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To overcome grass supply shortages on the main grazing block, some pasture-based dairy farmers are using zero-grazing (also known as ‘cut and carry’), whereby cows are periodically housed and fed fresh grass harvested from external land blocks. To determine the effect of zero-grazing on cow performance, two early-lactation experiments were conducted with autumn and spring-calving dairy cows. Cows were assigned to one of two treatments in a randomized complete block design. The two treatments were zero-grazing (ZG) and grazing (G). The ZG group were housed and fed zero-grazed grass, while the G group grazed outdoors at pasture. Both treatments were fed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) from the same paddock. In experiment 1, 24 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 12) were studied over a 35-day experimental period in autumn and offered fresh grass, grass silage, ground maize and concentrates. In experiment 2, 30 Holstein Friesian cows (n = 15) were studied over a 42-day experimental period and offered fresh grass and concentrates. Average dry matter intake and milk yield was similar for ZG and G in both experiments. Likewise, ZG did not have an effect on milk composition, body condition or locomotion. Zero-grazing had no effect on total nitrogen excretion or nitrogen utilization efficiency in either experiment, or on rumen pH and ammonia concentration in experiment 1. While zero-grazing may enable farmers to supply fresh grass to early-lactation cows in spring and autumn, results from this study suggest that there are no additional benefits to cow performance in comparison to well-managed grazed grass.
Caregivers of patients with cancer are at significant risk for existential distress. Such distress negatively impacts caregivers’ quality of life and capacity to serve in their role as healthcare proxies, and ultimately, contributes to poor bereavement outcomes. Our team developed Meaning-Centered Psychotherapy for Cancer Caregivers (MCP-C), the first targeted psychosocial intervention that directly addresses existential distress in caregivers.
Nine caregivers of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) enrolled in a pilot randomized controlled trial evaluating the feasibility, acceptability, and effects of MCP-C, and completed in-depth interviews about their experience in the therapy. One focus group with three MCP-C interventionists was also completed.
Four key themes emerged from interviews: (1) MCP-C validated caregivers’ experience of caregiving; (2) MCP-C helped participants reframe their “caregiving identity” as a facet of their larger self-identity, by placing caregiving in the context of their life's journey; (3) MCP-C enabled caregivers to find ways to assert their agency through caregiving; and (4) the structure and sequence of sessions made MCP-C accessible and feasible. Feedback from interventionists highlighted several potential manual changes and overall ways in which MCP-C can help facilitate caregivers’ openness to discussing death and engaging in advanced care planning discussions with the patient.
Significance of results
The overarching goal of MCP-C is to allow caregivers to concurrently experience meaning and suffering; the intervention does not seek to deny the reality of challenges endured by caregivers, but instead to foster a connection to meaning and purpose alongside their suffering. Through in-depth interviews with caregivers and a focus group with MCP interventionists, we have refined and improved our MCP-C manual so that it can most effectively assist caregivers in experiencing meaning and purpose, despite inevitable suffering.
The earliest airborne geophysical campaigns over Antarctica and Greenland in the 1960s and 1970s collected ice penetrating radar data on 35 mm optical film. Early subglacial topographic and englacial stratigraphic analyses of these data were foundational to the field of radioglaciology. Recent efforts to digitize and release these data have resulted in geometric and ice-thickness analysis that constrain subsurface change over multiple decades but stop short of radiometric interpretation. The primary challenge for radiometric analysis is the poorly-characterized compression applied to Z-scope records and the sparse sampling of A-scope records. Here, we demonstrate the information richness and radiometric interpretability of Z-scope records. Z-scope pixels have uncalibrated fast-time, slow-time, and intensity scales. We develop approaches for mapping each of these scales to physical units (microseconds, seconds, and signal to noise ratio). We then demonstrate the application of this calibration and analysis approach to a flight in the interior of East Antarctica with subglacial lakes and to a reflight of an East Antarctic ice shelf that was observed by both archival and modern radar. These results demonstrate the potential use of Z-scope signals to extend the baseline of radiometric observations of the subsurface by decades.
