Latest Articles

Open AccessReview
Non-Coding RNAs in Hodgkin Lymphoma
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1154; doi:10.3390/ijms18061154 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to the 3’-UTR of their target genes, can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Recently, other types of non-coding RNAs—piwiRNAs and long non-coding RNAs—have also been identified. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to the 3’-UTR of their target genes, can act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors. Recently, other types of non-coding RNAs—piwiRNAs and long non-coding RNAs—have also been identified. Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is a B cell origin disease characterized by the presence of only 1% of tumor cells, known as Hodgkin and Reed-Stenberg (HRS) cells, which interact with the microenvironment to evade apoptosis. Several studies have reported specific miRNA signatures that can differentiate HL lymph nodes from reactive lymph nodes, identify histologic groups within classical HL, and distinguish HRS cells from germinal center B cells. Moreover, some signatures are associated with survival or response to chemotherapy. Most of the miRNAs in the signatures regulate genes related to apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, or signaling pathways. Here we review findings on miRNAs in HL, as well as on other non-coding RNAs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Wind Turbine Wake Mitigation through Blade Pitch Offset
Energies 2017, 10(6), 757; doi:10.3390/en10060757 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The reduction in power output associated with complex turbine-wake interactions in wind farms necessitates the development of effective wake mitigation strategies. One approach to this end entails the downregulation of individual turbines from its maximum power point with the objective of optimizing the
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The reduction in power output associated with complex turbine-wake interactions in wind farms necessitates the development of effective wake mitigation strategies. One approach to this end entails the downregulation of individual turbines from its maximum power point with the objective of optimizing the overall wind farm productivity. Downregulation via blade pitch offset has been of interest as a potential strategy, though the viability of this method is still not clear, especially in regard to its sensitivity to ambient turbulence. In this study, large-eddy simulations of a two-turbine arrangement, with the second turbine in the full wake of the first, were performed. The effects of varying the blade pitch angle of the upstream turbine on its wake characteristics, as well as the combined power of the two, were investigated. Of specific interest was the effect of turbulence intensity of the inflow on the efficacy of this method. Results showed enhanced wake recovery associated with pitching to stall, as opposed to pitching to feather, which delayed wake recovery. The increased wake recovery resulted in a noticeable increase in the power of the two-turbine configuration, only in conditions characterized by low turbulence in the incoming flow. Nevertheless, the low turbulence scenarios where the use of this method is favorable, are expected in realistic wind farms, suggesting its possible application for improved power generation. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Left and Right Truncated Schechter Luminosity Function for Quasars
Galaxies 2017, 5(2), 25; doi:10.3390/galaxies5020025 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The luminosity function for quasars (QSOs) is usually fitted by a Schechter function. The dependence of the number of quasars on the redshift, both in the low and high luminosity regions, requires the inclusion of a lower and upper boundary in the Schechter
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The luminosity function for quasars (QSOs) is usually fitted by a Schechter function. The dependence of the number of quasars on the redshift, both in the low and high luminosity regions, requires the inclusion of a lower and upper boundary in the Schechter function. The normalization of the truncated Schechter function is forced to be the same as that for the Schechter function, and an analytical form for the average value is derived. Three astrophysical applications for QSOs are provided: deduction of the parameters at low redshifts, behavior of the average absolute magnitude at high redshifts, and the location (in redshift) of the photometric maximum as a function of the selected apparent magnitude. The truncated Schechter function with the double power law and an improved Schechter function are compared as luminosity functions for QSOs. The chosen cosmological framework is that of the flat cosmology, for which we provided the luminosity distance, the inverse relation for the luminosity distance, and the distance modulus. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Methods of Choice for Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) Characterization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1153; doi:10.3390/ijms18061153 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have become a subject of intense study. These membrane-enclosed spherical structures are secreted by almost every cell type and are engaged in the transport of cellular content (cargo) from parental to target cells. The impact of EVs
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In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have become a subject of intense study. These membrane-enclosed spherical structures are secreted by almost every cell type and are engaged in the transport of cellular content (cargo) from parental to target cells. The impact of EVs transfer has been observed in many vital cellular processes including cell-to-cell communication and immune response modulation; thus, a fast and precise characterization of EVs may be relevant for both scientific and diagnostic purposes. In this review, the most popular analytical techniques used in EVs studies are presented with the emphasis on exosomes and microvesicles characterization. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of HOXB13 as a Diagnostic Immunohistochemical Marker of Prostatic Origin in Prostate Cancer Metastases: Comparison to PSA, Prostein, Androgen Receptor, ERG, NKX3.1, PSAP, and PSMA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(6), 1151; doi:10.3390/ijms18061151 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Aims: Determining the origin of metastases is an important task of pathologists to allow for the initiation of a tumor-specific therapy. Recently, homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) has been suggested as a new marker for the detection of prostatic origin. The aim of this
