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We present a calibration component for the Murchison Widefield Array All-Sky Virtual Observatory (MWA ASVO) utilising a newly developed PostgreSQL database of calibration solutions. Since its inauguration in 2013, the MWA has recorded over 34 petabytes of data archived at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre. According to the MWA Data Access policy, data become publicly available 18 months after collection. Therefore, most of the archival data are now available to the public. Access to public data was provided in 2017 via the MWA ASVO interface, which allowed researchers worldwide to download MWA uncalibrated data in standard radio astronomy data formats (CASA measurement sets or UV FITS files). The addition of the MWA ASVO calibration feature opens a new, powerful avenue for researchers without a detailed knowledge of the MWA telescope and data processing to download calibrated visibility data and create images using standard radio astronomy software packages. In order to populate the database with calibration solutions from the last 6 yr we developed fully automated pipelines. A near-real-time pipeline has been used to process new calibration observations as soon as they are collected and upload calibration solutions to the database, which enables monitoring of the interferometric performance of the telescope. Based on this database, we present an analysis of the stability of the MWA calibration solutions over long time intervals.
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.
Psychotic symptoms and psychotic disorders occur at increased rates in adults with intellectual disability, including borderline intellectual functioning, compared with the general population. Little is known about the development of such symptoms in this population.
To examine whether clinical factors predictive of psychotic disorder in a familial study of schizophrenia also apply to those with intellectual disability.
Adolescents with special educational needs (SEN) were assessed with the Structured Interview for Schizotypy (SIS) and Childhood Behavioural Checklist (CBCL). These scores were used to prospectively divide participants based on their anticipated risk for psychotic disorder. A subsample were reassessed three times over 6 years, using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
The SEN group were more symptomatic than controls throughout (Cohen's d range for PANSS subscale scores: 0.54–1.4, all P < 0.007). Over 6 years of follow-up, those above the SIS and CBCL cut-off values at baseline were more likely than those below to display morbid positive psychotic symptoms (odds ratio, 3.5; 95% CI 1.3–9.0) and develop psychotic disorder (odds ratio, 11.4; 95% CI 2.6–50.1). Baseline SIS and CBCL cut-off values predicted psychotic disorder with sensitivity of 0.67, specificity of 0.85, positive predictive value of 0.26 and negative predictive value of 0.97.
Adolescents with SEN have increased psychotic and non-psychotic symptoms. The personality and behavioural features associated with later psychotic disorder in this group are similar to those in people with familial loading. Relatively simple screening measures may help identify those in this vulnerable group who do and do not require monitoring for psychotic symptoms.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
We describe the design and performance of the Engineering Development Array, which is a low-frequency radio telescope comprising 256 dual-polarisation dipole antennas working as a phased array. The Engineering Development Array was conceived of, developed, and deployed in just 18 months via re-use of Square Kilometre Array precursor technology and expertise, specifically from the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. Using drift scans and a model for the sky brightness temperature at low frequencies, we have derived the Engineering Development Array’s receiver temperature as a function of frequency. The Engineering Development Array is shown to be sky-noise limited over most of the frequency range measured between 60 and 240 MHz. By using the Engineering Development Array in interferometric mode with the Murchison Widefield Array, we used calibrated visibilities to measure the absolute sensitivity of the array. The measured array sensitivity matches very well with a model based on the array layout and measured receiver temperature. The results demonstrate the practicality and feasibility of using Murchison Widefield Array-style precursor technology for Square Kilometre Array-scale stations. The modular architecture of the Engineering Development Array allows upgrades to the array to be rolled out in a staged approach. Future improvements to the Engineering Development Array include replacing the second stage beamformer with a fully digital system, and to transition to using RF-over-fibre for the signal output from first stage beamformers.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
Negative symptoms are perhaps the most disabling feature of schizophrenia. Their pathogenesis remains poorly understood and it has been difficult to assess their development over time with imaging techniques.
