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Geoffrey H Sperber
This paper reviews the surface ablation of early hominin teeth by attrition, abrasion, and erosive dental wear. The occurrence of these lesions is explored in a sample of South African fossil australopithecine dentitions revealing excessive wear. Interpretation of the nature of the dietary components causing such wear in the absence of carious erosion provides insight into the ecology of the Plio-pleistocene epoch (1-2 million years ago). Fossil teeth inform much of the living past by their retained evidence after death...
June 17, 2017: Dent J (Basel)
Andrew Knapp, Robert J Knell, Andrew A Farke, Mark A Loewen, David W E Hone
Establishing the origin and function of unusual traits in fossil taxa provides a crucial tool in understanding macroevolutionary patterns over long periods of time. Ceratopsian dinosaurs are known for their exaggerated and often elaborate horns and frills, which vary considerably between species. Many explanations have been proposed for the origin and evolution of these 'ornamental' traits, from predator defence to socio-sexual dominance signalling and, more recently, species recognition. A key prediction of the species recognition hypothesis is that two or more species possessing divergent ornamental traits should have been at least partially sympatric...
March 28, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Ashley L Bolden, Kim Schultz, Katherine E Pelch, Carol F Kwiatkowski
BACKGROUND: In the last decade unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction has rapidly proliferated throughout the United States (US) and the world. This occurred largely because of the development of directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing which allows access to fossil fuels from geologic formations that were previously not cost effective to pursue. This process is known to use greater than 1,000 chemicals such as solvents, surfactants, detergents, and biocides. In addition, a complex mixture of chemicals, including heavy metals, naturally-occurring radioactive chemicals, and organic compounds are released from the formations and can enter air and water...
March 21, 2018: Environmental Health: a Global Access Science Source
Edwing Grajales-González, Manuel Monge-Palacios, S Mani Sarathy
The need for renewable and cleaner sources of energy has made biofuels an interesting alternative to fossil fuels, especially in the case of butanol isomers, with its favorable blend properties and low hygroscopicity. Although C4 alcohols are prospective fuels, some key reactions governing their pyrolysis and combustion have not been adequately studied, leading to incomplete kinetic models. Enols are important intermediates in the combustion of C4 alcohols, as well as in atmospheric processes. Butanol reactions kinetics is poorly understood...
March 21, 2018: Journal of Physical Chemistry. A
Anaid Rosas-Navarro, Gerald Langer, Patrizia Ziveri
The sinking properties of three strains of Emiliania huxleyi in response to temperature changes were examined. We used a recently proposed approach to calculate sinking velocities from coccosphere architecture, which has the advantage to be applicable not only to culture samples, but also to field samples including fossil material. Our data show that temperature in the sub-optimal range impacts sinking velocity of E. huxleyi. This response is widespread among strains isolated in different locations and moreover comparatively predictable, as indicated by the similar slopes of the linear regressions...
2018: PloS One
Ge Li, Baodong Wang, Wayne Qiang Xu, Yonglong Li, Yifan Han, Qi Sun
Nitrogen oxides (NOx ) and sulfur dioxide (SO2 ) are major air pollutants, so simultaneously removing them from gases emitted during fossil fuel combustion in stationary systems is important. Wet denitrification using urea is used for a wide range of systems. Additives have strong effects on wet denitrification using urea, and different mechanisms are involved and different effects found using different additives. In this study, the effects of different additives, initial urea concentrations, reaction temperatures, initial pH values, gas flow rates, and reaction times on the simultaneous desulfurization and denitrification efficiencies achieved using wet denitrification using urea were studied in single factor experiment...
March 20, 2018: Environmental Technology
Kei-Anne Baritugo, Hee Taek Kim, Yokimiko David, Jong-Il Choi, Soon Ho Hong, Ki Jun Jeong, Jong Hyun Choi, Jeong Chan Joo, Si Jae Park
Bio-based production of industrially important chemicals provides an eco-friendly alternative to current petrochemical-based processes. Because of the limited supply of fossil fuel reserves, various technologies utilizing microbial host strains for the sustainable production of platform chemicals from renewable biomass have been developed. Corynebacterium glutamicum is a non-pathogenic industrial microbial species traditionally used for L-glutamate and L-lysine production. It is a promising species for industrial production of bio-based chemicals because of its flexible metabolism that allows the utilization of a broad spectrum of carbon sources and the production of various amino acids...
