large variability
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2022 ◽  
Vol 3 ◽  
Tim Jesper Suhrhoff

Enhanced weathering is a promising approach to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, it may also pose environmental risks through the release of heavy metals, in particular nickel and chromium. In this perspective article I explore the potential role of plants in modulating these heavy metal fluxes. Agricultural basaltic soils may be valuable study sites in this context. However, the effect of biomass harvesting on the accumulation of heavy metals is currently not well studied. Mostly caused by different parent rock concentrations, there is a large variability of heavy metal concentrations in basaltic and ultramafic soils. Hence, to minimize environmental risks of enhanced weathering, basalts with low heavy metal concentrations should be favored. Existing phytoremediation strategies may be used to “phytoprevent” the accumulation of nickel and chromium released from enhanced weathering in soils. As a result, elevated nickel and chromium concentrations in rocks must not preclude enhanced weathering in all settings. In particular, hyperaccumulating plants could be used as part of a crop rotation to periodically remove heavy metals from soils. Enhanced weathering could also be employed on fields or forests of (non-hyper) accumulating plants that have a high primary production of biomass. Both approaches may have additional synergies with phytomining or bioenergy carbon capture and storage, increasing the total amount of carbon dioxide drawdown and at the same time preventing heavy metal accumulation in soils.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Annuska C. Berz ◽  
Markus Wöhr ◽  
Rainer K. W. Schwarting

Rats are highly social animals known to communicate with ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) of different frequencies. Calls around 50 kHz are thought to represent a positive affective state, whereas calls around 22 kHz are believed to serve as alarm or distress calls. During playback of natural 50-kHz USV, rats show a reliable and strong social approach response toward the sound source. While this response has been studied in great detail in numerous publications, little is known about the emission of USV in response to natural 50-kHz USV playback. To close this gap, we capitalized on three data sets previously obtained and analyzed USV evoked by natural 50-kHz USV playback in male juvenile rats. We compared different rat stocks, namely Wistar (WI) and Sprague-Dawley (SD) and investigated the pharmacological treatment with the dopaminergic D2 receptor antagonist haloperidol. These response calls were found to vary broadly inter-individually in numbers, mean peak frequencies, durations and frequency modulations. Despite the large variability, the results showed no major differences between experimental conditions regarding call likelihood or call parameters, representing a robust phenomenon. However, most response calls had clearly lower frequencies and were longer than typical 50-kHz calls, i.e., around 30 kHz and lasting generally around 0.3 s. These calls resemble aversive 22-kHz USV of adult rats but were of higher frequencies and shorter durations. Moreover, blockade of dopamine D2 receptors did not substantially affect the emission of response calls suggesting that they are not dependent on the D2 receptor function. Taken together, this study provides a detailed analysis of response calls toward playback of 50-kHz USV in juvenile WI and SD rats. This includes calls representing 50-kHz USV, but mostly calls with lower frequencies that are not clearly categorizable within the so far known two main groups of USV in adult rats. We discuss the possible functions of these response calls addressing their communicative functions like contact or appeasing calls, and whether they may reflect a state of frustration. In future studies, response calls might also serve as a new read-out in rat models for neuropsychiatric disorders, where acoustic communication is impaired, such as autism spectrum disorder.

2022 ◽  
pp. 31-42
Youssef Chegdali ◽  
Hassan Ouabbou ◽  
Abdelkhalid Essamadi

Durum wheat is one of the most important cereal crops in Morocco. The development of high-yielding varieties of durum wheat is one of the major goals of breeding programs in Morocco. Crop genetic diversity should play an essential role in this context. The objective of this study was to assess the genetic variation among 280 durum wheat accessions conserved at the Moroccan Gene Bank by using twelve agro-morphological characters. All accessions are planted in field conditions and arranged in augmented design. The results showed a large variability among the durum wheat accessions. Analysis of variance demonstrated significant to highly significant differentiation between the accessions for the most traits. The number of plants at the emergence stage, the biomass of the plant at the flowering stage, the chlorophyll content, and the number of spikes showed high genetic advance coupled with high heritability (broad sense). Moreover, highly significant coefficients of correlation were revealed between agro-morphological characters offering the possibility of direct or indirect selection. The first two axes of the principal component analysis explained 45% of the total variation and showed that Moroccan landraces and North American cultivars shared similar morphological characters. However, Moroccan cultivars have shown better agronomic characters. This important agro-morphological variation should be utilized as a gene pool in durum wheat improvement to develop novel varieties with high productivity and the best quality.

