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Concept: Sodium chloride


Background Intravenous sodium bicarbonate and oral acetylcysteine are widely used to prevent acute kidney injury and associated adverse outcomes after angiography without definitive evidence of their efficacy. Methods Using a 2-by-2 factorial design, we randomly assigned 5177 patients at high risk for renal complications who were scheduled for angiography to receive intravenous 1.26% sodium bicarbonate or intravenous 0.9% sodium chloride and 5 days of oral acetylcysteine or oral placebo; of these patients, 4993 were included in the modified intention-to-treat analysis. The primary end point was a composite of death, the need for dialysis, or a persistent increase of at least 50% from baseline in the serum creatinine level at 90 days. Contrast-associated acute kidney injury was a secondary end point. Results The sponsor stopped the trial after a prespecified interim analysis. There was no interaction between sodium bicarbonate and acetylcysteine with respect to the primary end point (P=0.33). The primary end point occurred in 110 of 2511 patients (4.4%) in the sodium bicarbonate group as compared with 116 of 2482 (4.7%) in the sodium chloride group (odds ratio, 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.72 to 1.22; P=0.62) and in 114 of 2495 patients (4.6%) in the acetylcysteine group as compared with 112 of 2498 (4.5%) in the placebo group (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.78 to 1.33; P=0.88). There were no significant between-group differences in the rates of contrast-associated acute kidney injury. Conclusions Among patients at high risk for renal complications who were undergoing angiography, there was no benefit of intravenous sodium bicarbonate over intravenous sodium chloride or of oral acetylcysteine over placebo for the prevention of death, need for dialysis, or persistent decline in kidney function at 90 days or for the prevention of contrast-associated acute kidney injury. (Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia; PRESERVE number, NCT01467466 .).

Concepts: Renal failure, Kidney, Nephrology, Renal physiology, Sodium chloride, Placebo, 3rd millennium, 25th century


This work is aimed to evaluate a method to detect the residual magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in animal tissues. Ferric ions released from MNPs through acidification with hydrochloric acid can be measured by complexation with potassium thiocyanate. MNPs in saline could be well detected by this chemical colorimetric method, whereas the detected sensitivity decreased significantly when MNPs were mixed with mouse tissue homogenates. In order to check the MNPs in animal tissues accurately, three improvements have been made. Firstly, proteinase K was used to digest the proteins that might bind with iron, and secondly, ferrosoferric oxide (Fe3O4) was collected by a magnetic field which could capture MNPs and leave the bio-iron in the supernatant. Finally, the collected MNPs were carbonized in the muffle furnace at 420[degree sign]C before acidification to ruin the groups that might bind with ferric ions such as porphyrin. Using this method, MNPs in animal tissues could be well measured while avoiding the disturbance of endogenous iron and iron-binding groups.

Concepts: Magnetic field, Hydrogen, Magnetism, Sodium chloride, PH, Chlorine, Magnetite, Ferric


Aerosols are significant to the Earth’s climate, with nearly all atmospheric aerosols containing organic compounds that often contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts. However, the nature of how these compounds are arranged within an aerosol droplet remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that fatty acids in proxies for atmospheric aerosols self-assemble into highly ordered three-dimensional nanostructures that may have implications for environmentally important processes. Acoustically trapped droplets of oleic acid/sodium oleate mixtures in sodium chloride solution are analysed by simultaneous synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering and Raman spectroscopy in a controlled gas-phase environment. We demonstrate that the droplets contained crystal-like lyotropic phases including hexagonal and cubic close-packed arrangements of spherical and cylindrical micelles, and stacks of bilayers, whose structures responded to atmospherically relevant humidity changes and chemical reactions. Further experiments show that self-assembly reduces the rate of the reaction of the fatty acid with ozone, and that lyotropic-phase formation also occurs in more complex mixtures more closely resembling compositions of atmospheric aerosols. We suggest that lyotropic-phase formation likely occurs in the atmosphere, with potential implications for radiative forcing, residence times and other aerosol characteristics.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Fatty acid, Chemical reaction, Earth, Climate, Sodium chloride, Atmosphere, Oleic acid


Decreasing dietary sodium intake, which can be achieved by reducing salt content in food, is recommended. Salt contributes to the taste of foods and makes them more enjoyable. Whether a food is liked or disliked is an important determinant of food intake, especially among children. However, the role of salt in children’s food acceptance has received little attention. The impact of salt content on children’s hedonic rating and intake of two foods was investigated in children. Using a within-subject crossover design, we recruited 75 children (8-11 years) to participate in five lunches in their school cafeteria. The target foods were green beans and pasta. The added salt content was 0, 0.6 or 1.2 g/100 g. The children’s intake (g) of all lunch items was measured. The children provided their hedonic rating of the food, a preference ranking and a saltiness ranking in the laboratory. Children could rank the foods according to salt content, and they preferred the two saltier options. A food-specific effect of salt content on intake was observed. Compared to the intermediate level (0.6 g salt/100 g), not adding salt decreased green bean intake (-21%; p = 0.002), and increasing the salt content increased pasta intake (+24%; p<0.0001). Structural Equation Modeling was used to model the relative weights of the determinants of intake. It showed that the primary driver of food intake was the child's hunger; the second most important factor was the child's hedonic rating of the food, regardless of its salt content, and the last factor was the child's preference for the particular salt content of the food. In conclusion, salt content has a positive and food-specific effect on intake; it impacted food preferences and intake differently in children. Taking into account children's preferences for salt instead of their intake may lead to excessive added salt.

