Natural compartmentalized chemical garden (hydrothermal mound) over an alkaline vent (exhaling sulfide containing solution) in the ancient Hadean carbonic ocean (anoxic and therefore enriched in dissolved Fe2+).
The existing Deccan Traps magmatic system underwent a state shift approximately coincident with the Chicxulub impact and the terminal-Cretaceous mass extinctions, after which ~70% of the Traps' total volume was extruded in more massive and more episodic eruptions.
the authors show that siderocalin, a mammalian siderophore-binding protein from the lipocalin family, specifically binds lanthanide and actinide complexes through molecular recognition of the ligands chelating the metal ions. Using crystallography, they structurally characterized the resulting siderocalin–transuranic actinide complexes, providing unprecedented insights into the biological coordination of heavy radioelements. In controlled in vitro assays, we found that intracellular plutonium uptake can occur through siderocalin-mediated endocytosis (see also: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/08/26/cellular-contamination-pathway-for-plutonium-other-heavy-elements-identified/).
For As(V), AFM results showed that it interacts strongly with the calcite surface, and XAS results showed that As(V) was mostly incorporated in the calcite structure. For As(III), AFM results showed much less impact on calcite growth and dissolution and less incorporation was observed. This was confirmed by XAS results that indicate that As(III) was partly oxidized into As(V) before being incorporated into calcite and the resulting calcite contained 36% As(III) and 64% As(V).
The August issue of Elements demonstrates the application of geochemistry to a variety of societally and economically important areas, including: mineral exploration; environmental mineralogy; environmental problems in cities, using London (England) as a case study; food industry authenticity; law enforcement; and medical advancements. A significant driver for the research described in all of these articles is analytical achievement and translating this to a societal application (http://www.geochemsoc.org/news/2015/08/11/elements-social-and-economic-impacts-geochemistry).
Washington, DC—New research from a team led by Carnegie’s Robert Hazen predicts that Earth has more than 1,500 undiscovered minerals and that the exact mineral diversity of our planet is unique and could not be duplicated anywhere in the cosmos. Minerals form from novel combinations of elements. These combinations can be facilitated by both geological activity, including volcanoes, plate tectonics, and water-rock interactions, and biological activity, such as chemical reactions with oxygen and organic material.
The natural green rusts are Zn-bearing pseudo-hexagonal platelets previously identified by the authors in the contaminated mine drainage of the former Ronneburg uranium mine in Germany (Johnson et al. 2014). They haf also identified Ni- and Cu-bearing green rust platelets in the sediment underlying the drainage outflow 20 m downstream, and, using dark-field transmission electron microscopy (DF-TEM), they had found that these natural green rusts are not usually structurally coherent single crystals.
(2015). Arsenic occurrence in Europe: emphasis in Greece and description of the applied full-scale treatment plants. Desalination and Water Treatment: Vol. 54, No. 8, pp. 2100-2107. doi: 10.1080/19443994.2014.933630
Ath Godelitsas's insight:
Arsenic-affected regions in Greece are classified mainly in three categories, namely, the geothermal-affected waters, the alluvial deposits of rivers and aquifers, and those influenced by mineralization and are typically close to mining activities. In Greece, arsenic concentrations in geothermal waters vary from 30 to 4,500 μg/L, in the regions close to alluvial deposits from 15 to 100 μg/L and in areas affected by mining activities from 20 to 60 μg/L. Arsenic-removal plants have been installed in several towns in Greece. The applied removal technologies are mainly based on chemical precipitation with FeClSO4 or adsorption onto iron oxide materials, such as Bayoxide, granular ferric hydroxide or AquAsZero.
The extraction of uranium from seawater is limited by the high concentrations of carbonate and competing metal ions. Now, a highly selective uranyl-binding protein with femtomolar affinity has been developed. This protein can extract up to 60% uranium from synthetic seawater when immobilized on bacterial cell surfaces or amylose resin.
Ath Godelitsas's insight:
The engineered protein is thermally stable and offers very high affinity and selectivity for uranyl with a Kd of 7.4 femtomolar (fM) and >10,000-fold selectivity over other metal ions.
The operating energy range encompasses a significant number of important K and L absorption edges for low- and medium-Z elements, and relatively thick (~10 – 20 μm) samples will be able to be studied with both absorption and phase contrast techniques, with lateral resolutions down to ~20 nm depending on the imaging mode.
Mineral grains were collected in the shallow soils of the Greater Sudbury area, Ontario, Canada, where large fluctuations in the soil pH have occurred during emissions of vast amounts of sulfuric acid and particulate matter (a result of decades of smelter activity in the Sudbury mining district) and subsequent reclamation efforts using lime and phosphates. Observations with HRTEM indicate that limited diffusion of elements in silicified Fe-hydroxide coatings has been the key to the preservation of a rarely observed mineralogy and chemistry.
Earth was a completely different planet more than 2.5 billion years ago. Little is known about this critical time when cratonic continental seeds formed; life emerged; and precious mineral resources concentrated.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in combination with the focused ion beam (FIB) technique and other analytical methods (SEM, XRD, XRF and ICP-OES) are used to characterize the chemical and mineralogical composition of phases within confined pore spaces of the clay minerals montmorillonite and kaolinite and in the surrounding tailings material.
Sb isotopic analysis is presented as a novel technique to examine the raw material used to opacify the earliest glass. It is demonstrated that Egyptian and Mesopotamian glass factories likely used an identical source of Sb, possibly originating from the Caucasus.
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