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  • 1
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The process of scattering of radiation by indium‒tin oxide (ITO) nanoparticles is theoretically studied at various degrees of doping and for different radii of nanoparticles. Qualitative conclusions are made about the character of the dependence of the scattering cross section on the frequency with variation of the particle size and the percentage content of tin. The prospects of using ITO nanoparticles as an active substance in optical sensors are estimated.
    Print ISSN: 1028-3358
    Electronic ISSN: 1562-6903
    Topics: Physics
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  • 2
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: It is shown experimentally that using forced-convection boiling of dielectric coolants of the Novec 649 Refrigerant subcooled relative to the saturation temperature makes possible removing heat flow rates up to 100 W/cm 2 from modern supercomputer chip interface. This fact creates prerequisites for the application of dielectric liquids in cooling systems of modern supercomputers with increased requirements for their operating reliability.
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  • 3
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: A projection method for solving the inverse problems of identification of the characteristics of inhomogeneous solids is proposed on the basis of acoustic sounding. Examples of using the method for solution of one-dimensional inverse problems for rods and round plates are given. The results of computational experiments on the identification of functions of various types are presented.
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  • 4
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Nanothin space-dissipative structures (SDSs) of hexagonal selenium formed in an amorphous film are investigated by transmission electron microscopy. It is established that the nanothin SDS of hexagonal selenium with a linear fan-shaped system of flexural contours in the electron-microscopy image is initial for the formation of the nanothin SDS of hexagonal selenium with a nonlinear fan-shaped system of flexural contours in the electron-microscopy image. It is shown that the formation of the nanothin SDS of hexagonal selenium with a nonlinear fan-shaped system of flexural contours in the electron-microscope image results in a change in the geometry of the nanothin-SDS lattice from Euclidean to Riemannian.
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  • 5
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Cumulative distributions of clearness index values are constructed for the territory of Russia based on ground observation results and NASA POWER data. The obtained distributions lie close to each other, which means that the NASA POWER data can be used in solar power installations simulation at temperate and high latitudes. Approximation of the obtained distributions is carried out. The values of equation coefficients for the cumulative clearness index distributions constructed for a wide range of climatic conditions are determined. Equations proposed for a tropical climate are used in the calculations, so they can be regarded as universal ones.
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  • 6
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: Heterogeneous coatings have been deposited by the cold gas-dynamic spraying of mechanically synthesized AMg2/graphite + Al 2 O 3 powders. A specific feature of the coatings formed is the existence of a two-level micro-and nanocomposite structure. It has been established that an increase in the content of microsized Al 2 O 3 particles in the mixture from 10 to 30 wt % produces a twofold increase in the thickness of the coating deposited for the same time period from 140 to 310 μm. A further growth in the content of microsized Al 2 O 3 particles in the mixture up to 50 wt % leads to a decrease in the thickness of the coating formed to 40 μm. The manufactured coatings have a high microhardness ranging from 1.7 to 3.2 GPa depending on their composition. The high microhardness of these coatings is caused by an increase in the hardness of the matrix material due to the creation of a nanocomposite structure, which strengthens the immobilization of microsized Al 2 O 3 particles in it, thus improving the properties of the heterogeneous coating as a whole.
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  • 7
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: In this study, an unsteady one-dimensional shear in a flat layer of a viscoplastic medium is chosen as the main flow for which there are no hard layers in the transverse direction. Such a velocity profile is implemented, for example, in the Couette flow accelerating under the action of the acceleration of one of the boundaries. On the basis of the integral-equation method, the integral estimates of the exponential decay of the initial perturbations are derived with the H 2 space metrics.
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  • 8
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The atomic structure and amorphous-crystalline transition dynamics in CuTi metallic glass synthesized by high-energy ball milling have been studied. Using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), it has been shown that the initial amorphous phase contains crystalline inclusions, which are up to 8 nm in size and may serve as crystallization centers. In contrast to the earlier studied amorphous CuTi alloys synthesized by melt spinning, the process of crystallization in the mechanically generated amorphous alloy begins at a lower temperature (250°C) and lasts for 20–30 s. A conclusion about the diffusion mechanism of crystallization in this material has been made.
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  • 9
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The problem of the radiation gas dynamics of super-orbital entry into dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere of the command module of Apollo 4 is solved numerically in the two-dimensional formulation of the flow around an aerodynamic frontal shield at the velocity V ∞= 10.7 km/s in the altitude range H = 91.5‒76.2 km. The density distributions of the spectral and integral radiation heat fluxes on the surface flowed around are obtained. The considerable role of atomic spectral lines in the radiation heating of the surface is shown. The results of calculations are compared with the flight experimental data and the calculated data of other authors.
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  • 10
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: By the methods of schlieren visualization, the evolution of elements of the fine structure of transverse vortex loops formed in the circular vortex behind the edge of a disk rotating in a continuously stratified fluid is traced for the first time. An inhomogeneous distribution of the density of a table-salt solution in a basin was formed by the continuous-squeezing method. The development of periodic perturbations at the outer boundary of the circular vortex and their transformation at the vortex-loop vertex are traced. A slow change in the angular size of the structural elements in the supercritical-flow mode is noted.
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  • 11
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-14
    Description: The boundary problem of rigid coupling of lithospheric plates modeled by Kirchhoff plates with a base represented by a three-dimensional deformable layered medium is considered. The possibility of occurrence of a starting earthquake in such a block structure is investigated. For this purpose, two states of this medium in the static mode are considered. In the first case, the semi-infinite lithospheric plates in the form of half-planes are at a distance so that the distance between the end faces is different from zero. In the second case, the lithospheric plates come together to zero spacing between them. Calculations have shown that in this case more complex movements of the Earth’s surface are possible. Among such movements are the cases described in our previous publications [1, 2].
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  • 12
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Hydraulic fracturing in permeable rock is a complicated process which might be influenced by various factors including the operational parameters (e.g., fluid viscosity, injection rate and borehole diameter) and the in situ conditions (e.g., in situ stress states and initial pore pressure level). To elucidate the effects of these variables, simulations are performed on hollow-squared samples at laboratory scale using fully coupled discrete element method. The model is first validated by comparing the stress around the borehole wall measured numerically with that calculated theoretically. Systematic parametric studies are then conducted. Modeling results reveal that the breakdown pressure and time to fracture stay constant when the viscosity is lower than 0.002 Pa s or higher than 0.2 Pa s but increases significantly when it is between 0.002 and 0.2 Pa s. Raising the injection rate can shorten the time to fracture but dramatically increase the breakdown pressure. Larger borehole diameter leads to the increase in the time to fracture and the reduction in the breakdown pressure. Higher in situ stress requires a longer injection time and higher breakdown pressure. The initial pore pressure, on the other hand, reduces the breakdown pressure as well as the time to fracture. The increase in breakdown pressure with viscosity or injection rate can be attributed to the size effect of greater tensile strength of samples with smaller infiltrated regions.
    Print ISSN: 1861-1125
    Electronic ISSN: 1861-1133
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 13
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: It has been widely accepted in scientific communities that water confined in porous materials gradually freezes from large pores to small pores at subfreezing temperatures (〈 0 °C), though we still describe a soil as frozen or unfrozen in engineering practice and daily life. Therefore, it is more accurate to say “how frozen” instead of “whether frozen.” This gradual freezing process is temperature-dependent because water in pores of different sizes has different energy levels, which requires different temperatures for its phase transition, leading to a relationship between unfrozen water content and temperature in soils. However, the understanding of this relationship, i.e., the Phase Composition Curves (PCC), is still incomplete, especially in the low-temperature range. We still lack answers to even the most fundamental questions for frozen soils and their PCCs: (1) How much pore water could be frozen? (2) How do capillarity and adsorption control the freezing of pore water? This study investigates two basic physical mechanisms, i.e., unfreezable threshold and adsorption, for their dominant roles in the low-temperature range of the PCC. To quantify the effects of the unfreezable threshold, molecular dynamics simulation was employed to identify the unfreezable threshold of cylindrical pores. The simulation results, for the first time, revealed that the unfreezable threshold corresponds to a pore diameter of 2.3 ± 0.1 nm and is independent of the wettability of the solid substrates. Combining this unfreezable threshold with a modified Gibbs–Thomson equation, a mathematical model was proposed to predict the melting temperature in pores of different sizes, which considers both unfreezable threshold and adsorption. Comparisons of the results calculated with the new model and other two conventional equations against experimental results indicated that the model can improve conventional equations which have been used for centuries by including the two mechanisms, which significantly improved our understanding of frozen soils.
    Print ISSN: 1861-1125
    Electronic ISSN: 1861-1133
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 14
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Representing transitions between saturated and unsaturated conditions, during drying, wetting and loading paths, is a necessary step for a consistent unification between saturated and unsaturated soil mechanics. Transitions from saturated to unsaturated conditions during drying will occur at a nonzero air-entry value of suction, whereas transitions from unsaturated to saturated conditions during wetting or loading will occur at a lower nonzero air-exclusion value of suction. Air-entry and air-exclusion values of suction for a given soil will differ (representing hysteresis in the retention behaviour) and both are affected by changes in the dry density of the soil or by the occurrence of plastic volumetric strains. The paper demonstrates, through model simulations and comparison with experimental data from the literature (covering drying, wetting and loading tests), that the Glasgow Coupled Model (GCM), a coupled elasto-plastic constitutive model covering both mechanical and retention behaviour, represents transitions between unsaturated and saturated behaviour in a consistent fashion. Key aspects of the GCM are the use of Bishop’s stress tensor for mechanical behaviour, the additional influence of degree of saturation on mechanical yielding, inclusion of hysteresis in the retention behaviour, and the role of plastic volumetric strains (and not total volumetric strains) in the description of the water retention response. The success of the GCM in representing consistently transitions between saturated and unsaturated conditions, together with subsequent mechanical and retention responses, demonstrates the potential of this coupled constitutive model for numerical modelling of boundary value problems involving saturated and unsaturated conditions.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1861-1133
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 15
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6322
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0533
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 16
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6322
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0533
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 17
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Print ISSN: 0001-6322
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0533
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 18
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The accumulation of misfolded α-synuclein (aSyn) and neuron loss define several neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). However, the precise relationship between pathology and neurotoxicity and why these processes disproportionately affect certain neuron subpopulations are poorly understood. We show here that Math2-expressing neurons in the hippocampal Cornu ammonis (CA), a region significantly affected by aSyn pathology in advanced PD and DLB, are highly susceptible to pathological seeding with pre-formed fibrils (PFFs), in contrast to dentate gyrus neurons, which are relatively spared. Math2 + neurons also exhibited more rapid and severe cell loss in both in vitro and in vivo models of synucleinopathy. Toxicity resulting from PFF exposure was dependent on endogenous aSyn and could be attenuated by N -acetyl-cysteine through a glutathione-dependent process. Moreover, aSyn expression levels strongly correlate with relative vulnerability among hippocampal neuron subtypes of which Math2 + neurons contained the highest amount. Consistent with this, antisense oligonucleotide (ASO)-mediated knockdown of aSyn reduced the neuronal pathology in a time-dependent manner. However, significant neuroprotection was observed only with early ASO intervention and a substantial reduction of aSyn pathology, indicating toxicity occurs after a critical threshold of pathological burden is exceeded in vulnerable neurons. Together, our findings reveal considerable heterogeneity in endogenous aSyn levels among hippocampal neurons and suggest that this may contribute to the selective vulnerability observed in the context of synucleinopathies.
