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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the Initial Thematic Output from a Continuous Change-Detection Algorithm for Use in Automated Operational Land-Change Mapping by the U.S. Geological Survey
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 811; doi:10.3390/rs8100811 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has begun the development of operational, 30-m resolution annual thematic land cover data to meet the needs of a variety of land cover data users. The Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) algorithm is being evaluated as [...] Read more.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has begun the development of operational, 30-m resolution annual thematic land cover data to meet the needs of a variety of land cover data users. The Continuous Change Detection and Classification (CCDC) algorithm is being evaluated as the likely methodology following early trials. Data for training and testing of CCDC thematic maps have been provided by the USGS Land Cover Trends (LC Trends) project, which offers sample-based, manually classified thematic land cover data at 2755 probabilistically located sample blocks across the conterminous United States. These samples represent a high quality, well distributed source of data to train the Random Forest classifier invoked by CCDC. We evaluated the suitability of LC Trends data to train the classifier by assessing the agreement of annual land cover maps output from CCDC with output from the LC Trends project within 14 Landsat path/row locations across the conterminous United States. We used a small subset of circa 2000 data from the LC Trends project to train the classifier, reserving the remaining Trends data from 2000, and incorporating LC Trends data from 1992, to evaluate measures of agreement across time, space, and thematic classes, and to characterize disagreement. Overall agreement ranged from 75% to 98% across the path/rows, and results were largely consistent across time. Land cover types that were well represented in the training data tended to have higher rates of agreement between LC Trends and CCDC outputs. Characteristics of disagreement are being used to improve the use of LC Trends data as a continued source of training information for operational production of annual land cover maps. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Air Pressure Fluctuations and Topsoil Gas Concentrations within a Scots Pine Forest
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 125; doi:10.3390/atmos7100125 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
High-precision differential air pressure measurements were conducted in the below-canopy space of a Scots pine forest and in the forest soil to investigate small air pressure fluctuations and their effect on soil gas flux. In addition to air pressure measurements, tracer gas [...] Read more.
High-precision differential air pressure measurements were conducted in the below-canopy space of a Scots pine forest and in the forest soil to investigate small air pressure fluctuations and their effect on soil gas flux. In addition to air pressure measurements, tracer gas concentration in the soil and airflow characteristics above and below the canopy were measured. Results suggest that air pressure fluctuations in the frequency range of 0.01 Hz–0.1 Hz are strongly dependent on above-canopy wind speed. While amplitudes of the observed air pressure fluctuations (<10 Pa) increase significantly with increasing above-canopy wind speed, the periods decrease significantly with increasing above-canopy wind speed. These air pressure fluctuations are associated with the pressure-pumping effect in the soil. A pressure-pumping coefficient was defined, which describes the strength of the pressure-pumping effect. During the measurement period, pressure-pumping coefficients up to 0.44 Pa·s−1 were found. The dependence of the pressure-pumping coefficient on mean above-canopy wind speed can be described well with a polynomial fit of second degree. The knowledge of this relation simplifies the quantification of the pressure-pumping effect in a Scots pine forest considerably, since only the mean above-canopy wind speed has to be measured. In addition, empirical modeling revealed that the pressure-pumping coefficient explains the largest fraction of the variance of tracer gas concentration in the topsoil. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Approach to Extended Fresnel Scattering for Modeling of Depolarizing Soil-Trunk Double-Bounce Scattering
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 818; doi:10.3390/rs8100818 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Focusing on scattering from natural media, dihedral (double bounce) scattering is often characterized as a soil-trunk double Fresnel reflection, like for instance, in most model-based decompositions. As soils are predominantly rough in agriculture, the classical Rank 1 dihedral scattering component has to [...] Read more.
Focusing on scattering from natural media, dihedral (double bounce) scattering is often characterized as a soil-trunk double Fresnel reflection, like for instance, in most model-based decompositions. As soils are predominantly rough in agriculture, the classical Rank 1 dihedral scattering component has to be extended to account for soil roughness-induced depolarization. Therefore, an azimuthal Line of Sight (LoS) rotation is applied solely on the soil plane of the double-bounce reflection to generate a depolarized dihedral scattering signal in agriculture. The results of the sensitivity analysis are shown for a distributed target in coherency matrix representation. It reveals that the combination of coherency matrix elements T22XD + T33XD is quasi-independent of the roughness-induced depolarization, while (T22XD − T33XD)/(T22XD + T33XD) is quasi-independent of the dielectric properties of the reflecting media. Therefore, a depolarization-independent retrieval of soil moisture or a direct roughness retrieval from the extended dihedral scattering component might be possible in stalk-dominated agriculture under certain conditions (e.g., the influence of a differential phase stays at a low level: ϕ < 15°). The first analyses with L-band airborne-SAR data of DLR’s E-SAR and F-SAR systems in agricultural regions during the AgriSAR, OPAQUE, SARTEO and TERENO project campaigns state the existence and potential of the extended Fresnel scattering mechanism to represent dihedral scattering between a rough (tilled) soil and the stalks of the agricultural plants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of the Electronic Structures and Photoelectrical Properties of Ethyl Red and Carminic Acid for DSSC Application
Materials 2016, 9(10), 813; doi:10.3390/ma9100813 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The photoelectrical properties of two dyes—ethyl red and carminic acid—as sensitizers of dye-sensitized solar cells were investigated in experiments herein described. In order to reveal the reason for the difference between the photoelectrical properties of the two dyes, the ground state and [...] Read more.