Clément Piégay ◽  
Philippe Glé ◽  
Etienne Gourlay ◽  
Emmanuel Gourdon ◽  
Sandrine Marceau

Biosourced materials such as vegetal wools offer major thermal insulation advantages in the green buildings field. Experimental characterisations of vegetal wools thermal conductivity as a function of their density show the existence of an optimum conduction-radiation coupled value. This specific point, as well as the properties of vegetal wools are related to the large variability of shapes and sizes of their fibres. In order to take this specificity into account, it seems particularly relevant to use micro-macro modelling methods to predict the thermal conductivities related to both conduction and radiation heat transfer phenomena. In a first time, a self-consistent method based on a cylindrical geometry (SCMcyl) is used as a modelling approach for conduction transfers. Then, a modelling approach developed by Bankvall and based on an equivalent fibre radius value is used for radiation transfers. So, by coupling these two approaches, it is possible to obtain an equivalent thermal conductivity of fibrous materials as a function of density. Finally, this method is validated by comparison with experimental data.

2022 ◽  
Joost S S. Mansour ◽  
Konstantinos Anestis ◽  
Fabrice Not ◽  
Uwe John

Many marine protists are not culturable and therefore challenging to study, nonetheless, they are essential in all marine ecosystems. The development of single-cell techniques is allowing for more marine protists to be studied. Such genomic approaches aim to help to disentangle heterotrophic processes such as phagotrophy from osmotrophy and phototrophic-induced anabolic activities. This information will then support cellular and metabolic modeling by better elucidating the physiological mechanisms and quantifying their importance in different scenarios. However, single-cell protocols and low input RNA kits for transcriptomics are usually made for and tested with mammalian cells, as such the feasibility and efficiency of single-cell transcriptomics on highly diverse mixotrophic protists is not always known. Often single-cell transcriptomics of microbial eukaryotes shows low transcript recovery rates and large variability. We report on transcriptomic methods that we have successfully performed on single cells of Acantharia, Strombidium basimorphum, and Prymnesium parvum. This protocol follows up after total RNA extraction (from the protocol at to prepare cDNA libraries for Illumina sequencing. The described protocol uses the SMART-Seq4 kit (Takara #634891) for cDNA synthesis and amplification, but this can also be successfully performed with the NEBNext kit (NEB #E6421). The NEBNext kit protocol is very similar to the protocol described here and generally the manufacture's protocol can be followed but see the notes at step 4 and step 18 of this protocol, and do the final elution after cDNA purification in 10 mM Tris (pH 8.0). The subsequent cDNA library is prepared following the .

Energies ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
pp. 381
Paraskevi N. Zaza ◽  
Anastasios Sepetis ◽  
Pantelis G. Bagos

The continuous operation and the specialized conditions needed for safely delivering healthcare services make hospitals among the most expensive buildings. Several studies in different countries have investigated the potential role and contribution of macroscopic indices of hospitals in total energy requirements. In this work, we tried to investigate the energy requirements of Greek hospitals in terms of cost. We collected data from all public hospitals in Greece over a 2 year period (2018–2019) and evaluated the contribution of various factors in the total energy cost. The data revealed large variability by region and by hospital, even regarding structures of the same category and size. The analysis also showed that structural and operational data of each hospital differently influence the hospitals’ energy requirements. Using regression methods, we developed two models for calculating annual energy costs. One only contains hospital structural data (number of beds, type of hospital, number of employees, and the non/use of alternative energy sources such as natural gas), and it reached an R² of 0.84. The second model contains not only structural but also operational data from each hospital (number of the internal patients, number of surgeries and number of medical imaging tests), and it reached an R² of 0.87. The former model is easier to compute since it only relies on data that can be easily gathered, but the latter has slightly better performance. These tools can help the Ministry of Health and hospitals’ management to identify the factors that contribute to the energy cost in order to plan targeted interventions, be well-prepared regarding budgeting, and be able to progressively measure, monitor, and improve the environmental footprint of hospitals by investing in renewable energy resources.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
pp. 61
Mohamed Talaat ◽  
Xiuhua Si ◽  
Jinxiang Xi

