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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.
Innovation Concept: High-acuity, low-occurrence (HALO) procedures require skilled performance as they treat life-threatening conditions and are associated with significant morbidity when performed incorrectly. Simulation has proven useful for deliberate practice in a low stake setting. Tube thoracostomy is amendable to this approach. Commercially available trainers exist but often have limited realism and are prohibitively expensive particularly to non-academic centers. Three-dimensional (3D) printing produces models suitable for simulation, but no current simulator has been developed and validated for tube thoracostomy. The aim of this study was to develop such, a 3D-printed low-fidelity simulator validated for the simulation-based instruction of tube thoracostomy. Methods: The development of the simulator followed an iterative design cycle with collaboration between a design team and an emergency medicine expert. Its validity (face and content) was tested through hands-on practice and surveys completed by 15 acute-care practitioners. Participants performed the procedure on the simulator and then provided feedback through a mixed quantitative/qualitative product evaluation survey on appearance, realism (face validity) and value in procedural training (content validity). Mean values for overall appearance and content validity as a training tool were 4/5 and 4.3/5 respectively. All respondents felt the model was a useful adjunct. All but one stated it was a good replacement for pre-existing trainers. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The model was initially printed in three parts using an Ultimaker 3 and Axiom Airwolf Dual 3D-printer. The ribcage was created using polylactic acid with polyvinyl alcohol support material. Printed sections were bonded using glue at interfaces requiring no flexibility. Flexible joints were made of varying amounts of thermoplastic polyurethane and thermoplastic elastomer. Skin overlay for the whole model was created with a cut out area for replaceable sections that subjects would incise to insert the chest tube. Skin was casted using platinum cured silicone in a 3D-printed mold. Total cost of all materials was roughly 80 CAD. Conclusion: The simulator was found to be a useful adjunct for the simulation-based practice of tube thoracostomy. As well, users found the model anatomically realistic and avoided high-cost and ethical issues. Further research will focus on optimization based on feedback and development into a multi-functional simulator for other HALO procedures.
Evidence suggests that dietary intake of UK children is currently suboptimal. It is therefore imperative to identify effective and sustainable methods of improving dietary habits and knowledge in this population, whilst also promoting the value of healthiness of food products beyond price. Schools are ideally placed to influence children's knowledge and health, and Project Daire, in partnership with schools, food industry partners and stakeholders, aims to improve children's knowledge of, and interest in, food to improve health, wellbeing and educational attainment.
Daire is a randomised-controlled, factorial design trial evaluating two interventions. In total, n = 880 Key Stage (KS) 1 and 2 pupils have been recruited from 18 primary schools in the North West of Northern Ireland and will be randomised to one of four 6-month intervention arms: i) ‘Engage’, ii) ‘Nourish’, iii) ‘Engage’ and ‘Nourish’ and iv) Delayed. ‘Engage’ is an age-appropriate, cross-curricular educational intervention on food, agriculture, science and careers linked to the current curriculum. ‘Nourish’ is an intervention aiming to alter schools’ food environments and increase exposure to local foods. Study outcomes include food knowledge, attitudes, trust, diet, behaviour, health and wellbeing and will be collected at baseline and six months. Qualitative data on teacher/pupil opinions will also be collected. The intervention phase is currently ongoing. We present baseline results from our involvement and food attitudes measure from all participating schools. Results were compared by Key Stage and sex using Pearson Chi-Squared test.
Baseline results from our food involvement and attitudes measure are presented for n = 880 KS1 (n = 454) and KS2 (n = 426) pupils. KS1 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (89.0%) whilst KS2 pupils were more likely to always or sometimes help with food preparation (69.0%). A higher proportion of KS1 pupils reported liking to try new foods (66.1%) and that it was important that food looked (64.5%), tasted (71.1%) and smelled good (60.6%) compared with KS2 children (P < 0.01). Girls were more likely to always or sometimes help with food shopping (96.2%) and preparation (73%) when compared with boys; whilst a higher proportion of girls reported they liked to try new foods (48.2%) and that it was important that food looked (68%) smelled (50.5%) and tasted (71.8%) good compared with boys (P < 0.01).
Results suggest that involvement in food preparation and shopping, willingness to try new foods and attitudes towards food presentation varied by KS and sex in this cohort.
