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The mammal family Tenrecidae (Afrotheria: Afrosoricida) is endemic to Madagascar. Here we present the conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec that were assessed or reassessed in 2015–2016 for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Six species (19.4%) were found to be threatened (4 Vulnerable, 2 Endangered) and one species was categorized as Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. However, the lack of data for most tenrecs on population size, ecology and distribution, together with frequent changes in taxonomy (with many cryptic species being discovered based on genetic analyses) and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (Tenrecinae), hinders conservation planning. Priority conservation actions are presented for Madagascar's tenrecs for the first time since 1990 and focus on conserving forest habitat (especially through improved management of protected areas) and filling essential knowledge gaps. Tenrec research, monitoring and conservation should be integrated into broader sustainable development objectives and programmes targeting higher profile species, such as lemurs, if we are to see an improvement in the conservation status of tenrecs in the near future.
Both double-crystal and triple-axis x-ray diffraction techniques have been used to study complex SiGe/Si structures. A novel method for measuring the nucleation activation energy of dislocations in strain relaxed SiGe/Si structures is presented to illustrate the usefulness of these techniques.
The closely related actions of cortisol and leptin (Ahima & Flier, 2000) are involved with appetite, tissue growth and maturation, energy balance and weight deposition so that resistance to either may lead to obesity. In normal weight humans, plasma leptin and cortisol exhibit diurnal variation, peaking during darkness and late afternoon (respectively). In sheep, the literature consensus is that plasma cortisol levels are greatest during daylight. Ovine plasma leptin is also reported to vary in response to photoperiod-driven changes (Bocquier et al., 1998) and such as alterations in voluntary feed intake as daylength changes. Daily circadian patterns, however, are thought to be entrained by the time of daily feed presentation (Marie et al., 2001). The aim of the present study was to investigate the diurnal variation in ovine plasma leptin in unrestrained animals with ad-lib access to hay and water in relation to their plasma cortisol profile over the same period. Remote blood sampling was employed in order to reduce sampling stress that would affect the animals’ plasma physiology.
At the inland station “Southice” (at approximately lat. 82° S., long. 29° W.) investigation in firn to 45m. included profiles of temperature, density, granularity and crystal size. Mean annual accumulation and temperature are interpolated and crystal fabric analyses briefly discussed. A study of drifting snow is outlined.
Similar studies, but without crystal observations, were continued across the continent using snow cores to 11 m. depth and supplemented by Rammsonde soundings. These sub-surface observations with the sastrugi forms noted, permit the interpolation of the mean accumulation, temperature and wind direction at different heights across the continent. Radiation flux, wind speed and air and snow temperature profiles were recorded at various halts.
Atom probe tomography (APT) provides three-dimensional analytical imaging of materials with near-atomic resolution using pulsed field evaporation. The processes of field evaporation can cause atoms to be placed at positions in the APT reconstruction that can deviate slightly from their original site in the material. Here, we describe and model one such process—that of preferential retention of solute atoms in multicomponent systems. Based on relative field evaporation probabilities, we calculate the point spread function for the solute atom distribution in the “z,” or in-depth direction, and use this to extract more accurate solute concentration profiles.
Atom probe tomography (APT) represents a significant step toward atomic resolution microscopy, analytically imaging individual atoms with highly accurate, though imperfect, chemical identity and three-dimensional (3D) positional information. Here, a technique to retrieve crystallographic information from raw APT data and restore the lattice-specific atomic configuration of the original specimen is presented. This lattice rectification technique has been applied to a pure metal, W, and then to the analysis of a multicomponent Al alloy. Significantly, the atoms are located to their true lattice sites not by an averaging, but by triangulation of each particular atom detected in the 3D atom-by-atom reconstruction. Lattice rectification of raw APT reconstruction provides unprecedented detail as to the fundamental solute hierarchy of the solid solution. Atomic clustering has been recognized as important in affecting alloy behavior, such as for the Al-1.1Cu-1.7Mg (at. %) investigated here, which exhibits a remarkable rapid hardening reaction during the early stages of aging, linked to clustering of solutes. The technique has enabled lattice-site and species-specific radial distribution functions, nearest-neighbor analyses, and short-range order parameters, and we demonstrate a characterization of solute-clustering with unmatched sensitivity and precision.
