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Article
Privacy Protection Scheme for the Internet of Vehicles Based on Private Set Intersection
by , , and
Cryptography 2022, 6(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryptography6040064 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Performing location-based services in a secure and efficient manner that remains a huge challenge for the Internet of Vehicles with numerous privacy and security risks. However, most of the existing privacy protection schemes are based on centralized location servers, which makes them all [...] Read more.
Performing location-based services in a secure and efficient manner that remains a huge challenge for the Internet of Vehicles with numerous privacy and security risks. However, most of the existing privacy protection schemes are based on centralized location servers, which makes them all have a common drawback of a single point of failure and leaking user privacy. The employment of anonymity and cryptography is a well-known solution to the above problem, but its expensive resource consumption and complex cryptographic operations are difficult problems to solve. Based on this, designing a distributed and privacy-secure privacy protection scheme for the Internet of Vehicles is an urgent issue for the smart city. In this paper, we propose a privacy protection scheme for the Internet of Vehicles based on privacy set intersection. Specially, using privacy set intersection and blockchain techniques, we propose two protocols, that is, a dual authentication protocol and a service recommendation protocol. The double authentication protocol not only ensures that both communicating parties are trusted users, but also ensures the reliability of their session keys; while the service recommendation protocol based on pseudorandom function and one-way hash function can well protect the location privacy of users from being leaked. Finally, we theoretically analyze the security that this scheme has, i.e., privacy security, non-repudiation, and anti-man-in-the-middle attack. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lightweight Cryptography, Cybersecurity and IoT)
Article
Retrieval of Aerosol Microphysical Properties from Multi-Wavelength Mie–Raman Lidar Using Maximum Likelihood Estimation: Algorithm, Performance, and Application
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(24), 6208; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14246208 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Lidar plays an essential role in monitoring the vertical variation of atmospheric aerosols. However, due to the limited information that lidar measurements provide, ill-posedness still remains a big challenge in quantitative lidar remote sensing. In this study, we describe the Basic algOrithm for [...] Read more.
Lidar plays an essential role in monitoring the vertical variation of atmospheric aerosols. However, due to the limited information that lidar measurements provide, ill-posedness still remains a big challenge in quantitative lidar remote sensing. In this study, we describe the Basic algOrithm for REtrieval of Aerosol with Lidar (BOREAL), which is based on maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), and retrieve aerosol microphysical properties from extinction and backscattering measurements of multi-wavelength Mie–Raman lidar systems. The algorithm utilizes different types of a priori constraints to better constrain the solution space and suppress the influence of the ill-posedness. Sensitivity test demonstrates that BOREAL could retrieve particle volume size distribution (VSD), total volume concentration (Vt), effective radius (Reff), and complex refractive index (CRI = n ik) of simulated aerosol models with satisfying accuracy. The application of the algorithm to real aerosol events measured by LIlle Lidar AtmosphereS (LILAS) shows it is able to realize fast and reliable retrievals of different aerosol scenarios (dust, aged-transported smoke, and urban aerosols) with almost uniform and simple pre-settings. Furthermore, the algorithmic principle allows BOREAL to incorporate measurements with different and non-linearly related errors to the retrieved parameters, which makes it a flexible and generalized algorithm for lidar retrieval. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lidar for Advanced Classification and Retrieval of Aerosols)
Article
Exploring Highly Conserved Regions of SARS-CoV-2 Spike S2 Subunit as Targets for Fusion Inhibition Using Chimeric Proteins
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(24), 15511; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232415511 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, considerable efforts have been made to develop protective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, immunity tends to decline within a few months, and new virus variants are emerging with increased transmissibility and capacity to evade natural or [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, considerable efforts have been made to develop protective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, immunity tends to decline within a few months, and new virus variants are emerging with increased transmissibility and capacity to evade natural or vaccine-acquired immunity. Therefore, new robust strategies are needed to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The viral spike composed of S1 and S2 subunits mediates viral attachment and membrane fusion to infect the host cell. In this process, interaction between the highly conserved heptad repeat 1 and 2 regions (HR1 and HR2) of S2 is crucial and for this reason; these regions are promising targets to fight SARS-CoV-2. Here, we describe the design and characterization of chimeric proteins that structurally imitate the S2 HR1 region in a trimeric coiled-coil conformation. We biophysically characterized the proteins and determined their capacity to bind the HR2 region, as well as their inhibitory activity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. HR1 mimetic proteins showed conformational heterogeneity and a propensity to form oligomers. Moreover, their structure is composed of subdomains with varied stability. Interestingly, the full HR1 proteins showed high affinity for HR2-derived peptides and SARS-CoV-2 inhibitory activity, whereas smaller proteins mimicking HR1 subdomains had a decreased affinity for their complementary HR2 region and did not inhibit the virus. The results provide insight into effective strategies to create mimetic proteins with broad inhibitory activity and therapeutic potential against SARS-CoV-2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biophysics)
Article
Convenient Synthesis of N-Heterocycle-Fused Tetrahydro-1,4-Diazepinones
Molecules 2022, 27(24), 8666; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27248666 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
A general approach towards the synthesis of tetrahydro-4H-pyrazolo[1,5-a][1,4]diazepin-4-one, tetrahydro[1,4]diazepino[1,2-a]indol-1-one and tetrahydro-1H-benzo[4,5]imidazo[1,2-a][1,4]diazepin-1-one derivatives was introduced. A regioselective strategy was developed for synthesizing ethyl 1-(oxiran-2-ylmethyl)-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxylates [...] Read more.
