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Eudialyte-group minerals (EGM) attract global interest as potential resources for high-field-strength elements (e.g. Zr, Nb, Ta, and rare-earth elements), i.e. critical materials for modern technologies. They are particularly valued for their relative enrichment in the most critical lanthanides, i.e. Nd and heavy rare earth elements (Gd–Lu). However, rare earth element (REE) substitution mechanisms into the EGM structure are still poorly understood. Light and heavy REE may occupy different sites and there may be ordering and/or defect clustering in the structure. This study uses X-ray absorption spectroscopy to determine the structural state of REE in EGM from prospective eudialyte-bearing complexes. Yttrium K-edge and Nd L3-edge spectra were collected as proxies for heavy and light REE, respectively, and compared to natural and synthetic REE-bearing standards. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure data yield best fits for Y in six-fold coordination with Y–O distances of 2.24–2.32 Å, and a second coordination sphere comprising Fe, Na, Ca, Si and O at radial distances of 3.6–3.8 Å. These findings are consistent with dominant Y3+ substitution for Ca2+ on the octahedral M1 site in all the samples studied, and exclude preferential substitution of Y3+ onto the smaller octahedral Z site or the large low-symmetry N4 site.
Using lattice strain theory, we constructed relative partitioning models to predict site preferences of lanthanides we have not measured directly. The models predict that all REE are favoured on the Ca-dominant M1 site and that preferential partitioning of heavy over light REE increases in EGM containing significant Mn in the M1-octahedral rings (oneillite subgroup). Thus, the flat REE profiles that make EGM such attractive exploration targets are not due to preferential partitioning of light and heavy REE onto different sites. Instead, local ordering of Mn- and Ca-occupied M1 sites may influence the capacity of EGM to accommodate heavy REE.
The present study evaluates the use of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), a type of exploratory factor analysis designed to reduce the dimensionality of large categorical data sets, in identifying behaviours associated with measures of overweight/obesity in Vanuatu, a rapidly modernizing Pacific Island country.
Starting with seventy-three true/false questions regarding a variety of behaviours, MCA identified twelve most significantly associated with modernization status and transformed the aggregate binary responses of participants to these twelve questions into a linear scale. Using this scale, individuals were separated into three modernization groups (tertiles) among which measures of body fat were compared and OR for overweight/obesity were computed.
Ni-Vanuatu adults (n 810) aged 20–85 years.
Among individuals in the tertile characterized by positive responses to most of or all the twelve modernization questions, weight and measures of body fat and the likelihood that measures of body fat were above the US 75th percentile were significantly greater compared with individuals in the tertiles characterized by mostly or partly negative responses.
The study indicates that MCA can be used to identify individuals or groups at risk for overweight/obesity, based on answers to simply-put questions. MCA therefore may be useful in areas where obtaining detailed information about modernization status is constrained by time, money or manpower.
The importance of parasites as a selective force in host evolution is a topic of current interest. However, short-term ecological studies of host–parasite systems, on which such studies are usually based, provide only snap-shots of what may be dynamic systems. We report here on four surveys, carried out over a period of 12 years, of helminths of spiny mice (Acomys dimidiatus), the numerically dominant rodents inhabiting dry montane wadis in the Sinai Peninsula. With host age (age-dependent effects on prevalence and abundance were prominent) and sex (female bias in abundance in helminth diversity and in several taxa including Cestoda) taken into consideration, we focus on the relative importance of temporal and spatial effects on helminth infracommunities. We show that site of capture is the major determinant of prevalence and abundance of species (and higher taxa) contributing to helminth community structure, the only exceptions being Streptopharaus spp. and Dentostomella kuntzi. We provide evidence that most (notably the Spiruroidea, Protospirura muricola, Mastophorus muris and Gongylonema aegypti, but with exceptions among the Oxyuroidae, e.g. Syphacia minuta), show elements of temporal-site stability, with a rank order of measures among sites remaining similar over successive surveys. Hence, there are some elements of predictability in these systems.
