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Geological disposal facilities (GDF) are intended to isolate and contain radioactive waste within multiple protective barriers, deep underground, to ensure that no harmful quantities of radioactivity reach the surface environment. The last line of defense in a multi-barrier GDF is the geosphere, where iron is present in the host rock mineralogy as either Fe(II) or Fe(III), and in groundwater as Fe(II) under reducing conditions. The mobility of risk-driving radionuclides, including uranium and technetium, in the environment is affected significantly by their valence state. Due to its low redox potential, Fe(II) can mediate reduction of these radionuclides from their oxidized, highly mobile, soluble state to their reduced, insoluble state, preventing them from reaching the biosphere. Here a study of five types of potential host rocks, two granitoids, an andesite, a mudstone and a clay-rich carbonate, is reported. The bulk rocks and their minerals were analysed for iron content, Fe(II/III) ratio, and for the speciation and fine-grained nature of alteration product minerals that might have important controls on groundwater interaction. Total iron content varies between 0.9% in clays to 5.6% in the andesite. X-ray absorption spectroscopy reveals that Fe in the granitoids and andesite is predominantly Fe(II), and in mudstones, argillaceous limestone and terrestrial sandstone is predominantly Fe(III). The redox reactivity of the potential host rocks both in the presence and absence of Fe(II)-containing 'model' groundwater was investigated using an azo dye as a probe molecule. Reduction rates as determined by reactivity with the azo dye were correlated with the ability of the rocks to uptake Fe(II) from groundwater rather than with initial Fe(II) content. Potential GDF host rocks must be characterized in terms of mineralogy, texture, grain size and bulk geochemistry to assess how they might interact with groundwater. This study highlights the importance of redox reactivity, not just total iron and Fe(II)/(III) ratio, when considering the host rock performance as a barrier material to limit transport of radionuclides from the GDF.
In England, people with a serious mental illness are offered a standardized care plan under the Care Programme Approach (CPA). A crisis plan is a mandatory part of this standard; however, the quality and in particular the level of individualisation of these crisis plans are unknown. In this context, the aim of this study was to assess the quality of crisis planning and the impact of exposure to a specialized crisis planning intervention.
The crisis plans of 424 participants were assessed, before and after exposure to the Joint Crisis Plan (JCP) intervention, for ‘individualisation’ (i.e., at least one item of specific and identifiable information about an individual). Associations of individualisation were investigated.
A total of 15% of crisis plans were individualised at baseline. There was little or no improvement following exposure to the JCP. Individualised crisis plans were not associated with a history of prior crises or incidences of harm to self and others.
Routine crisis planning for individuals with serious mental illness is not influenced by clinical risk profiles. ‘Top down’ implementation of the policy is unlikely to generate the best practice and compliance if clinicians do not perceive the clinical value in the process.
Although livestock production accounts for a sizeable share of global greenhouse gas emissions, numerous technical options have been identified to mitigate these emissions. In this review, a subset of these options, which have proven to be effective, are discussed. These include measures to reduce CH4 emissions from enteric fermentation by ruminants, the largest single emission source from the global livestock sector, and for reducing CH4 and N2O emissions from manure. A unique feature of this review is the high level of attention given to interactions between mitigation options and productivity. Among the feed supplement options for lowering enteric emissions, dietary lipids, nitrates and ionophores are identified as the most effective. Forage quality, feed processing and precision feeding have the best prospects among the various available feed and feed management measures. With regard to manure, dietary measures that reduce the amount of N excreted (e.g. better matching of dietary protein to animal needs), shift N excretion from urine to faeces (e.g. tannin inclusion at low levels) and reduce the amount of fermentable organic matter excreted are recommended. Among the many ‘end-of-pipe’ measures available for manure management, approaches that capture and/or process CH4 emissions during storage (e.g. anaerobic digestion, biofiltration, composting), as well as subsurface injection of manure, are among the most encouraging options flagged in this section of the review. The importance of a multiple gas perspective is critical when assessing mitigation potentials, because most of the options reviewed show strong interactions among sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The paper reviews current knowledge on potential pollution swapping, whereby the reduction of one GHG or emission source leads to unintended increases in another.
Choline is an essential nutrient that is found in many food sources and plays a critical role in the development of the central nervous system. Animal studies have shown that choline status pre- and postnatally can have long-lasting effects on attention and memory; however, effects in human subjects have not been well studied. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between plasma concentrations of free choline and its related metabolites in children and their neurodevelopment in the Seychelles Child Development Nutrition Study, an ongoing longitudinal study assessing the development of children born to mothers with high fish consumption during pregnancy. Plasma concentrations of free choline, betaine, dimethylglycine (DMG), methionine and homocysteine and specific measures of neurodevelopment were measured in 210 children aged 5 years. The children's plasma free choline concentration (9·17 (sd 2·09) μmol/l) was moderately, but significantly, correlated with betaine (r 0·24; P= 0·0006), DMG (r 0·15; P= 0·03), methionine (r 0·24; P= 0·0005) and homocysteine (r 0·19; P= 0·006) concentrations. Adjusted multiple linear regression revealed that betaine concentrations were positively associated with Preschool Language Scale – total language scores (β = 0·066; P= 0·04), but no other associations were evident. We found no indication that free choline concentration or its metabolites, within the normal physiological range, are associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in children at 5 years of age. As there is considerable animal evidence suggesting that choline status during development is associated with cognitive outcome, the issue deserves further study in other cohorts.