A general approach towards the synthesis of tetrahydro-4H-pyrazolo[1,5-a][1,4]diazepin-4-one, tetrahydro[1,4]diazepino[1,2-a]indol-1-one and tetrahydro-1H-benzo[4,5]imidazo[1,2-a][1,4]diazepin-1-one derivatives was introduced. A regioselective strategy was developed for synthesizing ethyl 1-(oxiran-2-ylmethyl)-1H-pyrazole-5-carboxylates from easily accessible 3(5)-aryl- or methyl-1H-pyrazole-5(3)-carboxylates. Obtained intermediates were further treated with amines resulting in oxirane ring-opening and direct cyclisation—yielding target pyrazolo[1,5-a][1,4]diazepin-4-ones. A straightforward two-step synthetic approach was applied to expand the current study and successfully functionalize ethyl 1H-indole- and ethyl 1H-benzo[d]imidazole-2-carboxylates. The structures of fused heterocyclic compounds were confirmed by 1H, 13C, and 15N-NMR spectroscopy and HRMS investigation. Full article
Article
Monitoring of Linear Profiles Using Linear Mixed Model in the Presence of Measurement Errors
Mathematics 2022, 10(24), 4641; https://doi.org/10.3390/math10244641 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
In the application of control charts, most of the research in profile monitoring is based on accurate measurements. Measurement errors, however, often exist in many manufacturing and service environments. In this paper, we apply linear mixed models in the presence of measurement errors [...] Read more.
In the application of control charts, most of the research in profile monitoring is based on accurate measurements. Measurement errors, however, often exist in many manufacturing and service environments. In this paper, we apply linear mixed models in the presence of measurement errors in fixed effects. We discuss three modified multivariate charts, namely Hotelling’s T2, multivariate exponential weighted moving average (MEWMA) control chart, and multivariate cumulative sum (MCUSUM) control chart. Performance comparisons are made in terms of the average run length (ARL) and average extra quadratic loss (AEQL). Finally, a real data example on healthcare expenditures is used to illustrate the implementation of the proposed monitoring schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Statistical Analysis and Applications in Engineering)
Article
Natural Antioxidants, Tyrosinase and Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors from Cercis glabra Leaves
Molecules 2022, 27(24), 8667; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27248667 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Cercis glabra is a plant belonging to the legume family, whose flowers and barks are commonly used as food and traditional Chinese medicines. However, its leaves are usually disposed of as wastes. This research comprehensively investigated the bioactive constituents of C. glabra leaves, [...] Read more.
Cercis glabra is a plant belonging to the legume family, whose flowers and barks are commonly used as food and traditional Chinese medicines. However, its leaves are usually disposed of as wastes. This research comprehensively investigated the bioactive constituents of C. glabra leaves, and two new phenolic, ceroffesters A-B (12) and thirteen known compounds (315) were isolated. Their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods such as nuclear magnetic resonance (1D NMR and 2D NMR), high-resolution electrospray ionization mass spectra (HR-ESI-MS), optical rotatory dispersion (ORD) and electronic circular dichroism (ECD). All of them were assessed for their antioxidant activities through ABTS, DPPH and PTIO methodologies, and evaluated for inhibitory activities against two enzymes (mushroom tyrosinase and acetylcholinesterase). As a result, compounds 36, 10 and 13 exhibited evident antioxidant activities. Meanwhile, compounds 5, 10 and 13 showed the most potent tyrosinase inhibitory activities, with IC50 of 0.64, 0.65 and 0.59 mM, and compared with the positive control of 0.63 mM (kojic acid). In the initial concentration of 1 mg/mL, compounds 3, 5 and 6 demonstrated moderate inhibitory activities against acetylcholinesterase with 85.27 ± 0.06%, 83.65 ± 0.48% and 82.21 ± 0.09%, respectively, compared with the positive control of 91.17 ± 0.23% (donepezil). These bioactive components could be promising antioxidants, tyrosinase and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. Full article
Article
A Study on the Mineralogy and Volatile Fraction of Scapolite from Mogok, Myanmar
Crystals 2022, 12(12), 1779; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12121779 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The Mogok metamorphic belt (MMB) of Myanmar is a famous geographical origin acknowledged by the whole world for its large mineral resources. In this study, basic gemological tests (density, UV fluorescence, refractive index, etc.), spectroscopic tests (infrared spectrum, Raman spectrum, and ultra-violet visible [...] Read more.
The Mogok metamorphic belt (MMB) of Myanmar is a famous geographical origin acknowledged by the whole world for its large mineral resources. In this study, basic gemological tests (density, UV fluorescence, refractive index, etc.), spectroscopic tests (infrared spectrum, Raman spectrum, and ultra-violet visible spectrum) and chemical composition analysis (electron microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer) were carried out on scapolites from Myanmar. This paper explores the mineralogical characteristics of Burmese scapolites and provides additional information on its origin. Burmese scapolites are colorless and transparent with a yellow tone and belong to Cl-rich dipyre. The infrared spectra of the samples show the vibrations of Si-O and Al-O (400–1300 cm−1), (CO3)2− (1400–300 cm−1), and OH (3048 cm−1 and 3568 cm−1). The Raman spectra are mainly the vibrational spectra of Si (Al)-O-Si (Al) and the absorption peaks at 992 cm−1 and 1110 cm−1 caused by the vibrations of sulfate and carbonate ions, respectively. Black inclusions were found inside the scapolites, and the dark inclusions were identified as graphite by Raman spectroscopy. Moreover, the composition of the scapolite could be influenced by the αCl/α(CO3)2− of the fluid. The Cl activity degree could control the scapolite content as the ion exchange between scapolite and plagioclase was gradually balanced. The enrichment of rare earth elements and the apparent positive Eu anomaly indicate that Burmese scapolites have a high degree of light and heavy rare earth element differentiation and an oxidizing environment of mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women in Mineralogical Crystallography and Biomineralization)
Article
Reduce-Order Modeling and Higher Order Numerical Solutions for Unsteady Flow and Heat Transfer in Boundary Layer with Internal Heating
Mathematics 2022, 10(24), 4640; https://doi.org/10.3390/math10244640 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
We obtain similarity transformations to reduce a system of partial differential equations representing the unsteady fluid flow and heat transfer in a boundary layer with heat generation/absorption using Lie symmetry algebra. There exist seven Lie symmetries for this system of differential equations having [...] Read more.
