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The Relationship between Hydrological Connectivity Changes Inside and Outside Biodiversity Hotspots and Its Implication for Sustainable Environmental Management
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6654; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116654 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The conservation management of biodiversity hotspots is of vital significance for biological conservation. For wetlands, which are a special type of ecosystems that are based on water as their main medium, a decline in external hydrological connectivity often leads to wetland degradation inside [...] Read more.
The conservation management of biodiversity hotspots is of vital significance for biological conservation. For wetlands, which are a special type of ecosystems that are based on water as their main medium, a decline in external hydrological connectivity often leads to wetland degradation inside biodiversity hotspots. In this context, the relationship between hydrological connectivity changes inside and outside hotspots is worth exploring. Based on the wetland biodiversity hotspots identified using systematic conservation planning, this study selected eight representative biodiversity hotspots with concentrated area. Integral index of connectivity, probability of connectivity (representing structural connectivity), and morphological spatial pattern analysis (representing functional connectivity) were used to analyze the hydrological connectivity changes inside various hotspots for 1995–2015. By taking the catchment area involved as the minimum basin perimeter, this study calculated the external hydrological connectivity changes of various hotspots during this period and analyzed the relationship between hydrological connectivity changes inside and outside of hotspots. The internal and external hydrological connectivity of wetland biodiversity hotspots were found to be significantly correlated. Moreover, the internal hydrological connectivity of hotspots not only declined with declining external structural connectivity, but also changed with the proportion of core wetlands, the proportion of edge wetlands, and the proportion of branch corridors. In addition, hotspots located at intersections of high-grade rivers were more significantly affected by climate change than by human activities and their hydrological connectivity increased with increasing rainfall. The internal hydrological connectivity of hotspots near low-grade rivers presented a declining trend, mainly because of human activities. This study clarified the relationship between internal and external hydrological connectivity of wetland biodiversity hotspots. Targeted internal and external control strategies are proposed, with the aim to offer references for the conservation of wetland biodiversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Wetland Ecology and Environmental Sustainability)
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Article
Evaluating the Complex Relationship between Environmental Factors and Pavement Friction Based on Long-Term Pavement Performance
by , and
Computation 2022, 10(6), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/computation10060085 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Long-term pavement performance (LTPP) was used to investigate factors contributing to pavement skid resistance. The random effect model, with a Poisson distribution, was employed to analyze the relationship between various variables and pavement friction as a response, while accounting for the repetitive nature [...] Read more.
Long-term pavement performance (LTPP) was used to investigate factors contributing to pavement skid resistance. The random effect model, with a Poisson distribution, was employed to analyze the relationship between various variables and pavement friction as a response, while accounting for the repetitive nature of panel-data observations. The results highlight a significant improvement in the model fit compared with the standard Poisson model. In this study, all pairwise interaction terms, instead of the additive impacts of various predictors, were considered. The results of this study highlight that the impacts of various predictors on pavement friction are not additive, but multiplicative. For instance, it was found that the impacts of pavement age, average annual temperature, number of lanes and annual Equivalent Single Axle Load (ESAL) on the pavement friction vary based on pavement type or on whether the pavement type is concrete or asphalt. The findings provide important information regarding the maintenance of pavement by paying the foremost attention to the pavement types for adjusting friction. This is one of the earliest studies that takes complex relations across various predictors and pavement frictions into consideration. A discussion regarding the implications of the findings is provided in the context of this study. Full article
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Review
Novel Biomarkers of Renal Dysfunction and Congestion in Heart Failure
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(6), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12060898 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Heart failure is a major public health problem and, despite the constantly emerging, new, effective treatments, it remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Reliable tools for early diagnosis and risk stratification are crucial in the management of HF. This explains a [...] Read more.
Heart failure is a major public health problem and, despite the constantly emerging, new, effective treatments, it remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Reliable tools for early diagnosis and risk stratification are crucial in the management of HF. This explains a growing interest in the development of new biomarkers related to various pathophysiological mechanisms of HF. In the course of this review, we focused on the markers of congestion and renal dysfunction in terms of their interference with cardiovascular homeostasis. Congestion is a hallmark feature of heart failure, contributing to symptoms, morbidity, and hospitalizations of patients with HF and has, therefore, become a therapeutic target in AHF. On the other hand, impaired renal function by altering the volume status contributes to the development and progression of HF and serves as a marker of an adverse clinical outcome. Early detection of congestion and an adequate assessment of renal status are essential for the prompt administration of patient-tailored therapy. This review provides an insight into recent advances in the field of HF biomarkers that could be potentially implemented in diagnosis and risk stratification of patients with HF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Biomarkers for Acute and Chronic Heart Failure)
Article
Enhanced Cd-Accumulation in Typha latifolia by Interaction if with Pseudomonas rhodesiae GRC140 under Axenic Hydroponic Conditions
Plants 2022, 11(11), 1447; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11111447 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The Typha genus comprises plant species extensively studied for phytoremediation processes. Recently, Pseudomonas rhodesiae GRC140, an IAA-producing bacterium, was isolated from Typha latifolia roots. This bacterium stimulates the emergence of lateral roots of Arabidopsis thaliana in the presence and absence of cadmium. However, [...] Read more.
