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    Top polarisation studies in H − t and W t production

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    The polarisation of top quarks produced in high energy processes can be a very sensitive probe of physics beyond the Standard Model. The kinematical distributions of the decay products of the top quark can provide clean information on the polarisation of the produced top and thus can probe new physics effects in the top quark sector. We study some of the recently proposed polarisation observables involving the decay products of the top quark in the context of H − t and W t production. We show that the effect of the top polarisation on the decay lepton azimuthal angle distribution, studied recently for these processes at leading order in QCD, is robust with respect to the inclusion of next-to-leading order and parton shower corrections. We also consider the leptonic polar angle, as well as recently proposed energy-related distributions of the top decay products. We construct asymmetry parameters from these observables, which can be used to distinguish the new physics signal from the W t background and discriminate between different values of tan β and m H  − in a general type II two-Higgs doublet model. Finally, we show that similar observables may be useful in separating a Standard Model W t signal from the much larger QCD induced top pair production background

    Lewis Coastal Chapel-Sites Survey: Topographic Survey 2005

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    This report describes the results of topographic surveys undertaken for the second year of the Lewis Coastal Chapel-sites Survey (LCCS) on four chapel-sites on the Isle of Lewis in 2005. Desktop study undertaken in the first year (2004) of the LCCS identified thirty-seven recorded and five potential chapel-sites in Lewis and its outlying islands, and this was followed up with walkover survey of sixteen sites and plane table survey of three sites. However, further, more detailed topographic survey was recommended for eight sites, and this prompted the work in 2005. In February detailed topographic survey of three sites was undertaken: Teampall Pheadair, Suainebost (Site no 4), Teampall Mhealastadh, Uig (Site no 20) and Tigh na Cailleachan Dubha, Uig (Site no 21). In May - June 2005 topographic survey of the chapel-site of St Mary’s on Eilean an Tighe, Shiant Islands (formerly known as Eilean na Cille) on the Shiant Islands (Site no 32) was also undertaken with joint funding from the Shiants Island Project (SHIP)

    Every mapping class group is generated by 6 involutions

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    Let Modg,b denote the mapping class group of a surface of genus g with b punctures. Luo asked in [Torsion elements in the mapping class group of a surface, math.GT/0004048, v1 8Apr2000] if there is a universal upper bound, independent of genus, for the number of torsion elements needed to generate Modg,b. We answer Luo's question by proving that 3 torsion elements suffice to generate Modg,0. We also prove the more delicate result that there is an upper bound, independent of genus, not only for the number of torsion elements needed to generate Modg,b but also for the order of those elements. In particular, our main result is that 6 involutions (i.e., orientation-preserving diffeomorphisms of order two) suffice to generate Modg,b for every genus g ≥ 3, b=0 and g ≥4, b=1

    A hybrid-hierarchical genome assembly strategy to sequence the invasive golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei

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    Background: For more than 25 years, the golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei has aggressively invaded South American freshwaters, having travelled more than 5,000 km upstream across five countries. Along the way, the golden mussel has outcompeted native species and economically harmed aquaculture, hydroelectric powers, and ship transit. We have sequenced the complete genome of the golden mussel to understand the molecular basis of its invasiveness and search for ways to control it. Findings: We assembled the 1.6 Gb genome into 20548 scaffolds with an N50 length of 312 Kb using a hybrid and hierarchical assembly strategy from short and long DNA reads and transcriptomes. A total of 60717 coding genes were inferred from a customized transcriptome-trained AUGUSTUS run. We also compared predicted protein sets with those of complete molluscan genomes, revealing an exacerbation of protein-binding domains in L. fortunei. Conclusions: We built one of the best bivalve genome assemblies available using a cost-effective approach using Illumina pair-end, mate pair, and PacBio long reads. We expect that the continuous and careful annotation of L. fortunei’s genome will contribute to the investigation of bivalve genetics, evolution, and invasiveness, as well as to the development of biotechnological tools for aquatic pest control

    Healthcare Access and Quality Index based on mortality from causes amenable to personal health care in 195 countries and territories, 1990–2015: a novel analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

