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Effective assessment and remediation of hazardous waste sites dictates that analytical methodologies be developed which assist in the evaluation of site contamination and simultaneously make efficient use of sampling time and resources (1). Optimally, a technique would provide on-site personnel with immediate and accurate information concerning the identity and concentration of inorganic soil contaminants (2).
Underlying mechanisms responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of β-glucan have been proposed, yet have not been fully demonstrated. The primary aim of this study was to determine whether the consumption of barley β-glucan lowers cholesterol by affecting the cholesterol absorption, cholesterol synthesis or bile acid synthesis. In addition, this study was aimed to assess whether the underlying mechanisms are related to cholesterol 7α hydroxylase (CYP7A1) SNP rs3808607 as proposed by us earlier. In a controlled, randomised, cross-over study, participants with mild hypercholesterolaemia (n 30) were randomly assigned to receive breakfast containing 3 g high-molecular weight (HMW), 5 g low-molecular weight (LMW), 3 g LMW barley β-glucan or a control diet, each for 5 weeks. Cholesterol absorption was determined by assessing the enrichment of circulating 13C-cholesterol over 96 h following oral administration; fractional rate of synthesis for cholesterol was assessed by measuring the incorporation rate of 2H derived from deuterium oxide within the body water pool into the erythrocyte cholesterol pool over 24 h; bile acid synthesis was determined by measuring serum 7α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one concentrations. Consumption of 3 g HMW β-glucan decreased total cholesterol (TC) levels (P=0·029), but did not affect cholesterol absorption (P=0·25) or cholesterol synthesis (P=0·14). Increased bile acid synthesis after consumption of 3 g HMW β-glucan was observed in all participants (P=0·049), and more pronounced in individuals carrying homozygous G of rs3808607 (P=0·033). In addition, a linear relationship between log (viscosity) of β-glucan and serum 7α-HC concentration was observed in homozygous G allele carriers. Results indicate that increased bile acid synthesis rather than inhibition of cholesterol absorption or synthesis may be responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of barley β-glucan. The pronounced TC reduction in G allele carriers of rs3808607 observed in the previous study may be due to enhanced bile acid synthesis in response to high-viscosity β-glucan consumption in those individuals.
Pulsed non-thermal quiescent emission between 10 keV and around 150 keV has been observed in ~10 magnetars. For inner magnetospheric models of such hard X-ray signals, resonant Compton upscattering of soft thermal photons from the neutron star surface is the most efficient radiative process. We present angle-dependent hard X-ray upscattering model spectra for uncooled monoenergetic relativistic electrons. The spectral cut-off energies are critically dependent on the observer viewing angles and electron Lorentz factor. We find that electrons with energies less than around 15 MeV will emit most of their radiation below 250 keV, consistent with the observed turnovers in magnetar hard X-ray tails. Moreover, electrons of higher energy still emit most of the radiation below around 1 MeV, except for quasi-equatorial emission locales for select pulses phases. Our spectral computations use new state-of-the-art, spin-dependent formalism for the QED Compton scattering cross section in strong magnetic fields.
Over the last fifty years since the discovery of pulsars, our understanding of where and how pulsars emit the radiation we observe has undergone significant revision. The location and mechanisms of high-energy radiation are intimately tied to the sites of particle acceleration. The evolution of emission models has paralleled the development of increasingly more sensitive telescopes, especially at high energies. I will review the history of pulsar emission modeling, from the early days of gaps at the polar caps, to outer gaps and slot gaps in the outer magnetosphere, to the present era of global magnetosphere simulations that locate most acceleration and high-energy emission in the current sheets.
Follow-up of unidentified Fermi sources has expanded the number of known galactic-field “black widow” and “redback” millisecond pulsar binaries from four to nearly 30. Several systems observed by Chandra, XMM-Newton, Suzaku, and NuSTAR exhibit double-peaked X-ray orbital modulation. This is attributed to synchrotron emission from electrons accelerated in an intrabinary shock and Doppler boosting by mildly relativistic bulk flow. We briefly discuss the rich complexity of these systems, their astrophysical utility, and open questions.
In recent years, surprise discoveries of pulsed emission from the Crab and Vela pulsars above 100 GeV have drawn renewed attention to this largely unexplored region of the energy range. In this paper, we discuss example light curves due to curvature emission, with good resolution in the different energy bands. Continued light curve modelling may help to discriminate between different emission mechanisms, as well as constrain the location where emission is produced within the pulsar magnetosphere, including regions beyond the light cylinder.
To: (i) determine the prevalence of self-reported eating less and eating down during early and late pregnancy and postpartum, and explore risk factors associated with eating less; (ii) examine the association between eating less and diet quality; and (iii) determine the association between eating less and weight gain during pregnancy.
Data were collected longitudinally from a cohort of women participating in a community health programme. Diet was assessed at three time points (≤20 weeks’ gestation, 36 weeks’ gestation, 6 months’ postpartum), body weight was measured during study enrolment (≤20 weeks’ gestation) and at 36 weeks’ gestation, and information about the woman and her household was collected at enrolment.
