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Open AccessReview
A G-Protein Coupled Receptor and Macular Degeneration
Cells 2020, 9(4), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040910 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. The risk of AMD increases with age and is most common among the white population. Here, we discuss the convergence of factors related to race, pigmentation, and susceptibility to [...] Read more.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. The risk of AMD increases with age and is most common among the white population. Here, we discuss the convergence of factors related to race, pigmentation, and susceptibility to AMD, where the primary defect occurs in retinal support cells, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We explore whether the observed racial bias in AMD incidence is related to innate differences in the basal level of pigmentation between races, and whether the pigmentation pathway activity in the RPE might protect from retinal degeneration. More specifically, we explore whether the downstream signaling activity of GPR143, a G-protein coupled receptor in the pigmentation pathway, might underly the racial bias of AMD and be a target to prevent the disease. Lastly, we summarize the past findings of a large retrospective study that investigated the relationship between the stimulation of GPR143 with L-DOPA, the pigmentation pathway, and AMD, to potentially help develop new ways to prevent or treat AMD. The reader of this review will come to understand the racial bias of AMD, which is related to the function of the RPE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Basis of Macular Degenerations)
Open AccessArticle
Performance and Stability of Wet-Milled CoAl2O4, Ni/CoAl2O4, and Pt,Ni/CoAl2O4 for Soot Combustion
Catalysts 2020, 10(4), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10040406 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Low-energy wet milling was employed to activate commercial CoAl2O4 spinel and disperse mono- and multimetallic nanoparticles on its surface. This method yielded efficient Pt,Ni catalysts for soot oxidation in simulated diesel exhaust conditions. The characterization and activity results indicated that [...] Read more.
Low-energy wet milling was employed to activate commercial CoAl2O4 spinel and disperse mono- and multimetallic nanoparticles on its surface. This method yielded efficient Pt,Ni catalysts for soot oxidation in simulated diesel exhaust conditions. The characterization and activity results indicated that although Ni/CoAl2O4 was highly active, the presence of Pt was required to obtain a stable Ni(0.25 wt. %),Pt(0.75 wt. %)/CoAl2O4 catalyst under the operating conditions of diesel particulate filters, and that hot spots formation must be controlled to avoid the deactivation of the cobalt aluminate. Our work provides important insight for new design strategies to develop high-efficiency low-cost catalysts. Platinum-containing multimetallic nanostructures could efficiently reduce the amount of the costly, but to date non-replaceable, Pt noble metal for a large number of industrially important catalytic processes. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
High Variability in Erythrocyte, Plasma and Whole Blood EPA and DHA Levels in Response to Supplementation
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1017; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041017 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
(1) Aim: the aim of this secondary analysis was to report the variability in response to n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) supplementation in erythrocytes, plasma and whole blood of a previously published dose response study. (2) Methods: a randomized, double-blind, [...] Read more.
(1) Aim: the aim of this secondary analysis was to report the variability in response to n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) supplementation in erythrocytes, plasma and whole blood of a previously published dose response study. (2) Methods: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of parallel design was conducted, whereby pre-menopausal women were randomly assigned to consume 0, 0.35, 0.7 or 1 g/day of supplemental eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fasted blood samples were taken at baseline and after eight weeks intervention. Erythrocyte, plasma and whole blood fatty acids were extracted using the method of Lepage and Roy and analysed using gas chromatography. (3) Results: There were significant increases in EPA plus DHA levels in the 0.7 g and 1 g dose groups, with the highest increase with the 1 g dose notably: in erythrocytes (from 5.69% to 7.59%), plasma (from 2.94% to 5.48%) and in whole blood (from 3.81% to 6.03%). There was high variability in response to the supplement in erythrocytes, plasma and whole blood across the different doses. (4) Conclusion: there is high individual variability in n-3 LCPUFA levels in response to n-3 LCPUFA supplementation, which should be taken into account in clinical trials using n-3 LCPUFA supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition Methodology & Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Productivity of Common Bean in Intercrop with Maize across Agro-Ecological Zones of Smallholder Farms in the Northern Highlands of Tanzania
Agriculture 2020, 10(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10040117 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important grain legume for food and cash of the smallholder farmers worldwide. However, the total potential benefits to be derived from the common bean as a source of food and income, its complementarities with non-legume [...] Read more.
Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is an important grain legume for food and cash of the smallholder farmers worldwide. However, the total potential benefits to be derived from the common bean as a source of food and income, its complementarities with non-legume food crops, and significance to the environment are underexploited. Intensification of common bean could provide approaches that offer new techniques to better manage and monitor globally complex systems of sustainable food production. Therefore, this study tried to assess the productivity of common bean bushy varieties when are involved as part of an intercrop with maize (Zea mays L.) in varying agro-ecological zones. The factors evaluated were the cropping seasons/years (S) (2015 and 2016), agro-ecological zones (A) above sea level (lower 843 m, middle 1051 m, upper 1743 m), and cropping systems (C) (sole, intercrop). The data collected were the total biomass, number of pods per plant and seeds per pod, 100-seed weight as yield components, and grain yield. Bean and maize grain yields were used to calculate the partial (P) and total land equivalent ratio (LER). Results indicated that the main effects of S, A, C, and the interaction effects of S × A, S × C, S × A × C were significant on bean grain yields. Interactions of S × A × C were also significant on all measured variables. Results also indicated that continuous intercropping of bean with maize over two cropping seasons resulted in the increase of bean grain yields from 1.5 to 2.3 t ha−1 in the lower altitude, 2.0 to 2.3 t ha−1 in the middle altitude, and 1.8 to 2.9 t ha−1 in the upper altitude. Land utilization advantage of intercrops over monocultures yielded a total LER of 1.58, whereas the average partial land equivalent ratio (PLER) of individual beans was 1.53. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Productivity, Efficiency, and Sustainability in Agriculture)
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Open AccessArticle
Electromagnetic Loss Analysis of a Linear Motor System Designed for a Free-Piston Engine Generator
Electronics 2020, 9(4), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9040621 - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
A free-piston engine generator is a new type of power generating device, which has the advantages of high efficiency and simple structure. In this paper, a linear motor system composed of a moving-coil linear motor with axial magnetized magnets and a H-bridge pulse-width [...] Read more.
A free-piston engine generator is a new type of power generating device, which has the advantages of high efficiency and simple structure. In this paper, a linear motor system composed of a moving-coil linear motor with axial magnetized magnets and a H-bridge pulse-width modulation (PWM) rectifier is designed for portable free-piston engine generators. Based on the finite-element model of the motor and physical model of the rectifier, the combined electromagnetic model is presented and then validated by the prototype-tested results. The electromagnetic processes of the linear motor system are simulated. The electromagnetic losses during the standard working cycle are analyzed. Under the rated reciprocating frequency of 50 Hz and the rated reciprocating stroke of 36 mm, the mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion efficiency of 86.3% can be obtained by the linear motor system, which meets the requirement of portable free-piston engine generators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems & Control Engineering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Phosphite Dehydrogenase Variant with Promiscuous Access to Nicotinamide Cofactor Pools Sustains Fast Phosphite-Dependent Growth of Transplastomic Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Plants 2020, 9(4), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9040473 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Heterologous expression of the NAD+-dependent phosphite dehydrogenase (PTXD) bacterial enzyme from Pseudomonas stutzerii enables selective growth of transgenic organisms by using phosphite as sole phosphorous source. Combining phosphite fertilization with nuclear expression of the ptxD transgene was shown to be an [...] Read more.
