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  • Shrub expansion modulates belowground impacts of changing snow conditions in alpine grasslands

    editor: Crowther, Thomas; Broadbent, Arthur A. D.; orcid: 0000-0002-8438-7163; email: arthur.broadbent@manchester.ac.uk; Bahn, Michael; Pritchard, William J.; Newbold, Lindsay K.; Goodall, Tim; Guinta, Andrew; Snell, Helen S. K.; Cordero, Irene; Michas, Antonios; et al. (2021-10-27)
    Abstract: Climate change is disproportionately impacting mountain ecosystems, leading to large reductions in winter snow cover, earlier spring snowmelt and widespread shrub expansion into alpine grasslands. Yet, the combined effects of shrub expansion and changing snow conditions on abiotic and biotic soil properties remains poorly understood. We used complementary field experiments to show that reduced snow cover and earlier snowmelt have effects on soil microbial communities and functioning that persist into summer. However, ericaceous shrub expansion modulates a number of these impacts and has stronger belowground effects than changing snow conditions. Ericaceous shrub expansion did not alter snow depth or snowmelt timing but did increase the abundance of ericoid mycorrhizal fungi and oligotrophic bacteria, which was linked to decreased soil respiration and nitrogen availability. Our findings suggest that changing winter snow conditions have cross‐seasonal impacts on soil properties, but shifts in vegetation can modulate belowground effects of future alpine climate change.
  • Housing market spillovers through the lens of transaction volume: A new spillover index approach

    Yang, Jian; Tong, Meng; Yu, Ziliang (Elsevier, 2021-10-25)
    Proposing and applying a new spillover index approach based on data-determined structural vector autoregression to measure connectedness, we examine the daily housing market information transmission via transaction volume among Chinese city-level housing markets from 2009 to 2018. We document substantial information transmission on Chinese housing markets even within one day and find that the role a city-level housing market may play in the information transmission network resembles a pattern observed on other financial markets, which can be generally classified into three distinctive groups: prime senders, exchange centers, and prime receivers. City hierarchy and some fundamental economic factors, such as GDP per capita and average wage, appear to be significant determinants of such a pattern. The findings extend the existing voluminous literature solely based on housing prices or price volatility spillovers and shed new light on the China’s government intervention strategy on the housing market.
  • Divergent clonal evolution of blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia from a shared TET2-mutated origin

    Batta, Kiran; orcid: 0000-0002-3494-0979; email: kiran.batta@manchester.ac.uk; Bossenbroek, Hasse M.; orcid: 0000-0002-6649-5363; Pemmaraju, Naveen; Wilks, Deepti P.; Chasty, Richard; Dennis, Mike; Milne, Paul; orcid: 0000-0002-8278-0463; Collin, Matthew; orcid: 0000-0001-6585-9586; Beird, Hannah C.; orcid: 0000-0002-5078-534X; Taylor, Justin; orcid: 0000-0003-4407-6325; et al. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-04-08)
  • The Fidelity of Training in Behaviour Change Techniques to Intervention Design in a National Diabetes Prevention Programme

    Hawkes, Rhiannon E.; orcid: 0000-0003-0479-8163; Cameron, Elaine; orcid: 0000-0002-8959-5148; Miles, Lisa M.; orcid: 0000-0002-8971-125X; French, David P.; orcid: 0000-0002-7663-7804; email: David.French@manchester.ac.uk (Springer US, 2021-02-09)
    Abstract: Background: The National Health Service Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS-DPP) is a behavioural intervention for people identified as high risk for developing type 2 diabetes that has been rolled out across England. The present study evaluates whether the four commercial providers of the NHS-DPP train staff to deliver behaviour change technique (BCT) content with fidelity to intervention plans. Method: One set of mandatory training courses across the four NHS-DPP providers (seven courses across 13 days) was audio-recorded, and all additional training materials used were collected. Recordings and training materials were coded for BCT content using the BCT Taxonomy v1. BCTs and depth of training (e.g. instruction, demonstration, practice) of BCT content was checked against providers’ intervention plans. Results: Ten trainers and 78 trainees were observed, and 12 documents examined. The number of unique BCTs in audio recordings and associated training materials ranged from 19 to 44 across providers, and staff were trained in 53 unique BCTs across the whole NHS-DPP. Staff were trained in 66% of BCTs that were in intervention plans, though two providers trained staff in approximately half of BCTs to be delivered. The most common way that staff were trained in BCT delivery was through instruction. Training delivery style (e.g. experiential versus educational) varied between providers. Conclusion: Observed training evidences dilution from providers’ intervention plans. NHS-DPP providers should review their training to ensure staff are trained in all key intervention components, ensuring thorough training of BCTs (e.g. demonstrating and practicing how to deliver) to enhance BCT delivery.
  • Developing genetic counselling services in an underdeveloped healthcare setting

