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Large carnivores have extensive spatial requirements, with ranges that often span geopolitical borders. Consequently, management of transboundary populations is subject to several political jurisdictions, often with heterogeneity in conservation challenges. In continental Asia there are four threatened leopard subspecies with transboundary populations spanning 23 countries: the Persian Panthera pardus saxicolor, Indochinese P. pardus delacouri, Arabian P. pardus nimr and Amur P. pardus orientalis leopards. We reviewed the status of these subspecies and examined the challenges to, and opportunities for, their conservation. The Amur and Indochinese leopards have the majority (58–100%) of their remaining range in borderlands, and the Persian and Arabian leopards have 23–26% of their remaining ranges in borderlands. Overall, in 18 of 23 countries the majority of the remaining leopard range is in borderlands, and thus in most countries conservation of these subspecies is dependent on transboundary collaboration. However, we found only two transboundary initiatives for Asian leopards. Overall, we highlighted three key transboundary landscapes in regions that are of high importance for the survival of these subspecies. Recent listing of the leopard in the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals is important, but more international collaboration is needed to conserve these subspecies. We provide a spatial framework with which range countries and international agencies could establish transboundary cooperation for conserving threatened leopards in Asia.
Phase retrieval is necessary for propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PB-PCI). Arhatari established a model for predicting the impact of the sample-to-detector distance and the system noise on the phase retrieval performance. We have extended Arhatari's model to account for the parameters of excessive source size, finite detector resolution, and geometrical magnification for more practical cases. However, there exist interaction effects among these parameters resulting in difficulty of predicting the phase retrieval performance. In this study, we found that optimizing the trade-off among these parameters for phase retrieval is consistent with the improvement of edge enhancement to noise ratio (EE/N) in the “forward problem” of the PB-PCI. Hence, we engaged in establishing a relationship between EE/N and phase retrieval performance in terms of the “forward problem” and “inverse problem” of the PB-PCI, respectively. Our results showed that, at fixed detector resolution, phase retrieval from the phase-contrast projections at the same EE/N level resulted in the consistent phase retrieval performance. Therefore, the performance of phase retrieval can be predicted based on the EE/N level and be quantitatively optimized by increasing EE/N.
A facile one-pot synthetic approach, using oleic acid and oleylamine as composite stabilizers combined with high-temperature treatment in 1-octadecene, has been developed for the preparation of monodisperse and uniform lanthanum phosphate and europium-doped lanthanum phosphate nanocrystals. In particular, with the present synthetic approach, the size of the resulting nanocrystals could be tuned precisely and continuously from 3.5 to 6.5 nm by seed-mediated epitaxial growth. The as-obtained uniform nanocrystals with hydrophobic surfaces, which show efficient photoluminescence, could be easily dispersed in nonpolar solvents. More importantly, these nanocrystals can also be easily modified to water-dispersed ones with hydrophilic surfaces for potential use in in vitro imaging in bioanalysis. In addition, a synthetic mechanism for these monodisperse nanocrystals is presented and discussed.
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