Advancing Open Science
for more than 25 years
MDPI is a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing
and has supported academic communities since 1996.
 
Article
Design and Synthesis of Benzene Homologues Tethered with 1,2,4-Triazole and 1,3,4-Thiadiazole Motifs Revealing Dual MCF-7/HepG2 Cytotoxic Activity with Prominent Selectivity via Histone Demethylase LSD1 Inhibitory Effect
by , , , , , , , and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(15), 8796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23158796 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
In this study, an efficient multistep synthesis of novel aromatic tricyclic hybrids incorporating different biological active moieties, such as 1,3,4-thiadiazole and 1,2,4-triazole, was reported. These target scaffolds are characterized by having terminal lipophilic or hydrophilic parts, and their structures are confirmed by different [...] Read more.
In this study, an efficient multistep synthesis of novel aromatic tricyclic hybrids incorporating different biological active moieties, such as 1,3,4-thiadiazole and 1,2,4-triazole, was reported. These target scaffolds are characterized by having terminal lipophilic or hydrophilic parts, and their structures are confirmed by different spectroscopic methods. Further, the cytotoxic activities of the newly synthesized compounds were evaluated using in vitro MTT cytotoxicity screening assay against three different cell lines, including HepG-2, MCF-7, and HCT-116, compared with the reference drug Taxol. The results showed variable performance against cancer cell lines, exhibiting MCF-7 and HepG-2 selectivities by active analogs. Among these derivatives, 1,2,4-triazoles 11 and 13 and 1,3,4-thiadiazole 18 were found to be the most potent compounds against MCF-7 and HepG-2 cancer cells. Moreover, structure–activity relationship (SAR) studies led to the identification of some potent LSD1 inhibitors. The tested compounds showed good LSD1 inhibitory activities, with an IC50 range of 0.04–1.5 μM. Compounds 27, 23, and 22 were found to be the most active analogs with IC50 values of 0.046, 0.065, and 0.074 μM, respectively. In addition, they exhibited prominent selectivity against a MAO target with apparent cancer cell apoptosis, resulting in DNA fragmentation. This research provides some new aromatic-centered 1,2,4-triazole-3-thione and 1,3,4-thiadiazole analogs as highly effective anticancer agents with good LSD1 target selectivity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Anabasine and Anatabine Exposure Attributable to Cigarette Smoking: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2013–2014
by , , , , , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159744 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Anabasine and anatabine are minor alkaloids in tobacco products and are precursors for tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). The levels of these two compounds have been used to differentiate tobacco product sources, monitor compliance with smoking cessation programs, and for biomonitoring in TSNA-related studies. The [...] Read more.
Anabasine and anatabine are minor alkaloids in tobacco products and are precursors for tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). The levels of these two compounds have been used to differentiate tobacco product sources, monitor compliance with smoking cessation programs, and for biomonitoring in TSNA-related studies. The concentrations of urinary anabasine and anatabine were measured in a representative sample of U.S. adults who smoked cigarettes (N = 770) during the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) study cycle, which was the first cycle where urinary anabasine and anatabine data became available. Weighted geometric means (GM) and geometric least squares means (LSM) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated for urinary anabasine and anatabine categorized by tobacco-use status [cigarettes per day (CPD) and smoking frequency] and demographic characteristics. Smoking ≥20 CPD was associated with 3.6× higher anabasine GM and 4.8× higher anatabine GM compared with smoking <10 CPD. Compared with non-daily smoking, daily smoking was associated with higher GMs for urinary anabasine (1.41 ng/mL vs. 6.28 ng/mL) and anatabine (1.62 ng/mL vs. 9.24 ng/mL). Urinary anabasine and anatabine concentrations exceeded the 2 ng/mL cut point in 86% and 91% of urine samples from people who smoke (PWS) daily, respectively; in comparison, 100% of them had serum cotinine concentrations greater than the established 10 ng/mL cut point. We compared these minor tobacco alkaloid levels to those of serum cotinine to assess their suitability as indicators of recent tobacco use at established cut points and found that their optimal cut point values would be lower than the established values. This is the first time that anabasine and anatabine are reported for urine collected from a U.S. population-representative sample of NHANES study participants, providing a snapshot of exposure levels for adults who smoked during 2013–2014. The results of this study serve as an initial reference point for future analysis of NHANES cycles, where changes in the national level of urinary anabasine and anatabine can be monitored among people who smoke to show the effect of changes in tobacco policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Tobacco Product Use)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Fabricating Graphene Oxide/h-BN Metal Insulator Semiconductor Diodes by Nanosecond Laser Irradiation
Nanomaterials 2022, 12(15), 2718; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano12152718 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
To employ graphene’s rapid conduction in 2D devices, a heterostructure with a broad bandgap dielectric that is free of traps is required. Within this paradigm, h-BN is a good candidate because of its graphene-like structure and ultrawide bandgap. We show how to make [...] Read more.
