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Weed management is a major challenge in organic crop production, and organic farms generally harbor larger weed populations and more diverse communities compared with conventional farms. However, little research has been conducted on the effects of different organic management practices on weed communities and crop yields. In 2014 and 2015, we measured weed community structure and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield in a long-term experiment that compared four organic cropping systems that differed in nutrient inputs, tillage, and weed management intensity: (1) high fertility (HF), (2) low fertility (LF), (3) enhanced weed management (EWM), and (4) reduced tillage (RT). In addition, we created weed-free subplots within each system to assess the impact of weeds on soybean yield. Weed density was greater in the LF and RT systems compared with the EWM system, but weed biomass did not differ among systems. Weed species richness was greater in the RT system compared with the EWM system, and weed community composition differed between RT and other systems. Our results show that differences in weed community structure were primarily related to differences in tillage intensity, rather than nutrient inputs. Soybean yield was lower in the EWM system compared with the HF and RT systems. When averaged across all four cropping systems and both years, soybean yield in weed-free subplots was 10% greater than soybean yield in the ambient weed subplots that received standard management practices for the systems in which they were located. Although weed competition limited soybean yield across all systems, the EWM system, which had the lowest weed density, also had the lowest soybean yield. Future research should aim to overcome such trade-offs between weed control and yield potential, while conserving weed species richness and the ecosystem services associated with increased weed diversity.
Evidence has been accumulating regarding alterations in components of the endocannabinoid system in patients with psychosis. Of all the putative risk factors associated with psychosis, being at clinical high-risk for psychosis (CHR) has the strongest association with the onset of psychosis, and exposure to childhood trauma has been linked to an increased risk of development of psychotic disorder. We aimed to investigate whether being at-risk for psychosis and exposure to childhood trauma were associated with altered endocannabinoid levels.
We compared 33 CHR participants with 58 healthy controls (HC) and collected information about previous exposure to childhood trauma as well as plasma samples to analyse endocannabinoid levels.
Individuals with both CHR and experience of childhood trauma had higher N-palmitoylethanolamine (p < 0.001) and anandamide (p < 0.001) levels in peripheral blood compared to HC and those with no childhood trauma. There was also a significant correlation between N-palmitoylethanolamine levels and symptoms as well as childhood trauma.
Our results suggest an association between CHR and/or childhood maltreatment and elevated endocannabinoid levels in peripheral blood, with a greater alteration in those with both CHR status and history of childhood maltreatment compared to those with either of those risks alone. Furthermore, endocannabinoid levels increased linearly with the number of risk factors and elevated endocannabinoid levels correlated with the severity of CHR symptoms and extent of childhood maltreatment. Further studies in larger cohorts, employing longitudinal designs are needed to confirm these findings and delineate the precise role of endocannabinoid alterations in the pathophysiology of psychosis.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for depressed adults. CBT interventions are complex, as they include multiple content components and can be delivered in different ways. We compared the effectiveness of different types of therapy, different components and combinations of components and aspects of delivery used in CBT interventions for adult depression. We conducted a systematic review of randomised controlled trials in adults with a primary diagnosis of depression, which included a CBT intervention. Outcomes were pooled using a component-level network meta-analysis. Our primary analysis classified interventions according to the type of therapy and delivery mode. We also fitted more advanced models to examine the effectiveness of each content component or combination of components. We included 91 studies and found strong evidence that CBT interventions yielded a larger short-term decrease in depression scores compared to treatment-as-usual, with a standardised difference in mean change of −1.11 (95% credible interval −1.62 to −0.60) for face-to-face CBT, −1.06 (−2.05 to −0.08) for hybrid CBT, and −0.59 (−1.20 to 0.02) for multimedia CBT, whereas wait list control showed a detrimental effect of 0.72 (0.09 to 1.35). We found no evidence of specific effects of any content components or combinations of components. Technology is increasingly used in the context of CBT interventions for depression. Multimedia and hybrid CBT might be as effective as face-to-face CBT, although results need to be interpreted cautiously. The effectiveness of specific combinations of content components and delivery formats remain unclear. Wait list controls should be avoided if possible.