Alternate layers of pure copper and gold were vapor deposited on a sodium chloride substrate, the average concentration of the films being Cu-16at% Au and the layering periodicity (modulation wavelength) being 3.31 nm. The composition modulation gives rise to satellite diffraction peaks around the (200) Bragg reflections. Synchrotron radiation at SSRL was able to detect up to third order satellite intensity the evolution of which was measured as a function of annealing time at 515 K. Although the first order satellite intensity decayed as expected exponentially with time, intensities of both second and third order satellites decreased very rapidly at first, then increased before decaying exponentially. These results are in conformity with theoretical models of satellite evolution during annealing in a onedimensional modulated system governed by a nonlinear diffusion equation.
The characteristics of A112Mo formed in aluminum annealed after implantation with selected maximum molybdenum concentrations were examined by analytical electron microscopy techniques. The A112MO was isolated as the only precipitate in the microstructure for maximum as-implanted molybdenum concentrations up to 11 atomic percent. The morphology of the A112MO can be selected by choosing the maximum as-implanted molybdenum level over the same concentration range. A predominantly lamellar A112MO precipitate structure formed when aluminum was annealed at 550°C after implantation with maximum molybdenum concentrations in the range of 3.3 - 4.4 at.%. The orientation of the body centered cubic (bcc) A112Mo precipitate with respect to the face centered cubic (fcc) matrix can be expressed as (123)p || (002)m and p || m. An explanation for the experimentally observed orientation relationship was developed based on the characteristic relationships between the bcc A112MO precipitate and the fcc matrix. A continuous film of A112MO formed in the surface modified region when aluminum was annealed after implantation with maximum molybdenum concentrations in the approximate range of 8-11 at.%. The microstructure of the A112Mo film was found to depend on the annealing temperature. A granular film formed after annealing at 550°C whereas a mottled film formed after annealing at 400°C. Sequential annealing experiments revealed that the mottled film transforms to a granular film which indicates the mottled film is metastable.
The microstructure of aluminum annealed after implantation to peak concentrations of approximately 4.4 and 11 at. % Mo was investigated by analytical electron microscopy. Al12Mo precipitates formed with pseudo-lamellar and continuous film microstructures. Video recordings of insitu annealing experiments revealed the details of the phase transformations.
Using a millisecond time-resolved x-ray scattering technique at the National Synchrotron Light Source, we have simultaneously obtained in situ both large-angle (LAXS) and small-angle (SAXS) diffraction patterns for isothermal crystallization of amorphous Fe1−xBx (0.16 < x < 0.21) and Co1−xZrx (0.08 < x < 0.11). The large-angle x-ray data are analyzed to determine which of the two crystalline products nucleate first in each compound, and also to assess the evidence for eutectic growth as shown by a time-independent ratio of volume fractions of these product phases. The small-angle data give the length scales of the eutectic structure as well as information about its time evolution. Combining our x-ray results with TEM studies, we examine the effects of changes in temperature and composition on the structural evolution of both the amorphous and crystalline phases.
Coupled growth during three phase equilibrium solidification is well known from directionally solidified eutectic systems, and was recently generated in monotectic systems. Several theories predict a stationary peritectic reaction and coupled growth of the properitectic and the peritectic phases therefore should be possible. In spite of these theories coupled growth has not been observed up to now. The TiAl system was selected for further investigation on this topic because of its technical relevance and the fact that it meets the condition mentioned for coupled growth.
