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Open AccessArticle
A Calcium-Deficient Diet in Dams during Gestation Increases Insulin Resistance in Male Offspring
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1745; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111745 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Calcium (Ca) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance syndrome. Osteocalcin (OC), a bone formation biomarker, acts directly on β-cells and increases insulin secretion. We determined the effects of Ca deficiency during pregnancy and/or lactation on insulin resistance in offspring.
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Calcium (Ca) plays an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance syndrome. Osteocalcin (OC), a bone formation biomarker, acts directly on β-cells and increases insulin secretion. We determined the effects of Ca deficiency during pregnancy and/or lactation on insulin resistance in offspring. Female Wistar rats consumed either a Ca-deficient or control diet ad libitum from three weeks preconception to 21 days postparturition. Pups were allowed to nurse their original mothers until weaning. The offspring were fed a control diet beginning at weaning and were killed on day 180. Serum carboxylated OC (Gla-OC) and undercarboxylated OC (Glu-OC), insulin and adipokines in offspring were measured. In males, mean levels of insulin, glucose, and HOMA-IR were higher in the Ca-deficient group than in the control group. In addition, ionized Ca (iCa) was inversely associated with serum Glu-OC and adiponectin in males. In females, mean levels of Glu-OC and Gla-OC in the Ca-deficient group were higher than in the control group. In all offspring, serum leptin levels were correlated with serum insulin levels, and inversely correlated with iCa. In conclusion, maternal Ca restriction during pregnancy and/or lactation influences postnatal offspring Ca metabolism and insulin resistance in a sex-specific manner. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Power Control of Direct Interconnection Technique for Airborne Wind Energy Systems
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3134; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113134 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, an offshore airborne wind energy (AWE) farm consisting of three non-reversing pumping mode AWE systems is modelled and simulated. The AWE systems employ permanent magnet synchronous generators (PMSG). A direct interconnection technique is developed and implemented for AWE systems. This
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In this paper, an offshore airborne wind energy (AWE) farm consisting of three non-reversing pumping mode AWE systems is modelled and simulated. The AWE systems employ permanent magnet synchronous generators (PMSG). A direct interconnection technique is developed and implemented for AWE systems. This method is a new approach invented for interconnecting offshore wind turbines with the least number of required offshore-based power electronic converters. The direct interconnection technique can be beneficial in improving the economy and reliability of marine airborne wind energy systems. The performance and interactions of the directly interconnected generators inside the energy farm internal power grid are investigated. The results of the study conducted in this paper, show the directly interconnected AWE systems can exhibit a poor load balance and significant reactive power exchange which must be addressed. Power control strategies for controlling the active and reactive power of the AWE farm are designed, implemented, and promising results are discussed in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Growth Mechanism of Siliceous Cement in Tight Sandstone and Its Influence on Reservoir Physical Properties
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3133; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113133 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To investigate the effect of siliceous cementation on the densification of sandstone and the forming process of tight sandstone, based on cathodoluminescence, scanning electron microscopy and thin section analysis, the growth mechanism and characteristics of quartz particles in tight sandstone formations are explored.
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To investigate the effect of siliceous cementation on the densification of sandstone and the forming process of tight sandstone, based on cathodoluminescence, scanning electron microscopy and thin section analysis, the growth mechanism and characteristics of quartz particles in tight sandstone formations are explored. Meanwhile, combined with conventional core analysis and X-ray diffraction experiments, the factors affecting the crystallization of quartz particles, including the chlorite content, grain size and clay mineral, are analyzed, respectively. The entire siliceous cementation is divided into two processes. The first part is the process in which the weathered and rounded particles in the formation are restored to the hexagonal dipyramid crystal by siliceous cementation. The second part is the process of coaxial growth that the hexagonal dipyramid crystal continues to increase with the form of micro-quartz film. As siliceous cements continue to increase, the petrological characteristics of sandstones are constantly changing. The tight sandstone developed in the study area is composed of lithic sandstone and quartz lithic sandstone. Based on the analysis results, 2D and 3D evolution models are established for densification of two different lithic sandstones. When the content of siliceous cement in the study area is less than 17%, the porosity of tight sandstone increases with the increase of cement. When the content of cement is more than 17%, the porosity of tight sandstone is negatively correlated with the content of cement. When the cement content is greater than 10%, the reservoir permeability is negatively correlated with it. Furthermore, the particle size mainly affects the permeability of reservoir, and the particle size is negatively correlated with the permeability of tight sandstone. The most high-quality tight sandstone reservoir in the study area is in the first cementation stage when siliceous cements are distributed in porphyritic texture with the content of 10–15% and a grain size of 0.2–0.3 mm. In addition, the relatively high-quality reservoir is the one developing clay mineral film with a content of cementation about 5–12%. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Improvement of Tubular Permanent Magnet Machine Performance Using Dual-Segment Halbach Array
