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Extracting a series of amino acids from fossil “collagen” makes it possible to compare chemically well-characterized molecules from one bone sample, both chemically and by isotopic analysis. Thus, the integrity of collagen samples and possible contamination can be checked. We describe the routine high-performance liquid chromatographic extraction of five amino acids: glycine, hydroxyproline, glutamate, threonine and alanine. Humates are eliminated during the extraction, which can be monitored continuously.
Single issue policies have been an effective means of reducing reactive nitrogen (Nr) emissions in the EU, but to make further reductions more-integrated approaches are required.
This chapter shows how cost–benefit analysis (CBA) can provide guidance for the setting of new policy priorities for the abatement of the European Nr emissions from an integrated perspective.
Data on costs and benefits of Nr-abatement, including four national and regional case studies, are reviewed and made comparable by expression in euro per kg of added Nr (agriculture) or euro per kg of reduced Nr emission (unit cost approach).
Social cost estimates are based on Willingness to Pay (WTP) for human life or health, for ecosystem services and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction.
The total annual Nr-related damage in EU27 ranges between 70 and 320 billion Euro, equivalent to 150–750 euro/capita, of which about 75% is related to health damage and air pollution. This damage cost constitutes 1%–4% of the average European income.
Inferred social costs of health impacts from NOx are highest (10–30 euro per kg of pollutant-Nr emission). Health costs from secondary ammonium particles (2–20 euro/kg N), from GHG balance effects of N2O (5–15 euro/kg N), from ecosystem impacts via N-runoff (5–20 euro/kg N) and by N-deposition (2–10 euro/kg N) are intermediate. Costs of health impacts from NO3 in drinking water (0–4 euro/kg N) and by N2O via stratospheric ozone depletion (1–3 euro/kg N) are estimated to be low.
Reactive nitrogen (Nr) has well-documented positive effects in agricultural and industrial production systems, human nutrition and food security. Limited Nr supply was a key constraint to European food and industrial production, which has been overcome by Nr from the Haber–Bosch process.
Given the huge diversity in Nr uses, it becomes a major challenge to summarize an overall inventory of Nr benefits. This full list of benefits needs to be quantified if society is to develop sound approaches to optimize Nr management, balancing the benefits against the environmental threats.
When reviewing trends in European Nr production rates, including those from chemical and biological fixation processes, and the consumption of this Nr in human activities, agriculture is by far the largest sector driving Nr creation.
Particular attention has been given to relationships between N application rates, productivity and quality of products from major crops and livestock types, including consideration of the mechanisms underlying variations in N response/outputs and the derived impacts on land use and land requirements.
Key findings/state of knowledge
The economic value of N benefits to the European economy is very substantial. Almost half of the global food can be produced because of Nr from the Haber–Bosch, and cereal yields in Europe without fertilizer would only amount to half to two-thirds of those with fertilizer application at economically optimal rates.
LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) is an innovative radio telescope optimized for the frequency range 30–240 MHz. The telescope is realized as a phased aperture array without any moving parts. Digital beam forming allows the telescope to point to any part of the sky within a second. Transient buffering makes retrospective imaging of explosive short-term events possible. The scientific focus of LOFAR will initially be on four key science projects (KSPs): (i) Detection of the formation of the very first stars and galaxies in the universe during the so-called epoch of reionization by measuring the power spectrum of the neutral hydrogen 21-cm line (Shaver et al. 1999) on the ∼ 5′ scale; (ii) Low-frequency surveys of the sky with of order 108 expected new sources; (iii) All-sky monitoring and detection of transient radio sources such as γ-ray bursts, X-ray binaries, and exo-planets (Farrell et al. 2004); and (iv) Radio detection of ultra-high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (Falcke & Gorham 2003) allowing for the first time access to particles beyond 1021 eV (Scholten et al. 2006). Apart from the KSPs open access for smaller projects is also planned. Here we give a brief description of the telescope.
The optimal pharmacological treatment of unipolar psychotic depression is uncertain.
To compare the clinical effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for patients with unipolar psychotic depression.
Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
Ten trials were included in the review. We found no evidence that the combination of an antidepressant with an antipsychotic is more effective than an antidepressant alone. This combination was statistically more effective than an antipsychotic alone.
Antidepressant mono-therapy and adding an antipsychotic if the patient does not respond, or starting with the combination of an antidepressant and an antipsychotic, both appear to be appropriate options for patients with unipolar psychotic depression. However, clinically the balance between risks and benefits may suggest the first option should be preferred for many patients. Starting with an antipsychotic alone appears to be inadequate.
In previous studies cognitive impairment in depressed elderly in-patients tends to be associated with a late onset of depression. This study tests the hypothesis that cognitive impairment is associated with depression only in elderly individuals with no history of psychiatric illness.
We investigated an age-stratified sample of 4051 elderly people living in the community, aged between 65 and 84 (AMSTEL). The relationship between depression (GMS-AGECAT diagnosis) and scores on the Mini Mental State Examination was studied in subjects with and without a reported psychiatric history (CAMDEX questionnaire).
Low MMSE scores (MMSE ≤ 25) were only associated with depression in subjects with no psychiatric history (young/old: OR = 2.75, 95% CI = 1.83, 4.19; old/old: OR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.61, 3.03).
We concluded that the combination of cognitive impairment and first-episode depression in elderly individuals may indicate cerebral deterioration. Depression as such may not be associated with cognitive impairment.
In previous studies, dementia was linked to a family history of dementia and Down's syndrome. This study tested the hypothesis that late-life depression accompanied by cognitive impairment in elderly individuals with no history of psychiatric illness is also associated with these family histories.
We investigated an age-stratified sample of 4051 elderly people in the community aged 65–84 (AMSTEL). The relationship between family history (CAMDEX questionnaire) and depression (GMS-AGECAT diagnosis) was studied.
A family history of mental health problems was associated with all subtypes of depression. Family history of dementia was associated with depression in subjects with a psychiatric history, but a family history of Down's syndrome was only associated with the combination of depression and cognitive impairment in subjects with no history of psychiatric illness.
The heritability pattern confirms the concept of a dementia-related subtype of late-life depression.
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