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The demand for on-line analyzers capable of compositional determinations in petroleum and chemical process streams has increased dramatically in recent years. Total control of production plant processes and resources requires the analysis of feed, intermediate, and product materials. This paper will describe a rugged, on-stream energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) analyzer configured for the continuous determination of composition in solid and liquid samples. The detector in the X-ray sensor is a lithium-drifted silicon crystal which is thermoelectrically cooled (Peltier effect) to achieve operational temperatures. This approach to detector cooling offers advantages over traditional cryogenic liquid cooling when EDXRF is used in the process control environment.
Three applications of the thermoelectrically-cooled detector-based EDXRF spectrometer will be presented here. The first is the analysis of a catalyst solution to monitor depletion of the active species. Second, two components of a plating bath solution will be determined simultaneously in a flowing sample stream. In the third application, the spectrometer will be oriented in a downward looking configuration to monitor inorganic constituents in absorbent samples as they are transported by conveyor belt to the X-ray measurement area.
Various sample preparation methods for Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) analysis of Portland cement were compared in order to evaluate improvement in analytical accuracy and precision. Sample preparation requirements for EDXRF are slightly different than for Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (WDXRF), and the methods commonly used in WDXRF are not optimized for EDXRF. Primarily, the work focuses on techniques for producing a fused sample with the lowest practical concentration of lithium borate flux. Determination of minimum detection limits were made from samples with varying proportions of flux in order to evaluate analytical optimization. Ease and reproducibility of preparation of the sample was also considered.
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).
Unfavourable dietary habits, such as skipping breakfast, are common among ethnic minority children and may contribute to inequalities in cardiometabolic disease. We conducted a longitudinal follow-up of a subsample of the UK multi-ethnic Determinants of Adolescent Social well-being and Health cohort, which represents the main UK ethnic groups and is now aged 21–23 years. We aimed to describe longitudinal patterns of dietary intake and investigate their impact on cardiometabolic risk in young adulthood. Participants completed a dietary behaviour questionnaire and a 24 h dietary intake recall; anthropometry, blood pressure, total cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol and HbA1c were measured. The cohort consisted of 107 White British, 102 Black Caribbean, 132 Black African, 98 Indian, 111 Bangladeshi/Pakistani and 115 other/mixed ethnicity. Unhealthful dietary behaviours such as skipping breakfast and low intake of fruits and vegetables were common (56, 57 and 63 %, respectively). Rates of skipping breakfast and low fruit and vegetable consumption were highest among Black African and Black Caribbean participants. BMI and cholesterol levels at 21–23 years were higher among those who regularly skipped breakfast at 11–13 years (BMI 1·41 (95 % CI 0·57, 2·26), P=0·001; cholesterol 0·15 (95 % CI –0·01, 0·31), P=0·063) and at 21–23 years (BMI 1·05 (95 % CI 0·22, 1·89), P=0·014; cholesterol 0·22 (95 % CI 0·06, 0·37), P=0·007). Childhood breakfast skipping is more common in certain ethnic groups and is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in young adulthood. Our findings highlight the importance of targeting interventions to improve dietary behaviours such as breakfast consumption at specific population groups.
The paper summarises briefly the current status of the major land using activities in the hills and uplands. The dominant land use roles of agriculture and forestry arc explained, as are other uses of recreation, water provision and wild life and landscape conservation. Land use competition in the hills and uplands is seen as the end result of conflicting policy objectives pursued by the major rural resource planning agencies over the past 50 years. The role of these agencies is analysed, as is their ability to meet their objectives in competition with each other. Finally, an attempt is made to establish a quantitative framework within which the interests of the various groups are recognised and priorities in land use can be determined.
To determine whether living in a food swamp (≥4 corner stores within 0·40 km (0·25 miles) of home) or a food desert (generally, no supermarket or access to healthy foods) is associated with consumption of snacks/desserts or fruits/vegetables, and if neighbourhood-level socio-economic status (SES) confounds relationships.
Cross-sectional. Assessments included diet (Youth/Adolescent FFQ, skewed dietary variables normalized) and measured height/weight (BMI-for-age percentiles/Z-scores calculated). A geographic information system geocoded home addresses and mapped food deserts/food swamps. Associations examined using multiple linear regression (MLR) models adjusting for age and BMI-for-age Z-score.
Baltimore City, MD, USA.
Early adolescent girls (6th/7th grade, n 634; mean age 12·1 years; 90·7 % African American; 52·4 % overweight/obese), recruited from twenty-two urban, low-income schools.
Girls’ consumption of fruit, vegetables and snacks/desserts: 1·2, 1·7 and 3·4 servings/d, respectively. Girls’ food environment: 10·4 % food desert only, 19·1 % food swamp only, 16·1 % both food desert/swamp and 54·4 % neither food desert/swamp. Average median neighbourhood-level household income: $US 35 298. In MLR models, girls living in both food deserts/swamps consumed additional servings of snacks/desserts v. girls living in neither (β=0·13, P=0·029; 3·8 v. 3·2 servings/d). Specifically, girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls who did not (β=0·16, P=0·003; 3·7 v. 3·1 servings/d), with no confounding effect of neighbourhood-level SES. No associations were identified with food deserts or consumption of fruits/vegetables.