The Typha genus comprises plant species extensively studied for phytoremediation processes. Recently, Pseudomonas rhodesiae GRC140, an IAA-producing bacterium, was isolated from Typha latifolia roots. This bacterium stimulates the emergence of lateral roots of Arabidopsis thaliana in the presence and absence of cadmium. However, the bacterial influence on cadmium accumulation by the plant has not been determined. Moreover, the P. rhodesiae GRC140 effect in Cd phytoextraction by T. latifolia remains poorly understood. In this work, an axenic hydroponic culture of T. latifolia was established. The plants were used to evaluate the effects of cadmium stress in axenic plants and determine the effects of P. rhodesiae GRC140 and exogenous indole acetic acid (IAA) on Cd tolerance and Cd uptake by T. latifolia. Biomass production, total chlorophyll content, root electrolyte leakage, catalase activity, total glutathione, and Cd content were determined. The results showed that Cd reduces shoot biomass and increases total glutathione and Cd content in a dose-dependent manner in root tissues. Furthermore, P. rhodesiae GRC140 increased Cd translocation to the shoots, while IAA increased the Cd accumulation in plant roots, indicating that both treatments increase Cd removal by T. latifolia plants. These results indicate that axenic plants in hydroponic systems are adequate to evaluate the Cd effects in plants and suggest that T. latifolia phytoextraction abilities could be improved by P. rhodesiae GRC140 and exogenous IAA application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Mutualistic Plant-Microbe Systems to Abiotic Stresses)
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Review
One-Pot Multicomponent Polymerization, Metal-, and Non-Metal-Catalyzed Synthesis of Organoselenium Compounds
Polymers 2022, 14(11), 2208; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14112208 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The one-pot multicomponent synthetic strategy of organoselenium compounds represents an alternative and robust protocol to the conventional multistep methods. During the last decade, a potential advance has been made in this domain. This review discusses the latest advances in the polymerization, metal, and [...] Read more.
The one-pot multicomponent synthetic strategy of organoselenium compounds represents an alternative and robust protocol to the conventional multistep methods. During the last decade, a potential advance has been made in this domain. This review discusses the latest advances in the polymerization, metal, and metal-free one-pot multicomponent synthesis of organoselenium compounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOFs/ Polymer Nanocomposites and Its Advanced Application)
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Case Report
Nocardia Infections in the Immunocompromised Host: A Case Series and Literature Review
Microorganisms 2022, 10(6), 1120; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10061120 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Nocardia is primarily considered an opportunistic pathogen and affects patients with impaired immune systems, solid-organ transplant recipients (SOTRs), and patients with haematologic malignancies. We present the cases of six patients diagnosed with nocardiosis at our center in the last two years, describing the [...] Read more.
Nocardia is primarily considered an opportunistic pathogen and affects patients with impaired immune systems, solid-organ transplant recipients (SOTRs), and patients with haematologic malignancies. We present the cases of six patients diagnosed with nocardiosis at our center in the last two years, describing the various predisposing conditions alongside the clinical manifestation, the diagnostic workup, and the treatment course. Moreover, we propose a brief literature review on Nocardia infections in the immunocompromised host, focusing on SOTRs and haematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients and highlighting risk factors, clinical presentations, the diagnostic tools available, and current treatment and prophylaxis guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections)
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Article
Dietary Intake over a 7-Day Training and Game Period in Female Varsity Rugby Union Players
Nutrients 2022, 14(11), 2281; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14112281 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
This study estimated the daily energy intake (EI) and energy expenditure (TDEE) in female varsity rugby union players during a weekly training/game cycle. Fifteen (nine forwards, six backs) players (20.5 ± 0.4 y, 167.1 ± 1.8 cm, 74.9 ± 2.9 kg) were monitored [...] Read more.
