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  • Author: M. E. BROOKS x
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Self-Representation by African American Women


The iron oxidation state in silicate melts is important for understanding their physical properties, although it is most often used to estimate the oxygen fugacity of magmatic systems. Often high spatial resolution analyses are required, yet the available techniques, such as μrXANES and μMössbauer, require synchrotron access. The flank method is an electron probe technique with the potential to measure Fe oxidation state at high spatial resolution but requires careful method development to reduce errors related to sample damage, especially for hydrous glasses. The intensity ratios derived from measurements on the flanks of FeLα and FeLβ X-rays (FeLβf/FeLαf) over a time interval (time-dependent ratio flank method) can be extrapolated to their initial values at the onset of analysis. We have developed and calibrated this new method using silicate glasses with a wide range of compositions (43–78 wt% SiO2, 0–10 wt% H2O, and 2–18 wt% FeOT, which is all Fe reported as FeO), including 68 glasses with known Fe oxidation state. The Fe oxidation state (Fe2+/FeT) of hydrous (0–4 wt% H2O) basaltic (43–56 wt% SiO2) and peralkaline (70–76 wt% SiO2) glasses with FeOT > 5 wt% can be quantified with a precision of ±0.03 (10 wt% FeOT and 0.5 Fe2+/FeT) and accuracy of ±0.1. We find basaltic and peralkaline glasses each require a different calibration curve and analysis at different spatial resolutions (~20 and ~60 μm diameter regions, respectively). A further 49 synthetic glasses were used to investigate the compositional controls on redox changes during electron beam irradiation, where we found that the direction of redox change is sensitive to glass composition. Anhydrous alkali-poor glasses become reduced during analysis, while hydrous and/or alkali-rich glasses become oxidized by the formation of magnetite nanolites identified using Raman spectroscopy. The rate of reduction is controlled by the initial oxidation state, whereas the rate of oxidation is controlled by SiO2, Fe, and H2O content.


The concept that disease rooted principally in chronic aberrant constitutive and reactive activation of mast cells (MCs), without the gross MC neoplasia in mastocytosis, first emerged in the 1980s, but only in the last decade has recognition of “mast cell activation syndrome” (MCAS) grown significantly. Two principal proposals for diagnostic criteria have emerged. One, originally published in 2012, is labeled by its authors as a “consensus” (re-termed here as “consensus-1”). Another sizable contingent of investigators and practitioners favor a different approach (originally published in 2011, newly termed here as “consensus-2”), resembling “consensus-1” in some respects but differing in others, leading to substantial differences between these proposals in the numbers of patients qualifying for diagnosis (and thus treatment). Overdiagnosis by “consensus-2” criteria has potential to be problematic, but underdiagnosis by “consensus-1” criteria seems the far larger problem given (1) increasing appreciation that MCAS is prevalent (up to 17% of the general population), and (2) most MCAS patients, regardless of illness duration prior to diagnosis, can eventually identify treatment yielding sustained improvement. We analyze these proposals (and others) and suggest that, until careful research provides more definitive answers, diagnosis by either proposal is valid, reasonable, and helpful.