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Mathew Domeier, Grace E Shephard, Johannes Jakob, Carmen Gaina, Pavel V Doubrovine, Trond H Torsvik
The notorious ~60° bend separating the Hawaiian and Emperor chains marked a prominent change in the motion of the Pacific plate at ~47 Ma (million years ago), but the origin of that change remains an outstanding controversy that bears on the nature of major plate reorganizations. Lesser known but equally significant is a conundrum posed by the pre-bend (~80 to 47 Ma) motion of the Pacific plate, which, according to conventional plate models, was directed toward a fast-spreading ridge, in contradiction to tectonic forcing expectations...
November 2017: Science Advances
Xun Zhou, Xiaocui Wang, Jiajun Han, Qin Cao, Changlong Jiang, Juan Guo, Haiyan Zhou
Subsurface K-rich brines are important mineral resources for fertilizer production while the evolution of such brines is poorly documented. In the Sichuan Basin in southwest China, they are found mainly in the Middle and Lower Triassic marine carbonate aquifers. Total dissolved solids of the brines range from 176 to 378 g/L and K concentrations, from 1.9 to 53.3 g/L. We found that the brines are mainly of Cl-Na type, while Ba is absent in the brines. Comparison of the brine samples with both the trajectories of ions and the newly proposed trajectories of ion ratios of evaporated seawater suggests that the brines are enriched in Ca, Sr, Li, and I, depleted in SO4 and Mg, and neither enriched nor depleted in Cl and Na...
November 9, 2017: Ground Water
Finn Box, Dominic Vella, Robert W Style, Jerome A Neufeld
The localized loading of an elastic sheet floating on a liquid bath occurs at scales from a frog sitting on a lily pad to a volcano supported by the Earth's tectonic plates. The load is supported by a combination of the stresses within the sheet (which may include applied tensions from, for example, surface tension) and the hydrostatic pressure in the liquid. At the same time, the sheet deforms, and may wrinkle, because of the load. We study this problem in terms of the (relatively weak) applied tension and the indentation depth...
October 2017: Proceedings. Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences
Hui Ye, Chang-Zhi Wu, Tao Yang, M Santosh, Xi-Zhu Yao, Bing-Fei Gao, Xiao-Lei Wang, Weiqiang Li
Banded iron formations (BIFs) in Archean cratons provide important "geologic barcodes" for the global correlation of Precambrian sedimentary records. Here we report the first finding of late Archean BIFs from the Yangtze Craton, one of largest Precambrian blocks in East Asia with an evolutionary history of over 3.3 Ga. The Yingshan iron deposit at the northeastern margin of the Yangtze Craton, displays typical features of BIF, including: (i) alternating Si-rich and Fe-rich bands at sub-mm to meter scales; (ii) high SiO2 + Fe2O3total contents (average 90...
November 8, 2017: Scientific Reports
Morgane Gillard, Daniel Sauter, Julie Tugend, Simon Tomasi, Marie-Eva Epin, Gianreto Manatschal
Oceanic crust is continuously created at mid-oceanic ridges and seafloor spreading represents one of the main processes of plate tectonics. However, if oceanic crust architecture, composition and formation at present-day oceanic ridges are largely described, the processes governing the birth of a spreading center remain enigmatic. Understanding the transition between inherited continental and new oceanic domains is a prerequisite to constrain one of the last major unsolved problems of plate tectonics, namely the formation of a stable divergent plate boundary...
November 8, 2017: Scientific Reports
Peter Shebalin, Clément Narteau
Characterising the state of stress in the brittle upper-crust is essential in mechanics of faulting, industrial production processes, and operational earthquake forecasting. Nevertheless, unresolved questions concern the variation of pore-fluid with depth and the absolute strength on tectonically active faults. Here we show that, along the San Andreas fault system, the time-delay before the onset of the power-law aftershock decay rate (the c-value) varies by three orders of magnitude in the first 20 km below the surface...
November 6, 2017: Nature Communications
Jennifer Brandstätter, Walter Kurz, Anna Rogowitz
In this study we present microstructural data from hydrothermal veins in the sedimentary cover and the igneous basement recovered from Hole U1414A, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 344 (Costa Rica Seismogenesis Project), to constrain deformation mechanism operating in the subducting Cocos Plate. Cathodoluminescence studies, mechanical e-twin piezometry and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) analyses of carbonate veins were used to give insights into the deformation conditions and to help to understand the tectonic deformation history of the Cocos Plate offshore Costa Rica...