In a Bridgman laboratory furnace, TiAl with 53.4 at.% Al was directionally solidified with solidification rates v between 0.025 mm/min and 0.1 mm/min and a temperature gradient up to 20 K/mm. The resulting microstructures, analyzed using optical and scanning microscopy with EDX and WDX, consist of two phases parallel to the growth direction. At v = 0.05 to 0.1 mm/min, the alloy solidifies as properitectical α, which subsequently eutectoidally transforms to a substructure of α2-Ti3Al and γ-TiAl, and peritectic γ. The lamellar α2/γ-substructure is oriented parallel to the growth direction.
The experimental results were compared with the existing theoretical models of a stationary peritectic reaction and the possibility of metastable eutectic growth was discussed.
Chemical Vapor Deposition often occurs under conditions unsuitable for simultaneous monitoring using electron-based structural probes. This is due to the near-atmospheric pressure which exists during growth. While some work has been performed using optical probes, the typically high temperatures in the reactor vessel and the vastly longer wavelength of visible light versus the features being studied has hampered its utility as a structural probe. Over the past several years x-rays from synchrotron storage rings have been used to study the surface structure of growing materials. These studies have been primarily scattering studies. In this paper we explore the use of x-ray spectroscopic studies for the analysis of film growth. We have focused on three areas: the measurement of reactor vessel profiles using x-ray fluorescence; The measurement of gas-phase Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (EXAFS), and the measurement of EXAFS of adsorbed species on the substrates.
High-resolution x-ray diffraction is an excellent probe of strain relaxation in complex SiGe structures. The high flux provided by synchrotron sources enables us to make extensive reciprocal space map measurements and evaluate many samples. The diffraction peak positions of each layer in a step-graded structure, measured for two different reflections, yield quantitative values for the relaxation and alloy composition in the layer. Grazing-incidence diffraction allows us to determine the in-plane structure of very thin layers, which have thickness-broadened peaks at conventional diffraction geometries. We demonstrate the power of these techniques with two examples.
Concentrations of air-borne bacteria and particles have been measured in turbulently ventilated operating theatres in full flow, half flow and zero flow conditions. Increased air-borne challenge produced by human activity and by mechanical cleaning procedures is demonstrated: die-away of this contamination is shown to be related to the ventilation rate. Ventilation can be reduced or turned off at night and during weekends, and cleaning can also be carried out, without increased risk of infection if full flow is restored one hour prior to preparation for surgery. Areas surrounding the theatres should remain at positive pressure with regard to the general hospital environment during low or no flow periods. The implementation of such energy-saving policies will substantially reduce theatre running costs without introducing infection hazards.
Despite improvements in outcomes after completion of the Fontan circulation, long-term functional state varies. We sought to identify pre- and postoperative characteristics associated with overall function.
Methods and Results
We analyzed data from 476 survivors with the Fontan circulation enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-sectional Study. Mean age at creation of the Fontan circulation was 3.4 plus or minus 2.1 years, with a range from 0.7 to 17.5 years, and time since completion was 8.7 plus or minus 3.4 years, the range being from 1.1 to 17.3 years. We calculated a functional score for the survivors by averaging the percentile ranks of ventricular ejection fraction, maximal consumption of oxygen, the physical summary score for the Child Health Questionnaire, and a function of brain natriuretic peptide. The mean calculated score was 49.5 plus or minus 17.3, with a range from 3 to 87. After adjustment for time since completion of the circulation, we found that a lower score, and hence worse functional state, was associated with: right ventricular morphology (p less than 0.001), higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure (p equals 0.003) and lower saturations of oxygen (p equals 0.047) prior to completion of the Fontan circulation, lower income for the caregiver (p equals 0.003), and, in subjects without a prior superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, arrhythmias after completion of the circulation (p equals 0.003). The model explained almost one-fifth (18%) of the variation in the calculated scores. The score was not associated with surgical centre, sex, age, weight, fenestration, or the period of stay in hospital after completion of the Fontan circuit. A validation model, using 71 subjects randomly excluded from initial analysis, weakly correlated (R equals 0.17, p equals 0.16) with the score calculated from the dataset.
