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A novel integrated thermal-/membrane-based solar energy-driven hybrid desalination system: Concept description and simulation results. - Water research
In this paper, a hybrid desalination system consisting of vacuum membrane distillation (VMD) and adsorption desalination (AD) units, designated as VMD-AD cycle, is proposed. The synergetic integration of the VMD and AD is demonstrated where a useful effect of the AD cycle is channelled to boost the operation of the VMD process, namely the low vacuum environment to maintain the high pressure gradient across the microporous hydrophobic membrane. A solar-assisted multi-stage VMD-AD hybrid desalination system with temperature modulating unit is first designed, and its performance is then examined with a mathematical model of each component in the system and compared with the VMD-only system with temperature modulating and heat recovery units. The total water production and water recovery ratio of a solar-assisted 24-stage VMD-AD hybrid system are found to be about 21% and 23% higher, respectively, as compared to the VMD-only system. For the solar-assisted 24-stage VMD-AD desalination system having 150Â m(2) of evacuated-tube collectors and 10Â m(3) seawater storage tanks, both annual collector efficiency and solar fraction are close to 60%.Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Experimental bacteriophage treatment of honeybees (Apis mellifera) infected with Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American Foulbrood Disease. - Bacteriophage
American Foulbrood Disease (AFB) is an infection of honeybees caused by the bacterium Paenibacillus larvae. One potential remedy involves using biocontrol, such as bacteriophages (phages) to lyse P. larvae. Therefore, bacteriophages specific for P. larvae were isolated to determine their efficacy in lysing P. larvae cells. Samples from soil, beehive materials, cosmetics, and lysogenized P. larvae strains were screened; of 157 total samples, 28 were positive for at least one P. larvae bacteriophage, with a total of 30. Newly isolated bacteriophages were tested for the ability to lyse each of 11 P. larvae strains. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the phage isolates were from the family Siphoviridae. Seven phages with the broadest host ranges were combined into a cocktail for use in experimental treatments of infected bee larvae; both prophylactic and post-infection treatments were conducted. Results indicated that although both pre- and post-treatments were effective, prophylactic administration of the phages increased the survival of larvae more than post-treatment experiments. These preliminary experiments demonstrate the likelihood that phage therapy could be an effective method to control AFB.
Isolation and characterization of a novel phage lysin active against Paenibacillus larvae, a honeybee pathogen. - Bacteriophage
Paenibacillus larvae is the causative agent of American foulbrood (AFB) disease which affects early larval stages during honeybee development. Due to its virulence, transmissibility, capacity to develop antibiotic resistance, and the inherent resilience of its endospores, Paenibacillus larvae is extremely difficult to eradicate from infected hives which often must be burned. AFB contributes to the worldwide decline of honeybee populations, which are crucial for pollination and the food supply. We have isolated a novel bacteriophage lysin, PlyPalA, from the genome of a novel Paenibacillus larvae bacteriophage originally extracted from an environmental sample. PlyPalA has an N-terminal N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase catalytic domain and possesses lytic activity against infectious strains of Paenibacillus larvae without harming commensal bacteria known to compose the honeybee larval microbiota. A single dose of PlyPalA rescued 75% of larvae infected with endospores, showing that it represents a powerful tool for future treatment of AFB. This represents the first time that lysins have been tested for therapeutic use in invertebrates.
Disruption of the Gut Microbiome: Clostridium difficile Infection and the Threat of Antibiotic Resistance. - Genes
Clostridium difficile is well recognized as the leading cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, having a significant impact in both health-care and community settings. Central to predisposition to C. difficile infection is disruption of the gut microbiome by antibiotics. Being a Gram-positive anaerobe, C. difficile is intrinsically resistant to a number of antibiotics. Mobile elements encoding antibiotic resistance determinants have also been characterized in this pathogen. While resistance to antibiotics currently used to treat C. difficile infection has not yet been detected, it may be only a matter of time before this occurs, as has been seen with other bacterial pathogens. This review will discuss C. difficile disease pathogenesis, the impact of antibiotic use on inducing disease susceptibility, and the role of antibiotic resistance and mobile elements in C. difficile epidemiology.