To employ graphene’s rapid conduction in 2D devices, a heterostructure with a broad bandgap dielectric that is free of traps is required. Within this paradigm, h-BN is a good candidate because of its graphene-like structure and ultrawide bandgap. We show how to make such a heterostructure by irradiating alternating layers of a-C and a-BN film with a nanosecond excimer laser, melting and zone-refining constituent layers in the process. With Raman spectroscopy and ToF-SIMS analyses, we demonstrate this localized zone-refining into phase-pure h-BN and rGO films with distinct Raman vibrational modes and SIMS profile flattening after laser irradiation. Furthermore, in comparing laser-irradiated rGO-Si MS and rGO/h-BN/Si MIS diodes, the MIS diodes exhibit an increased turn-on voltage (4.4 V) and low leakage current. The MIS diode I-V characteristics reveal direct tunneling conduction under low bias and Fowler-Nordheim tunneling in the high-voltage regime, turning the MIS diode ON with improved rectification and current flow. This study sheds light on the nonequilibrium approaches to engineering h-BN and graphene heterostructures for ultrathin field effect transistor device development. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Effects of Adjuvant Medications on A1C, Body Mass Index, and Insulin Requirements among Patients with Type 1 Diabetes
by , and
Pharmacy 2022, 10(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy10040097 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that noninsulin medications used to treat type 2 diabetes can improve health outcomes among patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). This study assessed the effects of adjuvant diabetes medications on glycated hemoglobin (A1C), body mass index (BMI), or [...] Read more.
Randomized controlled trials have demonstrated that noninsulin medications used to treat type 2 diabetes can improve health outcomes among patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). This study assessed the effects of adjuvant diabetes medications on glycated hemoglobin (A1C), body mass index (BMI), or total daily insulin (TDI) among patients with T1D in a real-world setting. This was an analysis of the T1D Exchange Clinic Registry, using the study periods of 2010–2012, 2015–2016, and 2016–2017, to assess differences in A1C, BMI, and TDI between patients with and without adjuvant medications. The relationships between characteristics and A1C in 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 were determined. Analysis included 517 patients in the adjuvant medication cohort and 4968 in the insulin-only cohort. No significant improvement in A1C was observed. A significant difference in BMI and TDI between the insulin-only (median BMI: 25.5, 26.2, 26.4 and median TDI: 45, 44 units) and adjuvant medication cohorts (median BMI: 29.8, 30.5, 30.5 and median TDI: 51, 52 units) (p < 0.001) was observed. Patients with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), higher education level, higher annual income, and older age were associated with lower A1C (p ≤ 0.001). Higher BMI and self-description as African American/Black were associated with higher A1C (p ≤ 0.01). Insulin pump use was associated with lower A1C (p < 0.01) in 2015–2016. Patients who used adjuvant medications did not demonstrate significant improvement in disease control. These data suggest that findings from well-designed research studies may not be consistently reproducible in real-world settings, due to patient-specific factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medicine Use in Chronic Disease)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Analysis of Energy Loss on a Tunable Check Valve through the Numerical Simulation
Energies 2022, 15(15), 5740; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15155740 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
The article presents a study of the flow through a tunable check valve used as a hydraulic lock in a system with an actuator. Special attention is given to energy losses of the liquid stream in the poppet gap. In the first stage [...] Read more.
The article presents a study of the flow through a tunable check valve used as a hydraulic lock in a system with an actuator. Special attention is given to energy losses of the liquid stream in the poppet gap. In the first stage of the research, CFD methods were used to determine the speed and pressure distributions for the fixed values of the input flow rate and the poppet position. The values of the jet angle and pressures determined based on the CFD results were used to build a simulation model of the entire hydraulic system in Matlab/Simulink environment. The influence of the spring parameters pressing the poppet against the valve seat on the pressure drop and thus on the amount of energy lost was investigated. In particular, the spring stiffness and initial tension were studied. The obtained results were used to develop guidelines for constructing a valve prototype. Finally, the results of simulation tests were verified based on the actual valve characteristic obtained on a test bench. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computer-Aided Design of Hydraulic Systems)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of Maillard-Type Glycated Collagen with Alginate Oligosaccharide and Glucose: Its Characterization, Antioxidant Activity, and Cytoprotective Activity on H2O2-Induced Cell Oxidative Damage
Foods 2022, 11(15), 2374; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11152374 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
To improve the antioxidant activity of collagen molecules using Maillard-type glycation, the relation between antioxidant activity and progress indexes for the Maillard reaction must be understood. In this study, lyophilized tilapia scale collagen was mixed with a half weight of alginate oligosaccharide (AO) [...] Read more.
