Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Caveats Concerning the Use of SRTM DEM Version 4.1 (CGIAR-CSI)
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 793; doi:10.3390/rs8100793 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper provides some recommendations concerning the use of version 4.1 of the near-global 3 arcsec Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) distributed by the Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI). This product is considered by most users to be [...] Read more.
This paper provides some recommendations concerning the use of version 4.1 of the near-global 3 arcsec Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM) distributed by the Consortium for Spatial Information (CGIAR-CSI). This product is considered by most users to be a void-filled version of the finished grade NASA SRTM DEM. However, in non-void areas, these DEMs can exhibit relative geolocation shifts and spatially correlated elevation differences up to tens of meters, the location and extent of which depends on the geographical location and on the download mirror of the version 4.1 product. Such differences are found to be partly due to changes introduced by NASA SRTM version 2.1, with respect to NASA SRTM version 2.0, on which CGIAR-CSI version 4.1 is based, and partly to processing and/or annotation errors affecting the CGIAR-CSI version 4.1 DEMs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Direct LAMP Assay without Prior DNA Purification for Sex Determination of Papaya
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1630; doi:10.3390/ijms17101630 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is an economically important tropical fruit tree with hermaphrodite, male and female sex types. Hermaphroditic plants are the major type used for papaya production because their fruits have more commercial advantages than those of female plants. Sex [...] Read more.
Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is an economically important tropical fruit tree with hermaphrodite, male and female sex types. Hermaphroditic plants are the major type used for papaya production because their fruits have more commercial advantages than those of female plants. Sex determination of the seedlings, or during the early growth stages, is very important for the papaya seedling industry. Thus far, the only method for determining the sex type of a papaya at the seedling stage has been DNA analysis. In this study, a molecular technique—based on DNA analysis—was developed for detecting male-hermaphrodite-specific markers to examine the papaya’s sex type. This method is based on the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and does not require prior DNA purification. The results show that the method is an easy, efficient, and inexpensive way to determine a papaya’s sex. This is the first report on the LAMP assay, using intact plant materials-without DNA purification-as samples for the analysis of sex determination of papaya. We found that using high-efficiency DNA polymerase was essential for successful DNA amplification, using trace intact plant material as a template DNA source. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Potential of LC Coupled to Fluorescence Detection in Food Metabolomics: Determination of Phenolic Compounds in Virgin Olive Oil
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1627; doi:10.3390/ijms17101627 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A powerful chromatographic method coupled to a fluorescence detector was developed to determine the phenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil (VOO), with the aim to propose an appropriate alternative to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. An excitation wavelength of 285 nm was selected [...] Read more.
A powerful chromatographic method coupled to a fluorescence detector was developed to determine the phenolic compounds present in virgin olive oil (VOO), with the aim to propose an appropriate alternative to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. An excitation wavelength of 285 nm was selected and four different emission wavelengths (316, 328, 350 and 450 nm) were simultaneously recorded, working therefore on “multi-emission” detection mode. With the use of commercially available standards and other standards obtained by semipreparative high performance liquid chromatography, it was possible to identify simple phenols, lignans, several complex phenols, and other phenolic compounds present in the matrix under study. A total of 26 phenolic compounds belonging to different chemical families were identified (23 of them were susceptible of being quantified). The proposed methodology provided detection and quantification limits within the ranges of 0.004–7.143 μg·mL−1 and 0.013–23.810 μg·mL−1, respectively. As far as the repeatability is concerned, the relative standard deviation values were below 0.43% for retention time, and 9.05% for peak area. The developed methodology was applied for the determination of phenolic compounds in ten VOOs, both monovarietals and blends. Secoiridoids were the most abundant fraction in all the samples, followed by simple phenolic alcohols, lignans, flavonoids, and phenolic acids (being the abundance order of the latter chemical classes logically depending on the variety and origin of the VOOs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating the Management System Approach for Industrial Energy Efficiency Improvements
Energies 2016, 9(10), 774; doi:10.3390/en9100774 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Voluntary environmental management systems (EMS) based on the international standard ISO 14001 have become widespread globally in recent years. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of voluntary management systems on energy efficiency in the Swedish manufacturing industry by [...] Read more.