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Aims: Determining the origin of metastases is an important task of pathologists to allow for the initiation of a tumor-specific therapy. Recently, homeobox protein Hox-B13 (HOXB13) has been suggested as a new marker for the detection of prostatic origin. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic sensitivity of HOXB13 in comparison to commonly used immunohistochemical markers for prostate cancer. Materials and methods: Histologically confirmed prostate cancer lymph node metastases from 64 cases were used to test the diagnostic value of immunohistochemical markers: prostate specific antigen (PSA), Prostatic acid phosphatase (PSAP), prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), homeobox gene NKX3.1, prostein, androgen receptor (AR), HOXB13, and ETS-related gene (ERG). All markers were evaluated semi-quantitatively using Remmele's immune reactive score. Results: The detection rate of prostate origin of metastasis for single markers was 100% for NKX3.1, 98.1% for AR, 84.3% for PSMA, 80.8% for PSA, 66% for PSAP, 60.4% for HOXB13, 59.6% for prostein, and 50.0% for ERG. Conclusions: Our data suggest that HOXB13 on its own lacks sensitivity for the detection of prostatic origin. Therefore, this marker should be only used in conjunction with other markers, preferably the highly specific PSA. The combination of PSA with NKX3.1 shows a higher sensitivity and thus appears preferable in this setting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Innate and Adaptive Immune Defects in Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 26; doi:10.3390/jof3020026 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We evaluated the expression of biomarkers of innate and adaptive immune response in correlation with underlying conditions in 144 patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Patients with complete medical and radiological records, white cell counts, and a complete panel of CD3, CD4, CD8,
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We evaluated the expression of biomarkers of innate and adaptive immune response in correlation with underlying conditions in 144 patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Patients with complete medical and radiological records, white cell counts, and a complete panel of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, and CD56 lymphocyte subsets were included. Eighty-four (58%) patients had lymphopenia. Six (4%) patients had lymphopenia in all five CD variables. There were 62 (43%) patients with low CD56 and 62 (43%) patients with low CD19. Ten (7%) patients had isolated CD19 lymphopenia, 18 (13%) had isolated CD56 lymphopenia, and 15 (10%) had combined CD19 and CD56 lymphopenia only. Forty-eight (33%) patients had low CD3 and 46 (32%) had low CD8 counts. Twenty-five (17%) patients had low CD4, 15 (10%) of whom had absolute CD4 counts <200/μL. Multivariable logistic regression showed associations between: low CD19 and pulmonary sarcoidosis (Odds Ratio (OR), 5.53; 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 1.43–21.33; p = 0.013), and emphysema (OR, 4.58; 95% CI; 1.36–15.38; p = 0.014), low CD56 and no bronchiectasis (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.10–0.77; p = 0.014), low CD3 and both multicavitary CPA disease (OR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.30–6.72; p = 0.010) and pulmonary sarcoidosis (OR, 4.94; 95% CI, 1.39–17.57; p = 0.014). Several subtle immune defects are found in CPA. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Applications of Fluorogens with Rotor Structures in Solar Cells
Molecules 2017, 22(6), 897; doi:10.3390/molecules22060897 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Solar cells are devices that convert light energy into electricity. To drive greater adoption of solar cell technologies, higher cell efficiencies and reductions in manufacturing cost are necessary. Fluorogens containing rotor structures may be helpful in addressing some of these challenges due to
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Solar cells are devices that convert light energy into electricity. To drive greater adoption of solar cell technologies, higher cell efficiencies and reductions in manufacturing cost are necessary. Fluorogens containing rotor structures may be helpful in addressing some of these challenges due to their unique twisted structures and photophysics. In this review, we discuss the applications of rotor-containing molecules as dyes for luminescent down-shifting layers and luminescent solar concentrators, where their aggregation-induced emission properties and large Stokes shifts are highly desirable. We also discuss the applications of molecules containing rotors in third-generation solar cell technologies, namely dye-sensitized solar cells and organic photovoltaics, where the twisted 3-dimensional rotor structures are used primarily for aggregation control. Finally, we discuss perspectives on the future role of molecules containing rotor structures in solar cell technologies. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Modeling Future Land Cover Changes and Their Effects on the Land Surface Temperatures in the Saudi Arabian Eastern Coastal City of Dammam
Land 2017, 6(2), 36; doi:10.3390/land6020036 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Over the past several decades, Saudi cities have experienced rapid urban developments and land use and land cover (LULC) changes. These developments will have numerous short- and long-term consequences including increasing the land surface temperature (LST) of these cities. This study investigated the
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Over the past several decades, Saudi cities have experienced rapid urban developments and land use and land cover (LULC) changes. These developments will have numerous short- and long-term consequences including increasing the land surface temperature (LST) of these cities. This study investigated the effects of LULC changes on the LST for the eastern coastal city of Dammam. Using Landsat imagery, the study first detected the LULC using the maximum likelihood classification method and derived the LSTs for the years 1990, 2002, and 2014. Using the classified results, it then modeled the future LULC for 2026 using the Cellular Automata Markov (CAM) model. Finally, using three thematic indices and linear regression analysis, it then modeled the LST for 2026 as well. The built-up area in Dammam increased by 28.9% between 1990 and 2014. During this period, the average LSTs for the LULC classes increased as well, with bare soil and built-up area having the highest LST. By 2026, the urban area is expected to encompass 55% of the city and 98% of the land cover is envisioned to have average LSTs over 41 °C. Such high temperatures will make it difficult for the residents to live in the area. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Collagen from the Marine Sponges Axinella cannabina and Suberites carnosus: Isolation and Morphological, Biochemical, and Biophysical Characterization
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 152; doi:10.3390/md15060152 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In search of alternative and safer sources of collagen for biomedical applications, the marine demosponges Axinella cannabina and Suberites carnosus, collected from the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, respectively, were comparatively studied for their insoluble collagen, intercellular collagen, and spongin-like collagen content.
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In search of alternative and safer sources of collagen for biomedical applications, the marine demosponges Axinella cannabina and Suberites carnosus, collected from the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, respectively, were comparatively studied for their insoluble collagen, intercellular collagen, and spongin-like collagen content. The isolated collagenous materials were morphologically, physicochemically, and biophysically characterized. Using scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy the fibrous morphology of the isolated collagens was confirmed, whereas the amino acid analysis, in conjunction with infrared spectroscopy studies, verified the characteristic for the collagen amino acid profile and its secondary structure. Furthermore, the isoelectric point and thermal behavior were determined by titration and differential scanning calorimetry, in combination with circular dichroism spectroscopic studies, respectively. Full article

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