Early adolescent girls living in food swamps consumed more snacks/desserts than girls not living in food swamps. Dietary interventions should consider the built environment/food access when addressing adolescent dietary behaviours.
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.
Since their introduction more than forty years ago, antenatal glucocorticoids have become a cornerstone in the management of preterm birth and have been responsible for substantial reductions in neonatal mortality and morbidity. Clinical trials conducted over the past decade have shown that these benefits may be increased further through administration of repeat doses of antenatal glucocorticoids in women at ongoing risk of preterm and in those undergoing elective cesarean at term. At the same time, a growing body of experimental animal evidence and observational data in humans has linked fetal overexposure to maternal glucocorticoids with increased risk of cardiovascular, metabolic and other disorders in later life. Despite these concerns, and somewhat surprisingly, there has been little evidence to date from randomized trials of longer-term harm from clinical doses of synthetic glucocorticoids. However, with wider clinical application of antenatal glucocorticoid therapy there has been greater need to consider the potential for later adverse effects. This paper reviews current evidence for the short- and long-term health effects of antenatal glucocorticoids and discusses the apparent discrepancy between data from randomized clinical trials and other studies.
Maternal undernutrition during pregnancy increases offspring obesity and metabolic disease risk. We hypothesized that periconceptional undernutrition in sheep from 60 days before conception through to day 30 of gestation (UN) would decrease voluntary locomotor activity in adult offspring. Distance travelled was measured at 18 months of age for ∼48 h in the paddock. Data were analysed using multiple regression analysis, with explanatory variables including sex, nutrition group, birth weight, average time between GPS measurements and percentage of time during the measurement period spent in daylight. Mean (±s.e.) distance walked (m/h) was greater for control (CON) than UN animals, and greater for females than males [110.2 (6.5), CON females; 110.7 (6.3), CON males; 105.1 (5.3), UN females and 95.5 (5.8), UN males; P = 0.02 for nutrition group effect and for sex effect]. Periconceptional undernutrition may lead to a significant decrease in voluntary physical activity in adult offspring.
The climate of the Inner Hebrides is considered as a variant (a) of the climate of the British Isles, and (b) of the European Atlantic seaboard. Its chief characteristics are wetness, and mildness—expressed as minimal variation of temperature both diurnally and seasonally. Other features are the marked effect of topography, particularly on rainfall, cloudiness, and windiness. The ecological significance of these features is stressed.
The structures and mineralogy of the Tertiary ultrabasic and basic intrusions are described. The ultrabasic rocks are thought to be remnants of a layered intrusion which once extended from Hirta to Boreray, and which probably formed by crystal accumulation. The eucrites may represent higher levels of this intrusion. A 350 feet-thick, fine-grained margin is described from the East Glen Bay Gabbro. The metamorphism of the ultrabasic and eucritic rocks, and the formation of the Glacan Mor Complex, probably occurred in a basic environment, before intrusion of the first acid rocks on St. Kilda. Five major-element and twenty-two trace-element analyses are presented.
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy remains common in many countries. Exposure to even low amounts of alcohol (i.e. ethanol) in pregnancy can lead to the heterogeneous fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), while heavy alcohol consumption can result in the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is characterized by cerebral dysfunction, growth restriction and craniofacial malformations. However, the effects of lower doses of alcohol during pregnancy, such as those that lead to FASD, are less well understood. In this article, we discuss the findings of recent studies performed in our laboratories on the effects of fetal alcohol exposure using sheep, in which we investigated the effects of late gestational alcohol exposure on the developing brain, arteries, kidneys, heart and lungs. Our studies indicate that alcohol exposure in late gestation can (1) affect cerebral white matter development and increase the risk of hemorrhage in the fetal brain, (2) cause left ventricular hypertrophy with evidence of altered cardiomyocyte maturation, (3) lead to a decrease in nephron number in the kidney, (4) cause altered arterial wall stiffness and endothelial and smooth muscle function and (5) result in altered surfactant protein mRNA expression, surfactant phospholipid composition and pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in the lung. These findings suggest that fetal alcohol exposure in late gestation can affect multiple organs, potentially increasing the risk of disease and organ dysfunction in later life.
The results of sequential large-scale molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of radiation damage cascades in Gd2Ti2O7 and Gd2Zr2O7 are presented. Twelve alpha recoil cascades, each due to a recoil atom with 40 keV of kinetic energy, are performed in both materials and a stark contrast in behaviour observed. Topological connectivity analysis is used to analyse the structural evolution of the two systems. Our results provide important insight into accumulation of disorder in pyrochlore-structured ceramics.