One of the principal systematic constraints on the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) experiment is the accuracy of the foreground calibration model. Recent results have shown that highly accurate models of extended foreground sources, and including models for sources in both the primary beam and its sidelobes, are necessary for reducing foreground power. To improve the accuracy of the source models for the EoR fields observed by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), we conducted the MWA Long Baseline Epoch of Reionisation Survey (LoBES). This survey consists of multi-frequency observations of the main MWA EoR fields and their eight neighbouring fields using the MWA Phase II extended array. We present the results of the first half of this survey centred on the MWA EoR0 observing field (centred at RA (J2000)
, Dec (J2000)
). This half of the survey covers an area of 3 069 degrees
, with an average rms of 2.1 mJy beam–1. The resulting catalogue contains a total of 80 824 sources, with 16 separate spectral measurements between 100 and 230 MHz, and spectral modelling for 78
of these sources. Over this region we estimate that the catalogue is 90
complete at 32 mJy, and 70
complete at 10.5 mJy. The overall normalised source counts are found to be in good agreement with previous low-frequency surveys at similar sensitivities. Testing the performance of the new source models we measure lower residual rms values for peeled sources, particularly for extended sources, in a set of MWA Phase I data. The 2-dimensional power spectrum of these data residuals also show improvement on small angular scales—consistent with the better angular resolution of the LoBES catalogue. It is clear that the LoBES sky models improve upon the current sky model used by the Australian MWA EoR group for the EoR0 field.
The Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) is the period within which the neutral universe transitioned to an ionised one. This period remains unobserved using low-frequency radio interferometers, which target the 21 cm signal of neutral hydrogen emitted in this era. The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope was built with the detection of this signal as one of its major science goals. One of the most significant challenges towards a successful detection is that of calibration, especially in the presence of the Earth’s ionosphere. By introducing refractive source shifts, distorting source shapes, and scintillating flux densities, the ionosphere is a major nuisance in low-frequency radio astronomy. We introduce sivio, a software tool developed for simulating observations of the MWA through different ionospheric conditions, which is estimated using thin screen approximation models and propagated into the visibilities. This enables us to directly assess the impact of the ionosphere on observed EoR data and the resulting power spectra. We show that the simulated data captures the dispersive behaviour of ionospheric effects. We show that the spatial structure of the simulated ionospheric media is accurately reconstructed either from the resultant source positional offsets or from parameters evaluated during the data calibration procedure. In turn, this will inform on the best strategies of identifying and efficiently eliminating ionospheric contamination in EoR data moving into the Square Kilometre Array era.
This research communication addressed the hypothesis that late lactation cows offered an oat-grain-based supplement or a high level of α-TOC supplementation at pasture would have improved milk composition and processability. Over a grazing period of 49 d, 48 Holstein Friesian dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four dietary treatments. The dietary treatments were: control, pasture only (CTRL), pasture + 2.65 kg DM barley-based concentrate + 350 IU α-TOC/kg (BARLO), pasture + 2.65 kg DM oat-based concentrate + 350 IU α-TOC/kg (OATLO) and pasture + 2.65 kg DM oat-based concentrate + 1050 IU α-TOC/kg (OATHI). Within this randomised complete block design experiment cows were blocked on days in milk (DIM) and balanced for parity, milk yield and composition. Rennet coagulation time (RCT) was reduced in milk from cows offered OATHI compared to CTRL cows and OATLO. Concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was increased by OATHI compared to OATLO and in OATLO compared to CTRL. Supplementation with OATHI reduced individual saturated fatty acids (SFAs) in milk compared to OATLO. In conclusion, supplementing grazing dairy cows with an oat-based supplement improved total milk CLA concentration compared to pasture only. Offering a high level of α-TOC (2931 IU/d) to dairy cows reduced RCT, individual SFA and increased total CLA concentration of milk compared to a lower α-TOC level (738 IU α-TOC/d).