March 20, 2018: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Kuldeep K Bansal, Jitendra Gupta, Ari Rosling, Jessica M Rosenholm
Polymers from natural resources are attracting much attention in various fields including drug delivery as green alternatives to fossil fuel based polymers. In this quest, novel block copolymers based on renewable poly(δ-decalactone) (PDL) were evaluated for their drug delivery capabilities and compared with a fossil fuel based polymer i.e. methoxy-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone) (mPEG-b-PCL). Using curcumin as a hydrophobic drug model, micelles of PDL block copolymers with different orientation i...
March 2018: Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal: SPJ: the Official Publication of the Saudi Pharmaceutical Society
Stefan Schlager, Antonio Profico, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi
Many fossil specimens exhibit deformations caused by taphonomic processes. Due to these deformations, even important specimens have to be excluded from morphometric analyses, impoverishing an already poor paleontological record. Techniques to retrodeform and virtually restore damaged (i.e. deformed) specimens are available, but these methods genenerally imply the use of a sparse set of bilateral landmarks, ignoring the fact that the distribution and amount of control points directly affects the result of the retrodeformation...
2018: PloS One
W Cyrus Clemo, Kelly M Dorgan
Polychaetes exhibit diverse feeding strategies and diets, with some species possessing hardened teeth or jaws of varying complexity. Species in the order Eunicida have complex, rigid, articulated jaws consisting of multiple pairs of maxillae and a pair of mandibles. While all Eunicida possess this general jaw structure, several characteristics of the jaws vary considerably among families. These differences, described for fossilized and extant species' jaws, have been used to infer evolutionary relationships...
December 2017: Biological Bulletin
Meysam Makaremi, Sean Grixti, Keith T Butler, Geoffrey A Ozin, Chandra Veer Singh
Since hydrogen fuel involves the highest energy density among all fuels, production of this gas through the solar water splitting approach has been suggested as a green remedy for greenhouse environmental issues due to extensive consumption of fossil fuels. Low-dimensional materials possessing a large surface-to-volume ratio can be a promising candidate to be used for the photocatalytic approach. Here, we used extensive first-principles calculations to investigate the application of newly fabricated members of two-dimensional carbon nitrides including tg-C3 N4 , hg-C3 N4 , C2 N, and C3 N for water splitting...
March 21, 2018: ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Monica Terracciano, Michela Napolitano, Luca De Stefano, Anna Chiara De Luca, Ilaria Rea
Diatomite is a fossil material made of amorphous porous silica. In this work, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-modified diatomite NPs (PEG-DNPs) are decorated with gold NPs (AuNPs) by one-pot liquid-phase synthesis. Nanocomplexes (PEG-DNPs@AuNPs), with an average size of about 450 nm, are characterized by dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, nitrogen adsorption/desorption analysis, UV-VIS and photoluminescence spectroscopies. Preliminary studies on the use of the nanocomplex in nanomedicine are also presented...
March 19, 2018: Nanotechnology
Imran Hanif
The present study explores the impact of economic growth; urban expansion; and consumption of fossil fuels, solid fuels, and renewable energy on environmental degradation in developing economies of Sub-Saharan Africa. To demonstrate its findings in detail, the study adopts a system generalized method of moment (GMM) on a panel of 34 emerging economies for the period from 1995 to 2015. The results describe that the consumption of fossil and solid fuels for cooking and expansion of urban areas are significantly contributing to carbon dioxide emissions, on one end, and stimulating air pollution, on the other...
March 19, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Svetlana A Semerikova, Yuliya Y Khrunyk, Martin Lascoux, Vladimir L Semerikov
The origin of conifer genera, the main components of mountain temperate and boreal forests, was deemed to arise in the Mesozoic, although paleontological records and molecular data point to a recent diversification, presumably related to Neogene cooling. The geographical area(s) where the modern lines of conifers emerged remains uncertain, as is the sequence of events leading to their present distribution. To gain further insights into the biogeography of firs (Abies), we conducted phylogenetic analyses of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear markers...
