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Open AccessArticle
Joint Estimation of Doppler Stretch and Time Delay of Wideband Echoes for LFM Pulse Radar Based on Sigmoid-FRFT Transform under the Impulsive Noise Environment
Electronics 2019, 8(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8020121 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To overcome the limitation of performance degradation of existing methods based on fractional Fourier transform in impulsive noise, and fractional lower-order statistics based method dependence on a priori knowledge of the noise, a novel Sigmoid fractional Fourier transform (Sigmoid-FRFT) is presented in this
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To overcome the limitation of performance degradation of existing methods based on fractional Fourier transform in impulsive noise, and fractional lower-order statistics based method dependence on a priori knowledge of the noise, a novel Sigmoid fractional Fourier transform (Sigmoid-FRFT) is presented in this paper. This novel approach is then used to estimate the Doppler stretch and time delay. Furthermore, the properties of the Sigmoid transform, robustness and boundedness of the Sigmoid-FRFT to the SαS noise, and the computation complexity of the Sigmoid-FRFT method are presented to evaluate the performance of the proposed method. Simulation results and theoretical analysis are presented to demonstrate the applicability of the forgoing method. It is shown that the proposed method not only can effectively suppress impulsive noise interference but also does not need a priori knowledge of the noise, with higher estimation accuracy and lower computational complexity in impulsive noise environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Wettability of DPPC Monolayers Deposited from the Titanium Dioxide–Chitosan–Hyaluronic Acid Subphases on Glass
Colloids Interfaces 2019, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids3010015 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The investigations were carried out to determine wettability of the 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) monolayers transferred from the liquid subphases containing chitosan (Ch), hyaluronic acid (HA), and/or titanium dioxide (TiO2) to a glass support by means of the Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) technique.
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The investigations were carried out to determine wettability of the 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) monolayers transferred from the liquid subphases containing chitosan (Ch), hyaluronic acid (HA), and/or titanium dioxide (TiO2) to a glass support by means of the Langmuir–Blodgett (LB) technique. For comparative purposes, the analysis of the plates surfaces emerged from the analogous subphases without the phospholipid film was also made. Characterization of the DPPC monolayers was based on the contact angle measurements using three test liquids (water, formamide, diiodomethane) and a simulated body fluid (SBF) solution in which the concentration of ions was close to that of human plasma. After deposition of the DPPC monolayers on the glass plates, a significant increase in the contact angles of all the probe liquids was observed compared to the plates pulled out from the given subphase without floating DPPC. The presence of phospholipid monolayer increased the hydrophobic character of the surface due to orientation of its molecules with hydrocarbon chains towards the air. In addition, the components of the subphase attached along with DPPC to the glass support modify the surface polarity. The largest changes were observed in the presence of TiO2. Full article
Open AccessReview
Signals Getting Crossed in the Entanglement of Redox and Phosphorylation Pathways: Phosphorylation of Peroxiredoxin Proteins Sparks Cell Signaling
Antioxidants 2019, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8020029 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have cell signaling properties and are involved in a multitude of processes beyond redox homeostasis. The peroxiredoxin (Prdx) proteins are highly sensitive intracellular peroxidases that can coordinate cell signaling via direct reactive species scavenging or by acting as
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Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species have cell signaling properties and are involved in a multitude of processes beyond redox homeostasis. The peroxiredoxin (Prdx) proteins are highly sensitive intracellular peroxidases that can coordinate cell signaling via direct reactive species scavenging or by acting as a redox sensor that enables control of binding partner activity. Oxidation of the peroxidatic cysteine residue of Prdx proteins are the classical post-translational modification that has been recognized to modulate downstream signaling cascades, but increasing evidence supports that dynamic changes to phosphorylation of Prdx proteins is also an important determinant in redox signaling. Phosphorylation of Prdx proteins affects three-dimensional structure and function to coordinate cell proliferation, wound healing, cell fate and lipid signaling. The advent of large proteomic datasets has shown that there are many opportunities to understand further how phosphorylation of Prdx proteins fit into intracellular signaling cascades in normal or malignant cells and that more research is necessary. This review summarizes the Prdx family of proteins and details how post-translational modification by kinases and phosphatases controls intracellular signaling. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Techno-Economic Assessment of Solar Hydrogen Production by Means of Thermo-Chemical Cycles
Energies 2019, 12(3), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12030352 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper presents the system analysis and the techno-economic assessment of selected solar hydrogen production paths based on thermochemical cycles. The analyzed solar technology is Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Solar energy is used in order to run a two-step thermochemical cycle based on
