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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
All livestock animal species harbour complex microbial communities throughout their digestive tract that support vital biochemical processes, thus sustaining health and productivity. In part as a consequence of the strong and ancient alliance between the host and its associated microbes, the gut microbiota is also closely related to productivity traits such as feed efficiency. This phenomenon can help researchers and producers develop new and more effective microbiome-based interventions using probiotics, also known as direct-fed microbials (DFMs), in Animal Science. Here, we focus on one type of such beneficial microorganisms, the yeast Saccharomyces. Saccharomyces is one of the most widely used microorganisms as a DFM in livestock operations. Numerous studies have investigated the effects of dietary supplementation with different species, strains and doses of Saccharomyces (mostly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on gut microbial ecology, health, nutrition and productivity traits of several livestock species. However, the possible existence of Saccharomyces which are indigenous to the animals’ digestive tract has received little attention and has never been the subject of a review. We for the first time provide a comprehensive review, with the objective of shedding light into the possible existence of indigenous Saccharomyces of the digestive tract of livestock. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a nomadic yeast able to survive in a broad range of environments including soil, grass and silages. Therefore, it is very likely that cattle and other animals have been in direct contact with this and other types of Saccharomyces throughout their entire existence. However, to date, the majority of animal scientists seem to agree that the presence of Saccharomyces in any section of the gut only reflects dietary contamination; in other words, these are foreign organisms that are only transiently present in the gut. Importantly, this belief (i.e. that Saccharomyces come solely from the diet) is often not well grounded and does not necessarily hold for all the many other groups of microbes in the gut. In addition to summarizing the current body of literature involving Saccharomyces in the digestive tract, we discuss whether the beneficial effects associated with the consumption of Saccharomyces may be related to its foreign origin, though this concept may not necessarily satisfy the theories that have been proposed to explain probiotic efficacy in vivo. This novel review may prove useful for biomedical scientists and others wishing to improve health and productivity using Saccharomyces and other beneficial microorganisms.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Research suggests that lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents have a higher risk of suicidal behaviours than their heterosexual peers, but little is known about specific risk factors.
To assess sexual orientation as a risk factor for suicidal behaviours, and to identify other risk factors among LGB adolescents and young adults.
A systematic search was made of six databases up to June 2015, including a grey literature search. Population-based longitudinal studies considering non-clinical populations aged 12–26 years and assessing being LGB as a risk factor for suicidal behaviour compared with being heterosexual, or evaluating risk factors for suicidal behaviour within LGB populations, were included. Random effect models were used in meta-analysis.
Sexual orientation was significantly associated with suicide attempts in adolescents and youths (OR=2.26, 95% CI 1.60–3.20). Gay or bisexual men were more likely to report suicide attempts compared with heterosexual men (OR=2.21, 95% CI 1.21–4.04). Based on two studies, a non-significant positive association was found between depression and suicide attempts in LGB groups.
Sexual orientation is associated with a higher risk of suicide attempt in young people. Further research is needed to assess completed suicide, and specific risk factors affecting the LGB population.
Animal health surveillance enables the detection and control of animal diseases including zoonoses. Under the EU-FP7 project RISKSUR, a survey was conducted in 11 EU Member States and Switzerland to describe active surveillance components in 2011 managed by the public or private sector and identify gaps and opportunities. Information was collected about hazard, target population, geographical focus, legal obligation, management, surveillance design, risk-based sampling, and multi-hazard surveillance. Two countries were excluded due to incompleteness of data. Most of the 664 components targeted cattle (26·7%), pigs (17·5%) or poultry (16·0%). The most common surveillance objectives were demonstrating freedom from disease (43·8%) and case detection (26·8%). Over half of components applied risk-based sampling (57·1%), but mainly focused on a single population stratum (targeted risk-based) rather than differentiating between risk levels of different strata (stratified risk-based). About a third of components were multi-hazard (37·3%). Both risk-based sampling and multi-hazard surveillance were used more frequently in privately funded components. The study identified several gaps (e.g. lack of systematic documentation, inconsistent application of terminology) and opportunities (e.g. stratified risk-based sampling). The greater flexibility provided by the new EU Animal Health Law means that systematic evaluation of surveillance alternatives will be required to optimize cost-effectiveness.
The Total Solar Irradiance (TSI), which is the total radiation arriving at Earth's atmosphere from the Sun, is one of the most important forcing of the Earths climate. Measurements of the TSI have been made employing instruments on board several space-based platforms during the last four solar cycles. However, combining these measurements is still challenging due to the degradation of the sensor elements and the long-term stability of the electronics. Here we describe the preliminary efforts to design an absolute radiometer based on the principle of electrical substitution that is under development at Brazilian's National Institute for Space Research (INPE).
