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Surface radiocarbon (Δ14C) in the North Pacific has been monitored using a commercial volunteer observation ship since the early 2000s. Here we report the temporal and spatial variations in Δ14C in the summer surface water when the surface ocean is vertically stratified over a 13-yr period, 2004–2016. The long-term Δ14C decreasing trend after the late 1970s in the subtropical region has continued to the present and the rate of decrease of the Kuroshio and Kuroshio Extension, North Pacific and California current areas is calculated to be –3.3, –5.2 and –3.3 ‰/yr, respectively. After 2012 the Δ14C of the Kuroshio and Kuroshio Extension area, however, has remained at an approximately constant value of around 50‰. The result may indicate that subtropical surface Δ14C in the western North Pacific has reached an equilibrium with atmospheric Δ14CO2. The Δ14C in the subarctic region is markedly lower than values in the subtropical region and it seems that the decreasing tendency of surface Δ14C has changed to an increasing tendency after 2010. The results may indicate that bomb-produced 14C, which has accumulated below the mixed layer in the past few decades, has been entrained into the surface layer by deep convection.
Highly alkaline environments induced by cement-based materials are likely to cause the physical and/or chemical properties of the bentonite buffer materials in radioactive waste repositories to deteriorate. Assessing long-term alteration of concrete/clay systems requires physicochemical models and a number of input parameters. In order to provide reliability in the assessment of the long-term performance of bentonite buffers under disposal conditions, it is necessary to develop and verify reactive transport codes for concrete/clay systems. In this study, a PHREEQC-based, reactive transport analysis code (MC-CEMENT ver. 2) was developed and was verified by comparing results of the calculations with in situ observations of the mineralogical evolution at the concrete/argillite interface. The calculation reproduced the observations such as the mineralogical changes in the argillite limited to within 1 cm in thickness from the interface, formation of CaCO3 and CSH, dissolution of quartz, decrease of porosity in the argillite and an increase in the concrete. These agreements indicate a possibility that models based on lab-scale (∼1 year) experiments can be applied to longer time scales although confidence in the models is necessary for much longer timescales. The fact that the calculations did not reproduce the dissolution of clays and the formation of gypsum indicates that there is still room for improvement in our model.
We investigated the effects of a postnatal fructose diet on the programmed hypertension and vascular and renal dysfunction in offspring from dams exposed to protein restriction. Pregnant Wistar rats were fed control and low-protein diets during the gestation and suckling periods. From the end of lactation, male offspring received standard chow or a 60% fructose diet: a control diet in the gestation and suckling periods and a control diet from the end of lactation, control-on-control (CC), 60% fructose diet-on-control (CF), control-on-low-protein diet (LPC) and 60% fructose diet-on-low-protein diet (LPF). The systolic blood pressure (SBP) was measured during treatment. At postnatal days 94–101, urinary 24 h nitrate/nitrite (NOx) content, protein levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and mRNA levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), and NAD(P)H oxidase subunits in the aorta and kidney were examined. The SBP at postnatal days 97–101 increased in CF (137 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05), LPC (135 ± 1 mmHg, P < 0.05) and LPF (141 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05), compared with CC (124 ± 1 mmHg). The urinary NOx contents and eNOS phosphorylation in the aorta and kidney of CF, LPC and LPF decreased when compared with CC. In the aorta, the mRNA levels of NAD(P)H oxidase subunits p47phox in LPC and ET-1 in LPC and LPF increased. These results indicate that maternal protein restriction elevated the blood pressure, the downregulated nitric oxide production and eNOS phosphorylation, whereas the postnatal fructose diet made no significant difference to these alterations.
Nanoindentation creep and uniaxial tension were conducted on pure Mg with a grain size of about 2 μm at room temperature and the data were directly compared. Despite the differences in stress state, the two sets of data were found to match remarkably well with each other. An apparent stress exponent value of 4 was obtained and the deformation mechanism was discussed in light of dislocation slips and twinning in anisotropic Mg.
An experimental method is proposed for detecting the effects of positive natural selection on DNA polymorphisms. Since beneficial mutations are expected to increase in frequency faster than neutral mutations, variants which have reached high frequencies in a relatively short period could be linked to some beneficial mutation. D. melanogaster has a cosmopolitan polymorphic inversion -In(2L)t - whose age in some local populations has been estimated. Setting the age of In(2L)t as the upper limit for the age of variants, we searched for variants whose frequencies were possibly influenced by positive natural selection. We detected a single candidate whose frequency and distribution met the requirements imposed by our method.