Studies of blood parasite infection in nestling birds rarely find a high prevalence of infection. This is likely due to a combination of short nestling periods (limiting the age at which nestlings can be sampled) and long parasite prepatent periods before gametocytes can be detected in peripheral blood. Here we examine rates of blood parasite infection in nestlings from three Columbid species in the UK. We use this system to address two key hypotheses in the epidemiology of avian haemoparasites: first, that nestlings in open nests have a higher prevalence of infection; and second, that nestlings sampled at 14 days old have a higher apparent infection rate than those sampled at 7 days old. Open-nesting individuals had a 54% infection rate compared with 25% for box-nesters, probably due to an increased exposure of open-nesting species to dipteran vectors. Nestlings sampled at 14 days had a 68% infection rate compared with 32% in nestlings sampled at 7 days, suggesting that rates of infection in the nest are high. Further work should examine nestlings post-fledging to identify rates of successful parasite infection (as opposed to abortive development within a dead-end host) as well as impacts on host post-fledging survival and behaviour.
Post-fledging survival plays a vital role in the dynamics of bird populations and yet is the least-studied avian life-stage. Habitat requirements post-fledging may have important implications for behaviour and survival, especially for declining populations in landscapes that have undergone wide-scale anthropogenic modification, resulting in an altered distribution and composition of habitats. The European Turtle Dove is a widespread but rapidly declining species both within the UK and across Europe. Reduced seed food availability is thought to influence breeding success of this species, but it is not known whether post-fledging survival may also be influenced by seed availability. Here, we use leg-ring radio-tag attachments to monitor post-fledging survival and movements in 15 Turtle Dove nestlings from eight nests monitored during 2014 as part of a wider autecological study. Fledglings remained in close proximity to their nest for three weeks post-tagging, spending more than half their time in the immediate vicinity (within ∼20 m) of the nest. 95% of foraging trips during this period were within 329 m of the nest and fledglings selected seed-rich habitat (semi-natural grassland, low-intensity grazing, fallow and quarries). Fledglings that were heavier and in better body condition at seven days old were more likely to survive for 30 days post-fledging, and the proportion of available seed-rich habitat was a strong predictor of nestling weight and condition at seven days old. Whilst our sample size is modest, this study highlights the crucial role of food availability in juvenile survival, both while adults are feeding nestlings, and to recently fledged young, and the potential for agri-environment schemes providing foraging and nesting habitats in close proximity to provide important benefits.
Epidemiological studies have established an association between obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancer types. Research has focused predominantly on altered endocrine factors, growth factors and signalling pathways, with little known in man about the immune involvement in the relevant pathophysiological processes. Moreover, in an era of exciting new breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy, there is also a need to study the safety and efficacy of immunotherapeutics in the complex setting of inflammatory-driven obesity-associated cancer. This review addresses key immune cell subsets underpinning obesity-associated inflammation and describes how such immune compartments might be targeted to prevent and treat obesity-associated cancer. We propose that the modulation, metabolism, migration and abundance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cells and tumour-specific T cells might be therapeutically altered to both restore immune balance, alleviating pathological inflammation, and to improve anti-tumour immune responses in obesity-associated cancer.
Studies incorporating the ecology of clinical and sub-clinical disease in wild populations of conservation concern are rare. Here we examine sub-clinical infection by Trichomonas gallinae in a declining population of free-living European Turtle Doves and suggest caseous lesions cause mortality in adults and nestlings through subsequent starvation and/or suffocation. We found a 100% infection rate by T. gallinae in adult and nestling Turtle Doves (n = 25) and observed clinical signs in three adults and four nestlings (28%). Adults with clinical signs displayed no differences in any skeletal measures of size but had a mean 3·7% reduction in wing length, with no overlap compared to those without clinical signs. We also identified T. gallinae as the suggested cause of mortality in one Red-legged Partridge although disease presentation was different. A minimum of four strains of T. gallinae, characterized at the ITS/5·8S/ITS2 ribosomal region, were isolated from Turtle Doves. However, all birds with clinical signs (Turtle Doves and the Red-legged Partridge) carried a single strain of T. gallinae, suggesting that parasite spill over between Columbidae and Galliformes is a possibility that should be further investigated. Overall, we highlight the importance of monitoring populations for sub-clinical infection rather than just clinical disease.
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.
