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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Influence of pH, NaCl, and the Deacidifying Yeasts Debaryomyces hansenii and Kluyveromyces marxianus on the Production of Pigments by the Cheese-Ripening Bacteria Arthrobacter arilaitensis
Foods 2018, 7(11), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7110190 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Arthrobacter arilaitensis is a food-related bacterial species under investigation for its involvement in the coloration of surface-ripened cheeses. Presently, information about this species in association with the development of appropriate cheese coloration is still lacking. This study was performed in order to investigate—with
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Arthrobacter arilaitensis is a food-related bacterial species under investigation for its involvement in the coloration of surface-ripened cheeses. Presently, information about this species in association with the development of appropriate cheese coloration is still lacking. This study was performed in order to investigate—with the use of spectrocolorimetry—the influence of pH, NaCl, and deacidifying yeasts on the pigmentation of Arthrobacter arilaitensis biofilms. Three types of cheese-based (curd) solid media were prepared by using different deacidification methods: (i) chemical deacidification by NaOH (CMNaOH); (ii) biological deacidification by the yeast strain Debaryomyces hansenii 304 (CMDh304); and (iii) biological deacidification by the yeast strain Kluyveromyces marxianus 44 (CMKm44). Each medium was prepared with initial pH values of 5.8, 7.0, and 7.5. After pasteurization, agar was incorporated and NaCl was added in varying concentrations (0%, 2%, 4%, and 8% (w/v)). A. arilaitensis Po102 was then inoculated on the so prepared “solid-curd” media, and incubated at 12 °C under light conditions for 28 days. According to the data obtained by spectrocolorimetry in the Compagnie Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE) L*a*b* color system, all controlled factors appeared to affect the pigments produced by the A. arilaitensis strain. NaCl content in the media showed distinct inhibitory effects on the development of color by this strain when the initial pH was at 5.8. By contrast, when the initial pH of the media was higher (7.0, 7.5), only the highest concentration of NaCl (8%) had this effect, while the coloring capacity of this bacterial species was always higher when D. hansenii 304 was used for deacidification compared to K. marxianus 44. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of GluN2B-CT1290-1310/DAPK1 Interaction by Protein–Peptide Docking and Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 3018; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23113018 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The interaction of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) with the 2B subunit (GluN2B) C-terminus of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of depression and is considered a potential target for the structure-based discovery of new antidepressants. However, the 3D
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The interaction of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) with the 2B subunit (GluN2B) C-terminus of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of depression and is considered a potential target for the structure-based discovery of new antidepressants. However, the 3D structures of C-terminus residues 1290–1310 of GluN2B (GluN2B-CT1290-1310) remain elusive and the interaction between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 is unknown. In this study, the mechanism of interaction between DAPK1 and GluN2B-CT1290-1310 was predicted by computational simulation methods including protein–peptide docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Based on the equilibrated MD trajectory, the total binding free energy between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 was computed by the mechanics generalized born surface area (MM/GBSA) approach. The simulation results showed that hydrophobic, van der Waals, and electrostatic interactions are responsible for the binding of GluN2B-CT1290–1310/DAPK1. Moreover, through per-residue free energy decomposition and in silico alanine scanning analysis, hotspot residues between GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 interface were identified. In conclusion, this work predicted the binding mode and quantitatively characterized the protein–peptide interface, which will aid in the discovery of novel drugs targeting the GluN2B-CT1290-1310 and DAPK1 interface. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Hazardous Elements in Children Toys: Multi-Elemental Determination by Chromatography and Spectrometry Methods
Molecules 2018, 23(11), 3017; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23113017 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
This paper presents the results of determination of hazardous metal (Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) and metalloid (As, Sb) levels in toys available in the Polish market. Two independent sample preparation methods were used to determine the concentration and content
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This paper presents the results of determination of hazardous metal (Cd, Cu, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Zn) and metalloid (As, Sb) levels in toys available in the Polish market. Two independent sample preparation methods were used to determine the concentration and content of the metals and metalloids. The first one is defined by the guidelines of the EN-71 standard and undertook extraction in 0.07 mol/L HCl. This method was used to conduct speciation analysis of Cr(III) and Cr(VI), as well as for the determination of selected metals and metalloids. The second method conducted mineralization in a HNO3 and H2O2 mixture using microwave energy to determine the content of metals and metalloids. Determination of chromium forms was made using the high-performance liquid chromatography inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) method, while those of metals and metalloids were made using the ICP-MS technique. Additionally, in order to determine total content of chromium in toys, an energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (EDX) was used. The results of the analyses showed that Cr(VI) was not detected in the toys. In general, the content of heavy metals and metalloids in the studied samples was below the migration limit set by the norm EN-71. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Bikeshare Access/Egress Transferring Distance and Catchment Area around Metro Stations from Smartcard Data
