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    Is ancestor veneration the most universal of all world religions? A critique of modernist cosmological bias
    Reuter, T (University of Indonesia, Faculty of Humanities, 2014-01-01)
    Research by anthropologists engaged with the Comparative Austronesia Project (Australian National University) has amassed an enormous data set for ethnological comparison between the religions of Austronesian-speaking societies, a language group to which nearly all Indonesian societies also belong. Comparative analysis reveals that ancestor veneration is a key-shared feature among Austronesian religious cosmologies; a feature that also resonates strongly with the ancestor-focused religions characteristic of East Asia. Characteristically, the religions of Austronesian-speaking societies focus on the core idea of a sacred time and place of ancestral origin and the continuous flow of life that is issuing forth from this source. Present-day individuals connect with the place and time of origin though ritual acts of retracing a historical path of migration to its source. What can this seemingly exotic notion of a flow of life reveal about the human condition writ large? Is it merely a curiosity of the ethnographic record of this region, a traditional religious insight forgotten even by many of the people whose traditional religion this is, but who have come under the influence of so-called world religions? Or is there something of great importance to be learnt from the Austronesian approach to life? Such questions have remained unasked until now, I argue, because a systematic cosmological bias within western thought has largely prevented us from taking Ancestor Religion and other forms of “traditional knowledge” seriously as an alternative truth claim. While I have discussed elsewhere the significance of Ancestor Religion in reference to my own research in highland Bali, I will attempt in this paper to remove this bias by its roots. I do so by contrasting two modes of thought: the “incremental dualism” of precedence characteristic of Austronesian cultures and their Ancestor Religions, and the “transcendental dualism” of mind and matter that has been a central theme within the cultural history of Western European thought. I argue for a deeper appreciation of Ancestor Religion as the oldest and most pervasive of all world religions.
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    Gods on Earth: Immanence and Transcendence in Indian Ideology and Praxis
    Reuter, TA (INCAA, 2013)
    Questions concerning the relative importance to Indian civilisation of the Brahmana-dominated model of religious status hierarchy and the royal model of divine kingship and associated hierarchies of state power have been referred to as ‘the central conundrum of Indian social ideology’. These two models of hierarchy nonetheless derive from a broader Indian worldview and both shape, and are shaped by, the existential realities of Indian social life and of life in general. They represent an attempt to respond to a ‘central conundrum’ of human sociality – how to differentiate between the members of a society in terms of status – and a central dilemma of human existence – how to be at once engaged with the world and elevated beyond the ordinary conditions of embodied existence. This paper endeavours to achieve a more unified perspective on Indian kingship and Brahmanism by exploring their relation to the world of social action, and action more generally. Indian civilisation has struggled for millennia with the fundamental existential conflicts of ‘being in the world.’ Hence what is to be gained from unravelling the products of this struggle is not only a better understanding of Indian culture alone but of human experience in general.
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    China's Marine Fishery and Global Ocean Governance
    Zhang, H ; Wu, F (WILEY, 2017-05-01)
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    Estimating urban water demand under conditions of rapid growth: the case of Shanghai
    Li, M ; Finlayson, B ; Webber, M ; Barnett, J ; Webber, S ; Rogers, S ; Chen, Z ; Wei, T ; Chen, J ; Wu, X ; Wang, M (SPRINGER HEIDELBERG, 2017-04-01)
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    Estimating urban water demand under conditions of rapid growth: the case of Shanghai (vol 17, pg 1153, 2017)
    Li, M ; Finlayson, B ; Webber, M ; Barnett, J ; Webber, S ; Rogers, S ; Chen, Z ; Wei, T ; Chen, J ; Wu, X ; Wang, M (SPRINGER HEIDELBERG, 2017-04-01)
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    The AIIB and China's Normative Power in International Financial Governance Structure
    Peng, Z ; Tok, SK (SPRINGER SINGAPORE PTE LTD, 2016-12-01)
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    MxA transcripts with distinct first exons and modulation of gene expression levels by single-nucleotide polymorphisms in human bronchial epithelial cells.
