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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue: Kinase inhibitors
Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071818 (registering DOI) -
Open AccessArticle
Urban Park Systems to Support Sustainability: The Role of Urban Park Systems in Hot Arid Urban Climates
Forests 2018, 9(7), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070439 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Quantifying ecosystem services in urban areas is complex. However, existing ecosystem service typologies and ecosystem modeling can provide a means towards understanding some key biophysical links between urban forests and ecosystem services. This project addresses broader concepts of sustainability by assessing the urban
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Quantifying ecosystem services in urban areas is complex. However, existing ecosystem service typologies and ecosystem modeling can provide a means towards understanding some key biophysical links between urban forests and ecosystem services. This project addresses broader concepts of sustainability by assessing the urban park system in Phoenix, Arizona’s hot urban climate. This project aims to quantify and demonstrate the multiple ecosystem services provided by Phoenix’s green infrastructure (i.e., urban park system), including its air pollution removal values, carbon sequestration and storage, avoided runoff, structural value, and the energy savings it provides for city residents. Modeling of ecosystem services of the urban park system revealed around 517,000 trees within the system, representing a 7.20% tree cover. These trees remove about 3630 tons (t) of carbon (at an associated value of $285,000) and about 272 t of air pollutants (at an associated value of $1.16 million) every year. Trees within Phoenix’s urban park system are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $106,000 and their structural value is estimated at $692 million. The findings of this research will increase our knowledge of the value of green infrastructure services provided by different types of urban vegetation and assist in the future design, planning and management of green infrastructure in cities. Thus, this study has implications for both policy and practice, contributing to a better understanding of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure and improving the design of green spaces in hot arid urban climates around the globe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Recycled Wood Chips, Syngas Yield, and Tar Formation in an Industrial Updraft Gasifier
Environments 2018, 5(7), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5070084 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, the moisture content, calorific value, and particle size of recycled wood chips were measured. The wood chips were used to fuel an 8.5 MWth updraft gasifier to produce syngas for combustion in a steam-producing boiler. In-situ syngas composition and
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In this study, the moisture content, calorific value, and particle size of recycled wood chips were measured. The wood chips were used to fuel an 8.5 MWth updraft gasifier to produce syngas for combustion in a steam-producing boiler. In-situ syngas composition and tar concentrations were measured and analyzed against biomass fuel properties. No efforts were made to adjust the properties of biomass or the routine operating conditions for the gasifier. A sampling device developed by CanmetENERGY-Ottawa (Ottawa, ON, Canada) was used to obtain syngas and tar samples. Wood chip samples fed to the gasifier were taken at the same time the gas was sampled. Results indicate that as the fuel moisture content increases from 20% to 35%, the production of CO drops along with a slight decrease in concentrations of H2 and CH4. Tar concentration increased slightly with increased moisture content and proportion of small fuel particles (3.15–6.3 mm). Based on the findings of this study, biomass fuel moisture content of 20% and particles larger than 6.3 mm (1/4″) are recommended for the industrial updraft gasifier in order to achieve a higher syngas quality and a lower tar concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Femtosecond Laser-Based Modification of PDMS to Electrically Conductive Silicon Carbide
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(7), 558; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8070558 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate femtosecond laser direct writing of conductive structures on the surface of native polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Irradiation of femtosecond laser pulses modified the PDMS to black structures, which exhibit electrical conductivity. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results
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In this paper, we experimentally demonstrate femtosecond laser direct writing of conductive structures on the surface of native polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Irradiation of femtosecond laser pulses modified the PDMS to black structures, which exhibit electrical conductivity. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the black structures were composed of β-silicon carbide (β-SiC), which can be attributed to the pyrolysis of the PDMS. The electrical conductivity was exhibited in limited laser power and scanning speed conditions. The technique we present enables the spatially selective formation of β-SiC on the surface of native PDMS only by irradiation of femtosecond laser pulses. Furthermore, this technique has the potential to open a novel route to simply fabricate flexible/stretchable MEMS devices with SiC microstructures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamics of the Methylome and Transcriptome during the Regeneration of Rice