This study estimated the daily energy intake (EI) and energy expenditure (TDEE) in female varsity rugby union players during a weekly training/game cycle. Fifteen (nine forwards, six backs) players (20.5 ± 0.4 y, 167.1 ± 1.8 cm, 74.9 ± 2.9 kg) were monitored for a 7-day period (one fitness, two heavy training, one light training, one game, and two recovery days) during their regular season. The average EI throughout the week for all 15 players was 2158 ± 87 kcal. There were no significant differences between days, but the lowest EI (1921 ± 227 kcal) occurred on the mid-week recovery day and the highest on game day (2336 ± 231 kcal). The average TDEE was 2286 ± 168 kcal (~6% > EI). The mean energy availability (EA) over the 7-day period was 31.1 ± 3.6 kcal/kg FFM/day for the group. Of the players, 14% were in the optimal EA range (>45 kcal/kg FFM/day); 34% were in the moderate range (≥30–45 kcal/kg FFM/day); and 52% had a poor EA of <30 kcal/kg FFM/day. Carbohydrate (3.38 ± 0.36 g/kg/day, 45% of EI); fat (1.27 ± 0.12 g/kg/day, 37% of EI); and protein (1.38 ± 0.12 g/kg/day, 18% of EI) consumption remained similar throughout the week (p > 0.05). The players consumed 6% less energy than they expended, providing poor to moderate EA; therefore, daily carbohydrate intake recommendations were not met. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Performance Nutrition in Diverse Populations)
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Article
Study on Soda-Ethanol Delignification of Pine Sawdust for a Biorefinery
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6660; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116660 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The soda–ethanol process was conceived as a sulfur-free pulping process, which may also be an alternative to conventional alkaline pulping, such as kraft or soda–AQ in the biorefinery context. An in-depth study using two experimental designs was conducted to establish the viability of [...] Read more.
The soda–ethanol process was conceived as a sulfur-free pulping process, which may also be an alternative to conventional alkaline pulping, such as kraft or soda–AQ in the biorefinery context. An in-depth study using two experimental designs was conducted to establish the viability of soda–ethanol delignification of pine sawdust. At first, a simple factorial design involving the ethanol–water ratio (ethanol:water) and the alkaline load (AL, % over dry wood, odw) was applied to define the levels of these variables and their eventual interaction. Then, a 32 experimental design was performed to evaluate the ability of the process concerning the pulping of pine sawdust. The tested conditions were carefully selected to screen a broad range of cooking times (60, 100, and 140 min) and alkaline loads (19.0, 23.3, and 27.6 %odw) to obtain pulps with different extents of delignification (residual lignin contents). Finally, the kraft, soda–AQ, and soda–ethanol treatments were compared. Soda–ethanol pulping was shown to be a suitable delignification stage for a biorefinery scheme of Pinus elliottii and Pinus taeda sawdust. It has many advantages over traditional processes regarding its environmental impact, harmless chemicals, and selectivity. The tested conditions were similar to those frequently used in conventional pulping at an industrial scale, suggesting the technical feasibility of the soda–ethanol process for pine sawdust processing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomass Treatment Techniques and Sustainable Utilization of Residues)
Article
Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Patterns of Muscle and Tail-Fat in DairyMeade Sheep and Mongolian Sheep
Animals 2022, 12(11), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12111399 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
This study aimed to explore the genome-wide DNA methylation differences between muscle and tail-fat tissues of DairyMeade sheep (thin-tailed, lean carcass) and Mongolian sheep (fat-tailed, fat-deposited carcass). Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) was conducted and the global DNA methylation dynamics were mapped. Generally, CGs [...] Read more.
This study aimed to explore the genome-wide DNA methylation differences between muscle and tail-fat tissues of DairyMeade sheep (thin-tailed, lean carcass) and Mongolian sheep (fat-tailed, fat-deposited carcass). Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) was conducted and the global DNA methylation dynamics were mapped. Generally, CGs had a higher DNA methylation level than CHHs and CHGs, and tail-fat tissues had higher CG methylation levels than muscle tissues. For DNA repeat elements, SINE had the highest methylation level, while Simple had the lowest. When dividing the gene promoter region into small bins (200 bp per bin), the bins near the transcription start site (±200 bp) had the highest CG count per bin but the lowest DNA methylation levels. A series of DMRs were identified in muscle and tail-fat tissues between the two breeds. Among them, the introns of gene CAMK2D (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II δ) demonstrated significant DNA methylation level differences between the two breeds in both muscle and tail-fat tissues, and it may play a crucial role in fat metabolism and meat quality traits. This study may provide basic datasets and references for further epigenetic modification studies during sheep genetic improvement. Full article
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Article
Urinary Malondialdehyde (MDA) and N-Acetyl-β-D-Glucosaminidase (NAG) Associated with Exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE) in Underground Water
Toxics 2022, 10(6), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10060293 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is commonly used in various industries. If wastewater in factories is not effectively treated, the inflow into and subsequent contamination of underground water is likely. Our study assessed the association of exposure to TCE in underground water with oxidative stress and [...] Read more.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is commonly used in various industries. If wastewater in factories is not effectively treated, the inflow into and subsequent contamination of underground water is likely. Our study assessed the association of exposure to TCE in underground water with oxidative stress and renal tubule damage. We selected 579 residents from areas with underground water contaminated with TCE. Each participant was interviewed via a questionnaire. We also assessed their urinary trichloroacetic acid (TCA) levels by gas chromatography (GC)-FID. Urinary malondialdehyde (MDA) and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) were taken as indicators of oxidative stress and renal tubule damage. We found about 73% of the residents to have consumed underground water. The average duration of consumption was 26 years, with an average of 1.6 L per day. Currently, only 1.5% of the residents still continuously consume underground water. The consumption of underground water positively correlated with heightened urinary TCA levels (r = 0.554). Heightened urinary TCA levels, in turn, were positively associated with NAG levels (r = 0.180) but negatively associated with MDA levels (r = −0.193). The results held even after we had segmented urinary TCA levels into three groups of different levels. The elimination of the source of heightened TCE levels from various industrial effluents is essential. Residents exposed to TCE-laden underground water should periodically undergo health inspections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Exposome)
Article
Construction of Safety-Management Platform for Chemical Enterprises Based on the Immune System Model
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(11), 5522; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12115522 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Identifying risk factors and improving safety “immunity” is beneficial to chemical enterprises to reduce the occurrence of production accidents. In this paper, an immune system model has been built according to the bionics principle, and the corresponding antigen–antibody index system based on hidden [...] Read more.