We obtain similarity transformations to reduce a system of partial differential equations representing the unsteady fluid flow and heat transfer in a boundary layer with heat generation/absorption using Lie symmetry algebra. There exist seven Lie symmetries for this system of differential equations having three independent and three dependent variables. We use these Lie symmetries for the reduced-order modeling of the flow equations by constructing invariants corresponding to linear combinations of these Lie point symmetries. This procedure reduces one independent variable of the concerned fluid flow model when applied once. Double reductions are achieved by employing invariants twice that lead to ordinary differential equations with one independent and two dependent variables. Similarity transformations are constructed using these two sets of derived invariants corresponding to linear combinations of the Lie point symmetries. These similarity transformations have not been obtained earlier for this flow model. Moreover, the corresponding reduced systems of ordinary differential equations are different from those which exist in the literature for fluid flow and heat transfer that we have been dealing with. We obtain multiple similarity transformations which lead us to new classes of systems of ordinary differential equations. Accurate numerical solutions of these systems are obtained using the combination of an adaptive fourth-order Runge–Kutta method and shooting procedure. Effects of variation of unsteadiness parameter, Prandtl number and heat generation/absorption on fluid velocity, skin friction, surface temperature and heat flux are studied and presented with the help of tables and figures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analysis and Applications of Mathematical Fluid Dynamics)
Article
Aggregation and Conductivity in Hot-Grown Petroporphyrin Films
Colloids Interfaces 2022, 6(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/colloids6040077 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
As a follow-up to our study on aggregation of metal-etioporphyrin complexes (Colloids Surf. A. Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 2022, 648, 129284 ), we considered thin films of three isomers of copper(II) etioporphyrin deposited on hot substrates. Despite the almost identical absorption spectra of isomers, [...] Read more.
As a follow-up to our study on aggregation of metal-etioporphyrin complexes (Colloids Surf. A. Physicochem. Eng. Asp. 2022, 648, 129284 ), we considered thin films of three isomers of copper(II) etioporphyrin deposited on hot substrates. Despite the almost identical absorption spectra of isomers, their solid-state superstructures differ remarkably both in form and size. The lateral conductivity of films is much less sensitive to an isomer-type, regardless of the substrate temperature. However, the dark conductivity of cold-grown films is about two orders of magnitude higher than that of hot-grown films, whereas the photoconductivity of the latter is 100–1700 times greater, depending on the isomer. Full article
Review
Serendipita indica—A Review from Agricultural Point of View
Plants 2022, 11(24), 3417; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11243417 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Fulfilling the food demand of a fast-growing population is a global concern, resulting in increased dependence of the agricultural sector on various chemical formulations for enhancing crop production. This leads to an overuse of chemicals, which is not only harmful to human and [...] Read more.
Fulfilling the food demand of a fast-growing population is a global concern, resulting in increased dependence of the agricultural sector on various chemical formulations for enhancing crop production. This leads to an overuse of chemicals, which is not only harmful to human and animal health, but also to the environment and the global economy. Environmental safety and sustainable production are major responsibilities of the agricultural sector, which is inherently linked to the conservation of the biodiversity, the economy, and human and animal health. Scientists, therefore, across the globe are seeking to develop eco-friendly and cost-effective strategies to mitigate these issues by putting more emphasis on the use of beneficial microorganisms. Here, we review the literature on Serendipita indica, a beneficial endophytic fungus, to bring to the fore its properties of cultivation, the ability to enhance plant growth, improve the quality of produced crops, mitigate various plant stresses, as well as protect the environment. The major points in this review are as follows: (1) Although various plant growth promoting microorganisms are available, the distinguishing character of S. indica being axenically cultivable with a wide range of hosts makes it more interesting for research. (2) S. indica has numerous functions, ranging from promoting plant growth and quality to alleviating abiotic and biotic stresses, suggesting the use of this fungus as a biofertiliser. It also improves the soil quality by limiting the movement of heavy metals in the soil, thus, protecting the environment. (3) S. indica’s modes of action are due to interactions with phytohormones, metabolites, photosynthates, and gene regulation, in addition to enhancing nutrient and water absorption. (4) Combined application of S. indica and nanoparticles showed synergistic promotion in crop growth, but the beneficial effects of these interactions require further investigation. This review concluded that S. indica has a great potential to be used as a plant growth promoter or biofertiliser, ensuring sustainable crop production and a healthy environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytomicrobiome Research for Disease and Pathogen Management)
Article
Dissecting Bonding Interactions in Cysteine Dimers
Molecules 2022, 27(24), 8665; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27248665 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Neutral (n) and zwitterionic (z) forms of cysteine monomers are combined in this work to extensively explore the potential energy surfaces for the formation of cysteine dimers in aqueous environments represented by a continuum. A simulated annealing search followed [...] Read more.
