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The debate about whether replication studies should become mainstream is essentially driven by disagreements about their costs and benefits and the best ways to allocate limited resources. Determining when replications are worthwhile requires quantifying their expected utility. We argue that a formalized framework for such evaluations can be useful for both individual decision-making and collective discussions about replication.
Prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA) enhances the risk for later development of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). An altered gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) system may be a key factor in ASD. Here we investigated possible changes in the GABA system in rats exposed to a low dose of prenatal VPA.
We performed autoradiography with [3H]muscimol, (a GABAA receptor agonist), and [11C]Ro15-4513 (a partial agonist of the GABAA α1+5 receptor subtypes), in brain sections containing amygdala, thalamus and hippocampus of rats treated prenatally with 20 mg/kg VPA or saline from the 12th day of gestation.
Prenatal VPA significantly increased [11C]Ro15-4513 binding in the left amygdala compared with controls (p<0.05). This difference was not observed in the hippocampus, thalamus or right amygdala. No differences were observed in [3H]muscimol binding.
We observed an asymmetric increase in GABAA receptor binding. Disturbances in the GABAA receptor system have also been detected in human autism with [11C]Ro15-4513.
Radiation damage experiments are being performed with pyrochlore and zirconolite in support of the disposition of surplus weapons-ready Pu. Pyrochlore becomes amorphous in approximately 1 year from the alpha recoil damage of ∼ 1018 alphas/g from the decay of 238Pu. The dissolution rate of 238Pu-bearing ceramics increases with increasing radiation damage as measured in a 3 d MCC-1 test at 90°C. Over the same period, zirconolite retains substantial crystallinity albeit with broadened diffraction peaks. The dissolution rate also increases with increasing radiation damage.
We have recently found that uranium and plutonium metals will react with nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) at temperatures below 120°C. These are the first reported instances of such low temperature fluorination reactions using NF3 and implicate metal catalyzed dissociation of the NF3 bond. We additionally present preliminary evidences for a surface mediated product distribution. Reaction of uranium metal with NF3 promotes products that are apparently determined by the concentration of the fluorinating reagent between temperatures of 60 to 120°C.
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