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Open AccessArticle
Stability of a Monomial Functional Equation on a Restricted Domain
Mathematics 2017, 5(4), 53; doi:10.3390/math5040053 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, we prove the stability of the following functional equation i=0nnCi(1)nif(ix+y)n!f(x)=0
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In this paper, we prove the stability of the following functional equation i=0nnCi(1)nif(ix+y)n!f(x)=0 on a restricted domain by employing the direct method in the sense of Hyers. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Oxidative Stress-Responsive Apoptosis Inducing Protein (ORAIP) Plays a Critical Role in High Glucose-Induced Apoptosis in Rat Cardiac Myocytes and Murine Pancreatic β-Cells
Cells 2017, 6(4), 35; doi:10.3390/cells6040035 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We previously identified a novel apoptosis-inducing humoral factor in the conditioned medium of hypoxic/reoxygenated-cardiac myocytes. We named this novel post-translationally-modified secreted-form of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A Oxidative stress-Responsive Apoptosis-Inducing Protein (ORAIP). We confirmed that myocardial ischemia/reperfusion markedly increased plasma ORAIP levels and
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We previously identified a novel apoptosis-inducing humoral factor in the conditioned medium of hypoxic/reoxygenated-cardiac myocytes. We named this novel post-translationally-modified secreted-form of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A Oxidative stress-Responsive Apoptosis-Inducing Protein (ORAIP). We confirmed that myocardial ischemia/reperfusion markedly increased plasma ORAIP levels and rat myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury was clearly suppressed by neutralizing anti-ORAIP monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in vivo. In this study, to investigate the mechanism of cell injury of cardiac myocytes and pancreatic β-cells involved in diabetes mellitus (DM), we analyzed plasma ORAIP levels in DM model rats and the role of ORAIP in high glucose-induced apoptosis of cardiac myocytes in vitro. We also examined whether recombinant-ORAIP induces apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells. Plasma ORAIP levels in DM rats during diabetic phase were about 18 times elevated as compared with non-diabetic phase. High glucose induced massive apoptosis in cardiac myocytes (66.2 ± 2.2%), which was 78% suppressed by neutralizing anti-ORAIP mAb in vitro. Furthermore, recombinant-ORAIP clearly induced apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells in vitro. These findings strongly suggested that ORAIP plays a pivotal role in hyperglycemia-induced myocardial injury and pancreatic β-cell injury in DM. ORAIP will be a biomarker and a critical therapeutic target for cardiac injury and progression of DM itself. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Characterization of an Isoform Antifreeze Protein from the Antarctic Marine Diatom, Chaetoceros neogracile and Suggestion of the Core Region
Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(10), 318; doi:10.3390/md15100318 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protecting the cells against freezing are produced in response to extremely low temperatures in diverse psychrophilic organisms, and they are encoded by multiple gene families. The AFP of Antarctic marine diatom Chaetoceros neogracile is reported in our previous research, but
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Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protecting the cells against freezing are produced in response to extremely low temperatures in diverse psychrophilic organisms, and they are encoded by multiple gene families. The AFP of Antarctic marine diatom Chaetoceros neogracile is reported in our previous research, but like other microalgae, was considered to probably have additional genes coding AFPs. In this paper, we reported the cloning and characterization of additional AFP gene from C. neogracile (Cn-isoAFP). Cn-isoAFP protein is 74.6% identical to the previously reported Cn-AFP. The promoter sequence of Cn-isoAFP contains environmental stress responsive elements for cold, thermal, and high light conditions. Cn-isoAFP transcription levels increased dramatically when cells were exposed to freezing (−20 °C), thermal (10 °C), or high light (600 μmol photon m−2 s−1) stresses. The thermal hysteresis (TH) activity of recombinant Cn-isoAFP was 0.8 °C at a protein concentration of 5 mg/mL. Results from homology modeling and TH activity analysis of site-directed mutant proteins elucidated AFP mechanism to be a result of flatness of B-face maintained via hydrophobic interactions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Recent Developments in Biobased Polymers toward General and Engineering Applications: Polymers that are Upgraded from Biodegradable Polymers, Analogous to Petroleum-Derived Polymers, and Newly Developed
Polymers 2017, 9(10), 523; doi:10.3390/polym9100523 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The main motivation for development of biobased polymers was their biodegradability, which is becoming important due to strong public concern about waste. Reflecting recent changes in the polymer industry, the sustainability of biobased polymers allows them to be used for general and engineering
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The main motivation for development of biobased polymers was their biodegradability, which is becoming important due to strong public concern about waste. Reflecting recent changes in the polymer industry, the sustainability of biobased polymers allows them to be used for general and engineering applications. This expansion is driven by the remarkable progress in the processes for refining biomass feedstocks to produce biobased building blocks that allow biobased polymers to have more versatile and adaptable polymer chemical structures and to achieve target properties and functionalities. In this review, biobased polymers are categorized as those that are: (1) upgrades from biodegradable polylactides (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), and others; (2) analogous to petroleum-derived polymers such as bio-poly(ethylene terephthalate) (bio-PET); and (3) new biobased polymers such as poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF). The recent developments and progresses concerning biobased polymers are described, and important technical aspects of those polymers are introduced. Additionally, the recent scientific achievements regarding high-spec engineering-grade biobased polymers are presented. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperEditorial
Water Economics and Policy
Water 2017, 9(10), 801; doi:10.3390/w9100801 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Economics plays a double role in the field of water management, firstly as a powerful analytical tool supporting water allocation and policy decisions, and secondly in the form of policy instruments (water pricing, markets, etc.). This Special Issue presents a platform for sharing