To examine, using tensor-based structural imaging techniques, whether there are regions of progressive grey matter volume change associated with the development of negative symptoms.
A total of 43 adolescents at risk of psychosis were examined using magnetic resonance imaging and whole brain tensor-based morphometry at two time points, 6 years apart.
When comparing the individuals with significant negative symptoms with the remaining participants, we identified five regions of significant grey matter tissue loss over the 6-year period. These regions included the left temporal lobe, the left cerebellum, the left posterior cingulate and the left inferior parietal sulcus.
Negative symptoms are associated with longitudinal grey matter tissue loss. The regions identified include areas associated with psychotic symptoms more generally but also include regions uniquely associated with negative symptoms.
This report explores nurses’ perspectives following the Canterbury (New Zealand) 2010-2011 earthquake sequence and the subsequent recovery process.
Little is known about the experiences of health care professionals during a disaster recovery process, and this research generates insights about the challenges faced.
Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 11 nurses from the Christchurch (New Zealand) area to explore the challenges faced by the nurses during and following the earthquakes. The interviews took place three years after the start of the earthquake experience to enable exploration of longer term aspects of the recovery process. The interview transcripts were analyzed and coded using a grounded theory approach.
The data analysis identified that the nurses had faced a number of challenges and these were characterized as practical, emotional, and professional. While some of the challenges were short-lived in the aftermath of the earthquakes, some were long-lasting due to the extended nature of the recovery process. Dealing with house damage, insurance negotiations, and working in damaged environments had a negative impact on the nurses. The nurses experienced a range of emotions, both negative and positive, after the disaster, though many had needed time to elapse before feeling able to reflect on their experiences.
The findings suggest that secondary stressors have a negative impact on the psychosocial recovery process. The nurses recognized that they received support from others and were also required to focus on others. Keeping busy appeared to be the most common coping strategy. This lack of reflection on their experiences may have resulted in delayed emotional responses. Some of the nurses changed their work role, hours, and responsibilities suggesting that working in this environment was having a detrimental impact.
The research indicates the challenges faced by nurses in the initial impact of the earthquakes and during the longer term recovery process. There is a need to consider the psychosocial impact of working and living in a post-disaster context and to develop support packages to ensure the health and well-being of nurses in this environment.
JohalSS, MounseyZ, BrannellyP, JohnstonDM. Nurse Perspectives on the Practical, Emotional, and Professional Impacts of Living and Working in Post-earthquake Canterbury, New Zealand. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(1):10–16.
Levels of pollution, including contamination by toxic metals, in the Thames estuary reduced over the last four decades of the 20th century. This 2014 study investigates whether the declines in the bioavailabilities of trace metals (Ag, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Zn) have continued in the 21st century, using a suite of littoral biomonitors also employed in 2001 – the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus, the strandline, talitrid amphipod Orchestia gammarellus and the estuarine barnacle Amphibalanus improvisus. Bioaccumulated concentrations represent relative measures of the total bioavailabilities of each metal to the biomonitor over a previous time period, and can be compared over space and over time. Trace metal bioavailabilities varied along the estuary, and, in general, fell between 2001 and 2014, a reflection of the continuing remediation of the Thames estuary from its severely polluted state in the middle of the 20th century.
Tidal streams of globular clusters are ideal tracers of the Galactic gravitational potential. Compared to the few known, complex and diffuse dwarf-galaxy streams, they are kinematically cold, have thin morphologies and are abundant in the halo of the Milky Way. Their coldness and thinness in combination with potential epicyclic substructure in the vicinity of the stream progenitor turns them into high-precision scales. With the example of Palomar 5, we demonstrate how modeling of a globular cluster stream allows us to simultaneously measure the properties of the disrupting globular cluster, its orbital motion, and the gravitational potential of the Milky Way.
Understanding who is most vulnerable during an earthquake will help health care responders prepare for future disasters. We analyzed the demography of casualties from the Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand.
