608 research outputs found

    Measuring the Hubble Constant Near and Far in the Era of ELT's

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    Many of the fundamental physical constants in Physics, as a discipline, are measured to exquisite levels of precision. The fundamental constants that define Cosmology, however, are largely determined via a handful of independent techniques that are applied to even fewer datasets. The history of the measurement of the Hubble Constant (H0), which serves to anchor the expansion history of the Universe to its current value, is an exemplar of the difficulties of cosmological measurement; indeed, as we approach the centennial of its first measurement, the quest for H0 still consumes a great number of resources. In this white paper, we demonstrate how the approaching era of Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs) will transform the astrophysical measure of H0 from the limited and few into a fundamentally new regime where (i) multiple, independent techniques are employed with modest use of large aperture facilities and (ii) 1% or better precision is readily attainable. This quantum leap in how we approach H0 is due to the unparalleled sensitivity and spatial resolution of ELT's and the ability to use integral field observations for simultaneous spectroscopy and photometry, which together permit both familiar and new techniques to effectively by-pass the conventional 'ladder' framework to minimize total uncertainty. Three independent techniques are discussed -- (i) standard candles via a two-step distance ladder applied to metal, poor stellar populations, (ii) standard clocks via gravitational lens cosmography, and (iii) standard sirens via gravitational wave sources -- each of which can reach 1% with relatively modest investment from 30-m class facilities.Comment: Submitted as an Astro2020 White Paper. Please send comments to both Rachael Beaton & Simon Birrer. Development of this paper occurred as part of the The US Extremely Large Telescope Program Workshop in Oct 2018. We wish to acknowledge NOAO for bringing the co-authors together, in particular the enthusiasm and tireless leadership of Mark Dickinso

    Infrared and Optical Observations of GRB 030115 and its Extremely Red Host Galaxy: Implications for Dark Bursts

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    We present near-infrared (nIR) and optical observations of the afterglow of GRB 030115. Discovered in an infrared search at Kitt Peak 5 hours after the burst trigger, this afterglow is amongst the faintest observed in the R-band at an early epoch, and exhibits very red colors, with R‚ąíK‚Čą6R-K\approx 6. The magnitude of the optical afterglow of GRB 030115 is fainter than many upper limits for other bursts, suggesting that without early nIR observations it would have been classified as a ``dark'' burst. Both the color and optical magnitude of the afterglow are likely due to dust extinction and indicate that at least some optical afterglows are very faint due to dust along the line of sight. Multicolor {\it Hubble Space Telescope} observations were also taken of the host galaxy and the surrounding field. Photometric redshifts imply that the host, and a substantial number of faint galaxies in the field are at z‚ąľ2.5z \sim 2.5. The overdensity of galaxies is sufficiently great that GRB 030115 may have occurred in a rich high-redshift cluster. The host galaxy shows extremely red colors (R-K=5) and is the first GRB host to be classified as an Extremely Red Object (ERO). Some of the galaxies surrounding the host also show very red colors, while the majority of the cluster are much bluer, indicating ongoing unobscured star formation. As it is thought that much of high redshift star formation occurs in highly obscured environments it may be that GRB 030115 represent a transition object, between the relatively unobscured afterglows seen to date and a population which are very heavily extinguished, even in the nIR.Comment: 19 Pages. ApJ 2006, 647, 47

    Gut microbiota alterations associated with reduced bone mineral density in older adults

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    Objective: To investigate compositional differences in the gut microbiota associated with bone homeostasis and fractures in a cohort of older adults. Methods: Faecal microbiota profiles were determined from 181 individuals with osteopenia (n = 61) or osteoporosis (n = 60), and an age- and gender-matched group with normal BMD (n = 60). Analysis of the 16S (V3-V4 region) amplicon dataset classified to the genus level was used to identify significantly differentially abundant taxa. Adjustments were made for potential confounding variables identified from the literature using several statistical models. Results: We identified six genera that were significantly altered in abundance in the osteoporosis or osteopenic groups compared with age- and gender-matched controls. A detailed study of microbiota associations with meta-data variables that included BMI, health status, diet and medication revealed that these meta-data explained 15‚Äď17% of the variance within the microbiota dataset. BMD measurements were significantly associated with alterations in the microbiota. After controlling for known biological confounders, five of the six taxa remained significant. Overall microbiota alpha diversity did not correlate to BMD in this study. Conclusion: Reduced BMD in osteopenia and osteoporosis is associated with an altered microbiota. These alterations may be useful as biomarkers or therapeutic targets in individuals at high risk of reductions in BMD. These observations will lead to a better understanding of the relationship between the microbiota and bone homeostasis

    Human vaccination against RH5 induces neutralizing antimalarial antibodies that inhibit RH5 invasion complex interactions.

