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Open AccessArticle
The Limitations of an Air-Oxidation Breakaway Model to Predict a Zirconium Fire in a Spent Nuclear Fuel Pool Accident
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6364; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226364 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The OECD/NEA Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) project was conducted to investigate consequences of spent nuclear fuel pool accident scenarios. From the project, it was observed that cladding temperature could abruptly increase at a certain point and the cladding was completely oxidized. This phenomenon [...] Read more.
The OECD/NEA Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) project was conducted to investigate consequences of spent nuclear fuel pool accident scenarios. From the project, it was observed that cladding temperature could abruptly increase at a certain point and the cladding was completely oxidized. This phenomenon was called a “zirconium fire”. This zirconium fire is one of the crucial concerns for spent fuel pool safety under a postulated loss of coolant accident scenario, since it would lead to an uncontrolled mass release of fission products into the environment. To capture this critical phenomenon, an air-oxidation breakaway model has been implemented in the MELCOR code. This study examines this air-oxidation breakaway model by comparing the SFP project test data with a series of MELCOR code sensitivity calculation results. The air-oxidation model parameters are slightly altered to investigate their sensitivities on the occurrence of the zirconium fire. Through such sensitivity analysis, limitations of the air-oxidation breakaway model are identified, and needs for model improvement is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Selected Predictors of the Sense of Intimacy in Relationships of Young Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224447 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The main research objective of this study was seeking the predictive role of closeness to parents, attachment, identity style, identity commitment, type of relationship, and having children in intimacy among young women and men. Many studies indicate differences in the level of engagement, [...] Read more.
The main research objective of this study was seeking the predictive role of closeness to parents, attachment, identity style, identity commitment, type of relationship, and having children in intimacy among young women and men. Many studies indicate differences in the level of engagement, communication, and satisfaction in relationships. The study group comprised 227 people, including 114 women (M = 29.99; SD = 4.36), and 113 men (M = 30.00; SD = 4.33). A total of 40% of the subjects were married, and the remaining 60% subjects were in informal relationships; 101 people had children and the other individuals were childless. The following instruments were used: The Miller Social Intimacy Scale, questionnaires to assess closeness and attachment, and the Identity Style Inventory. The significance of the differences and the stepwise regression analysis were performed. The results of the study demonstrated a higher level of intimacy in a relationship with a partner among women than men. The nature of a relationship does not matter to the sense of intimacy. However, closeness to parents during childhood and adolescence, the model of interpersonal relations, and the identity style are predictors of intimacy in a relationship. The study results can be used in creating preventive and educational programs focused on family life and satisfied relationships. Full article
Open AccessArticle
How Can Organisations and Business Models Lead to a More Sustainable Society? A Framework from a Systematic Review of the Industry 4.0
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6363; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226363 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The concept of Industry 4.0 has been mainly addressed by the current literature from a technological perspective, overlooking the organisational and even ethical challenges related to this recent paradigm. In order to become ‘4.0 compliant’, an enterprise must adapt its organisation and business [...] Read more.
The concept of Industry 4.0 has been mainly addressed by the current literature from a technological perspective, overlooking the organisational and even ethical challenges related to this recent paradigm. In order to become ‘4.0 compliant’, an enterprise must adapt its organisation and business approaches, and these changes may lead to a significant impact on sustainability. Therefore, we performed a systematic literature review to investigate the most recent Industry 4.0 research streams by adopting a multi-perspective approach. This analysis led to collect insights on the key traits of an Enterprise 4.0: integration, decomposed hierarchy, flexibility, and autonomy. Each of these keywords involves work environments, business and organisational models, and educational approaches, which constitute the key traits of the novel framework proposed in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business Models and Common Goods)
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Open AccessReview
DGKα in Neutrophil Biology and Its Implications for Respiratory Diseases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225673 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) play a key role in phosphoinositide signaling by removing diacylglycerol and generating phosphatidic acid. Besides the well-documented role of DGKα and DGKζ as negative regulators of lymphocyte responses, a robust body of literature points to those enzymes, and specifically DGKα, [...] Read more.
Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) play a key role in phosphoinositide signaling by removing diacylglycerol and generating phosphatidic acid. Besides the well-documented role of DGKα and DGKζ as negative regulators of lymphocyte responses, a robust body of literature points to those enzymes, and specifically DGKα, as crucial regulators of leukocyte function. Upon neutrophil stimulation, DGKα activation is necessary for migration and a productive response. The role of DGKα in neutrophils is evidenced by its aberrant behavior in juvenile periodontitis patients, which express an inactive DGKα transcript. Together with in vitro experiments, this suggests that DGKs may represent potential therapeutic targets for disorders where inflammation, and neutrophils in particular, plays a major role. In this paper we focus on obstructive respiratory diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but also rare genetic diseases such as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Indeed, the biological role of DGKα is understudied outside the T lymphocyte field. The recent wave of research aiming to develop novel and specific inhibitors as well as KO mice will allow a better understanding of DGK’s role in neutrophilic inflammation. Better knowledge and pharmacologic tools may also allow DGK to move from the laboratory bench to clinical trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends of Neutrophil Biology)
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Open AccessArticle
[b]-Annulated Halogen-Substituted Indoles as Potential DYRK1A Inhibitors
Molecules 2019, 24(22), 4090; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24224090 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Since hyperactivity of the protein kinase DYRK1A is linked to several neurodegenerative disorders, DYRK1A inhibitors have been suggested as potential therapeutics for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Most published inhibitors to date suffer from low selectivity against related kinases or from unfavorable physicochemical [...] Read more.
Since hyperactivity of the protein kinase DYRK1A is linked to several neurodegenerative disorders, DYRK1A inhibitors have been suggested as potential therapeutics for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Most published inhibitors to date suffer from low selectivity against related kinases or from unfavorable physicochemical properties. In order to identify DYRK1A inhibitors with improved properties, a series of new chemicals based on [b]-annulated halogenated indoles were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for biological activity. Analysis of crystal structures revealed a typical type-I binding mode of the new inhibitor 4-chlorocyclohepta[b]indol-10(5H)-one in DYRK1A, exploiting mainly shape complementarity for tight binding. Conversion of the DYRK1A inhibitor 8-chloro-1,2,3,9-tetrahydro-4H-carbazol-4-one into a corresponding Mannich base hydrochloride improved the aqueous solubility but abrogated kinase inhibitory activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indole Derivatives: Synthesis and Application)
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Open AccessArticle
Boundary Characteristic Bernstein Polynomials Based Solution for Free Vibration of Euler Nanobeams
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs3040099 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper is concerned with the free vibration problem of nanobeams based on Euler–Bernoulli beam theory. The governing equations for the vibration of Euler nanobeams are considered based on Eringen’s nonlocal elasticity theory. In this investigation, computationally efficient Bernstein polynomials have been used [...] Read more.
This paper is concerned with the free vibration problem of nanobeams based on Euler–Bernoulli beam theory. The governing equations for the vibration of Euler nanobeams are considered based on Eringen’s nonlocal elasticity theory. In this investigation, computationally efficient Bernstein polynomials have been used as shape functions in the Rayleigh-Ritz method. It is worth mentioning that Bernstein polynomials make the computation efficient to obtain the frequency parameters. Different classical boundary conditions are considered to address the titled problem. Convergence of frequency parameters is also tested by increasing the number of Bernstein polynomials in the simulation. Further, comparison studies of the results with existing literature are done after fixing the number of polynomials required from the said convergence study. This shows the efficacy and powerfulness of the method. The novelty of using the Bernstein polynomials is addressed in detail and solutions obtained by this method provide a better representation of the vibration behavior of Euler nanobeams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Journal of Composites Science in 2019)
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Open AccessArticle
Otolaryngologists and the Early Diagnosis of Mucopolysaccharidoses: A Cross-Sectional Study
Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040187 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of inborn errors of metabolism with an aggressive and usually fatal course. Therefore, early treatment is essential because the involvement of head and neck structures is almost always present in MPS. Our study aimed to retrospectively assess—via a [...] Read more.
Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are a group of inborn errors of metabolism with an aggressive and usually fatal course. Therefore, early treatment is essential because the involvement of head and neck structures is almost always present in MPS. Our study aimed to retrospectively assess—via a chart review and a survey of caregivers—the history of ear, nose and throat (ENT) symptoms, the number of otolaryngology visits prior to diagnosis, and whether otolaryngologists diagnosed the disease in a cohort of MPS patients followed at an academic medical center. Twenty-three patients were evaluated. Age at diagnosis ranged from 0.2 to 33.0 years (median, 3.2 years). Prior to being diagnosed with MPS, 20/23 (87%) patients presented with at least one episode of otalgia, airway disorder, sleep disturbance, speech delay or suspected hearing loss. One patient had an adenotonsillectomy with paracentesis of tympanic membranes. Ten of the 23 patients (43%) were seen by an otolaryngologist before the diagnosis of MPS, none of which had the disease suspected during these visits. Notwithstanding limitations, our results suggest that increased awareness of MPS among otolaryngologists may allow for earlier diagnosis and better management of these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mucopolysaccharidoses: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Reddish-Orange Luminescence from BaF2:Eu3+ Fluoride Nanocrystals Dispersed in Sol-Gel Materials
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223735 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Nanocrystalline transparent BaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic materials emitting reddish-orange light were fabricated using a low-temperature sol-gel method. Several experimental techniques were used to verify structural transformation from precursor xerogels to sol-gel glass-ceramic materials containing fluoride nanocrystals. Thermal degradation of xerogels was analyzed [...] Read more.
Nanocrystalline transparent BaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic materials emitting reddish-orange light were fabricated using a low-temperature sol-gel method. Several experimental techniques were used to verify structural transformation from precursor xerogels to sol-gel glass-ceramic materials containing fluoride nanocrystals. Thermal degradation of xerogels was analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis (TG) and differential scanning calorimetry method (DSC). The presence of BaF2 nanocrystals dispersed in sol-gel materials was confirmed by the X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In order to detect structural changes in silica network during annealing process, the infrared spectroscopy (IR-ATR) was carried out. In particular, luminescence spectra of Eu3+ and their decays were examined in detail. Some spectroscopic parameters of Eu3+ ions in glass-ceramics containing BaF2 nanocrystals were determined and compared to the values obtained for precursor xerogels. It was observed, that the intensities of two main red and orange emission bands corresponding to the 5D07F2 electric-dipole transition (ED) and the 5D07F1 magnetic-dipole (MD) transition are changed significantly during transformation from xerogels to nanocrystalline BaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic materials. The luminescence decay analysis clearly indicates that the measured lifetime 5D0 (Eu3+) considerably enhanced in nanocrystalline BaF2:Eu3+ glass-ceramic materials compared to precursor xerogels. The evident changes in luminescence spectra and their decays suggest the successful migration of Eu3+ ions from amorphous silica network to low-phonon BaF2 nanocrystals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Resistive Switching and Charge Transport in Laser-Fabricated Graphene Oxide Memristors: A Time Series and Quantum Point Contact Modeling Approach
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223734 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
This work investigates the sources of resistive switching (RS) in recently reported laser-fabricated graphene oxide memristors by means of two numerical analysis tools linked to the Time Series Statistical Analysis and the use of the Quantum Point Contact Conduction model. The application of [...] Read more.