Heterologous expression of the NAD+-dependent phosphite dehydrogenase (PTXD) bacterial enzyme from Pseudomonas stutzerii enables selective growth of transgenic organisms by using phosphite as sole phosphorous source. Combining phosphite fertilization with nuclear expression of the ptxD transgene was shown to be an alternative to herbicides in controlling weeds and contamination of algal cultures. Chloroplast expression of ptxD in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was proposed as an environmentally friendly alternative to antibiotic resistance genes for plastid transformation. However, PTXD activity in the chloroplast is low, possibly due to the low NAD+/NADP+ ratio, limiting the efficiency of phosphite assimilation. We addressed the intrinsic constraints of the PTXD activity in the chloroplast and improved its catalytic efficiency in vivo via rational mutagenesis of key residues involved in cofactor binding. Transplastomic lines carrying a mutagenized PTXD version promiscuously used NADP+ and NAD+ for converting phosphite into phosphate and grew faster compared to those expressing the wild type protein. The modified PTXD enzyme also enabled faster and reproducible selection of transplastomic colonies by directly plating on phosphite-containing medium. These results allow using phosphite as selective agent for chloroplast transformation and for controlling biological contaminants when expressing heterologous proteins in algal chloroplasts, without compromising on culture performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
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Open AccessReview
Fully Human Antibodies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Targeting
Cancers 2020, 12(4), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12040915 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Immunotherapy is the most promising therapeutic approach against malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Despite technological progress, the number of targetable antigens or specific antibodies is limited, thus hindering the full potential of recent therapeutic interventions. All possibilities of finding new targeting molecules must be [...] Read more.
Immunotherapy is the most promising therapeutic approach against malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Despite technological progress, the number of targetable antigens or specific antibodies is limited, thus hindering the full potential of recent therapeutic interventions. All possibilities of finding new targeting molecules must be exploited. The specificity of targeting is guaranteed by the use of monoclonal antibodies, while fully human antibodies are preferred, as they are functional and generate no neutralizing antibodies. The aim of this review is to appraise the latest advances in screening methods dedicated to the identification and harnessing of fully human antibodies. The scope of identifying useful molecules proceeds along two avenues, i.e., through the antigen-first or binding-first approaches. The first relies on screening human antibody libraries or plasma from immunized transgenic mice or humans to isolate binders to specific antigens. The latter takes advantage of specific binding to tumor cells of antibodies present in phage display libraries or in responders’ plasma samples without prior knowledge of the antigens. Additionally, next-generation sequencing analysis of B-cell receptor repertoire pre- and post-therapy in memory B-cells from responders allows for the identification of clones expanded and matured upon treatment. Human antibodies identified can be subsequently reformatted to generate a plethora of therapeutics like antibody-drug conjugates, immunotoxins, and advanced cell-therapeutics such as chimeric antigen receptor-transduced T-cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Solid Tumors)
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Open AccessArticle
High Temperature Oxidation and Thermal Shock Properties of La2Zr2O7 Thermal Barrier Coatings Deposited on Nickel-Based Superalloy by Laser-Cladding
Coatings 2020, 10(4), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10040370 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
In order to reduce the difficulty and cost of manufacturing and improve the high temperature oxidation and thermal shock properties of nickel-based superalloy, a thin La2Zr2O7 thermal barrier coating without bond coat was successfully prepared by laser-cladding using [...] Read more.
In order to reduce the difficulty and cost of manufacturing and improve the high temperature oxidation and thermal shock properties of nickel-based superalloy, a thin La2Zr2O7 thermal barrier coating without bond coat was successfully prepared by laser-cladding using La2Zr2O7 powders on a nickel-based superalloy substrate. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods were used to characterize the microstructure of the coating. The high temperature oxidation and thermal shock properties of the coating were evaluated by the air isothermal oxidation method at 1100 °C for 110 h and thermal cycling method at 25~1100 °C, respectively. The results show that the coating is mainly composed of La2Zr2O7 phase. The oxidation weight gain rate of the coating is about two-thirds of that of the substrate, and the first crack thermal shock lifetime of the coating is about 1.67 times of that of the substrate. The oxidation products of the coating are mainly Fe2O3, Cr2O3, NiCr2O4, Nb2O5 and La2Zr2O7. The existence of La2Zr2O7 phase in the coating is the main reason for the improvement of its oxidation resistance at 1100 °C and its thermal shock resistance at 25~1100 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Treatment by Laser-Assisted Techniques)
Open AccessEditorial
Sleeping Sickness at the Crossroads
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2020, 5(2), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed5020057 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT; sleeping sickness) is a disease with truly historic dimensions. Its maximum possible distribution corresponds to the range of tsetse flies, which covers an area of eight million km2 between 14° North and 20° South latitude on the African [...] Read more.