Concepts: Nutrition, Allergy, Food, Sodium chloride, Taste, Sodium, Preference, Restaurant


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


Environmental contamination is a common cause of rapid evolution. Recent work has shown that Daphnia pulex, an important freshwater species, can rapidly evolve increased tolerance to a common contaminant, sodium chloride (NaCl) road salt. While such rapid evolution can benefit organisms, allowing them to adapt to new environmental conditions, it can also be associated with unforeseen tradeoffs. Given that exposure to environmental contaminants can cause circadian disruption, we investigated whether the circadian clock was affected by evolving a tolerance to high levels of road salt. By tracking the oscillations of a putative clock gene, period, we demonstrated that D. pulex express per mRNA with approximately 20-hr oscillations under control conditions. This putative circadian rhythm was ablated in response to high levels of salinity; populations adapted to high NaCl concentrations exhibited an ablation of period oscillation. Moreover, we showed that while gene expression is increased in several other genes, including clock, actin, and Na+/K+-ATPase, upon the adaptation to high levels of salinity, per expression is unique among the genes we tracked in that it is the only gene repressed in response to salt adaptation. These results suggest that rapid evolution of salt tolerance occurs with the tradeoff of suppressed circadian function. The resultant circadian disruption may have profound consequences to individuals, populations, and aquatic food webs by affecting species interactions. In addition, our research suggests that circadian clocks may also be disrupted by the adaptation to other environmental contaminants.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Gene expression, Evolution, Biology, Organism, Sodium chloride


Graphene oxide membranes show exceptional molecular permeation properties, with promise for many applications. However, their use in ion sieving and desalination technologies is limited by a permeation cutoff of ∼9 Å (ref. 4), which is larger than the diameters of hydrated ions of common salts. The cutoff is determined by the interlayer spacing (d) of ∼13.5 Å, typical for graphene oxide laminates that swell in water. Achieving smaller d for the laminates immersed in water has proved to be a challenge. Here, we describe how to control d by physical confinement and achieve accurate and tunable ion sieving. Membranes with d from ∼9.8 Å to 6.4 Å are demonstrated, providing a sieve size smaller than the diameters of hydrated ions. In this regime, ion permeation is found to be thermally activated with energy barriers of ∼10-100 kJ mol(-1) depending on d. Importantly, permeation rates decrease exponentially with decreasing sieve size but water transport is weakly affected (by a factor of <2). The latter is attributed to a low barrier for the entry of water molecules and large slip lengths inside graphene capillaries. Building on these findings, we demonstrate a simple scalable method to obtain graphene-based membranes with limited swelling, which exhibit 97% rejection for NaCl.

Concepts: Ammonia, Water, Molecule, Atom, Chemical bond, Sodium chloride, Ion, Sodium


Silicon analogues of the most prominent carbon nanostructures, namely, hollow spheroidals such as C60 and the fullerene family, have been unknown to date. Herein we show that discrete Si20 dodecahedra, stabilized by an endohedral guest and valence saturation, are accessible in preparative yields through a chloride-induced disproportionation reaction of hexachlorodisilane in the presence of tri(n-butyl)amine. X-ray crystallography revealed that each silicon dodecahedron contains an endohedral chloride ion that imparts a net negative charge. Eight chloro substituents and twelve trichlorosilyl groups are attached to the surface of each cluster in a strictly regioregular arrangement, a thermodynamically preferred substitution pattern according to quantum-chemical assessment. Our results demonstrate that the wet-chemical self-assembly of a complex, monodisperse Si nanostructure is possible under mild conditions starting from simple Si2 building blocks.

Concepts: Electron, Electric charge, Carbon, Sodium chloride, Ion, X-ray crystallography, Chlorine, Chloride



Production of sea salt begins with evaporation of sea water in shallow pools called salterns, and ends with the harvest and packing of salts. This process provides many opportunities for fungal contamination. This study aimed to determine whether finished salts contain viable fungi that have the potential to cause spoilage when sea salt is used as a food ingredient by isolating fungi on a medium that simulated salted food with a lowered water activity (0.95 aw). The viable filamentous fungi from seven commercial salts were quantified and identified by DNA sequencing, and the fungal communities in different salts were compared. Every sea salt tested contained viable fungi, in concentrations ranging from 0.07 to 1.71 colony-forming units per gram of salt. In total, 85 fungi were isolated representing seven genera. One or more species of the most abundant genera, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium was found in every salt. Many species found in this study have been previously isolated from low water activity environments, including salterns and foods. We conclude that sea salts contain many fungi that have potential to cause food spoilage as well as some that may be mycotoxigenic.

Concepts: Biology, Fungus, Water, Mycotoxin, Sodium chloride, Ascomycota, Salt, Edible salt