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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.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
Clostridium difficile, the most common cause of hospital-associated diarrhoea in developed countries, presents major public health challenges. The high clinical and economic burden from C. difficile infection (CDI) relates to the high frequency of recurrent infections caused by either the same or different strains of C. difficile. An interval of 8 weeks after index infection is commonly used to classify recurrent CDI episodes. We assessed strains of C. difficile in a sample of patients with recurrent CDI in Western Australia from October 2011 to July 2017. The performance of different intervals between initial and subsequent episodes of CDI was investigated. Of 4612 patients with CDI, 1471 (32%) were identified with recurrence. PCR ribotyping data were available for initial and recurrent episodes for 551 patients. Relapse (recurrence with same ribotype (RT) as index episode) was found in 350 (64%) patients and reinfection (recurrence with new RT) in 201 (36%) patients. Our analysis indicates that 8- and 20-week intervals failed to adequately distinguish reinfection from relapse. In addition, living in a non-metropolitan area modified the effect of age on the risk of relapse. Where molecular epidemiological data are not available, we suggest that applying an 8-week interval to define recurrent CDI requires more consideration.
Identifying genetic relationships between complex traits in emerging adulthood can provide useful etiological insights into risk for psychopathology. College-age individuals are under-represented in genomic analyses thus far, and the majority of work has focused on the clinical disorder or cognitive abilities rather than normal-range behavioral outcomes.
This study examined a sample of emerging adults 18–22 years of age (N = 5947) to construct an atlas of polygenic risk for 33 traits predicting relevant phenotypic outcomes. Twenty-eight hypotheses were tested based on the previous literature on samples of European ancestry, and the availability of rich assessment data allowed for polygenic predictions across 55 psychological and medical phenotypes.
Polygenic risk for schizophrenia (SZ) in emerging adults predicted anxiety, depression, nicotine use, trauma, and family history of psychological disorders. Polygenic risk for neuroticism predicted anxiety, depression, phobia, panic, neuroticism, and was correlated with polygenic risk for cardiovascular disease.
These results demonstrate the extensive impact of genetic risk for SZ, neuroticism, and major depression on a range of health outcomes in early adulthood. Minimal cross-ancestry replication of these phenomic patterns of polygenic influence underscores the need for more genome-wide association studies of non-European populations.
Little is known about Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Asia. The aims of our study were to explore (i) the prevalence, risk factors and molecular epidemiology of CDI and colonization in a tertiary academic hospital in North-Eastern Peninsular Malaysia; (ii) the rate of carriage of C. difficile among the elderly in the region; (iii) the awareness level of this infection among the hospital staffs and students. For stool samples collected from hospital inpatients with diarrhea (n = 76) and healthy community members (n = 138), C. difficile antigen and toxins were tested by enzyme immunoassay. Stool samples were subsequently analyzed by culture and molecular detection of toxin genes, and PCR ribotyping of isolates. To examine awareness among hospital staff and students, participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. For the hospital and community studies, the prevalence of non-toxigenic C. difficile colonization was 16% and 2%, respectively. The prevalence of CDI among hospital inpatients with diarrhea was 13%. Out of 22 C. difficile strains from hospital inpatients, the toxigenic ribotypes 043 and 017 were most common (both 14%). In univariate analysis, C. difficile colonization in hospital inpatients was significantly associated with greater duration of hospitalization and use of penicillin (both P < 0·05). Absence of these factors was a possible reason for low colonization in the community. Only 3% of 154 respondents answered all questions correctly in the awareness survey. C. difficile colonization is prevalent in a Malaysian hospital setting but not in the elderly community with little or no contact with hospitals. Awareness of CDI is alarmingly poor.