Graphene-Coated Hollow Fiber Membrane as the Cathode in Anaerobic Electrochemical Membrane Bioreactors - Effect of Configuration and Applied Voltage on Performance and Membrane Fouling. - Environmental science & technology
Electrically conductive, graphene-coated, hollow-fiber porous membranes were used as cathodes in anaerobic electrochemical membrane bioreactors (AnEMBRs) operated at different applied voltages (0.7 and 0.9 V) using a new rectangular reactor configuration compared to a previous tubular design (0.7 V). The onset of biofouling was delayed and minimized in rectangular reactors operated at 0.9 V compared to those at 0.7 V due to higher rates of hydrogen production. Maximum transmembrane pressures for the rectangular reactor were only 0.10 bar (0.7 V) or 0.05 bar (0.9 V) after 56 days of operation compared to 0.46 bar (0.7 V) for the tubular reactor after 52 days. The thickness of the membrane biofouling layer was approximately 0.4 Î¼m for rectangular reactors and 4 Î¼m for the tubular reactor. Higher permeate quality (TSS = 0.05 mg/L) was achieved in the rectangular AnEMBR than that in the tubular AnEMBR (TSS = 17 mg/L), likely due to higher current densities that minimized the accumulation of cells in suspension. These results show that the new rectangular reactor design, which had increased rates of hydrogen production, successfully delayed the onset of cathode biofouling and improved reactor performance.
The lobar approach to breast ultrasound imaging and surgery. - Journal of medical ultrasonics (2001)
Breast cancer is a lobar disease in the sense that, at the earliest stages, the cancer is structurally confined to a single sick lobe. The subgross morphology of breast carcinoma is often complex, as multiple invasive foci are frequently present and the ductal system often contains an extensive in situ component. Adequate preoperative visualization of all of the malignant structures within the affected breast and preoperative mapping of the lesions in relation to the surrounding normal structures are essential for successful image-guided breast surgery and therefore are key factors in assuring adequate local control of the disease. We advocate use of the lobar approach in ultrasound imaging (ducto-radial echography) and breast-conserving surgery based on the lobar anatomy of the breast, the sick lobe theory, our extensive clinical experience with the approach, and favorable long-term patient outcomes. Despite abundant evidence demonstrating the advantages of the lobar approach, the number of breast centers using it in practice is still limited. In this review, we aim to call attention to the advantages of the lobar approach from the theoretical, imaging, and surgical points of view.
Life cycle cost of a hybrid forward osmosis - low pressure reverse osmosis system for seawater desalination and wastewater recovery. - Water research
In recent years, forward osmosis (FO) hybrid membrane systems have been investigated as an alternative to conventional high-pressure membrane processes (i.e. reverse osmosis (RO)) for seawater desalination and wastewater treatment and recovery. Nevertheless, their economic advantage in comparison to conventional processes for seawater desalination and municipal wastewater treatment has not been clearly addressed. This work presents a detailed economic analysis on capital and operational expenses (CAPEX and OPEX) for: i) a hybrid forward osmosis - low-pressure reverse osmosis (FO-LPRO) process, ii) a conventional seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination process, and iii) a membrane bioreactor - reverse osmosis - advanced oxidation process (MBR-RO-AOP) for wastewater treatment and reuse. The most important variables affecting economic feasibility are obtained through a sensitivity analysis of a hybrid FO-LPRO system. The main parameters taken into account for the life cycle costs are the water quality characteristics (similar feed water and similar water produced), production capacity of 100,000Â m(3)Â d(-1) of potable water, energy consumption, materials, maintenance, operation, RO and FO module costs, and chemicals. Compared to SWRO, the FO-LPRO systems have a 21% higher CAPEX and a 56% lower OPEX due to savings in energy consumption and fouling control. In terms of the total water cost per cubic meter of water produced, the hybrid FO-LPRO desalination system has a 16% cost reduction compared to the benchmark for desalination, mainly SWRO. Compared to the MBR-RO-AOP, the FO-LPRO systems have a 7% lower CAPEX and 9% higher OPEX, resulting in no significant cost reduction per m(3) produced by FO-LPRO. Hybrid FO-LPRO membrane systems are shown to have an economic advantage compared to current available technology for desalination, and comparable costs with a wastewater treatment and recovery system. Based on development on FO membrane modules, packing density, and water permeability, the total water cost could be further reduced.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Membrane fouling and anti-fouling strategies using RO retentate from a municipal water recycling plant as the feed for osmotic power generation. - Water research