Voluntary environmental management systems (EMS) based on the international standard ISO 14001 have become widespread globally in recent years. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of voluntary management systems on energy efficiency in the Swedish manufacturing industry by means of objective industrial energy data derived from mandatory annual environmental reports. The study focuses on changes in energy efficiency over a period of 12 years and includes both ISO 14001-certified companies and non-certified companies. Consideration is given to energy improvement efforts in the companies before the adoption of ISO 14001. The analysis has been carried out using statistical methods for two different industrial energy parameters: electricity and fossil fuel consumption. The results indicate that ISO 14001 adoption and certification has increased energy efficiency regarding the use of fossil fuel. In contrast, no effect of the management systems has been found concerning the use of electricity. The mixed results of this study are only partly in line with the results of previous studies based on perceptions of company representatives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Providing Flaxseed Oil but Not Menhaden Oil Protects against OVX Induced Bone Loss in the Mandible of Sprague-Dawley Rats
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 597; doi:10.3390/nu8100597 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are associated with benefits at several skeletal sites in postmenopausal women and in rodent models, but the effect of PUFA-containing oils on tooth-supporting alveolar bone of the mandible has not been studied. Moreover, direct comparison [...] Read more.
Higher intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are associated with benefits at several skeletal sites in postmenopausal women and in rodent models, but the effect of PUFA-containing oils on tooth-supporting alveolar bone of the mandible has not been studied. Moreover, direct comparison of the effect of flaxseed oil (a source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)) and menhaden oil (a source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) is unknown. One-month old female Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 48) were randomized to and fed a diet containing flaxseed oil or menhaden oil from one to six months of age. At three months of age, rats were randomized to receive SHAM or ovariectomy (OVX) surgery (n = 12/diet). The inter-radicular septum below the first molar of the mandible was imaged at 6 months of age (study endpoint) using micro-computed tomography (μCT) at a resolution of 9 μm. As expected, OVX significantly reduced percent bone volume (BV/TV), connectivity density (Conn. D.), trabecular number (Tb. N.), and increased trabecular separation (Tb. Sp.) compared to SHAM rats (p < 0.001). However, post hoc analysis revealed these differences were present in rats fed menhaden oil but not those fed flaxseed oil. These results suggest that providing flaxseed oil, possibly through its high ALA content, provides protection against the OVX-induced alveolar bone loss in rats. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Review of Image Fusion Algorithms Based on the Super-Resolution Paradigm
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 797; doi:10.3390/rs8100797 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A critical analysis of remote sensing image fusion methods based on the super-resolution (SR) paradigm is presented in this paper. Very recent algorithms have been selected among the pioneering studies adopting a new methodology and the most promising solutions. After introducing the [...] Read more.
A critical analysis of remote sensing image fusion methods based on the super-resolution (SR) paradigm is presented in this paper. Very recent algorithms have been selected among the pioneering studies adopting a new methodology and the most promising solutions. After introducing the concept of super-resolution and modeling the approach as a constrained optimization problem, different SR solutions for spatio-temporal fusion and pan-sharpening are reviewed and critically discussed. Concerning pan-sharpening, the well-known, simple, yet effective, proportional additive wavelet in the luminance component (AWLP) is adopted as a benchmark to assess the performance of the new SR-based pan-sharpening methods. The widespread quality indexes computed at degraded resolution, with the original multispectral image used as the reference, i.e., SAM (Spectral Angle Mapper) and ERGAS (Erreur Relative Globale Adimensionnelle de Synthèse), are finally presented. Considering these results, sparse representation and Bayesian approaches seem far from being mature to be adopted in operational pan-sharpening scenarios. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Automated Ortho-Rectification of UAV-Based Hyperspectral Data over an Agricultural Field Using Frame RGB Imagery
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 796; doi:10.3390/rs8100796 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Low-cost Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with consumer-grade imaging systems have emerged as a potential remote sensing platform that could satisfy the needs of a wide range of civilian applications. Among these applications, UAV-based agricultural mapping and monitoring have attracted significant attention [...] Read more.
