Latest Articles

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Family Genealogy and Family Communication: Finding Common Ground
Genealogy 2017, 1(1), 6; doi:10.3390/genealogy1010006 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The intersection between family genealogy and family communication is an area ripe for scholarly research within the field of communication studies, as well as the broader area of genealogy studies. The opportunity and desire to conduct family genealogical research continues to grow as
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The intersection between family genealogy and family communication is an area ripe for scholarly research within the field of communication studies, as well as the broader area of genealogy studies. The opportunity and desire to conduct family genealogical research continues to grow as the services and tools making such research become more affordable and user friendly. In reflecting upon the ways in which genealogy research and family communication interact with one another, this article seeks to make a case for ongoing and increased scholarship regarding the impact of genealogy data upon family communication patterns, family narrative, and family identity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Operational High Resolution Land Cover Map Production at the Country Scale Using Satellite Image Time Series
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 95; doi:10.3390/rs9010095 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A detailed and accurate knowledge of land cover is crucial for many scientific and operational applications, and as such, it has been identified as an Essential Climate Variable. This accurate knowledge needs frequent updates. This paper presents a methodology for the fully automatic
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A detailed and accurate knowledge of land cover is crucial for many scientific and operational applications, and as such, it has been identified as an Essential Climate Variable. This accurate knowledge needs frequent updates. This paper presents a methodology for the fully automatic production of land cover maps at country scale using high resolution optical image time series which is based on supervised classification and uses existing databases as reference data for training and validation. The originality of the approach resides in the use of all available image data, a simple pre-processing step leading to a homogeneous set of acquisition dates over the whole area and the use of a supervised classifier which is robust to errors in the reference data. The produced maps have a kappa coefficient of 0.86 with 17 land cover classes. The processing is efficient, allowing a fast delivery of the maps after the acquisition of the image data, does not need expensive field surveys for model calibration and validation, nor human operators for decision making, and uses open and freely available imagery. The land cover maps are provided with a confidence map which gives information at the pixel level about the expected quality of the result. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Assessment and Injury Risk in a Professional Soccer Team
Sports 2017, 5(1), 9; doi:10.3390/sports5010009 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
At the last World Conference on Sport and Physical Therapy celebrated in Bern (Switzerland, 2015), it was confirmed that the functional skills of an athlete are a very important variable to be considered in the recovery of an injury. On the other hand,
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At the last World Conference on Sport and Physical Therapy celebrated in Bern (Switzerland, 2015), it was confirmed that the functional skills of an athlete are a very important variable to be considered in the recovery of an injury. On the other hand, its use as a predictive risk tool still lacks solid evidence. The purpose of this study was to determine whether a battery of functional tests (FPT) could be used as a preliminary measure for the season in order to identify the injury risk in a professional soccer team in the Spanish Second Division B League. Fifty-two soccer players (ages of 25.3 ± 4.6 years, 10.33% ± 0.9% fat) were functionally assessed during two seasons (2012–2013 and 2013–2014) and analyzed from an injury perspective. A total of 125 injuries were recorded. The sample was grouped based on the number of injuries and the required absence days. Except for the bipodal vertical jump (CMJ), none of the functional tests revealed differences among the groups. The correlation study between the functional condition and the suffered injuries did not show any significant results. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Function of HumAnimAllegory
Humanities 2017, 6(1), 2; doi:10.3390/h6010002 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This article presents a critical reading of the function of the animal-human allegory or the “humanimallegory” in both the animated films Animal Farm and Chicken Run. Based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name, Animal Farm provides an allegorical representation of
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This article presents a critical reading of the function of the animal-human allegory or the “humanimallegory” in both the animated films Animal Farm and Chicken Run. Based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name, Animal Farm provides an allegorical representation of the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism in the Soviet Union by relaying Orwell’s story of a revolution led by a group of farm animals and its aftermath. Animal Farm ultimately reduces its fictional animal characters to simple metaphors for real human subjects, thus serving the most common function of the animal-human allegory in literature as well as film. In contrast, improvising on the many prisoner-of-war films that were produced during the first few decades following World War II, Chicken Run tells the story of a group of chickens who attempt to escape from an egg farm. Chicken Run complicates the function of the animal-human allegory, though, by resisting the allegorical reduction of its fictional animal characters to simple metaphors for real human subjects. By presenting a critical reading of these two different films, this article suggests that the literary concept of allegory itself remains circumscribed within the philosophical tradition of humanism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Change of Muscle Activity as Well as Kinematic and Kinetic Parameters during Headers after Core Muscle Fatigue
