Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Aqua MODIS Collection 6 AOD Parameters for Air Quality Research over the Continental United States
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 815; doi:10.3390/rs8100815 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Satellite-retrieved aerosol optical depth (AOD) has become an important predictor of ground-level particulate matter (PM) and greatly empowered air pollution research worldwide. We evaluated the AOD parameters included in the Collection 6 aerosol product of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for [...] Read more.
Satellite-retrieved aerosol optical depth (AOD) has become an important predictor of ground-level particulate matter (PM) and greatly empowered air pollution research worldwide. We evaluated the AOD parameters included in the Collection 6 aerosol product of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for two key factors affecting their applications in air quality research—coverage and accuracy—over the continental US. For the high confidence retrievals (QAC 3), the 10 km DB-DT combined AOD has the best coverage nationwide (29.7% of the days in a year in any given 12 km grid cell). While the Eastern US generally had more successful AOD retrievals, the highest spatial coverage of AOD parameters were found in California (>55%) and other vegetated parts of the Western US. If lower QAC retrievals were included, the coverage of the 10 km DB AOD was dramatically increased to 49.6%. In the Eastern US, the QAC 3 retrievals of all four AOD parameters are highly correlated with AERONET observations (correlation coefficients between 0.80 and 0.92). In the Western US, positive retrieval errors existed in all MODIS AOD parameters, resulting in lower correlations with AERONET. AOD retrieval errors showed significant dependence on flight geometry, land cover type, and weather conditions. To ensure appropriate use of these AOD values, air quality researchers should carefully balance the needs for coverage and accuracy, and develop additional data screening criteria based on their study design. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Direct Visual Editing of Node Attributes in Graphs
Informatics 2016, 3(4), 17; doi:10.3390/informatics3040017 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We [...] Read more.
There are many expressive visualization techniques for analyzing graphs. Yet, there is only little research on how existing visual representations can be employed to support data editing. An increasingly relevant task when working with graphs is the editing of node attributes. We propose an integrated visualize-and-edit approach to editing attribute values via direct interaction with the visual representation. The visualize part is based on node-link diagrams paired with attribute-dependent layouts. The edit part is as easy as moving nodes via drag-and-drop gestures. We present dedicated interaction techniques for editing quantitative as well as qualitative attribute data values. The benefit of our novel integrated approach is that one can directly edit the data while the visualization constantly provides feedback on the implications of the data modifications. Preliminary user feedback indicates that our integrated approach can be a useful complement to standard non-visual editing via external tools. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Entropy-Based Application Layer DDoS Attack Detection Using Artificial Neural Networks
Entropy 2016, 18(10), 350; doi:10.3390/e18100350 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is one of the major threats to the web server. The rapid increase of DDoS attacks on the Internet has clearly pointed out the limitations in current intrusion detection systems or intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), mostly caused by [...] Read more.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is one of the major threats to the web server. The rapid increase of DDoS attacks on the Internet has clearly pointed out the limitations in current intrusion detection systems or intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), mostly caused by application-layer DDoS attacks. Within this context, the objective of the paper is to detect a DDoS attack using a multilayer perceptron (MLP) classification algorithm with genetic algorithm (GA) as learning algorithm. In this work, we analyzed the standard EPA-HTTP (environmental protection agency-hypertext transfer protocol) dataset and selected the parameters that will be used as input to the classifier model for differentiating the attack from normal profile. The parameters selected are the HTTP GET request count, entropy, and variance for every connection. The proposed model can provide a better accuracy of 98.31%, sensitivity of 0.9962, and specificity of 0.0561 when compared to other traditional classification models. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
RT-qPCR Analysis of 15 Genes Encoding Putative Surface Proteins Involved in Adherence of Listeria monocytogenes
Pathogens 2016, 5(4), 60; doi:10.3390/pathogens5040060 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
L. monocytogenes adherence to food-associated abiotic surfaces and the development of biofilms as one of the underlying reasons for the contamination of ready-to-eat products is well known. The over-expression of internalins that improves adherence has been noted in cells growing as attached [...] Read more.
L. monocytogenes adherence to food-associated abiotic surfaces and the development of biofilms as one of the underlying reasons for the contamination of ready-to-eat products is well known. The over-expression of internalins that improves adherence has been noted in cells growing as attached cells or at elevated incubation temperatures. However, the role of other internalin-independent surface proteins as adhesins has been uncharacterized to date. Using two strains each of weakly- and strongly-adherent L. monocytogenes as platforms for temperature-dependent adherence assays and targeted mRNA analyses, these observations (i.e., sessile- and/or temperature-dependent gene expression) were further investigated. Microplate fluorescence assays of both surface-adherent strains exhibited significant (P < 0.05) adherence at higher incubation temperature (42 °C). Of the 15 genes selected for RT-qPCR, at least ten gene transcripts recovered from cells (weakly-adherent strain CW35, strongly-adherent strain 99-38) subject to various growth conditions were over expressed [planktonic/30 °C (10), sessile/30 °C (12), planktonic/42 °C (10)] compared to their internal control (16SrRNA transcripts). Of four genes overexpressed in all three conditions tested, three and one were implicated as virulence factors and unknown function, respectively. PCR analysis of six unexpressed genes revealed that CW35 possessed an altered genome. The results suggest the presence of other internalin-independent adhesins (induced by growth temperature and/or substratum) and that a group of suspect protein members are worthy of further analysis for their potential role as surface adhesins. Analysis of the molecular basis of adherence properties of isolates of L. monocytogenes from food-associated facilities may help identify sanitation regimens to prevent cell attachment and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces that could play a role in reducing foodborne illness resulting from Listeria biofilms. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Optimal Use of Space-Borne Advanced Infrared and Microwave Soundings for Regional Numerical Weather Prediction
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 816; doi:10.3390/rs8100816 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Satellite observations can either be assimilated as radiances or as retrieved physical parameters to reduce error in the initial conditions used by the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. Assimilation of radiances requires a radiative transfer model to convert atmospheric state in model [...] Read more.
Satellite observations can either be assimilated as radiances or as retrieved physical parameters to reduce error in the initial conditions used by the Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) model. Assimilation of radiances requires a radiative transfer model to convert atmospheric state in model space to that in radiance space, thus requiring a lot of computational resources especially for hyperspectral instruments with thousands of channels. On the other hand, assimilating the retrieved physical parameters is computationally more efficient as they are already in thermodynamic states, which can be compared with NWP model outputs through the objective analysis scheme. A microwave (MW) sounder and an infrared (IR) sounder have their respective observational limitation due to the characteristics of adopted spectra. The MW sounder observes at much larger field-of-view (FOV) compared to an IR sounder. On the other hand, MW has the capability to reveal the atmospheric sounding when the clouds are presented, but IR observations are highly sensitive to clouds, The advanced IR sounder is able to reduce uncertainties in the retrieved atmospheric temperature and moisture profiles due to its higher spectral-resolution than the MW sounder which has much broader spectra bands. This study tries to quantify the optimal use of soundings retrieved from the microwave sounder AMSU and infrared sounder AIRS onboard the AQUA satellite in the regional Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model through three-dimensional variational (3D-var) data assimilation scheme. Four experiments are conducted by assimilating soundings from: (1) clear AIRS single field-of-view (SFOV); (2) retrieved from using clear AMSU and AIRS observations at AMSU field-of-view (SUP); (3) all SFOV soundings within AMSU FOVs must be clear; and (4) SUP soundings which must have all clear SFOV soundings within the AMSU FOV. A baseline experiment assimilating only conventional data is generated for comparison. Various atmospheric state variables at different pressure levels are used to assess the impact from assimilating these different data by comparing them with European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) reanalysis data. Results indicate assimilation of SUP soundings improve the mid and upper troposphere, whereas assimilation of SFOV soundings has positive impact on the lower troposphere. Two additional assimilation experiments are carried out to determine the combination of SUP and SFOV soundings that will provide the best performance throughout the troposphere. The results indicate that optimal combination is to assimilate clear-sky matched IR retrievals with non-matched MW soundings. Full article
Figures

