1,144 research outputs found

    A Search for Propylene Oxide and Glycine in Sagittarius B2 (LMH) and Orion

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    We have used the Mopra Telescope to search for glycine and the simple chiral molecule propylene oxide in the Sgr B2 (LMH) and Orion KL, in the 3-mm band. We have not detected either species, but have been able to put sensitive upper limits on the abundances of both molecules. The 3-sigma upper limits derived for glycine conformer I are 3.7 x 10^{14} cm^{-2} in both Orion-KL and Sgr B2 (LMH), comparable to the reported detections of conformer I by Kuan et al. However, as our values are 3-sigma upper limits rather than detections we conclude that this weighs against confirming the detection of Kuan et al. We find upper limits for the glycine II column density of 7.7 x 10^{12} cm^{-2} in both Orion-KL and Sgr B2 (LMH), in agreement with the results of Combes et al. The results presented here show that glycine conformer II is not present in the extended gas at the levels detected by Kuan et al. for conformer I. Our ATCA results (Jones et al.) have ruled out the detection of glycine (both conformers I and II) in the compact hot core of the LMH at the levels reported, so we conclude that it is unlikely that Kuan et al. have detected glycine in either Sgr B2 or Orion-KL. We find upper limits for propylene oxide abundance of 3.0 x 10^{14} cm^{-2} in Orion-KL and 6.7 x 10^{14} cm^{-2} in Sgr B2 (LMH). We have detected fourteen features in Sgr B2 and four features in Orion-KL which have not previously been reported in the ISM, but have not be able to plausibly assign these transitions to any carrier.Comment: 12 pages, 3 figures. Accepted by MNRAS 12th January 200

    UWISH2 -- The UKIRT Widefield Infrared Survey for H2

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    We present the goals and preliminary results of an unbiased, near-infrared, narrow-band imaging survey of the First Galactic Quadrant (10deg<l<65deg ; -1.3deg<b<+1.3deg). This area includes most of the Giant Molecular Clouds and massive star forming regions in the northern hemisphere. The survey is centred on the 1-0S(1) ro-vibrational line of H2, a proven tracer of hot, dense molecular gas in star-forming regions, around evolved stars, and in supernova remnants. The observations complement existing and upcoming photometric surveys (Spitzer-GLIMPSE, UKIDSS-GPS, JCMT-JPS, AKARI, Herschel Hi-GAL, etc.), though we probe a dynamically active component of star formation not covered by these broad-band surveys. Our narrow-band survey is currently more than 60% complete. The median seeing in our images is 0.73arcsec. The images have a 5sigma detection limit of point sources of K=18mag and the surface brightness limit is 10^-19Wm^-2arcsec^-2 when averaged over our typical seeing. Jets and outflows from both low and high mass Young Stellar Objects are revealed, as are new Planetary Nebulae and - via a comparison with earlier K-band observations acquired as part of the UKIDSS GPS - numerous variable stars. With their superior spatial resolution, the UWISH2 data also have the potential to reveal the true nature of many of the Extended Green Objects found in the GLIMPSE survey.Comment: 14pages, 8figures, 2tables, accepted for publication by MNRAS, a version with higher resolution figures can be found at http://astro.kent.ac.uk/~df

    High Resolution CO Observations of Massive Star Forming Regions

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    Context. To further understand the processes involved in the formation of massive stars, we have undertaken a study of the gas dynamics surrounding three massive star forming regions. By observing the large scale structures at high resolution, we are able to determine properties such as driving source, and spatially resolve the bulk dynamical properties of the gas such as infall and outflow. Aims. With high resolution observations, we are able to determine which of the cores in a cluster forming massive stars is responsible for the large scale structures. Methods. We present CO observations of three massive star forming regions with known HII regions and show how the CO traces both infall and outflow. By combining data taken in two SMA configurations with JCMT observations, we are able to see large scale structures at high resolution. Results. We find large (0.26-0.40 pc), massive (2-3 M_sun) and energetic (13-17 \times 10^44 erg) outflows emanating from the edges of two HII regions suggesting they are being powered by the protostar(s) within. We find infall signatures in two of our sources with mass infall rates of order 10-4 M_sun/yr. Conclusions. We suggest that star formation is ongoing in these sources despite the presence of HII regions. We further conclude that the source(s) within a single HII region are responsible for the observed large scale structures; that these large structures are not the net effect of multiple outflows from multiple HII regions and hot cores.Comment: 8 pages,2 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Genetics of callous-unemotional behavior in children

