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Open AccessReview
The Interdependence between Schistosome Transmission and Protective Immunity
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 42; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030042 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Mass drug administration (MDA) for control of schistosomiasis is likely to affect transmission dynamics through a combination of passive vaccination and reduction of local transmission intensity. This is indicated in phenomenological models of immunity and the impact of MDA, yet immunity parameters in
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Mass drug administration (MDA) for control of schistosomiasis is likely to affect transmission dynamics through a combination of passive vaccination and reduction of local transmission intensity. This is indicated in phenomenological models of immunity and the impact of MDA, yet immunity parameters in these models are not validated by empirical data that reflects protective immunity to reinfection. There is significant empirical evidence supporting the role of IgE in acquired protective immunity. This is proposed to be a form of delayed concomitant immunity, driven at least in part by protective IgE responses to the tegument allergen-like (TAL) family of proteins. Specific questions have arisen from modeling studies regarding the strength and duration of the protective immune response. At present, field studies have not been specifically designed to address these questions. There is therefore a need for field studies that are explicitly designed to capture epidemiological effects of acquired immunity to elucidate these immunological interactions. In doing so, it is important to address the discourse between theoretical modelers and immuno-epidemiologists and develop mechanistic models that empirically define immunity parameters. This is of increasing significance in a climate of potential changing transmission dynamics following long-term implementation of MDA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Remarriage Timing: Does Religion Matter?
Religions 2017, 8(9), 160; doi:10.3390/rel8090160 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Using pooled data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG 2006–2010), we examine the effects of denominational affiliation, worship service attendance, and religious salience on remarriage timing. Survival analyses indicate that both men and women affiliated with conservative Protestant faith traditions are
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Using pooled data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG 2006–2010), we examine the effects of denominational affiliation, worship service attendance, and religious salience on remarriage timing. Survival analyses indicate that both men and women affiliated with conservative Protestant faith traditions are significantly more likely than their unaffiliated and Catholic counterparts to remarry at an accelerated pace following divorce. Results further show that, net of religious affiliation and socio-demographic characteristics, worship service attendance accelerates remarriage timing, whereas the effects of religious salience are weaker or unobserved. These results are largely consistent with prior research on denominational variations in the timing of first marriage and underscore the robust influence of religion on the institution of marriage. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Integrins as Therapeutic Targets: Successes and Cancers
Cancers 2017, 9(9), 110; doi:10.3390/cancers9090110 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Integrins are transmembrane receptors that are central to the biology of many human pathologies. Classically mediating cell-extracellular matrix and cell-cell interaction, and with an emerging role as local activators of TGFβ, they influence cancer, fibrosis, thrombosis and inflammation. Their ligand binding and some
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Integrins are transmembrane receptors that are central to the biology of many human pathologies. Classically mediating cell-extracellular matrix and cell-cell interaction, and with an emerging role as local activators of TGFβ, they influence cancer, fibrosis, thrombosis and inflammation. Their ligand binding and some regulatory sites are extracellular and sensitive to pharmacological intervention, as proven by the clinical success of seven drugs targeting them. The six drugs on the market in 2016 generated revenues of some US$3.5 billion, mainly from inhibitors of α4-series integrins. In this review we examine the current developments in integrin therapeutics, especially in cancer, and comment on the health economic implications of these developments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Importance of a Participatory and Integrated One Health Approach for Rabies Control: The Case of N’Djaména, Chad
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 43; doi:10.3390/tropicalmed2030043 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study compares data on animal rabies cases from the Chadian national rabies laboratory, hosted at the Insitut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Developpement (IRED), with bite case reporting from health facilities. The data collection accompanied a mass dog vaccination intervention over