Accurate knowledge of the delivery of locally acting drug products, such as metered-dose inhaler (MDI) formulations, to large and small airways is essential to develop reliable in vitro/in vivo correlations (IVIVCs). However, challenges exist in modeling MDI delivery, due to the highly transient multiscale spray formation, the large variability in actuation–inhalation coordination, and the complex lung networks. The objective of this study was to develop/validate a computational MDI-releasing-delivery model and to evaluate the device actuation effects on the dose distribution with the newly developed model. An integrated MDI–mouth–lung (G9) geometry was developed. An albuterol MDI with the chlorofluorocarbon propellant was simulated with polydisperse aerosol size distribution measured by laser light scatter and aerosol discharge velocity derived from measurements taken while using a phase Doppler anemometry. The highly transient, multiscale airflow and droplet dynamics were simulated by using large eddy simulation (LES) and Lagrangian tracking with sufficiently fine computation mesh. A high-speed camera imaging of the MDI plume formation was conducted and compared with LES predictions. The aerosol discharge velocity at the MDI orifice was reversely determined to be 40 m/s based on the phase Doppler anemometry (PDA) measurements at two different locations from the mouthpiece. The LES-predicted instantaneous vortex structures and corresponding spray clouds resembled each other. There are three phases of the MDI plume evolution (discharging, dispersion, and dispensing), each with distinct features regardless of the actuation time. Good agreement was achieved between the predicted and measured doses in both the device, mouth–throat, and lung. Concerning the device–patient coordination, delayed MDI actuation increased drug deposition in the mouth and reduced drug delivery to the lung. Firing MDI before inhalation was found to increase drug loss in the device; however, it also reduced mouth–throat loss and increased lung doses in both the central and peripheral regions.

2022 ◽  
Nicolas Moreno ◽  
Daniela Moreno-Chaparro ◽  
Florencio Balboa Usabiaga ◽  
Marco Ellero

Many viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 or Influenza, possess spike-decorated envelopes. Depending on the virus type, a large variability is present in spikes number, morphology and reactivity, which remains generally unexplained. Since viruses' transmissibility depend on features beyond their genetic sequence, new tools are required to discern the effects of spikes functionality, interaction, and morphology. Here, we postulate the relevance of hydrodynamic interactions in the viral infectivity of enveloped viruses and propose micro-rheological characterization as a platform for viruses differentiation. To understand how the spikes affect virion mobility and infectivity, we investigate the diffusivity of spike-decorate structures using mesoscopic-hydrodynamic simulations. Furthermore, we explored the interplay between affinity and passive viral transport. Our results revealed that the diffusional mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 is strongly influenced by the size and distribution of its spikes. We propose and validate a universal mechanism to explain the link between optimal virion structure and maximal infectivity for many virus families.

Forests ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 13 (1) ◽  
pp. 45
Michał Brach

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are crucial elements used in forest inventories. Forest metrics modeling efficacy depends on the accuracy of determining sample plot locations by GNSS. As of 2021, the GNSS consists of 120 active satellites, ostensibly improving position acquisition in forest conditions. The main idea of this article was to evaluate GIS-class and geodetic class GNSS receivers on 33 control points located in the forest. The main assumptions were operating on four GNSS systems (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and BeiDou), keeping a continuous online connection to the network of reference stations, maintaining occupation time-limited to 60 epochs, and repeating all the measurements three times. Rapid static positioning was tested, as it compares the true performance of the four GNSS systems receivers. Statistical differences between the receivers were confirmed. The GIS-class receiver achieved an accuracy of 1.38 m and a precision of 1.29 m, while the geodetic class receiver reached 0.74 m and 0.91 m respectively. Even though the research was conducted under the same data capture conditions, the large variability of positioning results were found to be caused by cycle slips and the multipath effect.

BMJ Open ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. e053308
Madelé van Dyk ◽  
Chelsea Boylan ◽  
Robin Michelet ◽  
Anna M Mc Laughlin ◽  
Ganessan Kichenadasse ◽  

IntroductionChildhood leukaemia is the most common type of cancer in children and represents among 25% of the diagnoses in children <15 years old. Childhood survival rates have significantly improved within the last 40 years due to a rapid advancement in therapeutic interventions. However, in high-risk groups, survival rates remain poor. Pharmacokinetic (PK) data of cancer medications in children are limited and thus current dosing regimens are based on studies with small sample sizes. In adults, large variability in PK is observed and dose individualisation (plasma concentration guided dosing) has been associated with improved clinical outcomes; whether this is true for children is still unknown. This provides an opportunity to explore this strategy in children to potentially reduce toxicities and ensure optimal dosing. This paper will provide a protocol to systematically review studies that have used dose individualisation of drugs used in the treatment of childhood leukaemias.Methods and analysisSystematic review methodology will be applied to identify, select and extract data from published plasma guided dosing studies conducted in a paediatric leukaemia cohort. Databases (eg, Ovid Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Cochrane) and clinical trial registries (CENTRAL, and ISRCTN) will be used to perform the systematic literature search (up until February 2021). Only full empirical studies will be included, with primary clinical outcomes (progression-free survival, toxicities, minimal residual disease status, complete cytogenetic response, partial cytogenetic response and major molecular response) being used to decide whether the study will be included. The quality of included studies will be undertaken, with a subgroup analysis where appropriate.Ethics and disseminationThis systematic review will not require ethics approval as there will not be collection of primary data. Findings of this review will be made available through publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. Gaps will be identified in current literature to inform future-related research.PROSPERO registration numberCRD42021225045.

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