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Biogenic nanoscale vanadium magnetite is produced by converting V(V)-bearing ferrihydrites through reductive transformation using the metal-reducing bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens. With increasing vanadium in the ferrihydrite, the amount of V-doped magnetite produced decreased due to V-toxicity which interrupted the reduction pathway ferrihydrite–magnetite, resulting in siderite or goethite formation. Fe L2,3 and V L2,3 X-ray absorption spectra and data from X-ray magnetic circular dichroism analysis revealed the magnetite to contain the V in the Fe(III) Oh site, predominately as V(III) but always with a component of V(VI), present a consistent V(IV)/V(III) ratio in the range 0.28 to 0.33. The bacteriogenic production of V-doped magnetite nanoparticles from V-doped ferrihydrite is confirmed and the work reveals that microbial reduction of contaminant V(V) to V(III)/V(IV) in the environment will occur below the Fe-redox boundary where it will be immobilised in biomagnetite nanoparticles.
Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled ‘Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets’ (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597–2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229–237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from ‘inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]’, as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84–88), and are not ‘more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence’.
Invasive rodents detrimentally affect native bird species on many islands worldwide, and rodent eradication is a useful tool to safeguard endemic and threatened species. However, especially on tropical islands, rodent eradications can fail for various reasons, and it is unclear whether the temporary reduction of a rodent population during an unsuccessful eradication operation has beneficial effects on native birds. Here we examine the response of four endemic land bird species on subtropical Henderson Island in the Pitcairn Island Group, South Pacific Ocean, following an unsuccessful rodent eradication in 2011. We conducted point counts at 25 sampling locations in 14 survey periods between 2011 and 2015, and modelled the abundance trends of all species using binomial mixture models accounting for observer and environmental variation in detection probability. Henderson Reed Warbler Acrocephalus taiti more than doubled in abundance (2015 population estimate: 7,194-28,776), and Henderson Fruit Dove Ptilinopus insularis increased slightly between 2011 and 2015 (2015 population estimate: 4,476–10,072), while we detected no change in abundance of the Henderson Lorikeet Vini stepheni (2015 population estimate: 554–3014). Henderson Crake Zapornia atra increased to pre-eradication levels following anticipated mortality during the operation (2015 population estimate: 4,960–20,783). A temporary reduction of rat predation pressure and rat competition for fruit may have benefitted the reed warbler and the fruit dove, respectively. However, a long drought may have naturally suppressed bird populations prior to the rat eradication operation in 2011, potentially confounding the effects of temporary rat reduction and natural recovery. We therefore cannot unequivocally ascribe the population recovery to the temporary reduction of the rat population. We encourage robust monitoring of island biodiversity both before and after any management operation to better understand responses of endemic species to failed or successful operations.
To examine the use of vitamin D supplements during infancy among the participants in an international infant feeding trial.
Information about vitamin D supplementation was collected through a validated FFQ at the age of 2 weeks and monthly between the ages of 1 month and 6 months.
Infants (n 2159) with a biological family member affected by type 1 diabetes and with increased human leucocyte antigen-conferred susceptibility to type 1 diabetes from twelve European countries, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Daily use of vitamin D supplements was common during the first 6 months of life in Northern and Central Europe (>80 % of the infants), with somewhat lower rates observed in Southern Europe (>60 %). In Canada, vitamin D supplementation was more common among exclusively breast-fed than other infants (e.g. 71 % v. 44 % at 6 months of age). Less than 2 % of infants in the USA and Australia received any vitamin D supplementation. Higher gestational age, older maternal age and longer maternal education were study-wide associated with greater use of vitamin D supplements.
Most of the infants received vitamin D supplements during the first 6 months of life in the European countries, whereas in Canada only half and in the USA and Australia very few were given supplementation.
Dietary polyphenols, such as those from grape products, may exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, including anti-hypertensive effects. We investigated the effect of a specific grape seed extract (GSE) rich in low-molecular-weight polyphenolic compounds on ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in untreated subjects with pre- and stage I hypertension. In addition, potential mechanisms that could underlie the hypothesised effect of GSE on blood pressure (BP), and platelet aggregation, were explored. The study was designed as a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised, parallel-group intervention study including seventy healthy subjects with systolic BP between 120 and 159 mmHg. A 1-week run-in period was followed by an 8-week intervention period, during which subjects consumed capsules containing either 300 mg/d of GSE or a placebo (microcrystalline cellulose). Before and after the intervention, daytime ABP readings, 24 h urine samples and fasting and non-fasting blood samples were taken. The mean baseline systolic BP was 135·8 (se 1·3) mmHg and diastolic BP was 81·5 (se 0·9) mmHg. BP values were modestly, but not significantly, affected by the polyphenol-rich GSE treatment v. placebo with an effect of − 3·0 mmHg for systolic BP (95 % CI − 6·5, 0·5) and − 1·4 mmHg for diastolic BP (95 % CI − 3·5, 0·6). Vasoactive markers including endothelin-1, NO metabolites and asymmetric dimethylarginine, plasma renin activity and platelet aggregation were not affected by the GSE intervention. Our findings show that consumption of polyphenol-rich GSE does not significantly lower ABP in untreated subjects with pre- and stage I hypertension.
In this chapter, we address the biophysical impacts of climate change, and the consequent impacts on socio-economic systems. Modelling the impacts associated with future climate change provides important information for society’s mitigation and adaptation responses. It also presents significant challenges for Earth system science. We discuss the ways in which uncertainty in impact modelling arises and how it can be managed.
Changes in climate, including those arising as a consequence of anthropogenic perturbations of the climate system, can result in a wide variety of impacts on Earth’s ecosystems and the human activities that depend on them. There are two good practical reasons why it is important to understand the processes involved and assess the possible magnitudes of impacts.
First, an assessment of the extent to which continued anthropogenic climate change could inflict damage is needed in order that well-informed decisions can be made about the reduction of human influences on climate. Our understanding of Earth system behaviour alerts us to the fact that action to mitigate climate change through reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions is not without consequences; so decisions to pursue mitigation options need to be weighed up on the basis of reliable estimates of the costs, risks and benefits of different courses of action.
Secondly, the increase in atmospheric greenhouse-gas concentrations since the Industrial Revolution means that further climate change is inevitable even if greenhouse-gas emissions were to be reduced soon ( Figure 6.1 ). It is therefore necessary for society to adapt to unavoidable changes. Since adaptation action is also not without consequences, it is important that adaptive action addresses credible risks , and represents an efficient allocation of resources.
Both reductions in birth weight and preeclampsia (PE) have been associated with decrements in scores on tests of intelligence in children and adolescents. We examined whether these decrements persist into middle adulthood and expand into other domains of cognitive functioning. Using data from the Early Determinants of Adult Health project and from the ancillary project, Fetal Antecedents of Major Depression and Cardiovascular Disease, we selected term same-sex sibling sets or singletons from these sets, from the New England Family Study (NEFS) and the Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), discordant on either fetal growth or PE, to test the hypotheses that prenatal exposure to inflammation was associated with decrements in attention, learning and executive function 40 years later. Exposure was defined as a continuous measure of percentile birth weight for gestational age, reduced fetal growth (<20th percentile of birth weight for gestational age) or maternal PE. Given that the sample was comprised, in part, of sibling sets, the analyses were performed using mixed models to account for the inter-sibling correlations. Analyses were performed separately by study site (i.e. NEFS and CHDS). We found few statistically significant associations (suggesting a possible type II error) consistent with previous literature, suggesting that the associations with low birth weight do not persist into midlife. We discuss the possible reasons for the lack of associations, which include the possible mediating effects of the postnatal environment.