92 research outputs found

    Using fractals and power laws to predict the location of mineral deposits

    Get PDF
    Around the world the mineral exploration industry is interested in getting that small increase in probability measure on the earth's surface of where the next large undiscovered deposit might be found. In particular WMC Resources Ltd has operations world wide looking for just that edge in the detection of very large deposits of, for example, gold. Since the pioneering work of Mandelbrot, geologists have been familiar with the concept of fractals and self similarity over a few orders of magnitude for geological features. This includes the location and size of deposits within a particular mineral province. Fractal dimensions have been computed for such provinces and similarities of these aggregated measures between provinces have been noted. This paper explores the possibility of making use of known information to attempt the inverse process. That is, from lesser dimensional measures of a mineral province, for example, fractal dimension or more generally multi-fractal measures, is it possible to infer, even with small increase in probability, where the unknown (preferably large) deposits might be located

    Spatial and temporal variability of biogenic isoprene emissions from a temperate estuary

    Get PDF
    [1] Isoprene is important for its atmospheric impacts and the ecophysiological benefits it affords to emitting organisms; however, isoprene emissions from marine systems remain vastly understudied compared to terrestrial systems. This study investigates for the first time drivers of isoprene production in a temperate estuary, and the role this production may play in enabling organisms to tolerate the inherently wide range of environmental conditions. Intertidal sediment cores as well as high and low tide water samples were collected from four sites along the Colne Estuary, UK, every six weeks over a year. Isoprene concentrations in the water were significantly higher at low than high tide, and decreased toward the mouth of the estuary; sediment production showed no spatial variability. Diel isoprene concentration increased with light availability and decreased with tidal height; nighttime production was 79% lower than daytime production. Seasonal isoprene production and water concentrations were highest for the warmest months, with production strongly correlated with light (r2 = 0.800) and temperature (r2 = 0.752). Intertidal microphytobenthic communities were found to be the primary source of isoprene, with tidal action acting as a concentrating factor for isoprene entering the water column. Using these data we estimated an annual production rate for this estuary of 681 μmol m−2 y−1. This value falls at the upper end of other marine estimates and highlights the potentially significant role of estuaries as isoprene sources. The control of estuarine isoprene production by environmental processes identified here further suggests that such emissions may be altered by future environmental change

    Characterization of CDH3-Related Congenital Hypotrichosis With Juvenile Macular Dystrophy.

    Get PDF
    IMPORTANCE: Congenital hypotrichosis with juvenile macular dystrophy (HJMD) is a rare disorder presenting in childhood and adolescence with central visual disturbance and sparse scalp hair. Reported retinal imaging is lacking, and whether the condition is progressive remains unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate a series of patients with HJMD due to biallelic mutations in CDH3 and thereby characterize the disorder. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Ten patients from 10 families underwent detailed clinical assessment, including serial retinal imaging and electrophysiologic evaluation, at Moorfields Eye Hospital, St James's University Hospital, and Calderdale Royal Infirmary. Patients ranged in age from 3 to 17 years at onset and 5 to 57 years at last assessment. The molecular genetic investigation included bidirectional Sanger sequencing of all exons and intron-exon boundaries of CDH3 and whole-exome sequencing in 2 patients. The study was conducted from June 5, 2013, to January 15, 2016, with final follow-up completed on December 15, 2015. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Results of clinical assessment and molecular genetic testing. RESULTS: All 10 patients (7 male and 3 female) presented with central visual disturbance in childhood and had lifelong sparse scalp hair with normal facial hair. Fundus examination revealed chorioretinal atrophy of the posterior pole contiguous with the disc in all but 1 patient that was associated with marked loss of autofluorescence on fundus autofluorescence imaging. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) demonstrated variable degrees of atrophy of the outer retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and choroid, with outer retinal tubulations frequently observed. One patient had mild disruption of the inner segment ellipsoid band on OCT and additional mild digit abnormalities. Electrophysiologic evaluation in 5 patients demonstrated macular dysfunction with additional mild, generalized retinal dysfunction in 2 patients. Eight patients had more than 1 evaluation; of these, 5 patients showed deterioration of visual acuity over time, 1 patient remained stable, and 2 patients had severe visual loss at presentation that precluded assessment of visual deterioration. The area of atrophy did not progress with time, but retinal thickness decreased on OCT. Electrophysiologic evaluation in 1 patient found deterioration of macular function after 13 years of follow-up, but the mild, generalized photoreceptor dysfunction remained stable. Biallelic mutations were identified in all patients, including 6 novel mutations. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: These results suggest that CDH3-related disease is characterized by a childhood-onset, progressive chorioretinal atrophy confined to the posterior pole. The disease is readily distinguished from other juvenile macular dystrophies by the universally thin and sparse scalp hair. Patients may have additional limb abnormalities

