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Open AccessArticle
Allergen-Induced C5a/C5aR1 Axis Activation in Pulmonary CD11b+ cDCs Promotes Pulmonary Tolerance through Downregulation of CD40
Cells 2020, 9(2), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020300 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Activation of the C5/C5a/C5a receptor 1 (C5aR1) axis during allergen sensitization protects from maladaptive T cell activation. To explore the underlying regulatory mechanisms, we analyzed the impact of C5aR1 activation on pulmonary CD11b+ conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) in the context of house-dust-mite [...] Read more.
Activation of the C5/C5a/C5a receptor 1 (C5aR1) axis during allergen sensitization protects from maladaptive T cell activation. To explore the underlying regulatory mechanisms, we analyzed the impact of C5aR1 activation on pulmonary CD11b+ conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) in the context of house-dust-mite (HDM) exposure. BALB/c mice were intratracheally immunized with an HDM/ovalbumin (OVA) mixture. After 24 h, we detected two CD11b+ cDC populations that could be distinguished on the basis of C5aR1 expression. C5aR1 but not C5aR1+ cDCs strongly induced T cell proliferation of OVA-reactive transgenic CD4+ T cells after re-exposure to antigen in vitro. C5aR1 cDCs expressed higher levels of MHC-II and CD40 than their C5aR1+ counterparts, which correlated directly with a higher frequency of interactions with cognate CD4+ T cells. Priming of OVA-specific T cells by C5aR1+ cDCs could be markedly increased by in vitro blockade of C5aR1 and this was associated with increased CD40 expression. Simultaneous blockade of C5aR1 and CD40L on C5aR1+ cDCs decreased T cell proliferation. Finally, pulsing with OVA-induced C5 production and its cleavage into C5a by both populations of CD11b+ cDCs. Thus, we propose a model in which allergen-induced autocrine C5a generation and subsequent C5aR1 activation in pulmonary CD11b+ cDCs promotes tolerance towards aeroallergens through downregulation of CD40. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Molecular and Cellular Basis for Allergies & Asthma)
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Open AccessReview
Improving Nutrition Information in the Eastern Mediterranean Region: Implementation of Front-Of-Pack Nutrition Labelling
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020330 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
The provision of simplified nutrition information, in a prominent place on the front of food packages, is recommended as an important element of comprehensive strategies to tackle the burden of death and disease caused by unhealthy diets. There is growing evidence that front-of-pack [...] Read more.
The provision of simplified nutrition information, in a prominent place on the front of food packages, is recommended as an important element of comprehensive strategies to tackle the burden of death and disease caused by unhealthy diets. There is growing evidence that front-of-pack nutrition labels are preferred by consumers, are more likely to be looked at or noticed than nutrition labelling on the back or side of packages and can help consumers to better identify healthier and less healthy products. This review summarizes current implementation of front-of-pack nutrition labelling policies in the countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. Implementation of front-of-pack nutrition labelling in the Eastern Mediterranean Region remains limited, but three types of scheme were identified as having been implemented or at an advanced stage of development by governments in six countries. Through a review of reviews of existing research and evidence from country implementation, the authors suggest some pointers for implementation for other countries in the Region deciding to implement front-of-pack nutrition labelling policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of UAV-Onboard Multispectral Sensor for Non-Destructive Site-Specific Rapeseed Crop Phenotype Variable at Different Phenological Stages and Resolutions
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12030397 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with spectral sensors have become useful in the fast and non-destructive assessment of crop growth, endurance and resource dynamics. This study is intended to inspect the capabilities of UAV-onboard multispectral sensors for non-destructive phenotype variables, including leaf area [...] Read more.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with spectral sensors have become useful in the fast and non-destructive assessment of crop growth, endurance and resource dynamics. This study is intended to inspect the capabilities of UAV-onboard multispectral sensors for non-destructive phenotype variables, including leaf area index (LAI), leaf mass per area (LMA) and specific leaf area (SLA) of rapeseed oil at different growth stages. In addition, the raw image data with high ground resolution (20 cm) were resampled to 30, 50 and 100 cm to determine the influence of resolution on the estimation of phenotype variables by using vegetation indices (VIs). Quadratic polynomial regression was applied to the quantitative analysis at different resolutions and growth stages. The coefficient of determination (R2) and root mean square error results indicated the significant accuracy of the LAI estimation, wherein the highest R2 values were attained by RVI = 0.93 and MTVI2 = 0.89 at the elongation stage. The noise equivalent of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses at the different growth stages accounted for the sensitivity of VIs, which revealed the optimal VIs of RVI, MTVI2 and MSAVI in the LAI estimation. LMA and SLA, which showed significant accuracies at (R2 = 0.85, 0.81) and (R2 = 0.85, 0.71), were estimated on the basis of the predicted leaf dry weight and LAI at the elongation and flowering stages, respectively. No significant variations were observed in the measured regression coefficients using different resolution images. Results demonstrated the significant potential of UAV-onboard multispectral sensor and empirical method for the non-destructive retrieval of crop canopy variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Biophysical Parameters)
Open AccessArticle
Repetitive Impact Wear Behaviors of the Tempered 25Cr3Mo2NiWV Fe-Based Steel
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020107 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
This study aimed to reveal the impact wear behaviors of tempered 25Cr3Mo2NiWV steel. The specimens were subject to various heat treatment processes for generating different mechanical and wear properties. The impact wear tests were performed with an MLD-10 dynamic abrasive wear tester. Worn [...] Read more.
