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We apply two methods to estimate the 21-cm bispectrum from data taken within the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) project of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). Using data acquired with the Phase II compact array allows a direct bispectrum estimate to be undertaken on the multiple redundantly spaced triangles of antenna tiles, as well as an estimate based on data gridded to the uv-plane. The direct and gridded bispectrum estimators are applied to 21 h of high-band (167–197 MHz; z = 6.2–7.5) data from the 2016 and 2017 observing seasons. Analytic predictions for the bispectrum bias and variance for point-source foregrounds are derived. We compare the output of these approaches, the foreground contribution to the signal, and future prospects for measuring the bispectra with redundant and non-redundant arrays. We find that some triangle configurations yield bispectrum estimates that are consistent with the expected noise level after 10 h, while equilateral configurations are strongly foreground-dominated. Careful choice of triangle configurations may be made to reduce foreground bias that hinders power spectrum estimators, and the 21-cm bispectrum may be accessible in less time than the 21-cm power spectrum for some wave modes, with detections in hundreds of hours.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
We provide the first in situ measurements of antenna element beam shapes of the Murchison Widefield Array. Most current processing pipelines use an assumed beam shape, which can cause absolute and relative flux density errors and polarisation ‘leakage’. Understanding the primary beam is then of paramount importance, especially for sensitive experiments such as a measurement of the 21-cm line from the epoch of reionisation, where the calibration requirements are so extreme that tile to tile beam variations may affect our ability to make a detection. Measuring the primary beam shape from visibilities is challenging, as multiple instrumental, atmospheric, and astrophysical factors contribute to uncertainties in the data. Building on the methods of Neben et al. [Radio Sci., 50, 614], we tap directly into the receiving elements of the telescope before any digitisation or correlation of the signal. Using ORBCOMM satellite passes we are able to produce all-sky maps for four separate tiles in the XX polarisation. We find good agreement with the beam model of Sokolowski et al. [2017, PASA, 34, e062], and clearly observe the effects of a missing dipole from a tile in one of our beam maps. We end by motivating and outlining additional on-site experiments.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
The current emphasis of schistosomiasis control is placed on preventive chemotherapy using praziquantel. However, reinfection may occur rapidly in the absence of complementary interventions. Recent studies from Senegal suggest that predatory prawns might feed on intermediate host snails and thus impact on schistosomiasis transmission. We designed a study with four repeated cross-sectional surveys pertaining to prawns and snails, coupled with a single cross-sectional parasitological survey among humans. We assessed for potential associations between the presence/density of prawns and snails and correlation with Schistosoma infection in a composite sample of school-aged children and adults. The study was carried out between October 2015 and December 2016 in 24 villages located near the Agnéby and Mé coastal river systems in south-eastern Côte d'Ivoire. At each site, snails and prawns were collected, and in each village, 150 individuals were subjected to stool and urine examination for the diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. We found peaks of relative abundance of intermediate host snails in the villages of the Agnéby River system, while predatory prawns were predominantly recorded in the Mé River system. A negative association was observed between intermediate host snail densities and riverine prawns; however, no pattern was found between this trend in the predator–prey relationship and the prevalence of human schistosomiasis.
The study of parasites typically crosses into other research disciplines and spans across diverse scales, from molecular- to populational-levels, notwithstanding promoting an understanding of parasites set within evolutionary time. Today, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help frame much of contemporary parasitological research, since parasites can be found in all ecosystems, blighting human, animal and plant health. In recognition of the multi-disciplinary nature of parasitological research, the 2017 Autumn Symposium of the British Society for Parasitology was held in London to provide a forum for novel exchange across medical, veterinary and wildlife fields of study. Whilst the meeting was devoted to the topic of parasitism, it sought to foster mutualism, the antithesis perhaps of parasitism, by forging new academic connections and social networks to exchange novel ideas. The meeting also celebrated the longstanding career of Professor David Rollinson, FLS in the award of the International Federation for Tropical Medicine Medal for his efforts spanning 40 years of parasitological research. Indeed, David has done so much to explore and promote the fascinating biology of parasitism, as exemplified by the 15 manuscripts contained within this Special Issue.
The MWA EoR is one of a small handful of experiments designed to detect the statistical signal from the Epoch of Reionisation. Each of these experiments has reached a level of maturity, where the challenges, in particular of foreground removal, are being more fully understood. Over the past decade, the MWA EoR Collaboration has developed expertise and an understanding of the elements of the telescope array, the end-to-end pipelines, ionospheric conditions, and and the foreground emissions. Sufficient data has been collected to detect the theoretically predicted EoR signal. Limits have been published regularly, however we still several orders of magnitude from a possible detection. This paper outlines recent progress and indicates directions for future efforts.
Older people with dementia are at increased risk of physical decline and falls. Balance and mood are significant predictors of falls in this population. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a tailored home-based exercise program in community-dwelling older people with dementia.
Forty-two participants with mild to moderate dementia were recruited from routine health services. All participants were offered a six-month home-based, carer-enhanced, progressive, and individually tailored exercise program. Physical activity, quality of life, physical, and psychological assessments were administered at the beginning and end of the trial.
