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Open AccessArticle
Efficiency and Risk in Sustaining China’s Food Production and Security: Evidence from Micro-Level Panel Data Analysis of Japonica Rice Production
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1282; doi:10.3390/su10041282 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sustainable food production and food security are always challenging issues in China. This paper constructs a multi-element two-level constant-elasticity-of-substitution (CES) model to assess technological progress in, and its contribution to, japonica rice production in China. The results show that the speed of technological
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Sustainable food production and food security are always challenging issues in China. This paper constructs a multi-element two-level constant-elasticity-of-substitution (CES) model to assess technological progress in, and its contribution to, japonica rice production in China. The results show that the speed of technological progress in the production of japonica rice on average was 0.44% per annum in 1985–2013, and technological progress has contributed significantly to the growth of japonica rice production in China. Robustness checks show that the results appear to be sensitive to which sub-sample is used. Labour and some other inputs are found to be significant but negative, especially during the middle sampling period of 1994–2006 and in eastern and western regions. This has important policy implications on the impact of rural-to-urban migration and farmers’ human development. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Projection of Future Mortality Due to Temperature and Population Changes under Representative Concentration Pathways and Shared Socioeconomic Pathways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 822; doi:10.3390/ijerph15040822 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets.
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The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to even below 1.5 °C. Now, it should be asked what benefits are in pursuing these two targets. In this study, we assessed the temperature–mortality relationship using a distributed lag non-linear model in seven major cities of South Korea. Then, we projected future temperature-attributable mortality under different Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) and Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios for those cities. Mortality was projected to increase by 1.53 under the RCP 4.5 (temperature increase by 2.83 °C) and 3.3 under the RCP 8.5 (temperature increase by 5.10 °C) until the 2090s, as compared to baseline (1991–2015) mortality. However, future mortality is expected to increase by less than 1.13 and 1.26 if the 1.5 °C and 2 °C increase targets are met, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. Achieving the more ambitious target of 1.5 °C will reduce mortality by 12%, when compared to the 2 °C target. When we estimated future mortality due to both temperature and population changes, the future mortality was found to be increased by 2.07 and 3.85 for the 1.5 °C and 2 °C temperature increases, respectively, under the RCP 4.5. These increases can be attributed to a growing proportion of elderly population, who is more vulnerable to high temperatures. Meeting the target of 1.5 °C will be particularly beneficial for rapidly aging societies, including South Korea. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Wearable Gait Phase Detection System Based on Force Myography Techniques
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 1279; doi:10.3390/s18041279 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
(1) Background: Quantitative evaluation of gait parameters can provide useful information for constructing individuals’ gait profile, diagnosing gait abnormalities, and better planning of rehabilitation schemes to restore normal gait pattern. Objective determination of gait phases in a gait cycle is a key requirement
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(1) Background: Quantitative evaluation of gait parameters can provide useful information for constructing individuals’ gait profile, diagnosing gait abnormalities, and better planning of rehabilitation schemes to restore normal gait pattern. Objective determination of gait phases in a gait cycle is a key requirement in gait analysis applications; (2) Methods: In this study, the feasibility of using a force myography-based technique for a wearable gait phase detection system is explored. In this regard, a force myography band is developed and tested with nine participants walking on a treadmill. The collected force myography data are first examined sample-by-sample and classified into four phases using Linear Discriminant Analysis. The gait phase events are then detected from these classified samples using a set of supervisory rules; (3) Results: The results show that the force myography band can correctly detect more than 99.9% of gait phases with zero insertions and only four deletions over 12,965 gait phase segments. The average temporal error of gait phase detection is 55.2 ms, which translates into 2.1% error with respect to the corresponding labelled stride duration; (4) Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study demonstrates the feasibility of force myography techniques as viable solutions in developing wearable gait phase detection systems. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Some Aspects of Turbulent Mixing of Jets in the Marine Environment
Water 2018, 10(4), 522; doi:10.3390/w10040522 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Prominent among environmental problems is the pollution of the coastal marine zone as a result of anthropogenic activities. On this point, while studies of jets in still water and in crossflows have been developed in many research centres, studies on jets interacting with
