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Abstract  

Release of long-lived radioactivity to the aquatic bodies from various nuclear fuel cycle related operations is of great environmental concern in view of their possible migration into biosphere. This migration is significantly influenced by various factors such as pH, complexing ions present in aquatic environment and sorption of species involving radionuclides on the sediments around the water bodies. 241/243Am are two major radionuclides which can contribute a great deal to radioactivity for several thousand years. In the present study, 241Am sorption on natural sediment collected from site near a nuclear installation in India, has been investigated under the varying conditions of pH (3–10) and ionic strength [I = 0.01–1 M (NaClO4)]. The sorption of Am increased with pH of the aqueous medium [10% (pH 2) to ~100% (pH 10)], which was explained in terms of the increased negative surface charge on the sediment particles. There was marginal variation in Am(III) sorption with increased ionic strength (within error limits) of the aqueous medium suggesting inner-sphere complexation/sorption process. Sediment was characterized for its elemental composition and structural phases using Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) techniques. Zeta-potential measurement at I = 0.1 M (NaClO4) suggested that Point of Zero Charge (pHPZC) was ~2, indicating the presence of silica as major component in the sediment. Kurabtov plot using sorption data as a function of pH at fixed I = 0.1 M (NaClO4) indicated the presence of multiple Am(III) species present on the surface. Potentiometric titration of the suspension indicated the presence of mineral oxide like behavior and assuming a generic nature (≡XOH) for all types of surface sites, protonation–deprotonation constants and total number of sites have been obtained. The sorption data has been modeled using 2-pK Diffuse Double Layer Surface Complexation Model (DDL-SCM). ≡XOAm2+ has been identified as the main species responsible for the sorption profile.

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Abstract  

A scheme of analysis for the determination of Na, Mn, U, Th, Hf, Sc, La, Ce, Eu, Tb, Co, Rb and Cs in geological samples using the neutron activation technique has been described. The results obtained in this work on eight geological standard rocks and a trachyte are presented and compared with literature data.

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Abstract  

Two single doses of X-ray radiation, i.e., 75 cGy and 4.0 Gy were applied on male Swiss albino mice. Quantitative changes in concentrations of trace metals like copper, zinc, cadmium and chromium in the whole body irradiated mice skin at several post-irradiated time intervals were studied in comparison to that of control animals. Observations indicate that irradiation induce redistribution of trace metals studied in skin at different post-irradiation time intervals.

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Fire is a constitutive ecological force in savanna ecosystems, but few studies have monitored its short-term effects on plant community dynamics. This study investigated changes in plant diversity in the South American savanna (Cerrado) after severe disturbance by fire. We monitored 30 permanent plots (10 m × 5 m) distributed in two Cerrado physiognomies (típico: more forested; ralo: grass-dominated), being 10 plots in the area disturbed by fire, and five in a preserved control area (undisturbed). From August 2010 to June 2011, we evaluated changes in species richness, abundance and composition of savanna vegetation. Monitoring started one week after the fire; disturbed plots were surveyed monthly, while control plots were surveyed every two months. We observed rapid reassembling in both physiognomies: plots affected by fire showed rapid increase in species richness and plant density during the first four months after the disturbance. Concerning species composition, disturbed plots in the cerrado típico tended to converge to control plots after one year, but each local assemblage followed particular temporal trajectories. A different pattern characterized cerrado ralo plots, which showed heterogeneous trajectories and lack of convergence between disturbed and control plots; the structure of these assemblages will likely change in next years. In conclusion, our results showed that fire significantly affected plant diversity in the two savanna physiognomies (cerrado típico and ralo), but also indicated that community reassembling is fast, with different dynamics between Cerrado physiognomies.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors:
P. Nayak
,
D. Das
,
S. Chintalapudi
,
P. Singh
,
S. Acharya
,
V. Vijayan
, and
V. Chakravortty

Abstract  

Two representative titaniferous magnetite samples procured from Moulabhanj, Orissa, India have been studied by PIXE, EDXRF, Mössbauer spectroscopy, and XRD techniques. Major iron-bearing phases identified in the samples by Mössbauer spectroscopy and XRD are magnetite, hematite, ferrous ilmenite and ferric ilmenite. The Fe2+/Fe3+ ratio and the relative percentages of different minerals were determined from the resonance areas of Mössbauer spectra. Quantitative multielemental analysis was carried out by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) and proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE). Nineteen minor and trace elements have been quantified by EDXRF whereas by PIXE eighteen elements have been analyzed quantitatively. Concentrations of trace elements determined by EDXRF and PIXE were used in interpreting the physico-chemical condition of the depositional basin.

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Abstract  

The iron bearing phases present in a ferromanganese nodule from the Central Indian Ocean have been determined using57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy. The Mössbauer results have been corroborated by XRD, IR and TG-DTA studies. The Mössbauer spectrum of a ferromanganese nodule shows a broad line width which indicates the presence of more than one iron bearing paramagnetic oxide or oxyhydroxide phases where iron is present as Fe3+. -FeOOH has been distinctly characterised as one of the iron bearing phases in the nodule. Other oxyhydroxide and oxide phases of iron in the nodule have been ruled out. A typical paramagnetic doublet persists even at very high temperature which has been proposed to be due to iron(III)phosphate. Formation of solid solution of Mn2O3–Fe2O3 has been observed in the heat treated nodule at 1073 K, which has been characterised by the Mössbauer technique.

