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  1. Abstract Winter Arctic sea-ice concentration (SIC) decline plays an important role in Arctic amplification which, in turn, influences Arctic ecosystems, midlatitude weather and climate. SIC over the Barents-Kara Seas (BKS) shows large interannual variations, whose origin is still unclear. Here we find that interannual variations in winter BKS SIC have significantly strengthened in recent decades likely due to increased amplitudes of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in a warming climate. La Niña leads to enhanced Atlantic Hadley cell and a positive phase North Atlantic Oscillation-like anomaly pattern, together with concurring Ural blocking, that transports Atlantic ocean heat and atmospheric moisture toward the BKS and promotes sea-ice melting via intensified surface warming. The reverse is seen during El Niño which leads to weakened Atlantic poleward transport and an increase in the BKS SIC. Thus, interannual variability of the BKS SIC partly originates from ENSO via the Atlantic pathway. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 5, 2024
  4. The large population movement during the Spring Festival travel in China can considerably accelerate the spread of epidemics, especially after the relaxation of strict control measures against COVID-19. This study aims to assess the impact of population migration in Spring Festival holiday on epidemic spread under different scenarios. Using inter-city population movement data, we construct the population flow network during the non-holiday time as well as the Spring Festival holiday. We build a large-scale metapopulation model to simulate the epidemic spread among 371 Chinese cities. We analyze the impact of Spring Festival travel on the peak timing and peak magnitude nationally and in each city. Assuming an R0 (basic reproduction number) of 15 and the initial conditions as the reported COVID-19 infections on 17 December 2022, model simulations indicate that the Spring Festival travel can substantially increase the national peak magnitude of infection. The infection peaks arrive at most cities 1–4 days earlier as compared to those of the non-holiday time. While peak infections in certain large cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, are decreased due to the massive migration of people to smaller cities during the pre-Spring Festival period, peak infections increase significantly in small- or medium-sized cities. For a less transmissible disease (R0 = 5), infection peaks in large cities are delayed until after the Spring Festival. Small- or medium-sized cities may experience a larger infection due to the large-scale population migration from metropolitan areas. The increased disease burden may impose considerable strain on the healthcare systems in these resource-limited areas. For a less transmissible disease, particular attention needs to be paid to outbreaks in large cities when people resume work after holidays. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2024
  6. The serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) complex catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step in sphingolipid biosynthesis in all eukaryotes. ORM/ORMDL proteins are negative regulators of SPT that respond to cellular sphingolipid levels. However, the molecular basis underlying ORM/ORMDL-dependent homeostatic regulation of SPT is not well understood. We determined the cryo–electron microscopy structure ofArabidopsisSPT-ORM1 complex, composed of LCB1, LCB2a, SPTssa, and ORM1, in an inhibited state. A ceramide molecule is sandwiched between ORM1 and LCB2a in the cytosolic membrane leaflet. Ceramide binding is critical for the ORM1-dependent SPT repression, and dihydroceramides and phytoceramides differentially affect this repression. A hybrid β sheet, formed by the amino termini of ORM1 and LCB2a and induced by ceramide binding, stabilizes the amino terminus of ORM1 in an inhibitory conformation. Our findings provide mechanistic insights into sphingolipid homeostatic regulation via the binding of ceramide to the SPT-ORM/ORMDL complex that may have implications for plant-specific processes such as the hypersensitive response for microbial pathogen resistance.

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  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 9, 2024