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Few studies have used genomic epidemiology to understand tuberculosis (TB) transmission in rural and remote settings – regions often unique in history, geography and demographics. To improve our understanding of TB transmission dynamics in Yukon Territory (YT), a circumpolar Canadian territory, we conducted a retrospective analysis in which we combined epidemiological data collected through routine contact investigations with clinical and laboratory results. Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from all culture-confirmed TB cases in YT (2005–2014) were genotyped using 24-locus Mycobacterial Interspersed Repetitive Units-Variable Number of Tandem Repeats (MIRU-VNTR) and compared to each other and to those from the neighbouring province of British Columbia (BC). Whole genome sequencing (WGS) of genotypically clustered isolates revealed three sustained transmission networks within YT, two of which also involved BC isolates. While each network had distinct characteristics, all had at least one individual acting as the probable source of three or more culture-positive cases. Overall, WGS revealed that TB transmission dynamics in YT are distinct from patterns of spread in other, more remote Northern Canadian regions, and that the combination of WGS and epidemiological data can provide actionable information to local public health teams.
GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
Disks around young stars are the sites of planet formation. As such, the physical and chemical structure of disks have a direct impact on the formation of planetary bodies. Outflowing winds remove angular momentum and mass and affect the disk structure and therefore potentially planet formation. Until very recently, we have lacked the facilities to provide the necessary observational tools to peer into the wind launching and planet forming regions of the young disks. Within the framework of the Resolving star formation with ALMA program, young protostellar systems are targeted with ALMA to resolve the disk formation, outflow launching and planet formation. This contribution presents the first results of the program. The first resolved images of outflow launching from a disk were recently reported towards the Class I source TMC1A (Bjerkeli et al. 2016) where we also present early evidence of grain growth (Harsono et al. 2018).
Changes in land-use and climate are threatening migratory animals worldwide. In birds, declines have been widely documented in long-distance migrants. However, reasons remain poorly understood due to a lack of basic information regarding migratory birds’ ecology in their non-breeding areas and the effects of current environmental pressures there. We studied bird densities, spatial and territorial behaviour and habitat preference in two different habitat types in northern Ghana, West Africa. We study three common Eurasian-African songbirds (Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus, Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta and Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca) in a forested site, heavily disturbed by agricultural activities, and a forest reserve with no agriculture. The three species differed in non-breeding spatial strategies, with Willow Warblers having larger home ranges and being non-territorial. Home ranges (kernel density) of the three species were on average 1.5–4 times larger in the disturbed site than in the undisturbed site. Much of the birds’ tree species selection was explained by their preference for tall trees, but all species favoured trees of the genus Acacia. The overall larger home ranges in the disturbed site were presumably caused by the lower density of tall trees. Density of Pied Flycatchers was 24% lower in disturbed habitat (not significantly different from undisturbed) but Willow Warbler density in the disturbed habitat was more than 2.5 times the density in undisturbed. This suggests that the disturbed habitat was less suitable for Pied Flycatcher but not for Willow Warbler. This difference is possibly related to differences in tree species preferences and suggests that at least for some species, presence of preferred tree species is more important than overall tree abundance. Such information is crucial for predicting consequences of habitat changes on larger scales and population levels, as well as for planning potentially migrant-friendly farming practices.
In order to exploit potentials of 20–40% reduction of herbicide use, as documented by use of Decision Support Systems (DSS), where requirements for manual field inspection constitute a major obstacle, large numbers of digital pictures of weed infestations have been collected and analysed manually by crop advisors. Results were transferred to: 1) DSS, which determined needs for control and connected, optimized options for control returned options for control and 2) convolutional, neural networks, which in this way were trained to enable automatic analysis of future pictures, which support both field- and site-specific integrated weed management.
Our understanding of the complex relationship between schizophrenia symptomatology and etiological factors can be improved by studying brain-based correlates of schizophrenia. Research showed that impairments in value processing and executive functioning, which have been associated with prefrontal brain areas [particularly the medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC)], are linked to negative symptoms. Here we tested the hypothesis that MOFC thickness is associated with negative symptom severity.
This study included 1985 individuals with schizophrenia from 17 research groups around the world contributing to the ENIGMA Schizophrenia Working Group. Cortical thickness values were obtained from T1-weighted structural brain scans using FreeSurfer. A meta-analysis across sites was conducted over effect sizes from a model predicting cortical thickness by negative symptom score (harmonized Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms or Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores).
