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Authors: P. Smith, D. Powlson, J. Smith, P. Falloon, K. Coleman and K. Goulding

Over recent years a number of attempts have been made to assess the carbon mitigation potential of European agricultural land. Here we review the progress made by comparing pre- and post-Kyoto estimates of C mitigation potential, and review recent advances, such as the inclusion of trace gases in C mitigation calculations. We then briefly discuss ways in which our regional estimates of agricultural carbon mitigation potential might be improved. Finally, we set the findings for Europe in the context of the global terrestrial carbon cycle, and the historical global loss of carbon from soils due to agriculture.

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Cereal breeding programs are interested in increasing the number of generations per year to reduce the time needed to develop new cultivars. A common method to accomplish this is to extend the photoperiod to speed up plant growth. For oat, this method is problematic because the species responds to changes in light and temperature. Current methods of fast generation cycling in oat require embryo rescue, which is labor intensive and has a low success rate. Recently a method was developed using increased photoperiod and foliar mineral supplement to reduce generation time for wheat and barley. We evaluated this newly published method in oat and found that anthesis occurred 15 ± 3 days faster, however there was a 3-fold reduction in seed count and a 2-fold reduction in inflorescence weight. In addition, we measured endogenous ascorbate to evaluate the physiological status of the plants under fast generation cycling conditions. For oat, fast generation cycling would be effective to more rapidly advance populations using single seed descent, but not as useful when seed yield is important.

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Authors: G. K. Bratspies, J. F. Smith, J. O. Hill and P. J. Derrick

A new tin dithiocarbamate containing sulphur bridges, di-μ-sulphidobis [bis(N,N-diethyldithiocarbamato)tin(IV)], has been isolated from the thermal decomposition of tetrakis(N,N-diethyldithiocarbamato)tin(IV). A dimeric structure is proposed on the basis of results from mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, thermal analysis and vapour pressure osmometry.

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Authors: Lisette M. Maico, Annie M. Burrows, M. P. Mooney, M. I. Siegel, K. P. Bhatnagar and T. D. Smith

Most studies on mammalian vomeronasal organ (VNO) have been on laboratory-bred animals. Our present study examines the VNO in wild-caught meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus; n=16) and prairie voles (M. ochrogaster; n=15). These species vary in their mating strategies and degree of parental care by males. M. ochrogaster exhibits pair bonding and more paternal care compared to M. pennsylvanicus, a promiscuous species. We hypothesize that sexual dimorphism will occur in the promiscuous species based on previous studies which suggest that those who exhibit more aggressive or masculine behavior have larger VNOs. Our results support our original finding that VNOs are not different in size in wild Microtus spp. that vary in male parental tendencies. However, the present study also indicates that M. pennsylvanicus, the species exhibiting more disparate parental tendencies, exhibited larger VNOs in females than males. This is the reverse of previous findings on rats, and we hypothesize that this difference may be due to mate selectivity and/or maternal aggression.

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Authors: M. Douglas, J. Friese, L. Greenwood, O. Farmer, M. Thomas, T. Maiti, E. Finn, S. Garofoli, P. Gassman, M. Huff, S. Schulte, S. Smith, K. Thomas and P. Bachelor

Abstract  

Quantitative measurement of fission and activation products resulting from neutron irradiation of fissile materials is of interest for applications in environmental monitoring, nuclear waste management, and national security. Based on established separation processes involving co-precipitation, solvent extraction, and ion-exchange and extraction chromatography, we have optimized a proposed sequence of separation steps to allow for the timely quantification of analytes of interest. We have recently evaluated this scheme using an irradiated sample to examine the adequacy of separations for measurement of desired analytes by gamma spectrometry. Here we present the radiochemical separations utilized and the yields and purity obtained.

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