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Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
A cluster of Salmonella Paratyphi B variant L(+) tartrate(+) infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns was detected in October 2015. Interviews initially identified nut butters, kale, kombucha, chia seeds and nutrition bars as common exposures. Epidemiologic, environmental and traceback investigations were conducted. Thirteen ill people infected with the outbreak strain were identified in 10 states with illness onset during 18 July–22 November 2015. Eight of 10 (80%) ill people reported eating Brand A raw sprouted nut butters. Brand A conducted a voluntary recall. Raw sprouted nut butters are a novel outbreak vehicle, though contaminated raw nuts, nut butters and sprouted seeds have all caused outbreaks previously. Firms producing raw sprouted products, including nut butters, should consider a kill step to reduce the risk of contamination. People at greater risk for foodborne illness may wish to consider avoiding raw products containing raw sprouted ingredients.
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.
Recent analysis pointed towards visual imaging analysis (VIA), which yields pig body size measures and shape indices from two-dimensional visual images of living pigs, as a potential technique for estimating fat and lean content in pig carcasses (Doeschl et al., 2004). The present analysis further explored the potential of using VIA body size and shape indices as indicators of the proportion of lean and fat in various carcass joints, either alone or in combination with ultrasonic backfat depth of the live animal. Due to increasing interest in the shape of retail cuts in the meat industry, the association between VIA size measures and the dimensions of the longissimus dorsi and gluteobiceps muscles is also assessed.
Visual imaging systems provide daily plan (overhead) measurements of pigs. These allow monitoring and control of pig growth, as is essential to production efficiency. Schofield et al., 1999 suggest that size measurements can provide accurate estimates of live weight, but a description of growth in terms of size and shape may also give a direct quantification of body form and value. This report presents analyses of the growth of pigs of two commercial breed types in terms of live weight, body plan area and ham width, and examines the relationship between observed body shapes of living pigs and their dissected body composition.
The Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST) is an 18000 m2 radio telescope located 40 km from Canberra, Australia. Its operating band (820–851 MHz) is partly allocated to telecommunications, making radio astronomy challenging. We describe how the deployment of new digital receivers, Field Programmable Gate Array-based filterbanks, and server-class computers equipped with 43 Graphics Processing Units, has transformed the telescope into a versatile new instrument (UTMOST) for studying the radio sky on millisecond timescales. UTMOST has 10 times the bandwidth and double the field of view compared to the MOST, and voltage record and playback capability has facilitated rapid implementaton of many new observing modes, most of which operate commensally. UTMOST can simultaneously excise interference, make maps, coherently dedisperse pulsars, and perform real-time searches of coherent fan-beams for dispersed single pulses. UTMOST operates as a robotic facility, deciding how to efficiently target pulsars and how long to stay on source via real-time pulsar folding, while searching for single pulse events. Regular timing of over 300 pulsars has yielded seven pulsar glitches and three Fast Radio Bursts during commissioning. UTMOST demonstrates that if sufficient signal processing is applied to voltage streams, innovative science remains possible even in hostile radio frequency environments.
Childhood trauma is a risk factor for psychosis. Deficits in response inhibition are common to psychosis and trauma-exposed populations, and associated brain functions may be affected by trauma exposure in psychotic disorders. We aimed to identify the influence of trauma-exposure on brain activation and functional connectivity during a response inhibition task.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine brain function within regions-of-interest [left and right inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, right supplementary motor area, right inferior parietal lobule and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex], during the performance of a Go/No-Go Flanker task, in 112 clinical cases with psychotic disorders and 53 healthy controls (HCs). Among the participants, 71 clinical cases and 21 HCs reported significant levels of childhood trauma exposure, while 41 clinical cases and 32 HCs did not.
In the absence of effects on response inhibition performance, childhood trauma exposure was associated with increased activation in the left IFG, and increased connectivity between the left IFG seed region and the cerebellum and calcarine sulcus, in both cases and healthy individuals. There was no main effect of psychosis, and no trauma-by-psychosis interaction for any other region-of-interest. Within the clinical sample, the effects of trauma-exposure on the left IFG activation were mediated by symptom severity.
Trauma-related increases in activation of the left IFG were not associated with performance differences, or dependent on clinical diagnostic status; increased IFG functionality may represent a compensatory (overactivation) mechanism required to exert adequate inhibitory control of the motor response.
