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Open AccessArticle
A Relational Model for Stress: A Systematic Review of the Risk and Protective Factors for Stress-Related Diseases in Firefighters
Psych 2020, 2(1), 74-84; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych2010008 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Firefighters are considered a high-risk group for the development of PTSD and other stress-related diseases. More than the exposure to potentially traumatic events, personal and occupational characteristics have been pointed out as interfering in the perception of stress, which may lead to the [...] Read more.
Firefighters are considered a high-risk group for the development of PTSD and other stress-related diseases. More than the exposure to potentially traumatic events, personal and occupational characteristics have been pointed out as interfering in the perception of stress, which may lead to the emergence of mental and physical symptoms. This study aimed to analyze the relationship between the main factors that contribute to stress-related diseases in firefighters. A systematic review was conducted in order to identify original articles focusing on risk and protective factors for stress in this population. Personality traits, training, experience in extreme situations and social and organizational support influence the perception of stress and, consequently, the choice of coping strategies, which may protect against or potentiate the stress reactions. The findings of this study allow us to draw a relational model that represents the dynamics among the factors related to stress in firefighters. The development of PTSD and other stress-related diseases depends on a host of pre-trauma and post-trauma factors and, although training is an important protective factor, being prepared to face extreme situations does not mean being immune to traumatic stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Health, Social Psychology and Psychiatry)
Open AccessEditorial
The Geriatric Surgery: The Importance of Frailty Identification Beyond Chronological Age
Geriatrics 2020, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics5010012 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
In the last fifty years, there has been a great improvement in social and health conditions. This have led to a significant increase in human lifespan as never seen before. In Italy, older persons are the fastest growing sector of society, mainly due [...] Read more.
In the last fifty years, there has been a great improvement in social and health conditions. This have led to a significant increase in human lifespan as never seen before. In Italy, older persons are the fastest growing sector of society, mainly due to scientific progress but also to a decrease in the natality rate. According to the latest WHO data published in 2018, life expectancy in Italy is 80.5 for males and 84.9 for females, with a total life expectancy of 82.9 [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
MIL-88A Metal-Organic Framework as a Stable Sulfur-host Cathode for Long-cycle Li-S Batteries
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(3), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10030424 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries have received enormous interest as a promising energy storage system to compete against limited, non-renewable, energy sources due to their high energy density, sustainability, and low cost. Among the main challenges of this technology, researchers are concentrating on reducing the [...] Read more.
Lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries have received enormous interest as a promising energy storage system to compete against limited, non-renewable, energy sources due to their high energy density, sustainability, and low cost. Among the main challenges of this technology, researchers are concentrating on reducing the well-known “shuttle effect” that generates the loss and corrosion of the active material during cycling. To tackle this issue, metal-organic frameworks (MOF) are considered excellent sulfur host materials to be part of the cathode in Li-S batteries, showing efficient confinement of undesirable polysulfides. In this study, MIL-88A, based on iron fumarate, was synthesised by a simple and fast ultrasonic-assisted probe method. Techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms were used to characterise structural, morphological, and textural properties. The synthesis process led to MIL-88A particles with a central prismatic portion and pyramidal terminal portions, which exhibited a dual micro-mesoporous MOF system. The composite [email protected] was prepared, by a typical melt-diffusion method at 155°C, as a cathodic material for Li-S cells. [email protected] electrodes were tested under several rates, exhibiting stable specific capacity values above 400 mAh g−1 at 0.1 C (1C = 1675 mA g−1). This polyhedral and porous MIL-88A was found to be an effective cathode material for long cycling in Li-S cells, retaining a reversible capacity above 300 mAh g−1 at 0.5 C for more than 1000 cycles, and exhibiting excellent coulombic efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Organic Frameworks in Energy Storage)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Natural Products of Marine Macroalgae from South Eastern Australia, with Emphasis on the Port Phillip Bay and Heads Regions of Victoria
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(3), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18030142 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Marine macroalgae occurring in the south eastern region of Victoria, Australia, consisting
of Port Phillip Bay and the heads entering the bay, is the focus of this review. This area is home to
approximately 200 different species of macroalgae, representing the three major [...] Read more.