The photoelectrical properties of two dyes—ethyl red and carminic acid—as sensitizers of dye-sensitized solar cells were investigated in experiments herein described. In order to reveal the reason for the difference between the photoelectrical properties of the two dyes, the ground state and excited state properties of the dyes before and after adsorbed on TiO2 were calculated via density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TDDFT). The key parameters including the light harvesting efficiency (LHE), the driving force of electron injection (ΔGinject) and dye regeneration (ΔGregen), the total dipole moment (μnormal), the conduction band of edge of the semiconductor (ΔECB), and the excited state lifetime (τ) were investigated, which are closely related to the short-circuit current density (Jsc) and open circuit voltage (Voc). It was found that the experimental carminic acid has a larger Jsc and Voc, which are interpreted by a larger amount of dye adsorbed on a TiO2 photoanode and a larger ΔGregen, excited state lifetime (τ), μnormal, and ΔECB. At the same time, chemical reactivity parameters illustrate that the lower chemical hardness (h) and higher electron accepting power (ω+) of carminic acid have an influence on the short-circuit current density. Therefore, carminic acid shows excellent photoelectric conversion efficiency in comparison with ethyl red. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification, Molecular Cloning of IL-1β and Its Expression Profile during Nocardia seriolae Infection in Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1670; doi:10.3390/ijms17101670 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In the present study, IL-1β cDNA was identified and analyzed from largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Full length IL-1β mRNA was obtained using Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE), which contains 78 bp 3′-UTR, a 455 bp 5′-UTR, and an open [...] Read more.
In the present study, IL-1β cDNA was identified and analyzed from largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Full length IL-1β mRNA was obtained using Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE), which contains 78 bp 3′-UTR, a 455 bp 5′-UTR, and an open reading frame (ORF) of 702 bp coding for 233 amino acid residues. The molecular weight and theoretical isoelectric point of largemouth bass IL-1β protein was predicted to be 26.7 kDa and 6.08 respectively. A largemouth bass IL-1β phylogenetic analysis showed a close relation to the IL-1βs of striped trumpeter (Latris lineata), Chinese perch (Siniperca chuatsi), and Japanese sea bass (Lateolabrax japonicus). Peptidoglycan upregulated IL-1β in the spleen and head kidney, while lipopolysaccharide upregulated detectable levels of IL-1β in the spleen only. Largemouth bass, challenged with Nocardia seriolae (1.0 × 106 cfu/mL), showed a significant increase in IL-1β at 3 and 5 days post infection (dpi) in the spleen, while in the head kidney significant expression was found at 2 and 3 dpi, peaking at 3 dpi. Furthermore, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) showed significantly higher expression in the spleen at 3 and 5 dpi, and in the head kidney at 1 and 3 dpi, with expression decreasing at 5 dpi in both tissues. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
A Continuous Extraction and Pumpless Supercritical CO2 Drying System for Laboratory-Scale Aerogel Production
Gels 2016, 2(4), 26; doi:10.3390/gels2040026 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Production of aerogels starts with solution chemistry and may end with supercritical carbon dioxide drying, which both require a specialized system. Here we present a complete aerogel production system that was developed and used in our laboratory over the last nine years. [...] Read more.
Production of aerogels starts with solution chemistry and may end with supercritical carbon dioxide drying, which both require a specialized system. Here we present a complete aerogel production system that was developed and used in our laboratory over the last nine years. Our aim was to develop a supercritical dryer and a protocol, whereby the CO2 pump can be left out, and the entire flow system is operated by the pressure of the CO2 cylinder. Drying pressure and temperature are controlled by the combination of the filling and heating temperatures. A continuous-mode solvent exchange system has also been developed, in which the solvent consumption during the process can be reduced to one-third of the batch method. In the new medium temperature 1.5 L volume supercritical dryer, the temperature is set to a constant 80–82 °C, and the pressure can be in the 90–200 bar range, depending on the conditions. We have performed approximately 200 dryings thus far, and prepared a wide range of monolithic aerogels, from pristine silica aerogels to polysaccharides and collagen. In this paper, we have summarized not only the technical details, but also the work experiences, as well as advantages and disadvantages of the systems. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Supramolecular Complexes for Quantum Simulation
Magnetochemistry 2016, 2(4), 37; doi:10.3390/magnetochemistry2040037 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Simulating the evolution of quantum systems on a classical computer is a yellow very challenging task, which could be easily tackled by digital quantum simulators. These are intrinsically quantum devices whose parameters can be controlled in order to mimic the evolution of [...] Read more.
