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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 provides an overview of selected ongoing international efforts that have been inspired by Edward Zigler's vision to improve programs and policies for young children and families in the United States. The efforts presented are in close alignment with three strategies articulated by Edward Zigler: (a) conduct research that will inform policy advocacy; (b) design, implement, and revise quality early childhood development (ECD) programs; and (c) invest in building the next generation of scholars and advocates in child development. The intergenerational legacy left by Edward Zigler has had an impact on young children not only in the United States, but also across the globe. More needs to be done. We need to work together with a full commitment to ensure the optimal development of each child.
There is some evidence that anti-inflammatory treatment may have beneficial effects in schizophrenia and major depression. Statins are cholesterol-lowering agents but have been found to be anti-inflammatory and also decrease C-reactive protein (CRP). Ondansetron is a serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonist widely used to prevent nausea and vomiting in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Small studies have suggested that adjunctive Ondansetron is efficacious against schizophrenia symptoms. We carried out a feasibility study in schizophrenia patients (within 5 years of first diagnosis) to explore the adjunctive use of simvastatin and ondansetron on positive, negative and general psychopathology.
This was a 12 week rater blind placebo controlled study. All to gather 36 patients with DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia were recruited, 12 in each arm. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks using PANSS, CGI, GAF and AIMS.
Both simvastatin and ondansetron provide some evidence of a reduction in symptoms compared to treatment as usual (TAU) on PANSS total score, although, this was not statistically significant. In the secondary analyses, no significant differences were seen on CGI, GAF and AIMS.
Anti-inflammatory treatments have shown to have some beneficial effects in schizophrenia. Both simvastatin and ondansetron provide some evidence of a reduction in symptoms compared to treatment as usual. This study has led to a larger SMRI-funded, double blind, randomized control trial.
Immune mechanisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. This has lead to clinical trials of re-purposing drugs with off-target anti-inflammatory actions. They include the antibiotic minocycline and simvastatin (HMP-Co reductase inhibitor), which decrease microglial activation, and ondansetron a 5-HT3-receptor antagonist that has limited effects on cytokine production. This presentation will address their efficacy and mechanism of action.
1) Update on trials with minocycline including our own positive finding on negative symptoms (PMID: 16959472)
2) Present new results with ondansetron and simvastatin summarised below.
Ondansetron (8mg) and simvastatin (40mg) vs placebos in 2x2 design (PMID: 23782463). Patients aged 18-65, stable treatment, DSM IV schizophrenia-related diagnosis. PANSS and cognition at 0,3,6 months.
The four cells of the 2x2 design contained 302 patients. The interaction between ondansetron and simvastatin was significant at p=.006 reflecting the lower scores in the 3 active treatment groups than in the P+P group. Ondansetron improved verbal (p=.007) and visual list learning (p=.02) with no other treatment effects on cognition.
Minocycline appears to benefit negative symptoms in early psychosis with a minor effect on cognition. Simvastatin had limited effects in our patients with established schizophrenia but its anti-inflammatory effects could be worth investigating in early psychosis. Ondansetron has a significant effect on new learning, which might be expected from its 5-HT3 antagonist properties. This may underlie a benefit on negative symptoms reported by others and us.
The aim of this retrospective review was to assess the overall burden and trend in spinal tuberculosis (TB) at tertiary hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. All spinal TB cases seen at the province's three tertiary hospitals between 2012 and 2015 were identified and clinical records of each case assessed. Cases were subsequently classified as bacteriologically confirmed or clinically diagnosed and reported with accompanying clinical and demographic information. Odds ratios (OR) for severe spinal disease and corrective surgery in child vs. adult cases were calculated. A total of 393 cases were identified (319 adults, 74 children), of which 283 (72%) were bacteriologically confirmed. Adult cases decreased year-on-year (P = 0.04), however there was no clear trend in child cases. Kyphosis was present in 60/74 (81%) children and 243/315 (77%) adults with available imaging. Corrective spinal surgery was performed in 35/74 (47%) children and 80/319 (25%) adults (OR 2.7, 95% confidence interval 1.6–4.5, P = 0.0003). These findings suggest that Western Cape tertiary hospitals have experienced a substantial burden of spinal TB cases in recent years with a high proportion of severe presentation, particularly among children. Spinal TB remains a public health concern with increased vigilance required for earlier diagnosis, especially of child cases.
To investigate an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia complex and describe the measures that revealed the source.