Information 2018, 9(11), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/info9110289 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Metro–bikeshare integration is considered a green and efficient travel model. To better develop such integration, it is necessary to monitor and analyze metro–bikeshare transfer characteristics. This paper measures access and egress transferring distances and catchment areas based on smartcard data. A cubic regression
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Metro–bikeshare integration is considered a green and efficient travel model. To better develop such integration, it is necessary to monitor and analyze metro–bikeshare transfer characteristics. This paper measures access and egress transferring distances and catchment areas based on smartcard data. A cubic regression model is conducted for the exploration of the 85th access and egress network-based transferring distance around metro stations. Then, the independent samples t-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) are used to explore access and egress transfer characteristics in demographic groups and spatial and temporal dimension. Additionally, the catchment area is delineated by applying both the network-based distance method and Euclidean distance method. The result reveals that males outcompete females both in access and egress distances and urban dwellers ride a shorter distance than those in suburban areas. Access and egress distances are both shorter in morning peak hours than those in evening peak hours and access distance on weekdays is longer than that on weekends. In addition, network-based catchment area accounts for over 90% of Euclidean catchment area in urban areas, while most of the ratios are less than 85% in suburban. The paper uses data from Nanjing, China as a case study. This study serves as a scientific basis for policy makers and bikeshare companies to improve metro–bikeshare integration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogeochemical Modeling to Identify Potential Risks of Underground Hydrogen Storage in Depleted Gas Fields
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(11), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8112282 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Underground hydrogen storage is a potential way to balance seasonal fluctuations in energy production from renewable energies. The risks of hydrogen storage in depleted gas fields include the conversion of hydrogen to CH4(g) and H2S(g) due to microbial activity,
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Underground hydrogen storage is a potential way to balance seasonal fluctuations in energy production from renewable energies. The risks of hydrogen storage in depleted gas fields include the conversion of hydrogen to CH4(g) and H2S(g) due to microbial activity, gas–water–rock interactions in the reservoir and cap rock, which are connected with porosity changes, and the loss of aqueous hydrogen by diffusion through the cap rock brine. These risks lead to loss of hydrogen and thus to a loss of energy. A hydrogeochemical modeling approach is developed to analyze these risks and to understand the basic hydrogeochemical mechanisms of hydrogen storage over storage times at the reservoir scale. The one-dimensional diffusive mass transport model is based on equilibrium reactions for gas–water–rock interactions and kinetic reactions for sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. The modeling code is PHREEQC (pH-REdox-EQuilibrium written in the C programming language). The parameters that influence the hydrogen loss are identified. Crucial parameters are the amount of available electron acceptors, the storage time, and the kinetic rate constants. Hydrogen storage causes a slight decrease in porosity of the reservoir rock. Loss of aqueous hydrogen by diffusion is minimal. A wide range of conditions for optimized hydrogen storage in depleted gas fields is identified. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Site Preparation Methods on the Establishment and Natural-Regeneration Traits of Scots Pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Northeastern Poland
Forests 2018, 9(11), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110717 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
While some tree species can regenerate naturally without mechanical site preparation (MSP), Scots pine has been shown to benefit from this process. We compared three methods: using a double-mouldboard forest plough (FP), an active single-disc plough (AP), and a forest mill (FM), as
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While some tree species can regenerate naturally without mechanical site preparation (MSP), Scots pine has been shown to benefit from this process. We compared three methods: using a double-mouldboard forest plough (FP), an active single-disc plough (AP), and a forest mill (FM), as well as a no-MSP control, in terms of growth, survival and density of occurrence of pines during the first 4 years of natural regeneration. Moisture conditions were expressed via calculated de Martonne aridity indices, while the microhabitats generated via different MSP methods were further characterised by the total contents of N and C, and the C/N ratio, P2O5, and base cations, as well as bulk density and actual moisture. The trials showed inferior regeneration without MSP in terms of the density and cover of young pines. Any of the studied treatments influenced survival, though the best growth was achieved by seedlings using the FP and AP methods, while the best density and evenness results were obtained using AP. The factors most influencing regeneration features were high precipitation during the first growing season after sowing and reduced competition with other vegetation in the cleared area. This impact seems far more important than the capacity of different MSPs to produce differentiation in soil microhabitats in terms of nutrient status or bulk density. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Disaster and Safety Management of Government: Integrated Disaster and Safety Budget System in Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4267; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114267 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The budget for disaster and safety management can be characterized as a large-scale public asset in which the government has a significant role. However, this budget has been managed in a somewhat scattered and inconsistent manner by different government ministries, until the Sewol
