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Filamentary structures can form within the beam of protons accelerated during the interaction of an intense laser pulse with an ultrathin foil target. Such behaviour is shown to be dependent upon the formation time of quasi-static magnetic field structures throughout the target volume and the extent of the rear surface proton expansion over the same period. This is observed via both numerical and experimental investigations. By controlling the intensity profile of the laser drive, via the use of two temporally separated pulses, both the initial rear surface proton expansion and magnetic field formation time can be varied, resulting in modification to the degree of filamentary structure present within the laser-driven proton beam.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether litter origin had an effect upon the structure of the small intestine in newly weaned piglets. The gut of the newly weaned piglet undergoes significant structural changes such as a decrease in villus height and an increase in crypt depth following commercial weaning. Litter origin has been shown to influence piglet performance immediately post weaning (Slade and Miller, 1999) and to have a significant influence upon blood metabolite concentrations in the newborn piglet (Ilsley and Miller, 2003). Litter origin therefore may also influence the structure of the small intestine in the piglet, which in turn would affect the experimental sampling strategies used in trials investigating effects on gut structure. This study was carried out to test the null hypothesis that litter origin would not have an effect upon the structure of the small intestine in the newly weaned piglet.
Recent analysis pointed towards visual imaging analysis (VIA), which yields pig body size measures and shape indices from two-dimensional visual images of living pigs, as a potential technique for estimating fat and lean content in pig carcasses (Doeschl et al., 2004). The present analysis further explored the potential of using VIA body size and shape indices as indicators of the proportion of lean and fat in various carcass joints, either alone or in combination with ultrasonic backfat depth of the live animal. Due to increasing interest in the shape of retail cuts in the meat industry, the association between VIA size measures and the dimensions of the longissimus dorsi and gluteobiceps muscles is also assessed.
Outdoor reared pigs are said to suffer from less of a growth check post weaning than their indoor reared counterparts (Payne et al. 2003) and have more developed gut post-weaning (Carroll et al. 2007). Zinc oxide (ZnO) is often used in weaner diets to reduce the incidence of post weaning scours. Previous work by Miller (personal communication) conducted at the University of Leeds identified differences in circulating serum IgG concentrations associated with rearing environment and antimicrobial supplementation post-weaning. Conducted as part of a larger experiment, the aim of this preliminary study was to investigate the effects of ZnO medication of weaner diets upon immune status immediately post-weaning in both indoor and outdoor reared pigs. We hypothesised that piglets reared outside would exhibit a less activated immune response than indoor reared pigs post-weaning and that the presence of ZnO would further reduce immune activation.
The weak thermal emission from the largest minor planets can be detected in the microwave regime by the Very Large Array (VLA). Signal-to-noise ratios are sufficiently high to permit precise measurement of the positions of these objects at all points in their orbits with respect to background extragalactic sources. We are in the process of obtaining observations of astrometric accuracy for minor planets 1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, 4 Vesta, and 10 Hygeia.
Minor planets have historically served as “test particles” in the solar system, and optical observations of these objects have been valuable in the determination of fundamental astronomical constants. In particular, optical observations of minor planets have played an important role in the establishment of the fundamental optical reference frame by permitting the determination of the orientation of the Earth's orbit relative to the stars defining the frame.
Similarly, radio observations of these bodies can play a corresponding role in the establishment of a fundamental radio reference frame. Our observations will provide a direct link between the dynamical and radio reference frames, and provide important information on the relationship between the radio and optical reference frames.
The collective response of electrons in an ultrathin foil target irradiated by an ultraintense (
) laser pulse is investigated experimentally and via 3D particle-in-cell simulations. It is shown that if the target is sufficiently thin that the laser induces significant radiation pressure, but not thin enough to become relativistically transparent to the laser light, the resulting relativistic electron beam is elliptical, with the major axis of the ellipse directed along the laser polarization axis. When the target thickness is decreased such that it becomes relativistically transparent early in the interaction with the laser pulse, diffraction of the transmitted laser light occurs through a so called ‘relativistic plasma aperture’, inducing structure in the spatial-intensity profile of the beam of energetic electrons. It is shown that the electron beam profile can be modified by variation of the target thickness and degree of ellipticity in the laser polarization.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a new low-frequency interferometric radio telescope built in Western Australia at one of the locations of the future Square Kilometre Array. We describe the automated radio-frequency interference detection strategy implemented for the Murchison Widefield Array, which is based on the aoflagger platform, and present 72–231 MHz radio-frequency interference statistics from 10 observing nights. Radio-frequency interference detection removes 1.1% of the data. Radio-frequency interference from digital TV is observed 3% of the time due to occasional ionospheric or atmospheric propagation. After radio-frequency interference detection and excision, almost all data can be calibrated and imaged without further radio-frequency interference mitigation efforts, including observations within the FM and digital TV bands. The results are compared to a previously published Low-Frequency Array radio-frequency interference survey. The remote location of the Murchison Widefield Array results in a substantially cleaner radio-frequency interference environment compared to Low-Frequency Array’s radio environment, but adequate detection of radio-frequency interference is still required before data can be analysed. We include specific recommendations designed to make the Square Kilometre Array more robust to radio-frequency interference, including: the availability of sufficient computing power for radio-frequency interference detection; accounting for radio-frequency interference in the receiver design; a smooth band-pass response; and the capability of radio-frequency interference detection at high time and frequency resolution (second and kHz-scale respectively).