    Ciucă, Andrada; Moldovan, Ramona; email: ramona.moldovan@manchester.ac.uk; Băban, Adriana (Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2021-09-20)
    Abstract: Genetic counselling services are well established in North America, Western Europe and Australia. In other regions, genetic counselling services are still emerging. Where this is the case, an in-depth understanding of the main stakeholders’ needs, challenges and opportunities will inform the changes and innovations required to bring genetic counselling closer to the community. The present study explored the needs and challenges of patients, family members and professionals with a view to setting up a cancer genetic counselling service in Romania. In order to get a comprehensive outlook, key stakeholders were interviewed using data source triangulation method. Thirty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted (13 patients, 11 family members and 10 professionals). Thematic analysis was used to explore and identify needs, barriers and opportunities in emerging cancer genetic counselling services. Three major themes were identified: (1) the “Needs” theme mainly focuses on various types of support that participants mentioned wanting: psychosocial, peer and additional support; (2) the “Challenges” theme includes aspects related to limited access to healthcare, lack of integrated services and pressure on the families; (3) the “Hopes” theme highlights the wish for integrated healthcare and an empathic rapport with healthcare providers. Our findings highlighted the main needs, challenges and hopes the patients, family members and professionals have and provides the groundwork for setting up cancer genetic counselling services.
  • Impact of COVID-19 restrictions on diabetes health checks and prescribing for people with type 2 diabetes: a UK-wide cohort study involving 618 161 people in primary care.

    Carr, Matthew J; orcid: 0000-0001-7336-1606; email: matthew.carr@manchester.ac.uk; Wright, Alison K; orcid: 0000-0002-8418-8332; Leelarathna, Lalantha; orcid: 0000-0001-9602-1962; Thabit, Hood; orcid: 0000-0001-6076-6997; Milne, Nicola; Kanumilli, Naresh; Ashcroft, Darren M; orcid: 0000-0002-2958-915X; Rutter, Martin K; orcid: 0000-0001-6380-539X (2021-10-12)
    To compare rates of performing National Institute for Health and Care Excellence-recommended health checks and prescribing in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D), before and after the first COVID-19 peak in March 2020, and to assess whether trends varied by age, sex, ethnicity and deprivation. We studied 618 161 people with T2D followed between March and December 2020 from 1744 UK general practices registered with the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We focused on six health checks: haemoglobin A1c, serum creatinine, cholesterol, urinary albumin excretion, blood pressure and body mass index assessment. Regression models compared observed rates in April 2020 and between March and December 2020 with trend-adjusted expected rates derived from 10-year historical data. In April 2020, in English practices, rates of performing health checks were reduced by 76%-88% when compared with 10-year historical trends, with older people from deprived areas experiencing the greatest reductions. Between May and December 2020, the reduced rates recovered gradually but overall remained 28%-47% lower, with similar findings in other UK nations. Extrapolated to the UK population, there were ~7.4 million fewer care processes undertaken March-December 2020. In England, rates for new medication fell during April with reductions varying from 10% (95% CI: 4% to 16%) for antiplatelet agents to 60% (95% CI: 58% to 62%) for antidiabetic medications. Overall, between March and December 2020, the rate of prescribing new diabetes medications fell by 19% (95% CI: 15% to 22%) and new antihypertensive medication prescribing fell by 22% (95% CI: 18% to 26%), but prescribing of new lipid-lowering or antiplatelet therapy was unchanged. Similar trends were observed across the UK, except for a reduction in new lipid-lowering therapy prescribing in the other UK nations (reduction: 16% (95% CI: 10% to 21%)). Extrapolated to the UK population, between March and December 2020, there were ~31 800 fewer people with T2D prescribed a new type of diabetes medication and ~14 600 fewer prescribed a new type of antihypertensive medication. Over the coming months, healthcare services will need to manage this backlog of testing and prescribing. We recommend effective communications to ensure patient engagement with diabetes services, monitoring and opportunities for prescribing, and when appropriate use of home monitoring, remote consultations and other innovations in care. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.]
  • Exceptional uranium(VI)-nitride triple bond covalency from <sup>15</sup>N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and quantum chemical analysis.