Precise instrumental calibration is of crucial importance to 21-cm cosmology experiments. The Murchison Widefield Array’s (MWA) Phase II compact configuration offers us opportunities for both redundant calibration and sky-based calibration algorithms; using the two in tandem is a potential approach to mitigate calibration errors caused by inaccurate sky models. The MWA Epoch of Reionization (EoR) experiment targets three patches of the sky (dubbed EoR0, EoR1, and EoR2) with deep observations. Previous work in Li et al. (2018) and (2019) studied the effect of tandem calibration on the EoR0 field and found that it yielded no significant improvement in the power spectrum (PS) over sky-based calibration alone. In this work, we apply similar techniques to the EoR1 field and find a distinct result: the improvements in the PS from tandem calibration are significant. To understand this result, we analyse both the calibration solutions themselves and the effects on the PS over three nights of EoR1 observations. We conclude that the presence of the bright radio galaxy Fornax A in EoR1 degrades the performance of sky-based calibration, which in turn enables redundant calibration to have a larger impact. These results suggest that redundant calibration can indeed mitigate some level of model incompleteness error.
Compulsory admission procedures of patients with mental disorders vary between countries in Europe. The Ethics Committee of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) launched a survey on involuntary admission procedures of patients with mental disorders in 40 countries to gather information from all National Psychiatric Associations that are members of the EPA to develop recommendations for improving involuntary admission processes and promote voluntary care.
The survey focused on legislation of involuntary admissions and key actors involved in the admission procedure as well as most common reasons for involuntary admissions.
We analyzed the survey categorical data in themes, which highlight that both medical and legal actors are involved in involuntary admission procedures.
We conclude that legal reasons for compulsory admission should be reworded in order to remove stigmatization of the patient, that raising awareness about involuntary admission procedures and patient rights with both patients and family advocacy groups is paramount, that communication about procedures should be widely available in lay-language for the general population, and that training sessions and guidance should be available for legal and medical practitioners. Finally, people working in the field need to be constantly aware about the ethical challenges surrounding compulsory admissions.
β-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides which have isoform specific immunomodulatory and metabolic properties(1). Certain yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan isoforms improve cholesterol(2), glucose(3) and lipid homeostasis(4). Feeding (1→3)-β-D-glucan alters the microbiome of high-fat diet (HFD) induced obese (DIO)/type 2 diabetic (T2D) mice(5). Here we investigated the potential impact of baker's yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan in mice humanized with gut microbiomes from either obese healthy versus obese diabetic subjects on immune-metabolism within the context of high-fat feeding.
C57Bl/6J male mice received an antibiotic cocktail of Ampicillin, Metronidazole, Vancomycin, Imipenem and Ciprofloxacin HCl in their drinking water for 6 weeks to diminish the endogenous gut microbiota. Mice were inoculated with microbiota samples obtained from obese healthy (OBH) or diabetic (OBD) humans twice daily for 3 days by oral dosing. Mice were fed a low-fat diet (LFD) (10% kcal) for 4 weeks followed by HFD (45% kcal) with/without baker's yeast (1→3)-β-D-glucan (βG), for 9 weeks. Weight, feed intake, glucose tolerance (1.5g/kg), insulin tolerance (0.5U/kg), hepatic and skeletal lipid levels were examined. Tissue specific molecular markers of metabolism and inflammation, and gut microbiome analysis are being determined to compliment the phenotypic data.
OBH mice were more glucose tolerant and insulin sensitive than OBD mice, despite equal weight gain and adipose tissue mass. Fasting HOMA-IR, attributable to higher insulin concentrations, was higher in OBD compared to OBH mice. βG supplementation reduced HOMA-IR in OBD mice (P < 0.0611). Hepatic triacylglycerol (TAG) and cholesterol levels were also higher in OBD mice, which were prevented by βG supplementation. Hepatic proteomic, caecal microbiomic and metabolomic analysis is on-going in order to ascertain the impact of the OBD versus OBH dysbosis with/without βG supplementation with specific attention on immune-metabolism.