Epigenomes 2018, 2(3), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/epigenomes2030014 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Oryza sativa indica (cv. IR64) and Oryza sativa japonica (cv. TNG67) vary in their regeneration efficiency. Such variation may occur in response to cultural environments that induce somaclonal variation. Somaclonal variations may arise from epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation. We
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Oryza sativa indica (cv. IR64) and Oryza sativa japonica (cv. TNG67) vary in their regeneration efficiency. Such variation may occur in response to cultural environments that induce somaclonal variation. Somaclonal variations may arise from epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation. We hypothesized that somaclonal variation may be associated with the differential regeneration efficiency between IR64 and TNG67 through changes in DNA methylation. We generated the stage-associated methylome and transcriptome profiles of the embryo, induced calli, sub-cultured calli, and regenerated calli (including both successful and failed regeneration) of IR64 and TNG67. We found that stage-associated changes are evident by the increase in the cytosine methylation of all contexts upon induction and decline upon regeneration. These changes in the methylome are largely random, but a few regions are consistently targeted at the later stages of culture. The expression profiles showed a dominant tissue-specific difference between the embryo and the calli. A prominent cultivar-associated divide in the global methylation pattern was observed, and a subset of cultivar-associated differentially methylated regions also showed stage-associated changes, implying a close association between differential methylation and the regeneration programs of these two rice cultivars. Based on these findings, we speculate that the differential epigenetic regulation of stress response and developmental pathways may be coupled with genetic differences, ultimately leading to differential regeneration efficiency. The present study elucidates the impact of tissue culture on callus formation and delineates the impact of stage and cultivar to determine the dynamics of the methylome and transcriptome in culture. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Heart Development, Coronary Vascularization and Ventricular Maturation in a Giant Danio (Devario malabaricus)
J. Dev. Biol. 2018, 6(3), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb6030019 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Giant danios (genus Devario), like zebrafish, are teleosts belonging to the danioninae subfamily of cyprinids. Adult giant danios are used in a variety of investigations aimed at understanding cellular and physiological processes, including heart regeneration. Despite their importance, little is known about
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Giant danios (genus Devario), like zebrafish, are teleosts belonging to the danioninae subfamily of cyprinids. Adult giant danios are used in a variety of investigations aimed at understanding cellular and physiological processes, including heart regeneration. Despite their importance, little is known about development and growth in giant danios, or their cardiac and coronary vessels development. To address this scarcity of knowledge, we performed a systematic study of a giant danio (Devario malabaricus), focusing on its cardiac development, from the segmentation period to ten months post-fertilization. Using light and scanning electron microscopy, we documented that its cardiovascular development and maturation proceed along well defined dynamic and conserved morphogenic patterns. The overall size and cardiovascular expansion of this species was significantly impacted by environmental parameters such as rearing densities. The coronary vasculature began to emerge in the late larval stage. More importantly, we documented two possible loci of initiation of the coronary vasculature in this species, and compared the emergence of the coronaries to that of zebrafish and gourami. This is the first comprehensive study of the cardiac growth in a Devario species, and our findings serve as an important reference for further investigations of cardiac biology using this species. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trajectory Assisted Municipal Agent Mobility: A Sensor-Driven Smart Waste Management System
J. Sens. Actuator Netw. 2018, 7(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jsan7030029 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ubiquity, heterogeneity and dense deployment of sensors have yielded the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, which is an integral component of various smart spaces including smart cities. Applications and services in a smart city ecosystem aim at minimizing the cost and maximizing the
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Ubiquity, heterogeneity and dense deployment of sensors have yielded the Internet of Things (IoT) concept, which is an integral component of various smart spaces including smart cities. Applications and services in a smart city ecosystem aim at minimizing the cost and maximizing the quality of living. Among these services, waste management is a unique service that covers both aspects. To this end, in this paper, we propose a WSN-driven system for smart waste management in urban areas. In our proposed framework, the waste bins are equipped with sensors that continuously monitor the waste level and trigger alarms that are wirelessly communicated to a cloud platform to actuate the municipal agents, i.e., waste collection trucks. We formulate an Integer Linear Programming (ILP) model to find the best set of trajectory-truck with the objectives of minimum cost or minimum delay. In order for the trajectory assistance to work in real time, we propose three heuristics, one of which is a greedy one. Through simulations, we show that the ILP formulation can provide a baseline reference to the heuristics, whereas the non-greedy heuristics can significantly outperform the greedy approach regarding cost and delay under moderate waste accumulation scenarios. Full article

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