August 2017: Tectonics
Alexandra C Walls, M Alejandra Tortorici, Joost Snijder, Xiaoli Xiong, Berend-Jan Bosch, Felix A Rey, David Veesler
The tremendous pandemic potential of coronaviruses was demonstrated twice in the past few decades by two global outbreaks of deadly pneumonia. The coronavirus spike (S) glycoprotein initiates infection by promoting fusion of the viral and cellular membranes through conformational changes that remain largely uncharacterized. Here we report the cryoEM structure of a coronavirus S glycoprotein in the postfusion state, showing large-scale secondary, tertiary, and quaternary rearrangements compared with the prefusion trimer and rationalizing the free-energy landscape of this conformational machine...
October 17, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
James Goff, Mark Golitko, Ethan Cochrane, Darren Curnoe, Shaun Williams, John Terrell
There is increasing recognition of the long-lasting effects of tsunamis on human populations. This is particularly notable along tectonically active coastlines with repeated inundations occurring over thousands of years. Given the often high death tolls reported from historical events though it is remarkable that so few human skeletal remains have been found in the numerous palaeotsunami deposits studied to date. The 1929 discovery of the Aitape Skull in northern Papua New Guinea and its inferred late Pleistocene age played an important role in discussions about the origins of humans in Australasia for over 25 years until it was more reliably radiocarbon dated to around 6000 years old...
2017: PloS One
Benjamin J W Mills, Christopher R Scotese, Nicholas G Walding, Graham A Shields, Timothy M Lenton
The Cryogenian period (~720-635 Ma) is marked by extensive Snowball Earth glaciations. These have previously been linked to CO2 draw-down, but the severe cold climates of the Cryogenian have never been replicated during the Phanerozoic despite similar, and sometimes more dramatic changes to carbon sinks. Here we quantify the total CO2 input rate, both by measuring the global length of subduction zones in plate tectonic reconstructions, and by sea-level inversion. Our results indicate that degassing rates were anomalously low during the Late Neoproterozoic, roughly doubled by the Early Phanerozoic, and remained comparatively high until the Cenozoic...
October 24, 2017: Nature Communications
Xiao Xu, Rui Gao, Xiaoyu Guo, Wenhui Li, Hongqiang Li, Haiyan Wang, Xingfu Huang, Zhanwu Lu
The ongoing collision between India and Eurasia has created the Tibetan Plateau, which features high elevations and large crustal thicknesses. The easternmost portion of the plateau has long been a key region for studying the uplift mechanism of the Tibetan Plateau, especially after the 2008 Ms. 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake. However, previous studies have assumed that easternmost Tibet is tectonically homogeneous, and the tectonic significance of the Min Shan has been overshadowed by that of its more conspicuous neighbour, the Longmen Shan region...
October 23, 2017: Scientific Reports
Peipei Xu, Xiaotian Xia, Zhili Yang, Yuan Tian, Jianzhong Di, Minggao Guo
Tectonic family member 1 (TCTN1) is one of the tectonic family members, and a regulator of the hedgehog signaling pathway, which has been studied in various cancer types, including prostate and pancreatic cancer. However, its function in thyroid cancer has not been well documented. Therefore, the present study investigated the function of TCTN1 in thyroid cancer using a loss-of-function assay. Lentivirus-mediated RNA interference was applied to downregulate TCTN1 in the thyroid cancer cell lines, CAL62 and 8305C...
October 2017: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine
Israel Del Toro, Gabriele M Berberich, Relena R Ribbons, Martin B Berberich, Nathan J Sanders, Aaron M Ellison
Ecological studies often are subjected to unintentional biases, suggesting that improved research designs for hypothesis testing should be used. Double-blind ecological studies are rare but necessary to minimize sampling biases and omission errors, and improve the reliability of research. We used a double-blind design to evaluate associations between nests of red wood ants (Formica rufa, RWA) and the distribution of tectonic faults. We randomly sampled two regions in western Denmark to map the spatial distribution of RWA nests...