The Rang-Din Nutrition Study in the Rangpur and Dinajpur districts of Bangladesh.
Women (n 4011).
The prevalence of self-reported eating less differed by time point (75·9 % in early pregnancy, 38·8 % in late pregnancy, 7·4 % postpartum; P<0·001). The most common reason for eating less across all time periods was food aversion or loss of appetite. Women who reported eating less in late pregnancy had consumed animal-source foods less frequently in the preceding week than women who reported eating more (mean (sd): 11·7 (7·4) v. 14·8 (9·2) times/week; P<0·001) and had lower weekly weight gain than women who reported eating more (mean (se): 0·27 (0·004) v. 0·33 (0·004) kg/week; P<0·001).
Eating less has negative implications with respect to diet quality and pregnancy weight gain in this context.
A simple high speed image widener is described which allows effective count rates of up to 100hz to be achieved with photon counting detectors thus allowing rapid accumulation of high signal to noise data in bright star spectroscopy.
We report on our analysis of a 300 ks observation of the Vela pulsar with the Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE). The double-peaked, pulsed emission at 2 - 30 keV, which we had previously detected during a 93 ks observation, is confirmed with much improved statistics. There is now clear evidence, both in the spectrum and the light curve, that the emission in the RXTE band is a blend of two separate components. The spectrum of the harder component connects smoothly with the OSSE, COMPTEL and EGRET spectrum and the peaks in the light curve are in phase coincidence with those of the high-energy light curve. The spectrum of the softer component is consistent with an extrapolation to the pulsed optical flux, and the second RXTE pulse is in phase coincidence with the second optical peak. In addition, we see a peak in the 2-8 keV RXTE pulse profile at the radio phase.
The discovery of the double quasar (Walsh ET AL. 1979) provides an opportunity to study the mass distribution of elliptical galaxies and clusters of galaxies. This has been done initially by Young ET AL. (1981) who produced a model to account for the image positions and intensities. Since then VLBI observations have been made of 0957+561A and B (Porcas ET AL. 1981) which show very similar core and jet structures in the nuclei of both images. In addition to providing further evidence in favour of the gravitational lens hypothesis, these new observations provide additional constraints on the mass distribution of the lensing galaxy and cluster. We have attempted to produce a model in the light of these new results.
Calculations based on Poisson-Boltzmann theory are used to investigate the equilibrium properties of an electrolyte containing TcO4− and SO42− ions near the surface of amorphous silica. The calculations show that the concentration of TcO4− is greater than SO42− at distances less than 1 nm from the surface due to the negative charge density caused by deprotonation of the amorphous silica silanol groups. At lower pH, the surface becomes protonated and the magnitude of this effect is reduced. These results have implications for the potential use of oxyanion-SAMMS for the environmental remediation of water contaminated with 99Tc.
Biodegradable Normal Human Osteoblast (NHOst) cells were inoculated into the polymer scaffolds of poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) obtained from a specially developed strain of Azotobacter vinelandii. Cell adhesion is essential to promote growth on scaffolds for tissue engineering. Thus, in this research we focused on the adhesion of osteoblast cells to PHB scaffolds produced by solution casting and electrospinning. Cell viability was also investigated up to 168 hrs. Water contact angle on the PHB scaffolds was determined prior to the cells inoculation. The contact angle is usually related to the ability of different cell strains to adhere to a given material. The as cast film exhibited a contact angle α=72° whereas for the electrospun membrane α=102°, thus in theory cell adhesion would be greater for the cast film. Biological testing was carried out on plates of 24 wells; cell viability was determined by Trypan Blue, cell morphology by optical microscopy, and cell nuclei integrity by staining with Acridine orange. Parallel studies were carried out on control (empty) wells. Microscopy observations 168 hrs after cell inoculation showed larger quantities of osteoblast cells in the wells containing PHB scaffolds and the cell nuclei were still active. Moreover, it was found that the cells grew inside the PHB scaffolds and the cell viability was slightly greater for the electrospun scaffold. Interestingly, the time to remove the cells from the scaffolds (film and membranes) was increasing function of the cell culture time, therefore suggesting that PHB promotes adhesion of Normal Human Osteoblast cells to its surface.
Single-crystalline rutile with porous and complex structure can be produced by tuning reaction conditions so as to maintain low titania solubility. X-ray diffraction, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy results are consistent with the hypothesis that oriented aggregation of anatase crystals precedes rutile nucleation and growth from anatase nanocrystal interfaces. The product rutile retains morphological and microstructure features consistent with an aggregation-based phase transformation because coarsening, or monomer-by-monomer growth, is suppressed under these conditions of low titania solubility.