During the period under review two issues of the Astronomical Yearbook of the U.S.S.R. for the years 1971, 1972 have been published, and that for 1973 is in preparation. The positions and proper motions of the stars are in the FK4 system as recommended by Commission 4 in 1961. Further, as recommended at the meeting in Hamburg in 1964 (Trans. IAU, 12 B (1964), 105,1966) the IAU System of Astronomical Constants has been introduced into the tabulations of the day numbers, solar and lunar eclipses, ephemerides for physical observations of planets, and the factors S &C. The corresponding differential corrections to the Moon’s ephemeris as well as re-calculated eclipse data for 1971 have been tabulated separately in the Appendix to the Yearbook for 1971. As from the edition of the Yearbook for 1972, the lunar ephemeris j = 2 will be published in accordance with the recommendations adopted in Prague in 1967.
The regular publication of the ephemeris of the lunar crater Mösting A has been continued in the editions of the Yearbook mentioned above.
Fundamental ephemerides of the Sun, Moon, and planets have been printed in full conformity with the first part of the Astronomical Ephemeris circulated in advance by H. M. Nautical Almanac Office, Royal Greenwich Observatory.
Suicide is a devastating public health problem and very few biological treatments have been found to be effective for quickly reducing the intensity of suicidal ideation (SI). We have previously shown that a single dose of ketamine, a glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, is associated with a rapid reduction in depressive symptom severity and SI in patients with treatment-resistant depression.
We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ketamine in patients with mood and anxiety spectrum disorders who presented with clinically significant SI (n = 24). Patients received a single infusion of ketamine or midazolam (as an active placebo) in addition to standard of care. SI measured using the Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation (BSI) 24 h post-treatment represented the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes included the Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale – Suicidal Ideation (MADRS-SI) score at 24 h and additional measures beyond the 24-h time-point.
The intervention was well tolerated and no dropouts occurred during the primary 7-day assessment period. BSI score was not different between the treatment groups at 24 h (p = 0.32); however, a significant difference emerged at 48 h (p = 0.047). MADRS-SI score was lower in the ketamine group compared to midazolam group at 24 h (p = 0.05). The treatment effect was no longer significant at the end of the 7-day assessment period.
The current findings provide initial support for the safety and tolerability of ketamine as an intervention for SI in patients who are at elevated risk for suicidal behavior. Larger, well-powered studies are warranted.
The objective of this work was to study the postmortem evolution of potential biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and oxidative stress (total antioxidant activity, TAA; superoxide dismutase activity, SOD and catalase activity, CAT) in the Longissimus dorsi muscle of entire male ((Large White×Landrace)×Duroc) pigs subjected to different management treatments that may promote stress, such as mixing unfamiliar animals at the farm and/or during transport and lairage before slaughter. During the rearing period at the farm, five animals were never mixed after the initial formation of the experimental groups (unmixed group at the farm, UF), whereas 10 animals were subjected to a common routine of being mixed with unfamiliar animals (mixed group at the farm, MF). Furthermore, two different treatments were used during the transport and lairage before slaughter: 10 pigs were not mixed (unmixed group during transport and lairage, UTL), whereas five pigs were mixed with unfamiliar animals on the lorry and during lairage (mixed group during transport and lairage, MTL). These mixing treatments were then combined into three pre-slaughter treatments – namely, UF-UTL, MF-UTL and MF-MTL. The results show that MF-UTL and MF-MTL increased significantly the muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD and CAT) at short postmortem times (4 and 8 h; P<0.001), followed by an earlier depletion of the antioxidant activity at 24 h postmortem (P<0.05). We also found that mixing unfamiliar animals, both at the farm and during transport and lairage, triggers postmortem muscle autophagy, which showed an earlier activation (higher expression of Beclin 1 and LC3-II/LC3-I ratio at 4 h postmortem followed by a decreasing pattern of this ratio along first 24 h postmortem) in the muscle tissues of animals from the MF-UTL and MF-MTL groups, as an adaptive strategy of the muscle cells for counteracting induced stress. From these results, we propose that monitoring the evolution of the main biomarkers of autophagy (Beclin 1, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio) and muscle antioxidant defense (TAA, SOD, CAT) in the muscle tissue within the first 24 h postmortem may help the detection of animal stress and its potential effect on the postmortem muscle metabolism.