Hyperbolic polariton modes are highly appealing for a broad range of applications in nanophotonics, including surfaced enhanced sensing, sub-diffractional imaging, and reconfigurable metasurfaces. Here we show that attenuated total reflectance (ATR) micro-spectroscopy using standard spectroscopic tools can launch hyperbolic polaritons in a Kretschmann–Raether configuration. We measure multiple hyperbolic and dielectric modes within the naturally hyperbolic material hexagonal boron nitride as a function of different isotopic enrichments and flake thickness. This overcomes the technical challenges of measurement approaches based on nanostructuring, or scattering scanning near-field optical microscopy. Ultimately, our ATR approach allows us to compare the optical properties of small-scale materials prepared by different techniques systematically.
Most previous research on changes in weed abundance and community composition in cropping systems has focused on field crops. The study presented here examined changes in the weed seedbank and aboveground biomass in four organic vegetable cropping systems over a 10-yr period. The systems included an Intensive system with six crops per 4-yr rotation, an Intermediate system with one cash crop per year, a Bio-extensive system with alternating cash crop and tilled fallow years plus prevention of seed rain, and a Ridge-tillage system with one cash crop per year. Systems also differed in the types and number of cover crops between cash crops. During the course of the experiment, the weed community shifted from one dominated by summer annual broadleaf species that reproduce at the end of their lives to a community dominated by summer and winter annuals that mature rapidly. This shift in community composition can be attributed to the change in land use from conventionally managed corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) to organic vegetable production. In particular, crop rotations with diverse preplantings and postharvest tillage dates interrupted the life cycle of common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.) and pigweed species (Amaranthus spp.: mostly Powell amaranth [Amaranthus powellii S. Watson], with small numbers of redroot pigweed [Amaranthus retroflexus L.] and smooth pigweed [Amaranthus hybridus L.]), while favoring a diverse assemblage of quickly maturing species. The study thus demonstrates that an appropriate crop rotation can control the seedbank of weeds like C. album that potentially persist well in the soil. The Ridge-tillage system greatly reduced the frequency and depth of tillage relative to other systems while effectively suppressing perennial weeds. The early-reproducing annuals, however, became more abundant in the Ridge-tillage system than in the other systems, primarily due to escapes along the edge of the scraped ridges. The tilled fallow periods coupled with prevention of seed rain in the Bio-extensive system substantially reduced weed abundance through time and relative to the other systems.
We investigate whether the currently available Galactic Cepheid kinematic data can put interesting constraints on large scale low amplitude non-axisymmetry of the Galactic plane rotation pattern. In this connection we address the experimental design problem of where in the Galactic plane additional Cepheids would prove the most useful for the axisymmetric and the non-axisymmetric modeling of the kinematics.
In dimensional understanding of psychosis, auditory verbal hallucinations
(AVH) are unitary phenomena present on a continuum from non-clinical
voice hearing to severe mental illness. There is mixed evidence for this
approach and a relative absence of research into subjective experience of
AVH in early psychosis.
To conduct primary research into the nature of subjective experience of
AVH in first-episode psychosis.
A phenomenological study using diary and photo-elicitation qualitative
techniques investigating the subjective experience of AVH in 25 young
people with first-episode psychosis.
AVH are characterised by: (a) entity, as though from a living being with
complex social interchange; and (b) control, exerting authority with
ability to influence. AVH are also received with passivity, often
accompanied by sensation in other modalities.
A modern detailed phenomenological investigation, without presupposition,
gives results that echo known descriptive psychopathology. However, novel
findings also emerge that may be features of AVH in psychosis not
currently captured with standardised measures.
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.