Identifying risk factors and improving safety “immunity” is beneficial to chemical enterprises to reduce the occurrence of production accidents. In this paper, an immune system model has been built according to the bionics principle, and the corresponding antigen–antibody index system based on hidden dangers and treatment measures has been established, including 8 factor layers and 33 index layers. Then, the immune evaluation model of production safety was built using index weight, and an evaluation model of immune response ability for production safety was constructed based on grey system theory. Finally, aiming to identify immune deficiency through numerical analysis, a safety-management platform focused on people management, visual monitoring, and danger warning was constructed. The results verify the suitability of the immune correlation principle applied in chemical enterprises, which makes an instructive contribution to the construction of information management platforms for chemical enterprise safety production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Industrial Engineering and Management)
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Systematic Review
Are Millets More Effective in Managing Hyperlipidaemia and Obesity than Major Cereal Staples? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6659; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116659 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Millets are important staples across developing countries in Asia and Africa. A previous systematic review and meta-analysis showed that eating millets significantly controlled hyperlipidaemia and obesity by focusing on a comparison of pre- and post-intervention measurements. This study further provides meta-analysis of the [...] Read more.
Millets are important staples across developing countries in Asia and Africa. A previous systematic review and meta-analysis showed that eating millets significantly controlled hyperlipidaemia and obesity by focusing on a comparison of pre- and post-intervention measurements. This study further provides meta-analysis of the effects of the consumption of millets on hyperlipidaemia and obesity by analysing millets against other staple grains using the difference-in-differences method, where the effects were computed on the Standardised Mean Difference scale. Thus, only studies that included a control group as well as the baseline were included. The results from twelve eligible studies on blood lipid profile show significant (p < 0.05) favourable effects of consuming millets compared to other staples (rice, wheat, and quinoa). Specifically, the effects on total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were −0.44, −0.29, and −0.41, respectively (p < 0.05), while the effect on the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level was +0.59 (p < 0.05). In addition, the effects on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the body mass index were −0.60 and −0.29, respectively, with p = 0.06 each. While this study strengthens the evidence that the consumption of millets contributes to reducing the risks of hyperlipidaemia, and therefore cardiovascular diseases, more detailed and rigorous studies are recommended. Full article
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Case Report
Bilateral Facial Palsy as the Onset of Neurosarcoidosis: A Case Report and a Revision of Literature
NeuroSci 2022, 3(2), 321-331; https://doi.org/10.3390/neurosci3020023 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Unilateral facial nerve palsy (FNP) is one of the most common cranial mononeuropathies. Among rare etiologies, neurosarcoidosis (NS) can cause bilateral involvement (both recurring and simultaneous) only in 15% to 25% of cases. The rarity of this systemic disease and its clinical heterogeneity, [...] Read more.
Unilateral facial nerve palsy (FNP) is one of the most common cranial mononeuropathies. Among rare etiologies, neurosarcoidosis (NS) can cause bilateral involvement (both recurring and simultaneous) only in 15% to 25% of cases. The rarity of this systemic disease and its clinical heterogeneity, due to granulomatous inflammation that may affect many anatomic substrates, frequently make the diagnosis a real challenge for the clinician. Based on laboratory and instrumental tests, a careful diagnostic algorithm must be adopted to avoid misdiagnosis and delay in treatment. We present a 52-year-old woman with an acute onset of unilateral right FNP, rapidly developing contralateral involvement (simultaneous bilateral FNP). Lung findings pointed towards a systemic disease, and then lymph node biopsy confirmed NS. Corticosteroid therapy was started. After three years of follow-up, the patient is still in remission with a low prednisone dose. We discuss the differential diagnosis of bilateral FNP, focusing on clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of NS. We have performed a literature revision, confirming bilateral FNP, outside Heerfordt syndrome, to be rare and sometimes represent the only neurological manifestation of NS onset. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in NeuroSci)
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Article
Improved Multimedia Object Processing for the Internet of Vehicles
Sensors 2022, 22(11), 4133; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22114133 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The combination of edge computing and deep learning helps make intelligent edge devices that can make several conditional decisions using comparatively secured and fast machine learning algorithms. An automated car that acts as the data-source node of an intelligent Internet of vehicles or [...] Read more.