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Economics plays a double role in the field of water management, firstly as a powerful analytical tool supporting water allocation and policy decisions, and secondly in the form of policy instruments (water pricing, markets, etc.). This Special Issue presents a platform for sharing results connecting excellent interdisciplinary research applied to different regional and sectoral problems around the world. The 22 peer-reviewed papers collected in this Special Issue have been grouped into five broad categories: Water valuation and accounting; Economic instruments; Cost effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis; and Water productivity and Governance. They are briefly presented. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Nrf2-Inducers Counteract Neurodegeneration in Frataxin-Silenced Motor Neurons: Disclosing New Therapeutic Targets for Friedreich’s Ataxia
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2173; doi:10.3390/ijms18102173 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Oxidative stress is actively involved in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), thus pharmacological targeting of the antioxidant machinery may have therapeutic value. Here, we analyzed the relevance of the antioxidant phase II response mediated by the transcription factor Nrf2 on frataxin-deficient cultured motor neurons and
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Oxidative stress is actively involved in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), thus pharmacological targeting of the antioxidant machinery may have therapeutic value. Here, we analyzed the relevance of the antioxidant phase II response mediated by the transcription factor Nrf2 on frataxin-deficient cultured motor neurons and on fibroblasts of patients. The in vitro treatment of the potent Nrf2 activator sulforaphane increased Nrf2 protein levels and led to the upregulation of phase II antioxidant enzymes. The neuroprotective effects were accompanied by an increase in neurites’ number and extension. Sulforaphane (SFN) is a natural compound of many diets and is now being used in clinical trials for other pathologies. Our results provide morphological and biochemical evidence to endorse a neuroprotective strategy that may have therapeutic relevance for FA. The findings of this work reinforce the crucial importance of Nrf2 in FA and provide a rationale for using Nrf2-inducers as pharmacological agents. Full article
Open AccessArticle
3 mm GMVA Observations of Total and Polarized Emission from Blazar and Radio Galaxy Core Regions
Galaxies 2017, 5(4), 67; doi:10.3390/galaxies5040067 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
We present total and linearly polarized 3 mm Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA; mm-VLBI: Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations at millimetre wavelengths) images of a sample of blazars and radio galaxies from the VLBA-BU-BLAZAR 7 mm monitoring program designed to probe the innermost regions
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We present total and linearly polarized 3 mm Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA; mm-VLBI: Very Long Baseline Interferometry observations at millimetre wavelengths) images of a sample of blazars and radio galaxies from the VLBA-BU-BLAZAR 7 mm monitoring program designed to probe the innermost regions of active galactic nuclei (AGN) jets and locate the sites of gamma-ray emission observed by the Fermi-LAT. The lower opacity at 3 mm and improved angular resolution—on the order of 50 microarcseconds—allow us to distinguish features in the jet not visible in the 7 mm VLBA data. We also compare two different methods used for the calibration of instrumental polarisation and we analyze the resulting images for some of the sources in the sample. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Performance Analysis for Joint Target Parameter Estimation in UMTS-Based Passive Multistatic Radar with Antenna Arrays Using Modified Cramér-Rao Lower Bounds
Sensors 2017, 17(10), 2379; doi:10.3390/s17102379 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, the modified Cramér-Rao lower bounds (MCRLBs) on the joint estimation of target position and velocity is investigated for a universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS)-based passive multistatic radar system with antenna arrays. First, we analyze the log-likelihood redfunction of the received
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In this study, the modified Cramér-Rao lower bounds (MCRLBs) on the joint estimation of target position and velocity is investigated for a universal mobile telecommunication system (UMTS)-based passive multistatic radar system with antenna arrays. First, we analyze the log-likelihood redfunction of the received signal for a complex Gaussian extended target. Then, due to the non-deterministic transmitted data symbols, the analytically closed-form expressions of the MCRLBs on the Cartesian coordinates of target position and velocity are derived for a multistatic radar system with Nt UMTS-based transmit station of Lt antenna elements and Nr receive stations of Lr antenna elements. With the aid of numerical simulations, it is shown that increasing the number of receiving elements in each receive station can reduce the estimation errors. In addition, it is demonstrated that the MCRLB is not only a function of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the number of receiving antenna elements and the properties of the transmitted UMTS signals, but also a function of the relative geometric configuration between the target and the multistatic radar system.The analytical expressions for MCRLB will open up a new dimension for passive multistatic radar system by aiding the optimal placement of receive stations to improve the target parameter estimation performance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Energy Efficiency Measures and Retrofitting Solutions for Social Housing Buildings in Spain as a Way to Mitigate Energy Poverty
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1869; doi:10.3390/su9101869 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Energy poverty is a common issue in social housing all over Europe, with a harder impact in Southern European countries. Social housing buildings play an important role in energy poverty. They are usually owned and managed by public institutions and usually share common
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Energy poverty is a common issue in social housing all over Europe, with a harder impact in Southern European countries. Social housing buildings play an important role in energy poverty. They are usually owned and managed by public institutions and usually share common characteristics and issues. Behavioural changes and energy retrofitting are interesting paths forward but some solutions do not fit well in this type of housing due to socioeconomic reasons. This paper makes a thorough analysis of possible energy efficiency measures in social housing buildings, characterizing them by energy and economic savings and investment and proposing different methods of prioritization. A rational approach of behavioural and retrofitting solutions that best fit into this particular housing type is delivered, with the aim to increase the thermal comfort of the residents and mitigate the energy poverty issue. Results show that there is a wide range of domestic efficiency measures to be applied in this type of dwellings at none or low costs, bringing annual savings per average dwelling of about 510 €/year (55% of initial energy costs) including measures both at domestic level, and at building level with a final aggregated payback of the investments to be about 1.5 years. Full article
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