Marine macroalgae occurring in the south eastern region of Victoria, Australia, consisting
of Port Phillip Bay and the heads entering the bay, is the focus of this review. This area is home to
approximately 200 different species of macroalgae, representing the three major phyla of the green
algae (Chlorophyta), brown algae (Ochrophyta) and the red algae (Rhodophyta), respectively. Over
almost 50 years, the species of macroalgae associated and occurring within this area have resulted
in the identification of a number of different types of secondary metabolites including terpenoids,
sterols/steroids, phenolic acids, phenols, lipids/polyenes, pheromones, xanthophylls and
phloroglucinols. Many of these compounds have subsequently displayed a variety of bioactivities.
A systematic description of the compound classes and their associated bioactivities from marine
macroalgae found within this region is presented. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Field Modeling the Impact of Cracks on the Electroconductivity of Thin-Film Textronic Structures
Electronics 2020, 9(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9030402 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Wearable electronics are produced by depositing thin electroconductive layers with low resistance on flexible substrates. In the process of producing such metallic films, as well as during their usage, structural defects may appear which affect their electrical properties. In this paper, we present [...] Read more.
Wearable electronics are produced by depositing thin electroconductive layers with low resistance on flexible substrates. In the process of producing such metallic films, as well as during their usage, structural defects may appear which affect their electrical properties. In this paper, we present analytical and numerical models for understanding phenomena related to the electrical conductivity of thin electroconductive layers. The algorithm in the numerical model is based on the boundary integral equation method. The formulas enable calculation of the potential distribution and electric field strength of the analyzed structures, and describe the impact of cracks on their electrical resistance. The validity of the proposed models was verified by experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microelectronics and Optoelectronics)
Open AccessArticle
A Buck-Boost Transformerless DC–DC Converter Based on IGBT Modules for Fast Charge of Electric Vehicles
Electronics 2020, 9(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9030397 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
A transformer-less Buck-Boost direct current–direct current (DC–DC) converter in use for the fast charge of electric vehicles, based on powerful high-voltage isolated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules is analyzed, designed and experimentally verified. The main advantages of this topology are: simple structure on [...] Read more.
A transformer-less Buck-Boost direct current–direct current (DC–DC) converter in use for the fast charge of electric vehicles, based on powerful high-voltage isolated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules is analyzed, designed and experimentally verified. The main advantages of this topology are: simple structure on the converter’s power stage; a wide range of the output voltage, capable of supporting contemporary vehicles’ on-board battery packs; efficiency; and power density accepted to be high enough for such a class of hard-switched converters. A precise estimation of the loss, dissipated in the converter’s basic modes of operation Buck, Boost, and Buck-Boost is presented. The analysis shows an approach of loss minimization, based on switching frequency reduction during the Buck-Boost operation mode. Such a technique guarantees stable thermal characteristics during the entire operation, i.e., battery charge cycle. As the Buck-Boost mode takes place when Buck and Boost modes cannot support the output voltage, operating as a combination of them, it can be considered as critically dependent on the characteristics of the semiconductors. With this, the necessary duty cycle and voltage range, determined with respect to the input-output voltages and power losses, require an additional study to be conducted. Additionally, the tolerance of the applied switching frequencies for the most versatile silicon-based powerful IGBT modules is analyzed and experimentally verified. Finally, several important characteristics, such as transients during switch-on and switch-off, IGBTs’ voltage tails, critical duty cycles, etc., are depicted experimentally with oscillograms, obtained by an experimental model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrical and Autonomous Vehicles)
Open AccessArticle
The Role of High Fat Diets and Liver Peptidase Activity in the Development of Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Wistar Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030636 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
High-fat diets (HFD) have been widely associated with an increased risk of metabolic disorders and overweight. However, a high intake of sources that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids has been suggested as a dietary agent that is able to positively influence energy [...] Read more.