Open AccessCommunication
A General-Purpose Spatial Survey Design for Collaborative Science and Monitoring of Global Environmental Change: The Global Grid
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 813; doi:10.3390/rs8100813 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recent guidance on environmental modeling and global land-cover validation stresses the need for a probability-based design. Additionally, spatial balance has also been recommended as it ensures more efficient sampling, which is particularly relevant for understanding land use change. In this paper I [...] Read more.
Recent guidance on environmental modeling and global land-cover validation stresses the need for a probability-based design. Additionally, spatial balance has also been recommended as it ensures more efficient sampling, which is particularly relevant for understanding land use change. In this paper I describe a global sample design and database called the Global Grid (GG) that has both of these statistical characteristics, as well as being flexible, multi-scale, and globally comprehensive. The GG is intended to facilitate collaborative science and monitoring of land changes among local, regional, and national groups of scientists and citizens, and it is provided in a variety of open source formats to promote collaborative and citizen science. Since the GG sample grid is provided at multiple scales and is globally comprehensive, it provides a universal, readily-available sample. It also supports uneven probability sample designs through filtering sample locations by user-defined strata. The GG is not appropriate for use at locations above ±85° because the shape and topological distortion of quadrants becomes extreme near the poles. Additionally, the file sizes of the GG datasets are very large at fine scale (resolution ~600 m × 600 m) and require a 64-bit integer representation. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
A Quantitative Comparison of Total Suspended Sediment Algorithms: A Case Study of the Last Decade for MODIS and Landsat-Based Sensors
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 810; doi:10.3390/rs8100810 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A quantitative comparative study was performed to assess the relative applicability of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) models published in the last decade for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat-based sensors. The quantitative comparison was performed using a suite of statistical [...] Read more.
A quantitative comparative study was performed to assess the relative applicability of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) models published in the last decade for the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Landsat-based sensors. The quantitative comparison was performed using a suite of statistical tests and HydroLight simulated data for waters ranging from clear open ocean case-1 to turbid coastal case-2 waters. The quantitative comparison shows that there are clearly some high performing TSS models that can potentially be applied in mapping TSS concentration for regions of uncertain water type. The highest performing TSS models tested were robust enough to retrieve TSS from different water types with Mean Absolute Relative Errors (MARE) of 69.96%–481.82% for HydroLight simulated data. The models were also compared in regional waters of northern Western Australia where the highest performing TSS models yielded a MARE in the range of 43.11%–102.59%. The range of Smallest Relative Error (SRE) and Largest Relative Error (LRE) between the highest and the lowest performing TSS models spanned three orders of magnitude, suggesting users must be cautious in selecting appropriate models for unknown water types. Full article
Figures