The demography of the total deceased, injured, and hospitalized casualties of the Christchurch earthquake was compared with that of the greater Christchurch population, the Christchurch central business district working population, and patients who presented to the single acute emergency department on the same month and day over the prior 10 years. Sex data were compared to scene of injury, context of injury, clinical characteristics of injury, and injury severity scores.
Significantly more females than males were injured or killed in the entire population of casualties (P<0.001). Most of the deceased and hospitalized casualties were injured in the central business district (171/182 deceased [94%]; 33/91 hospitalized [36.2%]). Approximately half of both sexes were injured at home (1002/2032 males [49%]; 2390/4627 females [52%]) and >20% were injured at commercial or service localities (444/2032 males [22%]; 1105/4627 females [24%]). Adults aged between 20 and 69 years (1639/2032 males [81%]; 3717/4627 females [80%]) were most frequently injured.
Where people were and what they were doing at the time of the earthquake influenced their risk of injury. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:67-73)
High-protein diets are an effective means for weight loss (WL), but the mechanisms are unclear. One hypothesis relates to the release of gut hormones by either protein or amino acids (AA). The present study involved overweight and obese male volunteers (n 18, mean BMI 36·8 kg/m2) who consumed a maintenance diet for 7 d followed by fully randomised 10 d treatments with three iso-energetic WL diets, i.e. with either normal protein (NP, 15 % of energy) or high protein (HP, 30 %) or with a combination of protein and free AA, each 15 % of energy (NPAA). Psychometric ratings of appetite were recorded hourly. On day 10, plasma samples were taken at 30 min intervals over two consecutive 5 h periods (covering post-breakfast and post-lunch) and analysed for AA, glucose and hormones (insulin, total glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, active ghrelin and total peptide YY (PYY)) plus leucine kinetics (first 5 h only). Composite hunger was 16 % lower for the HP diet than for the NP diet (P< 0·01) in the 5 h period after both meals. Plasma essential AA concentrations were greatest within 60 min of each meal for the NPAA diet, but remained elevated for 3–5 h after the HP diet. The three WL diets showed no difference for either fasting concentrations or the postprandial net incremental AUC (net AUCi) for insulin, ghrelin or PYY. No strong correlations were observed between composite hunger scores and net AUCi for either AA or gut peptides. Regulation of hunger may involve subtle interactions, and a range of signals may need to be integrated to produce the overall response.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.
Previous work has shown that hunger and food intake are lower in individuals on high-protein (HP) diets when combined with low carbohydrate (LC) intakes rather than with moderate carbohydrate (MC) intakes and where a more ketogenic state occurs. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the difference between HPLC and HPMC diets was associated with changes in glucose and ketone body metabolism, particularly within key areas of the brain involved in appetite control. A total of twelve men, mean BMI 34·9 kg/m2, took part in a randomised cross-over trial, with two 4-week periods when isoenergetic fixed-intake diets (8·3 MJ/d) were given, with 30 % of the energy being given as protein and either (1) a very LC (22 g/d; HPLC) or (2) a MC (182 g/d; HPMC) intake. An 18fluoro-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography scan of the brain was conducted at the end of each dietary intervention period, following an overnight fast (n 4) or 4 h after consumption of a test meal (n 8). On the next day, whole-body ketone and glucose metabolism was quantified using [1,2,3,4-13C]acetoacetate, [2,4-13C]3-hydroxybutyrate and [6,6-2H2]glucose. The composite hunger score was 14 % lower (P= 0·013) for the HPLC dietary intervention than for the HPMC diet. Whole-body ketone flux was approximately 4-fold greater for the HPLC dietary intervention than for the HPMC diet (P< 0·001). The 9-fold difference in carbohydrate intakes between the HPLC and HPMC dietary interventions led to a 5 % lower supply of glucose to the brain. Despite this, the uptake of glucose by the fifty-four regions of the brain analysed remained similar for the two dietary interventions. In conclusion, differences in the composite hunger score observed for the two dietary interventions are not associated with the use of alternative fuels by the brain.
