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Concept: Salt


The idea that increasing salt intake increases drinking and urine volume is widely accepted. We tested the hypothesis that an increase in salt intake of 6 g/d would change fluid balance in men living under ultra-long-term controlled conditions.

Concepts: Ammonia, Water, Salt, Drinking


We provide evidence that citrate anions bridge between mineral platelets in bone and hypothesize that their presence acts to maintain separate platelets with disordered regions between them rather than gradual transformations into larger, more ordered blocks of mineral. To assess this hypothesis, we take as a model for a citrate bridging between layers of calcium phosphate mineral a double salt octacalcium phosphate citrate (OCP-citrate). We use a combination of multinuclear solid-state NMR spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and first principles electronic structure calculations to propose a quantitative structure for this material, in which citrate anions reside in a hydrated layer, bridging between apatitic layers. To assess the relevance of such a structure in native bone mineral, we present for the first time, to our knowledge, (17)O NMR data on bone and compare them with (17)O NMR data for OCP-citrate and other calcium phosphate minerals relevant to bone. The proposed structural model that we deduce from this work for bone mineral is a layered structure with thin apatitic platelets sandwiched between OCP-citrate-like hydrated layers. Such a structure can explain a number of known structural features of bone mineral: the thin, plate-like morphology of mature bone mineral crystals, the presence of significant quantities of strongly bound water molecules, and the relatively high concentration of hydrogen phosphate as well as the maintenance of a disordered region between mineral platelets.

Concepts: DNA, Scientific method, Bone, Apatite, Water, Phosphate, Phosphorus, Salt


To evaluate spatial effects of variation and social determinants of salt intake in Britain.

Concepts: Socioeconomic status, Sociology, Salt, Social status


BACKGROUND: Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia is one of the most common causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality in low and middle income countries. Magnesium sulfate is the drug of choice for prevention of seizures as part of comprehensive management of the disease. Despite the compelling evidence for the effectiveness of magnesium sulfate, concern has been expressed about its safety and potential for toxicity, particularly among providers in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of this review was to determine whether the literature published in these global settings supports the concerns about the safety of use of magnesium sulfate. METHODS: An integrative review of the literature was conducted to document the known incidences of severe adverse reactions to magnesium sulphate, and specific outcomes of interest related to its use. All types of prospective clinical studies were included if magnesium sulfate was used to manage pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, the study was conducted in a low- or middle-income country, and the study included the recording of the incidence of any adverse side effect resulting from magnesium sulfate use. RESULTS: A total of 24 studies that compared a magnesium sulfate regimen against other drug regimens and examined side effects among 34 subject groups were included. The overall rate of absent patellar reflex among all 9556 aggregated women was 1.6%, with a range of 0-57%. The overall rate of respiratory depression in 25 subject groups in which this outcome was reported was 1.3%, with a range of 0–8.2%. Delay in repeat administration of magnesium sulfate occurred in 3.6% of cases, with a range of 0-65%. Calcium gluconate was administered at an overall rate of less than 0.2%. There was only one maternal death that was attributed by the study authors to the use of magnesium sulfate among the 9556 women in the 24 studies. CONCLUSION: Concerns about safety and toxicity from the use of magnesium sulfate should be mitigated by findings from this integrative review, which indicates a low incidence of the most severe side effects, documented in studies that used a wide variety of standard and modified drug regimens. Adverse effects of concern to providers occur infrequently, and when they occurred, a delay of repeat administration was generally sufficient to mitigate the effect. Early screening and diagnosis of the disease, appropriate treatment with proven drugs, and reasonable vigilance for women under treatment should be adopted as global policy and practice.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Effectiveness, Magnesium sulfate, Sulfur, Morphine, Adverse effect, Salt, Iatrogenesis


Dimeric quaternary alkylammonium salts possess a favourable surface and antimicrobial activity. In this paper we describe synthesis, spectroscopic analysis, surface and antimicrobial activity as well as biodegradability of polymethylene-α,ω-bis(N,N-dialkyl-N-deoxy-D-glucitolammonium iodides), a new group of dimeric quaternary ammonium salts. This new group of gemini surfactants can be produced from chemicals which come from renewable sources. The structure of products has been determined by the FTIR and (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy. The biodegradability, surface activity and antimicrobial efficacy against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium chrysogenum were determined. The influence of the number of alkyl chains and their lengths on surface and antimicrobial properties has been shown. In general, dimeric quaternary alkyldeoxy-D-glucitolammonium salts with long alkyl substituents show favourable surface properties and an excellent antimicrobial activity.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Surfactant, Quaternary ammonium cation, Ammonium, Ascomycota, Salt, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Fabric softener


Advancements in the detection of environmental DNA (eDNA) for detecting species of interest will likely allow for expanded use of these techniques in the field. One obstacle that continues to hinder applications in the field is the requirement of a cold chain of storage for water samples containing eDNA. While eDNA has been successfully preserved using Longmire’s lysis buffer applied to filters, it has yet to be tried with freshwater samples collected for eDNA detection of an invasive species. We tested the utility of Longmire’s solution (100 mM Tris, 100 mM EDTA, 10 mM NaCl, 0.5 % SDS, 0.2 % sodium azide) as an additive to freshwater samples for preservation of eDNA.

