Matching Items (6)

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Unearthing the Antibacterial Mechanism of Medicinal Clay: A Geochemical Approach to Combating Antibiotic Resistance

Description

Natural antibacterial clays, when hydrated and applied topically, kill human pathogens including antibiotic resistant strains proliferating worldwide. Only certain clays are bactericidal; those containing soluble reduced metals and expandable clay

Natural antibacterial clays, when hydrated and applied topically, kill human pathogens including antibiotic resistant strains proliferating worldwide. Only certain clays are bactericidal; those containing soluble reduced metals and expandable clay minerals that absorb cations, providing a capacity for extended metal release and production of toxic hydroxyl radicals. Here we show the critical antibacterial components are soluble Fe[superscript 2+] and Al[superscript 3+] that synergistically attack multiple cellular systems in pathogens normally growth-limited by Fe supply. This geochemical process is more effective than metal solutions alone and provides an alternative antibacterial strategy to traditional antibiotics. Advanced bioimaging methods and genetic show that Al[superscript 3+] misfolds cell membrane proteins, while Fe[superscript 2+] evokes membrane oxidation and enters the cytoplasm inflicting hydroxyl radical attack on intracellular proteins and DNA. The lethal reaction precipitates Fe[superscript 3+]-oxides as biomolecular damage proceeds. Discovery of this bactericidal mechanism demonstrated by natural clays should guide designs of new mineral-based antibacterial agents.

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  • 2016-01-08

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Mineralogical variables that control the antibacterial effectiveness of a natural clay deposit

Description

As antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains emerge and pose increased global health risks, new antibacterial agents are needed as alternatives to conventional antimicrobials. Naturally occurring antibacterial clays have been identified which are

As antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains emerge and pose increased global health risks, new antibacterial agents are needed as alternatives to conventional antimicrobials. Naturally occurring antibacterial clays have been identified which are effective in killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study examines a hydrothermally formed antibacterial clay deposit near Crater Lake, OR (USA). Our hypothesis is that antibacterial clays buffer pH and Eh conditions to dissolve unstable mineral phases containing transition metals (primarily Fe[superscript 2+]), while smectite interlayers serve as reservoirs for time release of bactericidal components. Model pathogens (Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Staphylococcus epidermidis ATCC 14990) were incubated with clays from different alteration zones of the hydrothermal deposit. In vitro antibacterial susceptibility testing showed that reduced mineral zones were bactericidal, while more oxidized zones had variable antibacterial effect. TEM images showed no indication of cell lysis. Cytoplasmic condensation and cell wall accumulations of <100 nm particles were seen within both bacterial populations. Electron energy loss analysis indicates precipitation of intracellular Fe[superscript 3+]-oxide nanoparticles (<10 nm) in E. coli after 24 h. Clay minerals and pyrite buffer aqueous solutions to pH 2.5–3.1, Eh > 630 mV and contain elevated level (mM) of soluble Fe (Fe[superscript 2+] and Fe[superscript 3+]) and Al[superscript 3+]. Our interpretation is that rapid uptake of Fe[superscript 2+] impairs bacterial metabolism by flooding the cell with excess Fe[superscript 2+] and overwhelming iron storage proteins. As the intracellular Fe[superscript 2+] oxidizes, it produces reactive oxygen species that damage biomolecules and precipitates Fe-oxides. The ability of antibacterial clays to buffer pH and Eh in chronic non-healing wounds to conditions of healthy skin appears key to their healing potential and viability as an alternative to conventional antibiotics.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-01

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Exploring Carbon-bearing Matter in an Antarctic Micrometeorite

Description

TAM19B-7 is the largest, unmelted fine-grained micrometeorite found to date. It has carbonaceous chondritic origins, but the oxygen isotopic composition does not match any known parent bodies. Additionally, carbon-bearing matter

TAM19B-7 is the largest, unmelted fine-grained micrometeorite found to date. It has carbonaceous chondritic origins, but the oxygen isotopic composition does not match any known parent bodies. Additionally, carbon-bearing matter and isotopic composition has been extensively characterized in meteorites, but this work has not been done yet for micrometeorites. Using the NanoSIMS 50 L instrument, the bulk δ13C for TAM19B-7 was found to be 3 + 8‰, and four anomalous spots were identified with δ13C values of 12.9‰, 16.8‰, 32.7‰, and -27.1‰.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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The effects of chemical weathering on thermal-infrared spectral data and models: implications for aqueous processes on the Martian surface