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT; sleeping sickness) is a disease with truly historic dimensions. Its maximum possible distribution corresponds to the range of tsetse flies, which covers an area of eight million km2 between 14° North and 20° South latitude on the African continent. (...) Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Contribution of the Potassium Channels KV1.3 and KCa3.1 to Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation in Growing Collateral Arteries
Cells 2020, 9(4), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040913 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Collateral artery growth (arteriogenesis) involves the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Whereas the proliferation of ECs is directly related to shear stress, the driving force for arteriogenesis, little is known about the mechanisms of SMC proliferation. Here [...] Read more.
Collateral artery growth (arteriogenesis) involves the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) and smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Whereas the proliferation of ECs is directly related to shear stress, the driving force for arteriogenesis, little is known about the mechanisms of SMC proliferation. Here we investigated the functional relevance of the potassium channels KV1.3 and KCa3.1 for SMC proliferation in arteriogenesis. Employing a murine hindlimb model of arteriogenesis, we found that blocking KV1.3 with PAP-1 or KCa3.1. with TRAM-34, both interfered with reperfusion recovery after femoral artery ligation as shown by Laser-Doppler Imaging. However, only treatment with PAP-1 resulted in a reduced SMC proliferation. qRT-PCR results revealed an impaired downregulation of α smooth muscle-actin (αSM-actin) and a repressed expression of fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (Fgfr1) and platelet derived growth factor receptor b (Pdgfrb) in growing collaterals in vivo and in primary murine arterial SMCs in vitro under KV1.3. blockade, but not when KCa3.1 was blocked. Moreover, treatment with PAP-1 impaired the mRNA expression of the cell cycle regulator early growth response-1 (Egr1) in vivo and in vitro. Together, these data indicate that KV1.3 but not KCa3.1 contributes to SMC proliferation in arteriogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arteriogenesis and Therapeutic Neovascularization)
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Open AccessArticle
Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet in Spanish Population and Its Relationship with Early Vascular Aging according to Sex and Age: EVA Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1025; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041025 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
The objective of this study is to analyze the influence of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MDA) and its components on early vascular aging (EVA) in a Spanish population sample free of cardiovascular disease and to analyze the differences by sex. Methods: We [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to analyze the influence of adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MDA) and its components on early vascular aging (EVA) in a Spanish population sample free of cardiovascular disease and to analyze the differences by sex. Methods: We recruited 501 individuals aged 35–75 without cardiovascular disease by random sampling (55.90 ± 14.24 years, 49.70% men). EVA was defined in two steps: Step 1: subjects with vascular damage in carotid arteries or peripheral artery disease were classified as EVA. Step 2: subjects at the percentile of the combined Vascular Aging Index (VAI) were classified; ≥ p90 was considered EVA and < p90 was considered normal vascular aging (NVA), estimated using the following formula (VAI = (log (1.09) × 10 cIMT + log (1.14) cfPWV) × 39.1 + 4.76 by age and sex. Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) was measured by SphigmoCor System® and carotid intima-media thickness by Sonosite Micromax® ultrasound and classified thus: values ≥ Percentile 90 were considered EVA and those < Percentile 90 as NVA, with population percentiles analyzed. The principal result variable was assessed using the 14-item MEDAS questionnaire, developed and validated by the PREDIMED group, comprising 12 questions about the frequency of food consumption and two questions regarding the Spanish population’s typical eating habits. Results: MDA was observed by 25% (17% men and 34% women). EVA was present in 17% (29% men and 4% women). The adjusted logistic regression models showed that an increase in MDA decreases the probability of EVA in the global analysis (OR = 0.36; 95% CI: 0.16–0.82). In the analysis by sex, this association was only seen in men (OR = 0.33; 95% CI: 0.12–0.86), but not in women (OR = 0.31; 95% CI: 0.04–2.50). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that a greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet decreases the probability of presenting EVA. In the analysis by sex, this association applies only to men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Diet and Health—New Insights into an Old Story)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) Take the Central Stage in Driving Autoimmune Responses
Cells 2020, 9(4), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9040915 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Following fifteen years of research, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are widely reported in a large range of inflammatory infectious and non-infectious diseases. Cumulating evidences from in vitro, in vivo and clinical diagnostics suggest that NETs may play a crucial role in inflammation and [...] Read more.
