202 research outputs found

    The development of the Kent coalfield 1896-1946

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    One of the unique features of the Kent Coalfield is that it is entirely concealed by newer rocks. The existence of a coalfield under southern England, being a direct link between those of South Wales, Somerset and Bristol in the west and the Ruhr, Belgium. and northern France in the east, was predicted by the geologist R. A. C. Godwin-Austen as early as 1856. It was, however, only the rapid increase in demand for Britain's coal in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that made it worth considering testing this hypothesis. The first boring was made in the years 1886-90, and although it discovered coal, this did not in itself prove the existence of a viable coalfield. This could be done only by incurring the heavy cost of boring systematically over a wide area. As the financial returns from such an undertaking were uncertain, it was not surprising that in the early years, around the turn of the century, a dominant role was played by speculators, who were able to induce numerous small investors to risk some of their savings in the expectation of high profits. As minerals in Britain were privately owned, the early pioneer companies not only had to meet the cost of the exploratory borines, but also, if they were not to see the benefit of their work accrue to others, lease beforehand the right to mine coal from local landowners in as much of the surrounding area as possible. This policy was pursued most vigorously by Arthur Burr, a Surrey land specula tor, who raised capital by creating the Kent Coal Conoessions Ltd. and then floating a series of companies allied to it. Burr's enterprise would probably have been. successful had it not been for the water problems encountered at depth in -v- the coalfield. As a result, the Concessions group found itself in control of most of the coalfield, but without the necessary capital to sink and adequately equip its 01ffi collieries. By 1910, however, the discovery of iron ore deposits in east Kent, coupled with the fact that Kent coal was excellent for coking purposes, began to attract the large steel firms of Bolckow, Vaughan Ltd. and Dorman, Long & Co. Ltd. in to the area. The First World War intervened, however, to delay their plans, and to provide an extended lease of life to the Concessions group, which, by the summer of 1914, was facing financial collapse. By the time Dorman, Lone & Co, in alliance with Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray), had acquired control over the greater part of the coalfield from the Concessions group, not only was the country's coal industry declining, but so was its steel industry, which suffered an even more severe rate of contraction during the inter-war years. As a result, Pearson and Dorman Long Ltd. was forced to concentrate just on coal production, and this in turn was hampered not only by the water problems, but also by labour shortages and the schemes introduced by the government in 1930 to restrict the country's coal output, in an attempt to maintain prices and revenue in the industry. Nevertheless, production did show a substantial increase between 1927 and 1935, after which it declined as miners left the coalfield to return to their former districts, where employment opportunities were improving in the late thirties. Supporting roles were played in the inter-war years by Richard Tilden Smith, a share underwriter turned industrialist with long standing interests in the coalfield, who acquired one of the Concessions group's two collieries, and by the Powell Duffryn Steam Coal Co. Ltd., which through subsidiary companies, took over the only colliery to be developed by a pioneer company outside the Concessions group. The impossibility of Kent coal, because of its nature, ever gaining more than token access to the more lucrative household market, and then the failure of the local steel industry to materialise meant that the -vi- companies had to develop alternative outlets for their growing outputs. Although nearness to industrial markets in the south-east of England did confer certain advantages were poor consolation for the hoped for developments of either the early pioneers or the later industrialists. Instead of the expected profits, the companies mostly incurred losses, and only the company acquired by Powell Duffryn ever paid a dividend to its shareholders in the years before nationalisation. From the point of view of the Kent miners, the shortage of labour in the coalfield, particularly in the years 1914-20 and 1927-35, was to an important extent responsible for their being amongst the highest paid in the industry. At the same time the more favourable employment opportunities prevailing in Kent compared with other mining districts enabled the Kent Nine Workers Association to develop into a well organised union, which on the whole was able to look after the interests of its members fairly successfully. Throughout the period 1896 to 1946 the Kent Coalfield existed very much at the margin of the British coal industry. Its failure to develop substantially along the lines envisaged by either the early pioneers or by the later industrialists meant that its importance in national terms always remained small

    A comparative Study of the Evergreen School District Before and After Reorganization

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    The problem of this thesis was to examine the Evergreen School District, both before and after its reorganization, to determine whether or not the reorganization of the district resulted in more acceptable educational services and facilities for all school children residing within its boundaries. Further, an attempt was made to compare the cost of education before and after reorganization

    Leptin deficiency-induced obesity affects the density of mast cells in abdominal fat depots and lymph nodes in mice