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This study compares data on animal rabies cases from the Chadian national rabies laboratory, hosted at the Insitut de Recherche en Elevage pour le Developpement (IRED), with bite case reporting from health facilities. The data collection accompanied a mass dog vaccination intervention over two years in N’Djaména, Chad. This allowed for a comparison of the dynamics of the incidence of animal rabies cases, human bite exposure incidence and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) demand during a dog rabies elimination attempt. Following the mass vaccination, the monthly animal rabies incidence dropped from 1.1/10,000 dogs, as observed prior to the campaign in 2012, to 0.061/10,000 dogs in 2014. However, the PEP demand was found to be largely unaffected. The suspicion of the rabies exposure as reported by health personnel in most cases did not reflect the status of the biting animal but rather the severity of the bite wound, resulting in inappropriate PEP recommendations. In addition, the levels of reporting dead or killed animals to the rabies laboratory was found to be very low. These results reveal a profound lack of communication between health facilities and veterinary structures and the absence of an integrated bite case management (IBCM) approach. Improved communication between human health and veterinary workers is imperative to prevent human rabies deaths through the appropriate use of PEP and to further translate success in animal rabies control into cost savings for the public health sector through a lower PEP demand. Improved training of health and veterinary personnel and the sensitisation of the public are needed to achieve good IBCM practice, to increase the rate of diagnostic testing, to provide adequate and timely PEP, and to reduce the wastage of scarce vaccine resources. Full article
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Open AccessTechnical Note
Mapping Vulnerable Urban Areas Affected by Slow-Moving Landslides Using Sentinel-1 InSAR Data
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 876; doi:10.3390/rs9090876 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Landslides are widespread natural hazards that generate considerable damage and economic losses worldwide. Detecting terrain movements caused by these phenomena and characterizing affected urban areas is critical to reduce their impact. Here we present a fast and simple methodology to create maps of
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Landslides are widespread natural hazards that generate considerable damage and economic losses worldwide. Detecting terrain movements caused by these phenomena and characterizing affected urban areas is critical to reduce their impact. Here we present a fast and simple methodology to create maps of vulnerable buildings affected by slow-moving landslides, based on two parameters: (1) the deformation rate associated to each building, measured from Sentinel-1 SAR data, and (2) the building damage generated by the landslide movement and recorded during a field campaign. We apply this method to Arcos de la Frontera, a monumental town in South Spain affected by a slow-moving landslide that has caused severe damage to buildings, forcing the evacuation of some of them. Our results show that maximum deformation rates of 4 cm/year in the line-of-sight (LOS) of the satellite, affects La Verbena, a newly-developed area, and displacements are mostly horizontal, as expected for a planar-landslide. Our building damage assessment reveals that most of the building blocks in La Verbena present moderate to severe damages. According to our vulnerability scale, 93% of the building blocks analysed present high vulnerability and, thus, should be the focus of more in-depth local studies to evaluate the serviceability of buildings, prior to adopting the necessary mitigation measures to reduce or cope with the negative consequences of this landslide. This methodology can be applied to slow-moving landslides worldwide thanks to the global availability of Sentinel-1 SAR data. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mn2+-ZnSe/ZnS@SiO2 Nanoparticles for Turn-on Luminescence Thiol Detection
J. Funct. Biomater. 2017, 8(3), 36; doi:10.3390/jfb8030036 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Biological thiols are antioxidants essential for the prevention of disease. For example, low levels of the tripeptide glutathione are associated with heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Mn2+-doped wide bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals exhibit luminescence and magnetic properties that make them attractive for
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Biological thiols are antioxidants essential for the prevention of disease. For example, low levels of the tripeptide glutathione are associated with heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Mn2+-doped wide bandgap semiconductor nanocrystals exhibit luminescence and magnetic properties that make them attractive for bimodal imaging. We found that these nanocrystals and silica-encapsulated nanoparticle derivatives exhibit enhanced luminescence in the presence of thiols in both organic solvent and aqueous solution. The key to using these nanocrystals as sensors is control over their surfaces. The addition of a ZnS barrier layer or shell produces more stable nanocrystals that are isolated from their surroundings, and luminescence enhancement is only observed with thinner, intermediate shells. Tunability is demonstrated with dodecanethiol and sensitivities decrease with thin, medium, and thick shells. Turn-on nanoprobe luminescence is also generated by several biological thiols, including glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, cysteine, and dithiothreitol. Nanoparticles prepared with different ZnS shell thicknesses demonstrated varying sensitivity to glutathione, which allows for the tuning of particle sensitivity without optimization. The small photoluminescence response to control amino acids and salts indicates selectivity for thiols. Preliminary magnetic measurements highlight the challenge of optimizing sensors for different imaging modalities. In this work, we assess the prospects of using these nanoparticles as luminescent turn-on thiol sensors and for MRI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geospatial Google Street View with Virtual Reality: A Motivational Approach for Spatial Training Education
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2017, 6(9), 261; doi:10.3390/ijgi6090261 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Motivation is a determining factor in the learning process, and encourages the student to participate in activities that increase their performance. Learning strategies supplemented by computer technology in a scenario-based learning environment can improve students′ motivation for spatial knowledge acquisition. In this sense,
