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Dating the start of intensive anthropogenic influence on ecosystems is important for identifying the conditions necessary for ecosystem recovery. However, few studies have focused on determining when anthropogenic influences on wetland began through sedimentary archives. To fill this critical gap in our knowledge, combustion sources and emission intensities, reconstructed via black carbon (BC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed in two wetlands in the Sanjiang Plain in Northeast China. 14C provided age control for the sedimentary records. By combining previous sedimentary and archaeological studies, we attempt to date the beginning of intensive anthropogenic influences on the Sanjiang Plain. Our results showed that BC deposition fluxes increased from 0.02 to 0.7 g C/m2.yr during the last 10,000 years. An upward trend was apparent during the last 500 years. Before 1200 cal yr BP, human activities were minor, such that the wetland ecosystem in the Sanjiang Plain before this period may represent the reference conditions that for the recovery of these wetlands. As the human population increased after 1200 cal yr BP, combustion sources changed and residential areas became a major source of BC and PAHs. In this way, the wetland ecosystem gradually became more heavily influenced by human activities.
The historical conditions of an ecosystem that have been influenced by subsequent human activities—and the remaining information associated with these ecosystems—can be used to inform modern ecosystem management and restoration approaches1. Paleoenvironmental records can be used to reconstruct and understand the condition of these ecosystems (e.g., aquatic systems) in the past and assess the influence of climate changes and human activities on these ecosystems2,3. ‘Baseline’ conditions for ecosystem conservation and restoration are those conditions that were expected to characterize these ecosystems when human impacts were minimal3. Paleoenvironmental records provide a useful tool for identifying baseline conditions for ecosystem recovery. Identifying the period when human activities began to influence the ecosystem is the first step in determining the baseline conditions that are necessary for ecosystem restoration. The Sanjiang Plain, located in Northeast China, has records of human activity dating to the early Holocene epoch4. Human population in this area increased (Heilongjiang Province) from 20,000 in 8000 cal yr BP to 1.27 million in AD 1897 and to nearly 38.34 million in AD 20114,5,6. As the human population has grown, the influence of human activities on wetland ecosystems on the Sanjiang Plain has undoubtedly increased, presumably increasing the extent of wetland ecosystems that have been destroyed7. Thus, identifying the period when human activities began to influence wetland ecosystems of the Sanjiang Plain and reconstructing these baseline conditions using paleoenvironmental records is critical.
Black carbon (BC), which is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels or biomass, is widespread in the environment and influences biogeochemical processes in ecosystems8. Previous studies have estimated that global BC emitted by vegetation fires ranges between 50 and 270 Tg/yr9. Fossil fuel combustion emitted 4.4 Tg/yr in AD 2000 around the world and has increased linearly in recent years10. As an important component of atmospheric aerosols, BC has an impact on global climate change11 and on the transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs)12,13. After being retained in the atmosphere for a few days14, BC is deposited in the landscape and can be stored in the soil carbon pool for several thousand years15.
Previous studies have focused on investigating BC concentrations and historical deposition fluxes in forest soils16, marine sediments17, lake sediments18, and loess19. These studies have suggested that the historical trend of BC deposition fluxes is related to climate change20 or the degree of BC produced by anthropogenic sources21. This approach therefore is suitable for reconstructing the historical intensity of combustion source emissions. However, few studies of this type have focused on wetland ecosystems, which cover 5 to 8% of the Earth’s land surface and serve as key paleoenvironmental archives22. Thus, investigating historical fluctuations in BC deposition in wetland systems and the factors that influence these fluxes is critical. In addition, the climate of the Sanjiang Plain has changed dramatically during the Holocene epoch. The difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures in the Sanjiang Plain was nearly 6 °C23. This climatic variability has likely affected the frequency and intensity of wildfires24 and therefore may have influenced deposition fluxes of BC. Analyses of BC in wetland sediments can therefore be used to study the patterns and drivers of past combustion intensive (i.e., anthropogenic nature emission intensity) on the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are organic pollutants prevalent in the sediments of freshwater environments25. PAHs are co-emitted with BC and are produced by similar historical combustion sources26. Higher concentrations of PAHs with low aromaticity, such as phenanthrene (PHE), anthracene (ANT), fluoranthene (FLT) and pyrene (PYR), are frequently related to combustion processes27. This relationship is a useful tool for diagnosing the sources of PAHs28. Once in the water-sediment system, PAHs can bind to suspended particulate matter and can be easily transported to surface sediments29. Based on the diagnostic ratios of PAHs in sedimentary archives, the sources of these combustion products can be identified, and the degree of influence of human activities on ecosystems can be evaluated. In addition to identifying modern combustion sources, historical sources of PAHs have already been reconstructed in sedimentary environments successfully30. The ratio of ANT/(ANT + PHE) and FLT/(FLT + PYR) produced by combustion sources were mostly higher than 0.1 and 0.5, respectively27,31. Therefore, these diagnostic ratios are suitable for investigating the historical types of combustion sources and can serve as indirect indicators for identifying the historical sources of combustion in wetland sediments.
