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Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln), a highly soluble and stable glutamine dipeptide, is known to improve gut integrity and function. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether dietary Ala-Gln supplementation could improve growth performance, intestinal development and digestive-absorption function in weaned piglets. A total of 100 purebred Yorkshire piglets weaned at 21 days of age were assigned randomly to four dietary treatment groups and fed a basal diet (control group) or a basal diet containing 0.15%, 0.30% and 0.45% Ala-Gln, respectively. Compared with the control group, piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets had higher average daily gain and lower feed : gain and diarrhea rate (P < 0.05). Moreover, dietary Ala-Gln supplementation increased villous height and villous height : crypt depth ratio in duodenum and jejunum (P < 0.05), as well as the activities of maltase and lysozyme in jejunum mucosa (P < 0.05). In addition, a decrease in serum diamine oxidase activity and crypt depth in duodenum and jejunum was observed in piglets fed the Ala-Gln diets (P < 0.05). Serum cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) concentration and gene expression of cPLA2, Na+-dependent glucose transporter 1, glucose transporter 2 and peptide transporter 1 in jejunum were increased by feeding Ala-Gln diets relative to control diet (P < 0.05). These results indicated that feeding Ala-Gln diet has beneficial effects on the growth performance of weaned piglets, which associated with maintaining intestinal morphology and digestive-absorption function.
School closure is one of the most common interventions in the early weeks of an influenza pandemic. Few studies have investigated social contact patterns and compared individual student contact characteristics during the school term and holiday periods in Taiwan. Here, we conducted a well-used questionnaire survey in a junior high school (grades 7–8) in June 2013. All 150 diary-based effective questionnaires covering conversation and skin-to-skin contact behaviour were surveyed. Two questionnaires for each participant were designed to investigate the individual-level difference of contact numbers per day during the two periods. The questionnaire response rate was 44%. The average number of contacts during term time (20·0 contacts per day) and holiday periods (12·6 contacts per day) were significantly different (P < 0·05). The dominant contact frequencies and duration were everyday contact (89·10%) and contacts lasting less than 5 minutes (37·09%). The greatest differences occurred within the 13–19 years age groups. The result presented in this study provide an indication of the likely reduction in daily contact frequency that might occur if a school closure policy was adopted in the event of an influenza pandemic in Taiwan. Comparing contact patterns during term time and holiday periods, the number of contacts decreased by 40%. This study is the first research to investigate the contact numbers and contact characteristics for school-age children during the school term and a holiday period in Taiwan. With regard to public health, this study could provide the basic contact information and database for modelling influenza epidemics for minimizing the spread of influenza that depends on personal contacts for transmission.
A ‘pulsar timing array’ (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of ‘global’ phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 ms pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50 cm (~700 MHz), 20 cm (~1400 MHz), and 10 cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of two to three weeks. Regular observations commenced in early 2005. This paper describes the systems used for the PPTA observations and data processing, including calibration and timing analysis. The strategy behind the choice of pulsars, observing parameters, and analysis methods is discussed. Results are presented for PPTA data in the three bands taken between 2005 March and 2011 March. For 10 of the 20 pulsars, rms timing residuals are less than 1 μs for the best band after fitting for pulse frequency and its first time derivative. Significant ‘red’ timing noise is detected in about half of the sample. We discuss the implications of these results on future projects including the International Pulsar Timing Array and a PTA based on the Square Kilometre Array. We also present an ‘extended PPTA’ data set that combines PPTA data with earlier Parkes timing data for these pulsars.
We analysed the data from the control group in a typhoid vaccine trial in Karachi to assess the differences in individual-, household- and cluster-level characteristics for developing typhoid fever. The annual incidence of typhoid in children aged 2–16 years in the control arm of the vaccine trial was 151/100 000 population. After adjustment, the risk of typhoid was lower with increasing age [risk ratio (RR) 0·89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·83–0·95], was higher with an increase in population density (RR 1·13, 95% CI 1·05–1·21) and was lower in the households using a safe drinking-water source (RR 0·63, 95% CI 0·41–0·99). Typhoid fever affects younger children living in areas of high population density and lack of access to safe water in Pakistan. A combination of environmental and biological interventions is required to prevent the continued epidemiological and economic impact of typhoid fever in high-risk areas of Pakistan.