Simulating the evolution of quantum systems on a classical computer is a yellow very challenging task, which could be easily tackled by digital quantum simulators. These are intrinsically quantum devices whose parameters can be controlled in order to mimic the evolution of a broad class of target Hamiltonians. We describe here a quantum simulator implemented on a linear register of molecular Cr7Ni qubits, linked through Co2+ ions which act as switches of the qubit–qubit interaction. This allows us to implement one- and two-qubit gates on the chain with high-fidelity, by means of uniform magnetic pulses. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the scheme by numerical experiments in which we combine several of these elementary gates to implement the simulation of the transverse field Ising model on a set of three qubits. The very good agreement with the expected evolution suggests that the proposed architecture can be scaled to several qubits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urinary Sodium and Potassium Excretion and Carotid Atherosclerosis in Chinese Men and Women
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 612; doi:10.3390/nu8100612 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Limited studies have examined the association between sodium (Na) and potassium (K) levels and the risk of atherosclerosis. This study examined whether higher Na and Na/K levels and low K levels were independent risk factors for atherosclerosis. This community-based cross-sectional study included [...] Read more.
Limited studies have examined the association between sodium (Na) and potassium (K) levels and the risk of atherosclerosis. This study examined whether higher Na and Na/K levels and low K levels were independent risk factors for atherosclerosis. This community-based cross-sectional study included 3290 subjects (1067 men and 2223 women) 40 to 75 years of age in Guangzhou, China, between 2011 and 2013. Urinary excretion of Na and K were measured from the first morning void, and creatinine-adjusted values were used. The intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid common artery and the carotid bifurcation was measured with high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography. Dietary K and Na intake and other covariates were obtained by face-to-face interviews. A significant positive association was seen between urinary Na excretion and carotid atherosclerosis after adjustment for age, sex, and other lifestyle covariates. The odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of the highest (vs. lowest) quartile of urinary Na were 1.32 (1.04–1.66) for carotid plaques, 1.48 (1.18–1.87) for increased common carotid artery IMT, and 1.55 (1.23–1.96) for increased carotid bifurcation IMT (all p-trend < 0.01). A similar positive association was observed between urinary Na/K levels and carotid plaque and increased IMT, and between dietary Na intake and increased bifurcation IMT. Regarding potassium data, we only found a significantly lower presence of carotid plaque (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.57–0.91) for quartile 2 (vs. 1) of urinary K. Our findings suggest that higher levels of urinary excretion Na and Na/K are significantly associated with greater presence of carotid atherosclerosis in Chinese adults. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Antiproliferative and Antiangiogenic Effects of Punica granatum Juice (PGJ) in Multiple Myeloma (MM)
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 611; doi:10.3390/nu8100611 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal B-cell malignancy characterized by an accumulation of clonal plasma cells (PC) in the bone marrow (BM) leading to bone destruction and BM failure. Despite recent advances in pharmacological therapy, MM remains a largely incurable pathology. Therefore, [...] Read more.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal B-cell malignancy characterized by an accumulation of clonal plasma cells (PC) in the bone marrow (BM) leading to bone destruction and BM failure. Despite recent advances in pharmacological therapy, MM remains a largely incurable pathology. Therefore, novel effective and less toxic agents are urgently necessary. In the last few years, pomegranate has been studied for its potential therapeutic properties including treatment and prevention of cancer. Pomegranate juice (PGJ) contains a number of potential active compounds including organic acids, vitamins, sugars, and phenolic components that are all responsible of the pro-apoptotic effects observed in tumor cell line. The aim of present investigation is to assess the antiproliferative and antiangiogenic potential of the PGJ in human multiple myeloma cell lines. Our data demonstrate the anti-proliferative potential of PGJ in MM cells; its ability to induce G0/G1 cell cycle block and its anti-angiogenic effects. Interestingly, sequential combination of bortezomib/PGJ improved the cytotoxic effect of the proteosome inhibitor. We investigated the effect of PGJ on angiogenesis and cell migration/invasion. Interestingly, we observed an inhibitory effect on the tube formation, microvessel outgrowth aorting ring and decreased cell migration and invasion as showed by wound-healing and transwell assays, respectively. Analysis of angiogenic genes expression in endothelial cells confirmed the anti-angiogenic properties of pomegranate. Therefore, PGJ administration could represent a good tool in order to identify novel therapeutic strategies for MM treatment, exploiting its anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic effects. Finally, the present research supports the evidence that PGJ could play a key role of a future therapeutic approach for treatment of MM in order to optimize the pharmacological effect of bortezomib, especially as adjuvant after treatment. Full article
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19 September 2016
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