617,925 research outputs found

    Chemical Diversity of Apatites

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    Apatites can accommodate a large number of vacancies and afford multiple ionic substitutions determining their reactivity and biological properties. Unlike other biominerals they offer a unique adaptability to various biological functions. The diversity of apatites is essentially related to their structure and to their mode of formation. Special charge compensation mechanisms allow molecular insertions and ion substitutions and determine to some extent their solubility behaviour. Apatite formation at physiological pH involves a structured surface hydrated layer nourishing the development of apatite domains. This surface layer contains relatively mobile and exchangeable ions, and is mainly responsible for the surface properties of apatite crystals from a chemical (dissolution properties, ion exchange ability, ion insertions, molecule adsorption and insertions) and a physical (surface charge, interfacial energy) point of view. These characteristics are used by living organisms and can also be exploited in material science

    The chemical diversity of comets

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    A fundamental question in cometary science is whether the different dynamical classes of comets have different chemical compositions, which would reflect different initial conditions. From the ground or Earth orbit, radio and infrared spectroscopic observations of a now significant sample of comets indeed reveal deep differences in the relative abundances of cometary ices. However, no obvious correlation with dynamical classes is found. Further results come, or are expected, from space exploration. Such investigations, by nature limited to a small number of objects, are unfortunately focussed on short-period comets (mainly Jupiter-family). But these in situ studies provide "ground truth" for remote sensing. We discuss the chemical differences in comets from our database of spectroscopic radio observations, which has been recently enriched by several Jupiter-family and Halley-type comets.Comment: In press in Earth, Moon and Planets (proceedings of the workshop "Future Ground-based Solar System Research: Synergies with Space Probes and Space Telescopes", Portoferraio, Isola d'Elba, Livorno (Italy), 8-12 September 2008). 6 pages with 2 figure

    Chemical Impacts of the Microbiome Across Scales Reveal Novel Conjugated Bile Acids

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    A mosaic of cross-phyla chemical interactions occurs between all metazoans and their microbiomes. In humans, the gut harbors the heaviest microbial load, but many organs, particularly those with a mucosal surface, associate with highly adapted and evolved microbial consortia. The microbial residents within these organ systems are increasingly well characterized, yielding a good understanding of human microbiome composition, but we have yet to elucidate the full chemical impact the microbiome exerts on an animal and the breadth of the chemical diversity it contributes. A number of molecular families are known to be shaped by the microbiome including short-chain fatty acids, indoles, aromatic amino acid metabolites, complex polysaccharides, and host lipids; such as sphingolipids and bile acids. These metabolites profoundly affect host physiology and are being explored for their roles in both health and disease. Considering the diversity of the human microbiome, numbering over 40,000 operational taxonomic units, a plethora of molecular diversity remains to be discovered. Here, we use unique mass spectrometry informatics approaches and data mapping onto a murine 3D-model to provide an untargeted assessment of the chemical diversity between germ-free (GF) and colonized mice (specific-pathogen free, SPF), and report the finding of novel bile acids produced by the microbiome in both mice and humans that have evaded characterization despite 170 years of research on bile acid chemistry

    Quorumpeps database : chemical space, microbial origin and functionality of quorum sensing peptides

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    Quorum-sensing (QS) peptides are biologically attractive molecules, with a wide diversity of structures and prone to modifications altering or presenting new functionalities. Therefore, the Quorumpeps database (http://quorumpeps.ugent.be) is developed to give a structured overview of the QS oligopeptides, describing their microbial origin (species), functionality (method, result and receptor), peptide links and chemical characteristics (3D-structure-derived physicochemical properties). The chemical diversity observed within this group of QS signalling molecules can be used to develop new synthetic bio-active compounds

    Does functional soil microbial diversity contribute to explain within-site plant beta-diversity in an alpine grassland and a <i>dehesa</i> meadow in Spain?

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    Questions: Once that the effects of hydrological and chemical soil properties have been accounted for, does soil microbial diversity contribute to explain change in plant community structure (i.e. within-site beta-diversity)? If so, at which spatial scale does microbial diversity operate? Location: La Mina in Moscosa Farm, Salamanca, western Spain (dehesa community) and Laguna Larga in the Urbión Peaks, Soria, central-northern Spain (alpine grassland). Methods: The abundance of vascular plant species, soil gram-negative microbial functional types and soil chemical properties (pH, available phosphorus, and extractable cations) were sampled at both sites, for which hydrological models were available. Redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to partition variation in plant community structure into hydrological, chemical and microbial components. Spatial filters, arranged in scalograms, were used to test for the spatial scales at which plant community structure change. Results: In the case of the dehesa the diversity of soil gram-negative microbes, weakly driven by soil pH, contributed to a small extent (adj-R2 = 2%) and at a relative medium spatial scale to explain change in plant community structure. The abundance of a few dehesa species, both annual (Trifolium dubium, Vulpia bromoides) and perennial (Poa bulbosa, Festuca ampla), was associated with either increasing or decreasing soil microbial diversity. In the alpine meadow the contribution was negligible. Conclusions: Microbial diversity can drive community structure, though in the hierarchy of environmental factors structuring communities it appears to rank lower than other soil factors. Still, microbial diversity appears to promote or restrain individual plant species. This paper aims to encourage future studies to use more comprehensive and insightful techniques to assess microbial diversity and to combine this with statistical approaches such as the one used here

    Chemical survey toward young stellar objects in the Perseus molecular cloud complex

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    Chemical diversity of the gas in low-mass protostellar cores is widely recognized. In order to explore its origin, a survey of chemical composition toward 36 Class 0/I protostars in the Perseus molecular cloud complex, which are selected in an unbiased way under certain physical conditions, has been conducted with IRAM 30 m and NRO 45 m telescope. Multiple lines of C2H, c-C3H2 and CH3OH have been observed to characterize the chemical composition averaged over a 1000 au scale around the protostar. The derived beam-averaged column densities show significant chemical diversity among the sources, where the column density ratios of C2H/CH3OH are spread out by 2 orders of magnitude. From previous studies, the hot corino sources have abundant CH3OH but deficient C2H, their C2H/CH3OH column density ratios being relatively low. In contrast, the warm-carbon-chain chemistry (WCCC) sources are found to reveal the high C2H/CH3OH column density ratios. We find that the majority of the sources have intermediate characters between these two distinct chemistry types. A possible trend is seen between the C2H/CH3OH ratio and the distance of the source from the edge of a molecular cloud. The sources located near cloud edges or in isolated clouds tend to have a high C2H/CH3OH ratio. On the other hand, the sources having a low C2H/CH3OH ratio tend to be located in inner regions of the molecular cloud complex. This result gives an important clue to an understanding of the origin of the chemical diversity of protostellar cores in terms of environmental effects.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ

    Thermodynamic Efficiency in Dissipative Chemistry

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    Chemical processes in closed systems are poorly controllable since they always relax to equilibrium. Living systems avoid this fate and give rise to a much richer diversity of phenomena by operating under nonequilibrium conditions. Recent experiments in dissipative self-assembly also demonstrated that by opening reaction vessels and steering certain concentrations, an ocean of opportunities for artificial synthesis and energy storage emerges. To navigate it, thermodynamic notions of energy, work and dissipation must be established for these open chemical systems. Here, we do so by building upon recent theoretical advances in nonequilibrium statistical physics. As a central outcome, we show how to quantify the efficiency of such chemical operations and lay the foundation for performance analysis of any dissipative chemical process.Comment: revtex format: 11 pages (4 + 7 for appendices), 6 figures (4 + 2
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