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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.
Due to their extremely small luminosity compared to the stars they orbit, planets outside our own Solar System are extraordinarily difficult to detect directly in optical light. Careful photometric monitoring of distant stars, however, can reveal the presence of exoplanets via the microlensing or eclipsing effects they induce. The international PLANET collaboration is performing such monitoring using a cadre of semi-dedicated telescopes around the world. Their results constrain the number of gas giants orbiting 1–7 AU from the most typical stars in the Galaxy. Upgrades in the program are opening regions of “exoplanet discovery space” – toward smaller masses and larger orbital radii – that are inaccessible to the Doppler velocity technique.
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.
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.
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 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.
We have developed a sheep model to facilitate studies of the fetal programming effects of mismatched perinatal and postnatal nutrition. During the last trimester of gestation, twenty-one twin-bearing ewes were fed a normal diet fulfilling norms for energy and protein (NORM) or 50 % of a normal diet (LOW). From day 3 postpartum to 6 months (around puberty) of age, one twin lamb was fed a conventional (CONV) diet and the other a high-carbohydrate–high-fat (HCHF) diet, resulting in four groups of offspring: NORM-CONV; NORM-HCHF; LOW-CONV; LOW-HCHF. At 6 months of age, half of the lambs (all males and three females) were slaughtered for further examination and the other half (females only) were transferred to a moderate sheep diet until slaughtered at 24 months of age (adulthood). Maternal undernutrition during late gestation reduced the birth weight of LOW offspring (P< 0·05), and its long-term effects were increased adrenal size in male lambs and adult females (P< 0·05), increased neonatal appetite for fat-(P= 0·004) rather than carbohydrate-rich feeds (P< 0·001) and reduced deposition of subcutaneous fat in both sexes (P< 0·05). Furthermore, LOW-HCHF female lambs had markedly higher visceral:subcutaneous fat ratios compared with the other groups (P< 0·001). Postnatal overfeeding (HCHF) resulted in obesity (>30 % fat in soft tissue) and widespread ectopic lipid deposition. In conclusion, our sheep model revealed strong pre- and postnatal impacts on growth, food preferences and fat deposition patterns. The present findings support a role for subcutaneous adipose tissue in the development of visceral adiposity, which in humans is known to precede the development of the metabolic syndrome in human adults.
The study of molecules in space, known as astrochemistry or molecular astrophysics, is a rapidly growing field. Molecules exist in a wide range of environments in both gaseous and solid form, from our own solar system to the distant early universe. To astronomers, molecules are indispensable and unique probes of the physical conditions and dynamics of regions in which they are detected, especially the interstellar medium. In particular, the many stages of both low-mass and high-mass star formation are better understood today thanks to the analysis of molecular observations. Molecules can also yield a global picture of the past and present of sources. Moreover, molecules affect their environment by contributing to the heating and cooling processes that occur.
We study Markov measures and p-adic random walks with the use of states on the Cuntz algebras Op. Via the Gelfand–Naimark–Segal construction, these come from families of representations of Op. We prove that these representations reflect selfsimilarity especially well. In this paper, we consider a Cuntz–Krieger type algebra where the adjacency matrix depends on a parameter q ( q=1 is the case of Cuntz–Krieger algebra). This is an ongoing work generalizing a construction of certain measures associated to random walks on graphs.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space mission to detect the early moments of an explosion from Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), thus enhancing our understanding of the GRB mechanism. It consists of the UFFO Burst & Trigger telescope (UBAT) for the recognition of GRB positions using hard X-ray from GRBs. It also contains the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) for the fast detection of UV-optical photons from GRBs. It is designed to begin the UV-optical observations in less than a few seconds after the trigger. The UBAT is based on a coded-mask X-ray camera with a wide field of view (FOV) and is composed of the coded mask, a hopper and a detector module. The SMT has a fast rotatable mirror which allows a fast UV-optical detection after the trigger. The telescope is a modified Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with the aperture size of 10 cm diameter, and an image intensifier readout by CCD. The UFFO pathfinder is scheduled to launch into orbit on 2012 June by the Lomonosov spacecraft. It is a scaled-down version of UFFO in order to make the first systematic study of early UV/optical light curves, including the rise phase of GRBs. We expect UBAT to trigger ~44 GRBs/yr and expect SMT to detect ~10 GRBs/yr.
The phonon densities-of-states (DOS) of superconducting Ba1−xKxBi16O3 and Ba1−xKxBi18O3 (x=0.4) are determined using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and inelastic neutron scattering measurements. The reference isotope-effect exponent is obtained from the mass variation of the first frequency moment of the phonon DOS. The energy gap, oxygen isotope-effect exponent and electron tunneling characteristics are calculated within the framework of Eliashberg theory of electron-phonon coupling.