March 15, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Tanja Stadler, Alexandra Gavryushkina, Rachel C M Warnock, Alexei J Drummond, Tracy A Heath
A birth-death-sampling model gives rise to phylogenetic trees with samples from the past and the present. Interpreting "birth" as branching speciation, "death" as extinction, and "sampling" as fossil preservation and recovery, this model - also referred to as the fossilized birth-death (FBD) model - gives rise to phylogenetic trees on extant and fossil samples. The model has been mathematically analyzed and successfully applied to a range of datasets on different taxonomic levels, such as penguins, plants, and insects...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Theoretical Biology
Zhongxue Dai, Huiyuan Zhou, Shangjie Zhang, Honglian Gu, Qiao Yang, Wenming Zhang, Weiliang Dong, Jiangfeng Ma, Yan Fang, Min Jiang, Fengxue Xin
Malic acid (2-hydroxybutanedioic acid) is a four-carbon dicarboxylic acid, which has attracted great interest due to its wide usage as a precursor of many industrially important chemicals in the food, chemicals, and pharmaceutical industries. Several mature routes for malic acid production have been developed, such as chemical synthesis, enzymatic conversion and biological fermentation. With depletion of fossil fuels and concerns regarding environmental issues, biological production of malic acid has attracted more attention, which mainly consists of three pathways, namely non-oxidative pathway, oxidative pathway and glyoxylate cycle...
March 9, 2018: Bioresource Technology
Guanghui Guo, Bo Song, Deshang Xia, Zijie Yang, Fopeng Wang
Intense mining, smelting, and tailing activities of polymetallic ore deposits have affected the environment in Nandan County, Guangxi, China. Samples of particulates with aerodynamic diameters low or equal 10 μm (PM10 ) were collected in Nandan County to investigate the concentrations of and health risks posed by 17 metals and metalloids in the PM10 . The metal and metalloid concentrations were lower than those found in other industrial cities. The mean Cr concentration was 7.48 ng/m3 . Significant higher metal and metalloid concentrations were found in PM10 from mining areas (Dachang and Chehe) than from the control area (Liuzhai) (p < 0...
March 16, 2018: Environmental Geochemistry and Health
Tammo Reichgelt, Christopher K West, David R Greenwood
Fossil palms provide qualitative evidence of (sub-) tropical conditions and frost-free winters in the geological past, including modern cold climate regions (e.g., boreal, or polar climates). The freeze intolerance of palms varies across different organs and life stages, with seedlings in particular less tolerant of sub-zero temperatures than adult plants, limiting successful establishment of populations while permitting adult palms to survive in cultivation outside their natural ranges. Quantitatively, palms indicate minimum cold month mean temperature (CMMT) at 2-8 °C in palaeoclimate reconstructions...
March 16, 2018: Scientific Reports
Evgeny V Yan, Rolf G Beutel, John F Lawrence
BACKGROUND: Gyrinidae are a charismatic group of highly specialized beetles, adapted for a unique lifestyle of swimming on the water surface. They prey on drowning insects and other small arthropods caught in the surface film. Studies based on morphological and molecular data suggest that gyrinids were the first branch splitting off in Adephaga, the second largest suborder of beetles. Despite its basal position within this lineage and a very peculiar morphology, earliest Gyrinidae were recorded not earlier than from the Upper Triassic...
March 16, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Christopher Nicolai Roterman, Won-Kyung Lee, Xinming Liu, Rongcheng Lin, Xinzheng Li, Yong-Jin Won
The recent discovery of two new species of kiwaid squat lobsters on hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean and in the Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean has prompted a re-analysis of Kiwaid biogeographical history. Using a larger alignment with more fossil calibrated nodes than previously, we consider the precise relationship between Kiwaidae, Chirostylidae and Eumunididae within Chirostyloidea (Decapoda: Anomura) to be still unresolved at present. Additionally, the placement of both new species within a new "Bristly" clade along with the seep-associated Kiwa puravida is most parsimoniously interpreted as supporting a vent origin for the family, rather than a seep-to-vent progression...
2018: PloS One
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