High-fat diets (HFD) have been widely associated with an increased risk of metabolic disorders and overweight. However, a high intake of sources that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids has been suggested as a dietary agent that is able to positively influence energy metabolism and vascular function. The main objective of this study was to analyze the role of dietary fats on hepatic peptidases activities and metabolic disorders. Three diets: standard (S), HFD supplemented with virgin olive oil (VOO), and HFD supplemented with butter plus cholesterol (Bch), were administered over six months to male Wistar rats. Plasma and liver samples were collected for clinical biochemistry and aminopeptidase activities (AP) analysis. The expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) was also determined by Western blot in liver samples. The diet supplement with VOO did not induce obesity, in contrast to the Bch group. Though the VOO diet increased the time that was needed to return to the basal levels of plasma glucose, the fasting insulin/glucose ratio and HOMA2-%B index (a homeostasis model index of insulin secretion and valuation of β-cell usefulness (% β-cell secretion)) were improved. An increase of hepatic membrane-bound dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4) activity was found only in VOO rats, even if no differences in fasting plasma glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) were obtained. Both HFDs induced changes in hepatic pyroglutamyl-AP in the soluble fraction, but only the Bch diet increased the soluble tyrosyl-AP. Angiotensinase activities that are implicated in the metabolism of angiotensin II (AngII) to AngIV increased in the VOO diet, which was in agreement with the higher activity of insulin-regulated-AP (IRAP) in this group. Otherwise, the diet that was enriched with butter increased soluble gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) and Leucyl-AP, iNOS expression in the liver, and plasma NO. In summary, VOO increased the hepatic activity of AP that were related to glucose metabolism (DPP4, angiotensinases, and IRAP). However, the Bch diet increased activities that are implicated in the control of food intake (Tyrosine-AP), the index of hepatic damage (Leucine-AP and GGT), and the expression of hepatic iNOS and plasma NO. Taken together, these results support that the source of fat in the diet affects several peptidases activities in the liver, which could be related to alterations in feeding behavior and glucose metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue High-Fat High-Saturated Diet)
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Open AccessCommunication
Micro RNA Expression after Ingestion of Fucoidan; A Clinical Study
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(3), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18030143 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Fucoidans are a class of fucose-rich sulfated polysaccharides derived from brown macroalgae that exert a range of biological activities in vitro and in vivo. To generate an unbiased assessment of pathways and processes affected by fucoidan, a placebo-controlled double-blind pilot study was performed [...] Read more.
Fucoidans are a class of fucose-rich sulfated polysaccharides derived from brown macroalgae that exert a range of biological activities in vitro and in vivo. To generate an unbiased assessment of pathways and processes affected by fucoidan, a placebo-controlled double-blind pilot study was performed in healthy volunteers. Blood samples were taken immediately before and 24 h after ingestion of a single dose of 1 g of Undaria pinnatifida fucoidan (UPF) or placebo. Levels of isolated miRNAs were analyzed using Taqman Open Array Human MicroRNA panels. Out of 754 miRNAs screened, UPF affected a total of 53 miRNAs. Pathway analysis using the TALOS data analysis tool predicted 29 different pathways and processes that were largely grouped into cell surface receptor signaling, cancer-related pathways, the majority of which were previously associated with fucoidans. However, this analysis also identified nine pathways and processes that have not been associated with fucoidans before. Overall, this study illustrates that even a single dose of fucoidans has the potential to affect the expression of genes related to fundamental cellular processes. Moreover, it confirms previous data that fucoidans influence immunity, cancer cells, inflammation, and neurological function. Full article
Open AccessReview
Advances in Research on the Bioactivity of Alginate Oligosaccharides
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(3), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18030144 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Alginate is a natural polysaccharide present in various marine brown seaweeds. Alginate oligosaccharide (AOS) is a degradation product of alginate, which has received increasing attention due to its low molecular weight and promising biological activity. The wide-ranging biological activity of AOS is closely [...] Read more.