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    Background: National levels of personal health-care access and quality can be approximated by measuring mortality rates from causes that should not be fatal in the presence of effective medical care (ie, amenable mortality). Previous analyses of mortality amenable to health care only focused on high-income countries and faced several methodological challenges. In the present analysis, we use the highly standardised cause of death and risk factor estimates generated through the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) to improve and expand the quantification of personal health-care access and quality for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2015. Methods: We mapped the most widely used list of causes amenable to personal health care developed by Nolte and McKee to 32 GBD causes. We accounted for variations in cause of death certification and misclassifications through the extensive data standardisation processes and redistribution algorithms developed for GBD. To isolate the effects of personal health-care access and quality, we risk-standardised cause-specific mortality rates for each geography-year by removing the joint effects of local environmental and behavioural risks, and adding back the global levels of risk exposure as estimated for GBD 2015. We employed principal component analysis to create a single, interpretable summary measure–the Healthcare Quality and Access (HAQ) Index–on a scale of 0 to 100. The HAQ Index showed strong convergence validity as compared with other health-system indicators, including health expenditure per capita (r=0·88), an index of 11 universal health coverage interventions (r=0·83), and human resources for health per 1000 (r=0·77). We used free disposal hull analysis with bootstrapping to produce a frontier based on the relationship between the HAQ Index and the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a measure of overall development consisting of income per capita, average years of education, and total fertility rates. This frontier allowed us to better quantify the maximum levels of personal health-care access and quality achieved across the development spectrum, and pinpoint geographies where gaps between observed and potential levels have narrowed or widened over time. Findings: Between 1990 and 2015, nearly all countries and territories saw their HAQ Index values improve; nonetheless, the difference between the highest and lowest observed HAQ Index was larger in 2015 than in 1990, ranging from 28·6 to 94·6. Of 195 geographies, 167 had statistically significant increases in HAQ Index levels since 1990, with South Korea, Turkey, Peru, China, and the Maldives recording among the largest gains by 2015. Performance on the HAQ Index and individual causes showed distinct patterns by region and level of development, yet substantial heterogeneities emerged for several causes, including cancers in highest-SDI countries; chronic kidney disease, diabetes, diarrhoeal diseases, and lower respiratory infections among middle-SDI countries; and measles and tetanus among lowest-SDI countries. While the global HAQ Index average rose from 40·7 (95% uncertainty interval, 39·0–42·8) in 1990 to 53·7 (52·2–55·4) in 2015, far less progress occurred in narrowing the gap between observed HAQ Index values and maximum levels achieved; at the global level, the difference between the observed and frontier HAQ Index only decreased from 21·2 in 1990 to 20·1 in 2015. If every country and territory had achieved the highest observed HAQ Index by their corresponding level of SDI, the global average would have been 73·8 in 2015. Several countries, particularly in eastern and western sub-Saharan Africa, reached HAQ Index values similar to or beyond their development levels, whereas others, namely in southern sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and south Asia, lagged behind what geographies of similar development attained between 1990 and 2015. Interpretation: This novel extension of the GBD Study shows the untapped potential for personal health-care access and quality improvement across the development spectrum. Amid substantive advances in personal health care at the national level, heterogeneous patterns for individual causes in given countries or territories suggest that few places have consistently achieved optimal health-care access and quality across health-system functions and therapeutic areas. This is especially evident in middle-SDI countries, many of which have recently undergone or are currently experiencing epidemiological transitions. The HAQ Index, if paired with other measures of health-system characteristics such as intervention coverage, could provide a robust avenue for tracking progress on universal health coverage and identifying local priorities for strengthening personal health-care quality and access throughout the world. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists for nephroprotection and cardioprotection in patients with diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease

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    Diabetic kidney disease develops in about 40% of patients with diabetes and is the commonest cause of chronic kidney disease worldwide. Patients with chronic kidney disease, especially those with diabetes mellitus, are at high risk of both developing kidney failure and cardiovascular death. The use of renin-angiotensin system blockers to reduce the incidence of kidney failure in patients with diabetic kidney disease dates back to studies that are now 20 or more years old. During the last few years sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors have shown beneficial renal effects in randomized trials. However, even in response to combined treatment with renin-angiotensin system blockers and sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors, the renal residual risk remains high with kidney failure only deferred, but not avoided. The risk of cardiovascular death also remains high even with optimal current treatment. Steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists reduce albuminuria and surrogate markers of cardiovascular disease in patients already on optimal therapy. However, their use has been curtailed by the significant risk of hyperkalaemia. In The FInerenone in reducing kiDnEy faiLure and dIsease prOgression in Diabetic Kidney Disease (FIDELIO-DKD) study comparing the actions of the non-steroidal mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist finerenone with placebo, finerenone reduced the progression of diabetic kidney disease and the incidence of cardiovascular events with a relatively safe adverse event profile. This document presents in detail the available evidence on the cardioprotective and nephroprotective effects of mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists, analyses the potential mechanisms involved and discusses their potential future place in the treatment of patients with diabetic chronic kidney disease

    The role of tumor necrosis factor-α and natural killer cells in uterine artery function and pregnancy outcome in the stroke prone spontaneously hypertensive rat

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    Women with chronic hypertension are at increased risk of maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. We have previously characterized the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP) as a model of deficient uterine artery function and adverse pregnancy outcome compared with the control Wistar–Kyoto. The activation of the immune system plays a role in hypertension and adverse pregnancy outcome. Therefore, we investigated the role of tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] in the SHRSP phenotype in an intervention study using etanercept (0.8 mg/kg SC) at gestational days 0, 6, 12, and 18 in pregnant SHRSP compared with vehicle-treated controls (n=6). Etanercept treatment significantly lowered systolic blood pressure after gestational day 12 and increased litter size in SHRSP. At gestational day 18, etanercept improved the function of uterine arteries from pregnant SHRSP normalizing the contractile response and increasing endothelium-dependent relaxation, resulting in increased pregnancy-dependent diastolic blood flow in the uterine arteries. We identified that the source of excess tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] in the SHRSP was a pregnancy-dependent increase in peripheral and placental CD3– CD161+ natural killer cells. Etanercept treatment also had effects on placental CD161+ cells by reducing the expression of CD161 receptor, which was associated with a decrease in cytotoxic granzyme B expression. Etanercept treatment improves maternal blood pressure, pregnancy outcome, and uterine artery function in SHRSP by antagonizing signaling from excess tumor necrosis factor-[alpha] production and the reduction of granzyme B expression in CD161+ natural killer cells in SHRSP

    Architecture Without Explicit Locks for Logic Simulation on SIMD Machines

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    The presentation describes an architecture for logic simulation that takes advantages of the features of multi-core SIMD architectures. It uses neither explicit locks nor queues, using instead oblivious simulation. Data structures are targeted to efficient SIMD and multi-core cache operation. We demonstrate high levels of parallelisation on Xeon Phi and AMD multi-core machines. Performance on a Xeon Phi is comparable to or better than on a 1000 core Blue Gene machine

    Recombination directionality factor gp3 binds ϕC31 integrase via the zinc domain, potentially affecting the trajectory of the coiled-coil motif

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    To establish a prophage state, the genomic DNA of temperate bacteriophages normally becomes integrated into the genome of their host bacterium by integrase-mediated, site-specific DNA recombination. Serine integrases catalyse a single crossover between an attachment site in the host (attB) and a phage attachment site (attP) on the circularized phage genome to generate the integrated prophage DNA flanked by recombinant attachment sites, attL and attR. Exiting the prophage state and entry into the lytic growth cycle requires an additional phage-encoded protein, the recombination directionality factor or RDF, to mediate recombination between attL and attR and excision of the phage genome. The RDF is known to bind integrase and switch its activity from integration (attP x attB) to excision (attL x attR) but its precise mechanism is unclear. Here, we identify amino acid residues in the RDF, gp3, encoded by the Streptomyces phage ϕC31 and within the ϕC31 integrase itself that affect the gp3:Int interaction. We show that residue substitutions in integrase that reduce gp3 binding adversely affect both excision and integration reactions. The mutant integrase phenotypes are consistent with a model in which the RDF binds to a hinge region at the base of the coiled-coil motif in ϕC31 integrase

    Measurement of the tt¯ production cross-section and lepton differential distributions in eμ dilepton events from pp collisions at √s = 13 TeV with the ATLAS detector