    Phenotypic and genetic characteristics in a cohort of patients with Usher genes.

    Get PDF
    Background: This study aimed to compare phenotype–genotype correlation in patients with Usher syndrome (USH) to those with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (NS-ARRP) caused by genes associated with Usher syndrome. Methods: Case notes of patients with USH or NS-ARRP and a molecularly confirmed diagnosis in genes associated with Usher syndrome were reviewed. Phenotypic information, including the age of ocular symptoms, hearing impairment, visual acuity, Goldmann visual fields, fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging and spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, was reviewed. The patients were divided into three genotype groups based on variant severity for genotype-phenotype correlations. Results: 39 patients with Usher syndrome and 33 patients with NS-ARRP and a molecular diagnosis in an Usher syndrome-related gene were identified. In the 39 patients diagnosed with Usher syndrome, a molecular diagnosis was confirmed as follows: USH2A (28), MYO7A (4), CDH23 (2), USH1C (2), GPR98/VLGR1 (2) and PCDH15 (1). All 33 patients with NS-ARRP had variants in USH2A. Further analysis was performed on the patients with USH2A variants. USH2A patients with syndromic features had an earlier mean age of symptom onset (17.9 vs. 31.7 years, p < 0.001), had more advanced changes on FAF imaging (p = 0.040) and were more likely to have cystoid macular oedema (p = 0.021) when compared to USH2A patients presenting with non-syndromic NS-ARRP. Self-reported late-onset hearing loss was identified in 33.3% of patients with NS-ARRP. Having a syndromic phenotype was associated with more severe USH2A variants (p < 0.001). Eighteen novel variants in genes associated with Usher syndrome were identified in this cohort. Conclusions: Patients with Usher syndrome, whatever the associated gene in this cohort, tended to have an earlier onset of retinal disease (other than GPR98/VLGR1) when compared to patients presenting with NS-ARRP. Analysis of genetic variants in USH2A, the commonest gene in our cohort, showed that patients with a more severe genotype were more likely to be diagnosed with USH compared to NS-ARRP. USH2A patients with syndromic features have an earlier onset of symptoms and more severe features on FAF and OCT imaging. However, a third of patients diagnosed with NS-ARRP developed later onset hearing loss. Eighteen novel variants in genes associated with Usher syndrome were identified in this cohort, thus expanding the genetic spectrum of known pathogenic variants. An accurate molecular diagnosis is important for diagnosis and prognosis and has become particularly relevant with the advent of potential therapies for Usher-related gene

    Earth system justice needed to identify and live within Earth system boundaries

    Get PDF
    Living within planetary limits requires attention to justice as biophysical boundaries are not inherently just. Through collaboration between natural and social scientists, the Earth Commission defines and operationalizes Earth system justice to ensure that boundaries reduce harm, increase well-being, and reflect substantive and procedural justice. Such stringent boundaries may also affect ‘just access’ to food, water, energy and infrastructure. We show how boundaries may need to be adjusted to reduce harm and increase access, and challenge inequality to ensure a safe and just future for people, other species and the planet. Earth system justice may enable living justly within boundaries