Neutral (n) and zwitterionic (z) forms of cysteine monomers are combined in this work to extensively explore the potential energy surfaces for the formation of cysteine dimers in aqueous environments represented by a continuum. A simulated annealing search followed by optimization and characterization of the candidate structures afforded a total of 746 structurally different dimers held together via 80 different types of intermolecular contacts in 2894 individual non-covalent interactions as concluded from Natural Bond Orbitals (NBO), Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules (QTAIM) and Non-Covalent Interactions (NCI) analyses. This large pool of interaction possibilities includes the traditional primary hydrogen bonds and salt bridges which actually dictate the structures of the dimers, as well as the less common secondary hydrogen bonds, exotic X⋯Y (X = C, N, O, S) contacts, and H⋯H dihydrogen bonds. These interactions are not homogeneous but have rather complex distributions of strengths, interfragment distances and overall stabilities. Judging by their Gibbs bonding energies, most of the structures located here are suitable for experimental detection at room conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemical Bond and Intermolecular Interactions)
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Article
Numerical Optimization of the EGR Rate and Injection Timing with a Novel Cavitation Model in a Diesel Engine Fueled with PODE/Diesel Blends
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(24), 12556; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122412556 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Polyoxymethylene dimethyl ether (PODE) is one of the most promising alternative fuels for diesel engines with a high cetane number, high oxygen content, and no C-C bonds. In this paper, a new spray model with a novel cavitation sub-model is adopted in order [...] Read more.
Polyoxymethylene dimethyl ether (PODE) is one of the most promising alternative fuels for diesel engines with a high cetane number, high oxygen content, and no C-C bonds. In this paper, a new spray model with a novel cavitation sub-model is adopted in order to create a numerical model suitable for engine simulation fueled with PODE/diesel blends. The effects of the blending ratio, injection timing, and EGR rate on the combustion and emission characteristics are investigated by the simulation. The simulation results show that the self-restoring oxygen properties of PODE can efficiently improve the combustion, causing a higher in-cylinder temperature, and therefore, higher NOx emissions. Additionally, with the increase in the blending ratio, the increase in the oxidation activity of PODE/diesel blends and the improvement of atomization are conducive to reducing soot emissions. Then, the injection timing and EGR rate are optimized. The numerical results suggest that the NOx emissions decrease initially and then increase; however, soot emissions decrease monotonically with the delay of the injection timing. When the volume blending ratio is 15%, the emission performance is best when the injection timing is between 710 °CA and 715 °CA. The increase in EGR rate can effectively reduce the in-cylinder temperature and control the NOx emissions, but the excessive EGR rate leads to higher soot emissions and a deteriorated combustion process. Therefore, an EGR rate in the range of 0.0 to 0.2 has a better comprehensive emission performance from the perspective of controlling both the NOx and soot emissions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Science and Technology)
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Article
Effect of an Adaptive-Density Filling Structure on the Mechanical Properties of FDM Parts with a Variable Cross-Section
Materials 2022, 15(24), 8746; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15248746 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique is one of the most popular additive manufacturing techniques. Infill density is a critical factor influencing the mechanical properties of 3D-printed components using the FDM technique. For irregular components with variable cross-sections, to increase their overall mechanical properties [...] Read more.
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) technique is one of the most popular additive manufacturing techniques. Infill density is a critical factor influencing the mechanical properties of 3D-printed components using the FDM technique. For irregular components with variable cross-sections, to increase their overall mechanical properties while maintaining a lightweight, it is necessary to enhance the local infill density of the thin part while decreasing the infill density of the thick part. However, most current slicing software can only generate a uniform infill throughout one model to be printed and cannot adaptively create a filling structure with a varying infill density according to the dimensional variation of the cross-section. In the present study, to improve the mechanical properties of irregular components with variable cross-sections, an adaptive-density filling structure was proposed, in which Hilbert curve with the same order was used to fill each slice, i.e., the level of the Hilbert curves in each slice is the same, but the side length of the Hilbert curve decreases with the decreasing size of each slice; hence, the infill density of the smaller cross-section is greater than that of the larger cross-section. The ultimate bearing capacity of printed specimens with the adaptive-density filling structure was evaluated by quasi-static compression, three-point bending, and dynamic compression tests, and the printed specimens with uniform filling structure and the same overall infill density were tested for comparison. The results show that the maximum flexural load, the ultimate compression load, and the maximum impact resistance of the printed specimens with the adaptive-density filling structure were increased by 140%, 47%, and 82%, respectively, compared with their counterparts using the uniform filling structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing of Composites)
Article
Research on Central Air Conditioning Systems and an Intelligent Prediction Model of Building Energy Load
Energies 2022, 15(24), 9295; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15249295 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The central air conditioning system provides city dwellers with an efficient and comfortable environment. Meanwhile, coinciding with their use, the building electricity load is increased, as central air conditioners consume a lot of electricity. It has become necessary to control central air conditioners [...] Read more.
The central air conditioning system provides city dwellers with an efficient and comfortable environment. Meanwhile, coinciding with their use, the building electricity load is increased, as central air conditioners consume a lot of electricity. It has become necessary to control central air conditioners for storage and to analyze the energy saving optimization of central air conditioner operation. This study investigates the energy consumption background of central air conditioning systems, and proposes an intelligent load prediction method. With a back propagation (BP) neural network, we use the data collected in the actual project to build the cooling load prediction model for central air conditioning. The network model is also trained using the Levenberg–Marquardt (LM) algorithm, and the established model is trained, tested, and predicted by importing a portion of the sample data, which is filtered by preprocessing. The experimental results show that most of the data errors for training, testing, and prediction are within 10%, indicating that the accuracy achievable by the model can meet the practical requirements, and can be used in real engineering projects. Full article
Article
Assessing the Cloud Adjacency Effect on Retrieval of the Ground Surface Reflectance from MODIS Satellite Data for the Baikal Region
Atmosphere 2022, 13(12), 2054; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13122054 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The cloud adjacency effect on surface reflectance retrievals for the region of the Russian Federation with coordinates 51–54N, 103–109E including the southern part of Lake Baikal for the period of 1–23 July 2021 is assessed in this paper. [...] Read more.
