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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Long-term change of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon deposition to peatlands of eastern Canada.

To date, studies about historic PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) deposition at a regional scale have rarely been published. To address this research gap, we sampled 17 ombrotrophic peatlands across eastern Canada. The peat cores from hollows were dated with 210Pb for the period of about 1850-2000 and analyzed fortheir PAH concentration, so PAH deposition could be reconstructed. Peat samples were extracted by accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). The extracts were purified by column chromatography with aluminum oxide and silica gel. PAH were measured by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). Overall reconstructed deposition rates of sigma-11 PAH ranged from 4 to 1432 microg m(-2) year(-1). Three different long-term trends in PAH deposition could be distinguished: sites with two separated periods of maximum PAH deposition, sites with one period of maximum PAH deposition, and sites with no clearly separated period of maximum PAH deposition. Increasing PAH depositions were caused by rapid industrialization accompanied by extensive use of fossil fuels; decreasing PAH depositions were caused by substitution of these fuels and movements of PAH emitting industry to different regions. At all sites either phenanthrene (20-60%) or benzo[b+k]fluoranthene (10-40%) was the predominant PAH. Detailed analysis of three bogs suggested that combustion of coal and vehicle exhausts mainly contributed to the peat PAH burden. The temporal trends of PAH deposition indicated that increases in the PAH deposition rates followed the industrial development in Canada, particularly in the periods 1880-1910 and 1940-1960. Recent abatement efforts were reflected in decreased PAH deposition rates to about 15% of the maximum.[1]


  1. Long-term change of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon deposition to peatlands of eastern Canada. Dreyer, A., Radke, M., Turunen, J., Blodau, C. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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