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Open AccessReview
Berry Fruit Consumption and Metabolic Syndrome
Antioxidants 2016, 5(4), 34; doi:10.3390/antiox5040034 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors which often includes central obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, as well as a pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant, and pro-thrombotic environment. This leads to a dramatically increased risk of developing type II diabetes [...] Read more.
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of risk factors which often includes central obesity, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, as well as a pro-inflammatory, pro-oxidant, and pro-thrombotic environment. This leads to a dramatically increased risk of developing type II diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death both in the United States and worldwide. Increasing evidence suggests that berry fruit consumption has a significant potential in the prevention and treatment of most risk factors associated with Metabolic Syndrome and its cardiovascular complications in the human population. This is likely due to the presence of polyphenols with known antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, such as anthocyanins and/or phenolic acids. The present review summarizes the findings of recent dietary interventions with berry fruits on human subjects with or at risk of Metabolic Syndrome. It also discusses the potential role of berries as part of a dietary strategy which could greatly reduce the need for pharmacotherapy, associated with potentially deleterious side effects and constituting a considerable financial burden. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Resilience Thinking as an Interdisciplinary Guiding Principle for Energy System Transitions
Resources 2016, 5(4), 30; doi:10.3390/resources5040030 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Resource usage and environmental consequences of most current energy systems exceed planetary boundaries. The transition to sustainable energy systems is accompanied by a multitude of research methods, as energy systems are complex structures of technical, economical, social and ecological interactions. The description [...] Read more.
Resource usage and environmental consequences of most current energy systems exceed planetary boundaries. The transition to sustainable energy systems is accompanied by a multitude of research methods, as energy systems are complex structures of technical, economical, social and ecological interactions. The description of different discipline’s perspectives in this paper show that a more mutual understanding between disciplines of their respective focus is necessary as they partly create internally competitive views arising from differing emphasis of connected matters. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework for interdisciplinary proceeding in a complex energy system transition process. Resilience thinking is chosen as a core concept for a more holistic view on sustainable energy system development. It is shown that it is already widely used in different disciplines connected to energy system research and is especially suitable due to its wide application across disciplines. The seven principles of resilience thinking (maintain redundancy and diversity, manage connectivity, manage slow variables and feedback, foster complex adaptive systems thinking, encourage learning, broaden participation, and promote polycentric governance systems) are chosen as the basis for a procedure that can be utilized to increase the interdisciplinary perspectives of energy system transitions. For energy transition processes based on scenario development, backcasting and pathway definition, resilience thinking principles are used to assess the resilience of the target energy system, the pathway resilience and the design of the scenario process with respect to the probability of a resilient outcome. The described procedure consisting of questions and parameters can be applied as a first attempt for a resilience assessment of energy transition processes. The perspective of resilience in sustainable energy systems strengthens the importance of diversity, redundancy and flexibility, which reduces the current dominant focus on efficiency of the overall system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Methodology for the Reconstruction of 2D Horizontal Wind Fields of Wind Turbine Wakes Based on Dual-Doppler Lidar Measurements
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 809; doi:10.3390/rs8100809 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Dual-Doppler lidar is a powerful remote sensing technique that can accurately measure horizontal wind speeds and enable the reconstruction of two-dimensional wind fields based on measurements from two separate lidars. Previous research has provided a framework of dual-Doppler algorithms for processing both [...] Read more.
Dual-Doppler lidar is a powerful remote sensing technique that can accurately measure horizontal wind speeds and enable the reconstruction of two-dimensional wind fields based on measurements from two separate lidars. Previous research has provided a framework of dual-Doppler algorithms for processing both radar and lidar measurements, but their application to wake measurements has not been addressed in detail yet. The objective of this paper is to reconstruct two-dimensional wind fields of wind turbine wakes and assess the performance of dual-Doppler lidar scanning strategies, using the newly developed Multiple-Lidar Wind Field Evaluation Algorithm (MuLiWEA). This processes non-synchronous dual-Doppler lidar measurements and solves the horizontal wind field with a set of linear equations, also considering the mass continuity equation. MuLiWEA was applied on simulated measurements of a simulated wind turbine wake, with two typical dual-Doppler lidar measurement scenarios. The results showed inaccuracies caused by the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of the measurements in all directions, related to the ground-based scanning of a wind field at wind turbine hub height. Additionally, MuLiWEA was applied on a real dual-Doppler lidar measurement scenario in the German offshore wind farm “alpha ventus”. It was concluded that the performance of both simulated and real lidar measurement scenarios in combination with MuLiWEA is promising. Although the accuracy of the reconstructed wind fields is compromised by the practical limitations of an offshore dual-Doppler lidar measurement setup, the performance shows sufficient accuracy to serve as a basis for 10 min average steady wake model validation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of n-3 PUFAs on Intestinal Mucosa Innate Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota in Mice after Hemorrhagic Shock Resuscitation
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 609; doi:10.3390/nu8100609 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can improve the function of the intestinal barrier after damage from ischemia-reperfusion or hemorrhagic shock resuscitation (HSR). However, the effects of n-3 PUFAs on intestinal microbiota and the innate immunity of the intestinal mucosa after [...] Read more.