This study presents the BC and PAH data from two sedimentary profiles in the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China. We used these data to reconstruct variation in combustion emissions by BC deposition fluxes and diagnose historical types of combustion sources using the diagnostic ratios of PAHs during the Holocene epoch. Based on these results, we assessed the degree to which historical human activities have influenced BC and PAH deposition in wetland ecosystems of the Sanjiang Plain. By combining our data with previous sedimentary studies from this region and historical documents from the Heilongjiang Province, we aimed to determine the period when human activities began to influence wetland ecosystems in the Sanjiang Plain. The identification of this period will allow the characterization of the baseline conditions necessary for future wetland conservation practices.
Dating the period when intensive anthropogenic activity began to influence the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China
Jinxin Cong,1 Chuanyu Gao,1,2 Yan Zhang,1 Shaoqing Zhang,1 Jiabao He,1 and Guoping Wanga,1
2016 Feb 24
Peptidoglycan (PGN) consists of repeating units of N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and N-acetylmuramic acid (MurNAc), which are cross-linked by short peptides. It is well known that PGN forms a major cell wall component of bacteria making it an important ligand for the recognition by peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) of the host. The binding studies showed that PGN, GlcNAc, and MurNAc bind to camel PGRP-S (CPGRP-S) with affinities corresponding to dissociation constants of 1.3 × 10−9, 2.6 × 10−7, and 1.8 × 10−7 m, respectively. The crystal structure determinations of the complexes of CPGRP-S with GlcNAc and MurNAc showed that the structures consist of four crystallographically independent molecules, A, B, C, and D, in the asymmetric unit that exists as A-B and C-D units of two neighboring linear polymers. The structure determinations showed that compounds GlcNAc and MurNAc bound to CPGRP-S at the same subsite in molecule C. Both GlcNAc and MurNAc form several hydrogen bonds and extensive hydrophobic interactions with protein atoms, indicating the specific nature of their bindings. Flow cytometric studies showed that PGN enhanced the secretions of TNF-α and IL-6 from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The introduction of CPGRP-S to the PGN-challenged cultured peripheral blood mononuclear cells reduced the expressions of proinflammatory cytokines, TNF-α and IL-6. This showed that CPGRP-S inhibited PGN-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines and down-regulated macrophage-mediated inflammation, indicating its potential applications as an antibacterial agent.
Crystal Structure, Innate Immunity, Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Pathogen-associated Molecular Pattern (PAMP), Peptidoglycan
Structural Studies on Molecular Interactions between Camel Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein, CPGRP-S, and Peptidoglycan Moieties N-Acetylglucosamine and N-Acetylmuramic Acid*An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is sbox.jpg
Pradeep Sharma,‡,1 Shavait Yamini,‡ Divya Dube,‡ Amar Singh,§ Mau Sinha,‡ Sharmistha Dey,‡ Dipendra K. Mitra,§ Punit Kaur,‡ Sujata Sharma,‡ and Tej P. Singh‡,2
2012 May 9
Purpose: A combination of hyperthermia and radiation in the treatment of cancer has been proven to provide better tumor control than radiation administered as a monomodality, without an increase in complications or serious toxicities. Moreover, concurrent administration of hyperthermia and radiation displays synergistic enhancement, resulting in greater tumor cell killing than hyperthermia and radiation delivered separately. The authors have designed a new thermobrachytherapy (TB) seed, which serves as a source of both radiation and heat for concurrent brachytherapy and hyperthermia treatments when implanted in solid tumors. This innovative seed, similar in size and geometry to conventional seeds, will have self-regulating thermal properties.
Methods: The new seed’s geometry is based on the standard BEST Model 2301 125I seed, resulting in very similar dosimetric properties. The TB seed generates heat when placed in an oscillating magnetic field via induction heating of a ferromagnetic Ni-Cu alloy core that replaces the tungsten radiographic marker of the standard Model 2301. The alloy composition is selected to undergo a Curie transition near 50 °C, drastically decreasing power production at higher temperatures and providing for temperature self-regulation. Here, the authors present experimental studies of the magnetic properties of Ni-Cu alloy material, the visibility of TB seeds in radiographic imaging, and the ability of seed prototypes to uniformly heat tissue to a desirable temperature. Moreover, analyses are presented of magnetic shielding and thermal expansion of the TB seed, as well as matching of radiation dose to temperature distributions for a short interseed distance in a given treatment volume.
Results: Annealing the Ni-Cu alloy has a significant effect on its magnetization properties, increasing the sharpness of the Curie transition. The TB seed preserves the radiographic properties of the BEST 2301 seed in both plain x rays and CT images, and a preliminary experiment demonstrates thermal self-regulation and adequate heating of a tissue-mimicking phantom by seed prototypes. The effect of self-shielding of the seed against the external magnetic field is small, and only minor thermal stress is induced in heating of the seeds from room temperature to well above the seed operating temperature. With proper selection of magnetic field parameters, the thermal dose distribution of an arrangement of TB and hyperthermia-only seeds may be made to match with its radiation dose distribution.
Conclusions: The presented analyses address several practical considerations for manufacturing of the proposed TB seeds and identify critical issues for the prototype implementation. The authors’ preliminary experiments demonstrate close agreement with the modeling results, confirming the feasibility of combining sources of heat and radiation into a single thermobrachytherapy seed.
hyperthermia, brachytherapy, thermobrachytherapy, induction heating, self-regulation
Practical considerations for maximizing heat production in a novel thermobrachytherapy seed prototype
Bhoj Gautam, Gregory Warrell, and Diana Shvydka
2014 Jan 8.