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  1. null (Ed.)
    The surfaces of rocky planets are mostly covered by basaltic crust, but Earth is unique in that it also has extensive regions of felsic crust, manifested in the form of continents. Exactly how felsic crust forms when basaltic magmas are the dominant products of melting the mantles of rocky planets is unclear. A fundamental part of the debate is centered on the low Nb/Ta of Earth’s continental crust (11–13) compared to basalts (15–16). Here, we show that during arc magma differentiation, the extent of Nb/Ta fractionation varies with crustal thickness with the lowest Nb/Ta seen in continental arc magmas. Deep arc cumulates (arclogites) are found to have high Nb/Ta (average ~19) due to the presence of high Nb/Ta magmatic rutiles. We show that the crustal thickness control of Nb/Ta can be explained by rutile saturation being favored at higher pressures. Deep-seated magmatic differentiation, such as in continental arcs and other magmatic orogens, is thus necessary for making continents. 
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  2. Abstract

    Unregulated private wells are understudied potential sources of community-acquired Legionnaires’ disease. Here we conducted a comprehensive survey of 44 homes supplied by private wells in Wake County, North Carolina, quantifying Legionella spp. DNA, Legionella pneumophila DNA, and total bacterial 16S rRNA genes via real-time polymerase chain reaction in hot and cold drinking water samples, along with culturable L. pneumophila via IDEXX Legiolert in cold drinking water samples. Legionella spp. DNA, L. pneumophila DNA and culturable L. pneumophila were detected in 100, 65·5 and 15·9% of the 44 homes, respectively, and culturable levels were comparable to some municipal surveys applying the same methods. Total coliforms and Escherichia coli were monitored as representative faecal indicators and were found in 20·4 and 0·0% of homes. Within certain sample types, Legionella spp. and L. pneumophila gene copy numbers were positively associated with total bacteria (i.e. total 16S rRNA genes) and water softener use, but were not associated with faecal indicator bacteria, inorganic water parameters or other well characteristics. These findings confirm that occurrence of Legionella and L. pneumophila is highly variable in private wells.

    Significance and Impact of the Study

    Legionella is the leading identified cause of waterborne disease outbreaks associated with US municipal water systems. While Legionella is known to occur naturally in groundwater, prior efforts to characterize its occurrence in unregulated private wells are limited to sampling at the wellhead and not in the home plumbing where Legionella can thrive. This work documents much higher levels of Legionella in home plumbing versus water directly from private wells and examines factors associated with higher Legionella occurrence.

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