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  • 19
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Introduction Drug-resistant essential tremor (ET) can benefit from open standard stereotactic procedures, such as deep-brain stimulation or radiofrequency thalamotomy. Non-surgical candidates can be offered either high-focused ultrasound (HIFU) or radiosurgery (RS). All procedures aim to target the same thalamic site, the ventro-intermediate nucleus (e.g., Vim). The mechanisms by which tremor stops after Vim RS or HIFU remain unknown. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) on pretherapeutic neuroimaging data and assessed which anatomical site would best correlate with tremor arrest 1 year after Vim RS. Methods Fifty-two patients (30 male, 22 female; mean age 71.6 years, range 49–82) with right-sided ET benefited from left unilateral Vim RS in Marseille, France. Targeting was performed in a uniform manner, using 130 Gy and a single 4-mm collimator. Neurological (pretherapeutic and 1 year after) and neuroimaging (baseline) assessments were completed. Tremor score on the treated hand (TSTH) at 1 year after Vim RS was included in a statistical parametric mapping analysis of variance (ANOVA) model as a continuous variable with pretherapeutic neuroimaging data. Pretherapeutic gray matter density (GMD) was further correlated with TSTH improvement. No a priori hypothesis was used in the statistical model. Results The only statistically significant region was right Brodmann area (BA) 18 (visual association area V2, p  = 0.05, cluster size K c  = 71). Higher baseline GMD correlated with better TSTH improvement at 1 year after Vim RS (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient = 0.002). Conclusions Routine baseline structural neuroimaging predicts TSTH improvement 1 year after Vim RS. The relevant anatomical area is the right visual association cortex (BA 18, V2). The question whether visual areas should be included in the targeting remains open.
    Print ISSN: 0001-6268
    Electronic ISSN: 0942-0940
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 20
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: A GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Neurodegeneration may occur via transcription of the repeats into inherently toxic repetitive sense and antisense RNA species, or via repeat-associated non-ATG initiated translation (RANT) of sense and antisense RNA into toxic dipeptide repeat proteins. We have previously demonstrated that regular interspersion of repeat RNA with stop codons prevents RANT (RNA-only models), allowing us to study the role of repeat RNA in isolation. Here we have created novel RNA-only Drosophila models, including the first models of antisense repeat toxicity, and flies expressing extremely large repeats, within the range observed in patients. We generated flies expressing ~ 100 repeat sense or antisense RNA either as part of a processed polyadenylated transcript or intronic sequence. We additionally created Drosophila expressing 〉 1000 RNA-only repeats in the sense direction. When expressed in adult Drosophila neurons polyadenylated repeat RNA is largely cytoplasmic in localisation, whilst intronic repeat RNA forms intranuclear RNA foci, as does 〉 1000 repeat RNA, thus allowing us to investigate both nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA toxicity. We confirmed that these RNA foci are capable of sequestering endogenous Drosophila RNA-binding proteins, and that the production of dipeptide proteins (poly-glycine–proline, and poly-glycine–arginine) is suppressed in our models. We find that neither cytoplasmic nor nuclear sense or antisense RNA are toxic when expressed in adult Drosophila neurons, suggesting they have a limited role in disease pathogenesis.
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  • 21
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Proper pre- and post-transplant diagnostic imaging work-up is fundamental in ensuring a successful outcome for renal transplantation. Despite exposure to ionizing radiation, CT has high spatial resolution and is a widely available and fast imaging technique. CT is performed routinely to delineate the anatomy of the kidney, relevant vasculature, and urinary collecting system in the living donor, to assess the iliac vessels in potential recipients prior to surgery, and to assess early and late-term post-transplant complications. The purpose of this article is to outline the optimal CT protocol and the main reportable findings for both the donor and the recipient diagnostic imaging work-up as well as to point out the main issues regarding ionizing radiation exposure and contrast medium injection in these subjects.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 22
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Microbubble ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) were recently approved by the Food and Drug administration for non-cardiac imaging. The physical principles of UCAs, methods of administration, dosage, adverse effects, and imaging techniques both current and future are described. UCAs consist of microbubbles in suspension which strongly interact with the ultrasound beam and are readily detectable by ultrasound imaging systems. They are confined to the blood pool when administered intravenously, unlike iodinated and gadolinium contrast agents. UCAs have a proven safety record based on over two decades of use, during which they have been used in echocardiography in the U.S. and for non-cardiac imaging in the rest of the world. Adverse effects are less common with UCAs than CT/MR contrast agents. Compared to CT and MR, contrast-enhanced ultrasound has the advantages of real-time imaging, portability, and reduced susceptibility to metal and motion artifact. UCAs are not nephrotoxic and can be used in renal failure. High acoustic amplitudes can cause microbubbles to fragment in a manner that can result in short-term increases in capillary permeability or capillary rupture. These bioeffects can be beneficial and have been used to enhance drug delivery under appropriate conditions. Imaging with a mechanical index of 〈 0.4 preserves the microbubbles and is not typically associated with substantial bioeffects. Molecularly targeted ultrasound contrast agents are created by conjugating the microbubble shell with a peptide, antibody, or other ligand designed to target an endothelial biomarker associated with tumor angiogenesis or inflammation. These microbubbles then accumulate in the microvasculature at target sites where they can be imaged. Ultrasound contrast agents are a valuable addition to the diagnostic imaging toolkit. They will facilitate cross-sectional abdominal imaging in situations where contrast-enhanced CT and MR are contraindicated or impractical.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 23
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The detection rate and the metabolic behavior of 18F-FDG-PET/CT in splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL) are not yet clear. Our aim was to investigate the metabolic behavior of SMZL and whether the tumor stage (acc. Ann Arbor) epidemiological (age, gender), histological (Ki-67 index, plasmacytic differentiation), and morphological (splenic diameter maximum) features might be related to 18F-FDG PET/CT results. Methods Fifty-one patients (34 male, 17 female; average age 70 years) with histologically confirmed SMZL who underwent a 18F-FDG PET/CT for initial staging were included: PET/CT images were analyzed visually and semi-quantitatively (SUVmax, lesion-to-liver SUVmax ratio, and lesion-to-blood pool SUVmax ratio). Splenic uptake was divided as diffuse or focal. Results Thirty-nine patients (76%) had FDG-avid SMZL (7 with focal splenic lesions and 32 with diffuse splenic uptake), while the remaining 12 had no increased splenic uptake. Among patients with FDG-avid lesions, average SUVmax was 4.3, lesion-to-liver SUVmax ratio 2.3, and lesion-to-blood pool SUVmax ratio 3. 18F-FDG avidity was significantly associated with Ki-67 index and not correlated with other features. Semiquantitative PET/CT parameters (SUVmax, lesion-to-liver SUVmax ratio, and lesion-to-blood pool SUVmax ratio) did not correlate significantly with any variable. Progression-free survival time was not influenced by FDG avidity of SMZL. Conclusions 18F-FDG avidity was noted in 76% of SMZL with diffuse splenic uptake as main pattern of presentation and is correlated with Ki-67 score only.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The purpose of the study was to retrospectively analyze whether double-echo gradient-echo (GRE) chemical shift imaging (CSI) can differentiate between pancreatic metastases from clear cell renal cell carcinoma (PM-ccRCC) and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET). Methods Institutional review board approval and informed consent were waived. CSI, T2WI, DWI, and DCE magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were performed in patients with PM-ccRCC and pNET. Eleven patients with PM-ccRCC and 24 patients with pNET were enrolled into this retrospective study. The signal intensity was measured in the pancreatic tumor and spleen on in-phase and opposed-phase images. The signal intensity index (SII) and tumor-to-spleen ratio (TSR) in PM-ccRCC and pNET were calculated and compared. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of SII and TSR in the differentiation between PM-ccRCC and pNET. Results The SII between PM-ccRCC and pNET (20.3% ± 16.8% vs. − 3.2% ± 11.4%) was significantly different ( P  〈 0.001), as was the TSR (− 19.2% ± 16.6% vs. 6.0% ± 13.8%) ( P  〈 0.001). The area under the ROC curve was 0.917 for the SII and 0.902 for the TSR. Additionally, an SII threshold value of 8.1% permitted the differentiation of PM-ccRCC from pNET with a sensitivity of 90.9%, a specificity of 91.7%, a positive predictive value of 90.1%, a negative predictive value of 91.7%, and an accuracy of 91.4%. A TSR cut-off value of − 4.7% enabled the differentiation of the two groups with a sensitivity of 79.2%, a specificity of 90.9%, a positive predictive value of 90.9%, a negative predictive value of 79.2% and an accuracy of 82.9%. Conclusion Double-echo GRE chemical shift MR imaging can accurately differentiate between PM-ccRCC and pNET.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 25
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Objective The purpose of this study was to compare the sensitivity and specificity of diffusion-weighted liver MRI alone with complete, multiphasic gadoteridol-enhanced MRI for the detection of hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic patients before liver transplant. Materials and methods This single institution retrospective study was performed after IRB approval and was HIPAA compliant. MRI scans of 37 patients who underwent liver transplant were evaluated and findings correlated with liver explant (36) or biopsy (1). All MRI scans were obtained within six months of explant. MRI from 17 patients with liver lesions by report at imaging subsequently proven to be HCC at pathology and 20 controls without liver lesions by imaging and pathology were reviewed in random order on the radiology PACS by three independent readers blinded to the MRI reports and pathology reports in two separate sittings. First, only the diffusion-weighted images (DWI) were interpreted. Second, the complete multiphasic MRI exam with DWI was reviewed. A consensus read was obtained by two separate radiologists who had access to the patients’ explant data in order to map lesions. Reader-specific and pooled classification was assessed using sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive values and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for both DWI and complete MRI examination readings compared to pathology. McNemar’s test and Kappa coefficient were used to assess differences (agreement) in DWI and complete examination readings. Results A total of 37 patients have been studied (25M 12F age range 21–70). Averaged results of the three independent readers demonstrated a sensitivity of 78% (95% CI 65–89%) and specificity of 88% (95% CI 77–95%) for DWI alone for detection of liver lesions, with a positive predictive value of 85% (95% CI 72–94%) and a negative predictive value of 83% (95% CI 71–91%). Review of the complete MRI exam showed a sensitivity of 90% (95% CI 76–97%) and a specificity of 82% (95% CI 66–92%) with a positive predictive value of 83% (95% CI 69–93%) and a negative predictive value of 89% (95% CI 74–97%). McNemar’s agreement test revealed no significant difference between the DWI and complete multiphasic interpretations ( p  = 0.3458), with simple Kappa coefficient of 0.6716 (95% CI 0.5332–0.8110). Lesions identified on DWI ranged in size from 1.5 to 5 cm. Detection of lesions was decreased in the presence of artifact from motion, large ascites, and technical issues. Conclusion Diffusion-weighted MRI has NPV and PPV comparable to complete multiphasic MRI examination for liver lesion detection in cirrhotic patients and may have a role in screening.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 26
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Vascular complications are a significant source of morbidity and mortality among renal transplant recipients. Imaging using ultrasound, CT, and MRI plays a key role in diagnosing such complications. This review focuses on the major vascular complications of renal grafts, which include transplant renal arterial and venous stenoses, arterial and venous thromboses, arteriovenous fistulas, and pseudoaneurysms. Etiology, diagnostic modalities useful for diagnosis, and imaging appearance will be presented.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 27
