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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.
People displaying persistent, full-blown psychotic experiences without a need-for-care in the general population are an ideal group to investigate to differentiate those factors that are linked to distress and dysfunction from those that are merely associated with benign anomalous experiences. The UNIQUE study investigated the cognitive and social processes predicted by cognitive models of psychosis to differentiate between benign and pathological outcomes of psychotic experiences (PEs).
Two hundred and fifty-nine individuals were recruited (84 clinical participants with PEs; 92 non-clinical participants with PEs; 83 controls without PEs) from urban (South-East London) and rural (North Wales) UK sites. The three groups were compared on clinical and psychological measures, on reasoning tasks, and on their appraisals of experimental tasks inducing anomalous experiences (of thought interference symptoms and auditory hallucinations).
The clinical picture demonstrated a distinctive pattern of similarities and differences on PEs between the clinical and non-clinical groups, while their demographic and psychological profiles were markedly different. As predicted, the clinical group showed a ‘jump-to-conclusions’ reasoning style, and endorsed more threatening appraisals ratings of the experimentally-induced anomalous experiences than the non-clinical group, who did not differ from the controls.
The results of this study identified a number of specific factors that may be protective against transition to psychosis in individuals with persistent PEs. They also provide robust experimental evidence for the key role of appraisals in determining outcome, as postulated by cognitive models of psychosis.
Medical research Council, UK.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
São Tomé holds 20 endemic bird species, including the little known and ‘Critically Endangered’ Dwarf Olive Ibis Bostrychia bocagei, São Tomé Fiscal Lanius newtoni and São Tomé Grosbeak Neospiza concolor. We conducted a systematic survey of the core forest area, performing 1,680 point counts and compiling occasional observations, which enabled the identification of new areas of occurrence for the target species. MaxEnt distribution modelling suggested that the ibis and fiscal have roughly half of the potential area of occurrence that had been assumed (127 and 117 km2, respectively), while it more than doubled that of the grosbeak (187 km2). The south-west central region of the island, most of which is included in the São Tomé Obô Natural Park, has the highest potential for the Critically Endangered birds. We confirmed the association of all target species with native forest. The ibis preferred high tree density, while the fiscal selected low tree density and intermediate altitudes. Despite very restricted ranges, population sizes seem to be larger than previously assumed. These results suggest that the fiscal and grosbeak might be better classified as ‘Endangered’, while the ibis should maintain its status under different criteria, due to a very restricted range during the breeding season. This work provides vital ecological knowledge to support conservation action focusing on these species and their habitats, highlighting the need to improve the effectiveness of the São Tomé Obô Natural Park in protecting its unique biodiversity.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays were examined with Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) in cross-section after preparation by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling. This technique revealed that ZnO nanowires grown using a Au catalyzed vapor technique typically have Au particles at the NW tips, and also randomly dispersed across the base crystal growth that joins adjacent NWs. It is shown the adjacent NWs and the combined base growth is one crystal structure which can be used as a back electrical contact making fabrication of vertical array devices possible. However, the base growth displays detrimental features such as embedded Au particles and lattice defects which can affect the electrical output through depletion regions and scattering centers. In an effort to overcome these problems we investigate a growth method that is nucleated through a minor alteration of the a-plane sapphire surface roughness via a weak chemical etch. Observations of various stages of the growth show the growth nucleates as separate nanoislands that grow in c-plane alignment with Sapphire (1-210), and as growth continues these islands meet and form a polycrystalline film. Further growth initiates nanowire growth and the formation of a single crystal base layer and NW structure that can cover several square millimeter’s. This allows high quality arrays that are relatively free from defects to be formed without any metals contamination and ready for further device processing.
We report on mid-infrared (600 – 4000 cm-1), refection-type optical-Hall effect measurements on epitaxial graphene grown on C-face silicon carbide and present Landau-level transition features detected at 1.5 K as a function of magnetic field up to 8 Tesla. The Landau-level transitions are detected in reflection configuration at oblique incidence for wavenumbers below, across and above the silicon carbide reststrahlen range. Small Landau-level transition features are enhanced across the silicon carbide reststrahlen range due to surface-guided wave coupling with the electronic Landau-level transitions in the graphene layer. We analyze the spectral and magnetic-field dependencies of the coupled resonances, and compare our findings with previously reported Landau-level transitions measured in transmission configuration [4,5,6]. Additional features resemble transitions previously assigned to bilayer inclusion , as well as graphite . We discuss a model description to account for the electromagnetic polarizability of the graphene layers, and which is sufficient for quantitative model calculation of the optical-Hall effect data.
Arid and semi-arid climates are mainly characterised as those areas where precipitation is less (and often considerably less) than potential evapotranspiration. These climate regions are ideal environments for salt to accumulate in natural soil and groundwater settings since evaporation and transpiration essentially remove freshwater from the system, leaving residual salts behind. Similarly, the characteristically low precipitation rates reduce the potential for salt to be diluted by rainfall. Thus arid and semi-arid regions make ideal ‘salt concentrator’ hydrologic environments. Indeed, salt flats, playas, sabkhas and saline lakes, for example, are ubiquitous features of arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world (Yechieli and Wood,2002). In such settings, variable density flow phenomena are expected to be important, especially where hypersaline brines overlie less dense groundwater at depth. In contrast, seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers is a global phenomenon that is not constrained to only arid and semi-arid regions of the globe and is inherently a variable density flow problem by its very nature. These two examples make it clear that variable density flow problems occur in, but importantly extend beyond, arid and semi-arid regions of the globe. The intention of this chapter is therefore not to limit ourselves to modelling arid zone hydrological systems, but rather to present a more general treatment of variable density groundwater flow and solute transport phenomena and modelling. The concepts presented in this chapter are therefore not climatologically constrained to arid or semi-arid zones of the world, although they do apply equally there.