall, 57% perceived that using registry data saved research staff time in the current study, and 74% perceived that it would save time in future studies; 55% noted significant upfront time in developing a methodology for extracting registry data. Survey recommendations included simplifying data extraction processes and tailoring to the needs of the study, understanding registry characteristics to maximise data quality and security, and involving all stakeholders in design and implementation processes.
Use of existing registry data was perceived to save time and promote efficiency. Consideration must be given to the upfront investment of time and resources needed. Ongoing efforts focussed on automating and centralising data management may aid in further optimising this methodology for future studies.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase–inhibitor herbicide with an alternative mode of action that provides PRE weed control in strawberry [Fragaria×ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis×virginiana]] produced in a plasticulture setting in Florida. Plasticulture mulch could decrease fomesafen dissipation and increase crop injury in rotational crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, to investigate fomesafen persistence and movement in soil in Florida strawberry systems for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles. Treatments included fomesafen preplant at 0, 0.42, and 0.84 kg ai ha−1. Soil samples were taken under the plastic from plots treated with fomesafen at 0.42 kg ha−1 throughout the production cycle. Fomesafen did not injure strawberry or decrease yield. Fomesafen concentration data for the 0.0- to 0.1-m soil depth were described using a three-parameter logistic function. The fomesafen 50% dissipation times were 37 and 47 d for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. At the end of the study, fomesafen was last detected in the 0.0- to 0.1-m depth soil at 167 and 194 d after treatment in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 production cycles, respectively. Fomesafen concentration was less than 25 ppb on any sampling date for 0.1- to 0.2-m and 0.2- to 0.3-m depths. Fomesafen concentration decreased significantly after strawberry was transplanted and likely leached during overhead and drip irrigation used during the crop establishment.
Melt electrospinning is a facile fabrication technique that can be utilized in the creation of microfibers without the use of solvent and with good control over feature placement. The available thermal energy of the melt electrospinning technique is often only utilized in the formation of the polymer melt but can also be used to thermodynamically drive chemical reactions. In this study, hybrid perovskite microcrystallites are synthesized in the polymer melt and electrospun to form composite microfibers. Unique hybrid perovskite microstructures were studied, elucidating mechanisms of formation at work in the polymer melt.
This paper addresses activities carried out in a late-sixteenth or seventeenth century Maya council house (popol nah) just before its abandonment. Structure 719 at the site of Zacpeten in the central Peten lakes district is considered a noble residence remodeled into a council house with an adjacent temple. Excavations revealed quantities of de facto refuse inside the structure's two rooms and around the exterior; recent studies focused on ceramics, lithics, faunal remains, and net sinkers. The back room held abundant lithics and diverse fauna, with evidence of grinding red pigment and snapping obsidian prismatic blades into segments for fashioning arrow points. Pottery and faunal remains indicate feasting, as well as possible use of animal parts in ritual and in making ceremonial objects. The Group 719 complex served as a center of production of various goods and community ritual until its abrupt abandonment, likely in the first decade or so of the eighteenth century.
Bacterial cultures exposed to iron-doped apatite nanoparticles (IDANPs) prior to the introduction of antagonistic viruses experience up to 2.3 times the bacterial destruction observed in control cultures. Maximum antibacterial activity of these bacteria-specific viruses, or phage, occurs after bacterial cultures have been exposed to IDANPs for 1 hr prior to phage introduction, demonstrating that IDANP-assisted phage therapy would not be straight forward, but would instead require controlled time release of IDANPs and phage. These findings motivated the design of an electrospun nanofiber mesh treatment delivery system that allows burst release of IDANPs, followed by slow, consistent release of phage for treatment of topical bacterial infections. IDANPs resemble hydroxyapatite, a biocompatible mineral analogous to the inorganic constituent of mammalian bone, which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for many biomedical purposes. The composite nanofiber mesh was designed for IDANP-assisted phage therapy treatment of topical wounds and consists of a superficial, rapid release layer of polyethylene oxide (PEO) fibers doped with IDANPs, followed by inner, coaxial polycaprolactone / polyethylene glycol (PCL/PEG) blended polymer fiber layer for slower phage delivery. Our investigations have established that IDANP-doped PEO fibers are effective vehicles for dissemination of IDANPs for bacterial exposure and resultant increased bacterial death by phage. In this work, slower delivery of the phage behind IDANPs was accomplished using coaxial, electrospun fibers composed of PCL/PEG polymer blend.
Fomesafen is a protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PROTOX) inhibitor that has the potential to be used as an alternative mechanism of action for PRE nutsedge and broadleaf weed control in Florida production of small fruit and vegetables. Fumigation in the raised-bed plasticulture system may increase herbicide persistence. Fomesafen persistence could dissuade Florida growers from using the herbicide for fear of injury to subsequent susceptible crops. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, in 2015 and 2016 to investigate the effect of fumigation on fomesafen dissipation, eggplant tolerance, and purple nutsedge control. Treatments included fomesafen at 0.42 kg ai ha−1, S-metolachlor at 1.06 kg ai ha−1, and a nontreated control in either a fumigated bed injected with a combination of 39% 1,3-dichloropropene and 59.6% chloropicrin at 336 kg ha−1 or no fumigant. Fomesafen concentration in the soil decreased by 83% and 96% from application to harvest in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Fumigation did not affect fomesafen dissipation in either year. At 2 wk after transplant (WATr), fomesafen caused 14% eggplant injury. Injury decreased to less than 5% at 6 WATr. Fomesafen and S-metolachlor treatments did not reduce eggplant height or yields compared with the nontreated control. Fumigation and fomesafen did not decrease purple nutsedge density; however, S-metolachlor applications resulted in a 48% reduction. Further research is needed to assess efficacy on broadleaf and grass weeds.