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Purpose The purpose of this study is to assess the heterogeneity of tumor enhancement using fractal analysis on contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CE-CT) for predicting malignant potential of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Methods We retrospectively identified 64 patients (36 M/28 W; median age: 65) with GISTs who received CE-CT and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) followed by curative surgery. Fractal analysis was applied to CE-CT image, and fractal dimension (FD) was measured. Diagnostic value of FD for malignant potential of GIST was compared with that of FDG-PET using the risk classification and Ki67 index. Results 14 patients were categorized as the high risk, and 50 patients were as the very low, low or intermediate risk. FD of high-risk group was significantly higher than that of the other-risk group ( p  〈 0.05). The areas under the ROC curves of FD and SUV max for prediction of high-risk group were 0.82 and 0.93 (accuracy: 84.4% and 98.5%). FD showed a significant positive correlation with Ki67 index ( p  = 0.01). Conclusion Diagnostic value of CT fractal analysis for prediction of high-risk GIST is comparable with FDG-PET. In terms of cost and availability, fractal analysis has a potential to be an optimal preoperative biomarker.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 28
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    Springer
    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Intestinal malrotation is a continuum of congenital anomalies due to lack of rotation or incomplete rotation of the fetal intestine around the superior mesenteric artery axis. The abnormal bowel fixation (by mesenteric bands) or absence of fixation of portions of the bowel increases the risk of bowel obstruction, acute or chronic volvulus, and bowel necrosis. The clinical presentation of patients with malrotation without, with intermittent, or with chronic volvulus can be problematic, with an important minority presenting late or having atypical or chronic symptoms, such as intermittent vomiting, abdominal pain, duodenal obstruction, or failure to thrive. The diagnosis is heavily reliant on imaging. Upper GI series remain the gold standard with the normal position of the duodenojejunal junction lateral to the left-sided pedicles of the vertebral body, at the level of the duodenal bulb on frontal views and posterior (retroperitoneal) on lateral views. However, a variety of conditions might influence the position of the duodenojejunal junction, potentially leading to a misdiagnosis of malrotation. Such conditions include improper technique, gastric over distension, splenomegaly, renal or retroperitoneal tumors, liver transplant, small bowel obstruction, the presence of properly or malpositioned enteric tubes, and scoliosis. All of these may cause the duodenojejunal junction to be displaced. We present a series of cases highlighting conditions that mimic malrotation without volvulus to increase the practicing radiologist awareness and help minimize interpretation errors.
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0509
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 29
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: In this paper, we present the elastic solutions for the problem of an internal pressurized functionally graded thick-walled tube based on the Voigt method in Xin et al. (Int J Mech Sci 89:344–349, 2014 ); a transversely isotropic functionally graded thick-walled tube subjected to internal pressure is studied. It is assumed that the functionally graded tube is made up of two linear isotropic elastic materials; the matrix is reinforced by fibers with circular cross section all aligned in the circumferential direction. The volume fraction of the reinforced material is identical with our previous work (i.e., Xin et al. in Int J Mech Sci 89:344–349, 2014 ). By using the Mori–Tanaka method, this paper obtains the differential equation of the radial displacement and then the numerical results of the radial displacement and the stresses are deduced. The approximate analytical solutions are also derived which agree well with the numerical results on the basis of the Mori–Tanaka method. Further, both based on the Mori–Tanaka method, the results received by the present model are compared with those by a particle model for solving an isotropic inner-pressurized FGM tube problem. Finally, in the numerical part the influences of the volume fraction and the elastic moduli’s ratio on radial displacement and the stresses are discussed.
    Print ISSN: 0001-5970
    Electronic ISSN: 1619-6937
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 30
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Advances in multi-material 3D printing technologies have opened a new horizon for design and fabrication of architected multi-materials in multiple length scales from nano-/microscale to meso-/macroscales. In this study, we apply modified couple stress and first-order shear deformation theories for a size-dependent structural analysis of 3D printable functionally graded (FG) doubly-curved panels where their microarchitecture can be engineered to improve their structural performance. This non-classical model incorporates the microstructure-dependent size effects for the structural performance through the introduction of a length scale in the kinematics of deformation. The volume fraction of matrix in the dual-phase (inclusion and matrix) FG size-dependent panels varies continuously through the thickness. The microarchitecture of inclusion and matrix in FG panels is engineered to show its effect on the structural responses. We implement the standard mechanics homogenization technique via finite element simulation to accurately predict the effective mechanical properties of FG materials for different topologies of engineered microarchitecture to show the significance of selecting appropriate micromechanical modeling for analyzing FG structures. Governing equations derived by variational Hamilton’s principle are solved by applying the Galerkin method for different sets of boundary conditions. We investigate the effects of material length scale, material composition, heterogeneous material distribution, particulate topology, length-to-thickness ratio, and panel curvature on the structural performance. It is found that the fundamental frequencies of size-dependent two-phase FG doubly-curved panels with square-shape inclusions are higher than for those with other topologies, which sheds lights on the engineering of the inclusion shape in advanced architected materials to optimize their structural performance.
    Print ISSN: 0001-5970
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    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 31
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: This paper presents a smoothed FE-Meshfree (SFE-Meshfree) method for solving solid mechanics problems. The system stiffness matrix is calculated via a strain-smoothing technique with the composite shape function, which is based on the partition of unity-based method, combing the classical isoparametric quadrilateral function and radial-polynomial basis function. The corresponding Gauss integration in the element is replaced by line integration along the edges of the smoothing cells, so no derivatives of the composite shape functions are needed during the field gradient estimation process. Several numerical examples including an automobile mechanical component are employed to examine the presented method. Calculation results indicate that SFE-Meshfree can obtain a high convergence rate and accuracy without introducing additional degrees of freedom to the system. In addition, it is also more tolerant with respect to mesh distortion. The volumetric locking problem is also explored in this paper under a selective smoothing integration scheme.
    Print ISSN: 0001-5970
    Electronic ISSN: 1619-6937
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics , Physics
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  • 32
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Narrow-leafed ash ( Fraxinus angustifolia ) is a common polygamous tree growing on the banks of rivers in the western Mediterranean region. Pollination occurs during winter, and the tree’s pollen is among the most abundant during that season. This work aims to relate the phenology of pollen shedding, source tree distribution, meteorology and airborne pollen occurrence for the species. Aerobiological sampling was conducted in Badajoz (south-western Spain) using a Hirst volumetric sampler over 24 years (1993–2016). Trees were geo-localized in a circle 500 m in diameter surrounding the pollen sampler. During the last two periods, pollination phenology was studied in 10 specimens, five in the surroundings of the pollen station and five 3 km apart, at a frequency of 3–4 days on average. Moreover, a detailed analysis of pollen occurrence was conducted for these two periods. Daily data for the whole period and hourly data over the last 2 years were used, including pollen monitoring and meteorology. A comparison was made between pollen occurrence and source distribution. The main pollen season lasted on average 53 (28–75) days. Average values were less than 10 grains m −3 , except for two periods of 23–24 grains m −3 . Daily data and hourly data correlation with meteorology showed different signs in correlation analysis. Hourly analysis showed that the maximum concentration occurred just after noon. Most pollen was recorded at an average temperature of 9 °C. Analysis of pollen sources and pollen occurrence showed a close relationship between predominant wind directions and tree distribution. Peaks of phenology were not coincident with pollen peaks. No trends in pollination were found. Non-homogeneous distribution of pollen sources for Fraxinus angustifolia provided a suitable tool to demonstrate that wind direction plays a relevant role when aerobiological data are interpreted according to source distribution. A limitation in phenology analysis and aerobiological data was noted in the narrow-leafed ash species.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-3025
    Topics: Biology
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  • 33
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Values obtained by the real-time pollen monitors set up at 14 measuring points in the Tohoku region indicate that a large amount of Japanese cedar pollen was dispersed along the western region and northern flank of the Ou Mountain Range when a front accompanying the temperate low pressures passed through the west sea of northern Hokkaido. We are sure that this phenomenon is related to pollen enrichment by mountain ranges. The time at which highest concentrations of pollen grains were observed shifted from the western to the eastern side, in accordance with the path of the front. No pollen was seen after the passage of the cold front.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
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  • 34
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The biotic (bacteria, fungi, pollen grains, algae) and abiotic (dust mites) factors present in the atmosphere are responsible for the common allergic reactions in humans. Fungi are one of the major biotic factors resulting in allergic conditions and sometimes lead to fatal diseases affecting vital organs. A detailed survey was carried out for 2 years (from May 2014 to April 2016) to assess the seasonal distribution and comparative diversity of aeromycoflora present in the urban and rural areas of Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh (India). During the survey, a marked variation in the types of fungal isolates and their colonies were observed in the samples collected at study sites. The maximum number of fungal colonies was obtained in the month of October and November during the first and second year, respectively. Among the isolates, Aspergillus and Curvularia sp. were found with the highest percent frequency and percent contribution. The predominant fungal species observed during the survey were Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium sp. and Alternaria alternata which are known to cause different types of diseases including allergy in human beings, suggesting the possibility of occurrence of fungal allergy in the human population of Bilaspur.
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  • 35
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: We report on the determination of the spore concentration and the species composition of the airborne fungi in selected caves of the Tatra Mountains, Poland. The following caves were surveyed: Mylna, Obłazkowa, Mroźna, Zimna and Naciekowa. The sampling was carried out in July 2015 and in January 2016. The aeromycological analyses were performed with the impact method, using the Air Ideal 3P apparatus and potato dextrose agar (PDA, Biocorp) culture medium. In the course of the July 2015 analysis, 17 species of fungi were isolated and 11 species were isolated in January 2016. In Mylna and Naciekowa caves, the dominant species were Cladosporium cladosporioides and Stachybotrys cylindrospora . In Obłazkowa cave, Rhizoctonia predominated and in Zimna cave—the colonies of the yeast-like fungi, along with S. cylindrospora . In Mroźna cave, Penicillium notatum was the most abundant taxon. In the winter time, in the majority of the caves Penicillium spp. predominated, with the exception of Mroźna and Naciekowa caves where Aspergillus niger was dominant. We propose that aeromycological monitoring be performed regularly in the following caves: Mroźna, Naciekowa and Zimna.