This study aimed to reveal the impact wear behaviors of tempered 25Cr3Mo2NiWV steel. The specimens were subject to various heat treatment processes for generating different mechanical and wear properties. The impact wear tests were performed with an MLD-10 dynamic abrasive wear tester. Worn surface morphologies and micro-cracks of the cross-sections were analyzed by optical microscope and scanning electron microscope. The Vickers hardness of the sample and the impact wear mechanism were also analyzed. The steel with the best combination of hardness and toughness had the lowest wear. With the increase of wear time, the dominant wear mechanism varied from slight plastic deformation to micro-cutting and adhesive wear. Finally, micro fatigue peeling occurred. After impact wear, the cracks could initiate from the surface or the sub-surface. Micrographs of the crack in the cross-section demonstrated two different propagation modes of fatigue fractures. The results showed that the strength and toughness of steel affected the crack propagation, surface spalling, and wear failure mechanism during impact wear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Surfaces)
Open AccessArticle
Correction of Light Scattering-based Total Suspended Particulate Measurements through Machine Learning
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020139 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Instruments based on light scattering used to measure total suspended particulate (TSP) concentrations have the advantages of fast response, small size, and low cost compared to the gravimetric reference method. However, the relationship between scattering intensity and TSP mass concentration varies nonlinearly with [...] Read more.
Instruments based on light scattering used to measure total suspended particulate (TSP) concentrations have the advantages of fast response, small size, and low cost compared to the gravimetric reference method. However, the relationship between scattering intensity and TSP mass concentration varies nonlinearly with both environmental conditions and particle properties, making it difficult to make corrections. This study applied four machine learning models (support vector machines, random forest, gradient boosting regression trees, and an artificial neural network) to correct scattering measurements for TSP mass concentrations. A total of 1141 hourly records of collocated gravimetric and light scattering measurements taken at 17 urban sites in Shanghai, China were used for model training and validation. All four machine learning models improved the linear regressions between scattering and gravimetric mass by increasing slopes from 0.4 to 0.9–1.1 and coefficients of determination from 0.1 to 0.8–0.9. Partial dependence plots indicate that TSP concentrations determined by light scattering instruments increased continuously in the PM2.5 concentration range of ~0–80 µg/m3; however, they leveled off above PM10 and TSP concentrations of ~60 and 200 µg/m3, respectively. The TSP mass concentrations determined by scattering showed an exponential growth after relative humidity exceeded 70%, in agreement with previous studies on the hygroscopic growth of fine particles. This study demonstrates that machine learning models can effectively improve the correlation between light scattering measurements and TSP mass concentrations with filter-based methods. Interpretation analysis further provides scientific insights into the major factors (e.g., hygroscopic growth) that cause scattering measurements to deviate from TSP mass concentrations besides other factors like fluctuation of mass density and refractive index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmospheric Techniques, Instruments, and Modeling)
Open AccessArticle
Finite Element Analysis of Dynamic Recrystallization of Casting Slabs during Hot-Core Heavy Reduction Rolling Process
Metals 2020, 10(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10020181 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Hot-core heavy reduction rolling (HHR2) is an innovative technology, where a two-high rolling mill is installed after the solidification end of a strand, which can significantly eliminate the core defects of the slab. The mill exhibits a heavy reduction ratio, which [...] Read more.