Recent evidence suggests that exercise plays a role in cognition and that the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) can be divided into dorsal and ventral subregions based on distinct connectivity patterns.
To examine the effect of physical activity and division of the PCC on brain functional connectivity measures in subjective memory complainers (SMC) carrying the epsilon 4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE 4) allele.
Participants were 22 SMC carrying the APOE ɛ4 allele (ɛ4+; mean age 72.18 years) and 58 SMC non-carriers (ɛ4–; mean age 72.79 years). Connectivity of four dorsal and ventral seeds was examined. Relationships between PCC connectivity and physical activity measures were explored.
ɛ4+ individuals showed increased connectivity between the dorsal PCC and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and the ventral PCC and supplementary motor area (SMA). Greater levels of physical activity correlated with the magnitude of ventral PCC–SMA connectivity.
The results provide the first evidence that ɛ4+ individuals at increased risk of cognitive decline show distinct alterations in dorsal and ventral PCC functional connectivity.
Experiments on the National Ignition Facility show that multi-dimensional effects currently dominate the implosion performance. Low mode implosion symmetry and hydrodynamic instabilities seeded by capsule mounting features appear to be two key limiting factors for implosion performance. One reason these factors have a large impact on the performance of inertial confinement fusion implosions is the high convergence required to achieve high fusion gains. To tackle these problems, a predictable implosion platform is needed meaning experiments must trade-off high gain for performance. LANL has adopted three main approaches to develop a one-dimensional (1D) implosion platform where 1D means measured yield over the 1D clean calculation. A high adiabat, low convergence platform is being developed using beryllium capsules enabling larger case-to-capsule ratios to improve symmetry. The second approach is liquid fuel layers using wetted foam targets. With liquid fuel layers, the implosion convergence can be controlled via the initial vapor pressure set by the target fielding temperature. The last method is double shell targets. For double shells, the smaller inner shell houses the DT fuel and the convergence of this cavity is relatively small compared to hot spot ignition. However, double shell targets have a different set of trade-off versus advantages. Details for each of these approaches are described.
Mental health research funding priorities in high-income countries must balance longer-term investment in identifying neurobiological mechanisms of disease with shorter-term funding of novel prevention and treatment strategies to alleviate the current burden of mental illness. Prioritising one area of science over others risks reduced returns on the entire scientific portfolio.
Defensive chemicals in anuran skin secretions function in protection against potential predators. Although studies have demonstrated that particular chemicals are effective against certain predators, very little is known about how different chemicals from different species function against the same predators. Understanding how different chemicals function as a defence against similar predators is fundamental to the ecology and evolution of chemical defences in frogs. In the present study, the defensive function of bufadienolide-based defences in adult Rhaebo haematiticus (Bufonidae) were compared with alkaloid-based defences in adult and juvenile Dendrobates auratus (Dendrobatidae) against the same predators. Most bufonids contain synthesized bufadienolides, whereas dendrobatids contain dietary-derived alkaloids. Predation trials were performed with two potential invertebrate predators, Paraponera clavata (bullet ant) and Cupiennius coccineus (ctenid spider), to determine how these predators respond to two different types of frog chemical defence. The non-chemically defended frog Craugastor fitzingeri served as a control in all predation trials. Our results suggest that bufadienolide defences of R. haematiticus and alkaloid defences of D. auratus are equally effective towards bullet ant and ctenid spider predators. The similar avoidance and cleaning behaviours exhibited by these ants and spiders after contact with bufadienolides and alkaloids suggest that both types of defence are unpalatable to these arthropod predators.