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Motivation is a determining factor in the learning process, and encourages the student to participate in activities that increase their performance. Learning strategies supplemented by computer technology in a scenario-based learning environment can improve students′ motivation for spatial knowledge acquisition. In this sense, a workshop carried out with 43-second year engineering students supported by Google Street View mobile geospatial application for location-based tasks is presented, in which participants work in an immersive wayfinding 3D urban environment on virtual reality. Students use their own smartphones with Google Street View application integrated in virtual reality (VR) 3D glasses with a joystick as locomotion interface. The tool to analyse the motivational factor of this pedagogical approach is the multidimensional measurement device Intrinsic Motivation Inventory with six subscales: interest, perceived competence, perceived choice, effort, tension, and value, measured on a seven point Likert scale. Scores in all subscales considered are above 4 on a scale of 7. A usability study conducted at the end of the experiment provides values above 3 on a scale of 5 in efficacy, efficiency and satisfaction. The results of the experiment carried out indicate that geospatial Google Street View application in Virtual Reality is a motivating educational purpose in the field of spatial training. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Determining the Pixel-to-Pixel Uncertainty in Satellite-Derived SST Fields
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 877; doi:10.3390/rs9090877 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The primary measure of the quality of sea surface temperature (SST) fields obtained from satellite-borne infrared sensors has been the bias and variance of matchups with co-located in-situ values. Because such matchups tend to be widely separated, these bias and variance estimates are
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The primary measure of the quality of sea surface temperature (SST) fields obtained from satellite-borne infrared sensors has been the bias and variance of matchups with co-located in-situ values. Because such matchups tend to be widely separated, these bias and variance estimates are not necessarily a good measure of small scale (several pixels) gradients in these fields because one of the primary contributors to the uncertainty in satellite retrievals is atmospheric contamination, which tends to have large spatial scales compared with the pixel separation of infrared sensors. Hence, there is not a good measure to use in selecting SST fields appropriate for the study of submesoscale processes and, in particular, of processes associated with near-surface fronts, both of which have recently seen a rapid increase in interest. In this study, two methods are examined to address this problem, one based on spectra of the SST data and the other on their variograms. To evaluate the methods, instrument noise was estimated in Level-2 Visible-Infrared Imager-Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) SST fields of the Sargasso Sea. The two methods provided very nearly identical results for AVHRR: along-scan values of approximately 0.18 K for both day and night and along-track values of 0.21 K for day and night. By contrast, the instrument noise estimated for VIIRS varied by method, scan geometry and day-night. Specifically, daytime, along-scan (along-track), spectral estimates were found to be approximately 0.05 K (0.08 K) and the corresponding nighttime values of 0.02 K (0.03 K). Daytime estimates based on the variogram were found to be 0.08 K (0.10 K) with the corresponding nighttime values of 0.04 K (0.06 K). Taken together, AVHRR instrument noise is significantly larger than VIIRS instrument noise, along-track noise is larger than along-scan noise and daytime levels are higher than nighttime levels. Given the similarity of results and the less stringent preprocessing requirements, the variogram is the preferred method, although there is a suggestion that this approach overestimates the noise for high quality data in dynamically quiet regions. Finally, simulations of the impact of noise on the determination of SST gradients show that on average the gradient magnitude for typical ocean gradients will be accurately estimated with VIIRS but substantially overestimated with AVHRR. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Union Regions Adaptive Sparse Representation for Hyperspectral Image Classification
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(9), 872; doi:10.3390/rs9090872 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Sparse Representation has been widely applied to classification of hyperspectral images (HSIs). Besides spectral information, the spatial context in HSIs also plays an important role in the classification. The recently published Multiscale Adaptive Sparse Representation (MASR) classifier has shown good performance in exploiting
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Sparse Representation has been widely applied to classification of hyperspectral images (HSIs). Besides spectral information, the spatial context in HSIs also plays an important role in the classification. The recently published Multiscale Adaptive Sparse Representation (MASR) classifier has shown good performance in exploiting spatial information for HSI classification. But the spatial information is exploited by multiscale patches with fixed sizes of square windows. The patch can include all nearest neighbor pixels but these neighbor pixels may contain some noise pixels. Then another research proposed a Multiscale Superpixel-Based Sparse Representation (MSSR) classifier. Shape-adaptive superpixels can provide more accurate representation than patches. But it is difficult to select scales for superpixels. Therefore, inspired by the merits and demerits of multiscale patches and superpixels, we propose a novel algorithm called Multiscale Union Regions Adaptive Sparse Representation (MURASR). The union region, which is the overlap of patch and superpixel, can make full use of the advantages of both and overcome the weaknesses of each one. Experiments on several HSI datasets demonstrate that the proposed MURASR is superior to MASR and union region is better than the patch in the sparse representation. Full article
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