RO retentate from a municipal water recycling plant is considered as a potential feed stream for osmotic power generation in this paper. The feasibility of using RO retentate from a municipal water recycling plant was examined from two aspects: (a) the membrane fouling propensity of RO retentate, and (b) the efficacy of anti-fouling strategies. The membranes used in this study were the inner selective thin film composite polyethersulfone (TFC/PES) hollow fiber membranes, which possessed a high water permeability and good mechanical strength. Scaling by phosphate salts was found to be one possible inorganic fouling on the innermost layer of the PES membrane, whereas silica fouling was observed to be the governing fouling on the outmost surface of the PES membrane. Two anti-fouling pretreatments, i.e., pH adjustment and anti-scalant pre-treatment for the feed stream, were studied and found to be straightforward and effective. Using RO retentate at pH 7.2 as the feed and 1Â M NaCl as the draw solution, the average power density was 7.3Â W/m(2) at 20Â bar. The average power density increased to 12.6Â W/m(2) by modifying RO retentate with an initial pH value of 5.5 using HCl and to 13.4Â W/m(2) by adding 1.1Â mM ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Moreover, the flux recovery of the fouled membranes, without the indicated pretreatments, reached 84.9% using deionized (DI) water flushing and 95.0% using air bubbling under a high crossflow velocity of 23.3Â cm/s (ReÂ =Â 2497) for 30Â min. After pretreatment by pH adjustment, the flux recovery increased to 94.6% by DI water flushing and 100.0% by air bubbling. After pretreatment by adding 1.1Â mM EDTA into RO retentate, flux was almost fully restored by physical cleaning by DI water flushing and air bubbling. These results provide insight into developing an effective pretreatment by either pH adjustment or EDTA addition before PRO and physical cleaning methods by DI water flushing and air bubbling for membrane used in osmotic power generation.Copyright Â© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Complete Genome Sequences of Nine Phages Capable of Infecting Paenibacillus larvae, the Causative Agent of American Foulbrood Disease in Honeybees. - Genome announcements
We present here the complete genome sequences of nine phages that infect Paenibacillus larvae, the causative agent of American foulbrood disease in honeybees. The phages were isolated from soil, propolis, and infected bees from three U.S. states. This is the largest number of P.Â larvae phage genomes sequenced in a single publication to date.Copyright Â© 2015 Tsourkas et al.
Phage Therapy is Effective in Protecting Honeybee Larvae from American Foulbrood Disease. - Journal of insect science (Online)
American foulbrood disease has a major impact on honeybees (Apis melifera) worldwide. It is caused by a Gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae. The disease can only affect larval honeybees, and the bacterial endospores are the infective unit of the disease. Antibiotics are not sufficient to combat the disease due to increasing resistance among P. larvae strains. Because of the durability and virulence of P. larvae endospores, infections spread rapidly, and beekeepers are often forced to burn beehives and equipment. To date, very little information is available on the use of bacteriophage therapy in rescuing and preventing American foulbrood disease, therefore the goal of this study was to test the efficacy of phage therapy against P. larvae infection. Out of 32 previously isolated P. larvae phages, three designated F, WA, and XIII were tested on artificially reared honeybee larvae infected with P. larvae strain NRRL B-3650 spores. The presence of P. larvae DNA in dead larvae was confirmed by 16S rRNA gene-specific polymerase chain reaction amplification. Survival rates for phage-treated larvae were approximately the same as for larvae never infected with spores (84%), i.e., the phages had no deleterious effect on the larvae. Additionally, prophylactic treatment of larvae with phages before spore infection was more effective than administering phages after infection, although survival in both cases was higher than spores alone (45%). Further testing to determine the optimal combination and concentration of phages, and testing in actual hive conditions are needed.Â© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.
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