In our attempt to investigate the basic active galactic nucleus (AGN) paradigm requiring a centrally located supermassive black hole (SMBH), a close to Keplerian accretion disk and a jet perpendicular to its plane, we have searched for radio continuum in galaxies with H2O megamasers in their disks. We observed 18 such galaxies with the Very Large Baseline Array in C band (5 GHz, ~2 mas resolution) and we detected 5 galaxies at 8 σ or higher levels. For those sources for which the maser data is available, the positions of masers and those of the 5 GHz radio continuum sources coincide within the uncertainties, and the radio continuum is perpendicular to the maser disk’s orientation within the position angle uncertainties.
The class of radio transients called Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) encompasses enigmatic single pulses, each unique in its own way, hindering a consensus for their origin. The key to demystifying FRBs lies in discovering many of them in order to identity commonalities – and in real time, in order to find potential counterparts at other wavelengths. The recently upgraded UTMOST in Australia, is undergoing a backend transformation to rise as a fast transient detection machine. The first interferometric detections of FRBs with UTMOST, place their origin beyond the near-field region of the telescope thus ruling out local sources of interference as a possible origin. We have localised these bursts to much better than the ones discovered at the Parkes radio telescope and have plans to upgrade UTMOST to be capable of much better localisation still.
Parental criminal offending is an established risk factor for offending among offspring, but little evidence is available indicating the impact of offending on early childhood functioning. We used data from a large Australian population cohort to determine associations between exposure to parental offending and a range of developmental outcomes at age 5 years.
Multi-generation data in 66 477 children and their parents from the New South Wales Child Development Study were combined using data linkage. Logistic and multinomial regressions tested associations between any and violent offending histories of parents (fathers, mothers, or both parents) obtained from official records, and multiple measures of early childhood developmental functioning (social, emotional–behavioural, cognitive, communication and physical domains) obtained from the teacher-reported 2009 Australian Early Development Census.
Parental offending conferred significantly increased risk of vulnerability on all domains, particularly the cognitive domain. Greater risk magnitudes were observed for offending by both parents and by mothers than by fathers, and for violent than for any offending. For all parental offending exposures, vulnerability on multiple domains (where medium to large effects were observed) was more likely than on a single domain (small to medium effects). Relationships remained significant and of comparable magnitude following adjustment for sociodemographic covariates.
The effect of parental offending on early childhood developmental outcomes is pervasive, with the strongest effects on functioning apparent when both parents engage in violent offending. Supporting affected families in early childhood might mitigate both early developmental vulnerability and the propensity for later delinquency among these offspring.
Childhood maltreatment and a family history of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) are each associated with social-emotional dysfunction in childhood. Both are also strong risk factors for adult SSDs, and social-emotional dysfunction in childhood may be an antecedent of these disorders. We used data from a large Australian population cohort to determine the independent and moderating effects of maltreatment and parental SSDs on early childhood social-emotional functioning.
The New South Wales Child Development Study combines intergenerational multi-agency data using record linkage methods. Multiple measures of social-emotional functioning (social competency, prosocial/helping behaviour, anxious/fearful behaviour; aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity/inattention) on 69 116 kindergarten children (age ~5 years) were linked with government records of child maltreatment and parental presentations to health services for SSD. Multivariable analyses investigated the association between maltreatment and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and parental SSD history, in the population sample and in sub-cohorts exposed and not exposed to parental SSD history. We also examined the association of parental SSD history and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Medium-sized associations were identified between maltreatment and poor social competency, aggressive behaviour and hyperactivity/inattention; small associations were revealed between maltreatment and poor prosocial/helping and anxious/fearful behaviours. These associations did not differ greatly when adjusted for parental SSD, and were greater in magnitude among children with no history of parental SSD. Small associations between parental SSD and poor social-emotional functioning remained after adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Childhood maltreatment and history of parental SSD are associated independently with poor early childhood social-emotional functioning, with the impact of exposure to maltreatment on social-emotional functioning in early childhood of greater magnitude than that observed for parental SSDs. The impact of maltreatment was reduced in the context of parental SSDs. The influence of parental SSDs on later outcomes of maltreated children may become more apparent during adolescence and young adulthood when overt symptoms of SSD are likely to emerge. Early intervention to strengthen childhood social-emotional functioning might mitigate the impact of maltreatment, and potentially also avert future psychopathology.
