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Abstract  

The present state of a long term program is reviewed. It was started to elaborate a remote controlled automated radiochemical processing system for the neutron activation analysis of biological materials. The system is based on wet ashing of the sample, followed by reactive desorption of some volatile components. The distillation residue is passed through a series of columns filled with selective ion screening materials to remove the matrix activity. The solution is thus “stripped” from the interfering radioions, and it is processed to single-elements through group separations using ion-exchange chromatographic techniques. Some special problems concerning this system are treated. (a) General aspects of the construction of a (semi)automated radiochemical processing system are discussed; (b) Comparison is made between various technical realizations of the same basic concept; (c) Some problems concerning the “reconstruction” of an already published processing system are outlined.

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Abstract  

Based on the method of SAMSAHL a programmed, semi-automated processing system has been developed and tested for the neutron activation analysis of the following elements: As, Se, Sb, Br, Sn and Te. The main characteristics of the procedure are the following: wet ashing of the sample (by means of digestion in a mixture of concentrated sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide), bromination, and chlorination. The procedure is controlled via the appropriate dosage of the reagents and a carefully managed thermal balance. The chemical yield and its reproducibility were determined by tracer techniques using exactly the same parameters as for the active runs. According to the results the method can be used for the routine determination of the given elements except antimony.

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Abstract  

For the selective removal of the matrix activity (24Na,32P and42K) in the neutron activation analysis of biomedical samples the inorganic separators “hydrated antimony pentoxide”, zirconium phosphate, and titanium phosphate were prepared. The sorption parameters of the samples were determined via elution chromatography techniques, with appropriate tracers. The basic principles of the sorption processes were investigated, and the experimental conditions were optimized. These inorganic separators were then applied, combined with a distillation procedure and an ion-exchange separation, for the determination of the following trace elements in animal blood samples: Mn, Co, Cu, Fe and Zn.

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Abstract  

A control system for monitoring the radioactive concentration in aqueous wastes of nuclear installations was elaborated. The mobile station developed for in situ control enables simultaneous measurement of gamma radiation in the energy range of 0.15–2.0 MeV and that of beta radiation in the energy range of 0.3–2.0 MeV by means of a combined scintillation detector. Disturbing effects of accompanying and secundary radiations on the determination of the counting efficiency vs. radiation energy functions used in calculation of the radioactive concentration limits as well as some experiences during a long time of operation of the system have been discussed.

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Intensification of land use in the last few decades resulted in an increased rate of fragmentation of natural forest habitats. With decreased patch size but increased total borderline length the influence of the surroundings also increased. The extent of influence is especially crucial where the forest stands are adjacent to agricultural lands. We studied the vegetation (cover) and seed bank (soil samples, seedling emergence) along adjacent stands of an abandoned vineyard and edge and interior of an oak forest community (Quercetum petraeae-cerris) widespread in Central-Europe, using five transects (16 m2 plots along each transect). We asked the following questions: (i) How do vegetation and seed bank composition differ between the vineyard and forest interior and (ii) which weeds are able to penetrate into the forest herbaceous understorey vegetation and seed banks from the vineyard? In total, 15 phanaerophytes and 147 herbs were detected. Negatively associated with canopy shading, herb cover proved the lowest in the forest inferior. Few weeds and other ruderals recorded in vineyard penetrated into the forest interior. Mean seed density decreased one order of magnitude from the vineyard to the forest interior (from 20,831 to 2,159 seed/m2). The seed banks of the abandoned vineyard and edge and forest interior were dominated by ruderals, but decreasing proportion of weeds was detected from the vineyard to the forest interior. Characteristic forest herbs possessed at most sparse seed banks. Our results suggest that high canopy cover mitigates the negative impact of surrounding weedy vegetation on the forest herb layer. Therefore, the effect of surroundings is detectable mostly in the seed banks. We can assume that the formation of an increased ruderal herb cover can be foreseen if canopy opens, because the local propagule sources of forest species are missing from vegetation and soil seed banks.

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Abstract  

Several sorbents were prepared by precipitating zirconium phosphate on activated carbon support material. The main parameters of the chemical procedure were optimized in order to obtain the highest decontamination factors which can be achieved in the case of Cs+, Sr2+ and I ions. For the characterization of the sorbents, sorption isotherms and capacity data were determined. The reproducibility of the preparation is about 10%.