Hot-core heavy reduction rolling (HHR2) is an innovative technology, where a two-high rolling mill is installed after the solidification end of a strand, which can significantly eliminate the core defects of the slab. The mill exhibits a heavy reduction ratio, which promotes the dynamic recrystallization (DRX) of the slab. This study aims to optimize the parameters of the HHR2 process considering the effect of DRX on microstructure homogeneity. The secondary development of commercial software DEFORM-3D is conducted to calculate the deformation and DRX behavior of HHR2 for different reduction ratios. The parameters of DRX volume fraction and DRX grain size are compared, and finer DRX grains are obtained when the greater reduction ratios are conducted in HHR2. Then, corresponding to the deformation conditions in the HHR2, the thermal–mechanical simulations are conducted on the Gleeble3800 to obtain the average grain sizes before and after this process. When the reduction amount increases from 20 mm to 50 mm, the difference of average grain size between the core and the surface reduces by 52%. In other words, appropriately enhancing the reduction ratio is helpful to reduce the average austenite grain and promote the microstructure uniformity of the slab. These results provide some valuable information on the design of deformation parameters for HHR2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modeling and Simulation of Metal Processing)
Open AccessArticle
Hydrogen Peroxide Mediates Artemisinin-Derived C-16 Carba-Dimer-Induced Toxicity of Human Cancer Cells
Antioxidants 2020, 9(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9020108 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
This study used a nitroaliphatic chemistry approach to synthesize a novel artemisinin-derived carba-dimer (AG-1) and determined its anti-proliferative effects in human normal and cancer cells. AG-1 treatments selectively inhibit proliferation of cancer cells compared to normal human fibroblasts. Compared to artemisinin, AG-1 is [...] Read more.
This study used a nitroaliphatic chemistry approach to synthesize a novel artemisinin-derived carba-dimer (AG-1) and determined its anti-proliferative effects in human normal and cancer cells. AG-1 treatments selectively inhibit proliferation of cancer cells compared to normal human fibroblasts. Compared to artemisinin, AG-1 is more toxic to human breast, prostate, head–neck, pancreas and skin cancer cells; 50% inhibition (IC50) 123 µM in AG-1 vs. 290 µM in artemisinin-treated breast cancer cells. AG-1 treatment decreased (~ 5 folds) cyclin D1 protein expression that correlated with an increase in the percentage of cells in the G1-phase, suggesting a G1 delay. AG-1-induced toxicity was independent of the DNA damage at 72 h post-treatment, as measured by micronuclei frequency and H2AX protein levels. Results from electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy showed Fe-catalyzed formation of AG-1 carbon-centered radicals in a cell-free system. Flow cytometry analysis of H2DCF-DA oxidation showed a significant increase in the steady-state levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in AG-1-treated cells. Pre-treatment with N-acetyl-l-cysteine and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) significantly suppressed AG-1-induced toxicity, suggesting that superoxide and hydrogen peroxide contribute to AG-1-induced toxicity in human cancer cells. AG-1 represents a novel class of anti-cancer drug that is more potent than its parent compound, artemisinin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Synthetic Antioxidants)
Open AccessArticle
Superhydrophobic Surface with Gamma Irradiation Resistance and Self-Cleaning Effect in Air and Oil
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020106 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
A superhydrophobic surface was synthesized by a combination of an epoxy/polymethylphenylsiloxane matrix and dual-scale morphology of silica (SiO2) nanoparticles. When the amount of SiO2 reached 30 wt.%, the as-prepared surface showed a high static water contact angle (WCA) of 154° [...] Read more.
