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The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
We study inversion of the spherical Radon transform with centres on a sphere (the data acquisition set). Such inversions are essential in various image reconstruction problems arising in medical, radar and sonar imaging. In the case of radially incomplete data, we show that the spherical Radon transform can be uniquely inverted recovering the image function in spherical shells. Our result is valid when the support of the image function is inside the data acquisition sphere, outside that sphere, as well as on both sides of the sphere. Furthermore, in addition to the uniqueness result, our method of proof provides reconstruction formulas for all those cases. We present a robust computational algorithm and demonstrate its accuracy and efficiency on several numerical examples.
We present multi–epoch VLBI observations of the methanol and water masers in the high–mass star formation region G 339.884−1.259, made using the Australian Long Baseline Array (LBA). Our sub–milliarcsecond precision measurements trace the proper motions of individual maser features in the plane of the sky. When combined with the direct line–of–sight radial velocity (vlsr), these measure the 3 D gas kinematics of the associated high–mass star formation region, allowing us to probe the dynamical processes to within 1000 AU of the core.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
The initial results from timing observations of PSR J1141–6545, a relativistic pulsar-white dwarf binary system, are presented. Predictions from the timing baseline hint at the most stringent test of gravity by an asymmetric binary yet. The timing precision has been hindered by the dramatic variations of the pulse profile due to geodetic precession, a pulsar glitch and red timing noise. Methods to overcome such timing irregularities are briefly presented along with preliminary results from the test of the General Theory of Relativity (GR) from this pulsar.
Tuberculosis is a global health problem that is especially prevalent in developing countries such as India. Recently, atypical presentation has become more common and a high index of suspicion is essential. This study analysed the various presenting symptoms and signs of tuberculous otitis media and the role of diagnostic tests, with the aim of formulating criteria for the diagnosis.
A total of 502 patients underwent tympanomastoidectomy over a two-year period. Microbiological and histopathological examinations and polymerase chain reaction analysis of tissue taken during tympanomastoidectomy were performed.
A total of 25 patients (5 per cent) were diagnosed with tuberculous otitis media. Severe mixed hearing loss, facial palsy, labyrinthine fistula, post-aural fistula, perichondritis and extradural abscess were noted.
There seems to be a resurgence in tuberculous otitis media in India. Microbiological, histopathological and polymerase chain reaction tests for tuberculosis are helpful for its diagnosis.
Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) is a synthetic polymer which has been used in a wide variety of applications. This polymer has been extensively investigated by a large number of techniques to shed light about its physical and chemical properties. In this work, for fist time, high frequency (1x109-3x109 Hz) relaxation process has been observed in the PVA films in the temperature range of -100C to +1200C. This relaxation exhibits negative activation energy below glass transition temperature Tg and at higher temperature positive activation energy with subsequent saturation. Upon cooling the activation energy was negative again. This high frequency relaxation process and its temperature dependence can be attributed to the interaction of the bounded water and the changes of energy and freedom of movement of OH side molecular chains groups. This conclusion has been supported by in situ FTIR measurements. A possible scenario of this relaxation and dynamics of molecular motion has been proposed.
Crystal structure change with an applied electric field was investigated by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for the 1 μm-thick (100)/(001) one-axis oriented tetragonal Pb(Zr0.3Ti0.7)O3 films prepared on Pt-covered (100) Si substrates by chemical solution deposition technique. As-deposited films were under the strained condition in good agreement with the estimation from the thermal strain applied under the cooling process after the deposition from the Curie temperature to the room temperature. This strain was ascertained to be relaxed by an applied electric field in accompanying with the dramatic increase of the volume fraction of (001) orientation. These results demonstrate the importance of the crystal structure measurement not only as-deposited films, but also after applied electric field, such as after poling.
High temperature stress at flowering can adversely affect rice yield, largely due to failure of fertilization. Oxidative damage can be a major reason inducing spikelet sterility in rice. In the present study, the effect of high temperatures on antioxidant metabolism in rice spikelets was characterised using nine different genotypes. Exposure to different temperatures at flowering stage revealed significant differences among various antioxidant enzymes in spikelets, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Spikelets of susceptible genotypes withstood temperature stress of up to 35 °C, those of moderately tolerant between 35 °C and 38 °C and those of tolerant genotypes up to 40 °C. Presence or absence, and changes in the isozyme intensities were consistent with alterations in their activities. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) isozymes II and III were present after exposure at 30 °C and 35 °C, while SOD I appeared above 40°C. Intensities of catalase isozymes I and III and the only isozyme of ascorbate peroxidase altered, while the only isozyme of guaical peroxidase and two (III and IV) of the four isozymes of catechol peroxidase disappeared after high temperature exposure of 45 °C. Thus, this work provides an evidence of the role of antioxidant metabolism in spikelets under high temperature stress conditions. Hence, changes in antioxidant isozymes in rice spikelets can be used as a biomarker for characterizing high temperature stress tolerance in rice spikelets.
