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Abstract  

A low-background -counter and a simple direct method, based on total -counting, have been developed in order to estimate the concentration of uranium at the g/g level in ordinary rock samples. The method is a relative one; international standards have been used for calibration. Only 3 g of rock powder is needed. Combining this method with -spectrometry, direct determination of238U (independently of226Ra) becomes possible near the above concentration level.

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Abstract  

Radioactivity of the nuclides238U(235U),232Th,226Ra,137Cs and40K was measured in soil by direct -ray spectrometry using Ge(Li) detector. Relative laboratory method was used. Soil was dired, powdered, sieved and put into hemetically sealed container. CCRMP certified reference materials and compounds of the above nuclides mixed with fine quartz sand were used as references. Five and four -lines were used for the determination of232Th and226Ra, respectively, to obtain more accurate results. The most significant interferences, caused by the limited energy resolution of the detector, were resolved. In the case of ordinary soils, using one day duration of measurement and 1 kg mass of soil,232Th,226Ra and40K can be determined with less than 10% relative random error. Elevated concentrations of238U(235U) and226Ra were observed in soil samples collected around a coal-fired power plant in Ajka town, Hungary.

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The morphology and histology of the cyathial nectary were studied in 8 European leafy spurge (Euphorbia) species, revealing that certain histological traits of the glands are in close correlation to each species’ habitat, underlining the importance of morphological evidences in determining relevant ecological tolerance spectra of plants.The structure of the cyathial glands was studied in longitudinal sections with light microscopy, and histological parameters were measured and statistically analyzed by appropriate softwares.The nectaries consist of a cuticle-covered epidermis, formed by palisade cells, under which the glandular tissue and parenchyma are composed of isodiametric and anisodiametric cells in all species. Thickness of cuticle, position of nectary stomata and number of rows comprising the glandular tissue vary to a great extent in plants living in xeric, humid or mesic habitats.Although all the studied anatomical features of the nectaries were expected to be in correspondence with the characteristics of habitat types, we have only found the number of glandular cell rows to be in strong correlation with the Ellenberg’s ecological indicator values on soil moisture, which varied with species. The recorded anatomical differences among the studied Euphorbia taxa emphasize the ecological significance of glandular tissue in plant adaptation, which can also be relevant for systematic purposes.

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Abstract  

Short-term fluctuations of indoor radon may occur due to weather conditions, seismic activity etc. These average out during the year. According to our measurements, in the very same room the yearly average of radon concentration may also change by 25–50% from year to year. This observation may make the comparison of indoor radon levels of houses measured in different years unjustified; large scale radon maps based upon such data are less reliable. Possible causes of such year-by-year changes are discussed empirically. The conclusions may be helpful to foresee long-term tendencies, implied by changes of living habits and by climatic shifts.

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Abstract  

Absorption method is shown to be suitable for direct determination of pure β-emitting, isotopes in samples containing more than one β-emitter. This method consists of (1) measurement of the β-counting rate as a function of the thickness of the absorber placed in between the sample and the β-detector and (2) decomposition of the complex absorption curve by computation in order to obtain the contributions of the nuclides to the total counting rate one by one. The method is presented through two examples of its practical application in the field of environmental radioanalysis:90Sr and147Pm isotopes were determined in aerosol samples contaminated by Chernobyl radioactivity and in hot particles of Chernobyl origin using a simple end-window Geiger-Müller counter as a β-detector.

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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: S. Papp, L. Kőrösi, B. Gool, T. Dederichs, P. Mela, M. Möller, and I. Dékány