    Du, Jingzhen; orcid: 0000-0003-4037-9281; Seed, John A; orcid: 0000-0002-3751-0325; Berryman, Victoria E J; Kaltsoyannis, Nikolas; Adams, Ralph W; orcid: 0000-0001-8009-5334; email: ralph.adams@manchester.ac.uk; Lee, Daniel; orcid: 0000-0002-1015-0980; email: daniel.lee@manchester.ac.uk; Liddle, Stephen T; orcid: 0000-0001-9911-8778; email: steve.liddle@manchester.ac.uk (2021-09-24)
    Determining the nature and extent of covalency of early actinide chemical bonding is a fundamentally important challenge. Recently, X-ray absorption, electron paramagnetic, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopic studies have probed actinide-ligand covalency, largely confirming the paradigm of early actinide bonding varying from ionic to polarised-covalent, with this range sitting on the continuum between ionic lanthanide and more covalent d transition metal analogues. Here, we report measurement of the covalency of a terminal uranium(VI)-nitride by <sup>15</sup>N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and find an exceptional nitride chemical shift and chemical shift anisotropy. This redefines the <sup>15</sup>N nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy parameter space, and experimentally confirms a prior computational prediction that the uranium(VI)-nitride triple bond is not only highly covalent, but, more so than d transition metal analogues. These results enable construction of general, predictive metal-ligand <sup>15</sup>N chemical shift-bond order correlations, and reframe our understanding of actinide chemical bonding to guide future studies.
  • Targeted Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor to the Human Placenta to Treat Fetal Growth Restriction

    Renshall, Lewis J.; email: lewis.renshall@manchester.ac.uk; Beards, Frances; email: frances.beards@manchester.ac.uk; Evangelinos, Angelos; email: angelos.evangelinos@manchester.ac.uk; Greenwood, Susan L.; email: susan.l.greenwood@manchester.ac.uk; Brownbill, Paul; email: Paul.brownbill@manchester.ac.uk; Stevens, Adam; email: Adam.stevens@manchester.ac.uk; Sibley, Colin P.; orcid: 0000-0002-2713-0492; email: Colin.sibley@manchester.ac.uk; Aplin, John D.; email: John.aplin@manchester.ac.uk; Johnstone, Edward D.; email: edward.johnstone@manchester.ac.uk; Teesalu, Tambet; email: tambet.teesalu@ut.ee; et al. (MDPI, 2021-10-25)
    Placental dysfunction is the underlying cause of pregnancy complications such as fetal growth restriction (FGR) and pre-eclampsia. No therapies are available to treat a poorly functioning placenta, primarily due to the risks of adverse side effects in both the mother and the fetus resulting from systemic drug delivery. The use of targeted liposomes to selectively deliver payloads to the placenta has the potential to overcome these issues. In this study, we assessed the safety and efficacy of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-loaded, peptide-decorated liposomes to improve different aspects of placental function, using tissue from healthy control pregnancies at term, and pregnancies complicated by FGR. Phage screening identified a peptide sequence, CGPSARAPC (GPS), which selectively homed to mouse placentas in vivo, and bound to the outer syncytiotrophoblast layer of human placental explants ex vivo. GPS-decorated liposomes were prepared containing PBS or EGF (50–100 ng/mL), and placental explants were cultured with liposomes for up to 48 h. Undecorated and GPS-decorated liposomes containing PBS did not affect the basal rate of amino acid transport, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) release or cell turnover in placental explants from healthy controls. GPS-decorated liposomes containing EGF significantly increased amino acid transporter activity in healthy control explants, but not in placental explants from women with FGR. hCG secretion and cell turnover were unaffected by EGF delivery; however, differential activation of downstream protein kinases was observed when EGF was delivered via GPS-decorated vs. undecorated liposomes. These data indicate that targeted liposomes represent a safe and useful tool for the development of new therapies for placental dysfunction, recapitulating the effects of free EGF.
  • Investigations of Hydrocarbon Species on Solid Catalysts by Inelastic Neutron Scattering