A 629-bed, tertiary-care, pediatric hospital in Houston, Texas.
Pediatric patients without cystic fibrosis (CF) hospitalized in the pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care units.
We investigated an outbreak of B. cepacia complex from February through July 2016. Isolates were evaluated for molecular relatedness with repetitive extragenic palindromic polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR); specific species identification and genotyping were performed at an independent laboratory. The investigation included a detailed review of all cases, direct observation of clinical practices, and respiratory surveillance cultures. Environmental and product cultures were performed at an accredited reference environmental microbiology laboratory.
Overall, 18 respiratory tract cultures, 5 blood cultures, 4 urine cultures, and 3 stool cultures were positive in 24 patients. Among the 24 patients, 17 had symptomatic infections and 7 were colonized. The median age of the patients was 22.5 months (range, 2–148 months). Rep-PCR typing showed that 21 of 24 cases represented the same strain, which was identified as a novel species within the B. cepacia complex. Product cultures of liquid docusate were positive with an identical strain of B. cepacia complex. Local and state health departments, as well as the CDC and FDA, were notified, prompting a multistate investigation.
Our investigation revealed an outbreak of a unique strain of B. cepacia complex isolated in clinical specimens from non-CF pediatric patients and from liquid docusate. This resulted in a national alert and voluntary recall by the manufacturer.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
The passive film stability of several Fe-based amorphous metal formulations have been found to be comparable to that of high-performance Ni-based alloys, and superior to that of stainless steels, based on electrochemical measurements of the passive film breakdown potential and general corrosion rates. Chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) provide corrosion resistance; boron (B) enables glass formation; and rare earths such as yttrium (Y) lower critical cooling rate (CCR). The high boron content of this particular amorphous metal also makes it an effective neutron absorber, and suitable for criticality control applications, as discussed in companion publications. Corrosion data for SAM2X5 (Fe49.7Cr17.7Mn1.9Mo7.4W1.6B15.2C3.8Si2.4) is discussed here.
A salt solution (doped with Tc-99), that simulates the salt waste stream to be processed at the Saltstone Production Facility, was immobilized in grout waste forms with and without (1) ground granulated blast furnace slag and (2) pretreatment with iron salts. The degree of immobilization of Tc-99 was measured through monolithic and crushed grout leaching tests. Although Fe (+2) was shown to be effective in reducing Tc-99 to the +4 state, the strong reducing nature of the blast furnace slag present in the grout formulation dominated the reduction of Tc-99 in the cured grouts. An effective diffusion coefficient of 4.75 x 10-12 (Leach Index of 11.4) was measured using the ANSI/ANS-16.1 protocol. The leaching results show that, even in the presence of a concentrated salt solution, blast furnace slag can effectively reduce pertechnetate to the immobile +4 oxidation state. The measured diffusivity was introduced into a flow and transport model (PORFLOW) to calculate the release of Tc-99 from a Saltstone Vault as a function of hydraulic conductivity of the matrix.
The microsporidian parasite, Pleistophora mulleri, infects the abdominal muscle of the freshwater amphipod Gammarus duebeni celticus. We recently showed that P. mulleri infection was associated with G. d. celticus hosts being more vulnerable to predation by the invasive amphipod Gammarus pulex. Parasitized G. d. celticus also had a reduced ability to prey upon other co-occurring amphipods. We suggested the parasite may have pervasive influences on host ecology and behaviour. Here, we examine the association between P. mulleri parasitism and parameters influencing individual host fitness, behaviour and interspecific interactions. We also investigate the relationship between parasite prevalence and host population structure in the field. In our G. d. celticus study population, P. mulleri prevalence was strongly seasonal, ranging from 8·5% in summer to 44·9% in winter. The relative abundance of hosts with the heaviest parasite burden increased during summer, which coincided with high host mortality, suggesting that parasitism may regulate host abundance to some degree. Females were more likely to be parasitized than males and parasitized males were paired with smaller females than unparasitized males. Parasitism was associated with reduction in the host's activity level and reduced both its predation on the isopod Asellus aquaticus and aggression towards precopula pairs of the invasive G. pulex. We discuss the pervasive influence of this parasite on the ecology of its host.