Fine wool in China is characterized by severe dust contamination and substantial tip weathering. In an attempt to improve wool quality, synthetic rugs were fitted to ewes and a range of raw wool characteristics was monitored. Two trials were carried out in successive years: a pilot trial (June 1985 to June 1986) involving 100 ewes wearing rugs and 75 controls, and a main trial (June 1986 to June 1987) involving 250 ewes with rugs and 250 controls. The rugs were fitted to ewes after shearing and remained on until shearing the following year. Wool from ewes with rugs was significantly better in almost all the characteristics measured (P <0·05) than wool from sheep without rugs. Clean fleece weight was improved by 15% over the two trials, yield and wax content were increased, and dust content and dust penetration were substantially reduced. Staple length and strength were increased, and dust content and dust penetration were substantially reduced in the main trial. Several style characteristics were measured using a prototype image analysis system and these also showed wool from sheep wearing rugs as being of better quality than wool from sheep in the control group. The only negative result was an increase in yellowness, in the greasy state only, due to the higher wax content in the sheep wearing rugs and the yellow nature of the wax of Gansu Alpine Finewool sheep – probably due to their genetic background. Wool from sheep wearing rugs would be expected to perform better in processing than wool from unrugged sheep.
We show a different method in doing near-field Raman imaging with sub-diffraction limit spatial resolution. A dielectric microsphere (for example polystyrene microsphere) is trapped by optical tweezers. The microsphere is used to focus the laser to the sample, and also to collect the scattered Raman signals. We show the capability of this method in imaging various types of samples, such as SiGe/Si structures, gold nanopattern and carbon nanotubes. This method is comparatively easier to perform, better repeatability, and stronger signal than the normal near-field Raman techniques.
The structure and magnetic properties of the nanoparticles of immiscible
system Co20Cu80 prepared by means of arc-discharge, have been
studied in detail. The diameters of the particles are about 20 ~ 30 nm
and a core/shell structure forms. The cores are Co-Cu solutions, which show
some small Co precipitates, encapsulated with a shell of cupper oxide or
cobalt oxide as observed by means of high-resolution transmission electron
microscope (HRTEM) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS). The loop shift in the
hysteresis loop indicates the existence of the exchange bias between
ferromagnetic and antiferromagnetic components at low temperatures. A block
temperature about 180 K has been observed for as-deposited nanoparticles.
For the annealed nanoparticles, the thermal magnetization at low
temperatures is satisfied with Bloch's law.
TiNi shape memory alloy samples were irradiated within R-phase by 1.7 MeV electrons with different doses. The martensitic transformation temperatures were measured by Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC). The results indicated that the temperature Ms of the onset of R-phase-to-martensite transformation decreased with increasing the dose. The electron irradiation had a slight effect on the other transformation temperatures. The second lifetime of positrons determined by Positron Annihilation Technology were lowered with an increment of the irradiated dose. Relaxation of the elastic stress fields around the Ti3Ni4 precipitates was the cause of the observed change of the transformation characteristics because of the migration and accumulation of electron irradiation-induced point defects.
We report an investigation of optical-limiting behavior in two neutral nickel complexes with multi-sulfur 1,2 dithiolene ligands, [Ni(medt)2] I (medt = 5,6-dihydro-6-methyl-1,4-dithiin-2,3- dithiolate) and [Ni(phdt)2] 2 (phdt = 5,6-dihydro-5-phenyl-l,4-dithiin-2,3-dithiolate) in benzene solution. The fluence-dependent transmission of the complexes was observed with nanosecond and picosecond laser pulses at 532-nm wavelength. The limiting thresholds of the complexes were ˜0.3 J/cm2, when measured with the picosecond pulses. Both picosecond time-resolved pump-probe and Z-scan measurement revealed that the limiting effects should originate from excited-state absorption and refraction. The transparency window (400˜900 nm), observed in the linear absorption spectra of the complexes, indicated that their limiting response should cover a wider range than those of fullerenes and phthalocyanines.
Epitaxial PbTiOM3 films were prepared by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on MgO(001), SrTiO3 (001) and LaAlO3 (001) surfaces. Four-circle X-ray diffraction and optical waveguiding experiments were performed to characterize the deposited films. The films on all three substrates were single-crystal; however, the domain structure of the films was strongly dependent on the substrate material. Films on MgO and LaAlO3 substrates showed a large amount of 90° domain structures, whereas, the degree of twinning was greatly suppressed for films on SrTiO3. The refractive indices and optical birefringence of the films were measured as a function of wavelength using the film-prism coupling method. We found that for films on LaAlO3 (001), the ordinary index and for films on MgO(001) both the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indices were higher than those of bulk single-crystal PbTiO3. For films grown on SrTiO3 (001), the ordinary refractive index was very close to that of single crystal PbTiO3. We correlate the increased refractive index and the reduced birefringence to the degree of epitaxial strain and twinning in the samples, respectively.
Single crystals of YBa2Cu3O7-y were studied by transmission Laue photography and monochromatic diffraction techniques, using the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source and a rotating anode x-ray source. A new type of twinning, with two orthorhombic domains rotated exactly 90 degree about the c axis, was observed in one sample and the conventional (110) type twinning in another sample with nominally identical growth conditions. A high resolution diffraction study of the sample with the conventional (110) twinning shows that measured orthorhombicity (proportional to oxygen ordering parameter) varies from one domain to another.
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