PolarBase contains stellar spectropolarimetric data collected with the NARVAL & ESPaDOnS instruments (Petit et al. 2014). Their respective spectral resolutions are 65 000 and 68 000, in spectropolarimetric mode. As the first part of this work, we use the NARVAL spectropolarimetric repositories. We selected spectra from a sample of cool stars with effective Temperature (Teff) ranging between 4900 to 6000 K. This sample contains stellar systems with and without reported exoplanets. We exploit the full wavelength range from 380 to 900 nm in order to obtain chromospheric indexes such as the Ca ii H&K S-Index, and a Ca ii IRT and Hα index. We calibrated our measurements using the Mount Wilson S-Index values. Furthermore, we employ lithium (Li) abundance measurements from the literature (Gonzalez et al. 2010; Delgado Mena et al. 2014; Israelian et al. 2004), investigating in this way a possible correlation between the chromospheric activity measurements and the Li abundance in 32 selected cool stars.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
Improving the interface between primary care and mental health services is a key target in current healthcare policy in Ireland. This study examines the content of referrals from primary care to a community mental health service for apparent depression.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of 100 patients with depression who consecutively attended a specialist mental health service in Ireland's midwest region. Records were reviewed for demographic and clinical information provided by the doctor at the time of referral, subsequent service engagement, diagnosis and treatment initiated.
There was considerable variation in the content and presentation of information contained in referral letters. Eleven per cent used structured HSE mental health referral forms. Seventy-six per cent of referrals contained clear information regarding name, address, symptoms and treatment previously initiated. Specifically, low mood, biological symptoms of depression and illness severity were documented in 43%, 34% and 27%, respectively. Suicide risk was documented in 20%. More detail was significantly associated with more severe illness. At initial specialist assessment, 71% had commenced antidepressant treatment, with 11% having received an adequate trial of a first antidepressant and 3% an adequate trial of two antidepressants. Two-thirds were diagnosed with mild/moderate depression. Initiation of antidepressant treatment was linked to subsequent diagnosis of depressive illness by mental health services (p < 0.001).
Our findings indicate variable referral practices from general practice to mental health in our region. Most referrals were for mild to moderate depression. Poor access to psychological services locally may be a key factor in this phenomenon.
Introduction: Sleep disturbance is common among cigarette smokers and predicts smoking cessation failure. Aims: The purpose of this study was to conduct a pilot test of whether provision of a sleep intervention might bolster smoking cessation outcomes among this vulnerable group. Methods: Smokers with insomnia (N = 19) seeking smoking cessation treatment were randomly assigned to receive 8 sessions over 10 weeks of either: (1) cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia + smoking cessation counselling (CBT-I+SC; n = 9) or (2) smoking cessation counselling alone (SC; n = 10). Counselling commenced 4 weeks prior to a scheduled quit date, and nicotine patch therapy was also provided for 6 weeks starting on the quit date. Results: There was no significant effect of counselling condition on smoking cessation outcomes. Most participants had difficulty initiating and maintaining smoking abstinence in that 7-day point prevalence abstinence rates at end of treatment (CBT-I+SC: 1/7, 14%; SC: 2/10, 20%) and follow-up (CBT-I+SC: 1/7, 14%; SC: 0/10, 0%) were low for both conditions. CBT-I+SC participants reported improvements in sleep efficiency, quality, duration and insomnia symptoms. Sleep changes were not associated with the likelihood of achieving smoking abstinence. Conclusions: This randomised pilot study suggests that behavioural interventions may improve sleep among smokers with insomnia, but a larger sample is needed to replicate this finding and evaluate whether these changes facilitate smoking cessation.
In tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.), extensive variation can be observed in genes conditioning many plant functions including disease resistance, plant development, and fruit, leaf and hypocotyl pigmentation. Genes exist that confer resistance to viruses, nematodes, bacteria and fungi. There is great value in developing a facile system for isolating such genes, and we are attempting to create a tomato gene isolation system based on insertional mutagenesis with the maize transposon Ac. Our chosen target genes (Cf-2, Cf-4, Cf-5 and Cf-9) confer resistance to specific races of the fungus Cladosporium fulvum Cooke, the causal agent of leaf mould. We have used classical and molecular techniques to map three of these genes, correcting errors in previous reports. Ac-carrying T-DNA constructs have been developed to facilitate monitoring of Ac activity in tomato, where Ac is extremely active. These constructs have been used in plant transformation experiments, and over 100 tomato lines carrying Ac have been created. More than 20 T-DNAs carrying Ac have been localised on the tomato genetic map by testing linkage to RFLP loci. This was carried out to exploit the preference of Ac for transposition to linked sites in our tagging strategy.