Concepts: DNA, Water, Sodium, Seawater, Salt, Preservation, Field Island, Sodium compounds


Large Hesperian-aged (~3.7 Ga) layered deposits of sulfate-rich sediments in the equatorial regions of Mars have been suggested to be evidence for ephemeral playa environments. But early Mars may not have been warm enough to support conditions similar to what occurs in arid environments on Earth. Instead cold, icy environments may have been widespread. Under cryogenic conditions sulfate formation might be blocked, since kinetics of silicate weathering are typically strongly retarded at temperatures well below 0 °C. But cryo-concentration of acidic solutions may counteract the slow kinetics. Here we show that cryo-concentrated acidic brines rapidly chemically weather olivine minerals and form sulfate minerals at temperatures as low as -60 °C. These experimental results demonstrate the viability of sulfate formation under current Martian conditions, even in the polar regions. An ice-hosted sedimentation and weathering model may provide a compelling description of the origin of large Hesperian-aged layered sulfate deposits on Mars.

Concepts: Oxygen, Water, Sedimentary rock, Mineral, Sulfur, Salt, Silicate minerals, Weathering


Aerosolized pathogens are a leading cause of respiratory infection and transmission. Currently used protective measures pose potential risk of primary/secondary infection and transmission. Here, we report the development of a universal, reusable virus deactivation system by functionalization of the main fibrous filtration unit of surgical mask with sodium chloride salt. The salt coating on the fiber surface dissolves upon exposure to virus aerosols and recrystallizes during drying, destroying the pathogens. When tested with tightly sealed sides, salt-coated filters showed remarkably higher filtration efficiency than conventional mask filtration layer, and 100% survival rate was observed in mice infected with virus penetrated through salt-coated filters. Viruses captured on salt-coated filters exhibited rapid infectivity loss compared to gradual decrease on bare filters. Salt-coated filters proved highly effective in deactivating influenza viruses regardless of subtypes and following storage in harsh environmental conditions. Our results can be applied in obtaining a broad-spectrum, airborne pathogen prevention device in preparation for epidemic and pandemic of respiratory diseases.

Concepts: Infectious disease, Bacteria, Microbiology, Virus, Infection, Influenza, Sodium chloride, Salt


Chloride concentrations in northern U.S. included in this study have increased substantially over time with average concentrations approximately doubling from 1990 to 2011, outpacing the rate of urbanization in the northern U.S. Historical data were examined for 30 monitoring sites on 19 streams that had chloride concentration and flow records of 18 to 49years. Chloride concentrations in most studied streams increased in all seasons (13 of 19 in all seasons; 16 of 19 during winter); maximum concentrations occurred during winter. Increasing concentrations during non-deicing periods suggest that chloride was stored in hydrologic reservoirs, such as the shallow groundwater system, during the winter and slowly released in baseflow throughout the year. Streamflow dependency was also observed with chloride concentrations increasing as streamflow decreased, a result of dilution during rainfall- and snowmelt-induced high-flow periods. The influence of chloride on aquatic life increased with time; 29% of sites studied exceeded the concentration for the USEPA chronic water quality criteria of 230mg/L by an average of more than 100 individual days per year during 2006-2011. The rapid rate of chloride concentration increase in these streams is likely due to a combination of possible increased road salt application rates, increased baseline concentrations, and greater snowfall in the Midwestern U.S. during the latter portion of the study period.

Concepts: Time, Water, Concentration, Water pollution, Hydrology, Groundwater, Season, Salt


It has long been viewed that the maintenance of osmotic balance in response to high salt intake is a passive process that is mediated largely by increased water consumption to balance the salt load. Two studies in this issue of the JCI challenge this notion and demonstrate that osmotic balance in response to high salt intake involves a complex regulatory process that is influenced by hormone fluctuation, metabolism, food consumption, water intake, and renal salt and water excretion. Rakova et al. report the unexpected observation that long-term high salt intake did not increase water consumption in humans but instead increased water retention. Moreover, salt and water balance was influenced by glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid fluctuations. Kitada et al. extend upon these findings in mouse models and determined that increased urea and a corresponding increase in urea transporters in the renal medulla as the result of increased protein intake promote the water retention that is needed to achieve osmotic homeostasis. Together, the results of these two studies lay the groundwork for future studies to determine how, in the face of chronic changes in salt intake, humans maintain volume and osmotic homeostasis.

Concepts: Ammonia, Metabolism, Water, Salt, Edible salt, Osmosis, Water supply network, Osmoregulation