Meta-analytical results showed that left, but not right, MOFC thickness was significantly associated with negative symptom severity (βstd = −0.075; p = 0.019) after accounting for age, gender, and site. This effect remained significant (p = 0.036) in a model including overall illness severity. Covarying for duration of illness, age of onset, antipsychotic medication or handedness weakened the association of negative symptoms with left MOFC thickness. As part of a secondary analysis including 10 other prefrontal regions further associations in the left lateral orbitofrontal gyrus and pars opercularis emerged.
Using an unusually large cohort and a meta-analytical approach, our findings point towards a link between prefrontal thinning and negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. This finding provides further insight into the relationship between structural brain abnormalities and negative symptoms in schizophrenia.
To determine chemical composition, physical characteristics and standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of CP and amino acids (AA) in eight current hulled barley genotypes, an experiment with growing pigs has been conducted. These genotypes included Yool, Campanile, Lomerit, Travira, Anisette, Canberra, Metaxa and Fridericus. Growing barrows with an average initial BW of 30±2 kg were surgically fitted with simple T-cannulas at the distal ileum, and allotted to an 8×9 Youden square design with eight periods of 6 days each and nine pigs. Barley was the sole dietary source of CP and AA. On average, the eight genotypes contained on as-fed basis 10.7% CP, 15.2% total non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), 17.1% NDF and 4.1% β-glucan, and had a mean test weight (TW) of 72.2 kg/hl. The SID of CP in the barley genotypes varied from 69% to 74%, and was greater (P<0.01) for genotypes Travira, Anisette and Metaxa compared to Yool and Campanile. Standardized ileal digestibility of Lys, Met and Trp (P<0.05) but not of Thr differed between genotypes. Moreover, barley genotypes differed in their standardized ileal digestible content (cSID) of CP and AA. Furthermore, SID and cSID of CP and most AA linearly decreased (P<0.05) with increasing NDF and total sugar content. Standardized ileal digestibility of CP and some AA and cSID of CP and most AA decreased linearly with increasing TW (P<0.05). Additionally, SID and cSID of CP and AA of most barley genotypes were lower when compared to tabulated values. In conclusion, a comprehensive database on chemical composition and SID of CP and AA in eight current barley genotypes has been made available. However, as present SID values are lower compared to feed tables, adjustments are required to minimize the risk of overestimating the actual protein value of barley for pigs.
The traditional Inuit diet in Greenland consists mainly of fish and marine mammals, rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory capacity but markers of inflammation have been found to be high in Inuit living on a marine diet. Yet, the effect of vitamin D on inflammation in Inuit remains unsettled. This led us to investigate the association between vitamin D and markers of inflammation in a population with a high intake of a marine diet. We studied 535 Inuit and non-Inuit living in West and East Greenland. Information concerning dietary habits was obtained by interview-based FFQ. Blood samples were drawn for analysis of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and chitinase-3-like protein 1(YKL-40). Participants were divided into three groups based on degree of intake of the traditional Inuit diet. The diet groups (Inuit diet/mixed diet/imported foods) were associated with vitamin D levels in serum (74·2, 69·8 and 52·9 nm; P < 0·001), hsCRP (1·6, 1·4 and 1·3 mg/l; P = 0·002) and YKL-40 (130, 95 and 61 ng/ml; P < 0·001), respectively. YKL-40 level decreased with rising vitamin D level in Inuit (Inuit diet P = 0·002; mixed diet P = 0·011). YKL-40 was lower in groups with higher vitamin D levels after adjusting for other factors known to influence inflammation (P < 0·001). This was not seen for hsCRP. In conclusion, vitamin D and markers of inflammation vary in parallel with the intake of the marine Inuit diet. Vitamin D levels were inversely associated with YKL-40 levels, but no association with hsCRP was found. The hypothesised anti-inflammatory effect of vitamin D was not supported. Other factors in the marine diet may be speculated to influence inflammation.
Autoimmune diseases are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality, yet the etiology remains unclear. Depression has been implicated as a risk factor for various immune-related disorders but little is known about the risk of autoimmune disease. This study examined the association between depression and the risk of autoimmune disease, and investigated the temporal and dose-response nature of these relationships.