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can improve the function of the intestinal barrier after damage from ischemia-reperfusion or hemorrhagic shock resuscitation (HSR). However, the effects of n-3 PUFAs on intestinal microbiota and the innate immunity of the intestinal mucosa after HSR remain unclear. In the present study, 40 C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to five groups: control, sham, HSR, HSR + n-3 PUFAs and HSR + n-6 PUFAs. Mice were sacrificed 12 h after HSR. Liver, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes and terminal ileal tissues were collected. Intestinal mucosae were scraped aseptically. Compared with the HSR group, the number of goblet cells increased, expression of mucin 2 was restored and disturbed intestinal microbiota were partly stabilized in the PUFA-administered groups, indicating that both n-3 and n-6 PUFAs reduced overproliferation of Gammaproteobacteria while promoting the growth of Bacteroidetes. Notably, n-3 PUFAs had an advantage over n-6 PUFAs in improving ileal tissue levels of lysozyme after HSR. Thus, PUFAs, especially n-3 PUFAs, partly improved the innate immunity of intestinal mucosa in mice after HSR. These findings suggest a clinical rationale for providing n-3 PUFAs to patients recovering from ischemia-reperfusion. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vitamin D Intake and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Korean Adults: Analysis of the 2009 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES IV-3) Using a Newly Established Vitamin D Database
Nutrients 2016, 8(10), 610; doi:10.3390/nu8100610 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health and may prevent various diseases (i.e., cardiovascular disease and cancer). The aim of this study was to estimate vitamin D intakes of Korean adults using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, [...] Read more.
Vitamin D is important for maintaining bone health and may prevent various diseases (i.e., cardiovascular disease and cancer). The aim of this study was to estimate vitamin D intakes of Korean adults using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2009) data and a newly established vitamin D database. KNHANES (2009) participants (n = 4541; 2021 men; 2520 women) aged ≥20 years were included. Dietary vitamin D intake, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and the relationship between vitamin D intake and serum 25(OH)D were evaluated. In men and women, vitamin D intakes were 4.00 ± 0.17 µg/day and 2.6 ± 0.1 µg/day respectively, and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 19.78 ± 0.33 ng/mL and 17.10 ± 0.26 ng/mL respectively. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations of men aged <50 years and women aged >20 years were under 20 ng/mL. After adjusting for confounding factors, the positive relationship between vitamin D intake and serum 25(OH)D was observed in total subjects (p < 0.05), excluding participants ≥50 years old. The main food sources for vitamin D among Korean adults were fish/shellfish (71.34%) and egg (14.89%). Korean adults should increase their serum 25(OH)D concentrations by increasing vitamin D intake. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fault Reactivation Can Generate Hydraulic Short Circuits in Underground Coal Gasification—New Insights from Regional-Scale Thermo-Mechanical 3D Modeling
Minerals 2016, 6(4), 101; doi:10.3390/min6040101 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Underground coal gasification (UCG) has the potential to increase worldwide coal reserves by utilization of coal deposits not mineable by conventional methods. This involves combusting coal in situ to produce a synthesis gas, applicable for electricity generation and chemical feedstock production. Three-dimensional [...] Read more.