    Lin, Longfei; Mei, Qingqing; Han, Xue; Parker, Stewart F.; email: stewart.parker@stfc.ac.uk; Yang, Sihai; orcid: 0000-0002-1111-9272; email: Sihai.Yang@manchester.ac.uk (Springer US, 2020-10-26)
    Abstract: The status of surface species on solid catalysts during heterogeneous catalysis is often mysterious. Investigations of these surface species are crucial to deconvolute the reaction network and design more efficient catalysts. Vibrational spectroscopy is a powerful technique to study the interactions between surface species and the catalysts and infrared (IR) and Raman spectroscopies have been widely applied to study reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis. However, IR/Raman spectra are difficult to model computationally and important vibrational modes may be IR-, Raman- (or both) inactive due to restrictions by optical selection rules. Inelastic neutron scattering (INS) is another form of vibrational spectroscopy and relies on the scattering of neutrons by the atomic nucleus. A consequence of this is that INS is not subject to any optical selection rules and all vibrations are measurable in principle. INS spectroscopy has been used to investigate surface species on catalysts in a wide range of heterogeneous catalytic reactions. In this mini-review, we focus on applications of INS in two important fields: petrochemical reactions and C1 chemistry. We introduce the basic principles of the INS technique, followed by a discussion of its application in investigating two key catalytic systems: (i) the behaviour of hydrocarbons on metal-oxide and zeolite catalysts and (ii) the formation of hydrocarbonaceous species on methane reforming and Fischer–Tropsch catalysts. The power of INS in studying these important catalytic systems is demonstrated.
  • Modelling trend life cycles in scientific research using the Logistic and Gompertz equations

    Tattershall, E.; orcid: 0000-0001-5616-4002; email: emma.tattershall@manchester.ac.uk; Nenadic, G.; Stevens, R. D. (Springer International Publishing, 2021-10-09)
    Abstract: Scientific topics vary in popularity over time. In this paper, we model the life cycles of 200 trending topics by fitting the Logistic and Gompertz models to their frequency over time in published abstracts. Unlike other work, the topics we use are algorithmically extracted from large datasets of abstracts covering computer science, particle physics, cancer research, and mental health. We find that the Gompertz model produces lower median error, leading us to conclude that it is the more appropriate model. Since the Gompertz model is asymmetric, with a steep rise followed a long tail, this implies that scientific topics follow a similar trajectory. We also explore the case of double-peaking curves and find that in some cases, topics will peak multiple times as interest resurges. Finally, when looking at the different scientific disciplines, we find that the lifespan of topics is longer in some disciplines (e.g. cancer research and mental health) than it is others, which may indicate differences in research process and culture between these disciplines.
  • Contractible, hyperbolic but non-CAT(0) complexes

    Webb, Richard C. H.; email: richard.webb@manchester.ac.uk (Springer International Publishing, 2020-10-26)
    Abstract: We prove that almost all arc complexes do not admit a CAT(0) metric with finitely many shapes, in particular any finite-index subgroup of the mapping class group does not preserve such a metric on the arc complex. We also show the analogous statement for all but finitely many disc complexes of handlebodies and free splitting complexes of free groups. The obstruction is combinatorial. These complexes are all hyperbolic and contractible but despite this we show that they satisfy no combinatorial isoperimetric inequality: for any n there is a loop of length 4 that only bounds discs consisting of at least n triangles. On the other hand we show that the curve complexes satisfy a linear combinatorial isoperimetric inequality, which answers a question of Andrew Putman.
  • Large cell neuroendocrine lung carcinoma: consensus statement from The British Thoracic Oncology Group and the Association of Pulmonary Pathologists

    Lindsay, Colin R.; email: colin.lindsay@manchester.ac.uk; Shaw, Emily C.; Moore, David A.; Rassl, Doris; Jamal-Hanjani, Mariam; Steele, Nicola; Naheed, Salma; Dick, Craig; Taylor, Fiona; Adderley, Helen; et al. (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2021-09-06)
    Abstract: Over the past 10 years, lung cancer clinical and translational research has been characterised by exponential progress, exemplified by the introduction of molecularly targeted therapies, immunotherapy and chemo-immunotherapy combinations to stage III and IV non-small cell lung cancer. Along with squamous and small cell lung cancers, large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) now represents an area of unmet need, particularly hampered by the lack of an encompassing pathological definition that can facilitate real-world and clinical trial progress. The steps we have proposed in this article represent an iterative and rational path forward towards clinical breakthroughs that can be modelled on success in other lung cancer pathologies.
  • “Success” in policy piloting: Process, programs, and politics

