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Addition of fats to the diets of ruminants has long been known to result in a reduction in enteric methane emissions. Tannins have also been used to reduce methane emissions but with mixed success. However, the effect of feeding fat in combination with tannin is unknown. Eight ruminally cannulated Holstein-Friesian cows were fed four diets in a double Latin-square, full crossover sequence. The treatments were 800 ml/day of water (CON), 800 g/day of cottonseed oil, 400 g/day of tannin, and 800 g/day of cottonseed oil and 400 g/day of tannin in combination (fat- and tannin-supplemented diet). Methane emissions were measured using open-circuit respiration chambers. Intake of basal diets was not different between treatments. Cows fed cottonseed oil had greater milk yield (34.9 kg/day) than those fed CON (32.3 kg/day), but the reduced concentration of milk fat meant there was no difference in energy-corrected milk between treatments. Methane yield was reduced when either cottonseed oil (14%) or tannin (11%) was added directly to the rumen, and their effect was additive when given in combination (20% reduction). The mechanism of the anti-methanogenic effect remains unclear but both fat and tannin appear to cause a reduction in fermentation in general rather than cause a change in the type of fermentation.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an electronically steered low-frequency (<300 MHz) radio interferometer, with a ‘slew’ time less than 8 s. Low-frequency (∼100 MHz) radio telescopes are ideally suited for rapid response follow-up of transients due to their large field of view, the inverted spectrum of coherent emission, and the fact that the dispersion delay between a 1 GHz and 100 MHz pulse is on the order of 1–10 min for dispersion measures of 100–2000 pc/cm3. The MWA has previously been used to provide fast follow-up for transient events including gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fast radio bursts (FRBs), and gravitational waves, using systems that respond to gamma-ray coordinates network packet-based notifications. We describe a system for automatically triggering MWA observations of such events, based on Virtual Observatory Event standard triggers, which is more flexible, capable, and accurate than previous systems. The system can respond to external multi-messenger triggers, which makes it well-suited to searching for prompt coherent radio emission from GRBs, the study of FRBs and gravitational waves, single pulse studies of pulsars, and rapid follow-up of high-energy superflares from flare stars. The new triggering system has the capability to trigger observations in both the regular correlator mode (limited to ≥0.5 s integrations) and using the Voltage Capture System (VCS, 0.1 ms integration) of the MWA and represents a new mode of operation for the MWA. The upgraded standard correlator triggering capability has been in use since MWA observing semester 2018B (July–Dec 2018), and the VCS and buffered mode triggers will become available for observing in a future semester.
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.
The treatment gap between the number of people with mental disorders and the number treated represents a major public health challenge. We examine this gap by socio-economic status (SES; indicated by family income and respondent education) and service sector in a cross-national analysis of community epidemiological survey data.
Data come from 16 753 respondents with 12-month DSM-IV disorders from community surveys in 25 countries in the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance disorders and treatment of these disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Only 13.7% of 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI cases in lower-middle-income countries, 22.0% in upper-middle-income countries, and 36.8% in high-income countries received treatment. Highest-SES respondents were somewhat more likely to receive treatment, but this was true mostly for specialty mental health treatment, where the association was positive with education (highest treatment among respondents with the highest education and a weak association of education with treatment among other respondents) but non-monotonic with income (somewhat lower treatment rates among middle-income respondents and equivalent among those with high and low incomes).
The modest, but nonetheless stronger, an association of education than income with treatment raises questions about a financial barriers interpretation of the inverse association of SES with treatment, although future within-country analyses that consider contextual factors might document other important specifications. While beyond the scope of this report, such an expanded analysis could have important implications for designing interventions aimed at increasing mental disorder treatment among socio-economically disadvantaged people.
The Square Kilometre Array will be an amazing instrument for pulsar astronomy. While the full SKA will be sensitive enough to detect all pulsars in the Galaxy visible from Earth, already with SKA1, pulsar searches will discover enough pulsars to increase the currently known population by a factor of four, no doubt including a range of amazing unknown sources. Real time processing is needed to deal with the 60 PB of pulsar search data collected per day, using a signal processing pipeline required to perform more than 10 POps. Here we present the suggested design of the pulsar search engine for the SKA and discuss challenges and solutions to the pulsar search venture.
To investigate the feasibility of a national audit of epistaxis management led and delivered by a multi-region trainee collaborative using a web-based interface to capture patient data.
Six trainee collaboratives across England nominated one site each and worked together to carry out this pilot. An encrypted data capture tool was adapted and installed within the infrastructure of a university secure server. Site-lead feedback was assessed through questionnaires.