    Noguchi, S ; Hijikata, M ; Hamano, E ; Matsushita, I ; Ito, H ; Ohashi, J ; Nagase, T ; Keicho, N (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2013-02)
    Myxovirus resistance A (MxA) is a major interferon (IFN)-inducible antiviral protein. Promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of MxA near the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) have been frequently associated with various viral diseases, including emerging respiratory infections. We investigated the expression profile of MxA transcripts with distinct first exons in human bronchial epithelial cells. For primary culture, the bronchial epithelium was isolated from lung tissues with different genotypes, and total RNA was subjected to real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. The previously reported MxA transcript (T1) and a recently registered transcript with a distinct 5' first exon (T0) were identified. IFN-β and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid induced approximately 100-fold higher expression of the T1 transcript than that of the T0 transcript, which also had a potential ISRE motif near its transcription start site. Even without inducers, the T1 transcript accounted for approximately two thirds of the total expression of MxA, levels of which were significantly associated with its promoter and exon 1 SNPs (rs17000900, rs2071430, and rs464138). Our results suggest that MxA observed in respiratory viral infections is possibly dominated by the T1 transcript and partly influenced by relevant 5' SNPs.
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    Elucidating the origin of HLA-B*73 allelic lineage: Did modern humans benefit by archaic introgression?
    Yasukochi, Y ; Ohashi, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2017-01)
    A previous study reported that some of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles and haplotypes in present-day humans were acquired by admixture with archaic humans; specifically, an exceptionally diverged HLA-B*73 allele was proposed to be transmitted from Denisovans, although the DNA sequence of HLA-B*73 has not been detected in the Denisovan genome. Here, we argue against the hypothesis that HLA-B*73 introgressed from Denisovans into early modern humans. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that HLA-B*73:01 formed a monophyletic group with a chimpanzee MHC-B allele, strongly suggesting that the HLA-B*73 allelic lineage has been maintained in humans as well as in chimpanzees since the divergence of humans and chimpanzees. The global distribution of HLA-B*73 allele showed that the population frequency of HLA-B*73 in west Asia (0.24 %)-a possible site of admixture with Denisovans-is lower than that in Europe (0.72 %) and in south Asia (0.69 %). Furthermore, HLA-B*73 is not observed in Melanesia even though the Melanesian genome contains the highest proportion of Denisovan ancestry in present-day human populations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in HLA-A*11-HLA-C*12:02 or HLA-A*11-C*15 haplotypes, one of which was assumed to be transmitted together with HLA-B*73 from Denisovans by the study of Abi-Rached and colleagues, were not differentiated from those in other HLA-A-C haplotypes in modern humans. These results do not support the introgression hypothesis. Thus, we conclude that it is highly likely that HLA-B*73 allelic lineage has been maintained in the direct ancestors of modern humans.
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    Genetic evidence for contribution of human dispersal to the genetic diversity of EBA-175 in Plasmodium falciparum.
    Yasukochi, Y ; Naka, I ; Patarapotikul, J ; Hananantachai, H ; Ohashi, J (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2015-08-01)
    BACKGROUND: The 175-kDa erythrocyte binding antigen (EBA-175) of Plasmodium falciparum plays a crucial role in merozoite invasion into human erythrocytes. EBA-175 is believed to have been under diversifying selection; however, there have been no studies investigating the effect of dispersal of humans out of Africa on the genetic variation of EBA-175 in P. falciparum. METHODS: The PCR-direct sequencing was performed for a part of the eba-175 gene (regions II and III) using DNA samples obtained from Thai patients infected with P. falciparum. The divergence times for the P. falciparum eba-175 alleles were estimated assuming that P. falciparum/Plasmodium reichenowi divergence occurred 6 million years ago (MYA). To examine the possibility of diversifying selection, nonsynonymous and synonymous substitution rates for Plasmodium species were also estimated. RESULTS: A total of 32 eba-175 alleles were identified from 131 Thai P. falciparum isolates. Their estimated divergence time was 0.13-0.14 MYA, before the exodus of humans from Africa. A phylogenetic tree for a large sequence dataset of P. falciparum eba-175 alleles from across the world showed the presence of a basal Asian-specific cluster for all P. falciparum sequences. A markedly more nonsynonymous substitutions than synonymous substitutions in region II in P. falciparum was also detected, but not within Plasmodium species parasitizing African apes, suggesting that diversifying selection has acted specifically on P. falciparum eba-175. CONCLUSIONS: Plasmodium falciparum eba-175 genetic diversity appeared to increase following the exodus of Asian ancestors from Africa. Diversifying selection may have played an important role in the diversification of eba-175 allelic lineages. The present results suggest that the dispersals of humans out of Africa influenced significantly the molecular evolution of P. falciparum EBA-175.