A prospective population-based study including approximately 1.1 million people was conducted using linked Danish registries. Depression and autoimmune diseases were diagnosed by physicians and documented in medical records. In total, 145 217 individuals with depression were identified between 1995 and 2012. Survival analyses were used to estimate the relative risk of autoimmune disease among those with, compared to without, depression. Analyses were adjusted for gender, age, and co-morbid mental disorders.
Depression was associated with a significantly increased risk of autoimmune disease [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.25, 95% CI 1.19–1.31], compared to those without a history of depression. Results suggest a general increased risk of autoimmune diseases following the onset of depression during first year (IRR 1.29, 95% CI 1.05–1.58), which remained elevated for the ensuing 11 years and beyond (IRR 1.53, 95% CI 1.34–1.76). Findings did not support a dose-response relationship.
Depression appears to be associated with an increased risk of a range of autoimmune diseases. Depression may play a role in the etiology of certain autoimmune conditions. If replicated, findings could highlight additional clinical implications in the treatment and management of depression. Future studies are needed to investigate the possible social, genetic, and neurobiological underpinnings of these relationships.
Submillimetre observations of externally irradiated low-mass protostellar envelopes show that the gas temperature in the envelopes is dominated by the external irradiation. Detailed studies of the protostar IRS7B in Corona Australis also show that the chemistry is strongly affected by the irradiation, depleting the abundances of complex organic molecules.
Shared decision making has been advocated as a means to improve patient-orientation and quality of health care. There is a lack of knowledge on clinical decision making and its relation to outcome in the routine treatment of people with severe mental illness. This study examined preferred and experienced clinical decision making from the perspectives of patients and staff, and how these affect treatment outcome.
“Clinical Decision Making and Outcome in Routine Care for People with Severe Mental Illness” (CEDAR; ISRCTN75841675) is a naturalistic prospective observational study with bimonthly assessments during a 12-month observation period. Between November 2009 and December 2010, adults with severe mental illness were consecutively recruited from caseloads of community mental health services at the six study sites (Ulm, Germany; London, UK; Naples, Italy; Debrecen, Hungary; Aalborg, Denmark; and Zurich, Switzerland). Clinical decision making was assessed using two instruments which both have parallel patient and staff versions: (a) The Clinical Decision Making Style Scale (CDMS) measured preferences for decision making at baseline; and (b) the Clinical Decision Making Involvement and Satisfaction Scale (CDIS) measured involvement and satisfaction with a specific decision at all time points. Primary outcome was patient-rated unmet needs measured with the Camberwell Assessment of Need Short Appraisal Schedule (CANSAS). Mixed-effects multinomial regression was used to examine differences and course over time in involvement in and satisfaction with actual decision making. The effect of clinical decision making on the primary outcome was examined using hierarchical linear modelling controlling for covariates (study centre, patient age, duration of illness, and diagnosis). Analysis were also controlled for nesting of patients within staff.
Of 708 individuals approached, 588 adults with severe mental illness (52% female, mean age = 41.7) gave informed consent. Paired staff participants (N = 213) were 61.8% female and 46.0 years old on average. Shared decision making was preferred by patients (χ2 = 135.08; p < 0.001) and staff (χ2 = 368.17; p < 0.001). Decision making style of staff significantly affected unmet needs over time, with unmet needs decreasing more in patients whose clinicians preferred active to passive (−0.406 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.007) or shared (−0.303 unmet needs per two months, p = 0.015) decision making.
Decision making style of staff is a prime candidate for the development of targeted intervention. If proven effective in future trials, this would pave the ground for a shift from shared to active involvement of patients including changes to professional socialization through training in principles of active decision making.