Sixty-three patients with epistaxis were admitted over a two-week period. Site leads reported an average of 5 minutes to complete questionnaires and described the tool as easy to use. Data quality was high, with little missing data. Site-lead feedback showed high satisfaction ratings for the project (mean, 4.83 out of 5).
This pilot showed that trainee collaboratives can work together to deliver an audit using an encrypted data capture tool cost-effectively, whilst maintaining the highest levels of data quality.
We studied neuroinflammation in individuals with late-life, depression, as a
risk factor for dementia, using [11C]PK11195 positron emission
tomography (PET). Five older participants with major depression and 13
controls underwent PET and multimodal 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),
with blood taken to measure C-reactive protein (CRP). We found significantly
higher CRP levels in those with late-life depression and raised
[11C]PK11195 binding compared with controls in brain regions
associated with depression, including subgenual anterior cingulate cortex,
and significant hippocampal subfield atrophy in cornu ammonis 1 and
subiculum. Our findings suggest neuroinflammation requires further
investigation in late-life depression, both as a possible aetiological
factor and a potential therapeutic target.
Conventional bedside tests of visuospatial function such as the clock drawing (CDT) and intersecting pentagons tests (IPT) are subject to considerable inconsistency in their delivery and interpretation. We compared performance on a novel test – the letter and shape drawing (LSD) test – with these conventional tests in hospitalised elderly patients.
The LSD, IPT, CDT and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) were performed in 40 acute elderly medical inpatients at University Hospital Limerick The correlation between these tests was examined as well as the accuracy of the visuospatial tests to identify significant cognitive impairment on the MoCA.
The patients (mean age 81.0±7.71; 21 female) had a median MoCA score of 15.5 (range=1–29). There was a strong, positive correlation between the LSD and both the CDT (r=0.56) and IPT (r=0.71). The correlation between the LSD and MoCA (r=0.91) was greater than for the CDT and IPT (both 0.67). The LSD correlated highly with all MoCA domains (ranging from 0.54 to 0.86) and especially for the domains of orientation (r=0.86), attention (0.81) and visuospatial function (r=0.73). Two or more errors on the LSD identified 90% (26/29) of those patients with MoCA scores of ⩽20, which was substantially higher than for the CDT (59%) and IPT (55%).
The LSD is a novel test of visuospatial function that is brief, readily administered and easily interpreted. Performance correlates strongly with other tests of visuospatial ability, with favourable ability to identify patients with significant impairment of general cognition.
After its first implementation in 2003 the Astro-WISE technology has been rolled out in several European countries and is used for the production of the KiDS survey data. In the multi-disciplinary Target initiative this technology, nicknamed WISE technology, has been further applied to a large number of projects. Here, we highlight the data handling of other astronomical applications, such as VLT-MUSE and LOFAR, together with some non-astronomical applications such as the medical projects Lifelines and GLIMPS; the MONK handwritten text recognition system; and business applications, by amongst others, the Target Holding.
We describe some of the most important lessons learned and describe the application of the data-centric WISE type of approach to the Science Ground Segment of the Euclid satellite.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Background: Children with decompensated heart failure are at high risk for arrhythmias, and ventricular assist device placement is becoming a more common treatment strategy. The impact of ventricular assist devices on arrhythmias and how arrhythmias affect the clinical course of this population are not well described. Methods and results: A single-centre retrospective analysis of children receiving a ventricular assist device between 1998 and 2011 was performed. In all, 45 patients received 56 ventricular assist devices. The median age at initial placement was 13 years (interquartile range 6–15). The median duration of support was 10 days (range 2–260). The aetiology of heart failure included cardiomyopathy, transplant rejection, myocarditis, and congenital heart disease. In all, 32 patients (71%) had an arrhythmia; 19 patients (42%) had an arrhythmia before ventricular assist device and eight patients (18%) developed new arrhythmias on ventricular assist device. Ventricular tachycardia was most common (25/32, 78%). There was no correlation between arrhythmia and risk of death or transplantation (p=0.14). Of the 15 patients who weaned from ventricular assist device, post-ventricular assist device arrhythmias occurred in nine (60%), with five (33%) having their first arrhythmia after weaning. Patients with ventricular dysfunction after ventricular assist device were more likely to have arrhythmias (p<0.02). Conclusions: Arrhythmias, especially ventricular, are common in children requiring ventricular assist device. They frequently persist for those able to wean from ventricular assist device.