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Mast cells are implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and insulin resistance. Here, we explored the effects of leptin deficiency-induced obesity on the density of mast cells in metabolic (abdominal fat depots, skeletal muscle, and liver) and lymphatic (abdominal lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus) organs. Fourteen-week-old male leptin-deficient <it>ob/ob </it>mice and their controls fed a standard chow were studied. Tissue sections were stained with toluidine blue to determine the density of mast cells. CD117/c-kit protein expression analysis was also carried out. Furthermore, mast cells containing immunoreactive tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), a proinflammatory cytokine involved in obesity-linked insulin resistance, were identified by immunostaining.</p> <p>Results</p> <p><it>ob/ob </it>mice demonstrated adiposity and insulin resistance. In abdominal fat depots, mast cells were distributed differentially. While most prevalent in subcutaneous fat in controls, mast cells were most abundant in epididymal fat in <it>ob/ob </it>mice. Leptin deficiency-induced obesity was accompanied by a 20-fold increase in the density of mast cells in epididymal fat, but a 13-fold decrease in subcutaneous fat. This finding was confirmed by CD117/c-kit protein expression analysis. Furthermore, we found that a subset of mast cells in epididymal and subcutaneous fat were immunoreactive for TNF-α. The proportion of mast cells immunoreactive for TNF-α was higher in epididymal than in subcutaneous fat in both <it>ob/ob </it>and control mice. Mast cells were also distributed differentially in retroperitoneal, mesenteric, and inguinal lymph nodes. In both <it>ob/ob </it>mice and lean controls, mast cells were more prevalent in retroperitoneal than in mesenteric and inguinal lymph nodes. Leptin deficiency-induced obesity was accompanied by increased mast cell density in all lymph node stations examined. No significant difference in the density of mast cells in skeletal muscle, liver, spleen, and thymus was noted between <it>ob/ob </it>and control mice.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>This study demonstrates that leptin deficiency-induced obesity is accompanied by alterations in the density of mast cells in abdominal fat depots. The divergent distribution of mast cells in subcutaneous versus visceral fat might partially account for their differential biological behavior. Mast cells might also play a role in adaptive immune response occurring in regional lymph nodes in obesity.</p

    Moderate caloric restriction initiated in rodents during adulthood sustains function of the female reproductive axis into advanced chronological age

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    Age-related ovarian failure in women heralds the transition into postmenopausal life, which is characterized by a loss of fertility and increased risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cognitive dysfunction. Unfortunately, there are no options available for delaying loss of ovarian function with age in humans. Rodent studies have shown that caloric restriction (CR) can extend female fertile lifespan; however, much of this work initiated CR at weaning, which causes stunted adolescent growth and a delayed onset of sexual maturation. Herein we tested in mice if CR initiated in adulthood could delay reproductive aging. After 4 months of CR, the ovarian follicle reserve was doubled compared to ad libitum (AL)-fed age-matched controls, which in mating trials exhibited a loss of fertility by 15.5 months of age. In CR females returned to AL feeding at 15.5 months of age, approximately one-half remained fertile for 6 additional months and one-third continued to deliver offspring through 23 months of age. Notably, fecundity of CR-then-AL-fed females and postnatal offspring survival rates were dramatically improved compared with aging AL-fed controls. For example, between 10 and 23 months of age, only 22% of the 54 offspring delivered by AL-fed females survived. In contrast, over 73% of the 94 pups delivered by 15.5- to 23-month-old CR-then-AL-fed mice survived without any overt complications. These data indicate that in mice adult-onset CR maintains function of the female reproductive axis into advanced age and dramatically improves postnatal survival of offspring delivered by aged females

    Networking and the development of professionals: Beginning teachers building social capital

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    Beginning teachers need support when starting their teaching career. Networking can help teachers develop social capital which supports their development as professionals on their career journey. This paper presents case studies of three secondary school trainee teachers during an English year-long initial teacher education programme. The relationships supporting trainees were characterised differently: for practice development as opposed to enhancing a sense of belonging to the profession. Whether supportive relationships developed depended not only on the trainees but also on others. The paper encourages those involved in teacher education to promote social-capital building as supportive of the development of teachers as professionals

    Effects of antiplatelet therapy on stroke risk by brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases: subgroup analyses of the RESTART randomised, open-label trial

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    Background Findings from the RESTART trial suggest that starting antiplatelet therapy might reduce the risk of recurrent symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage compared with avoiding antiplatelet therapy. Brain imaging features of intracerebral haemorrhage and cerebral small vessel diseases (such as cerebral microbleeds) are associated with greater risks of recurrent intracerebral haemorrhage. We did subgroup analyses of the RESTART trial to explore whether these brain imaging features modify the effects of antiplatelet therapy

    Causes and Consequences of Diachronous V-Shaped Ridges in the North Atlantic Ocean

