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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.
Latrophilin (LPH) is known as an adhesion G-protein-coupled receptor which involved in multiple physiological processes in organisms. Previous studies showed that lph not only involved the susceptibility to anticholinesterase insecticides but also affected fecundity in Tribolium castaneum. However, its regulatory mechanisms in these biological processes are still not clear. Here, we identified two potential downstream carboxylesterase (cce) genes of Tclph, esterase4 and esterase6, and further characterized their interactions with Tclph. After treatment of T. castaneum larvae with carbofuran or dichlorvos insecticides, the transcript levels of Tcest4 and Tcest6 were significantly induced from 12 to 72 h. RNAi against Tcest4 or Tcest6 led to the higher mortality compared with the controls after the insecticides treatment, suggesting that these two genes play a vital role in detoxification of insecticides in T. castaneum. Furthermore, with insecticides exposure to Tclph knockdown beetles, the expression of Tcest4 was upregulated but Tcest6 was downregulated, indicating that beetles existed a compensatory response against the insecticides. Additionally, RNAi of Tcest6 resulted in 43% reductions in female egg laying and completely inhibited egg hatching, which showed the similar phenotype as that of Tclph knockdown. These results indicated that Tclph affected fecundity by positively regulating Tcest6 expression. Our findings will provide a new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Tclph involved in physiological functions in T. castaneum.
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.
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 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.
We perform photometric measurements on a large HST snapshot imaging survey sample of 97 ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). We classify all the sources into three categories with multiple, double and single nucleus/nuclei, mainly based on a quantitative criterion of I-band luminosity. The resultant fractions of multiple, double and single nucleus/nuclei ULIRGs are 18%, 39% and 43%, respectively. This supports the multiple merger scenario as a possible origin of ULIRGs, in addition to the commonly-accepted pair merger model. Further statistical studies indicate that the fraction of AGN increases from multiple (18%) to double (39%) and then to single (43%) nucleus/nuclei ULIRGs. For the single nucleus category, there is a high luminosity tail in the luminosity distribution, which corresponds to a Seyfert 1/QSO excess. This supports the statement that active galactic nuclei tend to appear at final merging stage. For multiple and double mergers, we also find a considerably high fraction of very close nucleus pairs (e.g., 2/3 for those separated by less than 5 kpc). This strengthens the conclusion that systems at late merging phase preferentially host ULIRGs.
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.
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.
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.
Electrochromic (EC) and thermochromic (TC) materials are of much interest for “smart” windows which combine energy efficiency with the provision of indoor comfort. This paper summarizes results from several recent studies related to nanoparticles of transparent and electrically conducting ITO (i.e., In2O3:Sn) and of thermochromic VO2. Specifically, we consider (i) the use of ITO nanoparticles in polaronic EC devices in order to suppress near-infrared solar transmittance, (ii) performance limits for plasmonic EC devices embodying ITO nanoparticles, and (iii) ITO-VO2-based nanocomposites with joint low thermal emittance and TC properties, and with Mg-doping of the VO2 as a means for boosting the luminous transmittance. Both experimental and theoretical results are presented.
It is an indisputable fact that solar magnetic fields are force-free in the corona, where force-free fields mean that current and magnetic fields are parallel and there is no Lorentz force in the fields. While the force-free extent of photospheric magnetic fields remains open, in this paper, we give its statistical results. Vector magnetograms (namely, Bx, By, and Bz in heliocentric coordinates) employed are observed by the Solar Magnetic Field Telescope at Huairou Solar Observing Station. We study and calibrate 925 magnetograms calibrated by two sets of calibration coefficients, which indicate the relation between magnetic fields and the strength of the Stokes spectrum and can be calculated either theoretically or empirically. The statistical results show that the majority of active region magnetic fields are not consistent with the force-free model.
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.
This study investigated the effects of disodium fumarate (DF) on methane emission, ruminal fermentation and microbial abundance in goats under different forage (F) : concentrate (C) ratios and fed according to maintenance requirements. Four ruminally fistulated, castrated male goats were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments and the main factors being the F : C ratios (41 : 59 or 58 : 42) and DF supplementation (0 or 10 g/day). DF reduced methane production (P < 0.05) on average by 11.9%, irrespective of the F : C ratio. The concentrations of total volatile fatty acids, acetate and propionate were greater in the rumen of goats supplemented with DF (P < 0.05), whereas the abundance of methanogens was lower (P < 0.05). In high-forage diets, the abundance of Selenomonas ruminantium, a fumarate-reducing bacterium, was greater in the rumen of goats supplemented with DF. The abundance of fungi, protozoa, Ruminococus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes were not affected by the addition of DF. Variable F : C ratios affected the abundance of methanogens, fungi and R. flavefaciens (P < 0.05), but did not affect methane emission. The result implied that DF had a beneficial effect on the in vivo rumen fermentation of the goats fed diets with different F : C ratios and that this effect were not a direct action on anaerobic fungi, protozoa and fibrolytic bacteria, the generally recognized fiber-degrading and hydrogen-producing microorganisms, but due to the stimulation of fumarate-reducing bacteria and the depression of methanogens.
Lattice strains have been measured as a function of the angle, ψ, from the diamond cell stress axis in a sample of gold and rhenium at pressures of 15–37 GPa. Experiments were conducted using X-ray transparent gaskets made from beryllium. The differential stresses supported by gold and rhenium have been characterized to 37 GPa. It is also shown that proper choice of the diffraction geometry allows recovery of a quasi-hydrostatic compression curve under these highly non-hydrostatic conditions. X-ray elastic moduli have also been determined, and while good agreement with previous data is achieved for gold, there is a large discrepancy between the present results and extrapolated ultrasonic data for rhenium.
We have fabricated very thin TiO2 film (Teq∼20Å) by RTP oxidation of sputtered Ti in NO ambient on nitrogen passivated Si substrates. The leakage current is about two orders magnitude lower than SiO2 of identical Teq. Results show that NO passivation layer prior to sputtering is critical in reducing the leakage current. XPS results show that the temperature RTP NO oxidation of sputtered Ti is very important for achieving high quality TiO2 films. high oxidation temperature an SiO2 layer is formed at the interface between TiO2 and Si and the leakage current is approaching to that of SiO2.