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Abstract  

Differentiation between As(III) and As(V) is accomplished using earlier developed selective preconcentration methods (carbamate and molybdate mediated (co)precipitation of As(III) and As(V) respectively) follewed by AAS detection of the (co)precipitates. Apart from this, separation of methylated arsenic species is performed by an automatable system comprising a continuous flow hydride generation unit in which monomethylarsonic acid (MMAA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMAA) are converted into their corresponding volatile methylarsines, monomethylarsine (MMA) and dimethylarsine (DMA) respectively. These species are cryogenically trapped in a Teflon-line stainless stell U-tube packed with a gas chromatographic solid-phase and subsequently separated by selective volatilization. A novel gas drying technique by means of a Perma Pure dryer was applied successfully prior to trapping. Detection is by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). MMAA and DMAA are determined with absolute limits of detection of 0.2 and 0.5 ng, respectively. Investigation of the behaviour of the methylarsines in the system was conducted with synthesized73As labeled methylated arsenic species. It was found that MMA is taken through the system quantitatively whereas DMA is recovered for about 85%. The opumized system combined with selective As(III)/As(V) preconcentration has been tested out for arsenic speciation of sediment interstitial water from the Chemiehaven at Rotterdam. The obtained concentrations are 28.5, 26.8 and 0.60 ng·ml–1 for As(III), As(V) and MMAA, respectively, whereas the DMAA concentration was below 0.16 ng·ml–1.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors:
R. Ponnuswamy
,
A. Rathore
,
A. Vemula
,
R.R. Das
,
A.K. Singh
,
D. Balakrishnan
,
H.S. Arremsetty
,
R.B. Vemuri
, and
T. Ram

The All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project of ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad organizes multi-location testing of elite lines and hybrids to test and identify new rice cultivars for the release of commercial cultivation in India. Data obtained from Initial Hybrid Rice Trials of three years were utilized to understand the genotype × environment interaction (GEI) patterns among the test locations of five different agro-ecological regions of India using GGE and AMMI biplot analysis. The combined analysis of variance and AMMI ANOVA for a yield of rice hybrids were highly significant for GEI. The GGE biplots first two PC explained 54.71%, 51.54% and 59.95% of total G + GEI variation during 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively, whereas AMMI biplot PC1 and PC2 explained 46.62% in 2010, 36.07% in 2011 and 38.33% in 2012 of the total GEI variation. Crossover interactions, i.e. genotype rank changes across locations were observed. GGE biplot identified hybrids, viz. PAN1919, TNRH193, DRH005, VRH639, 26P29, Signet5051, KPH385, VRH667, NIPH101, SPH497, RH664 Plus and TNRH222 as stable rice hybrids. The discriminative locations identified in different test years were Coimbatore, Maruteru, VNR, Jammu, Raipur, Ludhiana, Karjat and Dabhoi. The AMMI1 biplot identified the adaptable rice hybrids viz., CNRH102, DRH005, NK6303, NK6320, DRRH78, NIPH101, Signet5050, BPH115, Bio452, NPSH2003, and DRRH83. The present study demonstrated that AMMI and GGE biplots analyses were successful in assessing genotype by environment interaction in hybrid rice trials and aided in the identification of stable and adaptable rice hybrids with higher mean and stable yields.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Gangadhararao Appana
,
Dipankar Das
,
Maroudam Veerasami
,
Ramachandran Lakshmikanthan Senthilkumar
,
Munishkumar Durishetty
,
B. Ramalakshmi
,
Vijay Bahekar
,
Falguni Mukherjee
,
Dev Chandran
,
P. Uday Kumar
,
B. Sesikeran
, and
Dr. Villuppanoor Alwar Srinivasan Ph.D.

Abstract

A male cattle calf was detected as subclinically and naturally infected with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) by a series of antemortem and postmortem tests. The MAP infection was identified by strong antibody and cell-mediated immune (CMI) response by a commercial ELISA kit and an intradermal Johnin test, respectively, in the initial antemortem examination. The antemortem status of the calf was further confirmed by MAP-specific interferon gamma (IFN-γ) response. For detection of IFN-γ response, MAP-specific IFN-γ release assays (IGRAs): (a) immuno capture ELISA (IC-ELISA) and (b) ELISPOT was employed. In addition, the presence of intracellular cytokine IFN-γ was detected by flow cytometry. For all cytokine assays, MAP-specific recombinant antigens HSP65 and 35 kDa were employed to overcome the poor sensitivity and specificity resulting from the use of Johnin, the crude protein purified derivative of MAP. Postmortem examination of the MAP-infected/suspected cattle calf did not reveal any pathognomonic gross lesions in the gastro-intestinal tract. Histopathological examination of multiple organs showed the presence of epithelioid cells/macrophages and edematous lesions in the mesenteric lymph nodes suggestive of MAP; however, no granulomas were observed in the intestinal tract. The necropsy samples of rectum and mesenteric lymph nodes were positive for isolation of MAP by culture in the BACTEC™ MGIT™ 960 system, and acid fast bacilli were demonstrated by fluorescence microscopy confirming the infection. Due to differential and complex expression patterns of MAP antigens reported in literature, a combination of assays such as those based on IGRAs and antibody detection is essential. Therefore, the current experimental evidence confirms the efficacy of the approach adopted. However, further studies will be needed to understand the optimal combination MAP-specific antigens for use in IGRAs or antibody assays that can be used for detecting MAP infection in every stage of the disease.

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