Alginate is a natural polysaccharide present in various marine brown seaweeds. Alginate oligosaccharide (AOS) is a degradation product of alginate, which has received increasing attention due to its low molecular weight and promising biological activity. The wide-ranging biological activity of AOS is closely related to the diversity of their structures. AOS with a specific structure and distinct applications can be obtained by different methods of alginate degradation. This review focuses on recent advances in the biological activity of alginate and its derivatives, including their anti-tumor, anti-oxidative, immunoregulatory, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antibacterial, hypolipidemic, antihypertensive, and hypoglycemic properties, as well as the ability to suppress obesity and promote cell proliferation and regulate plant growth. We hope that this review will provide theoretical basis and inspiration for the high-value research developments and utilization of AOS-related products. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Marine Polysaccharides) Printed Edition available
Open AccessArticle
Extent of Food Processing and Risk of Prostate Cancer: The PROtEuS Study in Montreal, Canada
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030637 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
We studied the association between food intake, based on the extent of processing, and prostate cancer risk in a population-based case-control study conducted in Montreal, Canada in 2005-2012. Incident prostate cancer cases (n = 1919) aged ≤75 years were histologically confirmed. Population [...] Read more.
We studied the association between food intake, based on the extent of processing, and prostate cancer risk in a population-based case-control study conducted in Montreal, Canada in 2005-2012. Incident prostate cancer cases (n = 1919) aged ≤75 years were histologically confirmed. Population controls (n = 1991) were randomly selected from the electoral list and frequency-matched to cases by age (±5 years). A 63-item food frequency questionnaire focusing on the two years prior to diagnosis/interview was administered by interviewers. The NOVA classification was used to categorize foods based on processing level. Unconditional logistic regression estimated the association between food intake and prostate cancer risk, adjusting for age, education, ethnicity, family history, and timing of last prostate cancer screening. Consumption of unprocessed or minimally processed foods showed a slight, inverse association (Odd ratio [OR] 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-1.07; highest vs. lowest quartile) with prostate cancer. An increased risk was observed with higher intake of processed foods (OR 1.29, 95%CI 1.05-1.59; highest vs. lowest quartile), but not with consumption of ultra-processed food and drinks. The associations with unprocessed/minimally processed foods and processed foods were slightly more pronounced for high-grade cancers (ORs 0.80 and 1.33, respectively). Findings suggest that food processing may influence prostate cancer risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Prostate Cancer)
Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Computational Analyses of Temperature Distributions in Slope-Type Thin-Film Thermoelectric Generators at Different Slope Angles and Evaluation of Their Thermoelectric Performance
Coatings 2020, 10(3), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10030214 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Thin-film thermoelectric generators are not widely used mainly because it is difficult to provide a temperature difference (T) within the generators. To solve this problem, in our previous study, we prepared slope-type thin-film thermoelectric generators (STTEGs) using electrodeposition and transferred processes [...] Read more.
Thin-film thermoelectric generators are not widely used mainly because it is difficult to provide a temperature difference (T) within the generators. To solve this problem, in our previous study, we prepared slope-type thin-film thermoelectric generators (STTEGs) using electrodeposition and transferred processes (Yamamuro et al., Coatings 2018, 8, 22) [1]. A thin-film generator including n-type Bi2Te3 and p-type Sb2Te3 thin films was attached on slope blocks made of polydimethylsiloxane. In this study, the slope angle of STTEGs was optimized based on experimental results and computational analyses using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). With the increase in the slope angle, the T began increasing and became saturated at a slope angle of 58°, and this trend was also confirmed by experimental measurements. When the heat source temperature was set at 65 °C, theT computationally reached 26 K at a slope angle of 58°, and the maximum output power was 46.1 nW. Therefore, we demonstrated that the highest performance of STTEGs with an optimal slope angle can be estimated by combining the experimental results and computational analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Thin Films)
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Open AccessReview
The Beast of Beauty: Environmental and Health Concerns of Toxic Components in Cosmetics
Cosmetics 2020, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics7010013 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Cosmetic products are used in large quantities across the world. An increasing number of chemical compounds are being added to the formulation of cosmetic products as additives, fragrances, preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, dye and shine to potentiate their quality, property and shelf life. Owing [...] Read more.