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  • 36
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Members of Cupressaceae and Taxaceae are known to release large amounts of highly allergenic pollen grains into the atmosphere, which are responsible for the onset of pollinosis in many countries throughout the world. In addition to pollen grains, their pollen sacs produce orbicules, which are submicron particles reported to carry allergens and which are potentially able to reach much further down the respiratory tract than pollen grains. Previous research has postulated the presence of orbicules in the atmosphere; however, direct observations have not yet been reported. The aim of this research was to provide the first direct evidence that Cupressaceae orbicules are released into the atmosphere by detecting them in daily aerobiological samples. We observed pollen sacs, pollen grains, and orbicules of nine species of Cupressaceae using scanning electron microscope (SEM). We then used a light and confocal microscope, to examine daily aerobiological samples. Under SEM, we measured the orbicule size (0.494–0.777 µm) and detected unknown nanometric particles (130–200 nm). Under the light microscope, aerobiological samples showed clusters of stained dots surrounding the pollen grains of Cupressaceae. Under the confocal microscope, the same clusters were resolved into submicron particles with the same autofluorescence as the pollen grains. These features enabled us to identify them as orbicules. We believe that our findings help to explain the onset of pollinosis and allergic asthma related to Cupressaceae pollen grains in many countries, even before pollen grains are actually detected or after they are no longer observed in aerobiological monitoring samples.
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  • 37
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Air sampling was conducted in Szczecin (Poland) throughout April–September 2013. The final data set included 177 daily and 4248 hourly samples. The total of 21 types of spores, which occurred in a number 〉10 in the season, were taken into account. The following meteorological parameters were analyzed: air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation and wind speed. Effects of individual weather parameters on hourly and daily concentrations of different fungal spore types were examined using Spearman’s rank association test, whereas effects of complex of meteorological factors on hourly and daily compositions of spore were assessed using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and redundancy analysis (RDA). Airborne fungal spore distribution patterns in relation to meteorological variables were determined by RDA, after DCA results detected a linear structure of the spore data. The RDA results obtained indicated that all the applied variables accounted for 20 and 22% of the total variance in the hourly and daily spore data, respectively. The results of stepwise forward selection of variables revealed all included hourly and daily meteorological variables were statistically significant. The largest amount of the total variance in the spore composition was explained by the air temperature in both cases (16%). Multivariate ordination did not show large differences between the hourly and daily relationships (with exception of wind speed impact), while the differences between simple hourly and daily correlations were more clear. Correlations between daily values of variables were in most cases higher than between hourly values of variables.
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  • 38
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a highly heterogeneous disease with large inter-individual differences in disease course. MS lesion pathology shows considerable heterogeneity in localization, cellular content and degree of demyelination between patients. In this study, we investigated pathological correlates of disease course in MS using the autopsy cohort of the Netherlands Brain Bank (NBB), containing 182 MS brain donors. Using a standardized autopsy procedure including systematic dissection from standard locations, 3188 tissue blocks containing 7562 MS lesions were dissected. Unbiased measurements of lesion load were made using the tissue from standard locations. Lesion demyelinating and innate inflammatory activity were visualized by immunohistochemistry for proteolipid protein and human leukocyte antigen. Lesions were classified into active, mixed active/inactive (also known as chronic active), inactive or remyelinated, while microglia/macrophage morphology was classified as ramified, amoeboid or foamy. The severity score was calculated from the time from first symptoms to EDSS-6. Lesion type prevalence and microglia/macrophage morphology were analyzed in relation to clinical course, disease severity, lesion load and sex, and in relation to each other. This analysis shows for the first time that (1) in progressive MS, with a mean disease duration of 28.6 ± 13.3 years (mean ± SD), there is substantial inflammatory lesion activity at time to death. 57% of all lesions were either active or mixed active/inactive and 78% of all patients had a mixed active/inactive lesion present; (2) patients that had a more severe disease course show a higher proportion of mixed active/inactive lesions ( p  = 6e−06) and a higher lesion load ( p  = 2e−04) at the time of death, (3) patients with a progressive disease course show a higher lesion load ( p  = 0.001), and a lower proportion of remyelinated lesions ( p  = 0.03) compared to patients with a relapsing disease course, (4) males have a higher incidence of cortical grey matter lesions ( p  = 0.027) and a higher proportion of mixed active/inactive lesions compared to females across the whole cohort ( p  = 0.007). We confirm that there is a higher proportion of mixed active/inactive lesions ( p  = 0.006) in progressive MS compared to relapsing disease. Identification of mixed active/inactive lesions on MRI is necessary to determine whether they can be used as a prognostic tool in living MS patients.
    Print ISSN: 0001-6322
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0533
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 39
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Sediment resuspension is commonly assumed to be eroded from the seabed surface by an excess bottom shear stress and evolves in layers from the top down. Although considerable investigations have argued the importance of wave-induced seabed fluidization in affecting the sediment resuspension, few studies have been able to reliably evaluate its quantitative contribution till now. Attempt is made to preliminarily quantify the contribution of fluidization to resuspension using a series of large-scale wave flume experiments. The experimental results indicated that fluidization of the sandy silts of the Huanghe Delta account for 52.5% and 66.8% of the total resuspension under model scales of 4/20 and 6/20 (i.e., relative water depth: the ratio of wave height to water depth), respectively. Some previously reported results obtained using the same flume and sediments are also summarized for a contrastive analysis, through which not only the positive correlation is confirmed, but also a parametric equation for depicting the relationship between the contribution of fluidization and the model scale is established. Finally, the contribution of fluidization is attributed to two physical mechanisms: (1) an attenuation of the erosion resistance of fluidized sediments in surface layers due to the disappearing of original cohesion and the uplifting effect resulting from upward seepage flows, and (2) seepage pumping of fines from the interior to the surface of fluidized seabed.
    Print ISSN: 0253-505X
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-1099
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 40
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The condensate and bunker oil leaked from the Sanchi collision would cause a persistent impact on marine ecosystems in the surrounding areas. The long-term prediction for the distribution of the oil-polluted water and the information for the most affected regions would provide valuable information for the oceanic environment protection and pollution assessment. Based on the operational forecast system developed by the First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration, we precisely predicted the drifting path of the oil tanker Sanchi after its collision. Trajectories of virtual oil particles show that the oil leaked from the Sanchi after it sank is mainly transported to the northeastern part of the sink location, and quickly goes to the open ocean along with the Kuroshio. Risk probability analysis based on the outcomes from the operational forecast system for years 2009 to 2017 shows that the most affected area is at the northeast of the sink location.
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  • 41
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The southern uplift of the Qiongdongnan Basin is a deepwater area in which no wells have beens drilled. The Miocene-Quaternary strata in the Xisha Islands, which are located 40–100 km to the south, are composed of carbonate reef formations. Paleotectonic and paleogeographic analyses of the basin suggest that the southern uplift experienced favorable geological conditions for the development of carbonate reefs during the Miocene. The high-impedance carbonates have high amplitudes and low frequencies on seismic profiles. The reefs are distributed on paleotectonic highs and are thicker than the contemporaneous formations. A forward model of the variation in carbonate thickness based on lithological and velocity information from wells in nearby regions can simulate the seismic response of carbonates with different thicknesses. We identified several important controlling points for determining the thickness of carbonates from seismic profiles, including the pinchout point, the λ /4 thickness point, and the λ /2 thickness point. We depict a carbonate thickness map in the deepwater area of the southern Qiongdongnan Basin based on this model. The carbonate thickness map, the paleotectonic and paleogeographic background, and the seismic response characteristics of reefs suggest that the carbonates that developed on the southern uplift of the Qiongdongnan Basin during the Miocene were mainly an isolated carbonate platform peninsula and ramp deposits. It consisted of gentle ramp platform, steep slope platform, platform depression, gravity flow, and reef bank facies.
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  • 42
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: BMP2 plays crucial roles in vertebrate developmental process and acts as a bone inducer during osteogenesis. We present here the molecular cloning of bmp2 cDNA from the marine flatfish Cynoglossus semilaevis , and the analysis of bmp2 expression profiling and promoter function. The full length of bmp2 cDNA sequence is 2 048 bp, which encodes a protein of 422 amino acids. Tissue expression distribution of bmp2 was examined in 14 tissues of mature individuals by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR). The results revealed that bmp2 was expressed ubiquitously, and the highest expression level was detected in the spinal cord. Moreover, bmp2 expression levels were detected at 15 sampling time points of early developmental stages (egg, larva, juvenile and fingerling stages). The highest expression level of bmp2 was observed at the gastrula stage, which was about ten times higher than those at the other three embryo stages. Whole-mount in situ hybridization showed that the bmp2 signal was strongly detected at the location of the crown-like larval fin, heart and liver, and slightly expressed in the notochord at one day post hatch (dph); then the expression of bmp2 started to be concentrated in notochord at three dph. Subsequently, we characterized the 5′-flanking region of bmp2 by testing the promoter activity by Luciferase reporter assays. Positive regulatory region was detected at the location of–179 to +109. The predicted transcription factor binding sites (E-box binding factors, zinc finger transcription factor, etc.) in this region might participate in the transcriptional regulation of the bmp2 gene.
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  • 43
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The rabbitfish Siganus canaliculatus is one of the few cultured herbivorous marine teleosts. To better understand the digestive physiology of this fish and provide data for designing formulated feed using macroalgae as an ingredient, the changes of visceral properties and digestive enzyme activities were investigated after the juveniles were fed on different types of food including raw fish (RF), formulated diet (FD) or macroalgae Enteromorpha prolifra (EP) and Gracilaria lemaneiformis (GL) for eight weeks. The results showed that the hepatosomatic and viscerosomatic indices in the RF and FD groups, as well as the relative intestine length (RIL) in the EP and GL groups, were significantly higher than those in other groups. Additionally, differences in the histological structure of the liver and anterior intestine were also observed among different dietary groups. The hepatic nuclei were displaced to the periphery by lipid inclusions in fish fed RF. The highest levels of mucosal folds were found in the anterior intestines of fish fed macroalgae. Digestive enzyme activity profiles showed obvious fluctuations in the first three weeks, and then leveled off in the following weeks. The levels of protease, lipase and α-amylase in the alimentary tract showed changes related to the levels of dietary protein, lipid and carbohydrate, respectively. Although macroalgae significantly inhibited the activity of protease in the stomach, it increased RIL and the number of mucosal folds in the anterior intestine so as to compensate for the influences on protease activities in the stomach. This study suggests that the digestive tract of rabbitfish can well adapt to different diets, and needs about three weeks to physiologically acclimatize to the nutritional status, thus implying that rabbitfish are somewhat omnivorous.