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3132; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113132 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, a modification of the dual-segment permanent magnet (PM) Halbach array is investigated to improve the performance of the tubular linear machine, in terms of flux density and output power. Instead of a classical Halbach array with only radial and axial
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In this paper, a modification of the dual-segment permanent magnet (PM) Halbach array is investigated to improve the performance of the tubular linear machine, in terms of flux density and output power. Instead of a classical Halbach array with only radial and axial PMs, the proposed model involves the insertion of mig-magnets, which have a magnetized angle shifted from the reference magnetized angles of axial and radial PMs. This structure leads to the elimination of flux leakage and the concentration of flux linkage in middle of the coil; therefore, the output power is increased by 13.2%. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Prediction of the Formation of Reactive Metabolites by A Novel Classifier Approach Based on Enrichment Factor Optimization (EFO) as Implemented in the VEGA Program
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 2955; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23112955 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The study is aimed at developing linear classifiers to predict the capacity of a given substrate to yield reactive metabolites. While most of the hitherto reported predictive models are based on the occurrence of known structural alerts (e.g., the presence of toxophoric groups),
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The study is aimed at developing linear classifiers to predict the capacity of a given substrate to yield reactive metabolites. While most of the hitherto reported predictive models are based on the occurrence of known structural alerts (e.g., the presence of toxophoric groups), the present study is focused on the generation of predictive models involving linear combinations of physicochemical and stereo-electronic descriptors. The development of these models is carried out by using a novel classification approach based on enrichment factor optimization (EFO) as implemented in the VEGA suite of programs. The study took advantage of metabolic data as collected by manually curated analysis of the primary literature and published in the years 2004–2009. The learning set included 977 substrates among which 138 compounds yielded reactive first-generation metabolites, plus 212 substrates generating reactive metabolites in all generations (i.e., metabolic steps). The results emphasized the possibility of developing satisfactory predictive models especially when focusing on the first-generation reactive metabolites. The extensive comparison of the classifier approach presented here using a set of well-known algorithms implemented in Weka 3.8 revealed that the proposed EFO method compares with the best available approaches and offers two relevant benefits since it involves a limited number of descriptors and provides a score-based probability thus allowing a critical evaluation of the obtained results. The last analyses on non-cheminformatics UCI datasets emphasize the general applicability of the EFO approach, which conveniently performs using both balanced and unbalanced datasets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Better Progression-Free Survival in Elderly Patients with Stage IV Lung Adenocarcinoma Harboring Uncommon Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Mutations Treated with the First-line Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors
Cancers 2018, 10(11), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10110434 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Patients with lung adenocarcinoma harboring common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations usually have a good response rate (RR) and longer progression-free survival (PFS) to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, the treatment efficacy to uncommon EGFR mutations remains controversial. We,
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Patients with lung adenocarcinoma harboring common epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations usually have a good response rate (RR) and longer progression-free survival (PFS) to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). However, the treatment efficacy to uncommon EGFR mutations remains controversial. We, therefore, performed a retrospective study, screening 2958 patients. A total of 67 patients with lung adenocarcinoma harboring uncommon EGFR mutations were enrolled and 57 patients with stage IV diseases receiving a first-line EGFR TKI were included for further analyses. The patients were classified into 27 (47%) “a single sensitizing uncommon mutation”, 7 (12%) “multiple sensitizing mutations”, 5 (9%) “a sensitizing mutation and a resistant uncommon mutation”, and 18 (32%) “other resistant uncommon mutations”. No significant difference was noted in PFS or overall survival (OS) between groups. Patients receiving different first-line EGFR TKIs had similar PFS and OS. The elder patients had a significantly poorer performance status than the younger patients but a significantly longer PFS than the younger patients (median PFS: 10.5 vs. 5.5 months, p = 0.0320). In conclusion, this is the first study to identify that elderly patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinoma harboring uncommon EGFR mutation might have a longer PFS. Large-scale prospective studies are mandatory to prove our findings. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Low Pt Alloyed Nanostructures for Fuel Cells Catalysts
Catalysts 2018, 8(11), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal8110538 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Low-noble metal electrocatalysts are attracting massive attention for anode and cathode reactions in fuel cells. Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures have demonstrated their advantages in high performance low-noble metal electrocatalysts due to synergy effects. The basic of designing this type of catalysts lies