Open AccessArticle
Plasma Carotenoids, Tocopherols, and Retinol in the Age-Stratified (35–74 Years) General Population: A Cross-Sectional Study in Six European Countries
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 614; doi:10.3390/nu8100614 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Blood micronutrient status may change with age. We analyzed plasma carotenoids, α-/γ-tocopherol, and retinol and their associations with age, demographic characteristics, and dietary habits (assessed by a short food frequency questionnaire) in a cross-sectional study of 2118 women and men (age-stratified from [...] Read more.
Blood micronutrient status may change with age. We analyzed plasma carotenoids, α-/γ-tocopherol, and retinol and their associations with age, demographic characteristics, and dietary habits (assessed by a short food frequency questionnaire) in a cross-sectional study of 2118 women and men (age-stratified from 35 to 74 years) of the general population from six European countries. Higher age was associated with lower lycopene and α-/β-carotene and higher β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, α-/γ-tocopherol, and retinol levels. Significant correlations with age were observed for lycopene (r = −0.248), α-tocopherol (r = 0.208), α-carotene (r = −0.112), and β-cryptoxanthin (r = 0.125; all p < 0.001). Age was inversely associated with lycopene (−6.5% per five-year age increase) and this association remained in the multiple regression model with the significant predictors (covariables) being country, season, cholesterol, gender, smoking status, body mass index (BMI (kg/m2)), and dietary habits. The positive association of α-tocopherol with age remained when all covariates including cholesterol and use of vitamin supplements were included (1.7% vs. 2.4% per five-year age increase). The association of higher β-cryptoxanthin with higher age was no longer statistically significant after adjustment for fruit consumption, whereas the inverse association of α-carotene with age remained in the fully adjusted multivariable model (−4.8% vs. −3.8% per five-year age increase). We conclude from our study that age is an independent predictor of plasma lycopene, α-tocopherol, and α-carotene. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Lycopene, Lutein and Zeaxanthin May Reduce Faecal Blood, Mucus and Pus but not Abdominal Pain in Individuals with Ulcerative Colitis
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 613; doi:10.3390/nu8100613 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: The main symptom of ulcerative colitis is diarrhoea, which is often accompanied by painful tenesmus and faecal blood and mucus. It sometimes co-occurs with abdominal pain, fever, feeling of fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Some dietary factors have been [...] Read more.
Background: The main symptom of ulcerative colitis is diarrhoea, which is often accompanied by painful tenesmus and faecal blood and mucus. It sometimes co-occurs with abdominal pain, fever, feeling of fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. Some dietary factors have been indicated as important in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. The aim of the study was to analyse the association between retinoid intake (total vitamin A, retinol, β-carotene, α-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) and ulcerative colitis symptoms (abdominal pain, faecal blood, faecal mucus, faecal pus) in individuals with ulcerative colitis in remission. Methods: Assessment of diet was based on self-reported data from each patient’s dietary records taken over a period of three typical, random days (2 weekdays and 1 day of the weekend). Results: A total of 56 individuals with ulcerative colitis in remission (19 males and 37 females) were recruited for the study. One in every four individuals with ulcerative colitis in remission was characterised as having inadequate vitamin A intake. Higher lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin intakes in individuals with ulcerative colitis in remission were associated with lower faecal blood, mucus and pus but not with lower incidence of abdominal pain. Higher carotene intake in individuals with ulcerative colitis in remission may contribute to higher incidence of faecal mucus. Conclusions: Optimising intake of specific retinoids may enhance disease control in individuals with ulcerative colitis. Prospective studies, including patient reported and objective outcomes, are required to confirm this. Full article

News & Announcements

19 September 2016
Peer Review Week 2016

Follow MDPI

loading...

Jobs in Research

Selected Special Issues

Selected Collections

Institutional Membership

Member institutes benefit from discounts and convenient payment options.

Feedback

We are keen to hear what you think about MDPI. To leave us your feedback, suggestions or questions please click here.

See what our authors and guest editors say about us.

About MDPI

MDPI.com is a platform for peer-reviewed, scientific open-access journals operated by MDPI AG, based in Basel, Switzerland. Additional offices are located in Beijing and Wuhan (China) as well as in Barcelona (Spain).

Back to Top