On 18 March 2012, a female specimen of the sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus, measuring 256 cm, was by-caught by a net fisherman targeting narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus commerson, off Dalma Island in Abu Dhabi waters. This occurrence represents the first documented record of C. taurus in United Arab Emirates waters. The geographical distribution of this species in the Arabian/Persian Gulf is discussed and updated. The limited records of this species in this body of water may be due to the absence of rigorous species landing reports across countries bordering the Arabian/Persian Gulf.
We report production of a self-injected, collimated (8 mrad divergence), 600 pC bunch of electrons with energies up to 350 MeV from a petawatt laser-driven plasma accelerator in a plasma of electron density ne = 1017 cm−3, an order of magnitude lower than previous self-injected laser-plasma accelerators. The energy of the focused drive laser pulse (150 J, 150 fs) was distributed over several hot spots. Simulations show that these hot spots remained independent over a 5 cm interaction length, and produced weakly nonlinear plasma wakes without bubble formation capable of accelerating pre-heated (~1 MeV) plasma electrons up to the observed energies. The required pre-heating is attributed tentatively to pre-pulse interactions with the plasma.
The partitioning of Sr, Ba and Rb between alkali feldspar and melt has been determined at 0.1 GPa water vapour pressure, mainly on one Na-rich series and one K-rich series within the system nepheline-kalsilite-quartz. Experiments were also carried out with small amounts of the anorthite molecule or peralkaline components (Na, K metasilicates). The compositions of the alkali feldspars and coexisting quenched glasses were determined by electron microprobe analysis. Except for some peralkaline compositions, the crystal/liquid partition coefficients for Sr and Ba are always >1; the crystal/liquid partition coefficient for Rb is always <1. For sodic alkali feldspars DSr > DBa and for potassic feldspars DSr < DBa. Partition coefficients for Sr and Ba increase: (1) with decreasing temperature; (2) with increasing Or content of feldspar; (3) with increasing silica-undersaturation of the melt; (4) with decreasing peralkalinity. The variation in the value of DRb is less clear, but it is higher for K-rich feldspars. Multiple linear regression equations are fitted to correlate ln(D) with independent compositional and physical variables. Where rock/groundmass major-element data are available for felsic natural rocks, equations are recommended for obtaining reliable alkali feldspar partition coefficients for modelling fractional crystallization processes. The structural properties of silicate melts and crystal chemical relations are used to rationalize trends in partition coefficients.
The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) has been much criticized and it has been suggested that subgroups of women exist for whom hormone therapy (HT) might improve or impair cognitive function. Possible modifying variables could be age, smoking, body mass index, and menopausal symptoms. These were included in artificial neural networks (ANN) analyses, which allow testing of complex non-linear higher order interactions of variables to predict outcomes. Artificial neural networks analyses without hidden units could predict responders and non-responders to treatment as well as logistic regression models that included only main effects, which indicated that higher order interactions were not necessary and did not add to the value of the models. There seemed to be no subgroups (e.g., older women who smoke and have a high body mass) for whom HT has a worse or better effect on cognitive function over time. This study also showed that cross-validation is essential in building robust models with many independent variables and should be applied as a standard technique in complex multivariate analyses.
The chemical composition oft he natural arsenate-apatite mineral johnbaumite [nominally Ca10(AsO4)6(OH)2] and its alteration product hedyphane [Ca4Pb6(AsO4)6Cl2] have been determined by electron microprobe analysis and the structures ofjohnbaumite and synthetic Sr-, Ba- and Pbarsenate apatites have been studied by As K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy and synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction. All samples belong to the holosymmetric apatite space group P63/m with As5+ substituted for P5+ in the tetrahedral structural site. Johnbaumite contains small amounts ofF and Pb (~0.9 and ~4.4 wt.% respectively) and hedyphane has the ideal composition (formula given above); the compositions of these coexisting phases define the two limbs ofa solvus occurring between Ca- and Pb-arsenate apatite end members. The unit-cell parameters and cation–oxygen bond lengths for the arsenate apatites studied are discussed alongside published data for end-member Ca-, Sr-, Ba- and Pbphosphate apatite analogues with (OH), F, Cl or Br as the anions at the centres of the channels in the apatite structure. This discussion rationalizes the relationships between the two structural sites A(1) and A(2) occupied by divalent cations in terms of the size of the A–O polyhedra and the distortion of the A(1)–O polyhedron as measured by the metaprism twist angle [O(1)–A(1)–O(2) projected onto (001)].
In three cattle vaccination experiments, with three strains of the virus of foot-and-mouth disease, it was shown that virus passaged in culture in cattle tongue epithelial tissue was as effective an antigen as virus passaged in cattle.
With two virus strains, the virus content of the culture at the peak of infectivity was about the same as that of vesicle epithelium from the tongues of reacting cattle. Variable and less satisfactory results were obtained with the third strain, but one culture passage yielded tissue of sufficiently high virus content for the preparation of vaccine of adequate potency.
No modification in the antigenic behaviour of the strains was detected as a result of passage in culture.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge the technical assistance given by Mr W. J. Brownsea.