There is evidence that epigenetic changes occur early in breast carcinogenesis. We hypothesized that early-life exposures associated with breast cancer would be associated with epigenetic alterations in breast tumors. In particular, we examined DNA methylation patterns in breast tumors in association with several early-life exposures in a population-based case–control study. Promoter methylation of E-cadherin, p16 and RAR-β2 genes was assessed in archived tumor blocks from 803 cases with real-time methylation-specific PCR. Unconditional logistic regression was used for case–case comparisons of those with and without promoter methylation. We found no differences in the prevalence of DNA methylation of the individual genes by age at menarche, age at first live birth and weight at age 20. In case–case comparisons of premenopausal breast cancer, lower birth weight was associated with increased likelihood of E-cadherin promoter methylation (OR = 2.79, 95% CI, 1.15–6.82, for ⩽2.5 v. 2.6–2.9 kg); higher adult height with RAR-β2 methylation (OR = 3.34, 95% CI, 1.19–9.39, for ⩾1.65 v. <1.60 m); and not having been breastfed with p16 methylation (OR = 2.75, 95% CI, 1.14–6.62). Among postmenopausal breast cancers, birth order was associated with increased likelihood of p16 promoter methylation. Being other than first in the birth order was inversely associated with likelihood of ⩾1 of the three genes being methylated for premenopausal breast cancers, but positively associated with methylation in postmenopausal women. These results suggest that there may be alterations in methylation associated with early-life exposures that persist into adulthood and affect breast cancer risk.
We report a rare case of small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses with intracranial extension, and discuss the management of this rare tumour.
Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma involving the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses with intracranial extension may be treated successfully with surgery alone, without development of local recurrence.
Small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma is a locally aggressive tumour with a high rate of recurrence. Early and aggressive surgical excision with or without radiotherapy or chemotherapy can improve a patient's outcome and prognosis. Regular follow up is needed to detect any local or distant recurrence.
Surveillance is integral for the monitoring and control of infectious diseases. We conducted prospective laboratory surveillance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in five Singaporean public-sector hospitals from 2006 to 2010, using WHONET 5.6 for data compilation and analysis. Molecular profiling using multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec classification and multilocus sequence typing was performed for a random selection of isolates. Our results showed overall stable rates of infection and bacteraemia, although there was significant variance among the individual hospitals, with MRSA rates increasing in two smaller hospitals and showing a trend towards decreasing in the two largest hospitals. The proportion of blood isolates that are EMRSA-15 (ST22-IV) continued to increase over time, slowly replacing the multi-resistant ST239-III. A new MRSA clone – ST45-IV – is now responsible for a small subset of hospital infections locally. More effort is required in Singaporean hospitals in order to reduce the rates of MRSA infection significantly.
Properties of radiatively cooled supersonic plasma jets formed by ablation of thin Al
foils driven by 1.4 MA, 250 ns current pulse are presented. The jets are highly collimated
with half-opening angles of ~2°. Measurements of the flow velocity (~60
km/s) and plasma temperature (~15 eV) in the jet with Thomson scattering diagnostic
give internal Mach number of M ~ 3, suggesting additional collimation of the jet by
toroidal magnetic fields.
The formation of supersonic, radiatively cooled plasma jets with applications to
laboratory astrophysics has been an active area of research on the MAGPIE generator. One
of the ways of producing astrophysically-relevant jets in the laboratory is by using the
ablation of plasma from a radial foil Z-pinch. In this configuration a ~1.4 MA, 250
ns current pulse is introduced into an aluminium disk with a thickness of 15
μm. The ablated plasma from the foil converges on the axis, producing a
steady and collimated jet with a typical axial velocity of ~100 km/s. The setup
allows for the addition of argon above the foil for jet-ambient interaction studies. The
interaction is characterised by the formation of several shock features, which are
presented and discussed from experimental data and numerical simulations.
A method using an ammonia electrode is being developed for investigating the deamination of amino acids and amides by bacteria. Application of this method to Campylobacter jejuni and C. coli has led to the demonstration of d-asparaginase activity in some strains. This has allowed the subdivision of both species into d-asparaginase-positive and -negative biotypes. Even though the method is in the developmental stage, it was found to be generally reproducible and easy to perform. Areas for further improving the procedure have been identified. The ammonia electrode offers the theoretical possibility of investigating the breakdown of any amino acid by bacteria. It thus opens up a new and practical approach for separating species and strains, particularly in those bacterial groups that are difficult to subdivide by conventional means.