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  • 44
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Biological CO 2 sequestration by microalgae is a promising and environmentally friendly technology applied to sequester CO 2 . The characteristics of neutral lipid accumulation by two marine oil-rich microalgal strains, namely, Isochrysis galbana and Nannochloropsis sp., through CO 2 enrichment cultivation were investigated in this study. The optimum culture conditions of the two microalgal strains are 10% CO 2 and f medium. The maximum biomass productivity, total lipid content, maximum lipid productivity, carbon content, and CO 2 fixation ability of the two microalgal strains were obtained. The corresponding parameters of the two strains were as follows: ((142.42±4.58) g/(m 2 ·d), (149.92±1.80) g/(m 2 ·d)), ((39.95±0.77)%, (37.91±0.58)%), ((84.47±1.56) g/(m 2 ·d), (89.90±1.98) g/(m 2 ·d)), ((45.98±1.75)%, (46.88±2.01)%), and ((33.74±1.65) g/(m 2 ·d), (34.08±1.32) g/(m 2 ·d)). Results indicated that the two marine microalgal strains with high CO 2 fixation ability are potential strains for marine biodiesel development coupled with CO 2 emission reduction.
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  • 45
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The southern Patagonian stock (SPS) of Argentinian shortfin squid, Illex argentinus , is an economically important squid fishery in the Southwest Atlantic. Environmental conditions in the region play an important role in regulating the population dynamics of the I. argentinus population. This study develops an environmentally dependent surplus production (EDSP) model to evaluate the stock abundance of I. argentines during the period of 2000 to 2010. The environmental factors (favorable spawning habitat areas with sea surface temperature of 16–18°C) were assumed to be closely associated with carrying capacity (K) in the EDSP model. Deviance Information Criterion (DIC) values suggest that the estimated EDSP model with environmental factors fits the data better than a Schaefer surplus model without environmental factors under uniform and normal scenarios. The EDSP model estimated a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) from 351 600 t to 685 100 t and a biomass from 1 322 400 t to 1 803 000 t. The fishing mortality coefficient of I. argentinus from 2000 to 2010 was smaller than the values of F0.1 and F MSY . Furthermore, the time series biomass plot of I. argentinus from 2000 to 2010 shows that the biomass of I. argentinus and this fishery were in a good state and not presently experiencing overfishing. This study suggests that the environmental conditions of the habitat should be considered within squid stock assessment and management.
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  • 46
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The Okinawa Trough (OT) is a back-arc basin at an initial spreading stage that is under the influence of subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate. In this study, we analyzed the geochemical compositions of basaltic glass in the OT and discussed the effects of different magmatic sources, evolution, and subducted components in basalts. Our results showed that the middle and southern regions of the OT exhibit characteristics consistent with an iron-rich tholeiite series. Trace element proportions conform to the typical spider diagram pattern characteristic of back-arc basin basalts, rich in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) including Rb, Ba, Pb, U, and Th, while depleted in high field-strength elements (HFSEs) including Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf, and Ti. The distribution of rare earth elements (REEs) is also consistent with enrichment by right-leaning light rare earth elements (LREEs). The addition of enriched mantle type I (EMI) materials as well as mantle heterogeneity may have led to variable degrees of enrichment in different regions. The magma source of the middle trough has undergone crystallization towards pyroxene, while development of plagioclase was restricted partly, and the crystallization of spinel and olivine ceased altogether. At the same time, crystallization of the southern OT magma source was dominated by olivine and including the formation of plagioclase, pyroxene, and magnetite (or titanomagnetite). Finally, the results of this study showed that 90% Th, 95% Ba in the southern basalt, 50%–70% Th and 70%–90% Ba in the middle basalt originated from subducted component. Different subducted component influence may be due to different subduction zone structural feature.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1869-1099
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Published by Springer on behalf of The Chinese Society of Oceanography.
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  • 47
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The Oligocene Huagang Formation is the main sandstone reservoir in the Xihu Sag, situated in the east of the East China Sea Shelf Basin. With an integrated approach of thin-section petrography, ultra-violet fluorescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and isotope geochemistry, the different diagenetic features were identified, the typical diagenetic parasequences were established, and the diagenetic fluids evolution history were reconstructed for the Oligocene Huagang Formation sandstone reservoir in the south of Xihu Sag. The Huagang Formation sandstone reservoir is now in Period B of the mesodiagenesis, which has undergone significant diagenetic alterations such as mechanical compaction, Pore-lining chlorite cement, feldspar dissolution, quartz cementation and dissolution, and carbonate cementation. Three types of carbonate cements (early siderite, medium ferrocalcite and late ankerite) were identified in the Huagang Formation sandstone reservoir. The carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of carbonate cements show that the early calcite precipitate from alkaline lacustrine environment whereas the late carbonate cements were closely related to the organic acids. To the Huagang Formation sandstone reservoir, it has experienced two main episodes of dissolution during diagenesis. The early dissolution is that unstable components such as feldspar, lithic fragments, and carbonate cement were dissolved by acidic water. The second dissolution is that quartz and other silicate minerals were dissolved under the alkaline condition. Two main phases of hydrocarbon charging occurred in this study area. The first hydrocarbon emplacement was prior to the medium carbonate cementation but posterior to feldspar dissolution and the onset of quartz cementation at the end of the Miocene. The second hydrocarbon charging occurred in the Quaternary period after the late carbonate precipitation.
    Print ISSN: 0253-505X
    Electronic ISSN: 1869-1099
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 48
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: One of the key concerns in estuarine and coastal environments is eutrophication, which is known to be closely connected to nutrient enrichment. To control and improve surface water quality, nutrient criteria are recommended in order to provide reference conditions for the environment. However, the current datasets of nutrient criteria in China are either designed for surface water or sea water, and as such these are not suitable for assessing estuarine water quality, especially given the unique ecosystem and dynamic properties of estuaries. To address this issue in current estuarine water management, nutrient criteria have been developed for a local estuary in the southeast of China. Segmentation of the Jiulong River Estuary, China was firstly analysed through field investigations carried out during 2013–2014, which resulted in the delineation of three segments characterized by their distinct properties in relation to salinity, hydrology, ecosystems, etc. Historical records from 1997 to 2014 were then analysed using statistical modelling to develop candidate nutrient criteria for the estuary. This stage of the analysis was undertaken in combination with the study of nutrient status records from the 1980s, which were used to establish a baseline reference condition. The recommended criteria values of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in Segments I, II and III of the Jiulong River Estuary are 64, 21 and 14 μmol/L, respectively, and the corresponding values for soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) are 0.89, 0.76 and 0.89 μmol/L, respectively. It should be emphasised that these values are site-dependent, and that different results may be achieved at other locations depending on the physical and biogeochemical characteristics of an estuary, or even a single site within a catchment. It is hoped that by demonstrating a possible methodological approach and methods of nutrient criteria derivation in the Jiulong River Estuary, the current study will offer researchers some fundamental basis from which to begin to develop more complete nutrient criteria indices for the study of nutrient conditions in other estuaries throughout China.
    Print ISSN: 0253-505X
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    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 49
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Agarases are hydrolytic enzymes that act on the hydrolysis of agar and have a broad range of applications in food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. In this study, a glycerol feeding strategy based on induction mode optimization for high cell density and β-agarase production was established, which could effectively control acetate yield. First, exponential feeding strategy of glycerol with different overall specific growth rates ( μ ) was applied in the pre-induction phase. The results showed that the low μ ( μ =0.2) was suggested to be the optimal for cell growth and β-agarase production. Second, the effects of induction temperature and the inducer concentration on cell growth and β-agarase production were investigated in the post-induction phase. When induced by isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactoside (IPTG), the strategy of 0.8 mmol/L IPTG induction at 20°C was found to be optimal for β-agarase production. When cultivation was induced by continuous lactose feeding strategy of 1.0 g/(L·h), the β-agarase activity reached 112.5 U/mL, which represented the highest β-agarase production to date. Furthermore, the β-agarase was capable of degrading G. lemaneiformis powder directly to produce neoagarooligosaccharide, and the hydrolysates were neoagarotetraose (NA4) and neoagarohexaose (NA6). The overall research may be useful for the industrial production and application of β-agarase.
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    Electronic ISSN: 1869-1099
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 50
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Food security is a worldwide key issue in the context of climate change, requiring to plan local agriculture and make decisions. In order to proceed, it is essential to understand the value of ecosystem services provided by agricultural landscapes. Here, we quantified and mapped the supply and demand of an indigenous food, kocho (i.e., a bread made from starch derived from the Enset plant), in the Wabe River catchment of Gurage Mountains in Southern Ethiopia. To proceed, we measured the pseudostem and plant heights within 100 m2 sample plots of Enset farms. Enset home garden spatial features were extracted from satellite imagery, and a household questionnaire survey was administered along with population census data. We used suitable models to quantify the yield and demand of kocho, and the data were interpolated, analyzed, and mapped with the ArcGIS software. The results show that the average catchment-wide squeezed (moisture-removed) kocho yield is 16.2 kg/plant, which is equivalent to 417 tons/ha. The annual yield is 6500 kg/ha, and 4.5 million tons of kocho are available as standing stock. However, the spatial distribution of Enset production and its yield are not uniform in the catchment, and the largest stock is found in tepid moist and tepid humid agroecologies. The average demand of kocho per person is fulfilled by 16 Enset plants (i.e., 289 kg) with only 38% of households able to satisfy their demand from their own home garden. There is a high per capita kocho demand in warm sub-humid agroecological zones and a low demand in cool moist zones. While the supply-demand budget shows that there is a high supply of kocho in most areas, the demand is greater than the supply in 25% of the catchment. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that through quantification and mapping of the supply to demand of kocho, the Enset crop contributes to food security in the catchment and needs to improve its production as it is spatially not uniform. This study provides a data set for planners and decision-makers to enhance the production of kocho and to satisfy the current supply-demand gap.
