27,271 research outputs found

    The Microbiota and Health Promoting Characteristics of the Fermented Beverage Kefir

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    peer-reviewedKefir is a complex fermented dairy product created through the symbiotic fermentation of milk by lactic acid bacteria and yeasts contained within an exopolysaccharide and protein complex called a kefir grain. As with other fermented dairy products, kefir has been associated with a range of health benefits such as cholesterol metabolism and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition, antimicrobial activity, tumor suppression, increased speed of wound healing, and modulation of the immune system including the alleviation of allergy and asthma. These reports have led to increased interest in kefir as a focus of research and as a potential probiotic-containing product. Here, we review those studies with a particular emphasis on the microbial composition and the health benefits of the product, as well as discussing the further development of kefir as an important probiotic product.The authors are funded through the Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Scheme(2014025)and internal Teagasc funding(RMIS6486). BW is supported by the Canada Research Chairs Program and research in the Cotter laboratory is funded by SFI through the PI award ā€œObesibioticsā€(11/PI/1137)and in the form of a center grant (APC Microbiome Institute Grant Number SFI/12/RC/2273)

    Primordial Non-Gaussianity in the Cosmic Microwave Background

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    In the last few decades, advances in observational cosmology have given us a standard model of cosmology. We know the content of the universe to within a few percent. With more ambitious experiments on the way, we hope to move beyond the knowledge of what the universe is made of, to why the universe is the way it is. In this review paper we focus on primordial non-Gaussianity as a probe of the physics of the dynamics of the universe at the very earliest moments. We discuss 1) theoretical predictions from inflationary models and their observational consequences in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies; 2) CMB--based estimators for constraining primordial non-Gaussianity with an emphasis on bispectrum templates; 3) current constraints on non-Gaussianity and what we can hope to achieve in the near future; and 4) non-primordial sources of non-Gaussianities in the CMB such as bispectrum due to second order effects, three way cross-correlation between primary-lensing-secondary CMB, and possible instrumental effects.Comment: 27 pages, 8 figures; Invited Review for the Journal "Advances in Astronomy"; references adde

    Using hybrid GPU/CPU kernel splitting to accelerate spherical convolutions

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    We present a general method for accelerating by more than an order of magnitude the convolution of pixelated functions on the sphere with a radially-symmetric kernel. Our method splits the kernel into a compact real-space component and a compact spherical harmonic space component. These components can then be convolved in parallel using an inexpensive commodity GPU and a CPU. We provide models for the computational cost of both real-space and Fourier space convolutions and an estimate for the approximation error. Using these models we can determine the optimum split that minimizes the wall clock time for the convolution while satisfying the desired error bounds. We apply this technique to the problem of simulating a cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy sky map at the resolution typical of the high resolution maps produced by the Planck mission. For the main Planck CMB science channels we achieve a speedup of over a factor of ten, assuming an acceptable fractional rms error of order 1.e-5 in the power spectrum of the output map.Comment: 9 pages, 11 figures, 1 table, accepted by Astronomy & Computing w/ minor revisions. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1211.355

    Universal Density Profile for Cosmic Voids

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    We present a simple empirical function for the average density profile of cosmic voids, identified via the watershed technique in Ī›\LambdaCDM N-body simulations. This function is universal across void size and redshift, accurately describing a large radial range of scales around void centers with only two free parameters. In analogy to halo density profiles, these parameters describe the scale radius and the central density of voids. While we initially start with a more general four-parameter model, we find two of its parameters to be redundant, as they follow linear trends with the scale radius in two distinct regimes of the void sample, separated by its compensation scale. Assuming linear theory, we derive an analytic formula for the velocity profile of voids and find an excellent agreement with the numerical data as well. In our companion paper [Sutter et al., Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 442, 462 (2014)] the presented density profile is shown to be universal even across tracer type, properly describing voids defined in halo and galaxy distributions of varying sparsity, allowing us to relate various void populations by simple rescalings. This provides a powerful framework to match theory and simulations with observational data, opening up promising perspectives to constrain competing models of cosmology and gravity.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures. Matches PRL published version after minor correction

    Searching for Oscillations in the Primordial Power Spectrum: Perturbative Approach (Paper I)

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    In this first of two papers, we present a new method for searching for oscillatory features in the primordial power spectrum. A wide variety of models predict these features in one of two different flavors: logarithmically spaced oscillations and linearly spaced oscillations. The proposed method treats the oscillations as perturbations on top of the scale-invariant power spectrum, allowing us to vary all cosmological parameters. This perturbative approach reduces the computational requirements for the search as the transfer functions and their derivatives can be precomputed. We show that the most significant degeneracy in the analysis is between the distance to last scattering and the overall amplitude at low frequencies. For models with logarithmic oscillations, this degeneracy leads to an uncertainty in the phase. For linear spaced oscillations, it affects the frequency of the oscillations. In this first of two papers, we test our code on simulated Planck-like data, and show we are able to recover fiducial input oscillations with an amplitude of a few times order 10^{-2}. We apply the code to WMAP9-year data and confirm the existence of two intriguing resonant frequencies for log spaced oscillations. For linear spaced oscillations we find a single resonance peak. We use numerical simulations to assess the significance of these features and conclude that the data do not provide compelling evidence for the existence of oscillatory features in the primordial spectrum.Comment: 13 pages, 22 figures. Paper 1 of 2. Fixed typos, added reference
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