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Oganesson: a most unusual ‘inert gas’

Posted on 19. July, 2018.

Oganesson, with the symbol Og, is the artificially prepared (i.e. ‘man-made’) elementwith atomic number 118, previously known as eka-radon or Uuo (‘ununoctium’), and recently ‘blessed’ with an official name by IUPAC3. Atoms of the element were first produced using the U400 cyclotron at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna, Russia, via a heavy-ion fusion reaction utilising collision of a 4820Ca beam with a 24998Cf target. 

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Effect of reactivity on kinetics and a mechanistic investigation of the reaction between dimethyl acetylenedicarboxylate and 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds in the presence of a catalyst: a spectrophotometric approach

Posted on 7. May, 2018.

A kinetic and mechanistic investigation, using conventional UV-Vis spectrophotometry, of the reaction between dimethyl acetylenedicarboxylate (DMAD) and 1,3-dicarbonyl compounds including acetylacetone (ACAC) and dibenzoylmethane (DBM), has been conducted in a methanol environment with triphenylarsine (TPA) acting as a catalyst. 

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Now available on Fast Track: Composition of bird nests is a species-specific characteristic

Posted on 4. May, 2018.

Bird nests represent an extended phenotype of individuals expressed during reproduction and so exhibit variability in  composition, structure and function. Descriptions of nests based on qualitative observations suggest that there is interspecific variation in size and composition but there are very few species in which this has been confirmed. For these species, data of the amounts of different materials indicate that nest construction behaviour is plastic and affected by a variety of factors, such as prevailing temperature, geographic location, and availability of materials. 

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Current Commentary: Doing away with variables

Posted on 3. May, 2018.

In primary school we do our sums, and these involve much more than just addition: there is also subtraction, ultiplication, and long division to be reckoned with. But it is always a numbers game, until a friendly teenager shows us their homework, in which the sums involve letters. 

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Now available on Fast Track: Testis size and asymmetry in the Guinea Fowl (Numida meleagris): a test of the compensation hypothesis

Posted on 2. May, 2018.

Despite numerous studies on testicular asymmetry in birds, there are still inconsistent reports on the pattern of asymmetry in species belonging to various phylogenetic groups and exhibiting diverse lifestyles. In addition, there is a lack of clarity on whether functional differences exist between the left and right testes despite differences in size, as well as no evidence of naturally occurring compensation in testis size in terrestrial and galliform birds. 

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An Open Access article: A compact reaction mechanism of methane oxidation at high pressures

Posted on 27. April, 2018.

In the past decade, there has been increasing interest in fuel propellants for in-space and launcher rocket propulsion that reduce the operational cost of launching and improve rocket operating efficiency and performance. Hydrogen provides the best performance in terms of specific impulse at a high cost for the rocket engine while kerosene provides a cost optimised option for the launch vehicle. 

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Now available on Fast Track: Consequences of multi-scale habitat selection on reproductive success of riverine sandbar-nesting birds in Cambodia

Posted on 26. April, 2018.

Habitat selection occurs at multiple spatial scales and affects demographic processes including reproductive success. Few studies, however, have linked multi-scale habitat selection to reproductive success. We investigated breeding habitat selection at three spatial scales (nest site, nest area and territory), and the consequences of habitat selection on reproductive success of four riverine sandbar-nesting bird species in Cambodia. 

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Global restriction of using antibiotic growth promoters and alternative strategies in poultry production

Posted on 24. April, 2018.

The use of antibiotics in animal and poultry feed has been a global practice since the middle of the last century. Antibiotics are used both at therapeutic and subtherapeutic levels to promote growth and feed efficiency. However, judicial use of antibiotics in food animals for growth promotion and disease prevention has been controversial for a long time due to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in animals and humans, resulting in treatment failure when needed.

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Now available on Fast Track: Egg size and shape variation in Rufous Bush Chats (Cercotrichas galactotes) breeding in date palm plantations: hatching success increases with egg elongation

Posted on 23. April, 2018.

In oviparous taxa such as birds, clutch characteristics (e.g. egg size, egg mass and the number of eggs) can be considered as energetic investment in reproduction. In this paper, we study variation in the principal component indices of egg size and shape in Rufous Bush Chats (Cercotrichas galactotes) breeding in date palm plantations in the Al Amri Oasis, north Algeria, in 2008–2009 and 2011–2013.

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