Dietary polyphenols, such as those from grape products, may exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including anti-hypertensive effects. We investigated the effect of a specific grape seed extract (GSE) rich in low-molecular-weight polyphenolic compounds on ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in untreated subjects with pre- and stage I hypertension. In addition, potential mechanisms that could underlie the hypothesised effect of GSE on blood pressure (BP), and platelet aggregation, were explored. The study was designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-group intervention study including seventy healthy subjects with systolic BP between 120 and 159 mmHg. A 1-week run-in period was followed by an 8-week intervention period, during which subjects consumed capsules containing either 300 mg/d of GSE or a placebo (microcrystalline cellulose). Before and after the intervention, daytime ABP readings, 24 h urine samples and fasting and non-fasting blood samples were taken. The mean baseline systolic BP was 135·8 (se 1·3) mmHg and diastolic BP was 81·5 (se 0·9) mmHg. BP values were modestly, but not significantly, affected by the polyphenol-rich GSE treatment v. placebo with an effect of − 3·0 mmHg for systolic BP (95 % CI − 6·5, 0·5) and − 1·4 mmHg for diastolic BP (95 % CI − 3·5, 0·6). Vasoactive markers including endothelin-1, NO metabolites and asymmetric dimethylarginine, plasma renin activity and platelet aggregation were not affected by the GSE intervention. Our findings show that consumption of polyphenol-rich GSE does not significantly lower ABP in untreated subjects with pre- and stage I hypertension.
Significant new opportunities for astrophysics and cosmology have been identified at low radio frequencies. The Murchison Widefield Array is the first telescope in the southern hemisphere designed specifically to explore the low-frequency astronomical sky between 80 and 300 MHz with arcminute angular resolution and high survey efficiency. The telescope will enable new advances along four key science themes, including searching for redshifted 21-cm emission from the EoR in the early Universe; Galactic and extragalactic all-sky southern hemisphere surveys; time-domain astrophysics; and solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric science and space weather. The Murchison Widefield Array is located in Western Australia at the site of the planned Square Kilometre Array (SKA) low-band telescope and is the only low-frequency SKA precursor facility. In this paper, we review the performance properties of the Murchison Widefield Array and describe its primary scientific objectives.
In the lead-up to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project, several next-generation radio telescopes and upgrades are already being built around the world. These include APERTIF (The Netherlands), ASKAP (Australia), e-MERLIN (UK), VLA (USA), e-EVN (based in Europe), LOFAR (The Netherlands), MeerKAT (South Africa), and the Murchison Widefield Array. Each of these new instruments has different strengths, and coordination of surveys between them can help maximise the science from each of them. A radio continuum survey is being planned on each of them with the primary science objective of understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time, and the cosmological parameters and large-scale structures which drive it. In pursuit of this objective, the different teams are developing a variety of new techniques, and refining existing ones. To achieve these exciting scientific goals, many technical challenges must be addressed by the survey instruments. Given the limited resources of the global radio-astronomical community, it is essential that we pool our skills and knowledge. We do not have sufficient resources to enjoy the luxury of re-inventing wheels. We face significant challenges in calibration, imaging, source extraction and measurement, classification and cross-identification, redshift determination, stacking, and data-intensive research. As these instruments extend the observational parameters, we will face further unexpected challenges in calibration, imaging, and interpretation. If we are to realise the full scientific potential of these expensive instruments, it is essential that we devote enough resources and careful study to understanding the instrumental effects and how they will affect the data. We have established an SKA Radio Continuum Survey working group, whose prime role is to maximise science from these instruments by ensuring we share resources and expertise across the projects. Here we describe these projects, their science goals, and the technical challenges which are being addressed to maximise the science return.