    Potential controls of isoprene in the surface ocean

    Get PDF
    Isoprene surface ocean concentrations and vertical distribution, atmospheric mixing ratios, and calculated sea-to-air fluxes spanning approximately 125° of latitude (80°N–45°S) over the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans are reported. Oceanic isoprene concentrations were associated with a number of concurrently monitored biological variables including chlorophyll a (Chl a), photoprotective pigments, integrated primary production (intPP), and cyanobacterial cell counts, with higher isoprene concentrations relative to all respective variables found at sea surface temperatures greater than 20°C. The correlation between isoprene and the sum of photoprotective carotenoids, which is reported here for the first time, was the most consistent across all cruises. Parameterizations based on linear regression analyses of these relationships perform well for Arctic and Atlantic data, producing a better fit to observations than an existing Chl a-based parameterization. Global extrapolation of isoprene surface water concentrations using satellite-derived Chl a and intPP reproduced general trends in the in situ data and absolute values within a factor of 2 between 60% and 85%, depending on the data set and algorithm used

    Novel homozygous splicing mutations in ARL2BP cause autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa

    Get PDF
    Purpose: Mutations in ARL2BP, encoding ADP-ribosylation factor-like 2 binding protein, have recently been implicated as a cause of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP), with three homozygous variants identified to date. In this study, we performed next-generation sequencing to reveal additional arRP cases associated with ARL2BP variants. Methods: Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) or whole-exome sequencing (WES) was performed in 1,051 unrelated individuals recruited for the UK Inherited Retinal Disease Consortium and NIHR-BioResource Rare Diseases research studies. Sanger sequencing was used to validate the next-generation sequencing data, and reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR analysis was performed on RNA extracted from blood from affected individuals to test for altered splicing of ARL2BP. Detailed phenotyping was performed, including clinical evaluation, electroretinography, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence imaging, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography. Results: Homozygous variants in ARL2BP (NM_012106.3) were identified in two unrelated individuals with RP. The variants, c.207+1G>A and c.390+5G>A, at conserved splice donor sites for intron 3 and intron 5, respectively, were predicted to alter the pre-mRNA splicing of ARL2BP. RT-PCR spanning the affected introns revealed that both variants caused abnormal splicing of ARL2BP in samples from affected individuals. Conclusions: This study identified two homozygous variants in ARL2BP as a rare cause of arRP. Further studies are required to define the underlying disease mechanism causing retinal degeneration as a result of mutations in ARL2BP and any phenotype-genotype correlation associated with residual levels of the wild-type transcript

    Antidepressant stimulation of CDP-diacylglycerol synthesis does not require monoamine reuptake inhibition

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Recent studies demonstrate that diverse antidepressant agents increase the cellular production of the nucleolipid CDP-diacylglycerol and its synthetic derivative, phosphatidylinositol, in depression-relevant brain regions. Pharmacological blockade of downstream phosphatidylinositide signaling disrupted the behavioral antidepressant effects in rats. However, the nucleolipid responses were resistant to inhibition by serotonin receptor antagonists, even though antidepressant-facilitated inositol phosphate accumulation was blocked. Could the neurochemical effects be additional to the known effects of the drugs on monoamine transmitter transporters? To examine this question, we tested selected agents in serotonin-depleted brain tissues, in PC12 cells devoid of serotonin transporters, and on the enzymatic activity of brain CDP-diacylglycerol synthase - the enzyme that catalyzes the physiological synthesis of CDP-diacylglycerol.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Imipramine, paroxetine, and maprotiline concentration-dependently increased the levels of CDP-diacylglycerol and phosphatidylinositides in PC12 cells. Rat forebrain tissues depleted of serotonin by pretreatment with <it>p</it>-chlorophenylalanine showed responses to imipramine or maprotiline that were comparable to respective responses from saline-injected controls. With fluoxetine, nucleolipid responses in the serotonin-depleted cortex or hippocampus were significantly reduced, but not abolished. Each drug significantly increased the enzymatic activity of CDP-diacylglycerol synthase following incubations with cortical or hippocampal brain tissues.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Antidepressants probably induce the activity of CDP-diacylglycerol synthase leading to increased production of CDP-diacylglycerol and facilitation of downstream phosphatidylinositol synthesis. Phosphatidylinositol-dependent signaling cascades exert diverse salutary effects in neural cells, including facilitation of BDNF signaling and neurogenesis. Hence, the present findings should strengthen the notion that modulation of brain phosphatidylinositide signaling probably contributes to the molecular mechanism of diverse antidepressant medications.</p
    corecore