Following fifteen years of research, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are widely reported in a large range of inflammatory infectious and non-infectious diseases. Cumulating evidences from in vitro, in vivo and clinical diagnostics suggest that NETs may play a crucial role in inflammation and autoimmunity in a variety of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). Most likely, NETs contribute to breaking self-tolerance in autoimmune diseases in several ways. During this review, we discuss the current knowledge on how NETs could drive autoimmune responses. NETs can break self-tolerance by being a source of autoantigens for autoantibodies found in autoimmune diseases, such as anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) in RA, anti-dsDNA in SLE and anti-myeloperoxidase and anti-protein 3 in AAV. Moreover, NET components could accelerate the inflammatory response by mediating complement activation, acting as danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and inflammasome activators, for example. NETs also can activate other immune cells, such as B cells, antigen-presenting cells and T cells. Additionally, impaired clearance of NETs in autoimmune diseases prolongs the presence of active NETs and their components and, in this way, accelerate immune responses. NETs have not only been implicated as drivers of inflammation, but also are linked to resolution of inflammation. Therefore, NETs may be central regulators of inflammation and autoimmunity, serve as biomarkers, as well as promising targets for future therapeutics of inflammatory autoimmune diseases. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Definitions, Sources and Self-Reported Consumption of Regionally Grown Fruits and Vegetables in Two Regions of Australia
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12041026 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Regional food systems are complex networks, with numerous retail sources that underpin a local economy. However, evidence is limited regarding how consumers define, identify, and source regionally grown fresh fruits and vegetables (RGFFV). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tasmania (TAS) and South [...] Read more.
Regional food systems are complex networks, with numerous retail sources that underpin a local economy. However, evidence is limited regarding how consumers define, identify, and source regionally grown fresh fruits and vegetables (RGFFV). A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tasmania (TAS) and South Western Australia (SWA) to compare how RGFFV are defined, identified and sourced by consumers, including self-reported consumption of selected RGFFV. Survey data were analyzed using the Chi-square test and t-tests. Results (TAS n = 120, SWA n = 123) identified that consumers had mixed perceptions of how RGFFV are defined, including produce sold at farmers markets, or grown within their region (TAS/SWA). RGFFV were commonly identified using product labelling (55% TAS, 69% SWA; p > 0.05). Respondents reported frequently shopping for RGFFV at major supermarkets, with more TAS respondents shopping weekly in comparison to SWA respondents (67% vs. 38%; p < 0.001). Supermarkets offered convenience and consumers enjoyed the experience of farmers’ markets, especially in TAS (42%) in comparison to SWA (21%; p = 0.012). The major RGFFV consumed were root vegetables and apples/pears, but consumers were frequently unsure about the produce’s provenance. Our findings indicate multiple opportunities to improve consumption of fresh, regional produce in TAS and SWA, which may positively impact regional economic growth and community health. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Enantioselective Synthesis, Enantiomeric Separations and Chiral Recognition
Molecules 2020, 25(7), 1713; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25071713 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Chirality is a geometric property associated with the asymmetry of tridimensional features that accompanies our daily life at macroscopic as well as microscopic molecular levels [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Low-Carbohydrate Diets in the Management of Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: A Review from Clinicians using the Approach in Practice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072557 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Low-carbohydrate diets are increasingly used to help patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. We sought to provide an overview of the evidence for this treatment approach, considering the epidemiology and pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes in terms of carbohydrate excess. We describe [...] Read more.