Underground coal gasification (UCG) has the potential to increase worldwide coal reserves by utilization of coal deposits not mineable by conventional methods. This involves combusting coal in situ to produce a synthesis gas, applicable for electricity generation and chemical feedstock production. Three-dimensional (3D) thermo-mechanical models already significantly contribute to UCG design by process optimization and mitigation of the environmental footprint. We developed the first 3D UCG model based on real structural geological data to investigate the impacts of using isothermal and non-isothermal simulations, two different pillar widths and four varying regional stress regimes on the spatial changes in temperature and permeability, ground surface subsidence and fault reactivation. Our simulation results demonstrate that non-isothermal processes have to be considered in these assessments due to thermally-induced stresses. Furthermore, we demonstrate that permeability increase is limited to the close reactor vicinity, although the presence of previously undetected faults can introduce formation of hydraulic short circuits between single UCG channels over large distances. This requires particular consideration of potentially present sub-seismic faults in the exploration and site selection stages, since the required pillar widths may be easily underestimated in presence of faults with different orientations with respect to the regional stress regime. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on the Thermal Conductivity Characteristics of Graphene Prepared by the Planetary Ball Mill
Metals 2016, 6(10), 234; doi:10.3390/met6100234 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This study was designed to examine the physical disintegration of graphene (GN), an excellent heat conductor, by using the planetary ball mill, a simple and convenient means to produce particles arbitrarily. The conditions for the disintegration of GN were distinguished by the [...] Read more.
This study was designed to examine the physical disintegration of graphene (GN), an excellent heat conductor, by using the planetary ball mill, a simple and convenient means to produce particles arbitrarily. The conditions for the disintegration of GN were distinguished by the rotation of the planetary ball mill (200 rpm, 400 rpm, and 600 rpm) and by the duration of its operation (30 min, 60 min, and 90 min), respectively. From the results, we saw that, when experimental conditions are 200 rpm with 60 min, the particle size was the smallest (at 328 nm) and the results of thermal conductivity were the highest. In the absorbance results, GN was well dispersed because the value of its absorbance is high. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Self-DNA (esDNA), but Not Heterologous Plant or Insect DNA (etDNA), Induces Plasma Membrane Depolarization and Calcium Signaling in Lima Bean (Phaseolus lunatus) and Maize (Zea mays)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(10), 1659; doi:10.3390/ijms17101659 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Extracellular self-DNA (esDNA) is produced during cell and tissue damage or degradation and has been shown to induce significant responses in several organisms, including plants. While the inhibitory effects of esDNA have been shown in conspecific individuals, little is known on the [...] Read more.
Extracellular self-DNA (esDNA) is produced during cell and tissue damage or degradation and has been shown to induce significant responses in several organisms, including plants. While the inhibitory effects of esDNA have been shown in conspecific individuals, little is known on the early events involved upon plant esDNA perception. We used electrophysiology and confocal laser scanning microscopy calcium localization to evaluate the plasma membrane potential (Vm) variations and the intracellular calcium fluxes, respectively, in Lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) and maize (Zea mays) plants exposed to esDNA and extracellular heterologous DNA (etDNA) and to etDNA from Spodoptera littoralis larvae and oral secretions. In both species, esDNA induced a significant Vm depolarization and an increased flux of calcium, whereas etDNA was unable to exert any of these early signaling events. These findings confirm the specificity of esDNA to induce plant cell responses and to trigger early signaling events that eventually lead to plant response to damage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synthesis and Structure Determination of the Quaternary Zinc Nitride Halides Zn2NX1−yX′y (X, X′ = Cl, Br, I; 0 < y < 1)
Inorganics 2016, 4(4), 29; doi:10.3390/inorganics4040029 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The quaternary series Zn2NCl1−yBry and Zn2NBr1−yIy were synthesized from solid-liquid reactions between zinc nitride and the respective zinc halides in closed ampoules, and the evolution of their crystal structures was [...] Read more.
The quaternary series Zn2NCl1−yBry and Zn2NBr1−yIy were synthesized from solid-liquid reactions between zinc nitride and the respective zinc halides in closed ampoules, and the evolution of their crystal structures was investigated by single-crystal and powder X-ray diffraction. Zn2NX1−yX′y (X, X′ = Cl, Br, I) adopts the anti-β-NaFeO2 motif in which each nitride ion is tetrahedrally coordinated by four zinc cations, and the halide anions are located in the voids of the skeleton formed by corner-sharing [NZn4] tetrahedra. While Zn2NCl1−yBry crystallizes in the acentric orthorhombic space group Pna21 (No. 33), isotypic to Zn2NX (X = Cl, Br), the structure of Zn2NBr1−yIy is a function of the iodide concentration, namely, Zn2NBr (Pna21) for low iodine content and Zn2NI (Pnma) for higher (y ≥ 0.38). Full article
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