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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
Feeding ruminants a high-grain (HG) diet is a widely used strategy to improve milk yield and cost efficiency. However, it may cause certain metabolic disorders. At present, information about the effects of HG diets on the systemic metabolic profile of goats and the correlation of such diets with rumen bacteria is limited. In the present study, goats were randomly divided into two groups: one was fed the hay diet (hay; n = 5), while the other was fed HG diets (HG; n = 5). On day 50, samples of rumen contents, peripheral blood serum and liver tissues were collected to determine the metabolic profiles in the rumen fluid, liver and serum and the microbial composition in rumen. The results revealed that HG diets reduced (P < 0.05) the community richness and diversity of rumen microbiota, with an increase in the Chao 1 and Shannon index and a decrease in the Simpson index. HG diets also altered the composition of rumen microbiota, with 30 genera affected (P < 0.05). Data on the metabolome showed that the metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were affected (variable importance projection > 1, P <0.05) by dietary treatment, with 47, 10 and 27 metabolites identified as differentially metabolites. Pathway analysis showed that the common metabolites in the shared key pathway (aminoacyl-transfer RNA biosynthesis) in the rumen fluid, liver and serum were glycine, lysine and valine. These findings suggested that HG diets changed the composition of the rumen microbiota and metabolites in the rumen fluid, liver and serum, mainly involved in amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide new insights into the understanding of diet-related systemic metabolism and the effects of HG diets on the overall health of goats.
The rapid shift to high-grain (HG) diets in ruminants can affect the function of the rumen epithelium, but the dynamic changes in the composition of the epithelium-associated (epimural) bacterial community in sheep still needs further investigation. Twenty male lambs were randomly allocated to four groups (n = 5). Animals of the first group received hay diet and represented a control group (CON). Simultaneously, animals in the other three groups (HG groups) were rapidly shifted to an HG diet (60% concentrate)which continued for 7 (HG7), 14 (HG14) and 28 (HG28) days, correspondingly. Results showed that ruminal pH dramatically decreased due to the rapid shift to the HG diet (P <0.001), while, the concentrations of butyrate (P <0.001), lactate (P = 0.001), valerate (P = 0.008) and total volatile fatty acids (P = 0.001) increased. Diversity estimators showed a dramatic decrease after the shift without recovering as the HG feeding continued. The principal coordinates analysis showed that CON group clustered separately from all HG groups with the presence of significant difference only between HG7 and HG28 (P = 0.034). The non-parametric multivariate analysis (npmv R-package) deduced that the primary significant differences in phyla and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt)-predicted Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGGs) was attributed mainly to the diet composition (P <0.001, P = 0.001) compared to its application period (P = 0.140, 0.545) which showed a significant effect only on the genus (P = 0.001) and the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) level (P = 0.011). The Kruskal–Wallis test deduced that six phyla showed a significant effect due to the shift in diet composition. At the genus level, HG feeding altered the abundance of 12 taxa, four of which showed a significant variation due to the duration of the HG diet application. Similarly, we found that 21 OTUs showed significant variations due to the duration of the HG diet application. Furthermore, the genes abundance predicted by PICRUSt revealed that the HG feeding significantly affected seven metabolic pathways identified in the KEGG. Particularly, the abundance of gene families associated with carbohydrates metabolism were significantly higher in HG feeding groups (P = 0.027). Collectively, these results revealed that the rapid transition to an HG diet causes dramatic alterations in ruminal fermentation and the composition and function of ruminal epithelium-associated microbiome in sheep, while, the duration of the HG diet application causes drastic alterations to the abundance of some species.
Lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) is an important and expanding crop in southern Australia and a significant crop in western Canada. Currently, production in both countries is limited by an inability to effectively control weeds, due in part to a lack of registered safe and effective herbicides. Metribuzin is a broad-spectrum herbicide providing an alternative weed control option to the imidazolinones, but it has low crop safety in lentil. Two methods, germplasm screening using a hydroponic sand assay and field screening of a large mutated population of the Australian cultivar ‘PBA Flash’ were initially used to identify lines with putative metribuzin tolerance over current cultivars. Dose–response experiments showed the germplasm line SP1333 had GR50 (the rate required to reduce dry weight 50%) values up to four times higher than PBA Flash. However, the mutation selections M043 and M009 had GR50 values more than 25 times higher than PBA Flash. A field study in Canada, under conditions of induced shade and no shade 72 h before POST application of metribuzin, confirmed the intermediate level of tolerance in SP1333 and the high level in the two mutant lines compared with 20 Canadian and Australian genotypes. This relative increase in metribuzin tolerance of the two mutant lines over the parent cultivar is higher than all previous reports in a range of crop species. The development of large mutant populations combined with large M2 field screens was a successful method for developing high levels of metribuzin tolerance in lentil. The estimated mutation rate of the mutant lines was 9.4×10−8. All three lines are currently being used as parents in lentil breeding programs.
Pathogenesis of pregnancy toxemia (PT) is believed to be associated with the disruption of lipid metabolism. The present study aimed to explore the underlying mechanisms of lipid metabolism disorder in the livers of ewes with PT. In total, 10 pregnant ewes were fed normally (control group) whereas another 10 were subjected to 70% level feed restriction for 15 days to establish a pathological model of PT. Results showed that, as compared with the controls, the levels of blood β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and cholesterol were greater (P<0.05) and blood glucose level was lower (P<0.05) in PT ewes. The contents of NEFAs, BHBA, cholesterol and triglyceride were higher (P<0.05) and glycerol content was lower (P<0.05) in hepatic tissues of PT ewes than those of the controls. For ewes with PT, excessive fat vacuoles were observed in liver sections stained with hematoxylin–eosin; furthermore, inner structures of hepatocytes including nuclei, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum were damaged seriously according to the results of transmission electron microscope. Real-time PCR data showed that compared with the controls, the expression of hepatic genes involved in fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and triglyceride synthesis (TGS) was enhanced (P<0.05) whereas that related to acetyl-CoA metabolism (ACM) was repressed (P<0.05) in PT ewes. Generally, our results showed that negative energy balance altered the expression of genes involved in FAO, ACM and TGS, further caused lipid metabolism disorder in livers, resulting in PT of ewes. Our findings may provide the molecular basis for novel therapeutic strategies against this systemic metabolic disease in sheep.
In the current intensive production system, ruminants are often fed high-grain (HG) diets. However, this feeding pattern often causes rumen metabolic disorders and may further trigger laminitis, the exact mechanism is not clear. This study investigated the effect of HG diet feeding on fermentative and microbial changes in the rumen and on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the lamellar tissue. In all, 12 male goats were fed a hay diet (0% grain; n=6) or an HG diet (56.5% grain; n=6). On day 50 of treatment, samples of blood, rumen content, and lamellar tissue of hooves of goats were collected. The data showed that compared with the hay group, HG-fed goats had lower (P<0.05) rumen pH but higher (P<0.05) total volatile fatty acids and lactate in the rumen and higher (P<0.05) lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels in the rumen and blood. HG diet feeding altered the composition of rumen bacterial community, and correspondingly, the results suggested that their functions in the HG group were also altered. HG diet feeding increased (P<0.05) the expression of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and MMP-2 mRNA in the lamellar tissues compared with the hay group. Correlation analysis indicated that the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines were positively correlated with MMP-2 expression in lamellar tissues. Overall, these results revealed that HG feeding altered the patterns of rumen fermentation and the composition and functions of rumen bacterial community, and lead to higher levels of LPS in the peripheral blood, and further activated the inflammatory response in lamellar tissues, which may progress to the level of laminar damage.
The triplite LiFeSO4F displays both the highest potential ever reported for an Fe-based compound, as well as a comparable specific energy with that of popular LiFePO4. The synthesis is still a challenge because the present approaches are connected with long time, special equipments or organic reagents, etc. In this work, the triplite LiFeSO4F powder was synthesized through an ambient two-step solid-state route. The reaction process and phase purity were analyzed, coupled with structure refinement and electrochemical test.