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    The development of a highly effective vaccine remains a key strategic goal to aid the control and eventual eradication of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. In recent years, the reticulocyte-binding protein homolog 5 (RH5) has emerged as the most promising blood-stage P. falciparum candidate antigen to date, capable of conferring protection against stringent challenge in Aotus monkeys. We report on the first clinical trial to our knowledge to assess the RH5 antigen - a dose-escalation phase Ia study in 24 healthy, malaria-naive adult volunteers. We utilized established viral vectors, the replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus serotype 63 (ChAd63), and the attenuated orthopoxvirus modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), encoding RH5 from the 3D7 clone of P. falciparum. Vaccines were administered i.m. in a heterologous prime-boost regimen using an 8-week interval and were well tolerated. Vaccine-induced anti-RH5 serum antibodies exhibited cross-strain functional growth inhibition activity (GIA) in vitro, targeted linear and conformational epitopes within RH5, and inhibited key interactions within the RH5 invasion complex. This is the first time to our knowledge that substantial RH5-specific responses have been induced by immunization in humans, with levels greatly exceeding the serum antibody responses observed in African adults following years of natural malaria exposure. These data support the progression of RH5-based vaccines to human efficacy testing

    Novel genetic loci associated with hippocampal volume

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    The hippocampal formation is a brain structure integrally involved in episodic memory, spatial navigation, cognition and stress responsiveness. Structural abnormalities in hippocampal volume and shape are found in several common neuropsychiatric disorders. To identify the genetic underpinnings of hippocampal structure here we perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 33,536 individuals and discover six independent loci significantly associated with hippocampal volume, four of them novel. Of the novel loci, three lie within genes (ASTN2, DPP4 and MAST4) and one is found 200 kb upstream of SHH. A hippocampal subfield analysis shows that a locus within the MSRB3 gene shows evidence of a localized effect along the dentate gyrus, subiculum, CA1 and fissure. Further, we show that genetic variants associated with decreased hippocampal volume are also associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (rg =-0.155). Our findings suggest novel biological pathways through which human genetic variation influences hippocampal volume and risk for neuropsychiatric illness

    Novel genetic loci underlying human intracranial volume identified through genome-wide association

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    Intracranial volume reflects the maximally attained brain size during development, and remains stable with loss of tissue in late life. It is highly heritable, but the underlying genes remain largely undetermined. In a genome-wide association study of 32,438 adults, we discovered five novel loci for intracranial volume and confirmed two known signals. Four of the loci are also associated with adult human stature, but these remained associated with intracranial volume after adjusting for height. We found a high genetic correlation with child head circumference (ŌĀgenetic=0.748), which indicated a similar genetic background and allowed for the identification of four additional loci through meta-analysis (Ncombined = 37,345). Variants for intracranial volume were also related to childhood and adult cognitive function, Parkinson‚Äôs disease, and enriched near genes involved in growth pathways including PI3K‚ÄďAKT signaling. These findings identify biological underpinnings of intracranial volume and provide genetic support for theories on brain reserve and brain overgrowth

    Penilaian Kinerja Keuangan Koperasi di Kabupaten Pelalawan

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    This paper describe development and financial performance of cooperative in District Pelalawan among 2007 - 2008. Studies on primary and secondary cooperative in 12 sub-districts. Method in this stady use performance measuring of productivity, efficiency, growth, liquidity, and solvability of cooperative. Productivity of cooperative in Pelalawan was highly but efficiency still low. Profit and income were highly, even liquidity of cooperative very high, and solvability was good

    Impacts of the Tropical Pacific/Indian Oceans on the Seasonal Cycle of the West African Monsoon