Cosmetic products are used in large quantities across the world. An increasing number of chemical compounds are being added to the formulation of cosmetic products as additives, fragrances, preservatives, stabilizers, surfactants, dye and shine to potentiate their quality, property and shelf life. Owing to their widespread use, active residues of cosmetic products are continuously introduced into the environment in several ways. Many of these chemicals are bioactive and are characterized by potential bioaccumulation ability and environmental persistence, thus exerting a major risk to humans and the health of ecosystems. Hence, the indiscriminate consumption of cosmetics may present a looming issue with significant adverse impacts on public health. This review intends to spotlight a current overview of toxic ingredients used in formulating cosmetics such as parabens, triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, 1,4-dioxane, plastic microbeads, formaldehyde, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, sunscreen elements (organic and inorganic UV filters) and trace metals. Specific focus is given to illustrate the biological risks of these substances on human health and aquatic system in terms of genotoxicity, cytotoxicity, neurotoxicity mutagenicity, and estrogenicity. In addition to conclusive remarks, future directions are also suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Cosmetics in 2020)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of Crack Initiation and Life Prediction of Polyacrylonitrile-Reinforced Gussasphalt Surfacing over Steel Bridge Deck under Fiber Content Variation
Crystals 2020, 10(3), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst10030155 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
The crack initiation and life prediction of fiber-reinforced asphalt concrete (FRAC) surfacing for steel bridge decks under a cyclic vehicle load are analyzed from the perspective of damage mechanics. The damage field and the stress and strain field evolution rule of a composite [...] Read more.
The crack initiation and life prediction of fiber-reinforced asphalt concrete (FRAC) surfacing for steel bridge decks under a cyclic vehicle load are analyzed from the perspective of damage mechanics. The damage field and the stress and strain field evolution rule of a composite beam in fatigue test are studied, and a fatigue failure criterion is proposed for steel deck FRAC surfacing. Bending fatigue tests are performed on composite beams composed of a steel deck and polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-fiber-reinforced Gussasphalt (GA), i.e., GA-PAN, concrete surfacing under different fiber content and temperature conditions. The damage evolution characteristics of GA-PAN concrete surfacing over the steel deck with different fiber lengths and volume ratios are predicted by analyzing the fatigue life equations. The results show that the steel bridge deck FRAC surfacing model can reflect the comprehensive influence of the fiber content and length on the fatigue performance of steel bridge AC. Specifically, a lower temperature results in the fiber more synergistically affecting the fatigue resistance of AC. Theoretically, the service performance of asphalt concrete increases with the increase of fiber length and content. The optimum fiber length and volume ratio of GA-PAN are found to be 9 mm and 0.46%–0.48%, respectively, considering the construction workability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Crystalline Materials)
Open AccessArticle
Human IgA Monoclonal Antibodies That Neutralize Poliovirus, Produced by Hybridomas and Recombinant Expression
Antibodies 2020, 9(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/antib9010005 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Poliovirus (PV)-specific intestinal IgAs are important for cessation of PV shedding in the gastrointestinal tract following an acute infection with wild type or vaccine-derived PV strains. We sought to produce IgA monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with PV neutralizing activity. We first performed de novo [...] Read more.