The specific activities of α-amylase were measured for two sets of mutation accumulation lines, each set having originated from a different lethal-carrying second chromosome and SM1(Cy) chromosome and having been maintained by a balanced lethal system for about 300 generations. Significant variation was found to have accumulated among lines of both sets. Because of dysgenic crosses in the early generations of mutation accumulation, insertions or deletions of transposable elements in the Amy gene region were suspected of being the cause of this variation. In order to test this possibility, the structural changes in the 14 kb region of these chromosomes that includes the structural genes for α-amylase were investigated by restriction map analysis. We found that most part of the activity variation is due to replacements of a chromosomal region of SM1(Cy), including the structural genes for α-amylase, by the corresponding regions of the lethal chromosomes. One line also contained an insertion in this region but this line has an intermediate activity value. Thus, insertions of transposable elements into the Amy gene region were not found to be responsible for the new variation observed in α-amylase activity. If we remove those lines with structural changes from the analysis, the genetic variance of α-amylase specific activity among lines becomes non-significant in both sets of chromosomes.
The atomic structure of shear bands in Pd40Ni40P20 bulk metallic glass has been compared to an undeformed matrix phase using pair distribution functions (PDFs) derived from energy filtered nanobeam electron diffraction. Shear bands do not show any characteristic contrast in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images when specimens are prepared with uniform thickness. PDFs from a shear band exhibit a slight decrease in the first peak, indicating a slight difference in packing density and short range order compared to the undeformed matrix.
We have investigated the compression stress–strain behaviors of Ti40Zr25Cu12Ni3Be20 bulk metallic glasses prepared by Cu mold casting from various melt temperatures. Plastic strain was found to vary sensitively on the temperature of melts and subsequent annealing conditions. To understand the origin of the plasticity change, the microstructures were characterized using transmission electron microscopy and a laser-assisted three-dimensional atom probe. The fully amorphous sample cast from 1273 K showed 0.6% plastic strain, and it was enhanced to 1.3% after isothermal annealing at 573 K. The sample cast from 1423 K showed 3.0% plastic strain, from which the presence of nanocrystals with a volume fraction of about 12% was confirmed. The sample cast from a higher temperature (1573 K) contained a larger fraction of crystals, which showed limited plastic strain. The effect of the volume fraction of the nanocrystals on the plasticity of bulk metallic glasses is discussed based on the experimental results.
Reproductive performance is receiving increased attention from beef cattle producers. There are concerns that intensive selection for carcass traits might reduce the reproductive performance of females. Genetic parameters among six carcass traits and, age at first calving (AFC), gestation length (GL), days open (DO) and calving interval (CI) under year-round artificial insemination were estimated. Reproductive traits were extracted from 174005 calving records of Japanese Black cows and were analysed with 31364 carcass records. The restricted maximum likelihood procedure under animal models was used to estimate the parameters. Heritabilities of AFC, GL, DO and CI were estimated to be 0.20, 0.40, 0.05 and 0.05, respectively, and those of carcass traits were higher, ranging from 0.38 to 0.56. Genetic correlations of CI with AFC and GL were 0.25 and 0.16, respectively, while no relationship was observed between AFC and GL. Correlations among carcass traits were generally favourable and a slightly negative estimate was obtained between subcutaneous fat thickness and marbling score. Genetic correlations for AFC were -0.27 with carcass weight and -0.24 with marbling score. In contrast, GL, DO and CI were genetically independent of carcass traits. Genetic relationships between reproductive and carcass traits were generally low, and therefore serious antagonism was not observed. The results suggested that selection for carcass traits would not compromise genetic progress in reproductive traits.
We attempted to detect the Earth-Moon libration clouds around L4 with a cooled CCD camera at Mauna Kea (4200m), Hawaii, on November 17 and 18, 1999. No significant enhancement of brightness larger than 1.5S10⊙ was found around L4. It seems that the brightness of the libration clouds in 1999, if it existed, would be fainter than that reported previously by Kordylewski and Roach.
The Lagrangian points L4 and L5 are the triangular solutions of the restricted three-body problem. The L4 is located in the leading side and the L5 in the trailing side of an orbit. In the solar system, it is widely known that certain asteroids called the “Trojan family” exist around the Sun-Jupiter Lagrangian points. It is also known that (5261) Eureka is a Mars Trojan. Kuchner et al. tried to find the dust clouds around the Sun-Jupiter L5 point by analysing the COBE-DIRBE infrared data, but they obtained a negative result.
It has been known that non spherical silicate particles of a size comparable to the wavelength of light, and aggregates of such particles, produce negative polarization in the backscattering region (e.g. Xing & Hanner 1997, Yanamandra-Fisher & Hanner, 1999). It has now been shown that large aggregates of small absorbing particles of fractal dimension about 2 produce a slightly negative polarization at small phase angles (Levasseur-Regourd et al., 1997). The phase-curves strongly differ from those of Mie spheroidal particles. They are likely to be due to scattering by irregular dust particles and/or fluffy aggregates of numerous submicronic absorbing particles (Levasseur-Regourd et al., 1997; Lumme et al., 1997).