This article presents results from the first 3 rounds of an international intercomparison of measurements of Δ14CO2 in liter-scale samples of whole air by groups using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The ultimate goal of the intercomparison is to allow the merging of Δ14CO2 data from different groups, with the confidence that differences in the data are geophysical gradients and not artifacts of calibration. Eight groups have participated in at least 1 round of the intercomparison, which has so far included 3 rounds of air distribution between 2007 and 2010. The comparison is intended to be ongoing, so that: a) the community obtains a regular assessment of differences between laboratories; and b) individual laboratories can begin to assess the long-term repeatability of their measurements of the same source air. Air used in the intercomparison was compressed into 2 high-pressure cylinders in 2005 and 2006 at Niwot Ridge, Colorado (USA), with one of the tanks “spiked” with fossil CO2, so that the 2 tanks span the range of Δ14CO2 typically encountered when measuring air from both remote background locations and polluted urban ones. Three groups show interlaboratory comparability within l% for ambient level Δ14CO2. For high CO2/low Δ14CO2 air, 4 laboratories showed comparability within 2%. This approaches the goals set out by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) CO2 Measurements Experts Group in 2005. One important observation is that single-sample precisions typically reported by the AMS community cannot always explain the observed differences within and between laboratories. This emphasizes the need to use long-term repeatability as a metric for measurement precision, especially in the context of long-term atmospheric monitoring.
Because of its central role in the global carbon cycle, quantifying the biomass of photosynthetic microalgae in the oceans is crucial to our ability to estimate the oceans’ carbon drawdown. Many traditional methods of primary production assessment have proven to be extremely time consuming and, consequently, have handled only very small sample sizes. The recent advent of in situ bio-optical sensors, such as the water quality monitor (WQM), is now providing lower cost and higher throughput data on these crucial biological communities. These WQMs, however, only quantify the total fluorescence of all individual cells within their optical sample windows, irrespective of size. In this paper, we further develop an established model, based on Pareto random variables, of the size structure of the microalgae community to understand the effect of the WQMs’ sampling and data pooling on their estimates of algal biomass. Unfortunately, evaluating sums of Pareto variables is a notoriously difficult problem. Here, we utilize an approximation for the right-tail of the resulting distribution to derive parameter estimates for the underlying size structure of the microalgae community.
The dissociation channels of two prominent bound exciton complexes in wurtzite GaN thin films are determined via an extensive temperature dependent photoluminescence study. The shallow donor bound exciton dissociation at low temperatures (T ≤ 50 K) is found to be dominated by the release of a free exciton with thermal activation energy consistent with the exciton localization energy. At higher temperatures a second dissociation channel with activation energy EA = 28 ± 2 meV is observed. The dissociation of a bound exciton complex with exciton localization energy EXloc = 11.7 meV is also dominated by the release of a free exciton. In contrast to previous studies evidence is presented against the hypothesis of this emission being due to the exciton bound to an ionized donor. We find that it originates most likely from an exciton bound to a neutral acceptor.
Nanoparticles composed of a magnetic iron oxide core surrounded by a metal shell have utility in a broad range of biomedical applications. However, the presence of surface energy differences between the two components makes wetting of oxide with metal unfavorable, precluding a “core–shell” structure of an oxide core completely surrounded by a thin metal shell. Three-dimensional island growth followed by island coalescence into thick shells is favored over the two-dimensional layer-by-layer growth of a thin, continuous metal coating of a true core–shell. Aqueous synthesis of gold-coated magnetite nanoparticles with analysis by infrared, energy-dispersive X-ray, and electron energy loss spectroscopies; high-resolution transmission electron microscopy; selected area electron diffraction; and high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy showed two distinct morphologies that are inconsistent with an idealized core–shell. The majority were isolated ~16–22-nm-diameter nanoparticles consisting of ~7-nm-diameter magnetite and a thick deposition of gold, most often discontinuous, with some potentially “sandwiched” morphologies. A minority were aggregates of agglomerated magnetite decorated with gold but displaying significant bare magnetite. Both populations were successfully conjugated to fibrinogen and targeted to surface-activated platelets, demonstrating that iron oxide–gold nanoparticles produced by aqueous synthesis do not require an ideal core–shell structure for biological activity in cell labeling and targeting applications.