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Low-noble metal electrocatalysts are attracting massive attention for anode and cathode reactions in fuel cells. Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures have demonstrated their advantages in high performance low-noble metal electrocatalysts due to synergy effects. The basic of designing this type of catalysts lies in understanding structure-performance correlation at the atom and electron level. Herein, design threads of highly active and durable Pt transition metal alloy nanocatalysts are summarized, with highlighting their synthetic realization. Microscopic and electron structure characterization methods and their prospects will be introduced. Recent progress will be discussed in high active and durable Pt transition metal alloy nanocatalysts towards oxygen reduction and methanol oxidation, with their structure-performance correlations illustrated. Lastly, an outlook will be given on promises and challenges in future developing of Pt transition metal alloy nanostructures towards fuel cells catalysis uses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Training Secondary Education Teachers through the Prism of Sustainability: The Case of the Universitat de València
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4170; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114170 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Designing the training of future teachers through holistic and interdisciplinary visions is vital to developing coherent contents, epistemologies, and methodologies that put Education for Sustainability into action. The research presented here analyzes the teaching guides from the curriculum for the Master’s Degree in
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Designing the training of future teachers through holistic and interdisciplinary visions is vital to developing coherent contents, epistemologies, and methodologies that put Education for Sustainability into action. The research presented here analyzes the teaching guides from the curriculum for the Master’s Degree in Secondary Education Teaching at the Universitat de València (Spain). A collaborative study on the inclusion of sustainability in a selected sample of teaching guides was conducted from an Action/Research methodological approach. The study includes an analysis of the competences identified by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and their expected contribution to the 17 SDGs in the United Nations 2030 Agenda. The results of this research point to the need to promote collaborative work across disciplines in order to engage teachers in the transition to sustainability and encourage them to participate in the research process. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Physiological and Fitness Adaptations after Eight Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training in Physically Inactive Adults
Sports 2018, 6(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports6040146 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to characterize high-intensity functional training (HIFT) in physically inactive adults. Four men and 10 women who were inexperienced with HIFT and not performing regular physical activity performed HIFT 3 days/week for 8 weeks. Health and fitness measures
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The purpose of this study was to characterize high-intensity functional training (HIFT) in physically inactive adults. Four men and 10 women who were inexperienced with HIFT and not performing regular physical activity performed HIFT 3 days/week for 8 weeks. Health and fitness measures were assessed before and after the intervention. Resting heart rate (73 ± 12 vs. 68 ± 11 bpm) and resting diastolic blood pressure (71 ± 7 vs. 65 ± 6 mmHg) were reduced, while resting systolic blood pressure remained unchanged. Absolute VO2max (2.53 ± 0.68 vs. 2.69 ± 0.66 L/min) and relative VO2max (32.51 ± 8.84 vs. 34.31 ± 8.63 mL/kg/min) were improved. Lean body mass (48.20 ± 13.37 vs. 49.26 ± 13.81 kg) was increased, but fat mass was unchanged. Performance on the leg press (164.61 ± 54.35 vs. 201.62 ± 67.50 kg), bench press (39.12 ± 20.15 vs. 46.43 ± 21.18 kg), YMCA bench press (26 ± 13 vs. 37 ± 16 reps), one-minute sit-up (25 ± 9 vs. 32 ± 10 reps), and sit-and-reach (30.36 ± 11.36 vs. 32.14 ± 9.66 cm) were all increased. High-intensity functional training may be useful for improving health-related physical fitness parameters in physically inactive adults. Full article
Open AccessArticle
CO2 and CH4 Adsorption Behavior of Biomass-Based Activated Carbons
Energies 2018, 11(11), 3136; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11113136 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The aim of the present work is to study the effect of different activation methods for the production of a biomass-based activated carbon on the CO2 and CH4 adsorption. The influence of the activation method on the adsorption uptake was studied
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The aim of the present work is to study the effect of different activation methods for the production of a biomass-based activated carbon on the CO2 and CH4 adsorption. The influence of the activation method on the adsorption uptake was studied using three activated carbons obtained by different activation methods (H3PO4 chemical activation and H2O and CO2 physical activation) of olive stones. Methane and carbon dioxide pure gas adsorption experiments were carried out at two working temperatures (303.15 and 323.15 K). The influence of the activation method on the adsorption uptake was studied in terms of both textural properties and surface chemistry. For the three adsorbents, the CO2 adsorption was more important than that of CH4. The chemically-activated carbon presented a higher specific surface area and micropore volume, which led to a higher adsorption capacity of both CO2 and CH4. For methane adsorption, the presence of mesopores facilitated the diffusion of the gas molecules into the micropores. In the case of carbon dioxide adsorption, the presence of more oxygen groups on the water vapor-activated carbon enhanced its adsorption capacity. Full article
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