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2022 ◽  
Joel Dawson White ◽  
Lena Ström ◽  
Veiko Lehsten ◽  
Janne Rinne ◽  
Dag Ahrén

Abstract. Microbial communities of methane (CH4) producing methanogens and consuming methanotrophs play an important role for Earth's atmospheric CH4 budget. Despite their global significance, knowledge on how much they control the spatial variation in CH4 fluxes from peatlands is poorly understood. We studied variation in CH4 producing and consuming communities in a natural peatland dominated by Eriophorum vaginatum, via a metagenomics approach using custom designed hybridization-based oligonucleotide probes to focus on taxa and functions associated with methane cycling. We hypothesized that sites with different magnitudes of methane flux are occupied by structurally and functionally different microbial communities, despite the dominance of a single vascular plant species. To investigate this, nine plant-peat mesocosms dominated by the sedge Eriophorum vaginatum, with varying vegetation coverage, were collected from a temperate natural wetland and subjected to a simulated growing season. During the simulated growing season, measurements of CH4 emission, carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange and δ13C signature of emitted CH4 were made. Mesocosms 1 through 9 were classified into three categories according to the magnitude of CH4 flux. Gross primary production and ecosystem respiration followed the same pattern as CH4 fluxes, but this trend was not observed in net ecosystem exchange. We observed that genetic functional potential was of minor importance in explaining spatial variability of CH4 fluxes with only small shifts in taxonomic community and functional genes. In addition, a higher β-diversity was observed in samples with high CH4 emission. Among methanogens, Methanoregula, made up over 50 % of the community composition. This, in combination with the remaining hydrogenotrophic methanogens matched the δ13C isotopic signature of emitted CH4. However, the presence of acetoclastic and methylotrophic taxa and type I, II and Verrucomicrobia methanotrophs indicates that the microbial community holds the ability to produce and consume CH4 in multiple ways. This is important in terms of future climate scenarios, where peatlands are expected to alter in nutrient status, hydrology, and peat biochemistry. Due to the high functional potential, we expect the community to be highly adaptive to future climate scenarios.

Sports ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 11
Sara Samadzadeh ◽  
Harald Hefter ◽  
Osman Tezayak ◽  
Dietmar Rosenthal

Aim of the study was to analyze the ability of long-term treated patients with Wilson’s disease (WD) to run a distance of 40 m. 30 WD-patients from a single center were consecutively recruited. All patients were able to walk a distance of 40 m without walking aids. Vertical ground reaction forces (GRF-curves) were analyzed by means of an Infotronic® gait analysis system (CDG®) and correlated with clinical and laboratory findings. Results of the WD-patients were compared to those of an age-and sex-matched control group. 25 of the 30 WD-patients were able to run. Patients being unable to run had a significantly (p < 0.03) higher non-motor score. In comparison to the controls speed of running was significantly (p < 0.02) reduced in WD-patients. Their duration of foot contact on the ground lasted significantly (p < 0.05) longer. Running was more irregular in WD and the variability of times to peak of the GRF-curves was significantly (p < 0.05) increased. All running parameters extracted from the GRF-curves of the CDG® did not correlate with severity of WD. Cadence of running was significantly (p < 0.03) negatively correlated with serum liver enzyme levels. Running appears to be rather unimpaired in long-term treated WD, only 16% of the 30 WD-patients were unable to run. This knowledge is highly relevant for the patient management, but because of the missing correlation with severity of WD, analysis of running is of minor importance for monitoring WD-therapy.

Energies ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
pp. 372
Ricardo Santos ◽  
Ana Sofia Moita ◽  
Ana Paula C. Ribeiro ◽  
António Luís N. Moreira

This work aims to study the impact of nanofluids with alumina particles on pool boiling performance. Unlike most studies, which use a trial-and-error approach to improve boiling performance parameters, this study details the possible effects of nanoparticles on the effective mechanisms of boiling and heat transfer. For this purpose, biphilic surfaces (hydrophilic surfaces with superhydrophobic spots) were used, which allow the individual analysis of bubbles. Surfaces with different configurations of superhydrophobic regions were used. The thermophysical properties of fluids only vary slightly with increasing nanoparticle concentration. The evolution of the dissipated heat flux and temperature profiles for a nucleation time frame is independent of the fluid and imposed heat flux. It can be concluded that the optimal concentration of nanoparticles is 3 wt%. Using this nanoparticle concentration leads to lower surface temperature values than those obtained with water, the reference fluid. This is due to the changes in the balance of forces in the triple line, induced by increased wettability as a consequence of the deposited particles. Wherefore, smaller and more frequent bubbles are formed, resulting in higher heat transfer coefficients. This effect, although relevant, is still of minor importance when compared to that of the use of biphilic surfaces.