Sports 2017, 5(1), 10; doi:10.3390/sports5010010 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In soccer, headers are a tactical measure and influenced by numerous factors. The goal of this study was to identify whether changes in kinematics and muscular activity, especially of the head-stabilizing muscles, occur during headers when the core musculature is fatigued. In two
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In soccer, headers are a tactical measure and influenced by numerous factors. The goal of this study was to identify whether changes in kinematics and muscular activity, especially of the head-stabilizing muscles, occur during headers when the core musculature is fatigued. In two subgroups, muscular activity (12 amateur players, age 23.6 ± 4.2 years) and kinematics and dynamics (29 amateur players, age 23.7 ± 2.8 years) were examined during straight headers on a pendulum header. Data were collected before and after the core muscles were fatigued by an exercise program. Telemetric surface EMG, 3D acceleration sensor, force plate, and video recordings were used. Under fatigue, the activity of M. erector spinae and M. rectus abdominis was significantly reduced in the preparation phase of the header. The activity of M. sternocleidomastoideus was significantly increased during the jump phase, and the hip extension angle during maximum arched body tension was significantly reduced under fatigue. Jumping height, acceleration force impulse, and linear head acceleration were also significantly reduced. We conclude that fatigue of the core muscles affects the motion technique of the header and the activity of the muscle groups stabilizing the head. Therefore, the necessity of specific training in soccer should be emphasized from a medical-preventive point of view. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fully Integrated on-Chip Switched DC–DC Converter for Battery-Powered Mixed-Signal SoCs
Symmetry 2017, 9(1), 18; doi:10.3390/sym9010018 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper presents a fully integrated on-chip switched-capacitor (SC) DC–DC converter that supports a programmable regulated power supply ranging from 2.6 to 3.2 V out of a 5 V input supply. The proposed 4-to-3 step-down topology utilizes two conventional 2-to-1 step-down topologies; each
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This paper presents a fully integrated on-chip switched-capacitor (SC) DC–DC converter that supports a programmable regulated power supply ranging from 2.6 to 3.2 V out of a 5 V input supply. The proposed 4-to-3 step-down topology utilizes two conventional 2-to-1 step-down topologies; each of them (2-to-1_up and 2-to-1_dw) has a different flying capacitance to maximize the load current driving capability while minimizing the bottom-plate capacitance loss. The control circuits use a low power supply provided by a small internal low-drop output (LDO) connected to the internal load voltage (VL_dw) from the 2-to-1_dw, and low swing level-shifted gate-driving signals are generated using the internal load voltage (VL_dw). Therefore, the proposed implementation reduces control circuit and switching power consumptions. The programmable power supply voltage is regulated by means of a pulse frequency modulation (PFM) technique with the compensated two-stage operational transconductance amplifier (OTA) and the current-starved voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) to maintain high efficiency over a wide range of load currents. The proposed on-chip SC DC–DC converter is designed and simulated using high-voltage 0.35 μm bipolar, complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) and DMOS (BCDMOS) technology. It achieves a peak efficiency of 74% when delivering an 8 mA load current at a 3.2 V supply voltage level, and it provides a maximum output power of 48 mW (IL = 15 mA at VL_up = 3.2 V) at 70.5% efficiency. The proposed on-chip SC voltage regulator shows better efficiency than the ideal linear regulator over a wide range of output power, from 2.6 mW to 48 mW. The 18-phase interleaving technique enables the worst-case output voltage ripple to be less than 5.77% of the load voltage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gross Primary Production of a Wheat Canopy Relates Stronger to Far Red Than to Red Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 97; doi:10.3390/rs9010097 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted by chlorophyll molecules in the red (RSIF) and far red region (FRSIF), and is considered as a potential indicator of the functional state of photosynthesis in remote sensing applications. Recently, ground studies and space
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Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) is a radiation flux emitted by chlorophyll molecules in the red (RSIF) and far red region (FRSIF), and is considered as a potential indicator of the functional state of photosynthesis in remote sensing applications. Recently, ground studies and space observations have demonstrated a strong empirical linear relationship between FRSIF and carbon uptake through photosynthesis (GPP, gross primary production). In this study, we investigated the potential of RSIF and FRSIF to represent the functional status of photosynthesis at canopy level on a wheat crop. RSIF and FRSIF were continuously measured in the O2-B (SIF687) and O2-A bands (SIF760) at a high frequency rate from a nadir view at a height of 21 m, simultaneously with carbon uptake using eddy covariance (EC) techniques. The relative fluorescence yield (Fyield) and the photochemical yield were acquired at leaf level using active fluorescence measurements. SIF was normalized with photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) to derive apparent spectral fluorescence yields (ASFY687, ASFY760). At the diurnal scale, we found limited variations of ASFY687 and ASFY760 during sunny days. We also did not find any link between Fyield and light use efficiency (LUE) derived from EC, which would prevent SIF from indicating LUE changes. The coefficient of determination (r2) of the linear regression between SIF and GPP is found to be highly variable, depending on the emission wavelength, the time scale of observation, sky conditions, and the phenological stage. Despite its photosystem II (PSII) origin, SIF687 correlates less than SIF760 with GPP in any cases. The strongest SIF–GPP relationship was found for SIF760 during canopy growth. When canopy is in a steady state, SIF687 and SIF760 are almost as effective as PAR in predicting GPP. Our results imply some constraints in the use of simple linear relationships to infer GPP from SIF, as they are expected to be better predictive with far red SIF for canopies with a high dynamic range of green biomass and a low LUE variation range. