129 research outputs found

    Late Holocene sea- and land-level change on the U.S. southeastern Atlantic coast

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    Late Holocene relative sea-level (RSL) reconstructions can be used to estimate rates of land-level (subsidence or uplift) change and therefore to modify global sea-level projections for regional conditions. These reconstructions also provide the long-term benchmark against which modern trends are compared and an opportunity to understand the response of sea level to past climate variability. To address a spatial absence of late Holocene data in Florida and Georgia, we reconstructed ~ 1.3 m of RSL rise in northeastern Florida (USA) during the past ~ 2600 years using plant remains and foraminifera in a dated core of high salt-marsh sediment. The reconstruction was fused with tide-gauge data from nearby Fernandina Beach, which measured 1.91 ± 0.26 mm/year of RSL rise since 1900 CE. The average rate of RSL rise prior to 1800 CE was 0.41 ± 0.08 mm/year. Assuming negligible change in global mean sea level from meltwater input/removal and thermal expansion/contraction, this sea-level history approximates net land-level (subsidence and geoid) change, principally from glacio-isostatic adjustment. Historic rates of rise commenced at 1850–1890 CE and it is virtually certain (P = 0.99) that the average rate of 20th century RSL rise in northeastern Florida was faster than during any of the preceding 26 centuries. The linearity of RSL rise in Florida is in contrast to the variability reconstructed at sites further north on the U.S. Atlantic coast and may suggest a role for ocean dynamic effects in explaining these more variable RSL reconstructions. Comparison of the difference between reconstructed rates of late Holocene RSL rise and historic trends measured by tide gauges indicates that 20th century sea-level trends along the U.S. Atlantic coast were not dominated by the characteristic spatial fingerprint of melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet

    Towards an automated analysis of bacterial peptidoglycan structure.

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    Peptidoglycan (PG) is an essential component of the bacterial cell envelope. This macromolecule consists of glycan chains alternating N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylmuramic acid, cross-linked by short peptides containing nonstandard amino acids. Structural analysis of PG usually involves enzymatic digestion of glycan strands and separation of disaccharide peptides by reversed-phase HPLC followed by collection of individual peaks for MALDI-TOF and/or tandem mass spectrometry. Here, we report a novel strategy using shotgun proteomics techniques for a systematic and unbiased structural analysis of PG using high-resolution mass spectrometry and automated analysis of HCD and ETD fragmentation spectra with the Byonic software. Using the PG of the nosocomial pathogen Clostridium difficile as a proof of concept, we show that this high-throughput approach allows the identification of all PG monomers and dimers previously described, leaving only disambiguation of 3-3 and 4-3 cross-linking as a manual step. Our analysis confirms previous findings that C. difficile peptidoglycans include mainly deacetylated N-acetylglucosamine residues and 3-3 cross-links. The analysis also revealed a number of low abundance muropeptides with peptide sequences not previously reported. Graphical Abstract The bacterial cell envelope includes plasma membrane, peptidoglycan, and surface layer. Peptidoglycan is unique to bacteria and the target of the most important antibiotics; here it is analyzed by mass spectrometry

    Repeated measures of inflammation, blood pressure, and heart rate variability associated with traffic exposures in healthy adults

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    Abstract Background Previous human exposure studies of traffic-related air pollutants have demonstrated adverse health effects in human populations by comparing areas of high and low traffic, but few studies have utilized microenvironmental monitoring of pollutants at multiple traffic locations while looking at a vast array of health endpoints in the same population. We evaluated inflammatory markers, heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure, exhaled nitric oxide, and lung function in healthy participants after exposures to varying mixtures of traffic pollutants. Methods A repeated-measures, crossover study design was used in which 23 healthy, non-smoking adults had clinical cardiopulmonary and systemic inflammatory measurements taken prior to, immediately after, and 24 hours after intermittent walking for two hours in the summer months along three diverse roadways having unique emission characteristics. Measurements of PM2.5, PM10, black carbon (BC), elemental carbon (EC), and organic carbon (OC) were collected. Mixed effect models were used to assess changes in health effects associated with these specific pollutant classes. Results Minimal associations were observed with lung function measurements and the pollutants measured. Small decreases in BP measurements and rMSSD, and increases in IL-1β and the low frequency to high frequency ratio measured in HRV, were observed with increasing concentrations of PM2.5 EC. Conclusions Small, acute changes in cardiovascular and inflammation-related effects of microenvironmental exposures to traffic-related air pollution were observed in a group of healthy young adults. The associations were most profound with the diesel-source EC