Having frequent family dinners is associated with better diet quality in children; however, it is unknown whether the frequency of certain family meal types (i.e. dinner) is more strongly associated with better child weight and diet quality compared with other meal types (i.e. breakfast, lunch). Thus, the current study examined the frequency of eating breakfast, lunch or dinner family meals and associations with pre-school children’s overall diet quality (HEI-2010) and BMI percentile.
Cross-sectional baseline data (2012–2014) from two randomized controlled childhood obesity prevention trials, NET-Works and GROW, were analysed together.
Studies were carried out in community and in-home settings in urban areas of Minnesota and Tennessee, USA.
Parent–child (ages 2–5 years) pairs from Minnesota (n 222 non-Hispanics; n 312 Hispanics) and Tennessee (n 545 Hispanics; n 55 non-Hispanics) participated in the study.
Over 80 % of families ate breakfast or lunch family meals at least once per week. Over 65 % of families ate dinner family meals ≥5 times/week. Frequency of breakfast family meals and total weekly family meals were significantly associated with healthier diet quality for non-Hispanic pre-school children (P<0·05), but not for Hispanic children. Family meal frequency by meal type was not associated with BMI percentile for non-Hispanic or Hispanic pre-school children.
Breakfast family meal frequency and total weekly family meal frequency were associated with healthier diet quality in non-Hispanic pre-school children but not in Hispanic children. Longitudinal research is needed to clarify the association between family meal type and child diet quality and BMI percentile.
Mulches used in plasticulture systems could decrease dissipation of fomesafen, a protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitor, and dissuade producers from using the herbicide for fear of crop injury in subsequent growing seasons. Field experiments were conducted in Balm, FL, in 2015 and 2016 to investigate the effect of different plastic mulches on fomesafen dissipation, squash tolerance, and efficacy on purple nutsedge. Squash was injured less than 5% from fomesafen applications. The use of plastic mulches reduced purple nutsedge density at transplant by 60% compared with the no-mulch treatment. At transplant, treatments with low-density polyethylene mulch (LDPE), virtually impermeable film (VIF), and totally impermeable film (TIF) mulch had greater than 2-fold the fomesafen concentrations than treatments with clear or no mulch. At harvest in 2015, LDPE, VIF, and TIF treatments had greater fomesafen concentrations than clear and no-mulch treatments; however, concentrations in 2016 were similar for all treatments. Fomesafen can persist at high concentrations throughout the growing season in Florida plasticulture possibly limiting producer options for crop rotation and the use of cover crops.
The Numeniini is a tribe of 13 wader species (Scolopacidae, Charadriiformes) of which seven are Near Threatened or globally threatened, including two Critically Endangered. To help inform conservation management and policy responses, we present the results of an expert assessment of the threats that members of this taxonomic group face across migratory flyways. Most threats are increasing in intensity, particularly in non-breeding areas, where habitat loss resulting from residential and commercial development, aquaculture, mining, transport, disturbance, problematic invasive species, pollution and climate change were regarded as having the greatest detrimental impact. Fewer threats (mining, disturbance, problematic native species and climate change) were identified as widely affecting breeding areas. Numeniini populations face the greatest number of non-breeding threats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, especially those associated with coastal reclamation; related threats were also identified across the Central and Atlantic Americas, and East Atlantic flyways. Threats on the breeding grounds were greatest in Central and Atlantic Americas, East Atlantic and West Asian flyways. Three priority actions were associated with monitoring and research: to monitor breeding population trends (which for species breeding in remote areas may best be achieved through surveys at key non-breeding sites), to deploy tracking technologies to identify migratory connectivity, and to monitor land-cover change across breeding and non-breeding areas. Two priority actions were focused on conservation and policy responses: to identify and effectively protect key non-breeding sites across all flyways (particularly in the East Asian- Australasian Flyway), and to implement successful conservation interventions at a sufficient scale across human-dominated landscapes for species’ recovery to be achieved. If implemented urgently, these measures in combination have the potential to alter the current population declines of many Numeniini species and provide a template for the conservation of other groups of threatened species.
Bacheeishdíio (“Place Where Men Pack Meat”), now called Grapevine Creek in English, is the subject of Crow oral traditions that document the cultural significance of the landscape and celebrate centuries of bison hunting in the drainage. We report an ongoing, community-based project that integrates archaeological field training and research goals into a collaborative indigenous archaeology project supporting the expressed goal of the Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Office to prepare a district-level nomination for the Grapevine Creek drainage basin. This paper describes findings from field investigations that document buffalo jump locales, a previously unreported bison bonebed, and associated archaeological features in the drainage, grounding Crow oral traditions that document buffalo jumps and large-scale bison hunts firmly into the landscape. We take a holistic approach that incorporates multiple lines of evidence to assess the archaeological record associated with bison jumps and bison hunting on the Crow Reservation in southern Montana. Results of this project include an enriched understanding of the Grapevine Creek archaeological record, greater awareness of buffalo hunting strategies on the northwest Plains, and, through field training, enhanced cultural resource management capabilities for the Crow Tribal Historic Preservation Office.
Hybrid organic-inorganic perovskites (HOIPs) have been previously compounded with hydrophobic polymers in order to improve the resilience of HOIPs in humid environments. In this study HOIP particles were synthesized and dispersed into a polymer solution. The weight loading of the HOIP phase in the composite was increased until an abrupt change in the electrical conduction was observed indicating a percolation threshold was approached. Additionally, the CH3NH3PbI3/ polystyrene composite media was characterized to assess morphology and the effect it has on the observed electrical properties.