Right ventricular morphology, higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure and lower saturations of oxygen prior to completion of the Fontan circuit, lower income for the provider of care, and arrhythmias after creation of the circuit, are all associated with a worse functional state. Unmeasured factors also influence outcomes.
The Lower Permian of the Haushi basin, Interior Oman (Al Khlata Formation to Saiwan Formation/lower Gharif member) records climate change from glaciation, through marine sedimentation in the Haushi sea, to subtropical desert. To investigate the palaeoclimatic evolution of the Haushi Sea we used O, C, and Sr isotopes from 31 brachiopod shells of eight species collected bed by bed within the type-section of the Saiwan Formation. We assessed diagenesis by scanning electron microscopy of ultrastructure, cathodoluminescence, and geochemistry, and rejected fifteen shells not meeting specific preservation criteria. Spiriferids and spiriferinids show better preservation of the fibrous secondary layer than do orthotetids and productids and are therefore more suitable for isotopic analysis. δ18O of −3·7 to −3·1℅ from brachiopods at the base of the Saiwan Formation are probably related to glacial meltwater. Above this, an increase in δ18O may indicate ice accumulation elsewhere in Gondwana or more probably that the Haushi sea was an evaporating embayment of the Neotethys Ocean. δ13C varies little and is within the range of published data: its trend towards heavier values is consistent with increasing aridity and oligotrophy. Saiwan Sr isotope signatures are less radiogenic than those of the Sakmarian LOWESS seawater curve, which is based on extrapolation between few data points. In the scenario of evaporation in a restricted Haushi basin, the variation in Sr isotope composition may reflect a fluvial component.
The McDonald Islands (53°S, 73°E) originally comprised three small islands that lie on the Kerguelen Plateau, 44 km west of Heard Island. No volcanic activity was observed since their discovery in 1874 until 1997, when two passing ships recorded major changes and eruptive behaviour. A 2001 satellite image showed that the main island had doubled its area. This paper reports observations made from a cruise ship in November 2002, supplemented by a high-resolution satellite image acquired in March 2003. A new volcanic complex comprises lava domes, spines and flows, all assumed to be phonolitic, similar to the older volcanic rocks. The complex shows dormant volcanic activity, with numerous fumaroles, recent spine evolution and lava flows. Changes in relative sea level have connected Flat and McDonald Islands. A spit about 1km long with extensive shoals beyond, now extends eastward from McDonald Island and presents new hazards to shipping. Biological changes include colonization by king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonica), previously absent, and a large reduction in numbers of formerly widespread macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus chrysolophus).
The present study examined the ontogeny of mitochondrial protein abundance in adipose tissue and lungs over the first month of life in the sheep and the extent to which this may be altered by maternal undernutrition during the final month of gestation. The ontogeny of uncoupling protein (UCP), voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) and cytochrome c abundance were determined in adipose tissue and lungs sampled from near-term fetuses and young sheep aged 4 h, 1, 7 and 30 d. In adipose tissue, the abundance of UCP1, VDAC and cytochrome c all peaked at 1 d of age and then decreased by 30 d of age, at which stage the brown adipose tissue-specific UCP1 was no longer detectable but UCP2 was clearly abundant. For the lungs, however, UCP2 and VDAC abundance both peaked 7 d after birth and then decreased by 30 d of age. During postnatal development, therefore, a marked change in mitochondrial protein abundance occurs within both adipose tissue and lungs. Maternal nutrient restriction had no effect on lamb growth or tissue weights at 30 d of age but was associated with increased abundance of UCP2 and VDAC but not cytochrome c in both adipose tissue and lungs. These mitochondrial adaptations within both adipose tissue and the lungs of offspring born to previously nutrient-restricted mothers may compromise adipose tissue and lung function during periods of environmental stress.