    Checkland, Kath; orcid: 0000-0002-9961-5317; email: katherine.checkland@manchester.ac.uk; Hammond, Jonathan; Coleman, Anna; Macinnes, Julie; Mikelyte, Rasa; Croke, Sarah; Billings, Jenny; Bailey, Simon; orcid: 0000-0001-9142-2791; Allen, Pauline (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2021-10-25)
    Abstract: Research has demonstrated that pilots contain multiple shifting purposes, not all of which relate to simple policy testing or refinement. Judging the success of policy pilots is therefore complex, requiring more than a simple judgment against declared goals. Marsh and McConnell provide a framework against which policy success can be judged, distinguishing program success from process and political success. We adapt Boven's modification of this framework and apply it to policy pilots, arguing that pilot process, outcomes and longer‐term effects can all be judged in both program and political terms. We test this new framework in a pilot program in the English National Health Service, the Vanguard program, showing how consideration of these different aspects of success sheds light on the program and its aftermath. We consider the implications of the framework for the comprehensive and multifaceted evaluation of policy pilots.
  • Current topics in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine: a regional perspective from the United Kingdom

    Johnson, William Eustace; orcid: 0000-0002-7247-9087 (Portland Press Ltd., 2021-10-12)
    This special issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences entitled ‘Current Topics in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine’ brings together expertise from a collaborative organisation known as the Mercia Stem Cell Alliance (MSCA). The alliance was established initially by Professors Sue Kimber (University of Manchester) and Jon Frampton (University of Birmingham) just over 10 years ago and now has multiple regional centres of excellence across the Midlands and North West of the UK, including Aston University, University of Chester, Keele University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore's University, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of York. Many of these centres have contributed reviews to this issue. The MSCA also partners with industrial and clinical organisations, including the NHS, and is active in bringing stem cells and regenerative medicines to a meaningful translational endpoint (see: http://www.msca.manchester.ac.uk/).
  • Current topics in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine: a regional perspective from the United Kingdom.

    Johnson, William Eustace; orcid: 0000-0002-7247-9087 (2021-10-12)
    This special issue of Emerging Topics in Life Sciences entitled 'Current Topics in Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine' brings together expertise from a collaborative organisation known as the Mercia Stem Cell Alliance (MSCA). The alliance was established initially by Professors Sue Kimber (University of Manchester) and Jon Frampton (University of Birmingham) just over 10 years ago and now has multiple regional centres of excellence across the Midlands and North West of the UK, including Aston University, University of Chester, Keele University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore's University, Loughborough University, University of Nottingham, University of Oxford, University of Sheffield, University of York. Many of these centres have contributed reviews to this issue. The MSCA also partners with industrial and clinical organisations, including the NHS, and is active in bringing stem cells and regenerative medicines to a meaningful translational endpoint (see: http://www.msca.manchester.ac.uk/). [Abstract copyright: © 2021 The Author(s).]
  • Perceptions of large Korean corporations from a social cognition perspective

    Suh, YongGu; orcid: 0000-0003-0240-2794; Davies, Gary; orcid: 0000-0003-3511-9178; Burnasheva, Regina; orcid: 0000-0002-5492-4044 (Informa UK Limited, 2021-10-15)
  • Collaborative management of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam increases economic benefits and resilience.

