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S Inaida, T Tsuda, S Matsuno
We investigated the relationship between epidemics and soil radiation through an exploratory study using sentinel surveillance data (individuals aged <20 years) during the last three epidemic seasons of influenza and norovirus in Japan. We used a spatial analysis method of a geographical information system (GIS). We mapped the epidemic spreading patterns from sentinel incidence rates. We calculated the average soil radiation [dm (μGy/h)] for each sentinel site using data on uranium, thorium, and potassium oxide in the soil and examined the incidence rate in units of 0·01 μGy/h...
January 16, 2017: Epidemiology and Infection
Xianfeng Wang, R Lawrence Edwards, Augusto S Auler, Hai Cheng, Xinggong Kong, Yongjin Wang, Francisco W Cruz, Jeffrey A Dorale, Hong-Wei Chiang
Reconstructing the history of tropical hydroclimates has been difficult, particularly for the Amazon basin-one of Earth's major centres of deep atmospheric convection. For example, whether the Amazon basin was substantially drier or remained wet during glacial times has been controversial, largely because most study sites have been located on the periphery of the basin, and because interpretations can be complicated by sediment preservation, uncertainties in chronology, and topographical setting. Here we show that rainfall in the basin responds closely to changes in glacial boundary conditions in terms of temperature and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide...
January 11, 2017: Nature
M C Meyer, M S Aldenderfer, Z Wang, D L Hoffmann, J A Dahl, D Degering, W R Haas, F Schlütz
Current models of the peopling of the higher-elevation zones of the Tibetan Plateau postulate that permanent occupation could only have been facilitated by an agricultural lifeway at ~3.6 thousand calibrated carbon-14 years before present. Here we report a reanalysis of the chronology of the Chusang site, located on the central Tibetan Plateau at an elevation of ~4270 meters above sea level. The minimum age of the site is fixed at ~7.4 thousand years (thorium-230/uranium dating), with a maximum age between ~8...
January 6, 2017: Science
Synthia Maes, Wei-Qin Zhuang, Korneel Rabaey, Lisa Alvarez-Cohen, Tom Hennebel
Rare earth elements (REEs) have become increasingly important in modern day technologies. Unfortunately, their recycling is currently limited and the conventional technologies for their extraction and purification are exceedingly energy and chemical intensive. New sustainable technologies for REE extraction from both primary and secondary resources would be extremely beneficial. This research investigated a 2-stage recovery strategy focused on the recovery of neodymium (Nd) and lanthanum (La) from monazite ore, that combines microbially based leaching (using citric acid and spent fungal supernatant) with electrochemical extraction...
January 5, 2017: Environmental Science & Technology
S Landsberger, A Sharp, S Wang, Y Pontikes, A H Tkaczyk
This study employs thermal and epithermal neutron activation analysis (NAA) to quantitatively and specifically determine absorption dose rates to various body parts from uranium, thorium and potassium. Specifically, a case study of bauxite residue (red mud) from an industrial facility was used to demonstrate the feasibility of the NAA approach for radiological safety assessment, using small sample sizes to ascertain the activities of (235)U, (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K. This proof-of-concept was shown to produce reliable results and a similar approach could be used for quantitative assessment of other samples with possible radiological significance...
December 31, 2016: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
M Vasile, M Bruggeman, S Van Meensel, S Bos, B Laenen
Deep geothermal energy is a local energy resource that is based on the heat generated by the Earth. As the heat is continuously regenerated, geothermal exploitation can be considered as a renewable and, depending on the techniques used, a sustainable energy production system. In September 2015, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO) started drilling an exploration well targeting a hot water reservoir at a depth of about 3km on the Balmatt site near Mol. Geothermal hot water contains naturally occurring gases, chemicals and radionuclides at variable concentrations...
December 20, 2016: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
Lakshmi Prasanna Lingamdinne, Yu-Lim Choi, Im-Soon Kim, Jae-Kyu Yang, Janardhan Reddy Koduru, Yoon-Young Chang
For the removal of uranium(VI) (U(VI)) and thorium(IV) (Th(IV)), graphene oxide based inverse spinel nickel ferrite (GONF) nanocomposite and reduced graphene oxide based inverse spinel nickel ferrite (rGONF) nanocomposite were prepared by co-precipitation of GO with nickel and iron salts in one pot. The spectral characterization analyses revealed that GONF and rGONF have a porous surface morphology with an average particle size of 41.41nm and 32.16nm, respectively. The magnetic property measurement system (MPMS) studies confirmed the formation of ferromagnetic GONF and superparamagnetic rGONF...