Low-cost Unmanned Airborne Vehicles (UAVs) equipped with consumer-grade imaging systems have emerged as a potential remote sensing platform that could satisfy the needs of a wide range of civilian applications. Among these applications, UAV-based agricultural mapping and monitoring have attracted significant attention from both the research and professional communities. The interest in UAV-based remote sensing for agricultural management is motivated by the need to maximize crop yield. Remote sensing-based crop yield prediction and estimation are primarily based on imaging systems with different spectral coverage and resolution (e.g., RGB and hyperspectral imaging systems). Due to the data volume, RGB imaging is based on frame cameras, while hyperspectral sensors are primarily push-broom scanners. To cope with the limited endurance and payload constraints of low-cost UAVs, the agricultural research and professional communities have to rely on consumer-grade and light-weight sensors. However, the geometric fidelity of derived information from push-broom hyperspectral scanners is quite sensitive to the available position and orientation established through a direct geo-referencing unit onboard the imaging platform (i.e., an integrated Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS). This paper presents an automated framework for the integration of frame RGB images, push-broom hyperspectral scanner data and consumer-grade GNSS/INS navigation data for accurate geometric rectification of the hyperspectral scenes. The approach relies on utilizing the navigation data, together with a modified Speeded-Up Robust Feature (SURF) detector and descriptor, for automating the identification of conjugate features in the RGB and hyperspectral imagery. The SURF modification takes into consideration the available direct geo-referencing information to improve the reliability of the matching procedure in the presence of repetitive texture within a mechanized agricultural field. Identified features are then used to improve the geometric fidelity of the previously ortho-rectified hyperspectral data. Experimental results from two real datasets show that the geometric rectification of the hyperspectral data was improved by almost one order of magnitude. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Short-Term Change Detection in Wetlands Using Sentinel-1 Time Series
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 795; doi:10.3390/rs8100795 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Automated monitoring systems that can capture wetlands’ high spatial and temporal variability are essential for their management. SAR-based change detection approaches offer a great opportunity to enhance our understanding of complex and dynamic ecosystems. We test a recently-developed time series change detection [...] Read more.
Automated monitoring systems that can capture wetlands’ high spatial and temporal variability are essential for their management. SAR-based change detection approaches offer a great opportunity to enhance our understanding of complex and dynamic ecosystems. We test a recently-developed time series change detection approach (S1-omnibus) using Sentinel-1 imagery of two wetlands with different ecological characteristics; a seasonal isolated wetland in southern Spain and a coastal wetland in the south of France. We test the S1-omnibus method against a commonly-used pairwise comparison of consecutive images to demonstrate its advantages. Additionally, we compare it with a pairwise change detection method using a subset of consecutive Landsat images for the same period of time. The results show how S1-omnibus is capable of capturing in space and time changes produced by water surface dynamics, as well as by agricultural practices, whether they are sudden changes, as well as gradual. S1-omnibus is capable of detecting a wider array of short-term changes than when using consecutive pairs of Sentinel-1 images. When compared to the Landsat-based change detection method, both show an overall good agreement, although certain landscape changes are detected only by either the Landsat-based or the S1-omnibus method. The S1-omnibus method shows a great potential for an automated monitoring of short time changes and accurate delineation of areas of high variability and of slow and gradual changes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
miR33a/miR33b* and miR122 as Possible Contributors to Hepatic Lipid Metabolism in Obese Women with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1620; doi:10.3390/ijms17101620 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Specific miRNA expression profiles have been shown to be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We examined the correlation between the circulating levels and hepatic expression of miR122 and miR33a/b*, the key lipid metabolism-related gene expression and the clinicopathological factors of [...] Read more.
Specific miRNA expression profiles have been shown to be associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We examined the correlation between the circulating levels and hepatic expression of miR122 and miR33a/b*, the key lipid metabolism-related gene expression and the clinicopathological factors of obese women with NAFLD. We measured miR122 and miR33a/b* expression in liver samples from 62 morbidly obese (MO), 30 moderately obese (ModO), and eight normal-weight controls. MiR122 and miR33a/b* expression was analyzed by qRT-PCR. Additionally, miR122 and miR33b* circulating levels were analyzed in 122 women. Hepatic miR33b* expression was increased in MO compared to ModO and controls, whereas miR122 expression was decreased in the MO group compared to ModO. In obese cohorts, miR33b* expression was increased in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Regarding circulating levels, MO patients with NASH showed higher miR122 levels than MO with simple steatosis (SS). These circulating levels are good predictors of histological features associated with disease severity. MO is associated with altered hepatic miRNA expression. In obese women, higher miR33b* liver expression is associated with NASH. Moreover, multiple correlations between miRNAs and the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism were found, that would suggest a miRNA-host gene circuit. Finally, miR122 circulating levels could be included in a panel of different biomarkers to improve accuracy in the non-invasive diagnosis of NASH. Full article
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