Abstract  

Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) were prepared by the reduction of HAuCl4 acid incorporated into the polar core of poly(styrene)-block-poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PS-b-P2VP) copolymer micelles dissolved in toluene. The formation of Au NPs was controlled using three reducing agents with different strengths: hydrazine (HA), triethylsilane (TES), and potassium triethylborohydride (PTB). The formation of Au NPs was followed by transmission electron microscopy, UV–Vis spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), and dynamic light scattering (DLS). It was found that the strength of the reducing agent determined both the size and the rate of formation of the Au NPs. The average diameters of the Au NPs prepared by reduction with HA, TES, and PTB were 1.7, 2.6, and 8 nm, respectively. The reduction of Au(III) was rapid with HA and PTB. TES proved to be a mild reducing agent for the synthesis of Au NPs. DLS measurements demonstrated swelling of the PS-b-P2VP micelles due to the incorporation of HAuCl4 and the reducing agents. The original micellar structure rearranged during the reduction with PTB. ITC measurements revealed that some chemical reactions besides Au NPs formation also occurred in the course of the reduction process. The enthalpy of formation of Au NPs in PS-b-P2VP micelles reduced by HA was determined.

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Earlier neurochemical studies suggested that human brain carboxypeptidase B may play a significant role in the degradation of amyloid-β1-42 in the brain. Using an immunohistochemical technique we report here on the neuronal expression and distribution of this enzyme in the segments (CA1a, CA1b and CA1c) of the CA1 subfield and in area CA4 of the hippocampus in normal and Alzheimer's disease brain samples. Its distribution was compared with the appearance of neurofibrillary tangles in the same brain sample. For immunohistochemical localization of carboxypeptidase B, a specific C14-module antibody was applied, together with the Gallyas silver impregnation technique for the demonstration of neurofibrillary tangles. The results revealed that, in the control samples, most of the immunoreactivity appeared in segment CA1a in the pyramidal cells, less in segment CA1b and least in segment CA1c. In the Alzheimer's disease samples, there was no particular immunostaining in the neurons, but, a large number of silver-impregnated degenerated neurons appeared. The results support the suggestion that carboxypeptidase B may play a significant role in elimination of the intracellular accumulation and toxicity of amyloid-β in the human brain and thereby protect the neurons from degeneration.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: S. Balogh, F. Hajnal, B. Belec, M. Kómár, R. Papp, L. Nagymajtényi, and E. Paulik

Several risk factors of diet-related diseases are present in the nutrition of the Hungarian population. The aim of the study was to investigate the health status and the association of the daily consumption of fruits and vegetables as indicators of healthy diet with sociodemographic factors, health behaviours in the south-eastern part of Hungary. In 2002, a cross-sectional study based on interviewer-administered questionnaires was conducted in the south-eastern part of Hungary. The sample comprised of 3419 people, aged between 15 and 75, with about 40 persons from each practice. The results demonstrated that fruit and vegetable consumption of the studied population were determined by certain demographical, economical and lifestyle factors, and were also associated with self-assessed health and health status.  Altering the habits of nutrition is an integral part of health intervention programs. Success rate may, however, be largely reduced by the social and economic background of the habits in question.

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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors: Anna Resetár, Zita Demeter, Emese Ficsor, Andrea Balázs, Ágnes Mosolygó, Éva Szőke, S. Gonda, L. Papp, G. Surányi, and C. Máthé

In this study, we report on the production of bulb scale-derived tissue cultures capable of efficient shoot and plant regeneration in three genotypes of snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis L., Amaryllidaceae), a protected ornamental plant. For culture line A, high auxin and low cytokinin concentration is required for callus production and plant regeneration. The type of auxin is of key importance: α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) in combination with indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) at concentrations of 2 mg L−1 or 2–10 mg L−1 NAA with 1 mg L−1 N6-benzyladenine (BA), a cytokinin on full-strength media are required for regeneration. Cultures showing regeneration were embryogenic. When lines B and C were induced and maintained with 2 mg L−1 NAA and 1 mg L−1 BA, they produced mature bulblets with shoots, without roots. Line A produced immature bulblets with shoots under the above culture condition. Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) analysis showed that (i) genetic differences between line A and its bulb explants were not significant, therefore these tissue cultures are suitable for germplasm preservation, and (ii) different morphogenetic responses of lines A, B and C originated from genetic differences. Culture line A is suitable for field-growing, cultivation and germplasm preservation of G. nivalis and for the production of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids.

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