A gas-filled cylindrical liner z-pinch configuration has been used to drive convergent radiative shock waves into different gases at velocities of 20–50 km s−1. On application of the 1.4 MA, 240 ns rise-time current pulse produced by the Magpie generator at Imperial College London, a series of cylindrically convergent shock waves are sequentially launched into the gas-fill from the inner wall of the liner. This occurs without any bulk motion of the liner wall itself. The timing and trajectories of the shocks are used as a diagnostic tool for understanding the response of the liner z-pinch wall to a large pulsed current. This analysis provides useful data on the liner resistivity, and a means to test equation of state (EOS) and material strength models within MHD simulation codes. In addition to providing information on liner response, the convergent shocks are interesting to study in their own right. The shocks are strong enough for radiation transport to influence the shock wave structure. In particular, we see evidence for both radiative preheating of material ahead of the shockwaves and radiative cooling instabilities in the shocked gas. Some preliminary results from initial gas-filled liner experiments with an applied axial magnetic field are also discussed.
As in other cultivated species, dormancy can be seen as a problem in cereal production, either due to its short duration or to its long persistence. Indeed, cereal crops lacking enough dormancy at harvest can be exposed to pre-harvest sprouting damage, while a long-lasting dormancy can interfere with processes that rely on rapid germination, such as malting or the emergence of a uniform crop. Because the ancestors of cereal species evolved under very diverse environments worldwide, different mechanisms have arisen as a way of sensing an appropriate germination environment (a crucial factor for winter or summer annuals such as cereals). In addition, different species (and even different varieties within the same species) display diverse grain morphology, allowing some structures to impose dormancy in some cereals but not in others. As in seeds from many other species, the antagonism between the plant hormones abscisic acid and gibberellins is instrumental in cereal grains for the inception, expression, release and re-induction of dormancy. However, the way in which this antagonism operates is different for the various species and involves different molecular steps as regulatory sites. Environmental signals (i.e. temperature, light quality and quantity, oxygen levels) can modulate this hormonal control of dormancy differently, depending on the species. The practical implications of knowledge accumulated in this field are discussed.
In this globalized world, the spread of new, exotic and re-emerging diseases has become one of the most important threats to animal production and public health. This systematic review analyses conventional and novel early detection methods applied to surveillance. In all, 125 scientific documents were considered for this study. Exotic (n = 49) and re-emerging (n = 27) diseases constituted the most frequently represented health threats. In addition, the majority of studies were related to zoonoses (n = 66). The approaches found in the review could be divided in surveillance modalities, both active (n = 23) and passive (n = 5); and tools and methodologies that support surveillance activities (n = 57). Combinations of surveillance modalities and tools (n = 40) were also found. Risk-based approaches were very common (n = 60), especially in the papers describing tools and methodologies (n = 50). The main applications, benefits and limitations of each approach were extracted from the papers. This information will be very useful for informing the development of tools to facilitate the design of cost-effective surveillance strategies. Thus, the current literature review provides key information about the advantages, disadvantages, limitations and potential application of methodologies for the early detection of new, exotic and re-emerging diseases.
We present a multifrequency analysis of the variability in the flat-spectrum radio quasar 3C 279 from 2008 to 2014. Our multiwavelength dataset includes gamma-ray data from Fermi/LAT (Abdo et al. 2009), observations in 1mm from SMA (Gurwell et al. 2007), Near Infrared from OAGH (Carramiñana & Carrasco 2009) and SMARTS (Bonning et al. 2012); optical V band from the Steward Observatory (Smith et al. 2009) and SMARTS; optical spectra from OAGH (Patiño-Álvarez et al. 2013) and the Steward Observatory; and polarization spectra from the Steward Observatory. The light curves are shown in Fig. 1. Six out of seven optical activity periods identified within our dataset show clear counterparts in mm, NIR and gamma-rays, however, the late 2011 - early 2012 optical flare does not have a counterpart in the GeV regime. In this contribution, we discuss the flaring evolution of 3C 279 and speculate about the production of the anomalous activity period.
The dual risk model assumes that the surplus of a company decreases at a constant rate over time and grows by means of upward jumps, which occur at random times and sizes. It is said to have applications to companies with economical activities involved in research and development. This model is dual to the well-known Cramér-Lundberg risk model with applications to insurance. Most existing results on the study of the dual model assume that the random waiting times between consecutive gains follow an exponential distribution, as in the classical Cramér-Lundberg risk model. We generalize to other compound renewal risk models where such waiting times are Erlang(n) distributed. Using the roots of the fundamental and the generalized Lundberg's equations, we get expressions for the ruin probability and the Laplace transform of the time of ruin for an arbitrary single gain distribution. Furthermore, we compute expected discounted dividends, as well as higher moments, when the individual common gains follow a Phase-Type, PH(m), distribution. We also perform illustrations working some examples for some particular gain distributions and obtain numerical results.