Year of publication
- Molecular understanding of sulphuric acid–amine particle nucleation in the atmosphere (2013)
- Nucleation of aerosol particles from trace atmospheric vapours is thought to provide up to half of global cloud condensation nuclei1. Aerosols can cause a net cooling of climate by scattering sunlight and by leading to smaller but more numerous cloud droplets, which makes clouds brighter and extends their lifetimes2. Atmospheric aerosols derived from human activities are thought to have compensated for a large fraction of the warming caused by greenhouse gases2. However, despite its importance for climate, atmospheric nucleation is poorly understood. Recently, it has been shown that sulphuric acid and ammonia cannot explain particle formation rates observed in the lower atmosphere3. It is thought that amines may enhance nucleation4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, but until now there has been no direct evidence for amine ternary nucleation under atmospheric conditions. Here we use the CLOUD (Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets) chamber at CERN and find that dimethylamine above three parts per trillion by volume can enhance particle formation rates more than 1,000-fold compared with ammonia, sufficient to account for the particle formation rates observed in the atmosphere. Molecular analysis of the clusters reveals that the faster nucleation is explained by a base-stabilization mechanism involving acid–amine pairs, which strongly decrease evaporation. The ion-induced contribution is generally small, reflecting the high stability of sulphuric acid–dimethylamine clusters and indicating that galactic cosmic rays exert only a small influence on their formation, except at low overall formation rates. Our experimental measurements are well reproduced by a dynamical model based on quantum chemical calculations of binding energies of molecular clusters, without any fitted parameters. These results show that, in regions of the atmosphere near amine sources, both amines and sulphur dioxide should be considered when assessing the impact of anthropogenic activities on particle formation.
- Secondary organic aerosol formation from photooxidation of naphthalene and alkylnaphthalenes: implications for oxidation of intermediate volatility organic compounds (IVOCs) (2009)
- Current atmospheric models do not include secondary organic aerosol (SOA) production from gas-phase reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Recent studies have shown that primary semivolatile emissions, previously assumed to be inert, undergo oxidation in the gas phase, leading to SOA formation. This opens the possibility that low-volatility gas-phase precursors are a potentially large source of SOA. In this work, SOA formation from gas-phase photooxidation of naphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene (1-MN), 2-methylnaphthalene (2-MN), and 1,2-dimethylnaphthalene (1,2-DMN) is studied in the Caltech dual 28-m3 chambers. Under high-NOx conditions and aerosol mass loadings between 10 and 40 μg m, the SOA yields (mass of SOA per mass of hydrocarbon reacted) ranged from 0.19 to 0.30 for naphthalene, 0.19 to 0.39 for 1-MN, 0.26 to 0.45 for 2-MN, and constant at 0.31 for 1,2-DMN. Under low-NOx conditions, the SOA yields were measured to be 0.73, 0.68, and 0.58, for naphthalene, 1-MN, and 2-MN, respectively. The SOA was observed to be semivolatile under high-NOx conditions and essentially nonvolatile under low-NOx conditions, owing to the higher fraction of ring-retaining products formed under low-NOx conditions. When applying these measured yields to estimate SOA formation from primary emissions of diesel engines and wood burning, PAHs are estimated to yield 3–5 times more SOA than light aromatic compounds. PAHs can also account for up to 54% of the total SOA from oxidation of diesel emissions, representing a potentially large source of urban SOA.
- The impact of mixing across the polar vortex edge on Match ozone loss estimates (2007)
- The Match method for quantification of polar chemical ozone loss is investigated mainly with respect to the impact of mixing across the vortex edge onto this estimate. We show for the winter 2002/03 that significant mixing across the vortex edge occurred and was accurately modeled by the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere. Observations of inert tracers and ozone in-situ from HAGAR on the Geophysica aircraft and sondes and also remote from MIPAS on ENVISAT were reproduced well. The model even reproduced a small vortex remnant that was isolated until June 2003 and was observed in-situ by a balloon-borne whole air sampler. We use this CLaMS simulation to quantify the impact of cross vortex edge mixing on the results of the Match method. It is shown that a time integration of the determined vortex average ozone loss rates as performed in Match results in larger ozone loss than the polar vortex average ozone loss in CLaMS. Also, the determination of the Match ozone loss rates can be influenced by mixing. This is especially important below 430 K, where ozone outside the vortex is lower than inside and the vortex boundary is not a strong transport barrier. This effect and further sampling effects cause an offset between vortex average ozone loss rates derived from Match and deduced from CLaMS with an even sampling for the entire vortex. Both, the time-integration of ozone loss and the determination of ozone loss rates for Match are evaluated using the winter 2002/03 CLaMS simulation. These impacts can explain the differences between CLaMS and Match column ozone loss. While the investigated effects somewhat reduce the apparent discrepancy in January ozone loss rates, a discrepancy between simulations and Match remains. However, its contribution to the accumulated ozone loss over the winter is not large.
