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We evaluated the safety and feasibility of high-intensity interval training via a novel telemedicine ergometer (MedBIKE™) in children with Fontan physiology.
The MedBIKE™ is a custom telemedicine ergometer, incorporating a video game platform and live feed of patient video/audio, electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, and power output, for remote medical supervision and modulation of work. There were three study phases: (I) exercise workload comparison between the MedBIKE™ and a standard cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer in 10 healthy adults. (II) In-hospital safety, feasibility, and user experience (via questionnaire) assessment of a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training protocol in children with Fontan physiology. (III) Eight-week home-based high-intensity interval trial programme in two participants with Fontan physiology.
There was good agreement in oxygen consumption during graded exercise at matched work rates between the cardiopulmonary exercise ergometer and MedBIKE™ (1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute versus 1.1 ± 0.5 L/minute, p = 0.44). Ten youth with Fontan physiology (11.5 ± 1.8 years old) completed a MedBIKE™ high-intensity interval training session with no adverse events. The participants found the MedBIKE™ to be enjoyable and easy to navigate. In two participants, the 8-week home-based protocol was tolerated well with completion of 23/24 (96%) and 24/24 (100%) of sessions, respectively, and no adverse events across the 47 sessions in total.
The MedBIKE™ resulted in similar physiological responses as compared to a cardiopulmonary exercise test ergometer and the high-intensity interval training protocol was safe, feasible, and enjoyable in youth with Fontan physiology. A randomised-controlled trial of a home-based high-intensity interval training exercise intervention using the MedBIKE™ will next be undertaken.
Variability due to stellar pulsation on the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) has a great potential for applications such as distance measurements, the study the evolution of stars and galaxies, and the estimate of global stellar parameters, as well as to constrain stellar evolutionary models. Given the importance of long-period variables (LPVs) in this sense, and given the lack of recent, updated sets of pulsation models, we computed an extended grid of pulsation models widely covering the space of AGB stellar parameters, including up-to-date opacities and accounting for the chemical evolution associated with third dredge-up events. We present the relevant properties of this grid and discuss the main results it allowed to obtain in terms of the interpretation of the observed properties of LPVs in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).
Recent seeing measurements at the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) point towards the thermal characteristics of the telescope itself, in particular the temperature difference between the mirror and the dome air, as the most important factor degrading the seeing, more so than the temperature difference between the inside and outside air. We present the findings, propose clarifying experiments, and discuss possible remedies. We set the realistic target for the AAT to achieve median seeing of 1·5″ rather than the current 1·8″.
Recent results have shown that Long-Period Variables (LPVs) with periods in the range 100 to 250 days have ages ~ 10 Gyr. We have studied the kinematics of a sample of such variables in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). A comparison with the kinematics of other populations (H I gas, CO molecular clouds, planetary nebulae, CH stars and old clusters) indicates that all populations younger than the old LPVs are dominated by a single common rotating disk, with the kinematics of the old LPVs being the first to indicate the presence in the LMC of a spheroidal population, with little or no rotation and a velocity dispersion ~ 6 times larger than that of the H I gas.
A knowledge of the on-ice seeing is a key requirement for planning future Antarctic observatories. In this paper we discuss the likely negative impact on seeing produced by the development of the deep winter surface temperature inversion (Ekman layer). The Automated Astronomical Site Testing Observatory (AASTO) will deploy, as one of its complement of site-testing instruments, an automated differential image motion monitor (DIMM) telescope designed to generate seeing data throughout the Antarctic winter. Here we describe the multi-aperture concept which has been developed for this mission, and touch upon some of the critical technological considerations associated with the low power budget and with the requirement of autonomous operation at very low temperature (–90°C).
Galactic post-AGB stars show a large diversity in chemical compositions as well as in the kinematical and geometrical properties of their circumstellar material. The theoretical interpretation is hampered by the lack of good distances to almost all Galactic objects. We therefore initiated a large project to study systematically post-AGB stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Cloud (LMC, SMC respectively). Here we report on our preliminary results.
The detected variety in chemistry and circumstellar shell morphology of the limited sample of Galactic post-AGB stars is so large, that there is no consensus yet on how individual objects are linked by evolutionary channels. The evaluation is complicated by the fact that the distances and hence luminosities of these objects are poorly known. In this contribution we report on our project to overcome this problem by focusing on a significant sample of post-AGB stars with known distances: those in the LMC. Via cross-correlation of the infrared SAGE-SPITZER catalogue with optical catalogues we selected a sample of 322 LMC post-AGB candidates based on their position in the various colour-colour diagrams. We determined the fundamental properties of 82 of them, using low resolution optical spectra that we obtained at Siding Spring and SAAO. We selected a subsample to be studied at high spectral resolution in order to obtain accurate abundances of a wide range of species. This will allow us to connect the theoretical predictions with the obtained surface chemistry at a given luminosity and metallicity. By this, we want to constrain important structure parameters of the evolutionary models. Preliminary results of the selection process are presented.
We report on recent progress in the modelling of the near-IR spectra of young stellar populations, i.e. populations in which red supergiants (RSGs) are dominant. First, we discuss the determination of fundamental parameters of RSGs from Phoenix model fits to their near-IR spectra; RSG-specific surface abundances are accounted for and effects of the microturbulence parameter are explored. New population synthesis predictions are then described and, as an example, it is shown that the spectra of young star clusters in M 82 can be reproduced very well from 0.5 to 2.4 μm. We warn of remaining uncertainties in cluster ages.