Development of devices storing and delivering high-energy power such as supercapacitors is necessary to assist intermittent sources of energy. Most of the commercial systems are carbon-based, but due to their high surface charge, oxides offer a valuable alternative for high-rate energy storage. Among them, layered transition metal oxides with mixed valence properties present both good electronic and ionic conductivities suitable for application to electrochemical applications intermediate between capacitors and batteries. This work focuses on lamellar oxide bronzes based on cobalt MxCoO2 and vanadium MxV2O5 (M = H, Li, Na or K). A low temperature synthesis leads to high specific area particles (above 100 m2/g). Hydrated and anhydrous NaxCoO2 are promising cathode materials for aqueous supercapacitors, with a high capacity of more than 100 mAh/g obtained under 20 mV/s for the hydrated NaxCoO2. The MxV2O5 bronzes appear to be good candidates for organic supercapacitors, especially the LixV2O5 bronze, which shows a high stable capacity above 100 mAh/g (at 20 mV/s ie a charging time of 125 s).
Studies show an inverse relationship between breakfast frequency and weight gain. This may reflect poor eating habits generally and associated low physical activity (PA) or direct impacts of breakfast on mechanisms leading to lethargy and reduced PA. The relationship between breakfast frequency and PA is inconclusive. We aimed to determine whether breakfast frequency is associated with PA levels in British adolescents independent of body composition and socio-economic status (SES). Habitual breakfast frequency (self-report questionnaire) was assessed in 877 adolescents (43 % male, age 14·5 (sd 0·5) years old). PA was measured over 5 d (accelerometry, average counts/min; cpm). Associations between daily PA and breakfast frequency were assessed using linear regression adjusted for body fat percentage and SES. Effect modification by sex and associations with PA during the morning (06.00–12.00 hours) were explored. For boys, there were no significant associations between breakfast frequency and PA. For girls, less frequent breakfast consumption was significantly associated with lower PA (cpm) during the morning (occasional v. frequent β − 6·1 (95 % CI − 11·1, − 1·1), P = 0·017) when adjusted for body fat percentage and SES. There were no associations between PA and breakfast consumption over the whole day; however, for girls, less frequent breakfast consumption may be associated with lower PA levels during the morning, suggesting that breakfast consumption should perhaps be taken into consideration when aiming to promote PA in adolescent girls.
The impact of different levels of depression severity on quality of life (QoL) is not well studied, particularly regarding ICD-10 criteria. The ICD classification of depressive episodes in three levels of severity is also controversial and the less severe category, mild, has been considered as unnecessary and not clearly distinguishable from non-clinical states. The present work aimed to test the relationship between depression severity according to ICD-10 criteria and several dimensions of functioning as assessed by Medical Outcome Study (MOS) 36-item Short Form general health survey (SF-36) at the population level.
A sample of 551 participants from the second phase of the Outcome of Depression International Network (ODIN) study (228 controls without depression and 313 persons fulfilling ICD criteria for depressive episode) was selected for a further assessment of several variables, including QoL related to physical and mental health as measured with the SF-36.
Statistically significant differences between controls and the depression group were found in both physical and mental markers of health, regardless of the level of depression severity; however, there were very few differences in QoL between levels of depression as defined by ICD-10. Regardless of the presence of depression, disability, widowed status, being a woman and older age were associated with worse QoL in a structural equation analysis with covariates. Likewise, there were no differences according to the type of depression (single-episode versus recurrent).
These results cast doubt on the adequacy of the current ICD classification of depression in three levels of severity.
Objective: To determine the adequacy of pharmacotherapy received by patients with newly-diagnosed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), based on current practice guidelines.
Methods: A 9 year (1997–2006) retrospective claims analysis of adults enrolled in Florida Medicaid for at least 3 continuous years was conducted to determine the percentage who received both a minimally effective duration (≥ 8 continuous weeks) and dose of first-line OCD pharmacotherapy during the year following their first (“index”) OCD diagnosis.
Results: Among 2,960,421 adult (≥ 18 years of age) enrollees, 2,921 (0.1%) were diagnosed with OCD. Among the 2,825 OCD patients without comorbid Asperger syndrome or autism, 843 had newly-diagnosed OCD and at least 12 months of follow-up data after their index diagnosis. Among these 843 patients, 588 (69.7%) received first-line OCD pharmacotherapy but only 323 (38.3%) received a minimally effective pharmacotherapy trial in the year following their index diagnosis.
Conclusions: Among clinically-diagnosed persons with OCD (<10% of those with the disorder), a minority of newly-diagnosed patients receive a minimally effective pharmacotherapy trial consistent with current standards of care. Reasons such as limited patient adherence and/or physician awareness of guidelines must be identified and redressed to ameliorate the patient, healthcare system, and economic burdens associated with OCD.