- The protein translocation systems in plants : composition and variability on the example of Solanum lycopersicum (2013)
- Background: Protein translocation across membranes is a central process in all cells. In the past decades the molecular composition of the translocation systems in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts have been established based on the analysis of model organisms. Today, these results have to be transferred to other plant species. We bioinformatically determined the inventory of putative translocation factors in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) by orthologue search and domain architecture analyses. In addition, we investigated the diversity of such systems by comparing our findings to the model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana and 12 other plant species. Results: The literature search end up in a total of 130 translocation components in yeast and A. thaliana, which are either experimentally confirmed or homologous to experimentally confirmed factors. From our bioinformatic analysis (PGAP and OrthoMCL), we identified (co-)orthologues in plants, which in combination yielded 148 and 143 orthologues in A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum, respectively. Interestingly, we traced 82% overlap in findings from both approaches though we did not find any orthologues for 27% of the factors by either procedure. In turn, 29% of the factors displayed the presence of more than one (co-)orthologue in tomato. Moreover, our analysis revealed that the genomic composition of the translocation machineries in the bryophyte Physcomitrella patens resemble more to higher plants than to single celled green algae. The monocots (Z. mays and O. sativa) follow more or less a similar conservation pattern for encoding the translocon components. In contrast, a diverse pattern was observed in different eudicots. Conclusions: The orthologue search shows in most cases a clear conservation of components of the translocation pathways/machineries. Only the Get-dependent integration of tail-anchored proteins seems to be distinct. Further, the complexity of the translocation pathway in terms of existing orthologues seems to vary among plant species. This might be the consequence of palaeoploidisation during evolution in plants; lineage specific whole genome duplications in Arabidopsis thaliana and triplications in Solanum lycopersicum.
- Three-Dimensional architecture and biogenesis of membrane structures associated with hepatitis C virus replication (2012)
- All positive strand RNA viruses are known to replicate their genomes in close association with intracellular membranes. In case of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a member of the family Flaviviridae, infected cells contain accumulations of vesicles forming a membranous web (MW) that is thought to be the site of viral RNA replication. However, little is known about the biogenesis and three-dimensional structure of the MW. In this study we used a combination of immunofluorescence- and electron microscopy (EM)-based methods to analyze the membranous structures induced by HCV in infected cells. We found that the MW is derived primarily from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and contains markers of rough ER as well as markers of early and late endosomes, COP vesicles, mitochondria and lipid droplets (LDs). The main constituents of the MW are single and double membrane vesicles (DMVs). The latter predominate and the kinetic of their appearance correlates with kinetics of viral RNA replication. DMVs are induced primarily by NS5A whereas NS4B induces single membrane vesicles arguing that MW formation requires the concerted action of several HCV replicase proteins. Three-dimensional reconstructions identify DMVs as protrusions from the ER membrane into the cytosol, frequently connected to the ER membrane via a neck-like structure. In addition, late in infection multi-membrane vesicles become evident, presumably as a result of a stress-induced reaction. Thus, the morphology of the membranous rearrangements induced in HCV-infected cells resemble those of the unrelated picorna-, corona- and arteriviruses, but are clearly distinct from those of the closely related flaviviruses. These results reveal unexpected similarities between HCV and distantly related positive-strand RNA viruses presumably reflecting similarities in cellular pathways exploited by these viruses to establish their membranous replication factories.
- Orthotopic liver transplantation in human-immunodeficiency-virus-positive patients in Germany (2012)
- Objectives. This summary evaluates the outcomes of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) of HIV-positive patients in Germany. Methods. Retrospective chart analysis of HIV-positive patients, who had been liver-transplanted in Germany between July 1997 and July 2011. Results. 38 transplantations were performed in 32 patients at 9 German transplant centres. The reasons for OLT were end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and/or liver failure due to hepatitis C (HCV) (n = 19), hepatitis B (HBV) (n = 10), multiple viral infections of the liver (n = 2) and Budd-Chiari-Syndrome. In July 2011 19/32 (60%) of the transplanted patients were still alive with a median survival of 61 months (IQR (interquartile range): 41-86 months). 6 patients had died in the early post-transplantation period from septicaemia (n = 4), primary graft dysfunction (n = 1), and intrathoracal hemorrhage (n = 1). Later on 7 patients had died from septicaemia (n = 2), delayed graft failure (n = 2), recurrent HCC (n = 2), and renal failure (n = 1). Recurrent HBV infection was efficiently prevented in 11/12 patients; HCV reinfection occurred in all patients and contributed considerably to the overall mortality. Conclusions. Overall OLT is a feasible approach in HIV-infected patients with acceptable survival rates in Germany. Reinfection with HCV still remains a major clinical challenge in HIV/HCV coinfection after OLT.