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.
Flow past a NACA 65 blade at chord-based Reynolds number 138 500 is studied using stability analysis, generalized (spatially weighted) transient growth analysis and direct numerical simulations (DNS). The mechanisms of transition on various sections of the blade observed in previous work by Zaki et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 665, 2010, pp. 57–98) are examined, with a focus on the pressure side around the leading edge. In this region, the linearly most energetic perturbation has spanwise wavenumber
(five boundary-layer thicknesses) and is tilted against the mean shear to take advantage of the Orr mechanism. In a DNS, the nonlinear development of this optimal perturbation induces
structures, which are further stretched to hairpin vortices before breaking down to turbulence. At higher spanwise wavenumber, e.g.
, a free-stream optimal perturbation is obtained upstream of the leading edge, in the form of streamwise vortices. During its nonlinear evolution, this optimal perturbation tilts the mean shear and generates spanwise periodic high- and low-speed streaks. Then through a nonlinear lift-up mechanism, the low-speed streaks are lifted above the high-speed ones. This layout of streaks generates a mean shear with two inflectional points and activates secondary instabilities, namely inner and outer instabilities previously reported in the literature.
People with schizophrenia recognize speech poorly under multiple-people-talking (informational masking) conditions. In reverberant environments, direct-wave signals from a speech source are perceptually integrated with the source reflections (the precedence effect), forming perceived spatial separation (PSS) between different sources and consequently improving target-speech recognition against informational masking. However, the brain substrates underlying the schizophrenia-related vulnerability to informational masking and whether schizophrenia affects the unmasking effect of PSS are largely unknown.
Using psychoacoustic testing and functional magnetic resonance imaging, respectively, the speech recognition under either the PSS or perceived spatial co-location (PSC) condition and the underlying brain substrates were examined in 20 patients with schizophrenia and 16 healthy controls.
Speech recognition was worse in patients than controls. Under the PSS (but not PSC) condition, speech recognition was correlated with activation of the superior parietal lobule (SPL), and target speech-induced activation of the SPL, precuneus, middle cingulate cortex and caudate significantly declined in patients. Moreover, the separation (PSS)-against-co-location (PSC) contrast revealed (1) activation of the SPL, precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex in controls, (2) suppression of the SPL and precuneus in patients, (3) activation of the pars triangularis of the inferior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus in both controls and patients, (4) activation of the medial superior frontal gyrus in patients, and (5) impaired functional connectivity of the SPL in patients.
Introducing the PSS listening condition efficiently reveals both the brain substrates underlying schizophrenia-related speech-recognition deficits against informational masking and the schizophrenia-related neural compensatory strategy for impaired SPL functions.
Today’s conversion of solar energy into electricity is based on silicon, which is pure, eventually crystalline, and its most efficient transitions are away from solar radiation maximum. The continuous search of efficient photovoltaic materials has recently focused on lead-halide organic-inorganic perovskite materials due to the very flexible, sustainable, and forgiving procedure of their fabrication, which is successful even if the concentrations of precursors, and temperature regimes deviate from optimal values. In addition to simple fabrication, this class of materials provides impressively high efficiency of photovoltaic (PV) cells. Attention to these materials helps to understand the mechanisms of their high efficiencies and to identify other materials with same type of properties. This work presents computational analysis of photo-induced processes in perovskite materials at ambient temperatures.