To improve the antioxidant activity of collagen molecules using Maillard-type glycation, the relation between antioxidant activity and progress indexes for the Maillard reaction must be understood. In this study, lyophilized tilapia scale collagen was mixed with a half weight of alginate oligosaccharide (AO) or glucose and incubated at 60 °C and 35% relative humidity for up to 18 h to produce the Maillard-type glycated collagen (C-AO and C-Glu, respectively). As glycation progressed, the amount of conjugated sugar coupled with UV-vis absorbance at 294 nm and 420 nm increased more rapidly in C-Glu than in C-AO, and the available lysine decreased rapidly in C-Glu compared with C-AO. The early-to-middle- and late-stage products of the Maillard reaction were involved in enhanced antioxidant activity of digested C-AO and digested C-Glu, respectively. Additionally, C-AO acquired the antioxidant activity without marked available lysine loss. The cytoprotective effect of collagen in H2O2-induced damage was enhanced by glycation, achieved by reducing malondialdehyde content and increasing superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. These results indicate that AO is an excellent reducing sugar that enhances the health benefits of collagen without excessive loss of lysine, which is a nutritional problem of the Maillard-type glycation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Physics and (Bio)Chemistry)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
A Combination of Novel Nucleic Acid Cross-Linking Dye and Recombinase-Aided Amplification for the Rapid Detection of Viable Salmonella in Milk
Foods 2022, 11(15), 2375; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11152375 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Salmonella, as an important foodborne pathogen, can cause various diseases, such as severe enteritis. In recent years, various types of nucleicacid-intercalating dyes have been utilized to detect viable Salmonella. However, in principle, the performance of existing nucleic acid dyes is limited [...] Read more.
Salmonella, as an important foodborne pathogen, can cause various diseases, such as severe enteritis. In recent years, various types of nucleicacid-intercalating dyes have been utilized to detect viable Salmonella. However, in principle, the performance of existing nucleic acid dyes is limited because they depend on the integrity of cell membrane. Herein, based on the metabolic activity of bacteria, a novel DNA dye called thiazole orange monoazide (TOMA) was introduced to block the DNA from dead bacteria. Recombinase-aided amplification (RAA) was then performed to detect viable Salmonella in samples. In this study, the permeability of TOMA to the cell membrane of Salmonella was evaluated via confocal laser scanning microscopy and fluorescence emission spectrometry. The limit of detection (LOD) of the TOMA–RAA method was 2.0 × 104 CFU/mL in pure culture. The feasibility of the TOMA–RAA method in detecting Salmonella was assessed in spiked milk. The LOD for Salmonella was 3.5 × 102 CFU/mL after 3 h of enrichment and 3.5 × 100 CFU/mL after 5 h of enrichment. The proposed TOMA–RAA assay has great potential to be applied to accurately detect and monitor foodborne pathogens in milk and its byproducts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches for Detecting Foodborne Pathogens)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Photo-Protective and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Antidesma thwaitesianum Müll. Arg. Fruit Extract against UVB-Induced Keratinocyte Cell Damage
Molecules 2022, 27(15), 5034; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27155034 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
The main cause of most skin cancers is damage from UVB from sunlight, which penetrate the skin surface and induce inflammation. For this reason, this study aims to identify natural products with photo-protection properties and their mode of action by using the UVB-irradiated [...] Read more.
The main cause of most skin cancers is damage from UVB from sunlight, which penetrate the skin surface and induce inflammation. For this reason, this study aims to identify natural products with photo-protection properties and their mode of action by using the UVB-irradiated HaCaT keratinocyte model. Antidesma thwaitesianum fruit extracts at 25, 50, and 100 µg/mL recovered cell viability following UVB exposure in a dose-dependent manner. Cell survival was associated with the reduction in intracellular ROS and NO. In addition, we showed that the pre-treatment with the fruit extract lowered the phosphorylation level of two MAPK-signaling pathways: p38 MAPKs and JNKs. The resulting lower MAPK activation decreased their downstream pro-inflammatory cascade through COX-2 expression and subsequently reduced the PGE2 proinflammatory mediator level. The photoprotective effects of the fruit extract were correlated with the presence of polyphenolic compounds, including cyanidin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, vanillic acid, and protocatechuic acid, which have been previously described as antioxidant and anti-inflammation. Together, we demonstrated that the pre-treatment with the fruit extract had photo-protection by inhibiting oxidative stress and subsequently lowered stress-induced MAPK responses. Therefore, this fresh fruit is worthy of investigation to be utilized as a skincare ingredient for preventing UVB-induced skin damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antioxidant Capacity of Phytochemicals in Fruits and Vegetables)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Organizational Justice and Health: A Survey in Hospital Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159739 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
In complex systems such as hospitals, work organization can influence the level of occupational stress and, consequently, the physical and mental health of workers. Hospital healthcare workers were asked to complete a questionnaire during their regular occupational health examination, in order to assess [...] Read more.
