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fixation

fixation

[fik-sey-shuhn]
fixation: see psychoanalysis.

Any natural or industrial process that causes free nitrogen in the air to combine chemically with other elements to form more reactive nitrogen compounds such as ammonia, nitrates, or nitrites. Soil microorganisms (e.g., Rhizobium bacteria living in root nodules of legumes) are responsible for more than 90percnt of all nitrogen fixation. Though nitrogen is part of all proteins and essential in both plant and animal metabolism, plants and animals cannot use elemental nitrogen such as the nitrogen gas (N2) that forms 80percnt of the atmosphere. Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria invade the root hairs of host plants, where they multiply and stimulate the formation of root nodules, enlargements of plant cells and bacteria in close association. Within the nodules the bacteria convert free nitrogen to nitrates, which the host plant uses for its development. Nitrogen fixation by bacteria associated with legumes is of prime importance in agriculture. Before the use of synthetic fertilizers in the industrial countries, usable nitrogen was supplied as manure and by crop rotation that included a legume crop.

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Fixation may refer to the following:

In science:

  • Fixation (psychology), the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another human, an animal, or an inanimate object
  • Fixation (visual) maintaining the gaze in a constant direction
  • Fixation (alchemy), one of the 12 vital alchemical processes required for transformation
  • Carbon fixation, a biochemical process, usually driven by photosynthesis, whereby carbon dioxide is converted into organic compounds
  • Nitrogen fixation, a process by which nitrogen is converted from its inert molecular form to a compound more readily available and useful to living organisms
  • Fixation (population genetics), the state when every individual in a population has the same allele at a particular locus
  • Fixation (histology) in biochemistry, histology, cell biology and pathology, the technique of preserving a specimen for microscopic study

In business and law:

  • Fixation in business refers to a company's reluctance to change to suit current market conditions, thus increasing the probability that the company will make larger numbers and greater severities of poor decisions.
  • Fixation in law refers to works entitled to copyright protection (e.g. music, literature, paintings, etc.). Only works fixed in a medium can be copyrighted, not the ideas behind those works.

In online marketing

  • Fixation online eye tracking refers to the test subject fixing on a particular portion of the page. It is used to determine which areas of a web page receive the most views. This is used to adjust where content resides on a web page to maximize its exposure.

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