    Print ISSN: 1774-0746
    Electronic ISSN: 1773-0155
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 51
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: In this study, a Tauber pollen trap was used in the urban area of Shijiazhuang to monitor continuously the outdoor air pollen from 2007 to 2011. The trap was emptied at regular intervals (typically 15 days). The results show that airborne pollen assemblages are generally similar each year among 2007–2011 and are responsive to the flowering times of plants, being dominated by pollen from woody plants in the spring and by pollen from herbaceous plants in summer and autumn. Two peak pollen influx periods, especially for the main allergenic pollen taxa, are seen, one between early March to early June and a second between late August to early October. During the four seasons, the main pollen taxa are Juglans , Artemisia , Platanus , Populus , Chenopodiaceae, Urtica  +  Humulus , Rosaceae, Pinus , Poaceae, Cereals, Quercus, and Betula , and all taxa other than Rosaceae were confirmed by relevant studies to be allergenic pollen taxa. RDA analysis of pollen influx and meteorological factors shows that in spring, temperature and humidity have significant effects on the pollen influx of woody plants; in summer, humidity and precipitation have significant negative effects on pollen influx of herbaceous plants; in autumn, temperature, water vapor pressure, and precipitation have a significant positive influence on herbaceous pollen influx; in winter, there were no significant correlations between airborne pollen influx and meteorological factors. The results reveal the dispersion patterns of airborne pollen and provide an important reference to appropriate construction of urban green systems and the reliable reduction in regional pollinosis.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
    Electronic ISSN: 1573-3025
    Topics: Biology
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  • 52
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Relationships between meteorological factors and airborne pollen concentrations at high altitudes are virtually unknown. We used cross-correlation analyses to test the relationships between daily variation in meteorological factors (i.e. temperature, humidity and wind speed) and airborne pollen concentration, diversity (number of families and Shannon and Simpson diversity indices) and evenness (Pielou index) in an Apennine high-altitude site (Gran Sasso Massif, 2117 m elevation). In contrast to patterns observed at low altitudes, the temperature had a negative correlation with pollen abundance and diversity, whereas humidity had a positive correlation. The unexpected negative correlations with temperature can be explained with the particular position of our sampling site. Wind speed was positively correlated with pollen diversity and abundance in the short term, which can be explained by the fact that higher wind speed promotes both primary emission of pollen from the anthers and subsequent re-suspension. Evenness and wind speed were negatively correlated in the short term because of the different response of different species to meteorological conditions. In the longer term, the average concentrations of the various taxa tend to reach similar values, leading to increased values of diversity. Our finding of a decrease in pollen emission with increasing temperature has important implications for the study of the impacts of global change on high-altitude plant communities. We also detected a high abundance of Cupressaceae/Taxaceae pollen, a reflection of the expansion of thermophilic species, such as Juniperus, due to climate change.
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  • 53
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Numerous studies have focused on occupational and indoor environments because people spend more than 90% of their time in them. Nevertheless, air is the main source of bacteria in indoors, and outdoor exposure is also crucial. Worldwide studies have indicated that bacterial concentrations vary among different types of outdoor environments, with considerable seasonal variations as well. Conducting comprehensive monitoring of atmospheric aerosol concentrations is very important not only for environmental management but also for the assessment of the health impacts of air pollution. To our knowledge, this is the first study to present outdoor and seasonal changes of bioaerosol data regarding an urban area of Poland. This study aimed to characterize culturable bacteria populations present in outdoor air in Gliwice, Upper Silesia Region, Poland, over the course of four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) through quantification and identification procedures. In this study, the samples of bioaerosol were collected using a six-stage Andersen cascade impactor (with aerodynamic cut-off diameters of 7.0, 4.7, 3.3, 2.1, 1.1 and 0.65 μm). Results showed that the concentration of airborne bacteria ranged from 4 CFU m −3 , measured on one winter day, to a maximum equal to 669 CFU m −3 on a spring day. The average size of culturable bacterial aerosol over the study period was 199 CFU m −3 . The maximal seasonally averaged concentration was found in the spring season and reached 306 CFU m −3 , and the minimal seasonally averaged concentration was found in the winter 49 CFU m −3 . The most prevalent bacteria found outdoors were gram-positive rods that form endospores. Statistically, the most important meteorological factors related to the viability of airborne bacteria were temperature and UV radiation. These results may contribute to the promotion and implementation of preventative public health programmes and the formulation of recommendations aimed at providing healthier outdoor environments.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 54
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: The management of fungal contaminants inside libraries and archives has become a big challenge for librarians, restorers and scientists. Several disinfection treatments have been developed in recent years, using both chemical and physical approaches on book collections and indoor environments. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the temporal efficiency of these cleanings, especially in relation with the preservation environments. The aim of this study was to determine the long-term effect of a chemical disinfection that interested a previous-contaminated book collection inside a University library. The monitoring after 6 months and 1 year from the cleaning confirmed any fungal growth on the disinfected books and the reduction of 90% of the airborne fungal load, highlighting anyway the presence of high fungal diversity. Sixty-eight different airborne fungal entities were isolated, in particular Aspergillus vitricola, Bulleromyces albus, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Cladosporium pseudocladosporioides, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Penicillium brevicompactum , Rodothorula mugillaginosa and Sporodiobolus pararoseus. Several fungal species were sampled from the disinfected books, in particular Aspergillus penicillioides and Penicillium chrysogenum . The presence of these fungi both as airborne and as settled particles highlights the importance to maintain clean the preservation environments in order to prevent further microbial contaminations.
    Print ISSN: 0393-5965
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  • 55
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Inhalation of airborne fungi is known to cause respiratory illnesses such as allergies. However, the association between exposure and health outcomes remains largely unclear, in part due to lack of knowledge about fungal exposure in daily life. This study aims to introduce DNA-based methods such as high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to compare fungal microbiota and concentrations in indoor, outdoor, and personal air. Five sets of concurrent indoor, outdoor, and personal air samples were collected, each with duration of 4 days. Sequencing analysis revealed greater species richness in personal than indoor air for four out of the five sets, indicating that people are exposed to outdoor species that are not in indoor air. The personal–indoor ( P / I ) and personal–outdoor ( P / O ) ratios of total fungi were 1.2 and 0.15, respectively, suggesting that personal exposure to total fungi is better represented by indoor than outdoor concentrations. However, the ratios were taxon dependent, highlighting the complexity of generalizing personal exposure to the diverse kingdom Fungi. These results demonstrate that the HTS/qPCR method is useful for assessing taxon-specific fungal exposure, which might be difficult to achieve effectively using conventional, non-DNA-based techniques.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 56
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Metabarcoding is a promising DNA-based method for identifying airborne pollen from environmental samples with advantages over microscopic methods. Sample preparation and DNA extraction are of fundamental importance for obtaining an optimal DNA yield. Currently, there is no standard procedure for these steps, especially for gravimetric pollen samplers. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop protocols for processing environmental samples for pollen DNA extraction and for metabarcoding analysis and to assess the efficacy of these protocols for the taxonomic assignment of airborne pollen collected by gravimetric (Tauber trap) and volumetric (Hirst-type trap) samplers. Protocols were tested across an increasing complexity of samples, from pure single-species pollen to environmental multi-species samples. A short fragment (about 150 base pairs) of the chloroplast trn L gene was amplified using universal primers for plants. After PCR amplification, amplicons were Sanger-sequenced and taxonomic assignment was accomplished by comparison with a custom-made reference database including chloroplast DNA sequences from most of the anemophilous taxa occurring in the study area (Trentino, northern Italy), representing 46 plant families. Using the classical morphological pollen analysis as a benchmark, we show that DNA metabarcoding is efficient and applicable even in complex samples, provided that protocols for sample preparation, DNA extraction, and metabarcoding analysis are carefully optimized.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 57
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: This paper is the first aero-mycological report from Demänovská Ice Cave. Fungal spores were sampled from the internal and external air of the cave in June, 2014, using the impact method with a microbiological air sampler. Airborne fungi cultured on PDA medium were identified using a combination of classical phenotypic and molecular methods. Altogether, the presence of 18 different fungal spores, belonging to 3 phyla, 9 orders and 14 genera, was detected in the air of the cave. All of them were isolated from the indoor samples, and only 9 were obtained from the outdoor samples. Overall, airborne fungal spores belonging to the genus Cladosporium dominated in this study. However, the spores of Trametes hirsuta were most commonly found in the indoor air samples of the cave and the spores of C. herbarum in the outdoor air samples. On the other hand, the spores of Alternaria abundans , Arthrinium kogelbergense , Cryptococcus curvatus , Discosia sp., Fomes fomentarius , Microdochium seminicola and T. hirsuta were discovered for the first time in the air of natural and artificial underground sites. The external air of the cave contains more culturable airborne fungal spores (755 colony-forming units (CFU) per 1 m 3 of air) than the internal air (from 47 to 273 CFU in 1 m 3 ), and these levels of airborne spore concentration do not pose a threat to the health of tourists. Probably, the specific microclimate in the cave, including the constant presence of ice caps and low temperature, as well as the location and surrounding environment, contributes to the unique species composition of aeromycota and their spores in the cave. Thus, aero-mycological monitoring of underground sites seems to be very important for their ecosystems, and it may help reduce the risk of fungal infections in humans and other mammals that may arise in particular due to climate change.
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    Topics: Biology
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  • 58
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Japanese cedar ( Cryptomeria japonica ) pollinosis (JCP), affecting more than a quarter of the Japanese population, is a significant public health problem, due to its negative impact on daily activity. JCP patients have used the four-stage daily pollen deposition information based on the pollen monitoring over 20 years. However, the procedure for monitoring pollen was recently changed dramatically, to hourly average pollen concentration monitoring. In that type of monitoring, JCP patients cannot identify pollen exposure level because the relationship between hourly average pollen concentration and daily pollen deposition is unclear. Based on the parallel monitoring of concentration and deposition counts that we performed in Niigata prefecture, Eastern Japan, we found that the relationship between the daily pollen deposition (pollen cm −2  day −1 ) and the daily-average pollen concentration (pollen m −3 ) calculated from hourly average pollen concentration was not only statistically significant but also consistent with the aerodynamic properties of pollen. Using the relationship, we proposed new range criteria of hourly average pollen concentrations corresponding to the four stages of pollen deposition. Additionally, the conversion of pollen deposition to pollen concentration made the long-term trend analysis of the daily-average pollen concentration possible in this study area, and an increasing trend was identified at one site.
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  • 59
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: Fungal spores are normal components of external environments. They have been reported to be associated with human, animal and plant diseases causing primary and opportunistic infections. Cladosporium is commonly the most frequently isolated genus from air samples, and its species are considered mainly saprophytic, but there is a wide variety of taxa that can cause adverse effects on human and animal health and also on plants. In this work, we aimed to record Cladosporium spores frequency of isolation in northern Argentinean Patagonia and to perform a molecular characterization based on actin gene complemented with EF1α and ITS genes. The ability of the pathogens to cause disease in pip fruits of Packham’s Triumph and Abate Fetel pears and red delicious apples was determined. Results confirmed Cladosporium spores as the main genera isolated from air samples, and the molecular characterization revealed the existence of 11 species in this region grouped in C. cladosporioides and C. herbarum complexes. Pathogenicity tests revealed that Cladosporium sp. cause disease on fruit. Abate Fetel was the most susceptible to infection. These results compose the first study in Argentina in respect of identification at species level of airborne Cladosporium spores, and furthermore, it is the first report in northern Patagonia and the high valley of Río Negro productive region. This knowledge can help farmers to take preventive measures in order to avoid biological damage.
