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  • Author or Editor: Z. Varga x
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The performance of a semisynthetic bisexual lure (SBL, containing isoamyl alcohol, acetic acid and red wine) previously found attractive for a number of noctuids was compared with that of the respective synthetic sex attractants of Orthosia cerasi (=stabilis), O. cruda, O. gothica, O. incerta, Anorthoa munda and Conistra vaccini. The respective sex attractants performed significantly better in the Orthosia spp. than the SBL lure, which, although regularly catching low numbers of both females and males, did not differ significantly from zero catch in unbaited control traps. On the other hand, the SBL lure performed as well as the sex attractant in C. vaccini. Sizeable catches of C. rubiginea, C. rubiginosa and C. erythrocephala were also recorded in traps with the SBL lure. The SBL lure can prove to be a useful tool in ecological and faunistical studies of Conistra and related hibernating Xylenini species.

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Abstract  

57Fe-conversion electron Mössbauer spectroscopy (CEMS) — a sensitive tool to analyze the phase composition of corrosion products on the surface of stainless steel — was applied to study real specimens from the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, Hungary. The primary circuit side of the heat exchanger tubes was studied on selected samples cut out from the steam generators during regular maintenance. Mostly Cr-and Ni-substituted magnetite, amorphous Fe-oxides/oxyhydroxides as well as the signal of bulk austenitic steel of the tubes were detected. The level of Cr-and Ni-substitution in the magnetite phase could be estimated from the Mössbauer spectra. It is suggested that Cr-Ni substitution occurs simultaneously so that the inverse spinel structure of magnetite is preserved up to a certain limit which appears to be roughly at [Fe3+]tet[Fe2+ 1/4Ni2+ 3/4Fe3+ 1/4Cr3+ 3/4]octO4. Further decrease of the iron content of this phase results in the formation of nickel chromite of regular spinel structure, with very low Fe content. This transformation may be responsible for the hybrid structure of the protective oxide layer, being substantially accelerated by previously performed, factory developed and proposed AP-CITROX decontamination cycles.

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The effects exerted by human recombinant interleukin-1β (hrIL-1β) and the prostaglandin inhibitor indomethacin on the course of Cryptosporidium baileyi infection in chickens were studied. Daily oocyst shedding was monitored by a quantitative method throughout the experiment. Humoral immune response to C. baileyi was assessed by ELISA at 3 weeks of age while the level of cellular immune response to phytohaemagglutinin-P (PHA-P) by a skin test at 23 days of age. Parenteral application of hrIL-1b decreased oocyst shedding to 62%, but the infection ran a similar course in treated and control birds. The PHA-P skin test demonstrated increased cellular immune reaction in chickens receiving IL-1b, but there was no significant difference in the humoral responses of the two groups as detected by ELISA. On the other hand, indomethacin mixed to the feed lessened oocyst shedding to 13.7% and also shortened its duration. Immunological parameters as reflected by PHA-P skin test and ELISA results indicated enhanced cellular but unaltered humoral immune response. These data suggest that the sys- temic application of interleukin-1 can induce partial protection against C. baileyi in chickens and that prolonged, abundant oocyst shedding is due to an indometha- cin-sensitive immunodepression via the prostaglandin pathway.

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The aim of the present study was to identify gene expression changes in the rapid cardiac pacing-induced delayed antiarrhythmic protection in the canine, using cDNA microarrays and quantitative real-time PCR (QRT -PCR) techniques. In all dogs under light pentobarbitone anaesthesia, a pacing electrode was introduced into the right ventricle, and then the animals were divided into three groups: (1) sham-operated and sham-paced group (SP, n = 3) (2) ischaemic control group (IC; n = 3); these were without cardiac pacing and subjected only to a 25 min occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD), and (3) paced group (PC, n = 3); these animals were paced at a rate of 220–240 beats min−1 24 h prior to ischaemia. With cDNA chip 23 genes were found with altered expression in response to rapid cardiac pacing and 10 genes in the IC group when compared to SP dogs. These genes encode transcription factors (MEF2); members of signaling pathways (TGFβ2, PDE4D9), hormone related proteins (e.g. vasopressin V1 and V2 receptors). RT-QPCR was used either to confirm the results of the microarray analysis and also to study 46 genes which are already known to have a role in the late phase of PC. By this method 17 genes were up-regulated and 6 genes down-regulated in the IC group; their expression ratios changed either to the opposite or showed no alteration after cardiac pacing. This study would add some new information about those transcriptional changes that are involved in the delayed phase of cardiac protection.

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Basal resistance (BR, a local resistance against pathogens induced by general elicitors) is a multi-faceted defence mechanism appearing in many shapes and with many given names, such as induced (acquired) resistance (protection, defence), as well as a part of innate immunity. Here, we give a historical overview of concepts, present results and an outlook associated with bacteriological studies in the Plant Protection Institute (PPI). The topics on BR briefly covered are its elicitors, light and temperature dependence, changes in plant physiology, transcription and protein expression during it and its effect on bacteria. We emphasize the importance and relevance of its quick form, early BR, which might be a plant defence mechanism in nature against all kinds of pathogenic and saprophytic bacteria.