This study is focused on two- and three-dimensional incompressible flow past a circular cylinder for Reynolds number
. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying the suppression of unsteadiness for this flow we determine the nonlinear optimal open-loop control driven by surface-normal wall transpiration. The spanwise-constant wall transpiration is allowed to oscillate in time, although steady forcing is determined to be most effective. At low levels of control cost, defined as the square integration of the control, the sensitivity of unsteadiness with respect to wall transpiration is a good approximation of the optimal control. The distribution of this sensitivity suggests that the optimal control at small magnitude is achieved by applying suction upstream of the upper and lower separation points and blowing at the trailing edge. At high levels of wall transpiration, the assumptions underlying the linearized sensitivity calculation become invalid since the base flow is eventually altered by the size of the control forcing. The large-magnitude optimal control is observed to spread downstream of the separation point and draw the shear layer separation towards the rear of the cylinder through suction, while blowing along the centreline eliminates the recirculation bubble in the wake. We further demonstrate that it is possible to completely suppress vortex shedding in two- and three-dimensional flow past a circular cylinder up to
, accompanied by 70 % drag reduction when a nonlinear optimal control of moderate magnitude (with root-mean-square value 8 % of the free-stream velocity) is applied. This is confirmed through linearized stability analysis about the steady-state solution when the nonlinear optimal wall transpiration is applied. While continuously distributed wall transpiration is not physically realizable, the study highlights localized regions where discrete control strategies could be further developed. It also highlights the appropriate range of application of linear and nonlinear optimal control to this type of flow problem.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Our investigations with silane-modified TiO2 have revealed a beneficial effect of functionalization on the photoelectrochemical performance on spin-coated electrodes. However, in order to produce large area photoelectrodes, a more scalable manufacturing technology is required. Inkjet printing can fulfil this role and furthermore allow a finer control over coating morphologies. In this work, inkjet-printed photoelectrodes were prepared with silane-functionalized TiO2 nanoparticles, and investigated as electrodes for photoactivated water splitting. The catalyst layers, having thickness around 700 nm, were printed on FTO-coated glass supports, from cellulose stabilized dispersions. For comparison, electrodes of similar thicknesses were also prepared by spin-coating. After removing the stabilizer at 300 °C under air atmosphere, the electrodes were characterized in photoelectrochemical cells containing 0.5 M H2SO4 as electrolyte and a platinum ring as counter electrode. Under simulated sunlight, the best photocurrent densities for the oxygen evolution reaction were obtained for the inkjet-printed electrodes prepared with functionalized particles (up to 0.26 mA cm-2 at 1.2 V against the standard hydrogen electrode (SHE), compared to 0.18 mA cm-2 for spin coated). Microscopy of the printed electrodes shows structurally homogenous coatings with evenly distributed roughness. Under continuous illumination at 0.7 V (SHE), the electrodes showed no significant drop in photocurrent within five hours.
In this work we have synthesized the colloidal particles of transition metal-hydroxide (M= Ni, Co, Mn, Fe) by a simple chemical precipitation method. The surface of spray deposited CdS thin films were modified using nano-colloids to utlize them as water oxidation catalysts (WOC) for the photoelectrochemical cell (PEC). A systematic comparison of the PEC performance of modified and unmodified film is carried out to understand the role of co-catalyst. Ni(OH)2 modification yields 3.4 times higher photocurrent density than bare CdS photoanode, and exhibits hydrogen-evolution rate of 600 μmol/hr. Fe(OH)2 modified film shows best stability of 8 hours as compared to the others.
The first human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was reported in Shanghai, China in March 2013. An additional 32 cases of human H7N9 infection were identified in the following months from March to April 2013 in Shanghai. Here we conducted a case-control study of the patients with H7N9 infection (n = 25) using controls matched by age, sex, and residence to determine risk factors for H7N9 infection. Our findings suggest that chronic disease and frequency of visiting a live poultry market (>10 times, or 1–9 times during the 2 weeks before illness onset) were likely to be significantly associated with H7N9 infection, with the odds ratios being 4·07 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–12·56], 10·61 (95% CI 1·85–60·74), and 3·76 (95% CI 1·31–10·79), respectively. Effective strategies for live poultry market control should be reinforced and ongoing education of the public is warranted to promote behavioural changes that can help to eliminate direct or indirect contact with influenza A(H7N9) virus.