In complex systems such as hospitals, work organization can influence the level of occupational stress and, consequently, the physical and mental health of workers. Hospital healthcare workers were asked to complete a questionnaire during their regular occupational health examination, in order to assess the perceived level of organizational justice, and to verify whether it was associated with occupational stress, mental health, and absenteeism. The questionnaire included the Colquitt Organizational Justice (OJ) Scale, the Karasek/Theorell demand-control-support (DCS) questionnaire for occupational stress, and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) for mental health. Workers were also required to indicate whether they had been absent because of back pain in the past year. Organizational justice was a significant predictor of occupational stress. Stress was a mediator in the relationship between justice and mental health. Occupational stress was more closely related to perceptions of lack of distributive justice than to perceptions of procedural, informational, and interpersonal justice. Physicians perceived significantly less distributive justice than other workers. In adjusted univariate logistic regression models, the perceptions of organizational justice were associated with a significant reduction in the risk of sick leave for back pain (OR 0.96; CI95% 0.94–0.99; p < 0.001), whereas occupational stress was associated with an increased risk of sick leave (OR 6.73; CI95% 2.02–22.40; p < 0.002). Work organization is a strong predictor of occupational stress and of mental and physical health among hospital employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work and Organisational Well-Being: Stress, Burnout and Suicidal Risk)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Hydrocarbons Biodegradation by Rhodococcus: Assimilation of Hexadecane in Different Aggregate States
Microorganisms 2022, 10(8), 1594; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10081594 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
The aim of our study was to reveal the peculiarities of the adaptation of rhodococci to hydrophobic hydrocarbon degradation at low temperatures when the substrate was in solid states. The ability of actinobacteria Rhodococcus erythropolis (strains X5 and S67) to degrade hexadecane at [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to reveal the peculiarities of the adaptation of rhodococci to hydrophobic hydrocarbon degradation at low temperatures when the substrate was in solid states. The ability of actinobacteria Rhodococcus erythropolis (strains X5 and S67) to degrade hexadecane at 10 °C (solid hydrophobic substrate) and 26 °C (liquid hydrophobic substrate) is described. Despite the solid state of the hydrophobic substrate at 10 °C, bacteria demonstrate a high level of its degradation (30–40%) within 18 days. For the first time, we show that specialized cellular structures are formed during the degradation of solid hexadecane by Rhodococcus at low temperatures: intracellular multimembrane structures and surface vesicles connected to the cell by fibers. The formation of specialized cellular structures when Rhodococcus bacteria are grown on solid hexadecane is an important adaptive trait, thereby contributing to the enlargement of a contact area between membrane-bound enzymes and a hydrophobic substrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Biodegradation and Biotransformation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
“Water Brought Us Together”: A Baptismal Ethic from Flint
Religions 2022, 13(8), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13080716 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
What lessons and insights can the broader Church learn from Christian faith leaders in Flint, Michigan, who have been in a sustained struggle for justice amidst the still unfolding impacts of environmental racism? How did the baptismal identities of faith leaders function as [...] Read more.
What lessons and insights can the broader Church learn from Christian faith leaders in Flint, Michigan, who have been in a sustained struggle for justice amidst the still unfolding impacts of environmental racism? How did the baptismal identities of faith leaders function as a resource in this struggle, and on a broader level how might Christian baptismal practices and theory be a resource for solidarity in the struggle for racial and environmental justice in and beyond Flint? In other words, might the waters of Christian baptism also “bring together” Christians to tangibly resist racism? This essay emerges from a qualitative research project examining baptismal practices amidst the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Using liberationist methodology and employing conversation as a means of co-constructing theological knowledge, this article seeks to define a baptismal ethic born from the water crisis based upon the lived experiences of Christian leaders and their communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacramental and Liturgical Theology of Healing and Crisis Rites)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Mapping Forest Stability within Major Biomes Using Canopy Indices Derived from MODIS Time Series
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(15), 3813; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14153813 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Deforestation and forest degradation from human land use, including primary forest loss, are of growing concern. The conservation of old-growth and other forests with important environmental values is central to many international initiatives aimed at protecting biodiversity, mitigating climate change impacts, and supporting [...] Read more.
Deforestation and forest degradation from human land use, including primary forest loss, are of growing concern. The conservation of old-growth and other forests with important environmental values is central to many international initiatives aimed at protecting biodiversity, mitigating climate change impacts, and supporting sustainable livelihoods. Current remote-sensing products largely focus on deforestation rather than forest degradation and are dependent on machine learning, calibrated with extensive field measurements. To help address this, we developed a novel approach for mapping forest ecosystem stability, defined in terms of constancy, which is a key characteristic of long-undisturbed (including primary) forests. Our approach categorizes forests into stability classes based on satellite-data time series related to plant water–carbon relationships. Specifically, we used long-term dynamics of the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation intercepted by the canopy (fPAR) and shortwave infrared water stress index (SIWSI) derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) for the period 2003–2018. We calculated a set of variables from annual time series of fPAR and SIWSI for representative forest regions at opposite ends of Earth’s climatic and latitudinal gradients: boreal forests of Siberia (southern taiga, Russia) and tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin (Kayapó territory, Brazil). Independent validation drew upon high-resolution Landsat imagery and forest cover change data. The results indicate that the proposed approach is accurate and applicable across forest biomes and, thereby, provides a timely and transferrable method to aid in the identification and conservation of stable forests. Information on the location of less stable forests is equally relevant for ecological restoration, reforestation, and proforestation activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Disturbance Monitoring Using Satellite Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Study of MC:DN-Based Biopolymer Blend Electrolytes with Inserted Zn-Metal Complex for Energy Storage Devices with Improved Electrochemical Performance
Membranes 2022, 12(8), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes12080769 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Stable and ionic conducting electrolytes are needed to make supercapacitors more feasible, because liquid electrolytes have leakage problems and easily undergo solvent evaporation. Polymer-based electrolytes meet the criteria, yet they lack good efficiency due to limited segmental motion. Since metal complexes have crosslinking [...] Read more.