Weed management is a major constraint in organic cropping systems. In 2004, the Cornell Organic Vegetable Cropping Systems Experiment was established in central New York state using a split-plot randomized complete block design with two crop rotation entry points (split-plot factor). Four organic vegetable cropping systems that varied in cropping intensity and tillage (main plot factor) were compared: (1) intensive, (2) intermediate, (3) bio-extensive, and (4) ridge tillage. The basic crop rotation was cabbage, lettuce, potato, and winter squash, with additional short-season crops in the intensive system and with cover crops and fallow substituted for cabbage and potato in the bio-extensive system. In 2014, two uniformity trials were conducted in which oat and then a mixture of sorghum-sudangrass plus Japanese millet were grown uniformly over the entire experiment. Prior to sowing oat, soil samples were collected from each plot and an emergence bioassay was conducted to assess the soil weed seedbank. Crop biomass, weed density, and weed biomass were sampled in the uniformity crops. Soil weed seedbank density was three to four times greater in the intensive, intermediate, and ridge-tillage systems than in the bio-extensive system. The bio-extensive system also had lower weed density and weed biomass in the oat uniformity trial compared with the other three systems. Oat biomass did not differ between the cropping systems. Weed density and biomass in oat were also affected by the crop rotation entry point. Cropping system legacy effects on weed abundance and community composition were greater in the oat than in the sorghum-sudangrass plus Japanese millet uniformity trial. Our results illustrate the effects of different organic vegetable production practices on weed community structure and highlight the value of tilled fallow periods, cover crops, and prevention of weed seed rain for reducing weed populations.
The NASA Ames Research Center's Vulcan photometer is being used in a search for close–in giant extrasolar planets. With our current data reduction system we achieve 0.2–0.8% hour–to–hour relative photometric precision on ∽ 6000 stars brighter than 13th magnitude. Three Galactic-plane fields have so far yielded hundreds of variable stars, including ∽ 50 eclipsing or interacting binaries per field. Several candidate detections have been followed up with radial velocity observations. High-resolution spectroscopy revealed many of the strongest candidates to be grazing eclipsing binaries.
The changing total luminosity of SN 1987A between 2 and 1200 days after core collapse is illustrated and discussed. From about four weeks after outburst the supernova light curve was dominated by the release of radioactive decay energy; the major contributor being 0.078M⊙ of 56Co. Recently an additional contribution probably from the decay of 57Co and 44Ti appears to be manifesting itself in the light curve. A gradually increasing fraction of the radioactive decay energy has probably been emitted at X- and γ-ray wavelengths; the fluxes are low and no recent measurements have been published. Most of the remaining radioactive decay energy appears to be emitted in the IR and is very difficult to measure. Other factors influencing the interpretation of the recent light curve are the uncertain contribution from long-lived radioactive isotopes and light-echoes. It is therefore premature to make any definitive statements on the contribution from the neutron star, although it is probably less than a few times 1037 erg s−1.
The radii of Galactic Cepheids as determined from a version of the Baade-Wesselink technique are shown to depend upon the colour index used to define the temperature scale. The (V-l) radii are systematically larger than the commonly used (B-V) radii and are probably better estimators of the true radii. There still remains a problem, however, in reconciling the period-radius relation with the period-luminosity-colour relation.
We review the current status and future prospects of the PLANET collaboration, an international team of astronomers performing high-precision photometric monitoring of microlensing events. Our photometric precision and sampling is characterised and the suitability of the database for variable star studies is discussed. Preliminary results on K-giant stability are presented.
A sensor which detects mechanical stresses and stores the position and the strength of these loads by color change of embedded quantum dots (QDs) is presented. The top and bottom electrodes of the sensor are inkjet-printed which leads to a fast and accurate deposition of thin (approx. 50 - 300 nm) and conductive layers. The used silver and poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythio-phene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS) inks are optimized in terms of printability and opportunities of functionality forming without influencing the active layer of the sensor. The active layer of the sensor is spin-coated and consists of the QDs embedded in semi-conducting poly(9-vinylcarba-zole) (PVK). The hole transport characteristic of PVK and the band level alignment of the used materials ensures the preferred injection of only one type of charge carrier into the QDs. As a result the mechanical stress is visualized by a decreasing in photoluminescence (PL) of the QDs.