- Comparison of the chemical evolution and characteristics of 495 biomass burning plumes intercepted by the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the ARCTAS/CARB-2008 field campaign (2011)
- This paper compares measurements of gaseous and particulate emissions from a wide range of biomass-burning plumes intercepted by the NASA DC-8 research aircraft during the three phases of the ARCTAS-2008 experiment: ARCTAS-A, based out of Fairbanks, Alaska USA (3 April to 19 April 2008); ARCTAS-B based out of Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada (29 June to 13 July 2008); and ARCTAS-CARB, based out of Palmdale, California, USA (18 June to 24 June 2008). Extensive investigations of boreal fire plume evolution were undertaken during ARCTAS-B, where four distinct fire plumes that were intercepted by the aircraft over a range of down-wind distances (0.1 to 16 hr transport times) were studied in detail. Based on these analyses, there was no evidence for ozone production and a box model simulation of the data confirmed that net ozone production was slow (on average 1 ppbv h−1 in the first 3 h and much lower afterwards) due to limited NOx. Peroxyacetyl nitrate concentrations (PAN) increased with plume age and the box model estimated an average production rate of ~80 pptv h−1 in the first 3 h. Like ozone, there was also no evidence for net secondary inorganic or organic aerosol formation. There was no apparent increase in aerosol mass concentrations in the boreal fire plumes due to secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation; however, there were indications of chemical processing of the organic aerosols. In addition to the detailed studies of boreal fire plume evolution, about 500 smoke plumes intercepted by the NASA DC-8 aircraft were segregated by fire source region. The normalized excess mixing ratios (i.e. ΔX/ΔCO) of gaseous (carbon dioxide, acetonitrile, hydrogen cyanide, toluene, benzene, methane, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), ozone, PAN) and fine aerosol particulate components (nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, chloride, organic aerosols and water soluble organic carbon) of these plumes were compared.
- Comparison of chemical characteristics of 495 biomass burning plumes intercepted by the NASA DC-8 aircraft during the ARCTAS/CARB-2008 field campaign (2011)
- This paper compares measurements of gaseous and particulate emissions from a wide range of biomass-burning plumes intercepted by the NASA DC-8 research aircraft during the three phases of the ARCTAS-2008 experiment: ARCTAS-A, based out of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA (3 April to 19 April 2008); ARCTAS-B based out of Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada (29 June to 13 July 2008); and ARCTAS-CARB, based out of Palmdale, California, USA (18 June to 24 June 2008). Approximately 500 smoke plumes from biomass burning emissions that varied in age from minutes to days were segregated by fire source region and urban emission influences. The normalized excess mixing ratios (NEMR) of gaseous (carbon dioxide, acetonitrile, hydrogen cyanide, toluene, benzene, methane, oxides of nitrogen and ozone) and fine aerosol particulate components (nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, chloride, organic aerosols and water soluble organic carbon) of these plumes were compared. A detailed statistical analysis of the different plume categories for different gaseous and aerosol species is presented in this paper. The comparison of NEMR values showed that CH4 concentrations were higher in air-masses that were influenced by urban emissions. Fresh biomass burning plumes mixed with urban emissions showed a higher degree of oxidative processing in comparison with fresh biomass burning only plumes. This was evident in higher concentrations of inorganic aerosol components such as sulfate, nitrate and ammonium, but not reflected in the organic components. Lower NOx NEMRs combined with high sulfate, nitrate and ammonium NEMRs in aerosols of plumes subject to long-range transport, when comparing all plume categories, provided evidence of advanced processing of these plumes.
- Calibration of TCCON column-averaged CO2: the first aircraft campaign over European TCCON sites (2011)
- The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) is a ground-based network of Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) sites around the globe, where the column abundances of CO2, CH4, N2O, CO and O2 are measured. CO2 is constrained with a precision better than 0.25 %. To achieve a similarly high accuracy, calibration to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) standards is required. This paper introduces the first aircraft calibration campaign of five European TCCON sites and a mobile FTS instrument. A series of WMO standards in-situ profiles were obtained over European TCCON sites via aircraft and compared with retrievals of CO2 column amounts from the TCCON instruments. The results of the campaign show that the FTS measurements are consistently biased 1.0 % ± 0.2 % low with respect to WMO standards, in agreement with previous TCCON calibration campaigns. The standard a priori profile for the TCCON FTS retrievals is shown to not add a bias. The same calibration factor is generated using aircraft profiles as a priori and with the TCCON standard a priori. With a calibration to WMO standards, the highly precise TCCON CO2 measurements of total column concentrations provide a suitable database for the calibration and validation of nadir-viewing satellites.
- The toxicity of cadmium and resulting hazards for human health (2006)
- Cadmium (Cd) has been in industrial use for a long period of time. Its serious toxicity moved into scientific focus during the middle of the last century. In this review, we discuss historic and recent developments of toxicological and epidemiological questions, including exposition sources, resorption pathways and organ damage processes.