We have developed a compact, 14.7 nm, sub-5 ps X-ray laser source at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) together with a Mach-Zehnder
type diffraction grating interferometer built at Colorado State University
for probing dense, high intensity laser-produced plasmas. The short
wavelength and pulse length of the probe reduces refraction, absorption
effects within the plasma and minimizes plasma motion blurring. This
unique diagnostic capability gives precise two-dimensional (2D) density
profile snapshots and is generating new data for rapidly evolving
laser-heated plasmas. A review of the results from dense, mm-scale line
focus plasma experiments will be described with detailed comparisons to
Observation of GaN-based islands surrounded by V-defects in the barrier layer of green LED is reported for InGaN MQWs deposited under no hydrogen or at growth temperatures of less than 800°C. Nanoscale mechanical properties of the areas enclosed and outside of the ring defects does not show any appreciable variation as measured by UFM. Chemical etching of the MQW structure in addition to cross-sectional TEM analysis ruled out the possibility of growth of inversion domains of N-polar GaN in a Ga-polar GaN matrix.
Recruitment determines the profile of fibre-type-specific genes expressed across the range of muscle fibres associated with slow, fast fatigue-resistant and fast fatiguable motor units. Downstream signalling pathways activated by neural signalling and mechanical load have been the focus of intensive research in past years. It is now known that Ca2+-dependent calcineurin–nuclear factor of activated T cells and insulin-like growth factor 1 pathways and their downstream mediators contribute to these adaptive responses. These pathways regulate gene expression through muscle-specific (myocyte-enhancing factor 2, myoblast determination protein) and non-specific (nuclear factor of activated T cell 2, GATA-2) transcription factors. Transcriptional signals activated with increased contractile activity result in altered expression of fibre-type specific genes, including the myosin heavy chain isoforms and oxidative and glycolytic enzymes and a net change in muscle fibre-type composition. In contrast, transcriptional signals activated by increased load bearing result in hypertrophy or a growth response, a component of which involves satellite cell recruitment and fusion with existing adult myofibres. Calcineurin has been identified as a key mediator in the hypertrophic response, and the current challenge has been to determine the downstream target genes of this pathway. Exciting new data have emerged, showing that myostatin, a negative regulator of muscle growth, and utrophin, a cytoskeletal protein important in maintaining membrane integrity, are downstream targets of calcineurin signalling. Increased understanding of these mediators of muscle growth may provide strategies for the development of effective therapeutics to counter muscle weakness and muscular dystrophy.
McDonald (1998) has studied the motion of an intense, quasi-geostrophic,
equivalent-barotropic, singular vortex near an infinitely long escarpment. The present work
considers the remaining cases of the motion of weak and moderate intensity singular
vortices near an escarpment. First, the limit that the vortex is weak is studied
using linear theory. For times which are short compared to the advective time scale
associated with the vortex it is found that topographic waves propagate rapidly away
from the vortex and have no leading-order influence on the vortex drift velocity.
The vortex propagates parallel to the escarpment in the sense of its image in the
escarpment. The mechanism for this motion is identified and is named the pseudoimage
of the vortex. Large-time asymptotic results predict that vortices which move in the
same direction as the topographic waves radiate non-decaying waves and drift slowly
towards the escarpment in response to wave radiation. Vortices which move in
the opposite direction to the topographic waves reach a steadily propagating state.
Contour dynamics results reinforce the linear theory in the limit that the vortex
is weak, and show that the linear theory is less robust for vortices which move
counter to the topographic waves. Second, contour dynamics results for a moderate
intensity vortex are given. It is shown that dipole formation is a generic feature of the
motion of moderate intensity vortices and induces enhanced motion in the direction
perpendicular to the escarpment.
The use of chemical solution routes to form inorganic thin films is a relatively new method which represents an alternative to vapor phase routes. The present study involves the use of a chemical solution route, the decomposition of metal carboxylates, to prepare bismuth thin films of controlled porosity. Such morphologies offer the opportunity to disrupt phonon transport without greatly affecting electrical conductivity and bismuth represents a well known system in which to investigate these effects. Porous bismuth thin films have been prepared using bismuth 2-ethylhexanoate (Bi[OOCCH(C2H5)C4H9]3) as the precursor in a solvent of 2-methyl- 1-propanol. The solution is deposited on glass, Kapton, silicon, alumina or magnesia substrates by spin coating and heated to between 250 – 300°C in hydrogen. Heat treatment temperature and time are important for controlling film microstructure as both pore volume (25 to 50%) and preferred orientation depend upon heat treatment conditions. Bismuth films (62 nm thick) with 32% porosity exhibit conductivities in the range of 150 S/cm with Seebeck coefficients comparable to that of bulk materials.