Porous coatings at the surface of living cells have application in human cell transplantation by controlling the transport of biomolecules to and from the cells. Sol-gel-derived mesoporous silica materials are good candidates for such coatings, owing to their biocompatibility, facile solution-based synthesis conditions, and thin film formation. Diffusion and transport across the coating correlates to long-range microstructural properties, including pore size distribution, porosity, and pore morphology. Here, we investigated collagen-fibril matrices with known biocompatibility to serve as templating systems for directed silica deposition. Type 1 collagen oligomers derived from porcine skin are extensively characterized such that we can predict and customize the final collagen-fibril matrix with respect to fibril density, interfibril branching and viscoelasticity. We show that these matrices template and direct the deposition of mesoporous silica at the level of individual collagen fibrils. We varied the fibril density, silicic acid concentration, and time of exposure to silicifying solution and characterized the resulting hybrid materials by scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and rheology. Microstructural properties of the collagen-fibril template are preserved in the silica surface of hybrid materials. Results for three different collagen fibril densities, corresponding to shear storage moduli of 200 Pa, 1000 Pa, and 1600 Pa, indicate that increased fibril density increases the absolute amount of templated silica when all other silica synthesis conditions are kept constant. Additionally, mechanical properties of the hybrid material are dominated by the presence of the silica coating rather than the starting collagen matrix stiffness.
Mechanical properties and new morphological data on synthetic sodium hydrogen urate monohydrate are reported and interpreted. Crystals formed in supersaturated aqueous solutions were identified by powder x-ray diffraction. Intact grains and separate needles were examined by several microscopy techniques, some reported here for the first time. The dominant morphology was spherulite-type, comprising tapered, branched blades (needles) radiating out of a common core. The pointed blade tips were truncated by (011) planes, corresponding to hydrogen-bonded planes. Branching was at about a 5° angle or its multiples, suggesting it accommodated by dislocation arrays at the low angle boundaries, as is often seen in twinning. Vicker’s micro-hardness, extrapolated to zero porosity, was 0.90 GPa, which is greater than the hardness measured by nano-indentation. Present results are anticipated to be useful in interpreting the mechanical characteristics of the material crystallized in vivo and its action concerning gout, and affording inferences on the role of the milieu on morphologies, fragmentation, and hardness.
Levallois knapping debris is present beneath the sides of a disused tramway cutting connected to Lion Pit, West Thurrock, Essex. This occurrence, first recorded during the early 20th century, is in the basal gravel of the Taplow/Mucking Formation, which dates from the end of Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 8. The relatively undisturbed nature of this knapping debris is confirmed by the incidence of refitting material, although finer debitage is absent, presumably winnowed out. The Levallois character of the assemblage is demonstrated by the occurrence of characteristic ‘tortoise’ cores and flakes with faceted striking platforms. The artefact-bearing gravel is overlain by >10 m of predominantly fine-grained sediments, including fossiliferous sands and massive clayey silt, as well as laminated silts, clays, and sands of possible estuarine origin. These are attributed to deposition under temperate conditions during MIS 7. To the south, a younger fluvial gravel, attributed to MIS 6, has been incised into the interglacial sequence. The top of the estuarine sequence has been affected by pedogenesis, both before and after its burial by an unbedded solifluction gravel.
The UK Pension Protection Fund (PPF) was established in April 2005 to protect the pensions of members of UK private sector defined benefit pension schemes which have insufficient assets and whose corporate sponsor fails. The Fund takes over the pension scheme assets and assumes responsibility for the payment of compensation to the former members of the scheme. The PPF is funded by a levy on the population of eligible schemes. This paper discusses the application of Enterprise Risk Management principles and techniques to the unique situation of the PPF. The elements of the financial management of the Fund have been developed by reference to practice within proprietary insurance institutions and within pension funds. The paper will be of interest and, we hope, of some value to students, researchers and analysts and also to the PPF's own stakeholder groups that have a stake in an effective pension protection regime.
Aragonite can grow from calcium carbonate solutions as the favored phase, at ambient conditions, in the presence of 1:1 volume % water:ethanol. Its form is single and branched needles, with pseudohexagonal symmetry. Morphological evidence demonstrates that all precipitated aragonite is twinned. The recently popularized hypothesis of nonclassical growth by nanocrystal self assembly cannot describe the aragonite crystal form. Rather, its formation is effectively described as spherulitic growth, i.e. by classical crystal growth theory.
Type I collagen is one of the most vital proteins in our bodies and serves a number of structural roles. Despite collagen’s importance, little is known about its nanoscale morphology in tissues and how morphology relates to mechanical function. This study directly probes nanoscale structure and mechanics in collagen as a function of hydration utilizing atomic force microscopy investigations of the mouse tail tendon. We demonstrate that collagen morphology and mechanical properties at the nanoscale change with dehydration, indicating that hydration is a factor which must be considered when performing studies at any length scale in collagen-based tissues. Studies are underway to further investigate this phenomenon and to determine how these properties change with disease in tendon and other Type I collagen-based tissues.