The presence of the synthetic estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in the environment is of increasing concern due to the endocrine disruption of aquatic organisms. Incomplete removal from wastewater (WW) is one of the main sources of EE2 in aquatic ecosystems, thus improving processes like biological WW treatment/activated sludge (AS) is becoming significantly important. There are opposing results regarding EE2 biodegradability by AS; one discrepancy is the efficacy of heterotrophic bacteria. This research demonstrated the ability of heterotrophs commonly present in AS (B. subtilis, P. aeruginosa, P. putida, R. equi, R. erythropolis, R. rhodochrous, R. zopfii) to remove EE2. R. rhodochrous was the most successful with no detectable EE2 after 48 h; the other bacteria achieved 21%-61% EE2 removal. No additive or synergistic effects were observed due to the combination of the bacterial cultures with maximum EE2 removals of 43% after 300 h.
Batch effects are a persistent and pervasive form of measurement noise which undermine the scientific utility of high-throughput genomic datasets. At their most benign, they reduce the power of statistical tests resulting in actual effects going unidentified. At their worst, they constitute confounds and render datasets useless. Attempting to remove batch effects will result in some of the biologically meaningful component of the measurement (i.e. signal) being lost. We present and benchmark a novel technique, called Harman. Harman maximises the removal of batch noise with the constraint that the risk of also losing biologically meaningful component of the measurement is kept to a fraction which is set by the user.
The invasion of Indo-Pacific lionfish is one of the most pressing concerns in the context of coral reef conservation throughout the Caribbean. Invasive lionfish threaten Caribbean fish communities by feeding on a wide range of native prey species, some of which have high ecological and economic value. In Roatan (Honduras) a local non-governmental organisation (i.e. Roatan Marine Park) trains residents and tourists in the use of spears to remove invasive lionfish. Here, we assess the effectiveness of local removal efforts in reducing lionfish populations. We ask whether reefs subject to relatively frequent removals support more diverse and abundant native fish assemblages compared to sites were no removals take place. Lionfish biomass, as well as density and diversity of native prey species were quantified on reefs subject to regular and no removal efforts. Reefs subject to regular lionfish removals (two to three removals month(-1)) with a mean catch per unit effort of 2.76 ± 1.72 lionfish fisher(-1) h(-1) had 95% lower lionfish biomass compared to non-removal sites. Sites subject to lionfish removals supported 30% higher densities of native prey-sized fishes compared to sites subject to no removal efforts. We found no evidence that species richness and diversity of native fish communities differ between removal and non-removal sites. We conclude that opportunistic voluntary removals are an effective management intervention to reduce lionfish populations locally and might alleviate negative impacts of lionfish predation. We recommend that local management and the diving industry cooperate to cost-effectively extend the spatial scale at which removal regimes are currently sustained.
Antibiotics in environment can be of concern as they can enter the food chain posing risks to ecosystems and human health. Photodegradation has been considered as a promising way of naturally degrading antibiotics in environment. Antibiotics are usually present in mixtures in environment; however, previous studies focused on individual compounds. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of UV irradiation on the degradation of tetracycline (TC) and sulfathiazole (STH) in individual solutions and mixtures. Under dark conditions, the initial mass of TC and STH were reduced by about 35% and 26%, respectively, over 35 d-reaction period. With UV irradiation TC and STH were completely removed within 14 d and 35 d, respectively, regardless of the initial concentrations. Both the TC and STH removals were faster (i.e., 2-4 times) when they were in mixtures. This may be partly attributed to the byproducts such as sulfate that can promote indirect photolysis and partly to the enhanced hydrolysis due to changes in the solution pH. Overall, this study suggests that when photodegradation is used to remove antibiotics in water, the removal kinetics of antibiotics individually and in mixtures can be considered to develop more efficient treatment technologies.
Removal efficiencies of 28 pesticide transformation products (TPs) and 15 parent pesticides during steps in drinking water treatment (coagulation-sedimentation, activated carbon adsorption, and ozonation) were estimated via laboratory-scale batch experiments, and the mechanisms underlying the removal at each step were elucidated via regression analyses. The removal via powdered activated carbon (PAC) treatment was correlated positively with the log Kowat pH 7. The adjusted coefficient of determination (r2) increased when the energy level of the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) was added as an explanatory variable, the suggestion being that adsorption onto PAC particles was largely governed by hydrophobic interactions. The residual error could be partly explained by π-π electron donor-acceptor interactions between the graphene surface of the PAC particles and the adsorbates. The removal via ozonation correlated positively with the energy level of the HOMO, probably because compounds with relatively high energy level HOMOs could more easily transfer an electron to the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital of ozone. Overall, the TPs tended to be more difficult to remove via PAC adsorption and ozonation than their parent pesticides. However, the TPs that were difficult to remove via PAC adsorption did not induce strong mutagenicity after chlorination, and the TPs that were associated with strong mutagenicity after chlorination could be removed via PAC adsorption. Therefore, PAC adsorption is hypothesized to be an effective method of treating drinking water to reduce the possibility of post-chlorination mutagenicity associated with both TPs and their parent pesticides.