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hierarchical Terrain Classification Based on Multilayer Bayesian Network and Conditional Random Field
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 96; doi:10.3390/rs9010096 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper presents a hierarchical classification approach for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The Conditional Random Field (CRF) and Bayesian Network (BN) are employed to incorporate prior knowledge into this approach for facilitating SAR image classification. (1) A multilayer region pyramid is constructed
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This paper presents a hierarchical classification approach for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) images. The Conditional Random Field (CRF) and Bayesian Network (BN) are employed to incorporate prior knowledge into this approach for facilitating SAR image classification. (1) A multilayer region pyramid is constructed based on multiscale oversegmentation, and then, CRF is used to model the spatial relationships among those extracted regions within each layer of the region pyramid; the boundary prior knowledge is exploited and integrated into the CRF model as a strengthened constraint to improve classification performance near the boundaries. (2) Multilayer BN is applied to establish the causal connections between adjacent layers of the constructed region pyramid, where the classification probabilities of those sub-regions in the lower layer, conditioned on their parents’ regions in the upper layer, are used as adjacent links. More contextual information is taken into account in this framework, which is a benefit to the performance improvement. Several experiments are conducted on real ESAR and TerraSAR data, and the results show that the proposed method achieves better classification accuracy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fixation Release and the Bone Bandaid: A New Bone Fixation Device Paradigm
Bioengineering 2017, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/bioengineering4010005 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The current gold standard of care for mandibular segmental defeat reconstruction is the use of Ti-6Al-4V immobilization hardware and fibular double barrel graft. This method is often successful immediately at restoring mandible function, however the highly stiff fixation hardware causes stress shielding of
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The current gold standard of care for mandibular segmental defeat reconstruction is the use of Ti-6Al-4V immobilization hardware and fibular double barrel graft. This method is often successful immediately at restoring mandible function, however the highly stiff fixation hardware causes stress shielding of the grafted bone and stress concentration in the fixation device over time which can lead to fixation device failure and revision surgery. The purpose of reconstructive surgery could be to create normal stress trajectories in the mandible following engraftment. We investigate the use of a two stage mechanism which separates the immobilization/healing and regenerative phases of mandibular segmental defect treatment. The device includes the use of a very stiff, Ti-6Al-4V, releasable mechanism which assures bone healing. Therefore it could be released once the reconstructed boney tissue and any of its ligamentous attachments have completely healed. Underneath the released Ti-6Al-4V plate would be a pre-loaded nitinol (NiTi) wire-frame apparatus that facilitates the normal stress-strain trajectory through the engrafted bone after the graft is healed in place and the Ti-6Al-4V fixation device has been released. Due to the use of NiTi wires forming a netting that connects vascularized bone and possibly bone chips, bone grafts are also more likely to be incorporate rather than to resorb. We first evaluated a healthy adult mandible during normal mastication to obtain the normal stress-strain distribution. Then, we developed the finite element (FE) model of the mandibular reconstruction (in the M1-3 region) with the proposed fixation device during the healing (locked state) and post-healing (released state) periods. To recreate normal stress trajectory in the reconstructed mandible, we applied the Response Surface Methodology (RMS) to optimize the Bone Bandaid geometry (i.e., wire diameters and location). The results demonstrate that the proposed mechanism immobilizes the grafted bone in the locked state properly since the maximum resultant gap (21.54 micron) between the graft and host mandible surfaces are in the safe region (less than 300 micron). By considering the von Mises criteria for failure, FE analysis together with experimental studies (i.e., compressive and tensile testing on the inferior and superior fixation devices, respectively) confirm that the proposed fixation devices do not fail, showing safety factor of at least 10.3. Based on the Response Surface Methodology (RSM) technique, the optimal parameter values for the wires are achieved (0.65 mm and 1 mm for the superior and inferior wires, respectively) and the required level of preload on each wire are calculated (369.8 N and 229 N for the inferior and superior wires, respectively). The FE results for stress distribution on the reconstructed mandible during the released state closely match that of a healthy mandible. Full article
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