The combination of edge computing and deep learning helps make intelligent edge devices that can make several conditional decisions using comparatively secured and fast machine learning algorithms. An automated car that acts as the data-source node of an intelligent Internet of vehicles or IoV system is one of these examples. Our motivation is to obtain more accurate and rapid object detection using the intelligent cameras of a smart car. The competent supervision camera of the smart automobile model utilizes multimedia data for real-time automation in real-time threat detection. The corresponding comprehensive network combines cooperative multimedia data processing, Internet of Things (IoT) fact handling, validation, computation, precise detection, and decision making. These actions confront real-time delays during data offloading to the cloud and synchronizing with the other nodes. The proposed model follows a cooperative machine learning technique, distributes the computational load by slicing real-time object data among analogous intelligent Internet of Things nodes, and parallel vision processing between connective edge clusters. As a result, the system increases the computational rate and improves accuracy through responsible resource utilization and active–passive learning. We achieved low latency and higher accuracy for object identification through real-time multimedia data objectification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Industrial Sensors)
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Article
Application of SiON Coatings in Sandstone Artifacts Conservation
Coatings 2022, 12(6), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings12060748 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
For a long time, a large number of sandstone cultural relics have been exposed to the outdoors, and they are facing unprecedented threats. Curing perhydropolysilazane at varied pyrolysis times results in a series of SiON solids. Fourier transform infrared absorption spectroscopy (FTIR) results [...] Read more.
For a long time, a large number of sandstone cultural relics have been exposed to the outdoors, and they are facing unprecedented threats. Curing perhydropolysilazane at varied pyrolysis times results in a series of SiON solids. Fourier transform infrared absorption spectroscopy (FTIR) results show that the Si−H bond disappears at 2163 cm−1, and that the Si−O peaks at 460 cm−1, becoming stronger during the pyrolysis of Perhydropolysilazane (PHPS) to SiON solids. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results indicate a decrease in the proportion of N atoms from 22.71% to 3.38% and an increase in the proportion of O atoms from 59.74% to 69.1%, indicating a gradual production of SiO2 from perhydropolysilazane. To protect the sandstone, the SiON protective layer and the commonly used protective materials—acrylic resin and polydimethylsiloxane—are applied. When compared to sandstone treated with acrylic resin B72 and polydimethylsiloxane coatings, SiON-coated sandstone effectively reduces porosity and water absorption. Ageing tests have shown that the SiON-coated sandstone is effective in resisting crystalline damage from sodium sulfate. These thenardites can change shape during formation, allowing their widespread distribution in different locations in the sandstone. The surface thenardite of the SiON-treated samples was smaller than that of the polydimethylsiloxane and acrylic resin B72-treated samples, while the untreated samples were flaky with obvious dehydration characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Inorganic Thin Film Materials)
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Article
Picrasidine I Triggers Heme Oxygenase-1-Induced Apoptosis in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells via ERK and Akt Signaling Pathways
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(11), 6103; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23116103 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has a higher incidence in Taiwan than worldwide. Although it is a radiosensitive malignancy, cancer recurrence is still high in the advanced stages because of its ability to induce lymph node metastasis. Picrasidine I from Picrasma quassioides has been reported [...] Read more.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has a higher incidence in Taiwan than worldwide. Although it is a radiosensitive malignancy, cancer recurrence is still high in the advanced stages because of its ability to induce lymph node metastasis. Picrasidine I from Picrasma quassioides has been reported as a potential drug for targeting multiple signaling pathways. The present study aimed to explore the role of picrasidine I in the apoptosis of NPC cells. Our results show that picrasidine I induced cytotoxic effects in NPC cells and caused cell cycle arrest in the sub-G1, S, and G2/M phases. Western blot analysis further demonstrated that the modulation of apoptosis through the extrinsic and intrinsic pathways was involved in picrasidine I-induced cell death. Downregulation of the ERK1/2 and Akt signaling pathways was also found in picrasidine I-induced apoptosis. Additionally, the apoptosis array showed that picrasidine I significantly increased heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression, which could act as a critical molecule in picrasidine I-induced apoptosis in NPC cells. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets also revealed that the HMOX1 mRNA level (HO-1) is lower in patients with head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC) and NPC than in patients without cancer. Our study indicated that picrasidine I exerts anticancer effects in NPC by modulating HO-1 via the ERK and Akt signaling pathways. Full article
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Article
Differential Inflammatory Responses in Cultured Endothelial Cells Exposed to Two Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs) under a Pro-Inflammatory Condition
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(11), 6101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23116101 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers have been shown to possess anti-atherosclerotic properties, which may be related to the downregulation of inflammatory pathways in different cell types, including endothelial cells (ECs). However, whether different CLA isomers have different actions is not entirely clear, with [...] Read more.
