Nipah virus (NiV), a zoonotic paramyxovirus belonging to the genus Henipavirus, is classified as a Biosafety Level-4 pathogen based on its high pathogenicity in humans and the lack of available vaccines or therapeutics. Since its initial emergence in 1998 in Malaysia, this virus has become a great threat to domestic animals and humans. Sporadic outbreaks and person-to-person transmission over the past two decades have resulted in hundreds of human fatalities. Epidemiological surveys have shown that NiV is distributed in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific Ocean, and is transmitted by its natural reservoir, Pteropid bats. Numerous efforts have been made to analyze viral protein function and structure to develop feasible strategies for drug design. Increasing surveillance and preventative measures for the viral infectious disease are urgently needed.
Yunnan in southwestern China is renowned for its high plant diversity. To understand how this modern botanical richness formed, it is critical to investigate the past biodiversity throughout the geological time. In this review, we present a summary on plant diversity, floristics and climates in the Cenozoic of Yunnan and document their changes, by compiling published palaeobotanical sources. Our review demonstrates that thus far a total of 386 fossil species of ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms belonging to 170 genera within 66 families have been reported from the Cenozoic, particularly the Neogene, of Yunnan. Angiosperms display the highest richness represented by 353 species grouped into 155 genera within 60 families, with Fagaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae and Juglandaceae being the most diversified. Most of the families and genera recorded as fossils still occur in Yunnan, but seven genera have disappeared, including Berryophyllum, Cedrelospermum, Cedrus, Palaeocarya, Podocarpium, Sequoia and Wataria. The regional extinction of these genera is commonly referred to an aridification of the dry season associated with Asian monsoon development. Floristic analyses indicate that in the late Miocene, Yunnan had three floristic regions: a northern subtropical floristic region in the northeast, a subtropical floristic region in the east, and a tropical floristic region in the southwest. In the late Pliocene, Yunnan saw two kinds of floristic regions: a subalpine floristic region in the northwest, and two subtropical floristic regions separately in the southwest and the eastern center. These floristic concepts are verified by results from our areal type analyses which suggest that in the Miocene southwestern Yunnan supported the most Pantropic elements, while in the Pliocene southwestern Yunnan had abundant Tropical Asia (Indo-Malaysia) type and East Asia and North America disjunct type that were absent from northwestern Yunnan. From the late Miocene to late Pliocene through to the present, floristic composition and vegetation types changed markedly, presumably in response to altitude changes and coeval global cooling. An integration of palaeoclimate data suggests that during the Neogene Yunnan was warmer and wetter than today. Moreover, northern Yunnan witnessed a pronounced temperature decline, while southern Yunnan experienced only moderate temperature changes. Summer precipitation was consistently higher than winter precipitation, suggesting a rainfall seasonality. This summary on palaeoclimates helps us to understand under what conditions plant diversity occurred and evolved in Yunnan throughout the Cenozoic.
Microalgae technology, if managed properly, has promising roles in solving food-water-energy nexus. The Achilles' heel is, however, to lower the costs associated with cultivation and harvesting. As a favorable technique, application of membrane process is strongly limited by membrane fouling. This study evaluates performance of nylon 6,6 nanofiber membrane (NFM) to a conventional polyvinylidene fluoride phase inverted membrane (PVDF PIM) for filtration of Chlorella vulgaris. Results show that nylon 6,6 NFM is superhydrophilic, has higher size of pore opening (0.22 vs 0.18 μm) and higher surface pore density (23 vs 18 pores/μm2) leading to higher permeance (1018 vs 493 L/m2hbar) and better fouling resistant. Such advantages help to outperform the filterability of PVDF PIM by showing much higher steady-state permeance (286 vs 120 L/m2hbar), with comparable biomass retention. In addition, unlike for PVDF PIM, imposing longer relaxation cycles further enhances the performance of the NFM (i.e., 178 L/m2hbar for 0.5 min and 236 L/m2hbar for 5 min). Overall findings confirm the advantages of nylon 6,6 NFM over the PVDF PIM. Such advantages can help to reduce required membrane area and specific aeration demand by enabling higher flux and lowering aeration rate. Nevertheless, developments of nylon 6,6 NFM material with respect to its intrinsic properties, mechanical strength and operational conditions of the panel can still be explored to enhance its competitiveness as a promising fouling resistant membrane material for microalgae filtration.
Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), a major cause of blindness worldwide, is a complex disease with a significant genetic contribution. We performed Exome Array (Illumina) analysis on 3504 POAG cases and 9746 controls with replication of the most significant findings in 9173 POAG cases and 26 780 controls across 18 collections of Asian, African and European descent. Apart from confirming strong evidence of association at CDKN2B-AS1 (rs2157719 [G], odds ratio [OR] = 0.71, P = 2.81 × 10(-33)), we observed one SNP showing significant association to POAG (CDC7-TGFBR3 rs1192415, ORG-allele = 1.13, Pmeta = 1.60 × 10(-8)). This particular SNP has previously been shown to be strongly associated with optic disc area and vertical cup-to-disc ratio, which are regarded as glaucoma-related quantitative traits. Our study now extends this by directly implicating it in POAG disease pathogenesis.