An increase in pertussis has been observed in several countries over the last decades, especially in adult populations. The seroprevalence of pertussis was determined in a cross-sectional study of the adult population in the Copenhagen area, Denmark, conducted between 2006 and 2008. Specific IgG antibodies against pertussis toxin (PT) were measured in 3440 persons resulting in an age-standardized seroprevalence of 3·0% (95% confidence interval 1·9–4·7) using an IgG anti-PT cut-off of 75 IU/ml. By using antibody decay profiles from longitudinal data the estimated seroincidence was 143/1000 person-years. In contrast, an incidence of 0·03/1000 person-years was estimated from the official data of notified cases during the same period. Of the investigated risk factors, only age and education were significantly associated with pertussis infection. This study indicates that pertussis is highly underestimated in the adult population in Denmark, which has implications for future prevention strategies, including raising the awareness of pertussis.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
LOFT (Large Observatory For X-ray Timing) is one of the four candidate missions currently
under assessment study for the M3 mission in ESAs Cosmic Vision program to be launched in
2024. LOFT will carry two instruments with prime sensitivity in the 2–30 keV range: a 10
m2 class large area detector (LAD) with a <1° collimated field of view
and a wide field monitor (WFM) instrument. The WFM is based on the coded mask principle,
and 5 camera units will provide coverage of more than 1/3 of the sky. The prime goal of
the WFM is to detect transient sources to be observed by the LAD. With its wide field of
view and good energy resolution of <500 eV, the WFM will be an excellent instrument
for detecting and studying GRBs and X-ray flashes. The WFM will be able to detect
~150 gamma ray bursts per year, and a burst alert system will enable the
distribution of ~100 GRB positions per year with a ~1 arcmin location
accuracy within 30 s of the burst.
One of the unexplored domains in the study of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) is the early time
phase of the optical light curve. We have proposed Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) to
address this question through extraordinary opportunities presented by a series of small
space missions. The UFFO is equipped with a fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope that
uses a rapidly moving mirror or mirror array to redirect the optical beam rather than
slewing the entire spacecraft or telescope to aim the optical instrument at the GRB
position. The UFFO will probe the early optical rise of GRBs with sub-second response, for
the first time, opening a completely new frontier in GRB and transient studies. Its fast
response measurements of the optical emission of dozens of GRB each year will provide
unique probes of the burst mechanism and test the prospect of GRB as a new standard
candle, potentially opening up the z > 10 universe. We describe the current limit in
early photon measurements, the aspects of early photon physics, our soon-to-be-launched
UFFO-pathfinder mission, and our next planned mission, the UFFO-100.
The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The
SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by
means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a
17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and 4.3 arcsec resolution (full width half
maximum of the point spread function) The beam-steering mirror enables the SMT to access a
35 × 35degree region and point and settle within 1 sec. All mirrors were fabricated to
about 0.02 wavelengths RMS in wave front error (WFE) and 84.7% average reflectivity over
200 nm ~ 650 nm. The RC telescope was aligned to 0.05 wavelengths RMS in WFE (test
wavelength 632.8 nm). In this paper, the technical details of the RC telescope and slewing
mirror system assembly, integration, and testing are given shortly, and performance tests
of the full SMT optical system are reported.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space observatory for optical follow-ups of
gamma ray bursts (GRBs), aiming to explore the first 60 seconds of GRBs optical emission.
UFFO is utilized to catch early optical emissions from GRBs within few sec after trigger
using a Gimbal mirror which redirects the optical path rather than slewing entire
spacecraft. We have developed a 15 cm two-axis Gimbal mirror stage for the UFFO-Pathfinder
which is going to be on board the Lomonosov satellite which is to be launched in 2013. The
stage is designed for fast and accurate motion with given budgets of 3 kg of mass and 3
Watt of power. By employing stepping motors, the slewing mirror can rotate faster than 15
deg/sec so that objects in the UFFO coverage (60 deg × 60 deg) can be targeted in
~1 sec. The obtained targeting resolution is better 2 arcmin using a close-loop
control with high precision rotary encoder. In this presentation, we will discuss details
of design, manufacturing, space qualification tests, as well as performance tests.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) aims to detect the earliest moment of Gamma-Ray
Bursts (GRBs) which is not well known, resulting into the enhancement of GRB mechanism
understanding. The pathfinder mission was proposed to be a scaled-down version of UFFO,
and only contains the UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) measuring the
X-ray/gamma-ray with the wide-field of view and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) with a
rapid-response for the UV/optical photons. Once the UBAT detects a GRB candidate with the
position accuracy of 10 arcmin, the SMT steers the UV/optical photons from the candidate
to the telescope by the fast rotatable mirror and provides the early UV/optical photons
measurements with 4 arcsec accuracy. The SMT has a modified Ritchey-Chrètien telescope
with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter including the rotatable mirror and the image
readout by the intensified charge-coupled device. There is a key board called the UFFO
Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) that manages the communication of each telescope and also
of the satellite and the UFFO overall operation. This pathfinder is designed and built
within the limited size and weight of ~20 kg and the low power consumption up to
~30 W. We will discuss the design and performance of the UFFO-pathfinder, and its
integration to the Lomonosov satellite.