2017: PeerJ
Timothy Chapman, Geoffrey L Clarke, Sandra Piazolo, Nathan R Daczko
The metamorphic conditions and mechanisms required to induce foundering in deep arc crust are assessed using an example of representative lower crust in SW New Zealand. Composite plutons of Cretaceous monzodiorite and gabbro were emplaced at ~1.2 and 1.8 GPa are parts of the Western Fiordland Orthogneiss (WFO); examples of the plutons are tectonically juxtaposed along a structure that excised ~25 km of crust. The 1.8 GPa Breaksea Orthogneiss includes suitably dense minor components (e.g. eclogite) capable of foundering at peak conditions...
October 12, 2017: Scientific Reports
Zhonge Hou, Shuqiang Li
The Tethys Ocean existed between the continents of Gondwana and Laurasia from the Triassic to the Pliocene. Analyses of multiple biogeographic and phylogenetic histories reveal that the subsequent breakup of the Tethys greatly influenced the distributions of many species. The ancestral Tethyan realm broke into five biogeographic provinces, including the present-day East Pacific, West Atlantic, East Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea, and Indo-West Pacific. Palaeogeographic maps illustrate the Mesozoic Atlantic opening, the Cenozoic closure of the Tethys, the Messinian Salinity Crisis, the mid-Miocene closure of the Central American Seaway, and Quaternary geological changes...
October 12, 2017: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Zhi Chen, Jingjing You, Xiao Liu, Simon Cooper, Christopher Hodge, Gerard Sutton, Jeremy Micah Crook, Gordon G Wallace
Corneal transplantation is an important surgical treatment for many common corneal diseases. However, a worldwide shortage of tissue from suitable corneal donors has meant that many people are not able to receive sight-restoring operations. In addition, rejection is a major cause of corneal transplant failure. Bioengineering corneal tissue has recently gained widespread attention. In order to facilitate corneal regeneration, a range of materials is currently being investigated. The ideal substrate requires sufficient tectonic durability, biocompatibility with cultured cellular elements, transparency, and perhaps biodegradability and clinical-compliance...
October 12, 2017: Biomedical Materials
Matthew R Borths, Nancy J Stevens
Throughout the Paleogene, most terrestrial carnivore niches in Afro-Arabia were occupied by Hyaenodonta, an extinct lineage of placental mammals. By the end of the Miocene, terrestrial carnivore niches had shifted to members of Carnivora, a clade with Eurasian origins. The transition from a hyaenodont-carnivore fauna to a carnivoran-carnivore fauna coincides with other ecological changes in Afro-Arabia as tectonic conditions in the African Rift System altered climatic conditions and facilitated faunal exchange with Eurasia...
2017: PloS One
Arthur Langry, Joël Cellier, Horst Hintze-Bruening, Fabrice Leroux
A novel preparation route for layered hydroxide based hybrid phases has been investigated combining the polyol route with the in situ generation of inorganic platelets, in the presence of an amphiphilic polymer as well as bola-amphiphiles. The polyol route consists of hydrolysis in an alcoholic medium containing acetate metal cations as precursor(s), to yield an LDH Zn2Al cation composition or LSH-Zn (layered single hydroxide). A bola amphiphile is described as hydrophobic polymer segment-telechelic-chains terminated by two anionic hydrophilic end groups, using volatile ammonium cations as counter ions...
October 11, 2017: Dalton Transactions: An International Journal of Inorganic Chemistry
G Avgitidou, L M Heindl, C Cursiefen
Invasion of corneal epithelium into the anterior chamber can arise after ocular surgery or penetrating injury. This is extremly rare with an incidence of 0-0.2%. Three different types can be distiguished: cystic, diffuse and mixed form. Only cystic epithelial invasion can be treated with a curative therapeutic option that is blockexzision with tectonic corneoscleral transplantation.
September 29, 2017: Der Ophthalmologe: Zeitschrift der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft
Xiaoyu Guo, Wenhui Li, Rui Gao, Xiao Xu, Hongqiang Li, Xingfu Huang, Zhuo Ye, Zhanwu Lu, Simon L Klemperer
Himalayan tectonic activity is triggered by downward penetration of the Indian plate beneath the Asian plate. The subsurface geometry of this interaction has not been fully investigated. This study presents novel constraints on this geometry provided by two newly obtained, deep seismic reflection profiles. The profiles cover 100- and 60-km transects across the Yarlung-Zangbo suture of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen at c. 88°E. Both profiles show a crustal-scale outline of the subducting Indian crust. This outline clearly shows Indian understhrusting southern Tibet, but only to a limited degree...
October 2, 2017: Scientific Reports
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