Stable and ionic conducting electrolytes are needed to make supercapacitors more feasible, because liquid electrolytes have leakage problems and easily undergo solvent evaporation. Polymer-based electrolytes meet the criteria, yet they lack good efficiency due to limited segmental motion. Since metal complexes have crosslinking centers that can be coordinated with the polymer segments, they are regarded as an adequate method to improve the performance of the polymer-based electrolytes. To prepare plasticized proton conducting polymer composite (PPC), a simple and successful process was used. Using a solution casting process, methylcellulose and dextran were blended and impregnated with ammonium thiocyanate and zinc metal complex. A range of electrochemical techniques were used to analyze the PPC, including transference number measurement (TNM), linear sweep voltammetry (LSV), cyclic voltammetry (CV), galvanostatic charge–discharge (GCD), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The ionic conductivity of the prepared system was found to be 3.59 × 10−3 S/cm using the EIS method. The use of glycerol plasticizer improves the transport characteristics, according to the findings. The carrier species is found to have ionic mobility of 5.77 × 10−5 cm2 V−1 s−1 and diffusion coefficient of 1.48 × 10−6 cm2 s−1 for the carrier density 3.4 × 1020 cm3. The TNM revealed that anions and cations were the predominant carriers in electrolyte systems, with an ionic transference value of 0.972. The LSV approach demonstrated that, up to 2.05 V, the film was stable, which is sufficient for energy device applications. The prepared PPC was used to create an electrical double-layer capacitor (EDLC) device. The CV plot exhibited the absence of Faradaic peaks in the CV plot, making it practically have a rectangular form. Using the GCD experiment, the EDLC exhibited low equivalence series resistance of only 65 Ω at the first cycle. The average energy density, power density, and specific capacitance values were determined to be 15 Wh/kg, 350 W/kg, and 128 F/g, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proton-Conducting Membranes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comparison of UAV RGB Imagery and Hyperspectral Remote-Sensing Data for Monitoring Winter Wheat Growth
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(15), 3811; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14153811 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Although crop-growth monitoring is important for agricultural managers, it has always been a difficult research topic. However, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with RGB and hyperspectral cameras can now acquire high-resolution remote-sensing images, which facilitates and accelerates such monitoring. To explore the effect [...] Read more.
Although crop-growth monitoring is important for agricultural managers, it has always been a difficult research topic. However, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with RGB and hyperspectral cameras can now acquire high-resolution remote-sensing images, which facilitates and accelerates such monitoring. To explore the effect of monitoring a single crop-growth indicator and multiple indicators, this study combines six growth indicators (plant nitrogen content, above-ground biomass, plant water content, chlorophyll, leaf area index, and plant height) into the new comprehensive growth index (CGI). We investigate the performance of RGB imagery and hyperspectral data for monitoring crop growth based on multi-time estimation of the CGI. The CGI is estimated from the vegetation indices based on UAV hyperspectral data treated by linear, nonlinear, and multiple linear regression (MLR), partial least squares (PLSR), and random forest (RF). The results are as follows: (1) The RGB-imagery indices red reflectance (r), the excess-red index (EXR), the vegetation atmospherically resistant index (VARI), and the modified green-red vegetation index (MGRVI), as well as the spectral indices consisting of the linear combination index (LCI), the modified simple ratio index (MSR), the simple ratio vegetation index (SR), and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), are more strongly correlated with the CGI than a single growth-monitoring indicator. (2) The CGI estimation model is constructed by comparing a single RGB-imagery index and a spectral index, and the optimal RGB-imagery index corresponding to each of the four growth stages in order is r, r, r, EXR; the optimal spectral index is LCI for all four growth stages. (3) The MLR, PLSR, and RF methods are used to estimate the CGI. The MLR method produces the best estimates. (4) Finally, the CGI is more accurately estimated using the UAV hyperspectral indices than using the RGB-image indices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in UAV-AI Remote Sensing)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Microbiota and the Immune System—Actors in the Gastric Cancer Story
Cancers 2022, 14(15), 3832; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14153832 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Gastric cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the world, with a relatively high mortality rate. Due to the heterogeneous course of the disease, its diagnosis and treatment are limited and difficult, and it is associated with a reduced prognosis [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the world, with a relatively high mortality rate. Due to the heterogeneous course of the disease, its diagnosis and treatment are limited and difficult, and it is associated with a reduced prognosis for patients. That is why it is so important to understand the mechanisms underlying the development and progression of this cancer, with particular emphasis on the role of risk factors. According to the literature data, risk factors include: changes in the composition of the stomach and intestinal microbiota (microbiological dysbiosis and the participation of Helicobacter pylori), improper diet, environmental and genetic factors, and disorders of the body’s immune homeostasis. Therefore, the aim of this review is to systematize the knowledge on the influence of human microbiota dysbiosis on the development and progression of gastric cancer, with particular emphasis on the role of the immune system in this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiome in Cancer: When the Poison Is the Cure)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Editorial
Classification, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Coronary Microvascular Dysfunction
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(15), 4610; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154610 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Coronary microvascular dysfunction represents a widespread disease which is highly disabling for the patient, who constantly presents angina [...] Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effect of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Flood Occurrence in Teunom Watershed, Aceh Jaya
Land 2022, 11(8), 1271; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081271 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
The change in land use and land cover in upstream watersheds will change the features of drainage systems such that they will impact surface overflow and affect the infiltration capacity of a land surface, which is one of the factors that contributes to [...] Read more.