Of 33 participants (78.6%) who completed the six-month reassessment ten (30%) reported falls and six (18%) multiple falls during the follow-up period. At reassessment, participants had better balance (sway on floor and foam), reduced concern about falls, increased planned physical activity, but worse knee extension strength and no change in depression scores. The average adherence to the prescribed exercise sessions was 45% and 22 participants (52%) were still exercising at trial completion. Those who adhered to ≥70% of prescribed sessions had significantly better balance at reassessment compared with those who adhered to <70% of sessions.
This trial of a tailored home-based exercise intervention presents preliminary evidence that this intervention can improve balance, concern about falls, and planned physical activity in community-dwelling older people with dementia. Future research should determine whether exercise interventions are effective in reducing falls and elucidate strategies for enhancing uptake and adherence in this population.
We have compiled a catalogue of H ii regions detected with the Murchison Widefield Array between 72 and 231 MHz. The multiple frequency bands provided by the Murchison Widefield Array allow us identify the characteristic spectrum generated by the thermal Bremsstrahlung process in H ii regions. We detect 306 H ii regions between 260° < l < 340° and report on the positions, sizes, peak, integrated flux density, and spectral indices of these H ii regions. By identifying the point at which H ii regions transition from the optically thin to thick regime, we derive the physical properties including the electron density, ionised gas mass, and ionising photon flux, towards 61 H ii regions. This catalogue of H ii regions represents the most extensive and uniform low frequency survey of H ii regions in the Galaxy to date.
Several extragalactic HI surveys using a λ21 cm 13-beam focal plane array will begin in early 1997 using the Parkes 64 m telescope. These surveys are designed to detect efficiently nearby galaxies that have failed to be identified optically because of low optical surface brightness or high optical extinction. We discuss scientific and technical aspects of the multibeam receiver, including astronomical objectives, feed, receiver and correlator design and data acquisition. A comparison with other telescopes shows that the Parkes multibeam receiver has significant speed advantages for any large-area λ21 cm galaxy survey in the velocity range range 0–14000 km s−1.
We have recently discovered evidence for a population of radio-loud quasars that is reddened by dust. The dust is either along the line of sight to the quasars or is associated with the quasars. In the latter case the dust may be in molecular clouds in the quasar’s host galaxy, or in a molecular torus around the nucleus. We are planning to use 3 mm observations to search for molecular absorption lines (CO and HCO+) associated with dust at the redshift of these quasars. If any absorption systems are detected we will be able to deduce detailed information about the physical state of the molecular gas, hopefully showing which of the proposed locations of the dust is most likely.
The reminiscence functions scale (RFS) is a 43-item self-report instrument designed to assess the use of reminiscence for different functions. This study aims, on one hand, to analyze the factorial structure and the psychometric properties of the RFS and, on the other, to examine the relationship between the functions of reminiscence and mental health.
RFS scale and measures of depressive symptomology, despair, and life satisfaction were administered to a sample of persons over the age of sixty (n = 364).
After eliminating three conflictive items from the original scale, the confirmatory factor analysis results present a factorial structure comprising eight traditional factors and adequate reliability scores (from 0.73 to 0.87). Using structural equation modeling, we find that these reminiscence factors are organized in three second-order factors (self-positive, self-negative, and prosocial). Results show that the self-positive factor relates negatively and the self-negative factor relates positively with symptoms of mental health problems.
These results, on one hand, confirm that the RFS scale is a useful instrument to assess reminiscence functions in a sample of Spanish older adults and, on the other, that the three-factor model of reminiscence is a better predictor of mental health than the alternative four-factor model.
Palmer amaranth is a troublesome weed in cotton production. Yield losses of
65% have been reported from season-long Palmer amaranth competition with
cotton. To determine whether water is a factor in this system, experiments
were conduced in 2011, 2012, and 2013 in Citra, FL, and in Tifton, GA. In
2011, infrequent rainfall lead to drought stress. The presence of Palmer
amaranth resulted in decreased soil relative water content up to 1 m in
depth. Cotton stomatal conductance (gs) was reduced up to 1.8 m from a Palmer amaranth plant. In 2012
and 2013 higher than average rainfall resulted in excess water throughout
the growing season. In this situation, no differences were found in soil
relative water content or cotton gs as a function of proximity to Palmer amaranth. A positive
linear trend was found in cotton photosynthesis and yield; each parameter
increased as distance from Palmer amaranth increased. Even in these
well-watered conditions, daily water use of Palmer amaranth was considerably
higher than that of cotton, at 1.2 and 0.49 g H20 cm−2
d−1, respectively. Although Palmer amaranth removed more water
from the soil profile, rainfall was adequate to replenish the profile in 2
of the 3 yr of this study. However, yield loss due to Palmer amaranth was
still observed despite no change in gs, indicating other factors, such as competition for light or
response to neighboring plants during development, are driving yield
We compare first-order (refractive) ionospheric effects seen by the MWA with the ionosphere as inferred from GPS data. The first-order ionosphere manifests itself as a bulk position shift of the observed sources across an MWA field of view. These effects can be computed from global ionosphere maps provided by GPS analysis centres, namely the CODE. However, for precision radio astronomy applications, data from local GPS networks needs to be incorporated into ionospheric modelling. For GPS observations, the ionospheric parameters are biased by GPS receiver instrument delays, among other effects, also known as receiver DCBs. The receiver DCBs need to be estimated for any non-CODE GPS station used for ionosphere modelling. In this work, single GPS station-based ionospheric modelling is performed at a time resolution of 10 min. Also the receiver DCBs are estimated for selected Geoscience Australia GPS receivers, located at Murchison Radio Observatory, Yarragadee, Mount Magnet and Wiluna. The ionospheric gradients estimated from GPS are compared with that inferred from MWA. The ionospheric gradients at all the GPS stations show a correlation with the gradients observed with the MWA. The ionosphere estimates obtained using GPS measurements show promise in terms of providing calibration information for the MWA.
