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  1. Bumble bee queens initiate nests solitarily and transition to living socially once they successfully rear their first cohort of offspring. Bumble bees are disproportionately important for early season pollination, and many populations are experiencing dramatic declines. In this system, the onset of the social stage is critical for nest survival, yet the mechanisms that facilitate this transition remain understudied. Further, the majority of conservation efforts target the social stage of the bumble bee life cycle and do not address the solitary founding stage. We experimentally manipulated the timing of worker emergence in young nests of bumble bee (Bombus impatiens) queensmore »to determine whether and how queen fecundity and survival are impacted by the emergence of workers in the nest. We found that queens with workers added to the nest exhibit increased ovary activation, accelerated egg laying, elevated juvenile hormone (JH) titres and also lower mortality relative to solitary queens. We also show that JH is more strongly impacted by the social environment than associated with queen reproductive state, suggesting that this key regulator of insect reproduction has expanded its function in bumble bees to also influence social organization. We further demonstrate that these effects are independent of queen social history, suggesting that this underlying mechanism promoting queen fecundity is reversible and short lived. Synchronization between queen reproductive status and emergence of workers in the nest may ultimately increase the likelihood of early nesting success in social systems with solitary nest founding. Given that bumble bee workers regulate queen physiology as we have demonstrated, the timing of early worker emergence in the nest likely impacts queen fitness, colony developmental trajectories and ultimately nesting success. Collectively, our findings underline the importance of conservation interventions for bumble bees that support the early nesting period and facilitate the production and maintenance of workers in young nests« less
  2. Local thermal magnetization fluctuations in Li-doped MnTe are found to increase its thermopower α strongly at temperatures up to 900 K. Below the Néel temperature ( T N ~ 307 K), MnTe is antiferromagnetic, and magnon drag contributes α md to the thermopower, which scales as ~ T 3 . Magnon drag persists into the paramagnetic state up to >3 × T N because of long-lived, short-range antiferromagnet-like fluctuations (paramagnons) shown by neutron spectroscopy to exist in the paramagnetic state. The paramagnon lifetime is longer than the charge carrier–magnon interaction time; its spin-spin spatial correlation length is larger than themore »free-carrier effective Bohr radius and de Broglie wavelength. Thus, to itinerant carriers, paramagnons look like magnons and give a paramagnon-drag thermopower. This contribution results in an optimally doped material having a thermoelectric figure of merit ZT > 1 at T > ~900 K, the first material with a technologically meaningful thermoelectric energy conversion efficiency from a spin-caloritronic effect.« less
  3. This study proposes a novel disinfection process by sequential application of peracetic acid (PAA) and ultra-violet light (UV), on the basis of elucidation of disinfection mechanisms under UV/PAA. Results show that hydroxyl radicals, generated by UV-activated PAA, contribute to the enhanced inactivation of Escherichia coli under UV/PAA compared to PAA alone or UV alone. Furthermore, the location of hydroxyl radical generation is a critical factor. Unlike UV/H2O2, which generates hydroxyl radicals mainly in the bulk solution, the hydroxyl radicals under UV/PAA are produced close to or inside E. coli cells, due to PAA diffusion. Therefore, hydroxyl radicals exert significantly strongermore »disinfection power under UV/PAA than under UV/H2O2 conditions. Pre-exposing E. coli to PAA in the dark followed by application of UV (i.e., a PAA-UV/PAA process) promotes diffusion of PAA to the cells and achieves excellent disinfection efficiency while saving more than half of the energy cost associated with UV compared to simultaneous application of UV and PAA. The effectiveness of this new disinfection strategy has been demonstrated not only in lab water but also in wastewater matrices.« less
  4. Peracetic acid (PAA) is a widely used disinfectant, and combined UV light with PAA (i.e. UV/PAA) can be a novel advanced oxidation process for elimination of water contaminants. This study is among the first to evaluate the photolysis of PAA under UV irradiation (254 nm) and degradation of pharmaceuticals by UV/PAA. PAA exhibited high quantum yields (Φ254nm = 1.20 and 2.09 mol·Einstein−1 for the neutral (PAA0) and anionic (PAA-) species, respectively) and also showed scavenging effects on hydroxyl radicals (k•OH/PAA0 = (9.33±0.3)×108 M−1·s−1 and k•OH/PAA- = (9.97±2.3)×109 M−1·s−1). The pharmaceuticals were persistent with PAA alone but degraded rapidly by UV/PAA.more »The contributions of direct photolysis, hydroxyl radicals, and other radicals to pharmaceutical degradation under UV/PAA were systematically evaluated. Results revealed that •OH was the primary radical responsible for the degradation of carbamazepine and ibuprofen by UV/PAA, whereas CH3C(=O)O• and/or CH3C(=O)O2• contributed significantly to the degradation of naproxen and 2-naphthoxyacetic acid by UV/PAA in addition to •OH. The carbon-centered radicals generated from UV/PAA showed strong reactivity to oxidize certain naphthyl compounds. The new knowledge obtained in this study will facilitate further research and development of UV/PAA as a new degradation strategy for water contaminants.« less
  5. Peracetic acid (PAA) is a disinfection oxidant used in many industries including wastewater treatment. β-Lactams, a group of widely prescribed antibiotics, are frequently detected in wastewater effluent and in the natural aquatic environment. The reaction kinetics and transformation of seven β-lactams (cefalexin (CFX), cefadroxil (CFR), cefapirin (CFP), cephalothin (CFT), ampicillin (AMP), amoxicillin (AMX) and penicillin G (PG)) toward PAA were investigated to elucidate the behavior of β-lactams during PAA oxidation processes. The reaction follows second-order kinetics and is much faster at pH 5 and 7 than at pH 9 due to speciation of PAA. Reactivity to PAA follows the ordermore »of CFR ~ CFX > AMP ~ AMX > CFT ~ CFP ~ PG and is related to β-lactam’s nucleophilicity. The thioether sulfur of β-lactams is attacked by PAA to generate sulfoxide products. Presence of the phenylglycinyl amino group on β-lactams can significantly influence electron distribution and the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) location and energy in ways that enhance the reactivity to PAA. Reaction rate constants obtained in clean water matrix can be used to accurately model the decay of β-lactams by PAA in surface water matrix and only slightly overestimate the decay in wastewater matrix. Results of this study indicate that the oxidative transformation of β-lactams by PAA can be expected under appropriate wastewater treatment conditions.« less