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    In the North Atlantic Ocean, the geometry of diachronous V-shaped features that straddle the Reykjanes Ridge is often attributed to thermal pulses which advect away from the center of the Iceland plume. Recently, two alternative hypotheses have been proposed: rift propagation and buoyant mantle upwelling. Here, we evaluate these different proposals using basin-wide geophysical and geochemical observations. The centerpiece of our analysis is a pair of seismic reflection profiles oriented parallel to flowlines that span the North Atlantic Ocean. V-shaped ridges and troughs are mapped on both Neogene and Paleogene oceanic crust, enabling a detailed chronology of activity to be established for the last 50 million years. Estimates of the cumulative horizontal displacement across normal faults help to discriminate between brittle and magmatic modes of plate separation, suggesting that crustal architecture is sensitive to the changing planform of the plume. Water-loaded residual depth measurements are used to estimate crustal thickness and to infer mantle potential temperature which varies by 25◦C on timescales of 3–8 Ma. This variation is consistent with the range of temperatures inferred from geochemical modeling of dredged basaltic rocks along the ridge axis itself, from changes in Neogene deep-water circulation, and from the regional record of episodic Cenozoic magmatism. We conclude that radial propagation of transient thermal anomalies within an asthenospheric channel that is 150 50 km thick best accounts for the available geophysical and geochemical observations

    A high-efficiency CRISPR/Cas9 system for targeted mutagenesis in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.)

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    The complex allotetraploid genome is one of major challenges in cotton for repressing gene expression. Developing site-specific DNA mutation is the long-term dream for cotton breeding scientists. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system is emerging as a robust biotechnology for targeted-DNA mutation. In this study, two sgRNAs, GhMYB25-like-sgRNA1 and GhMYB25-like-sgRNA2, were designed in the identical genomic regions of GhMYB25-like A and GhMYB25-like D, which were encoded by cotton A subgenome and the D subgenome, respectively, was assembled to direct Cas9-mediated allotetraploid cotton genome editing. High proportion (14.2–21.4%) CRISPR/Cas9-induced specific truncation events, either from GhMYB25-like A DNA site or from GhMYB25-like D DNA site, were detected in 50% examined transgenic cotton through PCR amplification assay and sequencing analyses. Sequencing results also demonstrated that 100% and 98.8% mutation frequency were occurred on GhMYB25-like-sgRNA1 and GhMYB25-like-sgRNA2 target site respectively. The off-target effect was evaluated by sequencing two putative off-target sites, which have 3 and 1 mismatched nucleotides with GhMYB25-like-sgRNA1 and GhMYB25-like-sgRNA2, respectively; all the examined samples were not detected any off-targetcaused mutation events. Thus, these results demonstrated that CRISPR/Cas9 is qualified for generating DNA level mutations on allotetraploid cotton genome with high-efficiency and high-specificity.ECU Open Access Publishing Support Fun

    Genome-Wide Gene Expression Analysis Suggests an Important Role of Hypoxia in the Pathogenesis of Endemic Osteochondropathy Kashin-Beck Disease

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    Kashin-Beck Disease (KBD) is an endemic osteochondropathy, the pathogenesis of which remains unclear now. In this study, we compared gene expression profiles of articular cartilage derived respectively from KBD patients and normal controls. Total RNA were isolated, amplified, labeled and hybridized to Agilent human 1A 22 k whole genome microarray chip. qRT-PCR was conducted to validate our microarray data. We detected 57 up-regulated genes (ratios ≥2.0) and 24 down-regulated genes (ratios ≤0.5) in KBD cartilage. To further identify the key genes involved in the pathogenesis of KBD, Bayesian analysis of variance for microarrays(BAM) software was applied and identified 12 potential key genes with an average ratio 6.64, involved in apoptosis, metabolism, cytokine & growth factor and cytoskeleton & cell movement. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) software was used to identify differently expressed gene ontology categories and pathways. GSEA found that a set of apoptosis, hypoxia and mitochondrial function related gene ontology categories and pathways were significantly up-regulated in KBD compared to normal controls. Based on the results of this study, we suggest that chronic hypoxia-induced mitochondrial damage and apoptosis might play an important role in the pathogenesis of KBD. Our efforts may help to understand the pathogenesis of KBD as well as other osteoarthrosis with similar articular cartilage lesions

    Impact of caloric and dietary restriction regimens on markers of health and longevity in humans and animals: a summary of available findings

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    Considerable interest has been shown in the ability of caloric restriction (CR) to improve multiple parameters of health and to extend lifespan. CR is the reduction of caloric intake - typically by 20 - 40% of ad libitum consumption - while maintaining adequate nutrient intake. Several alternatives to CR exist. CR combined with exercise (CE) consists of both decreased caloric intake and increased caloric expenditure. Alternate-day fasting (ADF) consists of two interchanging days; one day, subjects may consume food ad libitum (sometimes equaling twice the normal intake); on the other day, food is reduced or withheld altogether. Dietary restriction (DR) - restriction of one or more components of intake (typically macronutrients) with minimal to no reduction in total caloric intake - is another alternative to CR. Many religions incorporate one or more forms of food restriction. The following religious fasting periods are featured in this review: 1) Islamic Ramadan; 2) the three principal fasting periods of Greek Orthodox Christianity (Nativity, Lent, and the Assumption); and 3) the Biblical-based Daniel Fast. This review provides a summary of the current state of knowledge related to CR and DR. A specific section is provided that illustrates related work pertaining to religious forms of food restriction. Where available, studies involving both humans and animals are presented. The review includes suggestions for future research pertaining to the topics of discussion
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