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Disorders induced by cereal proteins (e.g. wheat allergy, celiac disease) are widespread in human population. Since their only effective treatment is the avoidance of the problematic proteins, patients have to be familiar with the composition of food products. For checking special foods produced for them, proper analytical methods are necessary. At the moment, in gluten analysis there are no reference methods and reference materials which model real food matrices. During the production and experimental utilisation of our previously developed reference material candidate, numerous questions emerged. As our model product is a real food matrix, interactions can be present between gluten proteins and other macro and micro components. Fat content of the baked cookies is almost 20%, which might affect the results of ELISA measurements. The detectable gluten content is significantly increasing after the defatting procedure, as a pre-treatment of samples. Moreover, baking is a common food processing step that might modify the structure of gluten proteins leading to denaturation and aggregation. In the soluble protein fraction the amount of low molecular weight proteins increases, while that of high molecular weight proteins decreases during the baking procedure.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: G. Koncz, Mária Papp, P. Török, Zs. Kotroczó, Zs. Krakomperger, G. Matus, and B. Tóthmérész

We studied the potential role of seed bank in the dynamics of the understorey in a turkey oak-sessile oak forest (Querceteum petraeae-cerris) in Hungary. We used long-term records of the herb layer (1973–2006) and the seed bank composition of 2006 to assess the role of seed bank in the regeneration of herb layer. The total cover of herb layer decreased from 22% (1973) to 6% (1988), and remained low (<10%) till 2006; coinciding with the increasing cover of secondary canopy dominated by Acer campestre. We found a low density seed bank (ca. 1300 seeds/m2). Altogether 33 species were germinated from the soil samples. A few generalist weed species composed the majority of seed bank. It was possible to assign a seed bank type for 19 species; 14 species out of 19 was long-term persistent. We found that the characteristic perennial forest herbs and grasses had only sparse seed bank. The Jaccard similarity between vegetation and seed bank was low (<30%). Our results suggest that the continuous establishment of forest herbs are not based on local persistent seed bank; it should be based on vegetative spreading and/or seed rain.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Á. Horváth, P. Sántha, V. Horváth, Nóra Török, I. Nagy, G. Jancsó, Cs. Vágvölgyi, and F. Somogyvári

A new, rapid method is described which permits the genotyping of genetically modified animals from a microlitre volume of whole blood samples via one step polymerase chain reaction amplification. The major advantage of the presented method is the exclusion of a DNA preparation step, which significantly reduces the time expenditure and work load of the genetic testing. Pilot studies indicate, that this method is efficient and applicable also on tissue biopsies and larger amount of blood providing a rapid and reliable new technique over conventional genotyping approaches.

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Physiology International
Authors: Zs Major, R Kirschner, N Medvegy, K Kiss, GM Török, G Pavlik, G Simonyi, Zs Komka, and M Medvegy

Background

Early repolarization in the anterior ECG leads (ERV2–4) is considered to be a sign of right ventricular (RV) remodeling, but its etiology and importance are unclear.

Methods

A total of 243 top-level endurance-trained athletes (ETA; 183 men and 60 women, weekly training hours: 15–20) and 120 leisure-time athletes (LTA; 71 men and 49 women, weekly training hours: 5–6) were investigated. The ERV2–4 sign was evaluated concerning type of sport, gender, transthoracic echocardiographic parameters, and ECG changes, which can indicate elevated RV systolic pressure [left atrium enlargement (LAE), right atrium enlargement (RAE), RV conduction defect (RVcd)].

Results

Stroke volume and left ventricular mass were higher in ETAs vs. LTAs in both genders (p < 0.01). Prevalence of the ERV2–4 sign was significantly higher in men than in women [p = 0.000, odds ratio (OR) = 36.4] and in ETAs than in LTAs (p = 0.000). The highest ERV2–4 prevalence appeared in the most highly trained triathlonists and canoe and kayak paddlers (OR = 13.8 and 5.2, respectively). Within the ETA group, the post-exercise LAE, RAE, and RVcd changes developed more frequently in cases with than without ERV2–4 (LAE: men: p < 0.05, females: p < 0.005; RAE: men: p < 0.05, females: p < 0.005; RVcd: N.S.). These post-exercise appearing LAE, RAE, and RVcd are associated with the ERV2–4 sign (OR = 4.0, 3.7, and 3.8, respectively).

Conclusions

According to these results, ERV2–4 develops mainly in male ETAs due to long-lasting and repeated endurance training. The ERV2–4 sign indicates RV’s adaptation to maintain higher compensatory pulmonary pressure and flow during exercise but its danger regarding malignant arrhythmias is unclear.

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