The cloud adjacency effect on surface reflectance retrievals for the region of the Russian Federation with coordinates 51–54N, 103–109E including the southern part of Lake Baikal for the period of 1–23 July 2021 is assessed in this paper. The method is based on the computer program for statistical simulation of radiative transfer in the atmosphere with the stochastic cloud field including a deterministic gap of a given radius. The results of this program are then used in the interpolation formula. Masks of cloudless pixels, for which the cloud adjacency effect (CAE) changes the ground surface reflectance by more than 0.005, are constructed. The analysis of the resulting CAE radii shows that the average radius is 13.7 km for MODIS band 8, 11.2 km for band 3, 8.4 km for band 4, 7.2 km for band 1, and 7 km for band 2. For the considered MODIS images and bands, the pixels with strong CAE make up from 2.8 to 100% of the total number of cloudless pixels. The correlation coefficients between the initial data and the CAE radius suggest that the cloud optical depth, cloud cover index, and ground surface reflectance exert the major influence on the considered images. A simplified approximation equation for the CAE radius as a function of the cloud optical depth, cloud cover index, and surface reflectance is derived. The analysis of the approximation shows that for the considered images, the CAE radius decreases nearly linearly with wavelength for low reflective surfaces. However, for high reflective surfaces, its wavelength dependence is nonlinear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric and Ocean Optics: Atmospheric Physics IV)
Article
Integrated Flood Risk Management Approach Using Mesh Grid Stability and Hydrodynamic Model
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16401; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416401 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Today, inhabitants residing in floodplains face a serious and perpetual threat of flooding. Flooding causes fatalities and considerable property damage in metropolitan areas. Therefore, robust structural measures need to be adopted to eliminate flood catastrophe. Structural measures in the floodplain are the most [...] Read more.
Today, inhabitants residing in floodplains face a serious and perpetual threat of flooding. Flooding causes fatalities and considerable property damage in metropolitan areas. Therefore, robust structural measures need to be adopted to eliminate flood catastrophe. Structural measures in the floodplain are the most promising solutions. However, there are cost-associated factors for proposing a flood retention plan. Navsari city (98.36 km2, area extent) of Gujarat was used as a case study to investigate the impact of mesh grid structures (100 m, 90 m, and 50 m) along with structural measures for the preparation of a flood retention plan. The HEC-RAS 2D hydrodynamic model was performed for the Purna River. The output of the model was characterized by four different scenarios: (i) Without weir and levees (WOWL), (ii) With weir (WW), (iii) With levees (WL), and (iv) With weir and levees (WWL). The statistical parameters (R2, RMSE, NSE, inundation time, and inundation area) were determined to evaluate model accuracy. The outcome of the model revealed that a 50 m size mesh grid exhibited more accurate results, yielding high NSE and R2 values (0.982 and 0.9855), a low RMSE value (0.450 m), and a smaller inundation area (114.61 km2). The results further revealed that the WW scenario was the most effective flood retention measure as it delayed the flood water for up to 16 h, and managed the flood with the WOWL case. Moreover, the mean error (WW scenario) estimated from profiles 1 and 2 ranged from (−0.7 to 0.62) and from (−0.1 to 0.02 m), respectively, which were evaluated as very low when compared with other scenarios. The novel scenario-based flood retention plan emphasizing the stability of mesh grid structures using the hydrodynamic model can be applied to any other region around the globe to recommend efficacious structural flood measures for flood decision making systems. Full article
Article
Explosive Processes in Permafrost as a Result of the Development of Local Gas-Saturated Fluid-Dynamic Geosystems
Gases 2022, 2(4), 146-165; https://doi.org/10.3390/gases2040009 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The relevance of studying explosive processes in permafrost lies in the prospect of gas production from small gas-saturated zones in the subsurface; the influx of significant amounts of greenhouse gases from frozen soils creates a threat to infrastructure. The purpose of this article [...] Read more.
The relevance of studying explosive processes in permafrost lies in the prospect of gas production from small gas-saturated zones in the subsurface; the influx of significant amounts of greenhouse gases from frozen soils creates a threat to infrastructure. The purpose of this article is to reveal the general patterns of frozen soils’ transformation in local zones of natural explosions. The greatest volume of information about the processes preceding the formation of gas-emission craters can be obtained by studying the deformations of the cryogenic structure of soil. The typification of the elements of the cryogenic structures of frozen soils that form the walls of various gas-emission craters was carried out. Structural and morphological analyses were used as a methodological basis for studying gas-emission craters. This method involves a set of operations that establishes links between the cryogenic structure of the crater walls and the morphologies of their surfaces. In this study, it is concluded that gas-emission craters are the result of the self-development of local gas-dynamic geosystems that are in a non-equilibrium thermodynamic state with respect to the enclosing permafrost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gas Emissions)
Article
In-Hospital Mortality and Risk Prediction in Minimally Invasive Sutureless versus Conventional Aortic Valve Replacement
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(24), 7273; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11247273 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Objective. Available evidence suggests that a minimally invasive approach with the use of sutureless bioprostheses has a favorable impact on the outcome of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement (AVR). Methods. From 2010 to 2019, 2732 patients underwent conventional AVR through median sternotomy with [...] Read more.