Water acquisition is thought to be limited to the unsuberized surface located close to root tips. However, there are recurring periods when the unsuberized surfaces are limited in woody root systems, and radial water uptake across the bark of woody roots might play an important physiological role in hydraulic functioning. Using X-ray microcomputed tomography (microCT) and hydraulic conductivity measurements (Lpr), we examined water uptake capacity of suberized woody roots in vivo and in excised samples. Bark hydration in grapevine woody roots occurred quickly upon exposure to water (c. 4 h). Lprmeasurements through the bark of woody roots showed that it is permeable to water and becomes more so upon wetting. After bark hydration, microCT analysis showed that absorbed water was utilized to remove embolism locally, where c. 20% of root xylem vessels refilled completely within 15 h. Embolism removal did not occur in control roots without water. Water uptake through the bark of woody roots probably plays an important role when unsuberized tissue is scarce/absent, and would be particularly relevant following large irrigation events or in late winter when soils are saturated, re-establishing hydraulic functionality before bud break.
Unilateral hemilaminectomy, which is used to remove spinal cord tumors, is simpler than laminoplastic laminotomy and affords certain biomechanical advantages. However, both incomplete tumor removal and inadvertent infliction of spinal cord damage attributable to the narrow surgical corridor remain of concern. When a spinal cord tumor is to be removed, it is important to ensure that the dural window along the surgical corridor is of adequate width. This study aimed to determine that the utility of lateral base dural tacking (LBT) method when cord tumor surgery is performed using a unilateral hemilaminectomy-a comparison of dural window widths with a traditional dural tack-up and a suspending-out (DSO) method with the aid of digital image-analysis software.
Fertility-preserving measures are becoming important for patients receiving oncological treatment. One method involves cryopreservation of ovarian tissue and transplanting it when treatment is completed. We report complications resulting from surgical and fertility medicine, and the results of procedures for the removal and transplantation of ovarian tissue carried out within the FertiProtekt network. A survey using a structured questionnaire was conducted among the FertiProtekt network centres between November 2015 and June 2016. The analysis included surgical techniques used to remove and transplant ovarian tissue, surgical complications and results. Laparoscopic removal and transplantation of ovarian tissue have a low risk of complications. Surgical complications occurred in three of the network’s 1373 ovarian tissue removals (n = 1302) and transplantations (n = 71); two complications (0.2%) occurred during removal and one during transplantation. Menstruation resumed in 47 out of 58 women (81%) who underwent ovarian tissue transplantation. Hormonal activity occurred in 63.2% of transplantations with a follow-up of 6 months or over. Sixteen pregnancies occurred in 14 patients, with nine births. The risks and complications of removal and transplantation of ovarian tissue are similar to those of standard laparoscopy. These procedures are becoming standard for fertility protection in cancer patients.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Agency, or we) is amending the general biologics regulations relating to time of inspection requirements and also removing duties of inspector requirements. FDA is taking this action to remove outdated requirements and accommodate new approaches, such as a risk-based inspection frequency for drug establishments, thereby providing flexibility without diminishing public health protections. This action is part of FDA’s implementation of Executive Orders (E.O.s) 13771 and 13777. Under these E.O.s, FDA is comprehensively reviewing existing regulations to identify opportunities for repeal, replacement, or modification that will result in meaningful burden reduction while allowing the Agency to achieve our public health mission and fulfill statutory obligations. The Agency is issuing these amendments directly as a final rule because we believe they are noncontroversial and FDA anticipates no significant adverse comments.
A magnesia-pullulan composite (MgOP) was previously shown to effectively remove fluoride from water. In the present study, a continuous fixed-bed column was used to examine the application of the composite at an industrial scale. The influencing parameters included bed mass (4.0, 6.0 and 8.0 g), influent flow rate (8, 16 and 32 mL/min), inlet fluoride concentration (5, 10 and 20 mg/L), reaction temperature (20, 30 and 40 °C), influent pH (4, 7 and 10) and other existing anions (HCO3-, SO42-, Cl- and NO3-), through which the breakthrough curves could be depicted for the experimental data analysis. The results indicated that MgOP is promising for fluoride removal with a defluoridation capacity of 16.6 mg/g at the bed mass of 6.0 g, influent flow rate of 16 mL/min and inlet fluoride concentration of 10 mg/L. The dynamics of the fluoride adsorption process were modeled using the Thomas and Yan models, in which the Yan model presented better predictions for the breakthrough curves than the Thomas model. Moreover, the concentration of magnesium in the effluent was monitored to determine Mg stability in the MgOP composite. Results indicated the effluent concentration of Mg2+ ions could be kept at a safe level. Calcination of fluoride-loaded MgOP effectively regenerated the material.