Although mental disorders are significant predictors of educational attainment throughout the entire educational career, most research on mental disorders among students has focused on the primary and secondary school years.
The World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys were used to examine the associations of mental disorders with college entry and attrition by comparing college students (n = 1572) and non-students in the same age range (18–22 years; n = 4178), including non-students who recently left college without graduating (n = 702) based on surveys in 21 countries (four low/lower-middle income, five upper-middle-income, one lower-middle or upper-middle at the times of two different surveys, and 11 high income). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence and age-of-onset of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, behavioral and substance disorders were assessed with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
One-fifth (20.3%) of college students had 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI disorders; 83.1% of these cases had pre-matriculation onsets. Disorders with pre-matriculation onsets were more important than those with post-matriculation onsets in predicting subsequent college attrition, with substance disorders and, among women, major depression the most important such disorders. Only 16.4% of students with 12-month disorders received any 12-month healthcare treatment for their mental disorders.
Mental disorders are common among college students, have onsets that mostly occur prior to college entry, in the case of pre-matriculation disorders are associated with college attrition, and are typically untreated. Detection and effective treatment of these disorders early in the college career might reduce attrition and improve educational and psychosocial functioning.
Databases of astrometric and orbital data for minor planets and comets and of photometric data for comets are maintained in connection with the publication of the Minor Planet Circulars and the International Comet Quarterly. Aspects of these publications and the content and availability of these databases are discussed.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the survival rate of primiparous heifers within a large sample of herds across the United Kingdom and specifically to assess the association between age at first calving (AFC) on their survival. Data from 437 herds were re-structured for analysis. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and a multilevel logistic regression model was used to explore factors associated with the risk of first lactation culling. Potential explanatory variables included AFC, herd size, culling rate within the whole herd, calving season, herd mean 305-day yield and herd mean calving interval. The mean within-herd culling rate for the primiparous heifers was 15.9%. The mean within-herd AFC was 29.6 months, with 35.9% of heifers having an AFC >30 months of age. Multivariable analysis revealed a negative association between survival rate of primiparous heifers and increasing AFC, and also associations with herd culling rate in older cows and calving season. This study highlights the importance of AFC for survival of primiparous heifers, as well as the need to address heifer wastage in herds with high culling rates.
First attempts to get spectra from extended areas were in the middle of 80-th, using fibers techniques: DensePack (Barden, Scott, 1986), SILFID (Vanderriest and Lemonnier, 1988). Bundle of fibers were put at the focus of the telescope and the other ends of fibers rearranged to produce a long slit of the spectrograph.
Another method of bidimensional spectroscopy, not using optical fibers, was proposed by Prof. G. Courtes (Courtes et al, 1988). He recommended to put behind the telescope focal plane a bidimensional array of microlenses and to project on it an enlarged image. The lens array separates continuous input image and forms an array of micro-pupils that are images of the main mirror illuminating each lens. They create an input image for a classical spectrograph instead of a normal slit. Using of square lenses allows to achieve correct data sampling, and such scheme is ideal for spectrophotometry, allowing integration of total energy from the observed sky area.
Although ethics is an essential component of undergraduate medical education, research suggests that current medical ethics curricula face considerable challenges in improving students’ ethical reasoning. This article discusses these challenges and introduces a promising new mode of graduate and professional ethics instruction for overcoming them. We begin by describing common ethics curricula, focusing in particular on established problems with current approaches. Next, we describe a novel method of ethics education and assessment for medical students that we have devised: the Medical Ethics Bowl (MEB). Finally, we suggest the pedagogical advantages of the MEB when compared to other ethics curricula.
The evolved, core helium burning, extreme horizontal branch stars (also known as hot B subdwarfs) host several classes of pulsators showing either p- or g-modes, or both. They offer particularly favorable conditions for probing with asteroseismology their internal structure, thus constituting arguably the most interesting seismic window for this intermediate stage of stellar evolution. G-modes in particular have the power to probe deep inside these stars, down to the convective He-burning core boundary where uncertain physics (convection, overshooting, semi-convection) is at work. Space data recently obtained with CoRoT and Kepler are offering us the possibility to probe these regions in detail and possibly shed new light on how these processes shape the core structure. In this short paper, we present the most recent advances that have taken place in this field and we provide hints of the foreseen future achievements of hot subdwarf asteroseismology.