    Basheer, Mohammed; orcid: 0000-0001-9468-2249; Nechifor, Victor; orcid: 0000-0001-8034-4070; Calzadilla, Alvaro; orcid: 0000-0001-8424-8473; Siddig, Khalid; orcid: 0000-0003-1339-4507; Etichia, Mikiyas; Whittington, Dale; Hulme, David; Harou, Julien J; email: julien.harou@manchester.ac.uk (2021-09-23)
    The landscape of water infrastructure in the Nile Basin is changing with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Although this dam could improve electricity supply in Ethiopia and its neighbors, there is a lack of consensus between Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt on the dam operation. We introduce a new modeling framework that simulates the Nile River System and Egypt's macroeconomy, with dynamic feedbacks between the river system and the macroeconomy. Because the two systems "coevolve" throughout multi-year simulations, we term this a "coevolutionary" modeling framework. The framework is used to demonstrate that a coordinated operating strategy could allow the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to help meet water demands in Egypt during periods of water scarcity and increase hydropower generation and storage in Ethiopia during high flows. Here we show the hydrological and macroeconomic performance of this coordinated strategy compared to a strategy that resembles a recent draft proposal for the operation of the dam discussed in Washington DC.
  • Reid Bryson: The crisis climatologist

    Naylor, Robert Luke; orcid: 0000-0002-9585-9939; email: robert.naylor-4@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2021-10-25)
    Abstract: Reid Allen Bryson (1920–2008) was a forceful orator who consistently fought against institutional pressures to get his messages out to the public. In the 1960s, Bryson was a leader in the wider academic turn toward politically charged interdisciplinarianism. To the dismay of many of his colleagues, he publicly made climatological prognoses in the 1970s, becoming a significant figure in the media landscape. He was not swayed by the arguments for global warming, even as the framing became the recognized face of climate change in the late 1980s. By examining the controversies that Bryson instigated and the currents that he swam against, we can see the wider community crystallizing and promoting positions that may have previously gone unstated. In addition, Bryson's personal contribution to the rise of climate discourse has been underexplored in the historical literature. Bryson was instrumental in bringing climate onto the political radar during the World Food Crisis of 1973, shocking both the US and Canadian political establishments into paying more attention to the issue. Bryson's narrative linking climate change to both food supply and a series of climate anomalies in the 1970s remained predominant in the first World Climate Conference of 1979. Bryson also helped break a seal on climatologists speaking directly to the media, leading to unprecedented climate discourse in the 1970s and giving climate change a springboard to become one of the defining issues of the 21st century. This article is categorized under: Climate, History, Society, Culture > Thought Leaders
  • Self-assembly of a trigonal bipyramidal architecture with stabilisation of iron in three spin states.

    Taylor, Lauren L K; orcid: 0000-0003-0586-3246; Vitorica-Yrezabal, Iñigo J; Borilović, Ivana; Tuna, Floriana; orcid: 0000-0002-5541-1750; Riddell, Imogen A; orcid: 0000-0002-6801-0198 (2021-10-11)
    Self-assembly and characterisation of a supramolecular trigonal bipyramidal iron cage containing an [Fe (μ -F) (Fe ) ] star motif at its core is reported. The complex can be formed in a one step reaction using an heterotopic ligand that supports site-specific incorporation of iron in three distinct electronic configurations: low-spin Fe , high-spin Fe and high-spin Fe , with iron(II) tetrafluoroborate as the source of the bridging fluorides. Formation of a μ -F bridged mixed-valence Fe -Fe star is unprecedented. The peripheral high-spin Fe centres of the mixed-valence tetranuclear star incorporated in the iron cage are highly anisotropic and engage in F-mediated antiferromagnetic exchange with the central Fe ion.
  • Emerging heterogeneous catalysts for biomass conversion: studies of the reaction mechanism.

    Lin, Longfei; orcid: 0000-0003-2892-6094; Han, Xue; Han, Buxing; orcid: 0000-0003-0440-809X; Yang, Sihai; orcid: 0000-0002-1111-9272 (2021-10-18)
    The development of efficient catalysts to break down and convert woody biomass will be a paradigm shift in delivering the global target of sustainable economy and environment the use of cheap, highly abundant, and renewable carbon resources. However, such development is extremely challenging due to the complexity of lignocellulose, and today most biomass is treated simply as waste. The solution lies in the design of multifunctional catalysts that can place effective control on substrate activation and product selectivity. This is, however, severely hindered by the lack of fundamental understanding of (i) the precise role of active sites, and (ii) the catalyst-substrate chemistry that underpins the catalytic activity. Moreover, active sites alone often cannot deliver the desired selectivity of products, and full understanding of the microenvironment of the active sites is urgently needed. Here, we review key recent advances in the study of reaction mechanisms of biomass conversion over emerging heterogeneous catalysts. These insights will inform the design of future catalytic systems showing improved activity and selectivity.

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