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    Callous-unemotional behavior (CU) is currently under consideration as a subtyping index for conduct disorder diagnosis. Twin studies routinely estimate the heritability of CU as greater than 50%. It is now possible to estimate genetic influence using DNA alone from samples of unrelated individuals, not relying on the assumptions of the twin method. Here we use this new DNA method (implemented in a software package called Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis, GCTA) for the first time to estimate genetic influence on CU. We also report the first genome-wide association (GWA) study of CU as a quantitative trait. We compare these DNA results to those from twin analyses using the same measure and the same community sample of 2,930 children rated by their teachers at ages 7, 9 and 12. GCTA estimates of heritability were near zero, even though twin analysis of CU in this sample confirmed the high heritability of CU reported in the literature, and even though GCTA estimates of heritability were substantial for cognitive and anthropological traits in this sample. No significant associations were found in GWA analysis, which, like GCTA, only detects additive effects of common DNA variants. The phrase ‘missing heritability’ was coined to refer to the gap between variance associated with DNA variants identified in GWA studies versus twin study heritability. However, GCTA heritability, not twin study heritability, is the ceiling for GWA studies because both GCTA and GWA are limited to the overall additive effects of common DNA variants, whereas twin studies are not. This GCTA ceiling is very low for CU in our study, despite its high twin study heritability estimate. The gap between GCTA and twin study heritabilities will make it challenging to identify genes responsible for the heritability of CU

    Angle-dependent radiative grain alignment; Confirmation of a magnetic field - radiation anisotropy angle dependence on the efficiency of interstellar grain alignment

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    Interstellar grain alignment studies are currently experiencing a renaissance due to the development of a new quantitative theory based on Radiative Alignment Torques (RAT). One of the distinguishing predictions of this theory is a dependence of the grain alignment efficiency on the relative angle (Ψ\Psi) between the magnetic field and the anisotropy direction of the radiation field. In an earlier study we found observational evidence for such an effect from observations of the polarization around the star HD 97300 in the Chamaeleon I cloud. However, due to the large uncertainties in the measured visual extinctions, the result was uncertain. By acquiring explicit spectral classification of the polarization targets, we have sought to perform a more precise reanalysis of the existing polarimetry data. We have obtained new spectral types for the stars in our for our polarization sample, which we combine with photometric data from the literature to derive accurate visual extinctions for our sample of background field stars. This allows a high accuracy test of the grain alignment efficiency as a function of Ψ\Psi. We confirm and improve the measured accuracy of the variability of the grain alignment efficiency with Ψ\Psi, seen in the earlier study. We note that the grain temperature (heating) also shows a dependence on Ψ\Psi which we interpret as a natural effect of the projection of the grain surface to the illuminating radiation source. This dependence also allows us to derive an estimate of the fraction of aligned grains in the cloud.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures Accepted for publication in A&

    The Buffer Gas Beam: An Intense, Cold, and Slow Source for Atoms and Molecules

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    Beams of atoms and molecules are stalwart tools for spectroscopy and studies of collisional processes. The supersonic expansion technique can create cold beams of many species of atoms and molecules. However, the resulting beam is typically moving at a speed of 300-600 m/s in the lab frame, and for a large class of species has insufficient flux (i.e. brightness) for important applications. In contrast, buffer gas beams can be a superior method in many cases, producing cold and relatively slow molecules in the lab frame with high brightness and great versatility. There are basic differences between supersonic and buffer gas cooled beams regarding particular technological advantages and constraints. At present, it is clear that not all of the possible variations on the buffer gas method have been studied. In this review, we will present a survey of the current state of the art in buffer gas beams, and explore some of the possible future directions that these new methods might take

    Surfing a genetic association interaction network to identify modulators of antibody response to smallpox vaccine