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In its first part this work focuses on connection of length of day (LOD) with centered and eccentric geomagnetic dipole fields described with the use of Gaussian coefficients derived from global geomagnetic observations is discussed for the epoch 1900–2000. The statistical comparison of temporal variation of earth magnetic and astronomical data shows close correlation of geomagnetic dipole momentum M 0 and ΔLOD. It should be mentioned that the time-correlation is closer when the centred geomagnetic dipole is used for statistical modelling. In the same time no relation was found between ΔLOD and the orientation variations of the geomagnetic dipole.In the second part of present study the connection of geomagnetic field and the LOD is investigated in geological time-scale. A significant ΔLOD was found which coincides in time with the geomagnetic Mesozoic low. The reason of this coincidence is enigmatic.

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A real specimen originating from the primary circuit of a VVER-440 type pressurized water cooled nuclear reactor has been studied by Conversion Electron Mössbauer Spectroscopy (CEMS) in order to find out how the AP-CITROX decontamination procedure modifies the structure and composition of the surface oxide layer of stainless steel which is used in the steam generator. Other methods like voltammetry, gravimetry, and SEM-EDAX were also applied to characterize the samples and to help the interpretation of CEMS results. It was found that, in contradiction with expectations, the presence of the surface magnetite layer could not be convincingly identified even on the non-decontaminated sample. This finding together with the relatively weak Mössbauer signals indicated that the surface oxide layer is strongly Fe-depleted. It was also concluded that the upper layer of the bulk steel (under the oxide layer) has an altered composition probably due to irradiation-enhanced diffusion of the metallic constituents. It was established that the AP-CITROX decontamination procedure does not exert detrimental effects on the thickness and composition of the surface oxide layer.

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The surface contamination by uranium and transuranium (Pu, Am, Cm) nuclides in the primary circuit of pressurized water nuclear reactors is a fairly complex problem as (i) different chemical forms (molecular, colloidal and/or disperse) of these atoms can be present in the boric acid coolant, and (ii) only limited information about the extent, kinetics and mechanism of uranium and transuranium (TRU) accumulation on constructional materials is available in the literature. A comprehensive program has been initiated in order to study the accumulation of uranium and TRU species on some structural materials used at Soviet made VVER-type pressurized water reactors (such as heat exchanger tube of steam generators and stainless steel canister material). This paper, which is the first part of a series of two, provides a comprehensive view on the main experimental parameters influencing the extent and character of the surface contamination by uranium and TRU nuclides. Specifically, we give a brief summary of relevant literature data on the chemistry of uranium and TRU elements and review the dominant chemical forms and their relative sorbability on austenitic stainless steel and Zr(Nb) alloy surfaces. Moreover, some findings on the distribution of uranium, plutonium, americium, and curium species in a model solution of boric acid coolant obtained by the VisualMINTEQ computer code are also presented and discussed.

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Community Ecology
Authors: F. J. Fernandez-Maldonado, J. R. Gallego, A. Valencia, M. Gamez, Z. Varga, J. Garay and T. Cabello

Cannibalism is a common phenomenon among insects. It has raised considerable interest both from a theoretical perspective and because of its importance in population dynamics in natural ecosystems. It could also play an important role from an applied perspective, especially when using predatory species in biological control programmes. The present paper aims to study the cannibalistic behaviour of Nabis pseudoferus Remane and the functional response of adult females. In a non-choice experiment, adult females showed clear acceptance of immature conspecifics as prey, with relatively high mortality values (51.89 ± 2.69%). These values were lower than those occurring for heterospecific prey, Spodoptera exigua Hübner, under the same conditions (80.00 ± 2.82%). However, the main result was that the rate of predation on heterospecific prey was reduced to 59.09 ± 7.08% in the presence of conspecific prey. The prey-capture behaviour of adult females differed when they hunted conspecific versus heterospecific prey. This was shown in the average handling time, which was 23.3 ± 3.3 min in the first case (conspecific) versus 16.6 ± 2.5 min in the second (heterospecific). Furthermore, the values increased in the former case and declined in the latter according to the order in which the prey were captured. The difference in handling time was not significant when adjusting the adult female functional response to conspecific nymphs. We argue that these results likely indicate risk aversion and a fear of reprisal among conspecifics.

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Within the frame of a joint project, the accumulation of the uranium and transuranium (TRU) species on some structural materials used at Soviet made VVER-type pressurized water reactors (such as heat exchanger tube of steam generators and stainless steel canister material) has been studied. The experiments were carried out in a laboratory model system. During the sorption studies, boric acid coolants provided by the Paks Nuclear Power Plant (Paks NPP) were circulated for a period of 30 h. Solution and tube samples obtained in the course of above experiments were analyzed by independent methods (α- and γ-spectrometry, ICP-MS, SEM-EDX, voltammetry and XPS). The experimental results reveal that: (i) the surface excess of the TRU nuclides studied is extremely low (less than 1% of a monolayer coverage); (ii) the surface excess of uranium species measured on the SG tube surfaces is significantly higher, after 30 h sorption period (Γsample = 1.0 μg cm−2 U ≅ 3.7 × 10−9 mol cm−2 UO2) exceeds a monolayer coverage; (iii) the mechanistic features of the contamination processes (specific or non-specific adsorption, deposition of colloidal and/or disperse particles) depend decisively upon the nature of the studied radionuclides and the chemical structure and composition of the oxide layer formed on stainless steel surfaces.

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