The galaxy is represented schematically by a three-component model: a disc having the form of a modified exponential distribution, a spheroidal (bulge + nucleus) component and a dark halo component which, following the nomenclature of Einasto, we call the corona. The shapes of these components, chosen on the basis of observations of other galaxies, are consistent with imperfect knowledge of the Galaxy; values of the adjustable parameters are chosen by a least square minimization technique to best fit the most accurate kinematical and dynamical galactic observations. The local radius, circular velocity and escape velocity are found to be (R⊙, V⊙, Vesc) = (9.05 ± 0.33 kpc, 247 ± 13 km/s, 550 ± 24) quite close to the values determined from observations directly. The masses in the three components are (MD, MSp, MC) = (0.78 ± 0.13, 0.81 ± 0.09, 20.3) × 1011 M⊙ for a model with coronal radius of 335 kpc. If the quite uncertain coronal radius is reduced to 100 kpc the model is essentially unchanged except that then MC = 6.65 × 1011 M⊙. The disc and spheroidal components have in either case luminosities (in the visual band of (LD, LSp) = (2.0, 0.2) × 1010 L⊙. The galaxy is a normal giant spiral of type Sb-Sc similar to NGC 4565.
Observations of red giants in the Bulge globular cluster NGC 6273 with the Michigan/Magellan Fiber System (M2FS) mounted on the Nasmuth-East port of the Magellan-Clay 6.5-m telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory reveal a spread in metallicity. Members have been confirmed with radial velocity. NGC 6273 has at least two populations separated by 0.2-0.3 dex in [Fe/H]. The sodium and aluminum abundances are correlated while the magnesium and aluminum abundances are anti-correlated. The cluster also shows a rise in the abundance of the s-process element lanthanum with [Fe/H] similar to other massive clusters. The cluster contains a possible third population depleted in most elements by 0.3 dex.
Optical properties and thermal relaxation dynamics of resonantly excited plasmons are important in applications for optoelectronics, biomedicine, energy, and catalysis. Geometric optics of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) thin films containing uniformly or asymmetrically distributed polydisperse reduced AuNPs or uniformly distributed monodisperse solution-synthesized AuNPs were recently evaluated using a compact linear algebraic sum. Algebraic calculation of geometric transmission, reflection, and attenuation for AuNP-PDMS films provides a simple, workable alternative to effective medium approximations, computationally expensive methods, and fitting of experimental data. This approach allows for the summative optical responses of a sequence of 2D elements comprising a 3D assembly to be analyzed. Thin PDMS films containing 3-7 micron layers of reduced AuNPs were fabricated with a novel diffusive-reduction synthesis technique. Rapid diffusive reduction of AuNPs into asymmetric PDMS thin films provided superior photothermal response relative to thicker films with AuNPs reduced throughout, with a photon-to-heat conversion of up to 3000°C/watt which represents 3-230-fold increase over previous AuNP-functionalized systems. Later work showed that introduction of AuNPs into PDMS enhanced thermoplasmonic dissipation coincident with internal reflection of incident resonant irradiation. Measured thermal emission and dynamics of AuNP-PDMS thin films exceeded emission and dynamics attributable by finite element analysis to Mie absorption, Fourier heat conduction, Rayleigh convection, and Stefan-Boltzmann radiation. Refractive-index matching experiments and measured temperature profiles indicated AuNP-containing thin films internally reflected light and dissipated power transverse to the film surface. Enhanced thermoplasmonic dissipation from metal-polymer nanocomposite thin films could affect opto- and bio-electronic implementation of these systems.
Defect structures in Rubidium Titanyl Phosphate (RTP) crystals (non-doped and doped) grown by the Top Seeded Solution Growth (TSSG) method were characterized using Synchrotron White Beam X-ray Topography. Main defects observed in non-doped crystals are growth sector boundaries while both growth sector boundaries and growth striations are observed in the Nb single doped and (Nb,Yb)-codoped crystals with relatively few linear defects such as dislocations. Results show that the overall crystalline quality is lowered as more doping elements are incorporated. Details of defect distributions are correlated with the growth process to facilitate high quality growth of doped RTP.