GLEAM, the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky MWA survey, is a survey of the entire radio sky south of declination + 25° at frequencies between 72 and 231 MHz, made with the MWA using a drift scan method that makes efficient use of the MWA’s very large field-of-view. We present the observation details, imaging strategies, and theoretical sensitivity for GLEAM. The survey ran for two years, the first year using 40-kHz frequency resolution and 0.5-s time resolution; the second year using 10-kHz frequency resolution and 2 s time resolution. The resulting image resolution and sensitivity depends on observing frequency, sky pointing, and image weighting scheme. At 154 MHz, the image resolution is approximately 2.5 × 2.2/cos (δ + 26.7°) arcmin with sensitivity to structures up to ~ 10° in angular size. We provide tables to calculate the expected thermal noise for GLEAM mosaics depending on pointing and frequency and discuss limitations to achieving theoretical noise in Stokes I images. We discuss challenges, and their solutions, that arise for GLEAM including ionospheric effects on source positions and linearly polarised emission, and the instrumental polarisation effects inherent to the MWA’s primary beam.
The Murchison Widefield Array is a Square Kilometre Array Precursor. The telescope is located at the Murchison Radio–astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. The MWA consists of 4 096 dipoles arranged into 128 dual polarisation aperture arrays forming a connected element interferometer that cross-correlates signals from all 256 inputs. A hybrid approach to the correlation task is employed, with some processing stages being performed by bespoke hardware, based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, and others by Graphics Processing Units housed in general purpose rack mounted servers. The correlation capability required is approximately 8 tera floating point operations per second. The MWA has commenced operations and the correlator is generating 8.3 TB day−1 of correlation products, that are subsequently transferred 700 km from the MRO to Perth (WA) in real-time for storage and offline processing. In this paper, we outline the correlator design, signal path, and processing elements and present the data format for the internal and external interfaces.
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).
The science cases for incorporating high time resolution capabilities into modern radio telescopes are as numerous as they are compelling. Science targets range from exotic sources such as pulsars, to our Sun, to recently detected possible extragalactic bursts of radio emission, the so-called fast radio bursts (FRBs). Originally conceived purely as an imaging telescope, the initial design of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) did not include the ability to access high time and frequency resolution voltage data. However, the flexibility of the MWA’s software correlator allowed an off-the-shelf solution for adding this capability. This paper describes the system that records the 100 μs and 10 kHz resolution voltage data from the MWA. Example science applications, where this capability is critical, are presented, as well as accompanying commissioning results from this mode to demonstrate verification.
We present quasi-simultaneous multi-colour optical/near-IR photometry for 157 radio selected quasars, forming an unbiassed sub-sample of the Parkes Flat-Spectrum Sample. Data are also presented for 12 optically selected QSOs, drawn from the Large Bright QSO Survey. The spectral energy distributions of the radio- and optically-selected sources are quite different. The optically selected QSOs are all very similar: they have blue spectral energy distributions curving downwards at shorter wavelengths. Roughly 90% of the radio-selected quasars have roughly power-law spectral energy distributions, with slopes ranging from Fv∝v0 to Fv∝v−2. The remaining 10% have spectral energy distributions showing sharp peaks: these are radio galaxies and highly reddened quasars. Four radio sources were not detected down to magnitude limits of H ∼ 19·6. These are probably high redshift (z > 3) galaxies or quasars. We show that the colours of our red quasars lie close to the stellar locus in the optical: they will be hard to identify in surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. If near-IR photometry is added, however, the red power-law sources can be clearly separated from the stellar locus: IR surveys such as 2MASS should be capable of finding these sources on the basis of their excess flux in the K-band.
We present photometric observations of six radio-loud quasars that were detected by the COMPTEL gamma-ray telescope. The data encompass seven wavebands in the optical and near infrared. After correction for Galactic extinction, we find a wide range in optical slopes. Two sources are as blue as optically-selected quasars, and are likely to be dominated by the accretion disc emission, while three others show colours consistent with a red synchrotron component. We discuss the properties of the COMPTEL sample of quasars, as well as the implications our observations have for multiwavelength modelling of gamma-ray quasars.