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers have been shown to possess anti-atherosclerotic properties, which may be related to the downregulation of inflammatory pathways in different cell types, including endothelial cells (ECs). However, whether different CLA isomers have different actions is not entirely clear, with inconsistent reports to date. Furthermore, in cell culture studies, CLAs have often been used at fairly high concentrations. Whether lower concentrations of CLAs are able to affect EC responses is not clear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of two CLAs (cis-9, trans-11 (CLA9,11) and trans-10, cis-12 (CLA10,12)) on the inflammatory responses of ECs. ECs (EA.hy926 cells) were cultured under standard conditions and exposed to CLAs (1 to 50 μM) for 48 h. Then, the cells were cultured for a further 6 or 24 h with tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α, 1 ng/mL) as an inflammatory stimulant. ECs remained viable after treatments with 1 and 10 μM of each CLA, but not after treatment with 50 μM of CLA10,12. CLAs were incorporated into ECs in a concentration-dependent manner. CLA10,12 increased the levels of ICAM-1, IL-6, and RANTES in the culture medium, while CLA9,11 had null effects. Both CLAs (1 μM) decreased the appearance of NFκB1 mRNA, but only CLA9,11 maintained this downregulation at 10 μM. CLA10,12 had no effect on THP-1 cell adhesion to ECs while significantly decreasing the percentage of ECs expressing ICAM-1 and also levels of ICAM-1 expression per cell when used at 10 µM. Although CLA9,11 did not have any effect on ICAM-1 cell surface expression, it reduced THP-1 cell adhesion to the EA.hy926 cell monolayer at both concentrations. In summary, CLA10,12 showed some pro-inflammatory effects, while CLA9,11 exhibited null or anti-inflammatory effects. The results suggest that each CLA has different effects in ECs under a pro-inflammatory condition, highlighting the need to evaluate the effects of CLA isomers independently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipids: From the Structure, Function and Evolution to Applications)
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Article
Price Sensitivity of Fish Fed with Insect Meal: An Analysis on Italian Consumers
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6657; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116657 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The importance of aquaculture in reducing pressure on wild stocks in the seas and meeting the demand for fish worldwide has increased greatly in recent years. However, sustainability of the sector can be jeopardized by the incessant use of fish meal as the [...] Read more.
The importance of aquaculture in reducing pressure on wild stocks in the seas and meeting the demand for fish worldwide has increased greatly in recent years. However, sustainability of the sector can be jeopardized by the incessant use of fish meal as the main source of feed. For this reason, replacing, even partially, fish meal with other feeds such as insect meal is essential to make this sector more sustainable. However, this transition requires consumer acceptance of this innovation, which comes through price, one of the most powerful marketing tools affecting the evaluation of product alternatives (e.g., fish fed with traditional feed or insects) and the final purchase decision. The objective of this study is to explore the acceptable price and the limits of price thresholds of fish fed with insect meal using a direct measure of assessing consumers’ willingness to pay. In particular, the study uses the Price Sensitivity Meter (PSM) of Van Westendorp to evaluate the reaction of Italian consumers to the price of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) hypothetically fed with insect meal. The results showed a wide acceptable price range, an indifferent price point very close to the price of traditionally fed fish, and a high price stress factor. Consumers have shown considerable price sensitivity, which does not allow the additional costs arising from the use of this sustainable alternative feed to be passed on to them. Consumers with great subject knowledge showed major willingness to pay. The contribution of our study lies in providing detailed insights into the possible prices that consumers are willing to pay for sea bass fed with insect meal and thus on the product’s perceived quality, offering several implications for academics, practitioners, and policymakers. Full article
Article
Spatiotemporal Change Detection of Coastal Wetlands Using Multi-Band SAR Coherence and Synergetic Classification
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(11), 2610; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14112610 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) signal can penetrate clouds and some vegetation canopies in all weather, and therefore, provides an important measurement tool for change detection and sustainable development of coastal wetland environments and ecosystems. However, there are a few quantitative estimations about the [...] Read more.
Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) signal can penetrate clouds and some vegetation canopies in all weather, and therefore, provides an important measurement tool for change detection and sustainable development of coastal wetland environments and ecosystems. However, there are a few quantitative estimations about the spatiotemporal coherence change with multi-band SAR images in complex coastal wetland ecosystems of the Yellow River Delta (YRD). In this study, C-band Sentinel-1 and L-band ALOS-2 PALSAR data were used to detect the spatiotemporal distribution and change pattern of interferometric coherence in the coastal wetlands of the YRD. The results show that the temporal baseline has a greater impact on the interferometric coherence than the perpendicular baseline, especially for short wavelength C-band SAR. Furthermore, the OTSU algorithm was proven to be able to distinguish the changing regions. The coherence mean and standard deviation values of different land cover types varied significantly in different seasons, while the minimum and maximum coherence changes occurred in February and August, respectively. In addition, considering three classical machine learning algorithms, namely naive Bayes (NB), random forest (RF), and multilayer perceptron (MLP), we proposed a method of synergetic classification with SAR coherence, backscatter intensity, and optical images for coastal wetland classification. The multilayer perceptron algorithm performs the best in synergetic classification with an overall accuracy of 98.3%, which is superior to a single data source or the other two algorithms. In this article, we provide an alternative cost-effective method for coastal wetland change detection, which contributes to more accurate dynamic land cover classification and to an understanding of the response mechanism of land features to climate change and human activities. Full article
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Article
Risk Factors Associated with Defaulted Follow-Up and Sharp Injury Management among Health Care Workers in a Teaching Hospital in Northeastern Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116641 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Sharp injury is a serious occupational risk for healthcare workers (HCWs). This study aimed to determine the distribution and associated factors of sharp injury cases among HCWs working at a teaching hospital in northeastern Malaysia. This was a retrospective cohort study on all [...] Read more.
Sharp injury is a serious occupational risk for healthcare workers (HCWs). This study aimed to determine the distribution and associated factors of sharp injury cases among HCWs working at a teaching hospital in northeastern Malaysia. This was a retrospective cohort study on all reported sharp injury cases from 2015 to 2020. The secondary data were examined using descriptive and multiple logistic regression. Statistical significance was determined for associated factors of HCWs who did not attend immediate treatment after a sharp injury or any of the subsequent follow-up variables, with a p-value of less than 0.05. A total of 286 cases fulfilled the study criteria. The mean (SD) age of sharp injury was 29.4 (5.38) years. The overall defaulted rate for follow-up was 51.4%. Multiple logistic regression revealed a significant relationship between defaulted follow up on sharp injury management and job category as well as the type of device used. Being a doctor (Adj OR 2.37; 95% CI: 1.40, 4.03; p = 0.010) and those using other sharp instruments such as Coupland and drip sets (Adj OR 4.55; 95% CI: 1.59, 13.02; p = 0.005) had a higher odds to default follow up on sharp injury management. In conclusion, although there is a link between defaulting the follow-up and both the work category and the type of device that caused the injury, a deeper analysis is needed to uncover any additional factors and determine the appropriate intervention strategies to ensure follow up adherence. Full article
Article
Nitrogen Application and Dense Planting to Obtain High Yields from Maize
Agronomy 2022, 12(6), 1308; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12061308 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The rational application of nitrogen fertilizer and close planting are two important ways to obtain high yields and efficient growth from maize (Zea mays L.). This study utilized the maize varieties DengHai 618 and XianYu 335 as test materials from 2019 to [...] Read more.
The rational application of nitrogen fertilizer and close planting are two important ways to obtain high yields and efficient growth from maize (Zea mays L.). This study utilized the maize varieties DengHai 618 and XianYu 335 as test materials from 2019 to 2020 and the maize variety XianYu 335 as the test material in 2021. The planting densities were 7.5 × 104 plants ha−1 and 12.0 × 104 plants ha−1, respectively. Application rates of nitrogen within the range of 0–765 kg ha−1 per 45 kg ha−1 were considered the nitrogen application gradient. The results showed that as the nitrogen application rate increased, the yield of the maize increased at first and then tended to remain flat. Under conditions of 7.5 × 104 plants ha−1 density, the best yield was 17.6–20.2 t ha−1, and the required nitrogen application rate was 219–337 kg ha−1. Under conditions of 12.0 × 104 plants ha−1 density, the best yield was 18.7–21.9 t ha−1, and the required nitrogen application rate was 243–378 kg ha−1. With the increase in the nitrogen application rate, the dry matter weight showed a linear/platform relationship in each growth period. The best nitrogen application rate was obtained for dry matter accumulation in various stages by fitting the nitrogen application rate and dry matter accumulation in different stages. It is concluded that when the planting density was 7.5 × 104 plants ha−1, the recommended nitrogen application rate was 340 kg ha−1, and the distribution ratio of the nitrogen application rates before and after silking were 61.2% and 38.8%, respectively. When the planting density was 12.0 × 104 plants ha−1, the recommended nitrogen application rate was 380 kg ha−1, and the distribution rates before and after flowering were 65.8% and 34.2%, respectively. In summary, increasing planting density can improve maize yield, and the amount of nitrogen applied should be increased before flowering. Full article
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Article
Genome-Wide RNA Sequencing Analysis in Human Dermal Fibroblasts Exposed to Low-Dose Ultraviolet A Radiation
Genes 2022, 13(6), 974; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13060974 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation can pass through the epidermis and reach the dermal skin layer, contributing to photoaging, DNA damage, and photocarcinogenesis in dermal fibroblasts. High-dose UVA exposure induces erythema, whereas low-dose, long-term UVA exposure causes skin damage and cell senescence. Biomarkers for [...] Read more.
Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation can pass through the epidermis and reach the dermal skin layer, contributing to photoaging, DNA damage, and photocarcinogenesis in dermal fibroblasts. High-dose UVA exposure induces erythema, whereas low-dose, long-term UVA exposure causes skin damage and cell senescence. Biomarkers for evaluating damage caused by low-dose UVA in fibroblasts are lacking, making it difficult to develop therapeutic agents for skin aging and aging-associated diseases. We performed RNA-sequencing to investigate gene and pathway alterations in low-dose UVA-irradiated human skin-derived NB1RGB primary fibroblasts. Differentially expressed genes were identified and subjected to Gene Ontology and reactome pathway analysis, which revealed enrichment in genes in the senescence-associated secretory phenotype, apoptosis, respiratory electron transport, and transcriptional regulation by tumor suppressor p53 pathways. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein 7 (IGFBP7) showed the lowest p-value in RNA-sequencing analysis and was associated with the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Protein–protein interaction analysis revealed that Fos proto-oncogene had a high-confidence network with IGFBP7 as transcription factor of the IGFBP7 gene among SASP hit genes, which were validated using RT-qPCR. Because of their high sensitivity to low-dose UVA radiation, Fos and IGFBP7 show potential as biomarkers for evaluating the effect of low-dose UVA radiation on dermal fibroblasts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Natural Cyanobacteria Removers Obtained from Bio-Waste Date-Palm Leaf Stalks and Black Alder Cone-Like Flowers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116639 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
The impact of urbanization and modern agricultural practice has led to accelerated eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems, which has resulted in the massive development of cyanobacteria. Very often, in response to various environmental influences, cyanobacteria produce potentially carcinogenic cyanotoxins. Long-term human exposure to cyanotoxins, [...] Read more.
The impact of urbanization and modern agricultural practice has led to accelerated eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems, which has resulted in the massive development of cyanobacteria. Very often, in response to various environmental influences, cyanobacteria produce potentially carcinogenic cyanotoxins. Long-term human exposure to cyanotoxins, through drinking water as well as recreational water (i.e., rivers or lakes), can cause serious health consequences. In order to overcome this problem, this paper presents the synthesis of completely new activated carbons and their potential application in contaminated water treatment. The synthesis and characterization of new active carbon materials obtained from waste biomass, date-palm leaf stalks (P_AC) and black alder cone-like flowers (A_AC) of reliable physical and chemical characteristics were presented in this article. The commercial activated carbon (C_AC) was also examined for the purpose of comparisons with the obtained materials. The detailed characterization of materials was carried out by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), low-temperature N2 physisorption, and Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM). Preliminary analyzes of the adsorption capacities of all activated carbon materials were conducted on water samples from Aleksandrovac Lake (Southern part of Serbia), as a eutrophic lake, in order to remove Cyanobacteria from water. The results after 24 h of filtration showed removal efficiencies for P_AC, A_AC, and C_AC of 99.99%, 99.99% and 89.79%, respectively. Full article
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Article
Changes in the Microbiological Properties of Soils along the Gradient of the Altitude Zone of Mount Kivaka in Eastern Fennoscandia, Russia
Forests 2022, 13(6), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13060849 (registering DOI) - 29 May 2022
Abstract
This study was conducted on the territory of the national park Paanayarvi, located in the taiga zone of the European north. The altitude zone common in the territory of the national park is up to 350 m above sea level. The purpose of [...] Read more.
This study was conducted on the territory of the national park Paanayarvi, located in the taiga zone of the European north. The altitude zone common in the territory of the national park is up to 350 m above sea level. The purpose of this work is to study the microbiological and biochemical properties of soils formed under conditions of a gradient of altitude zonation. This work was performed for the first time in this territory. Based on the fatty acid composition of the cell walls of microorganisms, the composition and structure of the microbial community were determined by chemato-mass spectrometry. The dominant microbocenosis of soils of undisturbed territories was revealed. Changes in prokaryotes and microscopic fungi in the gradient of the altitude zone occur in different directions, which is consistent with the work of other researchers. The results suggest that the formation of microbocenosis of soils located in different conditions of the phytocenotic environment depends on the location of the site relative to the height. The latter determines the flow of solar energy into the ecosystem and the hydrothermal regime of soils. The data obtained can be used in monitoring global climate changes, will become the basis for the formation of a general conceptual basis for the functioning of microbial communities of soils of low-mountain landscapes. Full article
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