Objective. Available evidence suggests that a minimally invasive approach with the use of sutureless bioprostheses has a favorable impact on the outcome of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement (AVR). Methods. From 2010 to 2019, 2732 patients underwent conventional AVR through median sternotomy with a stented bioprosthesis (n = 2048) or minimally invasive AVR with a sutureless bioprosthesis (n = 684). Results. Using the propensity score, 206 patients in each group were matched, and the matched groups were well balanced regarding preoperative risk factors. Both unmatched and matched patients of the sutureless + minimally invasive group showed significantly shorter cross-clamp times and longer ICU stay. In-hospital mortality was the only outcome measure that was confirmed in both analyses, and was higher in the stented + conventional group (2.54% and 2.43% in unmatched and matched patients, respectively) compared with the sutureless + minimally invasive group (0.88% and 0.97% in unmatched and matched patients, respectively) (p = 0.0047 and p < 0.0001, respectively). No differences in postoperative pacemaker implantation were recorded in matched patients of both groups (n = 2 [1%] in the stented + conventional group vs. n = 4 [2%] in the sutureless + minimally invasive group; p = 0.41). The discrimination power of EuroSCORE II was not confirmed in the sutureless + minimally invasive group, yielding an area under the ROC curve of 0.568. Conclusions. Minimally invasive sutureless AVR has a favorable impact on the immediate outcome and is associated with significantly lower in-hospital mortality rates compared with conventional AVR, resulting in the absence of the discrimination power of EuroSCORE II for predicting AVR outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Valvular Heart Disease: From Basic to Clinical Advances)
Article
A Local and Non-Local Features Based Feedback Network on Super-Resolution
Sensors 2022, 22(24), 9604; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22249604 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Recent advances in Single Image Super-Resolution (SISR) achieved a powerful reconstruction performance. The CNN-based network (both sequential-based and feedback-based) performs well in local features, while the self-attention-based network performs well in non-local features. However, single block cannot always perform well due to the [...] Read more.
Recent advances in Single Image Super-Resolution (SISR) achieved a powerful reconstruction performance. The CNN-based network (both sequential-based and feedback-based) performs well in local features, while the self-attention-based network performs well in non-local features. However, single block cannot always perform well due to the realistic images always with multiple kinds of features. In order to take full advantage of different blocks on different features. We have chosen three different blocks cooperating to extract different kinds of features. Addressing this problem, in this paper, we propose a new Local and non-local features-based feedback network for SR (LNFSR): (1) The traditional deep convolutional network block is used to extract the local non-feedbackable information directly and non-local non-feedbackable information (needs to cooperate with other blocks). (2) The dense skip-based feedback block is use to extract local feedbackable information. (3) The non-local self-attention block is used to extract non-local feedbackable information and the based LR feature information. We also introduced the feature up-fusion-delivery blocks to help the features be delivered to the right block at the end of each iteration. Experiments show our proposed LNFSR can extract different kinds of feature maps by different blocks and outperform other state-of-the-art algorithms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sensing and Imaging)
Article
Possible Mechanism of Phytoplankton Blooms at the Sea Surface after Tropical Cyclones
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(24), 6207; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14246207 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Although previous studies have recorded that tropical cyclones cause a significant increase in chlorophyll a concentration (Chl-a), most of these results were only based on surface Chl-a observed by satellite data. Using satellite, reanalysis and model data, this study investigated [...] Read more.
Although previous studies have recorded that tropical cyclones cause a significant increase in chlorophyll a concentration (Chl-a), most of these results were only based on surface Chl-a observed by satellite data. Using satellite, reanalysis and model data, this study investigated the response of the upper ocean and sea surface Chl-a to three different levels of tropical cyclones in the South China Sea. In our results, the severe tropical storm (STS) did not cause an increase in surface Chl-a or depth-integrated Chl-a in the short term (i.e., ~2 days); the typhoon (TY) increased the surface Chl-a from 0.12 mg·m−3 to 0.15 mg·m−3 in the short term, but the depth-integrated Chl-a did not increase significantly; the super typhoon (STY) caused the surface Chl-a to increase from 0.15 mg·m−3 to 0.37 mg·m−3 in the short term, and also increased the depth-integrated Chl-a from 40.41 mg·m−2 to 42.59 mg·m−2. These results suggest that the increase in the surface Chl-a after TY and STY were primarily caused by physical processes (e.g., vertical mixing). However, the increase in the depth-integrated Chl-a of STY may be due to the entrainment of both nutrients and phytoplankton through upwelling and turbulent mixing under the influence of STY. Full article
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Article
Investigating Alumina-Silicate Bauxite and Phenol-Formaldehyde Resin Embedded TiH2 as Foaming Agents for Producing A356 Foam
by and
Metals 2022, 12(12), 2105; https://doi.org/10.3390/met12122105 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The melt foaming process has become the most widely used method in closed-cell aluminum foam manufacturing in large dimensions. This process creates pores by adding a foaming agent to the molten metal. Therefore, selecting appropriate foaming agents is vital, and it controls pore [...] Read more.