Description

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on the surface and their abundances can elucidate information about past aqueous processes. Thermal-infrared (TIR) data and their respective models are essential for interpreting Martian mineralogy and geologic history. However, previous studies have shown that chemical weathering and the precipitation of fine-grained secondary silicates can adversely affect the accuracy of TIR spectral models. Furthermore, spectral libraries used to identify minerals on the Martian surface lack some important weathering products, including poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates like allophane, thus eliminating their identification in TIR spectral models. It is essential to accurately interpret TIR spectral data from chemically weathered surfaces to understand the evolution of aqueous processes on Mars. Laboratory experiments were performed to improve interpretations of TIR data from weathered surfaces. To test the accuracy of deriving chemistry of weathered rocks from TIR spectroscopy, chemistry was derived from TIR models of weathered basalts from Baynton, Australia and compared to actual weathering rind chemistry. To determine how specific secondary silicates affect the TIR spectroscopy of weathered basalts, mixtures of basaltic minerals and small amounts of secondary silicates were modeled. Poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates were synthesized and their TIR spectra were added to spectral libraries. Regional Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) data were modeled using libraries containing these poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates to test for their presence on the Mars. Chemistry derived from models of weathered Baynton basalts is not accurate, but broad chemical weathering trends can be interpreted from the data. TIR models of mineral mixtures show that small amounts of crystalline and amorphous silicate weathering products (2.5-5 wt.%) can be detected in TIR models and can adversely affect modeled plagioclase abundances. Poorly-crystalline aluminosilicates are identified in Northern Acidalia, Solis Planum, and Meridiani. Previous studies have suggested that acid sulfate weathering was the dominant surface alteration process for the past 3.5 billion years; however, the identification of allophane indicates that alteration at near-neutral pH occurred on regional scales and that acid sulfate weathering is not the only weathering process on Mars.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Extinct radionuclides in the early Solar System: the initial Solar System abundance of ⁶⁰Fe from angrites and unequilibrated ordinary chondrites and ²⁶Al-²⁶Mg chronology of ungrouped achondrites

Description

The presence of a number of extinct radionuclides in the early Solar System (SS) is known from geochemical and isotopic studies of meteorites and their components. The half-lives of these

The presence of a number of extinct radionuclides in the early Solar System (SS) is known from geochemical and isotopic studies of meteorites and their components. The half-lives of these isotopes are short relative to the age of the SS, such that they have now decayed to undetectable levels. They can be inferred to exist in the early SS from the presence of their daughter nuclides in meteoritic materials that formed while they were still extant. The extinct radionuclides are particularly useful as fine-scale chronometers for events in the early SS. They can also be used to help constrain the astrophysical setting of the formation of the SS because their short half-lives and unique formation environments yield information about the sources and timing of delivery of material to the protoplanetary disk. Some extinct radionuclides are considered evidence that the Sun interacted with a massive star (supernova) early in its history. The abundance of 60Fe in the early SS is particularly useful for constraining the astrophysical environment of the Sun's formation because, if present in sufficient abundance, its only likely source is injection from a nearby supernova. The initial SS abundance of 60Fe is poorly constrained at the present time, with estimates varying by 1-2 orders of magnitude. I have determined the 60Fe-60Ni isotope systematics of ancient, well-preserved meteorites using high-precision mass spectrometry to better constrain the initial SS abundance of 60Fe. I find identical estimates of the initial 60Fe abundance from both differentiated basaltic meteorites and from components of primitive chondrites formed in the Solar nebula, which suggest a lower 60Fe abundance than other recent estimates. With recent improved meteorite collection efforts there are more rare ungrouped meteorites being found that hold interesting clues to the origin and evolution of early SS objects. I use the 26Al-26Mg extinct radionuclide chronometer to constrain the ages of several recently recovered meteorites that sample previously unknown asteroid lithologies, including the only know felsic meteorite from an asteroid and two other ungrouped basaltic achondrites. These results help broaden our understanding of the timescales involved in igneous differentiation processes in the early SS.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The petrogenesis of angrites and martian meteorites inferred from isotope and trace element systematics

Description

The present understanding of the formation and evolution of the earliest bodies in the Solar System is based in large part on geochemical and isotopic evidences contained within meteorites. The

The present understanding of the formation and evolution of the earliest bodies in the Solar System is based in large part on geochemical and isotopic evidences contained within meteorites. The differentiated meteorites (meteorites originating from bodies that have experienced partial to complete melting) are particularly useful for deciphering magmatic processes occurring in the early Solar System. A rare group of differentiated meteorites, the angrites, are uniquely suited for such work. The angrites have ancient crystallization ages, lack secondary processing, and have been minimally affected by shock metamorphism, thus allowing them to retain their initial geochemical and isotopic characteristics at the time of formation. The scarcity of angrite samples made it difficult to conduct comprehensive investigations into the formation history of this unique meteorite group. However, a dramatic increase in the number of angrites recovered in recent years presents the opportunity to expand our understanding of their petrogenesis, as well as further refine our knowledge of the initial isotopic abundances in the early Solar System as recorded by their isotopic systematics. Using a combination of geochemical tools (radiogenic isotope chronometers and trace element chemistry), I have investigated the petrogenetic history of a group of four angrites that sample a range of formation conditions (cooling histories) and crystallization ages. Through isotope ratio measurements, I have examined a comprehensive set of long- and short-lived radiogenic isotope systems (26Al-26Mg, 87Rb-87Sr, 146Sm-142Nd, 147Sm-143Nd, and 176Lu-176Hf) within these four angrites. The results of these measurements provide information regarding crystallization ages, as well as revised estimates for the initial isotopic abundances of several key elements in the early Solar System. The determination of trace element concentrations in individual mineral phases, as well as bulk rock samples, provides important constraints on magmatic processes occurring on the angrite parent body. The measured trace element abundances are used to estimate the composition of the parent melts of individual angrites, examine crystallization conditions, and investigate possible geochemical affinities between various angrites. The new geochemical and isotopic measurements presented here significantly expand our understanding of the geochemical conditions found on the angrite parent body and the environment in which these meteorites formed.

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Date Created
  • 2012