2021 ◽  
Vol 605 (10) ◽  
pp. 41-52
Joanna Płonka

In times of easily accessible technology and the Internet, the number of technology-assisted child sexual abuse (TA-CSA) is increasing. Anonymity, the multitude of victims that can be reached at the same time, as well as the variety of online abuse forms are in some way conducive to the perpetrators of sexual crimes in undertaking the act. Nevertheless, specialists in the field indicate that the phenomenon itself, as well as its consequences are not fully investigated. The aim of this article is to introduce the reader to the issues of TA-CSA by: 1) to present what the phenomenon of child sexual abuse is and what notions it entails, 2) to identify different types and forms of online sexual abuse (cyber grooming, sexting, sextortion and web-cam sexting), and 3) to take a close look at several selected research studies in the field, examining the consequences of technology-assisted sexual abuse on children. From previous reports of researchers investigating the causes and effects of child sexual abuse, including technology-assisted abuse, it can be concluded that the consequences of online abuse are very similar to those of offline sexual abuse, and even include additional factors that victims must face. Further research on this topic should therefore be looked at in order to better understand the nature of technology-assisted sexual abuse and not succumb to the illusion of this type of experience minor importance over the experience of offline sexual violence. Understanding the relevance and consequences of this phenomenon will allow for effective interventions in support services and educational activities.

Water ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (1) ◽  
pp. 28
Paul M. Kessener

In Roman times long distance water transport was realized by means of aqueducts. Water was conveyed in mortared open channels with a downward slope from spring to destination. Also wooden channels and clay pipelines were applied. The Aqua Appia, the oldest aqueduct of Rome, was constructed in the third Century BCE. During the Pax Romana (second Century CE), a time of little political turmoil, prosperity greatly increased, almost every town acquiring one or more aqueducts to meet the rising demand from the growth of population, the increasing number of public and private bath buildings, and the higher luxury level in general. Until today over 1600 aqueducts have been described, Gallia (France) alone counting more than 300. Whenever a valley was judged to be too wide or too deep to be crossed by a bridge, pressure lines known as ‘inverted siphons’ or simply ‘siphons’ were employed. These closed conduits transported water across a valley according the principle of communicating vessels. About 80 classical siphons are presently known with one out of twenty aqueducts being equipped with a siphon. After an introductory note about aqueducts in general, this report treats the ancient pressure conduit systems with the technical problems encountered in design and function, the techniques that the ancient engineers applied to cope with these problems, and the texts of the Roman author Vitruvius on the subject. Reviewers noted that the report is rather long, and it is. Yet to understand the difficulties that the engineers of those days encountered in view of the materials available for their siphons (stone, ceramics, lead), many a hydraulic aspect will be discussed. Aspects that for the modern hydraulic engineer may be common knowledge and of minor importance when constructing pressure lines, in view of modern construction materials. It was different in Vitruvius’s days.

2021 ◽  
Lisa von der Heyden ◽  
Walter Wißdorf ◽  
Ralf Kurtenbach ◽  
Jörg Kleffmann

Abstract. In the present study a Relaxed Eddy Accumulation (REA) system for the quantification of vertical fluxes of nitrous acid (HONO) was developed and tested. The system is based on a three-channel-LOPAP instrument, for which two channels are used for the updrafts and downdrafts, respectively, and a third one for the correction of chemical interferences. The instrument is coupled to a REA gas inlet, for which an ultrasonic anemometer controls two fast magnetic valves to probe the two channels of the LOPAP instrument depending on the vertical wind direction. A software (PyREA) was developed, which controls the valves and measurement cycles, which regularly alternates between REA-, zero- and parallel ambient measurements. In addition, the assignment of the updrafts and downdrafts to the physical LOPAP channels is periodically alternated, to correct for differences in the interferences of the different air masses. During the study, only small differences of the interferences were identified for the updrafts and downdrafts excluding significant errors when using only one interference channel. In laboratory experiments, high precision of the two channels and the independence of the dilution corrected HONO concentrations on the length of the valve switching periods were demonstrated. A field campaign was performed in order to test the new REA-LOPAP system at the TROPOS monitoring station in Melpitz, Germany. HONO fluxes in the range of −4·1013 molecules m−2 s−1 (deposition) to +1.0·1014 molecules m−2 s−1 (emission) were obtained. A typical diurnal variation of the HONO fluxes was observed with low, partly negative fluxes during night-time and higher positive fluxes around noon. After an intensive rain period the positive HONO emissions during daytime were continuously increasing, which was explained by the drying of the upper most ground surfaces. Similar to other campaigns, the highest correlation of the HONO flux was observed with the product of the NO2 photolysis frequency and the NO2 concentration (J(NO2)·[NO2]), which implies a HONO formation by photosensitized conversion of NO2 on organic surfaces, like e.g. humic acids. Other postulated HONO formation mechanisms are also discussed, but are ranked being of minor importance for the present field campaign.