Poliovirus (PV)-specific intestinal IgAs are important for cessation of PV shedding in the gastrointestinal tract following an acute infection with wild type or vaccine-derived PV strains. We sought to produce IgA monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) with PV neutralizing activity. We first performed de novo IgA discovery from primary human B cells using a hybridoma method that allows assessment of mAb binding and expression on the hybridoma surface: On-Cell mAb Screening (OCMS™). Six IgA1 mAbs were cloned by this method; three potently neutralized type 3 Sabin and wt PV strains. The hybridoma mAbs were heterogeneous, expressed in monomeric, dimeric, and aberrant forms. We also used recombinant methods to convert two high-potency anti-PV IgG mAbs into dimeric IgA1 and IgA2 mAbs. Isotype switching did not substantially change their neutralization activities. To purify the recombinant mAbs, Protein L binding was used, and one of the mAbs required a single amino acid substitution in its κ LC in order to enable protein L binding. Lastly, we used OCMS to assess IgA expression on the surface of hybridomas and transiently transfected, adherent cells. These studies have generated potent anti-PV IgA mAbs, for use in animal models, as well as additional tools for the discovery and production of human IgA mAbs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Therapeutic Antibodies against Toxins and Pathogens)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Energy Restriction Enhances Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis-Associated Memory after Four Weeks in an Adult Human Population with Central Obesity; a Randomized Controlled Trial
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 638; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030638 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Adult neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons throughout life, occurs in the subventricular zone of the dentate gyrus in the human hippocampal formation. It has been shown in rodents that adult hippocampal neurogenesis is needed for pattern separation, the ability to differentially encode [...] Read more.
Adult neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons throughout life, occurs in the subventricular zone of the dentate gyrus in the human hippocampal formation. It has been shown in rodents that adult hippocampal neurogenesis is needed for pattern separation, the ability to differentially encode small changes derived from similar inputs, and recognition memory, as well as the ability to recognize previously encountered stimuli. Improved hippocampus-dependent cognition and cellular readouts of adult hippocampal neurogenesis have been reported in daily energy restricted and intermittent fasting adult mice. Evidence that nutrition can significantly affect brain structure and function is increasing substantially. This randomized intervention study investigated the effects of intermittent and continuous energy restriction on human hippocampal neurogenesis-related cognition, which has not been reported previously. Pattern separation and recognition memory were measured in 43 individuals with central obesity aged 35–75 years, before and after a four-week dietary intervention using the mnemonic similarity task. Both groups significantly improved pattern separation (P = 0.0005), but only the intermittent energy restriction group had a significant deterioration in recognition memory. There were no significant differences in cognitive improvement between the two diets. This is the first human study to investigate the association between energy restriction with neurogenesis-associated cognitive function. Energy restriction may enhance hippocampus-dependent memory and could benefit those in an ageing population with declining cognition. This study was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02679989) on 11 February 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake, Brain Development and Learning)
Open AccessArticle
Tobacco Plant Detection in RGB Aerial Images
Agriculture 2020, 10(3), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture10030057 - 28 Feb 2020
Abstract
Tobacco is an essential economic crop in China. The detection of tobacco plants in aerial images plays an important role in the management of tobacco plants and, in particular, in yield estimations. Traditional yield estimation is based on site inspections, which can be [...] Read more.
Tobacco is an essential economic crop in China. The detection of tobacco plants in aerial images plays an important role in the management of tobacco plants and, in particular, in yield estimations. Traditional yield estimation is based on site inspections, which can be inefficient, time-consuming, and laborious. In this paper, we proposed an algorithm to detect tobacco plants in RGB aerial images automatically. The proposed algorithm is comprised of two stages: (1) A candidate selecting algorithm extracts possible tobacco plant regions from the input, (2) a trained CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) classifies a candidate as either a tobacco-plant region or a nontobacco-plant one. This proposed algorithm is trained and evaluated on different datasets. It demonstrates good performance on tobacco plant detection in aerial images and obtains a significant improvement on AP (Average Precision) compared to faster R-CNN (Regions with CNN features) and YOLOv3 (You Only Look Once v3). Full article

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