Low-carbohydrate diets are increasingly used to help patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes. We sought to provide an overview of the evidence for this treatment approach, considering the epidemiology and pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes in terms of carbohydrate excess. We describe the mechanistic basis for the clinical benefits associated with nutritional ketosis and identify areas of practice where the evidence base could be improved. We summarize the key principles which inform our approach to treating patients with low-carbohydrate diets. The scientific controversy relating to these diets is real but is consistent with the known challenges of any dietary interventions and also the limitations of nutritional epidemiology. Secondly, notwithstanding any controversy, international guidelines now recognize the validity and endorse the use of these diets as a therapeutic nutritional approach, in appropriate patients. Thirdly, we have found that early de-prescription of diabetes medications is essential, in particular insulin, sulphonylureas, and sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT2) inhibitors. Fourthly, we encourage patients to eat ad libitum to satiety, rather than calorie counting per se. Furthermore, we monitor cardiovascular risk factors frequently, as with all patients with obesity or diabetes, but we do not necessarily consider an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol as an absolute indication to stop these diets, as this is usually related to large LDL particles, which are not associated with increased cardiovascular risk. In the absence of large randomized controlled trials with cardiovascular and other hard endpoints, adopting a low-carbohydrate diet is a legitimate and potentially effective treatment option for patients with diabetes or obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research into Obesity and Diabetes Prevention and Effectiveness)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Electric Vehicle–Grid Integration with Voltage Regulation in Radial Distribution Networks
Energies 2020, 13(7), 1802; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071802 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
In this paper, a vehicle–grid integration (VGI) control strategy for radial power distribution networks is presented. The control schemes are designed at both microgrid level and distribution level. At the VGI microgrid level, the available power capacity for electric vehicle (EV) charging is [...] Read more.
In this paper, a vehicle–grid integration (VGI) control strategy for radial power distribution networks is presented. The control schemes are designed at both microgrid level and distribution level. At the VGI microgrid level, the available power capacity for electric vehicle (EV) charging is optimally allocated for charging electric vehicles to meet charging requirements. At the distribution grid level, a distributed voltage compensation algorithm is designed to recover voltage violation when it happens at a distribution node. The voltage compensation is achieved through a negotiation between the grid-level agent and VGI microgrid agents using the alternating direction method of multipliers. In each negotiation round, individual agents pursue their own objectives. The computation can be carried out in parallel for each agent. The presented VGI control schemes are simulated and verified in a modified IEEE 37 bus distribution system. The simulation results are presented to show the effectiveness of the VGI control algorithms and the effect of algorithm parameters on the convergence of agent negotiation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electric Systems for Transportation)
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Open AccessArticle
The Aqueous Extract from Ceratonia siliqua Leaves Protects Against 6-hydroxydopamine in Zebrafish: Understanding the Underlying Mechanism
Antioxidants 2020, 9(4), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9040304 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2020
Abstract
Ceratonia siliqua L. is a Mediterranean medicinal plant traditionally cultivated for its ethnopharmacological benefits, such as antidiarrheal, antidiabetic, enhance acetylcholine, antioxidant, antiatherosclerotic, and for its possible anti-neurodegenerative potential. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the chemical composition, as well as [...] Read more.
Ceratonia siliqua L. is a Mediterranean medicinal plant traditionally cultivated for its ethnopharmacological benefits, such as antidiarrheal, antidiabetic, enhance acetylcholine, antioxidant, antiatherosclerotic, and for its possible anti-neurodegenerative potential. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the chemical composition, as well as the cognitive-enhancing, anxiolytic, and antioxidant activities of the aqueous extract from C. siliqua (CsAE) leaves against 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) zebrafish Parkinson’s disease (PD) model. CsAE (0.1, 0.3, and 1 mg/L) was administered by immersion to zebrafish (Danio rerio) for eight consecutive days and one hour before each behavioral test of each day, while 6-OHDA (250 µM) treatment was supplied one day before the novel tank diving test (NTT). Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed by the ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) analysis. The memory performance was evaluated through the NTT and Y-maze tests. Additionally, the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant status and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity was also assessed. Our finds demonstrated that CsAE presented positive antioxidant and anti-AChE activities, which contributed to the improvement of cognitive function in the 6-OHDA zebrafish PD model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oxidative Stress, DNA Damage and Biological Clinical Effects)

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