A superhydrophobic surface was synthesized by a combination of an epoxy/polymethylphenylsiloxane matrix and dual-scale morphology of silica (SiO2) nanoparticles. When the amount of SiO2 reached 30 wt.%, the as-prepared surface showed a high static water contact angle (WCA) of 154° and a low sliding angle (SA) of 5°, excellent water repellency, and dirt-removal effects both in air and oil (hexamethylene). Even after exposure to as high as a 12.30 Mrad dose of gamma-rays, the composite surface still maintained its superior performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Coatings for Multifunctional Applications)
Open AccessReview
A-Kinase Anchoring Protein 1: Emerging Roles in Regulating Mitochondrial Form and Function in Health and Disease
Cells 2020, 9(2), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020298 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Best known as the powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria have many other important functions such as buffering intracellular calcium and reactive oxygen species levels, initiating apoptosis and supporting cell proliferation and survival. Mitochondria are also dynamic organelles that are constantly undergoing fission and [...] Read more.
Best known as the powerhouse of the cell, mitochondria have many other important functions such as buffering intracellular calcium and reactive oxygen species levels, initiating apoptosis and supporting cell proliferation and survival. Mitochondria are also dynamic organelles that are constantly undergoing fission and fusion to meet specific functional needs. These processes and functions are regulated by intracellular signaling at the mitochondria. A-kinase anchoring protein 1 (AKAP1) is a scaffold protein that recruits protein kinase A (PKA), other signaling proteins, as well as RNA to the outer mitochondrial membrane. Hence, AKAP1 can be considered a mitochondrial signaling hub. In this review, we discuss what is currently known about AKAP1′s function in health and diseases. We focus on the recent literature on AKAP1′s roles in metabolic homeostasis, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. In healthy tissues, AKAP1 has been shown to be important for driving mitochondrial respiration during exercise and for mitochondrial DNA replication and quality control. Several recent in vivo studies using AKAP1 knockout mice have elucidated the role of AKAP1 in supporting cardiovascular, lung and neuronal cell survival in the stressful post-ischemic environment. In addition, we discuss the unique involvement of AKAP1 in cancer tumor growth, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy. Collectively, the data indicate that AKAP1 promotes cell survival throug regulating mitochondrial form and function. Lastly, we discuss the potential of targeting of AKAP1 for therapy of various disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Dynamics: Fusion and Fission)
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Open AccessArticle
Overcoming Resistance to Platinum-Based Drugs in Ovarian Cancer by Salinomycin and Its Derivatives—An In Vitro Study
Molecules 2020, 25(3), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030537 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Polyether ionophore salinomycin (SAL) and its semi-synthetic derivatives are recognized as very promising anticancer drug candidates due to their activity against various types of cancer cells, including multidrug-resistant populations. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest among gynecologic malignancies, which is connected with the development [...] Read more.
Polyether ionophore salinomycin (SAL) and its semi-synthetic derivatives are recognized as very promising anticancer drug candidates due to their activity against various types of cancer cells, including multidrug-resistant populations. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest among gynecologic malignancies, which is connected with the development of chemoresistant forms of the disease in over 70% of patients after initial treatment regimen. Thus, we decided to examine the anticancer properties of SAL and selected SAL derivatives against a series of drug-sensitive (A2780, SK-OV-3) and derived drug-resistant (A2780 CDDP, SK-OV-3 CDDP) ovarian cancer cell lines. Although SAL analogs showed less promising IC50 values than SAL, they were identified as the antitumor agents that significantly overcome the resistance to platinum-based drugs in ovarian cancer, more potent than unmodified SAL and commonly used anticancer drugs—5-fluorouracil, gemcitabine, and cisplatin. Moreover, when compared with SAL used alone, our experiments proved for the first time increased selectivity of SAL-based dual therapy with 5-fluorouracil or gemcitabine, especially towards A2780 cell line. Looking closer at the results, SAL acted synergistically with 5-fluorouracil towards the drug-resistant A2780 cell line. Our results suggest that combinations of SAL with other antineoplastics may become a new therapeutic option for patients with ovarian cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anticancer Agents: Design, Synthesis and Evaluation)
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Open AccessReview
Regulation of Synaptic Development by Astrocyte Signaling Factors and Their Emerging Roles in Substance Abuse
Cells 2020, 9(2), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020297 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Astrocytes have critical functions throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and have emerged as regulators of synaptic development and function. With their highly complex morphologies, they are able to interact with thousands of synapses via peripheral astrocytic processes (PAPs), ensheathing neuronal axons and [...] Read more.