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Prominent among environmental problems is the pollution of the coastal marine zone as a result of anthropogenic activities. On this point, while studies of jets in still water and in crossflows have been developed in many research centres, studies on jets interacting with waves are still rare. The present study analyses turbulent, non-buoyant water jets issued into a wave environment. A comparison of the time-averaged and phase-averaged velocity components has been carried out, in order to highlight the flow patterns in the two configurations. The experimental data have also been compared with others in the literature, such as the relationship between the dimensionless, longitudinal, time-averaged velocities of the jet mean axis and the distance from the source. Such comparisons reveal a good agreement. Furthermore, using the analogy between the equation of the turbulent transport of a solute concentration and the equation of the turbulent kinetic energy, the paper presents also estimates of the turbulence diffusion coefficients and advection terms of jets in a wave environment. The experimental results are compared with jets in still water. With the presence of waves, the turbulence length-scales in the streamwise direction vary, contributing to an increase in streamwise turbulent diffusion, relative to the condition of the same jet in still water. The analysis of the jet streamwise advection term reveals that it increases in the case of jets in a wave environment, as compared to no-wave conditions. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Preventing Violence and Social Exclusion through Sport and Physical Activity: The SAVE Project
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2018, 3(2), 25; doi:10.3390/jfmk3020025 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from
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Sport Against Violence and Exclusion (SAVE), a project cofounded by the Erasmus + Program of the European Union, seeks to prevent violent and socially exclusive behaviors through physical activity. The current editorial shows a range of possible interpretations of these two phenomena from both a psychological and sociological point of view, offering helpful methods to coaches who train children (ages 6 to 12)in grass-root sport clubs. Following a thorough analysis, partners from seven EU countries (Lithuania, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria, and Spain) will be able to identify skills and techniques for coaches to ensure inclusive training methods as well as to provide them with effective conflict resolution tools. Furthermore, both trainers and parents will have access to an online platform with useful information regarding these issues. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Antioxidant and Cytoprotective Effects of Kukoamines A and B: Comparison and Positional Isomeric Effect
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 973; doi:10.3390/molecules23040973 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, two natural phenolic polyamines, kukoamine A and B, were comparatively investigated for their antioxidant and cytoprotective effects in Fenton-damaged bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs). When compared with kukoamine B, kukoamine A consistently demonstrated higher IC50 values in PTIO•-scavenging
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In this study, two natural phenolic polyamines, kukoamine A and B, were comparatively investigated for their antioxidant and cytoprotective effects in Fenton-damaged bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bmMSCs). When compared with kukoamine B, kukoamine A consistently demonstrated higher IC50 values in PTIO•-scavenging (pH 7.4), Cu2+-reducing, DPPH•-scavenging, •O2-scavenging, and •OH-scavenging assays. However, in the PTIO•-scavenging assay, the IC50 values of each kukoamine varied with pH value. In the Fe2+-chelating assay, kukoamine B presented greater UV-Vis absorption and darker color than kukoamine A. In the HPLC–ESI–MS/MS analysis, kukoamine A with DPPH• produced radical-adduct-formation (RAF) peaks (m/z 922 and 713). The 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl (MTT) assay suggested that both kukoamines concentration-dependently increased the viabilities of Fenton-damaged bmMSCs at 56.5–188.4 μM. However, kukoamine A showed lower viability percentages than kukoamine B. In conclusion, the two isomers kukoamine A and B can protect bmMSCs from Fenton-induced damage, possibly through direct or indirect antioxidant pathways, including electron-transfer, proton-transfer, hydrogen atom transfer, RAF, and Fe2+-chelating. Since kukoamine B possesses higher potentials than kukoamine A in these pathways, kukoamine B is thus superior to kukoamine A in terms of cytoprotection. These differences can ultimately be attributed to positional isomeric effects. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Mediterranean Moisture Contribution to Climatological and Extreme Monthly Continental Precipitation
Water 2018, 10(4), 519; doi:10.3390/w10040519 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Moisture transport from its sources to surrounding continents is one of the most relevant topics in hydrology, and its role in extreme events is crucial for understanding several processes such as intense precipitation and flooding. In this study, we considered the Mediterranean Sea
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Moisture transport from its sources to surrounding continents is one of the most relevant topics in hydrology, and its role in extreme events is crucial for understanding several processes such as intense precipitation and flooding. In this study, we considered the Mediterranean Sea as the main water source and estimated its contribution to the monthly climatological and extreme precipitation events over the surrounding continental areas. To assess the effect of the Mediterranean Sea on precipitation, we used the Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP) database to characterize precipitation. The Lagrangian dispersion model known as FLEXPART was used to estimate the moisture contribution of this source. This contribution was estimated by tracking particles that leave the Mediterranean basin monthly and then calculating water loss (E − P < 0) over the continental region, which was modelled by FLEXPART. The analysis was conducted using data from 1980 to 2015 with a spatial resolution of 0.25°. The results showed that, in general, the spatial pattern of the Mediterranean source’s contribution to precipitation, unlike climatology, is similar during extreme precipitation years in the regions under study. However, while the Mediterranean Sea is usually not an important source of climatological precipitation for some European regions, it is a significant source during extreme precipitation years. Full article
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