December 20, 2016: Journal of Hazardous Materials
Alasdair Formanuik, Fabrizio Ortu, Jingjing Liu, Lydia Nodaraki, Floriana Tuna, Andrew Kerridge, David Paul Mills
The redox chemistry of uranium is burgeoning and uranium(III) complexes have been shown to promote many interesting synthetic transformations. However, their utility is limited by their reduction potentials, which are smaller than many non-traditional lanthanide(II) complexes. Thorium(III) has a greater redox potential so it should present unprecedented opportunities for actinide reactivity but as with uranium(II) and thorium(II) chemistry these have not yet been fully realized. Here we present reactivity studies of two equivalents of [Th(Cp'')3] (1, Cp'' = {C5H3(SiMe3)2-1,3}) with 4,4'-bipyridine or two equivalents of pyridine to give [{Th(Cp'')3}2{µ-(NC5H4)2}] (2) and [{Th(Cp'')3}2{µ-(NC5H5)2}] (3), respectively, which contain doubly reduced substrates...
December 23, 2016: Chemistry: a European Journal
Kateřina Mazari, Přemysl Landa, Sylva Přerostová, Karel Müller, Radomíra Vaňková, Petr Soudek, Tomáš Vaněk
Thorium is natural actinide metal with potential use in nuclear energetics. Contamination by thorium, originated from mining activities or spills, represents environmental risk due to its radioactivity and chemical toxicity. A promising approach for cleaning of contaminated areas is phytoremediation, which need to be based, however, on detail understanding of the thorium effects on plants. In this study we investigated transcriptomic response of tobacco roots exposed to 200μM thorium for one week. Thorium application resulted in up-regulation of 152 and down-regulation of 100 genes (p-value <0...
March 5, 2017: Journal of Hazardous Materials
D Srinivas, V Ramesh Babu, I Patra, Shailesh Tripathi, M S Ramayya, A K Chaturvedi
The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) has conducted high-resolution airborne gamma ray spectrometer (AGRS), magnetometer and time domain electromagnetic (TDEM) surveys for uranium exploration, along the northern margins of Cuddapah Basin. The survey area includes well known uranium deposits such as Lambapur-Peddagattu, Chitrial and Koppunuru. The AGRS data collected for uranium exploration is utilised for estimating the average absorbed rates in air due to radio-elemental (potassium in %, uranium and thorium in ppm) distribution over these known deposit areas...
February 2017: Journal of Environmental Radioactivity
Sven Boden, Koen Vints, Simone Cagno, Dominic Maertens, Karen Van Hecke, Thomas Cardinaels
Thorium-229 is a valuable, but scarce, radionuclide for nuclear clock applications or targeted alpha therapy. While it is mostly produced by the decay of (233)U, (229)Th can also be produced by neutron irradiation of (226)Ra. At SCK•CEN, capsules containing mainly (228)Th (by-product of (226)Ra irradiation) were characterized to quantify the present amounts of (229)Th, (228)Th, (227)Ac, (226)Ra with high resolution gamma spectroscopy, after a decay period of 40 years in which (228)Th has decayed. High purity (229)Th was quantified, and after recovery using radiochemical separation processes, it can be used to support ongoing research...
February 2017: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
Andrew C Behrle, Alexander J Myers, Pokpong Rungthanaphatsophon, Wayne W Lukens, Charles L Barnes, Justin R Walensky
The synthesis and characterisation of a rare U(iii) alkyl complex, U[η(4)-Me2NC(H)C6H5]3, using the dimethylbenzylamine (DMBA) ligand has been accomplished. While attempting to prepare the U(iv) compound, reduction to the U(iii) complex occurred. In the analogous Th(iv) system, C-H bond activation of a methyl group of one dimethylamine was observed yielding Th[η(4)-Me2NC(H)C6H5]2[η(5)-(CH2)MeNC(H)C6H5] with a dianionic DMBA ligand. The utility of these complexes as starting materials has been analyzed using a bulky dithiocarboxylate ligand to yield tetravalent actinide species...
December 13, 2016: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Gina E Moseley, Yuri V Dublyansky, R Lawrence Edwards, Kathleen A Wendt, Mathieu Pythoud, Pu Zhang, Hai Cheng, Yanbin Lu, Ronny Boch, Christoph Spötl
Winograd and Coplen question the thorium-230 distribution model proposed to explain the age bias observed with increasing depth during Termination II. We have evaluated both criticisms and find that all samples display virtually identical fabrics, argue that the modern setting is not analogous to the conditions during Termination II, and reiterate the robustness of our age models. Our conclusions remain unchanged.