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.
The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including our young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.
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.
Adenotonsillectomy is frequently performed for obstructive sleep apnoea, but is associated with post-operative respiratory morbidity. This study assessed the effect of paediatric Otrivine (0.05 per cent xylometazoline hydrochloride) on post-operative respiratory compromise.
Paediatric patients undergoing adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea were included. The control group (n = 24) received no intervention and the intervention group (n = 25) received intra-operative paediatric Otrivine during induction using a nasal patty. Post-operative outcomes included pain, respiratory distress signs and medical intervention level required (simple, intermediate and major).
Post-operative respiratory distress signs were exhibited by 4 per cent of the Otrivine group and 21 per cent of the control group. Sixty-eight per cent of the Otrivine group required simple medical interventions post-operatively, compared to 42 per cent of the control group. In the Otrivine group, 4 per cent required intermediate interventions; none required major interventions. In the control group, 12.5 per cent required both intermediate and major interventions. Fifty per cent of the control group reported pain post-operatively, compared with 40 per cent in the Otrivine group.
Intra-operative paediatric Otrivine may reduce post-operative respiratory compromise in paediatric patients undergoing adenotonsillectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea. A randomised controlled trial is required.
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.
Research on the cities of the Classical Greek world has traditionally focused on mapping the organisation of urban space and studying major civic or religious buildings. More recently, newer techniques such as field survey and geophysical survey have facilitated exploration of the extent and character of larger areas within urban settlements, raising questions about economic processes. At the same time, detailed analysis of residential buildings has also supported a change of emphasis towards understanding some of the functional and social aspects of the built environment as well as purely formal ones. This article argues for the advantages of analysing Greek cities using a multidisciplinary, multi-scalar framework which encompasses all of these various approaches and adds to them other analytical techniques (particularly micro-archaeology). We suggest that this strategy can lead towards a more holistic view of a city, not only as a physical place, but also as a dynamic community, revealing its origins, development and patterns of social and economic activity. Our argument is made with reference to the research design, methodology and results of the first three seasons of fieldwork at the city of Olynthos, carried out by the Olynthos Project.
We present techniques developed to calibrate and correct Murchison Widefield Array low-frequency (72–300 MHz) radio observations for polarimetry. The extremely wide field-of-view, excellent instantaneous (u, v)-coverage and sensitivity to degree-scale structure that the Murchison Widefield Array provides enable instrumental calibration, removal of instrumental artefacts, and correction for ionospheric Faraday rotation through imaging techniques. With the demonstrated polarimetric capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array, we discuss future directions for polarimetric science at low frequencies to answer outstanding questions relating to polarised source counts, source depolarisation, pulsar science, low-mass stars, exoplanets, the nature of the interstellar and intergalactic media, and the solar environment.
The millisecond pulsar PSR J0337+1715 is in a mildly relativistic hierarchical triple system with two white dwarfs. This offers the possibility of testing the universality of free fall: does the neutron star fall with the same acceleration as the inner white dwarf in the gravity of the outer white dwarf? We have carried out an intensive pulsar timing campaign, yielding some 27000 pulse time-of-arrival (TOA) measurements with a median uncertainty of 1.2 μs. Here we describe our analysis procedure and timing model.
PSR J0337+1715 is a millisecond radio pulsar in a hierarchical stellar triple system with two white dwarfs. This system is a unique and excellent laboratory in which to test the strong equivalence principle (SEP) of general relativity. An initial SEP-violation test was performed using direct 3-body numerical integration of the orbit in order to model the more than 25000 pulse times of arrival (TOAs) from three radio telescopes: Arecibo, Green Bank and Westerbork. In this work I present our efforts to quantify the effects of systematics in the TOAs and timing residuals, which limit the precision of an SEP test. In particular, we apply Fourier-based techniques to the timing residuals in order to isolate the effects of systematics that can masquerade as an SEP violation.