2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (24) ◽  
pp. 14049
Erik Jeppesen ◽  
Liselotte S. Johansson ◽  
Sh Tserenpil ◽  
Martin Søndergaard ◽  
Torben L. Lauridsen ◽  

Cross-latitude studies on lakes have a potential to predict how global warming may cause major changes in phytoplankton biomass and composition, e.g., the development of favourable conditions for cyanobacteria dominance. However, results from these studies may be influenced by biogeographical factors, and the conclusions may, therefore, not hold when considering local response patterns. We used monthly monitoring data from 504 lakes in Denmark—a small and homogeneous geographical region—to establish empirical relationships between key phytoplankton groups and a set of explanatory variables including total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), lake mean depth (DEP) and water temperature (TEMP). All variables had strong effects on phytoplankton biomass and composition, but their contributions varied over the seasons, with TEMP being particularly important in June–October. We found dominance of cyanobacteria in terms of biomass and also an increase in dinophytes biomass at higher TEMP, while diatoms and chlorophytes became less important. In May, however, the TEMP effect on total phytoplankton biomass was negative, likely reflecting intensified zooplankton grazing. Our results suggest that biogeographical effects are of minor importance for the response patterns of phytoplankton to temperature and that substantial concentration reductions of TN and TP are needed in eutrophic lakes to counteract the effect of the climate change-induced increase in TEMP.

2021 ◽  
pp. 000169932110662
Jürgen Gerhards ◽  
Holger Lengfeld ◽  
Clara Dilger

European citizenship consisting of equal economic, social and political rights for all EU citizens has come under pressure in recent years due to the different crises the EU had to face. Based on a survey conducted in 13 EU member states we examined to what extent EU citizens support the notion that citizens from other European countries should enjoy the same rights as nationals. Overall, 56% of EU citizens support the idea that citizens from other EU member states (EU migrants) and national citizens shall be treated equally. In addition, we find remarkable variation between the countries. Multivariate analyses indicate that cultural factors on the individual and the country level have a strong impact on attitudes towards Europeanized equality, whereas structural factors that are related to individuals’ and a countries’ socioeconomic position are only of minor importance.

2021 ◽  
pp. 096228022110510
Annika Strömer ◽  
Christian Staerk ◽  
Nadja Klein ◽  
Leonie Weinhold ◽  
Stephanie Titze ◽  

We present a new procedure for enhanced variable selection for component-wise gradient boosting. Statistical boosting is a computational approach that emerged from machine learning, which allows to fit regression models in the presence of high-dimensional data. Furthermore, the algorithm can lead to data-driven variable selection. In practice, however, the final models typically tend to include too many variables in some situations. This occurs particularly for low-dimensional data ([Formula: see text]), where we observe a slow overfitting behavior of boosting. As a result, more variables get included into the final model without altering the prediction accuracy. Many of these false positives are incorporated with a small coefficient and therefore have a small impact, but lead to a larger model. We try to overcome this issue by giving the algorithm the chance to deselect base-learners with minor importance. We analyze the impact of the new approach on variable selection and prediction performance in comparison to alternative methods including boosting with earlier stopping as well as twin boosting. We illustrate our approach with data of an ongoing cohort study for chronic kidney disease patients, where the most influential predictors for the health-related quality of life measure are selected in a distributional regression approach based on beta regression.

2021 ◽  
Jonas Landsgesell ◽  
David Beyer ◽  
Pascal Hebbeker ◽  
Peter Košovan ◽  
Christian Holm

The swelling of polyelectrolyte hydrogels has been often explained using simple models derived from the Flory-Rehner model. While these models qualitatively predict the experimentally observed trends, they also introduce strong approximations and neglect some important contributions. Consequently, they sometimes incorrectly ascribe the observed trends to contributions which are of minor importance under the given conditions. In this work, we investigate the swelling properties of weak (pH-responsive) polyelectrolyte gels at various pH and salt concentrations, using a hierarchy of models, gradually introducing various approximations. For the first time, we introduce a three-dimensional particle-based model which accounts for the topology of the hydrogel network, for electrostatic interactions between gel segments and small ions and for acid-base equilibrium coupled to the Donnan partitioning of small ions. This model is the most accurate one, therefore, we use it as a reference when assessing the effect of various approximations. As the first approximation, we introduce the affine deformation, which allows us to replace the network of many chains by a single chain, while retaining the particle-based representation. In the next step, we use the mean-field approximation to replace particles by density fields, combining the Poisson-Boltzmann equation with elastic stretching of the chain. Finally, we introduce an ideal gel model by neglecting the electrostatics while retaining all other features of the previous model. Comparing predictions from all four models allows us to understand which contributions dominate at high or low pH or salt concentrations. We observe that the field-based models overestimate the ionization degree of the gel because they underestimate the electrostatic interactions. Nevertheless, a cancellation of effects on the electrostatic interactions and Donnan partitioning causes that both particle-based and field-based models consistently predict the swelling of the gels as a function of pH and salt concentration. Thus, we can conclude that any of the employed models can rationalize the known experimental trends in gel swelling, however, only the particle-based models fully account for the true effects causing these trends. The full understanding of differences between various models is important when interpreting experimental results in the framework of existing theories and for ascribing the observed trends to particular contributions, such as the Donnan partitioning of ions, osmotic pressure or electrostatic interactions.

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