The change in land use and land cover in upstream watersheds will change the features of drainage systems such that they will impact surface overflow and affect the infiltration capacity of a land surface, which is one of the factors that contributes to flooding. The key objective of this study is to identify vulnerable areas of flooding and to assess the causes of flooding using ground-based measurement, remote sensing data, and GIS-based flood risk mapping approaches for the flood hazard mapping of the Teunom watershed. The purposes of this investigation were to: (1) examine the level and characteristics of land use and land cover changes that occurred in the area between 2009 and 2019; (2) determine the impact of land use and land cover changes on the water overflow and infiltration capacity; and (3) produce flood risk maps for the Teunom sub-district. Landsat imagery of 2009, 2013, and 2019; slope maps; and field measurement soil characteristics data were utilized for this study. The results show a significant increase in the use of residential land, open land, rice fields, and wetlands (water bodies) and different infiltration rates that contribute to the variation of flood zone hazards. The Teunom watershed has a high and very high risk of ~11.98% of the total area, a moderate risk of 56.24%, and a low and very low risk of ~31.79%. The Teunom watershed generally has a high flood risk, with a total of ~68% of the area (moderate to very high risk). There was a substantial reduction in forest land, agricultural land, and shrubs from 2009 to 2019. Therefore, the segmentation of flood-risk zones is essential for preparation in the region. The study offers basic information about flood hazard areas for central governments, local governments, NGOs, and communities to intervene in preparedness, responses, and flood mitigation and recovery processes, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Natural Hazards and Disaster Risks Reduction)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Unveiling the Occupational Exposure to Microbial Contamination in Conservation–Restoration Settings
Microorganisms 2022, 10(8), 1595; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10081595 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Assuring a proper environment for the fulfillment of professional activities is one of the Sustainable Development Goals and is contemplated in the One Health approach assumed by the World Health Organization. This particular study is applied to an often neglected sector of our [...] Read more.
Assuring a proper environment for the fulfillment of professional activities is one of the Sustainable Development Goals and is contemplated in the One Health approach assumed by the World Health Organization. This particular study is applied to an often neglected sector of our society—the conservators/restorers—despite the many health issues reported by these professionals. Three different specialties (textiles, paintings and wood sculpture) and locations were selected for evaluation by placement of electrostatic dust cloths. After treatment of the samples, bacterial and fungal contamination were assessed, as well as mycotoxin determination, the presence of azole-resistant strains and cytotoxicity of the microorganisms encountered. Bacteria were only present in one of medias used and showed relatively low numbers. The highest level of contamination by fungi was identified in one of the textiles settings. The textile area also showed the highest variability for fungi. Aspergillus sp. are one indicator of possible environmental issues, and A. sections Fumigati and Circumdati were particularly relevant in two of the settings and identified in all of them. No mycotoxins were detected and the large majority of the fungi identified were non-cytotoxic. Overall, these can be considered low-contaminated environments but attention should be given to the Aspergillus sp. contamination. Additional studies are needed not only to make these results more robust, but also to test if the environmental sampling alone is the best approach in a setting where there is very little movement and dust displacement and where professionals are in very close proximity to the artefacts being treated, which may suggest the existence of a micro-atmosphere worth evaluating and comparing to the obtained results. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Hyperzographia in Neglect Exposing a Spatial Dissociation between Painting and Writing—A Case Study
Reports 2022, 5(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/reports5030032 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
The paper depicts and describes the observation of a remarkable post-stroke production of paintings made by a 54-year-old, right-handed man who suffered an acute right hemispheric stroke. The patient’s post-stroke productivity and the spatial distribution of text and drawings were assessed by means [...] Read more.
