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The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Background: Persistent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary prerequisite for development of cervical cancer and its precursor lesion, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL). However, HPV infection is not sufficient to drive this process, and genetic and environmental factors may also play a role. Methods/Design: The Cervical Cancer, Genetics and Environment Twin Study was established to investigate the environmental and genetic influences on variation in susceptibility to cervical pre-cancer in 25- to 69-year-old monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins recruited through the Australian Twin Registry. Reviews of Papanicolaou (Pap) screening histories were undertaken to identify individual women with a history of an abnormal Pap test. This was followed by detection of HPV in archival Pap smears of selected twin pairs to determine HPV persistence. Selected twin pairs also completed a detailed questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics, sexual behavior, and HPV knowledge. In future analyses, under the assumptions of the classical twin design, case-wise concordance for persistent HPV infection and HSIL will be calculated for MZ and DZ twin pairs, and twin pairs (both MZ and DZ) who are discordant for the above outcomes will be used to assess the contributions of measured environmental risk factors. Discussion: The study examines factors related to HPV persistence and development of HSIL among female MZ and DZ twins. The results will contribute to our understanding of the natural history of cervical HPV infection and the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors in disease progression.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
We present preliminary results from a number of deep radio polarization surveys being made of the Magellanic Clouds at 2.3 GHz, 4.75 GHz and 8.55 GHz. Extended and linearly polarized radio emission has been found at 2.3 and 4.75 GHz from both the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). However, as the analysis of these data is not yet complete we present only some of the 4.75 GHz results at this time.
We report on experiments aimed at the generation and characterization of solid density plasmas at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg. Aluminum samples were irradiated with XUV pulses at 13.5 nm wavelength (92 eV photon energy). The pulses with duration of a few tens of femtoseconds and pulse energy up to 100 µJ are focused to intensities ranging between 1013 and 1017 W/cm2. We investigate the absorption and temporal evolution of the sample under irradiation by use of XUV and optical spectroscopy. We discuss the origin of saturable absorption, radiative decay, bremsstrahlung and atomic and ionic line emission. Our experimental results are in good agreement with simulations.
Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer in women worldwide. Persistent infection with an oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) is necessary, but not sufficient, for its development. Over many years, only a small proportion of women with chronic HPV infection progress to develop disease. The role of host genes and environmental factors in the pathogenesis of, or predisposition to, cervical cancer is still unclear. We conducted a systematic review of published literature in MEDLINE–PubMed to identify studies of cervical cancer susceptibility that used a twin study design. We used standard MeSH terms (controlled vocabulary) as well as specific free-text terms and combinations of terms related to cervical cancer, with no restriction on publication date. We performed a full text review to ensure the identified articles met our inclusion criteria and, if so, extracted information on demographics, sample size, study definitions, and key statistical findings. Of the 285 articles identified, three utilized a classical twin design and reported results specific to cervical cancer. The studies were based on cancer registry data from Scandinavia, with sample sizes ranging from 312 to 710 twin pairs. The findings from one study were consistent with a genetic mechanism for the causation of carcinoma in situ. Future research studies using the strength of the classic twin design, together with incorporation of HPV DNA status, are indicated to determine whether there is a potential role for genetic factors in the development of cervical cancer or high-grade cervical dysplasia from chronic oncogenic HPV infection.
It has been proposed that low birth weight is associated with high levels of blood pressure in later life. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship of blood pressure to birth weight and current body size during growth and adulthood. A total of 711 female multiple births, with one group of 244 in their growth phase mean age 12.0 (2.3)(SD) years and the other of 467 adults (mean age 35.2 (12.6) years), had height, weight and both systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressures measured, and self-reported their birth weight. Regression analyses were performed to assess the cross-sectional and within-pair associations of blood pressure to birth weight, with and without adjustments for current body size. Within-pair analysis was based on 296 twin pairs. Cross-sectionally, a reduction in birth weight of 1 kg was associated with 2 to 3 mm Hg higher age-adjusted SBP, which was of marginal significance and explained about 2% of the population variance. Adjustment for body mass index did not significantly change this association. Within-pair analyses found no association between birth weight and SBP or DBP, even after adjusting for current body size. After age, current body size was the strongest predictor of systolic BP. The weak association of blood pressure to birth weight cross-sectionally is of interest, but any within-pair effect of birth weight on blood pressure must be minimal compared with the effect of current body size.
Bone is characterised by age-related morphological and histological changes. We have previously established
an automated method of recording bone morphometry and histology from entire transverse sections of
cortical bone. Our aim was to determine whether data acquired using this automated system were useful in
the prediction of age. Ninety-six specimens of human femoral middiaphysis were studied from subjects aged
21–92 y. Equations predicting specimen age were constructed using macroscopic data (total subperiosteal
area (TSPA), periosteal perimeter (PP), endosteal perimeter (EP), cortical bone area (CA) and moments of
area) and microscopic data (the number, size and diversity of pores and intracortical porosity) together with
sex, height and weight. Both TSPA and PP were independent predictors of age but the number of pores was
not a significant predictor of age in any equation. The age predicted by these equations was inaccurate by
more than 8 y in over half the subjects. We conclude that we could not predict age at a clinically acceptable
level using data from our automated system. This most likely reflects an insensitivity to regional age-related
changes in bone histology because we recorded data from each entire cortex. Automated bone measurement
according to cortical region might be more useful in the prediction of age. The inclusion of TSPA together
with PP as independent predictors of age raises the possibility that a future measure of periosteal shape at
the femoral diaphysis could also be helpful in the prediction of age. The accuracy reached with the relatively
simple methods described here is sufficient to encourage the development of image-analysis systems for the
automatic detection of more complex features.
The Southern Hemisphere VLBI Experiment (SHEVE) program is aimed at producing high-resolution images of southern radio sources. The radio telescopes of the present SHEVE array are described below and some recent results presented.
CdS, ZnS or PbS dispersions are prepared in a NaX matrix by ion exchange and gas phase sulfidation. The degree of sulfidation remains incomplete in all cases. This fact can be explained by preferential bonding of the cations to the zeolite framework and to an increase of the solubility constants for quantum-size particles. Zeolite-hosted sulfide particles grow to supra-supercage size under fragmentation of the host framework. The shift of the position of the optical absorption edge correlates with the sulfide particle size obtained from transmission electron micrographs. The rate of photocorrosion of the sulfide clusters strongly depends on the particle size between 1 and 10 nm.
We present new results from a number of deep radio polarization surveys of the Magellanic Clouds at 2.3 GHz, 4.75 GHz and 8.55 GHz. Extended linearly polarized radio emission has been found at 2.3 and 4.75 GHz from both galaxies.
A radiochemical 71Ga−71 Ge experiment to determine the integral flux of neutrinos from the sun has been constructed at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the USSR. Measurements have begun with 30 tonnes of gallium. The experiment is being expanded with the addition of another 30 tonnes. The motivation, experimental procedures, and present status of this experiment are presented.
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