The long-wavelength quantum efficiency (QE) response of photovoltaic absorbers is determined by the length scales for minority carrier collection. However, extracting quantitative measurements of minority carrier mobility-lifetime product (μτ) is complicated by uncertainty in other factors such as the depletion width, electric field, and the absorption coefficient. We apply previously developed methods to obtain estimates for μτ in a tin(II) sulfide (SnS) solar cell. We compare three analytic models for the minority carrier collection probability as a function of absorber depth to determine which model most accurately captures the behavior in our devices. For models in which multiple parameters are unconstrained, a random numerical search is used to optimize the fit to experimental QE for SnS. To identify sources of error, we perform a sensitivity analysis by fitting with SCAPS-1D. Our analysis shows that changes in absorption most strongly affect estimates for μτ, highlighting the need to obtain accurate, device-specific absorption data. Further modeling and experimental constraints are required to obtain self-consistent values for μτ that correspond to actual device performance.
Prenatal alcohol exposure and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) result in behavioral issues related to poor executive function (EF). This overlap may hinder clinical identification of alcohol-exposed children. This study examined the relation between parent and neuropsychological measures of EF and whether parent ratings aid in differential diagnosis. Neuropsychological measures of EF, including the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), were administered to four groups of children (8–16 years): alcohol-exposed with ADHD (AE+, n=80), alcohol-exposed without ADHD (AE−, n=36), non-exposed with ADHD (ADHD, n=93), and controls (CON, n=167). Primary caregivers completed the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). For parent ratings, multivariate analyses of variance revealed main effects of Exposure and ADHD and an interaction between these factors, with significant differences between all groups on nearly all BRIEF scales. For neuropsychological measures, results indicated main effects of Exposure and ADHD, but no interaction. Discriminant function analysis indicated the BRIEF accurately classifies groups. These findings confirm compounded behavioral, but not neuropsychological, effects in the AE+ group over the other clinical groups. Parent-report was not correlated with neuropsychological performance in the clinical groups and may provide unique information about neurobehavior. Parent-report measures are clinically useful in predicting alcohol exposure regardless of ADHD. Results contribute to a neurobehavioral profile of prenatal alcohol exposure. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–13)
The isolation rate for Clostridium difficile in diarrhoeal stools was investigated in patients from general practice and community health centres over a 14-month period. C. difficile or its cytotoxin was detected in specimens from 89 (4·7 %) of 1882 patients studied and accounted for 30·3 % of all enteropathogenic micro-organisms isolated. Overall C. difficile was second only to Giandia lamblia in frequency. Recovery rates in the different groups of patients surveyed varied from 3·6 to 27·5 %. The relationship between stool culture results and stool cytotoxin assay also varied considerably between groups of patients studied. Coincident infections with a variety of enteropathogenic bacteria and intestinal parasites were diagnosed in 14 of the 89 patients. It was concluded that laboratories servicing this type of practice should be aware that C. difficile may be a cause of diarrhoea. An adequate clinical history should facilitate proper processing of the specimen.
It is generally accepted that most patients with Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea acquire the organism from the environment. Recently we demonstrated that household pets may constitute a significant reservoir of C. difficile through gastrointestinal carriage in up to 39% of cats and dogs. These findings suggested that direct transmission from household pets, or contamination of the environment by them, may be a factor in the pathogenesis of C. difficile-associated diarrhoea. To investigate this possibility, we examined isolates of C. difficile from humans, pets and the environment by restriction enzyme analysis (REA) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) typing using enhanced chemiluminescence. Both REA and RFLP typing methods used Hind III digests of chromosomal DNA. A total of 116 isolates of C. difficile from pets (26), veterinary clinic environmental sites (33), humans (37) and hospital environmental sites (20) was examined. REA was far more discriminatory than RFLP typing and for all isolates there were 34 REA types versus 6 RFLP types. There was good correlation between the REA types found in isolates from pets and from the veterinary clinic environment, and between isolates from humans and from those found in the hospital environment. There was, however, no correlation between REA type of C. difficile found in pets and isolates of human origin. We conclude that there may still be a risk of humans acquiring C. difficile from domestic pets as these findings may be the result of geographical variation.
The incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) was investigated retrospectively at a 690-bed teaching hospital for the period 1983–92. Our aims were to determine: (i) the distribution by age and sex of patients with CDAD, (ii) the possibility of a seasonal trend and, (iii) the influence of infection control procedures, contamination of the hospital environment and the use of third-generation cephalosporins. The laboratory diagnosis of CDAD was based on demonstration of the organism by stool culture and/or detection of specific cytotoxin in stool filtrates. C. difficile was detected in 917 patients who were being investigated for diarrhoeal illness. Yearly isolations varied from a low of 49 in 1983 to a high of 120 in 1990 (Chi square for linear trend 128·8; P < 0·005). Most patients were elderly, with 63% aged 60 years or more; the majority (59%) were female. The relationship between culture of C. difficile and detection of cytotoxin in faecal extracts was also examined. Sixty percent of a sample of 132 isolates from patients in whom faecal cytotoxin was not detected produced cytotoxin in vitro, suggesting that culture is a more sensitive indicator of infection with C. difficile than cytotoxin detection. When the total number of faecal specimens received in the laboratory was used as a denominator there was an increase in the number of incident cases of CDAD between 1983 and 1990, apart from 1986. When occupied bed days was used as the denominator a similar trend was observed with a peak in 1990. These increases correlated with an increase in the use of third-generation cephalosporins at SCGH between 1983 and 1989 (Pearson's correlation coefficient, 0·90). The introduction of Body Substance Isolation in 1989, in conjunction with other infection control procedures, appears to have halted the rise, despite a continuing use of broad-spectrum cephalosporins. In order to reduce the number of cases of CDAD, either a reduction in levels of environmental contamination or a reduction in the use of third-generation cephalosporins is required. If this can be achieved the economic consequences, in terms of an opportunity cost, will be considerable.
Cats and dogs being treated at two veterinary clinics were investigated for gastrointestinal carriage of Clostridium difficile using selective solid and en-richment media. Thirty-two (39.5%) of 81 stool samples yielded C. difficile. There were significant differences in isolation rates between clinics, 61.0% of animals being positive at one clinic compared to 17.5% at the other (Chi-square, P < 0.005). Of 29 animals receiving antibiotics, 15 (52.0%) harboured C. difficile while 11 (23.9%) of 46 animals not receiving antibiotics were positive (Chi-square, P < 0.01). There was no difference in carriage rate between cats (38.1%) and dogs (40.0%). The environment at both veterinary clinics was surveyed for the presence of C. difficile. Fifteen of 20 sites at one clinic were positive compared to 6 of 14 sites at the other clinic. Both cytotoxigenic and noncytotoxigenic isolates of C. difficile were recovered from animals and environmental sites. These findings suggest that household pets may be a potentially significant reservoir of infection with C. difficile.
Jurassic dykes of western Dronning Maud Land (Antarctica) form a minor component of the Karoo large igneous province. An extensive local dyke swarm intrudes Neoproterozoic gneisses and Jurassic syenite plutons on the margins of the Jutulstraumen palaeo rift in the Svedrupfjella region. The dykes were intruded in three distinct episodes (~204, ~176 and ~170 Ma). The 204 Ma dykes are overwhelminglylow-Ti, olivine tholeiites including some primitive (picritic) compositions (MgO >12 wt.%; Fe2O3 >12 wt.%; Cr >1000 ppm; Ni >600 ppm). This 204 Ma event precedes the main Karoo volcanic event by~25 Ma, so anycorrelations to the wider province are difficult to make. However, it mayrecord the earliest phase of rift activity along the Jutulstraumen. The 176 Ma dyke event is more intimately associated with the two syenite plutons. The dykes are alkaline (basanite/ tephrite) and were small-degree melts from an enriched, locallyderived source and underwent at least some degree of interaction with a syenitic contaminant. This ~176 Ma dyke event is widespread elsewhere in the Karoo (southern Africa and Dronning Maud Land). Later-stage (170 Ma) felsic (phonolite–comendite) dykes intrude the 176 Ma basanite–tephrite suite and represent the last phase of magmatic activityin the region.