The melt foaming process has become the most widely used method in closed-cell aluminum foam manufacturing in large dimensions. This process creates pores by adding a foaming agent to the molten metal. Therefore, selecting appropriate foaming agents is vital, and it controls pore sizes and their distribution in producing a homogeneous foam. In the current research, as cost-effective foaming agents, the Bauxite and Phenol-formaldehyde resin (PFR) embedded TiH2 were successfully produced and then investigated by SEM and EDX analysis. It can be concluded that in the presence of the Bauxite ceramic phase and silica gel formation in Bauxite-embedded TiH2 and the formation of a carbon layer due to the burning of resin in PFR-embedded TiH2, heat-resistant protective layers are formed around TiH2 powders, and thus it delays (120 s) the gas release. The delay in the decomposition of H2 gas is equal to/higher than in the literature, and it gives the gas’ bubbles enough time to establish pores in the metallic matrix; thus, foams with uniform distribution of pores were produced. A quantitative examination of the cross-section of the produced foams shows that the number of cells with smaller sizes in the foams produced with the modified foaming agent is more, and the distribution of pores or cells is more homogeneous. Full article
Article
Sphingosine as a New Antifungal Agent against Candida and Aspergillus spp
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(24), 15510; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232415510 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
This study investigated whether sphingosine is effective as prophylaxis against Aspergillus spp. and Candida spp. In vitro experiments showed that sphingosine is very efficacious against A. fumigatus and Nakeomyces glabrataa (formerly named C. glabrata). A mouse model of invasive aspergillosis showed that [...] Read more.
This study investigated whether sphingosine is effective as prophylaxis against Aspergillus spp. and Candida spp. In vitro experiments showed that sphingosine is very efficacious against A. fumigatus and Nakeomyces glabrataa (formerly named C. glabrata). A mouse model of invasive aspergillosis showed that sphingosine exerts a prophylactic effect and that sphingosine-treated animals exhibit a strong survival advantage after infection. Furthermore, mechanistic studies showed that treatment with sphingosine leads to the early depolarization of the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) and the generation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and to a release of cytochrome C within minutes, thereby presumably initiating apoptosis. Because of its very good tolerability and ease of application, inhaled sphingosine should be further developed as a possible prophylactic agent against pulmonary aspergillosis among severely immunocompromised patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sphingolipid Metabolism and Signaling in Diseases 2.0)
Article
Method of Changing Running Direction of Cheetah-Inspired Quadruped Robot
Sensors 2022, 22(24), 9601; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22249601 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The rapid change of motion direction during running is beneficial to improving the movement flexibility of the quadruped robot, which is of great relevance to its research. How to make the robot change its motion direction during running and achieve good dynamic stability [...] Read more.
The rapid change of motion direction during running is beneficial to improving the movement flexibility of the quadruped robot, which is of great relevance to its research. How to make the robot change its motion direction during running and achieve good dynamic stability is a problem to be solved. In this paper, a method to change the running direction of the cheetah-inspired quadruped robot is proposed. Based on the analysis of the running of the cheetah, a dynamic model of the quadruped robot is established, and a two-level stability index system, including a minimum index system and a range index system, is proposed. On this basis, the objective function based on the stability index system and optimization variables, including leg landing points, trunk movement trajectory, and posture change rule, are determined. Through these constraints, the direction changes with good dynamic stability of the cheetah-inspired quadruped robot during running is realized by controlling the leg parameters. The robot will not roll over during high-speed movement. Finally, the correctness of the proposed method is proven by simulation. This paper provides a theoretical basis for the quadruped robot’s rapid change of direction in running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Intelligent Control in Robots)
Article
Influence of Renal Dysfunction on the Differential Behaviour of Procalcitonin for the Diagnosis of Postoperative Infection in Cardiac Surgery
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(24), 7274; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11247274 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Background: procalcitonin is a valuable marker in the diagnosis of bacterial infections; however, the impairment of renal function can influence its diagnostic precision. The objective of this study is to evaluate the differential behaviour of procalcitonin, as well as its usefulness in the [...] Read more.
Background: procalcitonin is a valuable marker in the diagnosis of bacterial infections; however, the impairment of renal function can influence its diagnostic precision. The objective of this study is to evaluate the differential behaviour of procalcitonin, as well as its usefulness in the diagnosis of postoperative pulmonary infection after cardiac surgery, depending on the presence or absence of impaired renal function. Materials and methods: A total of 805 adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery with extracorporeal circulation (CBP) were prospectively recruited, comparing the behaviour of biomarkers between the groups with and without postoperative pneumonia and according to the presence or absence of renal dysfunction. Results: Pulmonary infection was diagnosed in 42 patients (5.21%). In total, 228 patients (28.32%) presented postoperative renal dysfunction. Procalcitonin was significantly higher in infected patients, even in the presence of renal dysfunction. The optimal procalcitonin threshold differed markedly in patients with renal dysfunction compared to patients without renal dysfunction (1 vs. 0.78 ng/mL p < 0.05). The diagnostic accuracy of procalcitonin increased significantly when the procalcitonin threshold was adapted to renal function. Conclusions: Procalcitonin is an accurate marker of postoperative infection in cardiac surgery, even in the presence of renal dysfunction. Renal function is an important determinant of procalcitonin levels and, therefore, its diagnostic thresholds must be adapted in the presence of renal dysfunction. Full article
Review
Review on Improvements to the Safety Level of Coal Mines by Applying Intelligent Coal Mining
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16400; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416400 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
China suffers the worst coal mine disasters in the world. Lots of miners lose their lives or suffer occupational injury. Fortunately, China is developing vigorously intelligent coal mining, which is the combination of traditional coal mining and the latest technology. Mining expects to [...] Read more.