The paper depicts and describes the observation of a remarkable post-stroke production of paintings made by a 54-year-old, right-handed man who suffered an acute right hemispheric stroke. The patient’s post-stroke productivity and the spatial distribution of text and drawings were assessed by means of structural analysis of the paintings, as well as neuropsychological and creativity testing. Compared to the age-matched healthy control group, the patient did not only produce more valid answers in the verbal creativity task, but he also drew more images in the figural creativity task. Most strikingly, the painted images were located on the right side in 70% of the paintings, while the text was aligned to the left side in 42% of the paintings. This dissociation between writing and painting behavior was further mirrored in the patient’s neuropsychological performance in a reading test and in a design fluency task. This observation of an increased post-stroke production of paintings may coin a new term, i.e., “hyperzographia”, in analogy to hypergraphia. Additionally, the puzzling dissociation of the writing and painting behavior highlights an important new clinical aspect concerning a differential influence of hemispatial neglect on writing and painting. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Monitoring Desertification Using a Small Set of Biophysical Indicators in the Brazilian Semiarid Region
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159735 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Desertification is defined as land degradation in arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid regions, and it is caused primarily by human activities and climate change. The semiarid region of Northeast (NE) Brazil is a very large, populous region, and thus, it is hard to [...] Read more.
Desertification is defined as land degradation in arid, semiarid, and dry sub-humid regions, and it is caused primarily by human activities and climate change. The semiarid region of Northeast (NE) Brazil is a very large, populous region, and thus, it is hard to monitor the dynamics of its desertified areas; therefore, the present study aimed to develop a minimum set of biophysical indicators to qualify and monitor desertification in this region. This approach included sampling a pair of preserved forested areas and nearby degraded, non-forested areas which had no vegetation growth in the previous years. The study was developed in four stages: (a) pilot site selection; (b) quantification and analysis of soil and vegetation biophysical indicators; (c) biophysical indicator selection Department of Nuclear Energy; and (d) elaboration of the minimum set of biophysical indicators and desertification levels. Of the analyzed 24 biophysical indicators, 11 were retained and subjected to factor analysis by its principal components. This yielded the minimum set of indicators used to estimate the desertification levels of the pilot sites, which consisted of four soil characteristics: Total Organic Carbon (TOC), cation exchange capacity, clay content, and magnesium content. Regressions were conducted using the SQI, and these indicators showed that the TOC had the highest coefficient of determination. In an exploratory analysis, high SQI (low desertification) showed a positive correlation with the normalized difference vegetation index (R = 0.70) and Aridity Index (R = 0.97). This methodological approach could form the basis of a dynamic monitoring system that is capable of supplying objective, quantitative, and easy to obtain information to decision-makers in NE Brazil and other dry ecosystems around the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Soil Conservation and Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Typical Fragment Kinetic Energy Assessment Based on Acoustic Emission Technology
Sensors 2022, 22(15), 5914; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22155914 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Fragment kinetic energy is an important parameter to characterize the damage power of fragments. In this study, an acoustic emission technology-based method to evaluate fragment kinetic energy is proposed. The dynamic response of the fragment impacting an aluminum alloy target plate and the [...] Read more.
Fragment kinetic energy is an important parameter to characterize the damage power of fragments. In this study, an acoustic emission technology-based method to evaluate fragment kinetic energy is proposed. The dynamic response of the fragment impacting an aluminum alloy target plate and the relationship between the initial kinetic energy of the fragment impact and the acoustic emission waveform were theoretically evaluated; the numerical simulation of typical spherical fragments (8 mm diameter) penetrating the aluminum alloy target plate was performed, the wavelet energy of the acoustic emission signal was obtained using wavelet packet theory, and a mathematical model of wavelet energy and fragment kinetic energy was constructed. A fragment kinetic energy test system was established, and a fragment penetration test was performed. The analysis showed that the wavelet energy mathematical models and the fragment kinetic energy exhibited favorable consistency, and the measurement errors of the three experiments were 3%, 3.7%, and 3%. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the typical acoustic emission fragment kinetic energy test methods proposed in this study and establishes a new method for the direct measurement of fragment kinetic energy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Clinical Risk Assessment of a 3D-Printed Patient-Specific Scaffold by Failure Modes and Effects Analysis
Materials 2022, 15(15), 5442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15155442 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
This study aims to carry out a risk assessment to identify and rectify potential clinical risks of a 3D-printed patient-specific scaffold for large-volume alveolar bone regeneration. A survey was used to assess clinicians’ perceptions regarding the use of scaffolds in the treatment of [...] Read more.