Astrocytes have critical functions throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and have emerged as regulators of synaptic development and function. With their highly complex morphologies, they are able to interact with thousands of synapses via peripheral astrocytic processes (PAPs), ensheathing neuronal axons and dendrites to form the tripartite synapse. In this way, astrocytes engage in crosstalk with neurons to mediate a variety of CNS processes including the regulation of extracellular matrix protein signaling, formation and maintenance of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), axon growth and guidance, homeostasis of the synaptic microenvironment, synaptogenesis, and the promotion of synaptic diversity. In this review, we discuss several key astrocyte signaling factors (thrombospondins, netrins, apolipoproteins, neuregulins, bone morphogenetic proteins, and neuroligins) in the maintenance and regulation of synapse formation. We also explore how these astrocyte signaling factors are impacted by and contribute to substance abuse, particularly alcohol and cocaine use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Astrocytes in Space and Time)
Open AccessReview
Inflammation in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A Review of Potential Correlates of PTSD with a Neurological Perspective
Antioxidants 2020, 9(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9020107 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic condition characterized by symptoms of physiological and psychosocial burden. While growing research demonstrated signs of inflammation in PTSD, specific biomarkers that may be representative of PTSD such as the detailed neural correlates underlying the inflammatory responses [...] Read more.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic condition characterized by symptoms of physiological and psychosocial burden. While growing research demonstrated signs of inflammation in PTSD, specific biomarkers that may be representative of PTSD such as the detailed neural correlates underlying the inflammatory responses in relation to trauma exposure are seldom discussed. Here, we review recent studies that explored alterations in key inflammatory markers in PTSD, as well as neuroimaging-based studies that further investigated signs of inflammation within the brain in PTSD, as to provide a comprehensive summary of recent literature with a neurological perspective. A search was conducted on studies published from 2009 through 2019 in PubMed and Web of Science. Fifty original articles were selected. Major findings included elevated levels of serum proinflammatory cytokines in individuals with PTSD across various trauma types, as compared with those without PTSD. Furthermore, neuroimaging-based studies demonstrated that altered inflammatory markers are associated with structural and functional alterations in brain regions that are responsible for the regulation of stress and emotion, including the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal cortex. Future studies that utilize both central and peripheral inflammatory markers are warranted to elucidate the underlying neurological pathway of the pathophysiology of PTSD. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Early Changes in Circulating FGF19 and Ang-2 Levels as Possible Predictive Biomarkers of Clinical Response to Lenvatinib Therapy in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cancers 2020, 12(2), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020293 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Predictive biomarkers of the response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to Lenvatinib therapy have not yet been clarified. The aim of this study was to identify clinically significant biomarkers of response to Lenvatinib therapy, to target strategies against HCC. Levels of circulating angiogenic factors [...] Read more.
Predictive biomarkers of the response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to Lenvatinib therapy have not yet been clarified. The aim of this study was to identify clinically significant biomarkers of response to Lenvatinib therapy, to target strategies against HCC. Levels of circulating angiogenic factors (CAFs) were analyzed in blood samples collected at baseline and after introducing lenvatinib, from 74 Child-Pugh class A HCC patients who received lenvatinib. As CAF biomarkers, serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19), FGF23, and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Results: Significantly increased FGF19 (FGF19-i) levels and decreased Ang-2 (Ang-2-d) levels were seen in Lenvatinib responders as compared to non-responders (ratio of FGF19 level at 4 weeks/baseline in responders vs. non-responders: 2.09 vs. 1.32, respectively, p = 0.0004; ratio of Ang-2 level at four weeks/baseline: 0.584 vs. 0.810, respectively, p = 0.0002). Changes in FGF23 and VEGF levels at four weeks versus baseline, however, were not significantly different in responders versus non-responders. In multivariate analysis, the combination of serum FGF19-i and Ang-2-d was the most independent predictive factor for Lenvatinib response (Odds ratio, 9.143; p = 0.0012). Furthermore, this combination biomarker showed the greatest independent association with progression-free survival (Hazard ratio, 0.171; p = 0.0240). Early changes in circulating FGF19 and Ang-2 levels might be useful for predicting clinical response and progression-free survival in HCC patients on Lenvatinib therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
Open AccessArticle
Pseudomonas fluorescens MZ05 Enhances Resistance against Setosphaeria turcica by Mediating Benzoxazinoid Metabolism in the Maize Inbred Line Anke35
Agriculture 2020, 10(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10020032 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
Beneficial rhizobacteria can inhibit foliar pathogen infection by activation of defense responses, yet it the mechanisms of rhizobacteria-induced disease resistance remain largely unknown. Here, inoculation of susceptible maize plants with Pseudomonas fluorescens MZ05 significantly reduced disease occurrence caused by the leaf pathogen Setosphaeria [...] Read more.