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This paper presents the system analysis and the techno-economic assessment of selected solar hydrogen production paths based on thermochemical cycles. The analyzed solar technology is Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). Solar energy is used in order to run a two-step thermochemical cycle based on two different red-ox materials, namely nickel-ferrite and cerium dioxide (ceria). Firstly, a flexible mathematical model has been implemented to design and to operate the system. The tool is able to perform annual yield calculations based on hourly meteorological data. Secondly, a sensitivity analysis over key-design and operational techno-economic parameters has been carried out. The main outcomes are presented and critically discussed. The technical comparison of nickel-ferrite and ceria cycles showed that the integration of a large number of reactors can be optimized by considering a suitable time displacement among the activation of the single reactors working in parallel. In addition the comparison demonstrated that ceria achieves higher efficiency than nickel-ferrite (13.4% instead 6.4%), mainly because of the different kinetics. This difference leads to a lower LCOH for ceria (13.06 €/kg and 6.68 €/kg in the base case and in the best case scenario, respectively). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Use of UAV Photogrammetric Data for Estimation of Biophysical Properties in Forest Stands Under Regeneration
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(3), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030233 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The objective of this study was to assess the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) data for modelling tree density and canopy height in young boreal forests stands. The use of UAV data for such tasks can be beneficial thanks to the high
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The objective of this study was to assess the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) data for modelling tree density and canopy height in young boreal forests stands. The use of UAV data for such tasks can be beneficial thanks to the high resolution and reduction of the time spent in the field. This study included 29 forest stands, within which 580 clustered plots were measured in the field. An area-based approach was adopted to which random forest models were fitted using the plot data and the corresponding UAV data and then applied and validated at plot and stand level. The results were compared to those of models based on airborne laser scanning (ALS) data and those from a traditional field-assessment. The models based on UAV data showed the smallest stand-level RMSE values for mean height (0.56 m) and tree density (1175 trees ha−1). The RMSE of the tree density using UAV data was 50% smaller than what was obtained using ALS data (2355 trees ha−1). Overall, this study highlighted that the use of UAVs for the inventory of forest stands under regeneration can be beneficial both because of the high accuracy of the derived data analytics and the time saving compared to traditional field assessments. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Amino-Chain Modified β-cyclodextrin: A Supramolecular Ligand for Pd(OAc)2 Acceleration in Suzuki–Miyaura Coupling Reactions in Water
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020111 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
A well-designed and synthesized water-soluble class of β-cyclodextrin supported palladium complex [email protected]β-CD could efficiently validate high catalytic activity and act as a supramolecular platform for phosphine-free Suzuki–Miyaura cross‐coupling reactions between arylboronic acid/ arylboronic ester and aryl halides in water under mild conditions. The
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A well-designed and synthesized water-soluble class of β-cyclodextrin supported palladium complex [email protected]β-CD could efficiently validate high catalytic activity and act as a supramolecular platform for phosphine-free Suzuki–Miyaura cross‐coupling reactions between arylboronic acid/ arylboronic ester and aryl halides in water under mild conditions. The presented novel [email protected]β-CD complex catalyst was characterized by NMR, XRD, FT-IR, and DSC analysis. Furthermore, the role of the [email protected]β-CD fragment in the reaction mechanism studied by molecular complexation was proposed based on FT-IR, 2D NMR (ROESY) spectroscopy, FE-SEM, and DSC spectroscopic analysis. The important benefits of this technique comprise simple phosphine-free preparation of the palladium catalyst, a wide range of functional-group tolerance, and easy recyclability; this method, furthermore, eschews hazardous reagents or solvents. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Breast-Feeding Protects Children from Adverse Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030304 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In a cross-sectional study on 433 schoolchildren (aged 6–9 years) from 9 schools in Austria, we observed associations between housing factors like passive smoking and lung function as well as improved lung function in children who had been breast-fed. The latter findings urged
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In a cross-sectional study on 433 schoolchildren (aged 6–9 years) from 9 schools in Austria, we observed associations between housing factors like passive smoking and lung function as well as improved lung function in children who had been breast-fed. The latter findings urged the question of whether the protective effects of breast-feeding act on environmental stressors or if they act independently. Therefore, the effect of passive smoking on lung function was stratified by breast-feeding. The detrimental effects of passive smoking were significant but restricted to the group of 53 children without breast-feeding. Breast-feeding counteracts the effect of environmental stressors on the growing respiratory organs. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evaluating the Toxic Impacts of Cadmium Selenide Nanoparticles on the Aquatic Plant Lemna minor
Molecules 2019, 24(3), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24030410 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Cadmium selenide nanoparticles (CdSe NPs) were synthesized by an easy and simple method and their properties were assessed by XRD, TEM and SEM techniques. The effects of CdSe NPs as well as Cd2+ ions on Lemna minor plants were investigated. The absorption
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Cadmium selenide nanoparticles (CdSe NPs) were synthesized by an easy and simple method and their properties were assessed by XRD, TEM and SEM techniques. The effects of CdSe NPs as well as Cd2+ ions on Lemna minor plants were investigated. The absorption of CdSe NPs by the plants had some adverse consequences that were assessed by a range of biological analyses. The results revealed that both CdSe NPs and the ionic form of cadmium noticeably caused toxicity in L. minor. Morphological parameters as well as peroxidase (POD) activity were deteriorated. In contrast, the activities of some other antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)) as well as the contents of total phenol and flavonoids went up. Taken all together, it could be implied that CdSe NPs as well as Cd2+ were highly toxic to plants and stimulated the plant defense system in order to scavenge produced reactive oxygen species (ROS). Full article