This study aims to carry out a risk assessment to identify and rectify potential clinical risks of a 3D-printed patient-specific scaffold for large-volume alveolar bone regeneration. A survey was used to assess clinicians’ perceptions regarding the use of scaffolds in the treatment of alveolar defects and conduct a clinical risk assessment of the developed scaffold using the Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) framework. The response rate was 69.4% with a total of 41 responses received. Two particular failure modes were identified as a high priority through the clinical risk assessment conducted. The highest mean Risk Priority Number was obtained by “failure of healing due to patient risk factors” (45.7 ± 27.7), followed by “insufficient soft tissue area” (37.8 ± 24.1). Despite the rapid developments, finding a scaffold that is both biodegradable and tailored to the patient’s specific defect in cases of large-volume bone regeneration is still challenging for clinicians. Our results indicate a positive perception of clinicians towards this novel scaffold. The FMEA clinical risk assessment has revealed two failure modes that should be prioritized for risk mitigation (safe clinical translation). These findings are important for the safe transition to in-human trials and subsequent clinical use. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Improving Adversarial Robustness of CNNs via Maximum Margin
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(15), 7927; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12157927 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
In recent years, adversarial examples have aroused widespread research interest and raised concerns about the safety of CNNs. We study adversarial machine learning inspired by a support vector machine (SVM), where the decision boundary with maximum margin is only determined by examples close [...] Read more.
In recent years, adversarial examples have aroused widespread research interest and raised concerns about the safety of CNNs. We study adversarial machine learning inspired by a support vector machine (SVM), where the decision boundary with maximum margin is only determined by examples close to it. From the perspective of margin, the adversarial examples are the clean examples perturbed in the margin direction and adversarial training (AT) is equivalent to a data augmentation method that moves the input toward the decision boundary, the purpose also being to increase the margin. So we propose adversarial training with supported vector machine (AT-SVM) to improve the standard AT by inserting an SVM auxiliary classifier to learn a larger margin. In addition, we select examples close to the decision boundary through the SVM auxiliary classifier and train only on these more important examples. We prove that the SVM auxiliary classifier can constrain the high-layer feature map of the original network to make its margin larger, thereby improving the inter-class separability and intra-class compactness of the network. Experiments indicate that our proposed method can effectively improve the robustness against adversarial examples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Cybersecurity and Computer Networks)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Improvement to Calculation Method of Flood Force on T-Girder Considering Entrapped Air in Chambers
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(8), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10081083 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
Entrapped air in the chambers of a T-girder bridge generates a considerably large vertical force which is harmful to the safety of the bridge superstructure. The contribution of the entrapped air is not considered when calculating flood force in the related specifications, and [...] Read more.
Entrapped air in the chambers of a T-girder bridge generates a considerably large vertical force which is harmful to the safety of the bridge superstructure. The contribution of the entrapped air is not considered when calculating flood force in the related specifications, and also it has not been taken into account by researchers. Two-dimensional, scaled-down models at a 1:40 scale are selected as the research object. Analytical and numerical methods are employed to investigate the contribution of entrapped air in T-girder chambers to flood forces. Results show that the entrapped air in the rear chambers could escape easier than that in the front chambers and the compressibility of entrapped air has a small influence on drag force and vertical force (generated by dynamic pressure) coefficients, but it reduces the buoyancy of the T-girder. Considering the entrapped air compressibility and entrapped air escape, the calculation method of the buoyancy of entrapped air is proposed to improve the precision of the existing flood force calculation method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Coastal Engineering)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Chronic-Exposure Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields (Magnetotherapy and Magnetic Stimulation) Influence Serum Serotonin Concentrations in Patients with Low Back Pain—Clinical Observation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159743 (registering DOI) - 08 Aug 2022
Abstract
(1) Background: The influence of serotonin on many regulatory mechanisms has not been sufficiently studied. The use of a physical method, assuming the possibility of its action on increasing the concentration of serotonin, may be the direction of therapy limiting the number of [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The influence of serotonin on many regulatory mechanisms has not been sufficiently studied. The use of a physical method, assuming the possibility of its action on increasing the concentration of serotonin, may be the direction of therapy limiting the number of antidepressants used. The aim of the research was to study the effects of low-frequency magnetic fields of different characteristics on the circadian profile of serotonin in men with low back pain. (2) Methods: 16 men with back pain syndrome participated in the study. The patients were divided into two groups. In group 1, magnetotherapy (2.9 mT, 40 Hz, square wave, bipolar) was applied at 10.00 a.m. In group 2, the M2P2 magnetic stimulation program of the Viofor JPS device was used. Treatments in each group lasted 3 weeks, 5 days each, with breaks for Saturday and Sunday. The daily serotonin profile was determined the day before the exposure and the day after the last treatment. Blood samples (at night with red light) were collected at 8:00, 12:00, 16:00, 24:00, and 4:00. The patients did not suffer from any chronic or acute disease and were not taking any medications. (3) Results: In group 1, a significant increase in serotonin concentration was observed after 15 treatments at 4:00. In group 2, a significant increase in serotonin concentration was observed at 8:00 after the end of the treatments. In comparison between magnetotherapy and magnetic stimulation, the time points at which differences appeared after the application of serotonin occurred due to the increase in its concentrations after the application of magnetic stimulation. (4) Conclusions: Magnetotherapy and magnetic stimulation, acting in a similar way, increase the concentration of serotonin. Weak magnetic fields work similarly to the stronger ones used in TMS. It is possible to use them in the treatment of mental disorders or other diseases with low serotonin concentrations. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open Access Journals

Browse by Indexing Browse by Subject Selected Journals
Back to TopTop