Beneficial rhizobacteria can inhibit foliar pathogen infection by activation of defense responses, yet it the mechanisms of rhizobacteria-induced disease resistance remain largely unknown. Here, inoculation of susceptible maize plants with Pseudomonas fluorescens MZ05 significantly reduced disease occurrence caused by the leaf pathogen Setosphaeria turcica. Gene expression profiles of MZ05-inoculated plants were investigated by RNA-sequencing analyses, showing that several differentially expressed genes were positively associated with the metabolic processes of benzoxazinoids. Accordantly, the inoculation with P. fluorescens MZ05 resulted in a significant increase in the levels of 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H-1,4-benzoxazin-3(4H)-one (DIMBOA) in the maize leaves. Furthermore, pre-inoculation with P. fluorescens MZ05 enhanced the transcription of two defense-related marked genes PAL and PR2a, as well as BX2 and GLU2, which are involved in DIMBOA biosynthesis, in pathogen-infected leaves. Defense responses in the inoculated plants were also greatly stronger and quicker than that in non-inoculated plants after pathogen attacks. However, virus-mediated silencing of BX2 or GLU2 remarkably attenuated the MZ05-induced effects, as evidenced by more disease occurrence and lower transcription of PAL and PR2a. Collectively, these findings indicated that the MZ05-induced increases of DIMBOA levels participated in the mediation of priming, which was the key mechanism in the rhizobacteria-induced host resistance. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Indexing Exoplanets with Physical Conditions Potentially Suitable for Rock-Dependent Extremophiles
Life 2020, 10(2), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10020010 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
The search for different life forms elsewhere in the universe is a fascinating area of research in astrophysics and astrobiology. Currently, according to the NASA Exoplanet Archive database, 3876 exoplanets have been discovered. The Earth Similarity Index (ESI) is defined as the geometric [...] Read more.
The search for different life forms elsewhere in the universe is a fascinating area of research in astrophysics and astrobiology. Currently, according to the NASA Exoplanet Archive database, 3876 exoplanets have been discovered. The Earth Similarity Index (ESI) is defined as the geometric mean of radius, density, escape velocity, and surface temperature and ranges from 0 (dissimilar to Earth) to 1 (similar to Earth). The ESI was created to index exoplanets on the basis of their similarity to Earth. In this paper, we examined rocky exoplanets whose physical conditions are potentially suitable for the survival of rock-dependent extremophiles, such as the cyanobacteria Chroococcidiopsis and the lichen Acarospora. The Rock Similarity Index (RSI) is first introduced and then applied to 1659 rocky exoplanets. The RSI represents a measure for Earth-like planets on which physical conditions are potentially suitable for rocky extremophiles that can survive in Earth-like extreme habitats (i.e., hot deserts and cold, frozen lands). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Planetary Exploration of Habitable Environments)
Open AccessReview
Prediction of Aerosol Deposition in the Human Respiratory Tract via Computational Models: A Review with Recent Updates
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020137 (registering DOI) - 26 Jan 2020
Abstract
The measurement of deposited aerosol particles in the respiratory tract via in vivo and in vitro approaches is difficult due to those approaches’ many limitations. In order to overcome these obstacles, different computational models have been developed to predict the deposition of aerosol [...] Read more.
The measurement of deposited aerosol particles in the respiratory tract via in vivo and in vitro approaches is difficult due to those approaches’ many limitations. In order to overcome these obstacles, different computational models have been developed to predict the deposition of aerosol particles inside the lung. Recently, some remarkable models have been developed based on conventional semi-empirical models, one-dimensional whole-lung models, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics models, and artificial neural networks for the prediction of aerosol-particle deposition with a high accuracy relative to experimental data. However, these models still have some disadvantages that should be overcome shortly. In this paper, we take a closer look at the current research trends as well as the future directions of this research area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)

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