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The budget for disaster and safety management can be characterized as a large-scale public asset in which the government has a significant role. However, this budget has been managed in a somewhat scattered and inconsistent manner by different government ministries, until the Sewol ferry incident in Korea 2014. After the Sewol incident, the Ministry of Public Safety and Security has introduced a prior consultation system for budget allocation in the field of disaster and safety management, so that the budget can be reviewed in a holistic manner, effectively managed, and invested according to agreeable priorities. This study introduces the prior consultation system for the budget in disaster and safety management, which has been implemented since 2015, analyzes budget allocation procedures, and provides possible solutions to improve the current status of the prior consultation system for classification and prioritization. (1) The issues that were found in the budget plans for the fiscal years of 2016 to 2017 are, firstly, unclear classification criteria that made it hard to differentiate much more disaster-related programs and projects from less-related ones. Secondly, investment priorities of projects and programs for disaster and safety management are controversial, due to the lack of objective standards and procedures. To firmly settle down the prior consultation system, several possible solutions to these two main issues are suggested. (2) To improve actual budget classification, the current classification system needs to be reviewed at first, and social issues will be analyzed to be included as a criterion and, finally, authors will propose additional criteria and items based on the Disaster and Safety Management Framework Act. In order to improve prioritization procedures for budget allocation, disaster damage and loss are compiled to find implications and other related prioritization practices, such as prioritization in natural disaster-prone area improvement programs, which need to be analyzed to provide suggestions on improvement in prioritization. Through the proposed improvement of the classification system, projects that are not related to disaster safety are not included in the disaster safety project. Projects that are deeply related to disaster safety can be further explored. It is also recommended that an investment direction be established in consideration of damage characteristics through the investment priority improvement plan, and that qualitative assessment criteria should be considered in the criteria for similar projects, and weights should be required. The improvement measures derived can be used as follows: the scale can be clearly identified by clarifying the subject of the disaster safety budget. This gives a sense of where investment is lacking, and where it is sufficient. Investment priority is reviewed in a variety of ways, preventing budgetary bias in advance. As a result, these two improvements enable efficient operation of the disaster safety budget. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Tail Tip Lesions in Mink (Neovison vison): Effects of an Additional Hammock in Multilevel Cages
Animals 2018, 8(11), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8110214 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The occurrence of wounds in different anatomical regions, such as tail tip lesions, is an important welfare concern in farmed mink. This study investigated whether mechanical factors attributed to cage design in multilevel cages may be involved in the etiology of tail tip
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The occurrence of wounds in different anatomical regions, such as tail tip lesions, is an important welfare concern in farmed mink. This study investigated whether mechanical factors attributed to cage design in multilevel cages may be involved in the etiology of tail tip lesions. Specifically, effects of an additional hammock intended to reduce speed during transitions between cage levels and thereby assumed to lower the incidence and severity of tails hitting the wire mesh were investigated. Three mink farms and a total of 600 mink participated in the study. On each farm, brown female mink (n = 100) were either housed in multilevel cages equipped with plastic hammocks (placed either perpendicular or parallel to the sidewalls) or in standard multilevel cages without hammocks (n = 100). The study was conducted from December to March using singly housed females. Significant differences in the number of tail tip wounds were found between groups with a hammock installed in the cage vs. control groups in two of the farms (p = 0.029 and p = 0.031), with more wounds developing in cages without a hammock. Furthermore, there was a trend towards difference in the number of tail tip wounds in groups with hammocks installed perpendicular vs. groups with hammocks installed parallel to the cage sidewalls, but a potential farm effect cannot be ruled out. This study is the first to suggest that mechanical factors associated with cage design may play a role in the etiology of tail tip lesions in farmed mink. Further studies are needed to understand the causal relationship between cage design and tail tip lesions in mink. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scheduling and Planning in Service Systems with Goal Programming: Literature Review
Mathematics 2018, 6(11), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/math6110265 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: People want to be able to evaluate different kinds of information in a good way. There are various methods that they develop in such situations. Among the optimization methods, the goal programming method is often used when there are multiple objectives that
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Background: People want to be able to evaluate different kinds of information in a good way. There are various methods that they develop in such situations. Among the optimization methods, the goal programming method is often used when there are multiple objectives that decision makers want to accomplish. Because scheduling and planning problems have multiple objectives that are desired to be achieved, the goal programming method helps the researcher in contradictory situations between these goals. Methods: This study includes, examines, and analyzes recent research on service scheduling and planning. In the literature, service scheduling and planning studies have been examined using goal programming method from past to today. Results: The studies are detailed according to the type of goal programming, according to scheduling types, the purpose used in the studies, and the methods integrated with the goal programming. There are 142 studies in Emerald, Science Direct, Jstor, Springer, Taylor and Francis, Google Scholar, etc. databases that are examined in detail. For readers, diversification has been made to facilitate the identification of these studies and a detailed overview has been presented. Conclusion: As a result of the study, studies with the goal programming in the literature have been seen. The readers’ perspectives for planning and scheduling are discussed. Full article

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