Open AccessArticle
S-O-T Body Repairs: Narrative Pursuits
Arts 2019, 8(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8010016 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper is a metaphorical extension of my practice of intertwining my conceptual/theoretical development with my personal history. Allowing the autobiographical narrative to become the driver of my practice has had a profound influence on my work. This has resulted in changes in
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This paper is a metaphorical extension of my practice of intertwining my conceptual/theoretical development with my personal history. Allowing the autobiographical narrative to become the driver of my practice has had a profound influence on my work. This has resulted in changes in the intention and scale of my work and new approaches to making, with a re-evaluation of the hierarchy of processes and materials. Written as a reflective case study, from a practice-led research perspective, the paper illustrates a realignment in creative methodology from a craft-based practitioner specialising in kiln-formed glass, to that of a mixed media sculptor. This transition was made in response to my desire to break free of my perceived confines as a craft practitioner, with a focus on technical excellence and the predominant language of glass, and place the concept at the forefront of my practice. This enabled me to explore the relationship of personal geographies of landscapes, to inform my prevailing concepts of corporeal vulnerabilities, in a more integral way. S-O-T Body Repairs was the title of a solo exhibition that sprang from this body of research and is discussed in this paper. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Whey Proteins Reduce Appetite, Stimulate Anorexigenic Gastrointestinal Peptides and Improve Glucometabolic Homeostasis in Young Obese Women
Nutrients 2019, 11(2), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11020247 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Introduction: Proteins, particularly whey proteins, represent the most satiating macronutrient in animals and humans. A dietetic regimen based on proteins enriched preload before eating might be a strategy to counteract obesity. Aims and Methods: The aim of the present study was to evaluate
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Introduction: Proteins, particularly whey proteins, represent the most satiating macronutrient in animals and humans. A dietetic regimen based on proteins enriched preload before eating might be a strategy to counteract obesity. Aims and Methods: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of an isocaloric drink containing whey proteins or maltodextrins (preload) on appetite (satiety/hunger measured by a visual analogue scale or VAS), glucometabolic control (blood glucose/insulin), and anorexigenic gastrointestinal peptides (pancreatic polypeptide or PP, glucagon-like peptide 1 or GLP-1 and peptide YY or PYY) in a cohort of obese young women (n = 9; age: 18.1 ± 3.0 years; body mass index, BMI: 38.8 ± 4.5 kg/m2). After two and a half hours, they were administered with a mixed meal at a fixed dose; satiety and hunger were measured by VAS. Results: Each drink significantly augmented satiety and reduced hunger, and the effects were more evident with whey proteins than maltodextrins. Similarly, there were significant increases in GLP-1 and PYY levels (but not PP) after the ingestion of each drink; these anorexigenic responses were higher with whey proteins than maltodextrins. While insulinemia identically increased after each drink, whey proteins induced a lower glycemic response than maltodextrins. No differences in satiety and hunger were found after the meal, which is presumably due to the late administration of the meal test, when the hypophagic effect of whey proteins was disappearing. Conclusions: While whey proteins actually reduce appetite, stimulate anorexigenic gastrointestinal peptides, and improve glucometabolic homeostasis in young obese women, further additional studies are mandatory to demonstrate their hypophagic effects in obese subjects, when administered as preload before eating. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Correlation–Scale–Threshold Method for Spatial Variability of Rainfall
Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010011 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Rainfall data at fine spatial resolutions are often required for various studies in hydrology and water resources. However, such data are not widely available, as their collection is normally expensive and time-consuming. A common practice to obtain fine-spatial-resolution rainfall data is to employ
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Rainfall data at fine spatial resolutions are often required for various studies in hydrology and water resources. However, such data are not widely available, as their collection is normally expensive and time-consuming. A common practice to obtain fine-spatial-resolution rainfall data is to employ interpolation schemes to derive them based on data available at nearby locations. Such interpolation schemes are generally based on rainfall correlation or distance between stations. The present study proposes a combined rainfall correlation-spatial scale-correlation threshold method for representing spatial rainfall variability. The method is applied to monthly rainfall data at a resolution of 0.25 × 0.25 latitude/longitude across Australia, available from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM 3B43 version). The results indicate that rainfall dynamics in northern and northeastern Australia have far greater spatial correlations when compared to the other regions, especially in southern and southeastern Australia, suggesting that tropical climates generally have greater spatial rainfall correlations when compared to temperate, oceanic, and continental climates, subject to other influencing factors. The implications of the outcomes for rainfall data interpolation and the rain gauge monitoring network are also discussed, especially based on results obtained for ten major cities in Australia. Full article

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