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    The variation in antibody response to vaccination likely involves small contributions of numerous genetic variants, such as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which interact in gene networks and pathways. To accumulate the bits of genetic information relevant to the phenotype that are distributed throughout the interaction network, we develop a network eigenvector centrality algorithm (SNPrank) that is sensitive to the weak main effects, gene–gene interactions and small higher-order interactions through hub effects. Analogous to Google PageRank, we interpret the algorithm as the simulation of a random SNP surfer (RSS) that accumulates bits of information in the network through a dynamic probabilistic Markov chain. The transition matrix for the RSS is based on a data-driven genetic association interaction network (GAIN), the nodes of which are SNPs weighted by the main-effect strength and edges weighted by the gene–gene interaction strength. We apply SNPrank to a GAIN analysis of a candidate-gene association study on human immune response to smallpox vaccine. SNPrank implicates a SNP in the retinoid X receptor α (RXRA) gene through a network interaction effect on antibody response. This vitamin A- and D-signaling mediator has been previously implicated in human immune responses, although it would be neglected in a standard analysis because its significance is unremarkable outside the context of its network centrality. This work suggests SNPrank to be a powerful method for identifying network effects in genetic association data and reveals a potential vitamin regulation network association with antibody response

    Genome-wide pleiotropy and shared biological pathways for resistance to bovine pathogens

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    <div><p>Host genetic architecture is a major factor in resistance to pathogens and parasites. The collection and analysis of sufficient data on both disease resistance and host genetics has, however, been a major obstacle to dissection the genetics of resistance to single or multiple pathogens. A severe challenge in the estimation of heritabilities and genetic correlations from pedigree-based studies has been the confounding effects of the common environment shared among relatives which are difficult to model in pedigree analyses, especially for health traits with low incidence rates. To circumvent this problem we used genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism data and implemented the Genomic-Restricted Maximum Likelihood (G-REML) method to estimate the heritabilities and genetic correlations for resistance to 23 different infectious pathogens in calves and cows in populations undergoing natural pathogen challenge. Furthermore, we conducted gene-based analysis and generalized gene-set analysis to understand the biological background of resistance to infectious diseases. The results showed relatively higher heritabilities of resistance in calves than in cows and significant pleiotropy (both positive and negative) among some calf and cow resistance traits. We also found significant pleiotropy between resistance and performance in both calves and cows. Finally, we confirmed the role of the B-lymphocyte pathway as one of the most important biological pathways associated with resistance to all pathogens. These results both illustrate the potential power of these approaches to illuminate the genetics of pathogen resistance in cattle and provide foundational information for future genomic selection aimed at improving the overall production fitness of cattle.</p></div

    A CH3CN and HCO+ survey towards southern methanol masers associated with star formation

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    We present the initial results of a 3-mm spectral line survey towards 83 methanol maser selected massive star-forming regions. Here we report observations of the J=5-4 and 6-5 rotational transitions of methyl cyanide (CH3CN) and the J=1-0 transition of HCO+and H13CO+. CH3CN emission is detected in 58 sources (70 %) of our sample). We estimate the temperature and column density for 37 of these using the rotational diagram method. The temperatures we derive range from 28-166 K, and are lower than previously reported temperatures, derived from higher J transitions. We find that CH3CN is brighter and more commonly detected towards ultra-compact HII (UCHII) regions than towards isolated maser sources. Detection of CH3CN towards isolated maser sources strongly suggests that these objects are internally heated and that CH3CN is excited prior to the UCHII phase of massive star-formation. HCO+ is detected towards 82 sources (99 % of our sample), many of which exhibit asymmetric line profiles compared to H13CO+. Skewed profiles are indicative of inward or outward motions, however, we find approximately equal numbers of red and blue-skewed profiles among all classes. Column densities are derived from an analysis of the HCO+ and H13CO+ line profiles. 80 sources have mid-infrared counterparts: 68 seen in emission and 12 seen in absorption as `dark clouds'. Seven of the twelve dark clouds exhibit asymmetric HCO+ profiles, six of which are skewed to the blue, indicating infalling motions. CH3CN is also common in dark clouds, where it has a 90 % detection rate.Comment: 29 pages, 16 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS. For associated online figures please see http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/~crp/papers/cpurcell_2005_online.pd

    Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Children's Intelligence (IQ): In a UK-Representative Sample SES Moderates the Environmental, Not Genetic, Effect on IQ

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    The environment can moderate the effect of genes - a phenomenon called gene-environment (GxE) interaction. Several studies have found that socioeconomic status (SES) modifies the heritability of children's intelligence. Among low-SES families, genetic factors have been reported to explain less of the variance in intelligence; the reverse is found for high-SES families. The evidence however is inconsistent. Other studies have reported an effect in the opposite direction (higher heritability in lower SES), or no moderation of the genetic effect on intelligence
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