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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present the results of a radio transient and polarization survey towards the Galactic Centre, conducted as part of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Variables and Slow Transients pilot survey. The survey region consisted of five fields covering $\sim 265\, {\rm deg}^2$ (350○ ≲ l ≲ 10○, |b| ≲ 10○). Each field was observed for 12 min, with between 7 and 9 repeats on cadences of between one day and four months. We detected eight highly variable sources and seven highly circularly polarized sources (14 unique sources in total). Seven of these sources are known pulsars including the rotating radio transient PSR J1739–2521 and the eclipsing pulsar PSR J1723–2837. One of them is a low-mass X-ray binary, 4U 1758–25. Three of them are coincident with optical or infrared sources and are likely to be stars. The remaining three may be related to the class of Galactic Centre Radio Transients (including a highly likely one, VAST J173608.2–321634, that has been reported previously), although this class is not yet understood. In the coming years, we expect to detect ∼40 bursts from this kind of source with the proposed 4-yr VAST survey if the distribution of the source is isotropic over the Galactic fields.

  2. ABSTRACT

    Solar radio emission at low frequencies (<1 GHz) can provide valuable information on processes driving flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Radio emission has been detected from active M dwarf stars, suggestive of much higher levels of activity than previously thought. Observations of active M dwarfs at low frequencies can provide information on the emission mechanism for high energy flares and possible stellar CMEs. Here, we conducted two observations with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Telescope totalling 26 h and scheduled to overlap with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Sector 36 field, utilizing the wide fields of view of both telescopes to search for multiple M dwarfs. We detected variable radio emission in Stokes I centred at 888 MHz from four known active M dwarfs. Two of these sources were also detected with Stokes V circular polarization. When examining the detected radio emission characteristics, we were not able to distinguish between the models for either electron cyclotron maser or gyrosynchrotron emission. These detections add to the growing number of M dwarfs observed with variable low-frequency emission.

  3. Silk fibroin, regenerated from Bombyx mori, has shown considerable promise as a printable, aqueous-based ink using a bioinspired salt-bath system in our previous work. Here, we further developed and characterized silk fibroin inks that exhibit concentration-dependent fluorescence spectra at the molecular level. These insights supported extrusion-based 3D printing using concentrated silk fibroin solutions as printing inks. 3D monolithic proteinaceous structures with high aspect ratios were successfully printed using these approaches, including cantilevers only supported at one end. This work provides further insight and broadens the utility of 3D printing with silk fibroin inks for the microfabrication of proteinaceous structures.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. The exceptional elastic resilience of some protein materials underlies essential biomechanical functions with broad interest in biomedical fields. However, molecular design of elastic resilience is restricted to amino acid sequences of a handful of naturally occurring resilient proteins such as resilin and elastin. Here, we exploit non-resilin/elastin sequences that adopt kinetically stabilized, random coil–dominated conformations to achieve near-perfect resilience comparable with that of resilin and elastin. We also show a direct correlation between resilience and Raman-characterized protein conformations. Furthermore, we demonstrate that metastable conformation of proteins enables the construction of mechanically graded protein materials that exhibit spatially controlled conformations and resilience. These results offer insights into molecular mechanisms of protein elastomers and outline a general conformation-driven strategy for developing resilient and functional protein materials.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 25, 2023
  5. Abstract

    We report the independent discovery of PSR J0026-1955 with the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in the ongoing Southern-sky MWA Rapid Two-metre pulsar survey. J0026-1955 has a period of ∼1.306 s, a dispersion measure of ∼20.869 pc cm−3, and a nulling fraction of ∼77%. This pulsar highlights the advantages of the survey's long dwell times (∼80 minutes), which, when fully searched, will be sensitive to the expected population of similarly bright, intermittent pulsars with long nulls. A single-pulse analysis in the MWA's 140–170 MHz band also reveals a complex subpulse drifting behavior, including both rapid changes of the drift rate characteristic of mode switching pulsars, as well as a slow, consistent evolution of the drift rate within modes. In some longer drift sequences, interruptions in the otherwise smooth drift rate evolution occur preferentially at a particular phase, typically lasting a few pulses. These properties make this pulsar an ideal test bed for prevailing models of drifting behavior such as the carousel model.

  6. Dague, Etienne (Ed.)
    The formation of neuron networks is a complex phenomenon of fundamental importance for understanding the development of the nervous system, and for creating novel bioinspired materials for tissue engineering and neuronal repair. The basic process underlying the network formation is axonal growth, a process involving the extension of axons from the cell body towards target neurons. Axonal growth is guided by environmental stimuli that include intercellular interactions, biochemical cues, and the mechanical and geometrical features of the growth substrate. The dynamics of the growing axon and its biomechanical interactions with the growing substrate remains poorly understood. In this paper, we develop a model of axonal motility which incorporates mechanical interactions between the axon and the growth substrate. We combine experimental data with theoretical analysis to measure the parameters that describe axonal growth on surfaces with micropatterned periodic geometrical features: diffusion (cell motility) coefficients, speed and angular distributions, and axon bending rigidities. Experiments performed on neurons treated Taxol (inhibitor of microtubule dynamics) and Blebbistatin (disruptor of actin filaments) show that the dynamics of the cytoskeleton plays a critical role in the axon steering mechanism. Our results demonstrate that axons follow geometrical patterns through a contact-guidance mechanism, in which high-curvature geometrical featuresmore »impart high traction forces to the growth cone. These results have important implications for our fundamental understanding of axonal growth as well as for bioengineering novel substrates that promote neuronal growth and nerve repair.« less
  7. Abstract We report the discovery of a highly circularly polarized, variable, steep-spectrum pulsar in the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Variables and Slow Transients (VAST) survey. The pulsar is located about 1° from the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud, and has a significant fractional circular polarization of ∼20%. We discovered pulsations with a period of 322.5 ms, dispersion measure (DM) of 157.5 pc cm −3 , and rotation measure (RM) of +456 rad m −2 using observations from the MeerKAT and the Parkes telescopes. This DM firmly places the source, PSR J0523−7125, in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This RM is extreme compared to other pulsars in the LMC (more than twice that of the largest previously reported one). The average flux density of ∼1 mJy at 1400 MHz and ∼25 mJy at 400 MHz places it among the most luminous radio pulsars known. It likely evaded previous discovery because of its very steep radio spectrum (spectral index α ≈ −3, where S ν ∝ ν α ) and broad pulse profile (duty cycle ≳35%). We discuss implications for searches for unusual radio sources in continuum images, as well as extragalactic pulsars in the Magellanic Clouds and beyond.more »Our result highlighted the possibility of identifying pulsars, especially extreme pulsars, from radio continuum images. Future large-scale radio surveys will give us an unprecedented opportunity to discover more pulsars and potentially the most distant pulsars beyond the Magellanic Clouds.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  8. ABSTRACT The detection of gravitational waves from a neutron star merger, GW170817, marked the dawn of a new era in time-domain astronomy. Monitoring of the radio emission produced by the merger, including high-resolution radio imaging, enabled measurements of merger properties including the energetics and inclination angle. In this work, we compare the capabilities of current and future gravitational wave facilities to the sensitivity of radio facilities to quantify the prospects for detecting the radio afterglows of gravitational wave events. We consider three observing strategies to identify future mergers – wide field follow-up, targeting galaxies within the merger localization and deep monitoring of known counterparts. We find that while planned radio facilities like the Square Kilometre Array will be capable of detecting mergers at gigaparsec distances, no facilities are sufficiently sensitive to detect mergers at the range of proposed third-generation gravitational wave detectors that would operate starting in the 2030s.
  9. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 5, 2023