The Jurassic Mount Poster Formation of eastern Ellsworth Land, southern Antarctic Peninsula, comprises silicic ignimbrites related to intracontinental rifting of Gondwana. The identification of less voluminous basaltic and sedimentary facies marginal to the silicic deposits has led to a reclassification of the volcanic units into the Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group. This is formally subdivided into two formations: the Mount Poster Formation (silicic ignimbrites), and the Sweeney Formation (basaltic and sedimentary facies). The Mount Poster Formation rhyolites are an intracaldera sequence greater than 1 km in thickness. The basaltic and sedimentary facies of the Sweeney Formation are consistent with deposition in a terrestrial setting into, or close to, water. The geochemistry of the Mount Poster Formation is consistent with derivation of the intracaldera rhyolites from a long-lived, upper crustal magma chamber. The basalts of the Sweeney Formation are intermediate between asthenosphere- and lithosphere-derived magmas, with little or no subduction-modified component. The basalt could represent a rare erupted part of the basaltic underplate that acted as the heat source for local generation of the rhyolites. U–Pb ion microprobe zircon geochronology of samples from the Mount Poster Formation yield an average eruption age of 183.4±1.4 Ma. Analysis of detrital zircons from a Sweeney Formation sandstone suggest a maximum age of deposition of 183±4 Ma and the two formations are considered coeval. In addition, these ages are coincident with eruption of the Karoo-Ferrar Igneous Province in southern Africa and East Antarctica. Our interpretation of the Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group is consistent with the model that the Jurassic volcanism of Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula took place in response to intracontinental extension driven by arrival of a plume in that area.
We exploit duality considerations in the study of singular combinatorial 2-discs (diagrams) and are led to the following innovations concerning the geometry of the word problem for finite presentations of groups. We define a filling function called gallery length that measures the diameter of the 1-skeleton of the dual of diagrams; we show it to be a group invariant and we give upper bounds on the gallery length of combable groups. We use gallery length to give a new proof of the Double Exponential Theorem. Also we give geometric inequalities relating gallery length to the space-complexity filling function known as filling length.
We systematically reviewed the current understanding of human population immunity against SARS-CoV in different groups, settings and geography. Our meta-analysis, which included all identified studies except those on wild animal handlers, yielded an overall seroprevalence of 0·10% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0·02–0·18]. Health-care workers and others who had close contact with SARS patients had a slightly higher degree of seroconversion (0·23%, 95% CI 0·02–0·45) compared to healthy blood donors, others from the general community or non-SARS patients recruited from the health-care setting (0·16%, 95% CI 0–0·37). When analysed by the two broad classes of testing procedures, it is clear that serial confirmatory test protocols resulted in a much lower estimate (0·050%, 95% CI 0–0·15) than single test protocols (0·20%, 95% CI 0·06–0·34). Potential epidemiological and laboratory pitfalls are also discussed as they may give rise to false or inconsistent results in measuring the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to SARS-CoV.
We pose some graph theoretic conjectures about duality and the diameter of maximal trees in planar graphs, and we give innovations in the following two topics in geometric group theory, where the conjectures have applications.
Central extensions. We describe an electrostatic model concerning how van Kampen diagrams change when one takes a central extension of a group. Modulo the conjectures, this leads to a new proof that finitely generated class $c$ nilpotent groups admit degree $c+1$ polynomial isoperimetric functions.
Filling functions. We collate and extend results about interrelationships between filling functions for finite presentations of groups. We use the electrostatic model in proving that the gallery length filling function, which measures the diameter of the duals of diagrams, is qualitatively the same as a filling function DlogA, concerning the sum of the diameter with the logarithm of the area of a diagram. We show that the conjectures imply that the space-complexity filling function filling length essentially equates to gallery length. We give linear upper bounds on these functions for a number of classes of groups including fundamental groups of compact geometrizable 3-manifolds, certain graphs of groups, and almost convex groups. Also we define restricted filling functions which concern diagrams with uniformly bounded vertex valence, and we show that, assuming the conjectures, they reduce to just two filling functions—the analogues of non-deterministic space and time.