China suffers the worst coal mine disasters in the world. Lots of miners lose their lives or suffer occupational injury. Fortunately, China is developing vigorously intelligent coal mining, which is the combination of traditional coal mining and the latest technology. Mining expects to relieve or solve coal mine safety, health and intensive labor issues and ensure energy security by applying intelligent coal mining. This paper fully reviews the promotion of intelligent coal mining to coal mine safety. Firstly, a brief history of intelligent coal mining is introduced. Then the safety motivation of the intelligent coal mine is discussed in four perspectives, including current the coal mine safety tendency, the positive impact of mechanized coal mining on safety, coal mine safety conception of “Mechanization Replacement and Automation Reduction”, and government initiatives. The intelligent prevention and control scheme of major disasters matching intelligent coal mining are also reviewed in the present paper, including intelligent gas extraction, intelligent coal and gas outburst/rock-burst prevention, and the real-time monitoring of water diversion fissure zone. Finally, the positive impacts of intelligent coal mining on safety are evaluated. Compared with traditional longwall face, the number of miners of coal cutting shift is reduced from 20~30 to 5~7, and the working environment is greatly improved. The statistics have shown that the employees in large coal mines, the mortality rates per 106 tons of coal output, and the number of deaths decreased by 33%, 72.2%, and 66.9% during the period of rapid development of intelligent mining technology (2016–2021). In the future, more and more key technologies and management skills should be introduced, aiming at workless mining and the intrinsic safety of the coal mine. This paper provides a way for safety researchers around the world to understand the tendency of coal mine safety in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment of Accidents for Sustainable Safety)
Communication
Clean Forest—Project Concept and Early Results
Energies 2022, 15(24), 9294; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15249294 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
The Clean Forest project aims to valorize forest biomass wastes (and then prevent their occurrence as a fuel source in forests), converting it to bioenergy, such as the production of 2nd generation synthetic biofuels, like bio-methanol, bio-DME, and biogas, depending on the process [...] Read more.
The Clean Forest project aims to valorize forest biomass wastes (and then prevent their occurrence as a fuel source in forests), converting it to bioenergy, such as the production of 2nd generation synthetic biofuels, like bio-methanol, bio-DME, and biogas, depending on the process operating conditions. Valorization of potential forest waste biomass thus enhances the reduction of the probability of occurrence of forest fires and, therefore, presents a major value for local rural communities. The proposed process is easy to implement, and energetically, it shows significantly reduced costs than the conventional process of gasification. Additionally, the input of energy necessary to promote electrolysis can be achieved with solar energy, using photovoltaic panels. This paper refers to the actual progress of the project, as well as the further steps which consist of a set of measures aimed at the minimization of the occurrence of forest fires by the valorization of forest wastes into energy sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends in Biofuels and Bioenergy for Sustainable Development)
Article
1-Methylimidazole as an Organic Catalyst for [3+3]-Cyclodimerization of Acylethynylpyrroles to Bis(acylmethylidene)dipyrrolo[1,2-a:1′,2′-d]pyrazines
Catalysts 2022, 12(12), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12121604 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
Acylethynylpyrroles, now readily available by the cross-coupling of pyrroles with acylbromoacetylenes in solid Al2O3 media, in the presence of 1-methylimidazole underwent unprecedentedly easy (40–45 °C) cyclodimerization into bis(acylmethylidene)dipyrrolo[1,2-a:1′,2′-d]pyrazines in up to 51% yield. Some other organic [...] Read more.
Acylethynylpyrroles, now readily available by the cross-coupling of pyrroles with acylbromoacetylenes in solid Al2O3 media, in the presence of 1-methylimidazole underwent unprecedentedly easy (40–45 °C) cyclodimerization into bis(acylmethylidene)dipyrrolo[1,2-a:1′,2′-d]pyrazines in up to 51% yield. Some other organic and inorganic basic catalysts can also trigger this cyclodimerization, but less efficiently. Full article
Article
A Promising Ultra-Small Unilamellar Carrier System for Enhanced Skin Delivery of α-Mangostin as an Anti-Age-Spot Serum
Pharmaceutics 2022, 14(12), 2741; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics14122741 (registering DOI) - 07 Dec 2022
Abstract
If it can be effectively delivered to its site of action, α-mangostin has potential in development of novel cosmeceuticals due to its melanogenesis-blocking activity. The aim of this study was to develop an ultra-small unilamellar carrier system for α-mangostin and to evaluate its [...] Read more.
If it can be effectively delivered to its site of action, α-mangostin has potential in development of novel cosmeceuticals due to its melanogenesis-blocking activity. The aim of this study was to develop an ultra-small unilamellar carrier system for α-mangostin and to evaluate its effect as an anti-age-spot serum on humans in vivo. The ultra-small unilamellar carrier bases were optimized using a 25 factorial design, with five factors (virgin coconut oil, soy lecithin, Tween 80, and stirring duration and speed) and two levels (low and high); response of droplet size was analyzed using Design Expert 12®. The anti-spot examination was conducted via capturing digital images of the human skin after topical application of an α-mangostin-loaded ultra-small unilamellar carrier at night for two consecutive weeks. The results thereof were analyzed using Motic Live Imaging 3.0 and a standard red, green, and blue score. The optimized serum formula was confirmed with a composition of 2.3% virgin coconut oil, 1% lecithin, and 28.3% Tween 80 (polysorbate 80) at a stirring speed of 1500 revolutions per minute for 15 min. Incorporation of 3% α-mangostin to the optimized base formula produced an ultra-small unilamellar carrier globule size of 16.5 nm, with zeta potential of −25.8 mV and a polydispersion index of 0.445. Physical characterization of an α-mangostin-loaded ultra-small unilamellar carrier comprised 90.94% transmittance, a pH value of 6.5, a viscosity of 38 cP, specific gravity of 1.042 g/mL and 72.46% entrapment efficiency. A transmission electron microscope confirmed spherical nanosized droplets in the system. Topical application of an α-mangostin-loaded ultra-small unilamellar carrier at night for 2 consecutive weeks demonstrated anti-age-spot activity shown through a significant reduction in intensity and area of spots in human volunteers (p < 0.05). Full article
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