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  • 60
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-05
    Description: This paper analyses long-term (1960–2015) onset of flowering in 16 native terrestrial plants (11 of them produce important allergens) recorded in different parts of the Czech Republic (southern, central and northern part) in relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index of the preceding winter and thermal data—growing degree-days (GDD) and soil temperature. Flowering occurred significantly earlier following positive winter NAO phases (causing spring to be warmer than normal in Central Europe) in nearly all early-flowering (February, March, April) species; high Pearson correlation values were recorded in, e.g. wood anemone, common snowdrop, goat willow, common hazel and common alder. There was found a difference between the southern and northern part of the country, e.g. in silver birch and pedunculate oak. Out of the later-flowering (May–July) plant species, black elder and meadow foxtail also significantly correlated with the winter NAO index, lime tree correlated less markedly. The best results of a threshold for calculation of GDD to onset of beginning of flowering were found in lime tree—it was 5 °C at all three stations. Results of other taxa were more variable (e.g. 4–7 °C in goat willow; 6–10 °C in silver birch). Pearson correlation coefficients between NAO index and GDD were negative in lime tree at all thresholds (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 °C), while goat willow and silver birch were not so uniform (both positive and negative values). Correlation coefficients between phenophase onset and soil temperature (10 cm depth) had the highest values in silver birch, European larch and wood anemone. Stations situated at higher elevation showed negative correlation coefficient with soil temperature in common snowdrop, pedunculate oak, meadow foxtail and lime tree; other values were positive.
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  • 61
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Although a number of studies have investigated the effects of grazing frequency and intensity on seedling resprouting, the influence of grazed stubble height and timing of grazing on oak seedlings is little known. In the present study, we aimed to explore the effects of grazed stubble height and timing of grazing on the seedling resprouting of twelve oak species. By imitating herbivory grazing, we artificially clipped the shoots to different stubble heights and at different development stages of seedlings to see the resprouting capability of 12 oak species. Our study showed that both grazed stubble height and timing of grazing posed significant influences on resprouting of clipped oak seedlings. Our results indicate that the attached cotyledons play an important role in supporting resprouting of the clipped oak seedlings. Moreover, oaks bearing larger acorns show higher ability to counter herbivory grazing than those producing smaller ones. Higher stubbles grazed by herbivores exert less negative impacts on resprouting of oak seedlings than lower stubbles. Earlier grazing is less harmful to damaged oak seedlings compared with later grazing by herbivory animals.
    Print ISSN: 0167-4366
    Electronic ISSN: 1572-9680
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 62
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Light competition by trees is often regarded as a major limiting factor for crops in alley-cropping agroforestry. Northern latitude farmers are usually reluctant to adopt agroforestry as they fear that light competition will be fiercer in their conditions. We questioned the light availability for crops in alley-cropping at different latitudes from the tropic circle to the polar circle with a process-based 3D model of alley-cropping agroforestry. Two tree densities and two tree line orientations were considered. The effect of the latitude was evaluated with same-sized trees. The relative irradiance of the crops was computed for the whole year or at specific times of the year when crops need more light. The heterogeneity of crop irradiance across the alley was also computed. Surprisingly, crop relative irradiance of summer crops at high latitudes is high, at odds with farmers’ fears. Best designs were highlighted for improving the crop irradiance: North–South tree lines are recommended at high latitudes and East–West tree lines at low latitudes. At medium latitudes, North–South tree lines should be preferred to achieve an homogeneous irradiance of the crop in the alley. If we assume that trees at northern latitudes grow slower when compared to southern latitudes, then alley-cropping agroforestry is highly advisable even at high latitudes with summer crops.
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    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 63
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Key message Inter-specific interactions with eucalypts in mixed plantations increased N 2 fixation rate of acacia trees compared to monocultures. N 2 fixation was higher during the wet summer than during the dry winter both in acacia monocultures and in mixed plantations. Context Introducing N-fixing trees in fast-growing tropical plantations may contribute to reducing the long-term requirements of N fertilizers. Management practices established in forest monocultures should be revisited in mixed-species plantations. Aims This field experiment aimed to compare N 2 fixation rates of Acacia mangium Wild in monospecific stands and in mixed-species stands with Eucalyptus grandis W. Hill ex Maiden. A secondary objective was to gain insight into the seasonal variations of N 2 fixation. Methods 15 N was applied to acacia and eucalypt monocultures and mixed-species with a 1:1 ratio at mid rotation. Leaves were collected in autumn, winter, spring, and summer to determine the foliar N concentrations and 15 N atom fraction. The N content in the above-ground biomass was estimated as well as the percentage of N derived from atmospheric N 2 (%Ndfa) using eucalypts in monoculture as reference plants. Results %Ndfa values averaged over the year were 14% in monoculture and 44% in mixed-species stands. While the stocking density of acacia trees was twice as high in monoculture as in mixture, the amounts of N fixed in above-ground biomass of acacia trees were close (35–39 kg N ha −1 ) at 39 months after planting. %Ndfa values were higher during the wet summer than the dry winter both in acacia monocultures and in mixed plantations. Conclusion The stocking density of acacia trees can be reduced in mixed plantations with eucalypts in comparison to acacia monocultures with a low influence on the input of N to soil through biological fixation.
    Print ISSN: 1286-4560
    Electronic ISSN: 1297-966X
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 64
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper proposes a simple and transparent method for measuring spatial robustness of regionally estimated coefficients and considers the role of the administrative districts and of the size of regions. The procedure offers a new solution for a practical empirical issue: comparing the variables of interest across spatially aggregated units. It improves upon existing methods, especially when spatial units are heterogeneous. To illustrate the method, we use Hungarian data and compare estimates of agglomeration externalities at various levels of aggregation. Using the procedure, we find that the method of spatial aggregation seems to be of equal importance to the specification of the econometric model.
    Print ISSN: 0570-1864
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0592
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography , Economics
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  • 65
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper studies role of agglomeration externalities and market structure in determination of total factor productivity (TFP) of Ukrainian firms, having controlled for individual firm characteristics. We use micro-level data for manufacturing and service sectors in years 2005 and 2013. Our empirical results confirm the importance of various agglomeration externalities as well as competition in determination of TFP of Ukrainian firms. In addition, we find the statistically significant link between the total factor productivity, intangible assets, capital intensity, firm size, ownership status and firm internationalization (exports and imports).
    Print ISSN: 0570-1864
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0592
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography , Economics
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  • 66
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: An integrative empirical analysis of several regional economic outcome variables in China for the period of 1995–2013 reveal the major sources of regional growth differences in China. Patterns of growth in population, per capita income, gross regional product, housing prices and changes in unemployment rates are identified using principal components analysis. Regression analysis of principal component scores is applied to identify geographic and administrative status patterns in the sources of the growth. The analysis suggests that shifts in labor supply largely were responsible for the regional growth differences over the period, though shifts in labor demand were nearly equally as important. The results have implications for evaluating the success of regional development policies such as the Western Development Strategy.
    Print ISSN: 0570-1864
    Electronic ISSN: 1432-0592
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography , Economics
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  • 67
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: To meet the environmental challenges that are presently confronting society, the narrow focus on agricultural production needs to be altered to one that places equal value on the generation of crucial ecosystem services. Current research shows that perennial intercropping systems such as agroforestry may be a feasible alternative. Based on studies during the establishment of edible forest gardens in 12 participating farms in Sweden, this paper explores the potential of utilizing multi-strata designs for food production in temperate, high-income countries. Design and species composition of such gardens, types of food they provide, and how they would best fit into the present landscape are discussed. Factors for success and major problems related to the establishment are shared. Potential benefits were found to be closely related to a thorough analysis of the social and ecological contexts before establishment. Characteristics of the site and goals of the garden need to guide species and design choices. If forest garden approaches to food production should contribute to more than local self-sufficiency, the gardens need to increase in scale. Marginal lands and transitions areas between different land uses may be appropriate. Large knowledge gaps concerning potential production, social and economic benefits, and agronomic issues were identified.
    Print ISSN: 0167-4366
    Electronic ISSN: 1572-9680
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 68
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The conversion of native vegetation to tree plantation (afforestation) implies a drastic change in life forms and as a consequence, changes in the microenvironmental conditions, and the quantity and quality of organic matter entering the soil. This could affect soil microbial communities and the processes catalyzed by them. In Patagonia, afforestation with exotic, fast-growing tree species was a common practice but the consequences on the ecosystem remain poorly quantified. The objective was to study the effects of pine afforestation on litter decomposition, soil organic matter, soil microbial activity and associated biogeochemical functions in a semiarid area of NW Patagonia. We hypothesized that afforestation would decrease litter decomposition rate and soil biological activity including net N mineralization, due to changes of environmental conditions and organic matter quality. We measured in situ and potential soil net N mineralization, soil microbial biomass-C, soil enzyme activities (β-glucosidase, acid phosphatase and leucin-aminopeptidase) and litter decomposition rate. We also characterized soil pH, electrical conductivity, extractable P and total C and N. Pine plantations clearly affected decomposition rates of native grass vegetation, which was 10% lower under pine canopy cover, and decreased soil microbial biomass. Acid phosphatase activity and leucin-aminopeptidase activities were also marginally reduced. On the other hand, we did not find any significant effects of pines on soil chemical properties and N transformations after 13 years of plantation. Because effects depend strongly on time, the decrease of soil microbial biomass, acid phosphatase activity and grass decomposition rate (and the trend to lower enzyme activities related to P and N) under pine cover could be an evidence of possible changes on the long-term.
    Print ISSN: 0167-4366
    Electronic ISSN: 1572-9680
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 69
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Purpose Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare, aggressive cancer; complete surgical resection offers the best chance for long-term survival. The impact of surgical margin status on survival is poorly understood. Our objective was to determine the association of margin status with survival. Methods Patients with ACC were identified from the National Cancer Data Base, 1998–2012, and stratified based on surgical margin status (negative vs. microscopically positive [+] vs. macroscopically [+]). Univariate/multivariate regression/survival analyses were utilized to determine factors associated with margin status and overall survival (OS). Results A total of 1553 patients underwent surgery at 589 institutions: 86% had negative, 12% microscopically (+), and 2% macroscopically (+) margins. Those with microscopically (+) and macroscopically (+) margins more often received adjuvant chemotherapy (39.4% macroscopically (+) vs. 38.5% microscopically (+) vs. 25.2% negative margins, p  〈 0.001). For unadjusted analysis, there was a significant difference in OS between the groups (log-rank p  〈 0.001), with median survival times of 58 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 49–66) for those with negative margins, 22 months (95% CI 18–34) microscopically (+), and 14 months (95% CI 6–27) macroscopically (+) margins. After adjustment, both microscopically (+) (HR 1.76, p  〈 0.001) and macroscopically (+) (HR 2.10, p  = 0.0019) margin status were associated with compromised survival. Conclusions Having micro- or macroscopically (+) margin status after ACC resection is associated with dose-dependent compromised survival. These results underscore the importance of achieving negative surgical margins for optimizing long-term patient outcomes.