An ultramafic lamprophyre dyke is described from the otherwise tholeiitic Ferrar magmatic province of Antarctica. We report an Ar-Ar age of 183 ± 2.2 Ma for the dyke, indistinguishable from those of the Ferrar tholeiites. However, the dyke has mineralogical and major and trace element compositions, and radiogenic isotopes ratios, very different from the Ferrar tholeiites. The sample consists of olivine and rare clinopyroxene phenocrysts with perovskite and spinel microphenocrysts in a groundmass of amphibole, nepheline and biotite. Carbonatitic globules contain calcite, dolomite, Fe-rich carbonate, nepheline, biotite, orthoclase, pyrite, clinopyroxene, apatite and silicate glass, and were formed by liquid immiscibility. The rock is mildly potassic and classifies as an ouachitite. It is strongly enriched in both moderately and highly incompatible trace elements and is the first high-Ti rock to be described from the Ferrar magmatic province. The rock has similar initial 143Nd/144Nd to OIB, notably Bouvet, Crozet and Réunion, but significantly higher initial 87Sr/86Sr. The lamprophyre magma is interpreted as having been generated by low-degree partial fusion of metasomatized lithospheric mantle as a result of heat conducted from an underlying Jurassic mantle plume. The same mantle plume was probably also responsible for generating one of the world’s largest layered gabbro bodies, the Dufek-Forrestal intrusions.
A detailed compositional analysis of high-critical-current-density (Jc) (55 and 65 kA/cm2 at 77 K) (Bi,Pb)2Sr2Ca2Cu3Oy (Bi-2223) tapes was undertaken by energy dispersive spectroscopy in the transmission electron microscope. Structural features were coupled with characteristic compositions of the Bi-2223 phase. The average of all compositional measurements of the Bi-2223 phase was determined to be Bi1.88Pb0.23Sr1.96Ca1.95Cu2.98Oy. However, spatial variations in the Bi-2223 composition and differing phase equilibria were found throughout the filament structure. In particular, a considerable range of Bi-2223 compositions can be found within a single tape, and the lead content of the Bi-2223 phase is significantly depressed in the vicinity of lead-rich phases. The depletion of lead in the Bi-2223 phase around the 3221 phases may be a current-limiting microstructure in these tapes.
The Rockeskyll complex in the north, central part of the Quaternary West Eifel volcanic field encapsulates an association of carbonatite, nephelinite and phonolite. The volcanic complex is dominated by three eruptive centres, which are distinct in their magma chemistry and their mode of emplacement. The Auf Dickel diatreme forms one centre and has erupted the only known carbonatite in the West Eifel, along with a broad range of alkaline rock types. Extrusive carbonatitic volcanism is represented by spheroidal autoliths, which preserve an equilibrium assemblage. The diatreme has also erupted xenoliths of calcite-bearing feldspathoidal syenite, phonolite and sanidine and clinopyroxene megacrysts, which are interpreted as fragments of a sub-volcanic complex. The carbonate phase of volcanism has several manifestations; extrusive lapilli, recrystallized ashes and calcite-bearing syenites, fragmented during diatreme emplacement.
A petrogenetic link between carbonatites and alkali mafic magmas is confirmed from Sr and Nd isotope systematics, and an upper mantle origin for the felsic rocks is suggested. The chemistry and mineralogy of mantle xenoliths erupted throughout the West Eifel indicate enrichment in those elements incompatible in the mantle. In addition, the evidence from trace element signatures and melts trapped as glasses support interaction between depleted mantle and small volume carbonate and felsic melts. This close association between carbonate and felsic melts in the mantle is mirrored in the surface eruptives of Auf Dickel and at numerous alkaline-carbonatite provinces worldwide.