October 21, 2016: Science
Tyler B Coplen
Moseley et al's (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) preferred-Termination-II age is subjective, as evidenced by variation in their Termination-II ages of 2500 years per meter. Termination-II-age bias decreases to zero at ~1.5 meters below the present-day water table, if one assumes linear variation with core-sample height. Maintaining the required gradient of thorium isotope (230)Th over 3.6 meters for 1000 years, much less 10,000 years, seems exceedingly unlikely.
October 21, 2016: Science
Isaac J Winograd
Moseley et al (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) postulate an increase in dissolved thorium isotope (230)Th with depth below the water table as the explanation for the differing ages of Termination II. Flow of geothermal water through the Devils Hole caverns precludes this explanation. Deposition of younger secondary calcite into the initial porosity of the calcite comprising their cores is a plausible alternate explanation.
October 21, 2016: Science
Peter N Eze, Valiant S Mosokomani, Theophilus K Udeigwe, Opeoluwa F Oyedele, Adeniyi F Fagbamigbe
Geospatial dataset of trace elements including manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), titanium (Ti), rubidium (Rb), strontium (Sr), thorium (Th), Vanadium (V) and Zirconium (Zr) of near-surface soils in a Cu-Ni prospecting field at Airstrip North, Central Botswana were statistically analysed. Grid sampling method was used in the field data collection. The relatively new portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (Delta Premium, 510890, USA) technology in a "soil" mode was used to measure the concentrations of trace elements in the soils...
December 2016: Data in Brief
Ashley E Sharpe, George D Kamenov, Adrian Gilli, David A Hodell, Kitty F Emery, Mark Brenner, John Krigbaum
We examined the potential use of lead (Pb) isotopes to source archaeological materials from the Maya region of Mesoamerica. The main objectives were to determine if: 1) geologic terrains throughout the Maya area exhibit distinct lead isotope ratios (206Pb/204Pb, 207Pb/204Pb, and 208Pb/204Pb), and 2) a combination of lead and strontium ratios can enhance sourcing procedures in the Mesoamerica region. We analyzed 60 rock samples for lead isotope ratios and a representative subset of samples for lead, uranium, and thorium concentrations across the Maya region, including the Northern Lowlands of the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, the Southern Lowlands of Guatemala and Belize, the Volcanic Highlands, the Belizean Maya Mountains, and the Metamorphic Province/Motagua Valley...
2016: PloS One
Ilya Captain, Gauthier J-P Deblonde, Peter B Rupert, Dahlia D An, Marie-Claire Illy, Emeline Rostan, Corie Y Ralston, Roland K Strong, Rebecca J Abergel
Targeted α therapy holds tremendous potential as a cancer treatment: it offers the possibility of delivering a highly cytotoxic dose to targeted cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The metallic α-generating radioisotopes (225)Ac and (227)Th are promising radionuclides for therapeutic use, provided adequate chelation and targeting. Here we demonstrate a new chelating platform composed of a multidentate high-affinity oxygen-donating ligand 3,4,3-LI(CAM) bound to the mammalian protein siderocalin...
November 21, 2016: Inorganic Chemistry
Per Søstrand, Langård Sverre, Tor Erik Danielsen
Inhalation of escaping radon from groundwater comprises the largest part of radiological hazard from groundwater radionuclides in the uranium and thorium series. Groundwater containing 1.5 mg dm uranium and 3 kBq dm radon activity concentration supplied an ordinary bathroom of 15 m in a home. Using the showerhead, atmospheric levels of radon activity in the bathroom exceeded 100 kBq m within a period of about 1 h.
December 2016: Health Physics
J R Griswold, D G Medvedev, J W Engle, R Copping, J M Fitzsimmons, V Radchenko, J C Cooley, M E Fassbender, D L Denton, K E Murphy, A C Owens, E R Birnbaum, K D John, F M Nortier, D W Stracener, L H Heilbronn, L F Mausner, S Mirzadeh
Actinium-225 and (213)Bi have been used successfully in targeted alpha therapy (TAT) in preclinical and clinical research. This paper is a continuation of research activities aiming to expand the availability of (225)Ac. The high-energy proton spallation reaction on natural thorium metal targets has been utilized to produce millicurie quantities of (225)Ac. The results of sixteen irradiation experiments of thorium metal at beam energies between 78 and 192MeV are summarized in this work. Irradiations have been conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), while target dissolution and processing was carried out at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)...
December 2016: Applied Radiation and Isotopes
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