    Print ISSN: 1068-9265
    Electronic ISSN: 1534-4681
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 70
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Engineering of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae towards efficient d-xylose assimilation has been a major focus over the last decades since d-xylose is the second most abundant sugar in nature, and its conversio...
    Electronic ISSN: 2191-0855
    Topics: Biology
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  • 71
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Bacterial strains were isolated from the sediments of the Baltic Sea using ferulic acid, guaiacol or a lignin-rich softwood waste stream as substrate. In total nine isolates were obtained, five on ferulic acid...
    Electronic ISSN: 2191-0855
    Topics: Biology
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  • 72
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: 2-Keto-l-gulonic acid (the precursor of vitamin C) is bio-converted from l-sorbose by mixed fermentation of Ketogulonicigenium vulgare and a helper strain. The helper strain promotes the conversion of 2-KLG by en...
    Electronic ISSN: 2191-0855
    Topics: Biology
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  • 73
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Inflammation has recently been attributed to dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, which has been linked to proteinuria in chronic kidney disease. Since Adriamycin® (ADR) is widely used to induce proteinuria in mouse ...
    Electronic ISSN: 2191-0855
    Topics: Biology
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  • 74
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: To understand the effect of woody forages on golden pompano (Trachinotus ovatus) intestinal bacteria diversity and exploit new aquafeed ingredients, the diets of Moringa oleifera Lam (MOL), Broussonetia papyrifer...
    Electronic ISSN: 2191-0855
    Topics: Biology
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  • 75
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by Springer on behalf of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
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  • 76
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 77
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The Minamata Convention on Mercury, with its objective to protect human health and the environment from the dangers of mercury (Hg), entered into force in 2017. The Convention outlines a life-cycle approach to the production, use, emissions, releases, handling, and disposal of Hg. As it moves into the implementation phase, scientific work and information are critically needed to support decision-making and management. This paper synthesizes existing knowledge and examines three areas in which researchers across the natural sciences, engineering, and social sciences can mobilize and disseminate knowledge in support of Hg abatement and the realization of the Convention’s objective: (1) uses, emissions, and releases; (2) support, awareness raising, and education; and (3) impacts and effectiveness. The paper ends with a discussion of the future of Hg science and policy.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 78
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: China’s largest-ever resettlement program is underway, aiming to restore ecosystems and lift ecosystem service providers out of the poverty trap and into sustainable livelihoods. We examine the impact of the relocation and settlement program (RSP) to date, reporting on an ecosystem services (ES) assessment and a 1400-household survey. The RSP generally achieves the goals of ES increase and livelihood restore. In biophysical terms, the RSP improves water quality, sediment retention, and carbon sequestration. In social terms, resettled households so far report transformation of livelihoods activities from traditional inefficient agricultural and forest production to non-farm activities. Increased income contributes to decrease the poverty rate and improve resettled households’ living condition and standard. Meanwhile, the RSP decreases households’ dependence on ES in terms of provisioning services. Difficulty and challenge also showed up subsequently after relocation. A major current challenge is to enable poorer households to move, while providing greater follow-up support to relocated households. While the program is unique to China, it illuminates widespread opportunities for addressing environmental and poverty-related concerns in a rapidly changing world.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 79
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: The environmental cycling of mercury (Hg) can be affected by natural and anthropogenic perturbations. Of particular concern is how these disruptions increase mobilization of Hg from sites and alter the formation of monomethylmercury (MeHg), a bioaccumulative form of Hg for humans and wildlife. The scientific community has made significant advances in recent years in understanding the processes contributing to the risk of MeHg in the environment. The objective of this paper is to synthesize the scientific understanding of how Hg cycling in the aquatic environment is influenced by landscape perturbations at the local scale, perturbations that include watershed loadings, deforestation, reservoir and wetland creation, rice production, urbanization, mining and industrial point source pollution, and remediation. We focus on the major challenges associated with each type of alteration, as well as management opportunities that could lessen both MeHg levels in biota and exposure to humans. For example, our understanding of approximate response times to changes in Hg inputs from various sources or landscape alterations could lead to policies that prioritize the avoidance of certain activities in the most vulnerable systems and sequestration of Hg in deep soil and sediment pools. The remediation of Hg pollution from historical mining and other industries is shifting towards in situ technologies that could be less disruptive and less costly than conventional approaches. Contemporary artisanal gold mining has well-documented impacts with respect to Hg; however, significant social and political challenges remain in implementing effective policies to minimize Hg use. Much remains to be learned as we strive towards the meaningful application of our understanding for stakeholders, including communities living near Hg-polluted sites, environmental policy makers, and scientists and engineers tasked with developing watershed management solutions. Site-specific assessments of MeHg exposure risk will require new methods to predict the impacts of anthropogenic perturbations and an understanding of the complexity of Hg cycling at the local scale.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 80
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Functional Land Management (FLM) is proposed as an integrator for sustainability policies and assesses the functional capacity of the soil and land to deliver primary productivity, water purification and regulation, carbon cycling and storage, habitat for biodiversity and recycling of nutrients. This paper presents the catchment challenge as a method to bridge the gap between science, stakeholders and policy for the effective management of soils to deliver these functions. Two challenges were completed by a wide range of stakeholders focused around a physical catchment model—(1) to design an optimised catchment based on soil function targets, (2) identify gaps to implementation of the proposed design. In challenge 1, a high level of consensus between different stakeholders emerged on soil and management measures to be implemented to achieve soil function targets. Key gaps including knowledge, a mix of market and voluntary incentives and mandatory measures were identified in challenge 2.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 81
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 82
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: This paper examines the water quality legacies of historic and current iron mining in the Mesabi Range, the most productive iron range in the history of North America, producing more than 42% of the world’s iron ore in the 1950s. Between 1893 and 2016, 3.5 × 10 9  t of iron ore were shipped from the Mesabi Range to steel plants throughout the world. We map historic sites and quantities of iron mining, ore processing, water use, and tailings deposition within subwatershed boundaries. We then map the locations of impaired lakes within HUC-12 subwatershed boundaries within the Mesabi Range, using government datasets created for US federal Clean Water Act reporting. Comparing watersheds with and without historic mining activity, watersheds with historic mining activity currently contain a greater percentage of impaired lakes than control watersheds within the same range. These results suggest that historic iron ore mining and processing in the Mesabi Range affected water quality on a landscape scale, and these legacies persist long after the mines have closed. This paper outlines a novel spatial approach that land managers and policy makers can apply to other landscapes to assess the effects of past mining activity on watershed health.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 83
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: Environmental mercury (Hg) contamination is an urgent global health threat. The complexity of Hg in the environment can hinder accurate determination of ecological and human health risks, particularly within the context of the rapid global changes that are altering many ecological processes, socioeconomic patterns, and other factors like infectious disease incidence, which can affect Hg exposures and health outcomes. However, the success of global Hg-reduction efforts depends on accurate assessments of their effectiveness in reducing health risks. In this paper, we examine the role that key extrinsic and intrinsic drivers play on several aspects of Hg risk to humans and organisms in the environment. We do so within three key domains of ecological and human health risk. First, we examine how extrinsic global change drivers influence pathways of Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification through food webs. Next, we describe how extrinsic socioeconomic drivers at a global scale, and intrinsic individual-level drivers, influence human Hg exposure. Finally, we address how the adverse health effects of Hg in humans and wildlife are modulated by a range of extrinsic and intrinsic drivers within the context of rapid global change. Incorporating components of these three domains into research and monitoring will facilitate a more holistic understanding of how ecological and societal drivers interact to influence Hg health risks.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 84
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    Publication Date: 2018-03-06
    Description: We review recent progress in our understanding of the global cycling of mercury (Hg), including best estimates of Hg concentrations and pool sizes in major environmental compartments and exchange processes within and between these reservoirs. Recent advances include the availability of new global datasets covering areas of the world where environmental Hg data were previously lacking; integration of these data into global and regional models is continually improving estimates of global Hg cycling. New analytical techniques, such as Hg stable isotope characterization, provide novel constraints of sources and transformation processes. The major global Hg reservoirs that are, and continue to be, affected by anthropogenic activities include the atmosphere (4.4–5.3 Gt), terrestrial environments (particularly soils: 250–1000 Gg), and aquatic ecosystems (e.g., oceans: 270–450 Gg). Declines in anthropogenic Hg emissions between 1990 and 2010 have led to declines in atmospheric Hg 0 concentrations and Hg II wet deposition in Europe and the US (− 1.5 to − 2.2% per year). Smaller atmospheric Hg 0 declines (− 0.2% per year) have been reported in high northern latitudes, but not in the southern hemisphere, while increasing atmospheric Hg loads are still reported in East Asia. New observations and updated models now suggest high concentrations of oxidized Hg II in the tropical and subtropical free troposphere where deep convection can scavenge these Hg II reservoirs. As a result, up to 50% of total global wet Hg II deposition has been predicted to occur to tropical oceans. Ocean Hg 0 evasion is a large source of present-day atmospheric Hg (approximately 2900 Mg/year; range 1900–4200 Mg/year). Enhanced seawater Hg 0 levels suggest enhanced Hg 0 ocean evasion in the intertropical convergence zone, which may be linked to high Hg II deposition. Estimates of gaseous Hg 0 emissions to the atmosphere over land, long considered a critical Hg source, have been revised downward, and most terrestrial environments now are considered net sinks of atmospheric Hg due to substantial Hg uptake by plants. Litterfall deposition by plants is now estimated at 1020–1230 Mg/year globally. Stable isotope analysis and direct flux measurements provide evidence that in many ecosystems Hg 0 deposition via plant inputs dominates, accounting for 57–94% of Hg in soils. Of global aquatic Hg releases, around 50% are estimated to occur in China and India, where Hg drains into the West Pacific and North Indian Oceans. A first inventory of global freshwater Hg suggests that inland freshwater Hg releases may be dominated by artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM; approximately 880 Mg/year), industrial and wastewater releases (220 Mg/year), and terrestrial mobilization (170–300 Mg/year). For pelagic ocean regions, the dominant source of Hg is atmospheric deposition; an exception is the Arctic Ocean, where riverine and coastal erosion is likely the dominant source. Ocean water Hg concentrations in the North Atlantic appear to have declined during the last several decades but have increased since the mid-1980s in the Pacific due to enhanced atmospheric deposition from the Asian continent. Finally, we provide examples of ongoing and anticipated changes in Hg cycling due to emission, climate, and land use changes. It is anticipated that future emissions changes will be strongly dependent on ASGM, as well as energy use scenarios and technology requirements implemented under the Minamata Convention. We predict that land use and climate change impacts on Hg cycling will be large and inherently linked to changes in ecosystem function and global atmospheric and ocean circulations. Our ability to predict multiple and simultaneous changes in future Hg global cycling and human exposure is rapidly developing but requires further enhancement.
    Print ISSN: 0044-7447
    Electronic ISSN: 1654-7209
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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