This work investigates the sources of resistive switching (RS) in recently reported laser-fabricated graphene oxide memristors by means of two numerical analysis tools linked to the Time Series Statistical Analysis and the use of the Quantum Point Contact Conduction model. The application of both numerical procedures points to the existence of a filament connecting the electrodes that may be interrupted at a precise point within the conductive path, resulting in resistive switching phenomena. These results support the existing model attributing the memristance of laser-fabricated graphene oxide memristors to the modification of a conductive path stoichiometry inside the graphene oxide. Full article
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Open AccessLetter
It’s Time to Replace the Term “Heavy Metals” with “Potentially Toxic Elements” When Reporting Environmental Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224446 (registering DOI) - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
Even if the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is relatively well defined, some controversial terms are still in use. Indeed, the term “heavy metal” is a common term used for decades in the natural sciences, and even more in environmental sciences, particularly in [...] Read more.
Even if the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is relatively well defined, some controversial terms are still in use. Indeed, the term “heavy metal” is a common term used for decades in the natural sciences, and even more in environmental sciences, particularly in studies of pollution impacts. As the use of the term appears to have increased, we highlight the relevance of the use of the term “Potentially Toxic Element(s)”, which needs more explicit endorsement, and we illustrate the chemical elements that need to be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel System for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Screening in Newborns: Japanese Pilot Study
Int. J. Neonatal Screen. 2019, 5(4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijns5040041 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by SMN1 gene deletion/mutation. The drug nusinersen modifies SMN2 mRNA splicing, increasing the production of the full-length SMN protein. Recent studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of nusinersen in patients with SMA, particularly when [...] Read more.
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder caused by SMN1 gene deletion/mutation. The drug nusinersen modifies SMN2 mRNA splicing, increasing the production of the full-length SMN protein. Recent studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of nusinersen in patients with SMA, particularly when treated in early infancy. Because nusinersen treatment can alter disease trajectory, there is a strong rationale for newborn screening. In the current study, we validated the accuracy of a new system for detecting SMN1 deletion (Japanese patent application No. 2017-196967, PCT/JP2018/37732) using dried blood spots (DBS) from 50 patients with genetically confirmed SMA and 50 controls. Our system consists of two steps: (1) targeted pre-amplification of SMN genes by direct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and (2) detection of SMN1 deletion by real-time modified competitive oligonucleotide priming-PCR (mCOP-PCR) using the pre-amplified products. Compared with PCR analysis results of freshly collected blood samples, our system exhibited a sensitivity of 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.96–1.00) and a specificity of 1.00 (95% CI 0.96–1.00). We also conducted a prospective SMA screening study using DBS from 4157 Japanese newborns. All DBS tested negative, and there were no screening failures. Our results indicate that the new system can be reliably used in SMA newborn screening. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Detection of Fusarium Species in Clinical Specimens by Probe-Based Real-Time PCR
J. Fungi 2019, 5(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5040105 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
The mold Fusarium is a ubiquitous fungus causing plant, animal and human infections. In humans, Fusarium spp. are the major cause of eye infections in patients wearing contact lenses or after local trauma. Systemic infections by Fusarium spp. mainly occur in immunosuppressed patients [...] Read more.
The mold Fusarium is a ubiquitous fungus causing plant, animal and human infections. In humans, Fusarium spp. are the major cause of eye infections in patients wearing contact lenses or after local trauma. Systemic infections by Fusarium spp. mainly occur in immunosuppressed patients and can disseminate throughout the human body. Due to high levels of resistance to antifungals a fast identification of the causative agent is an urgent need. By using a probe-based real-time PCR assay specific for the genus Fusarium we analysed several different clinical specimens detecting Fusarium spp. commonly found in clinical samples in Germany. Also, a large collection of lung fluid samples of haematological patients was analysed (n = 243). In these, two samples (0.8%) were reproducibly positive, but only one could be confirmed by sequencing. For this case of probable invasive fungal disease (IFD) culture was positive for Fusarium species. Here we describe a rapid, probe-based real-time PCR assay to specifically detect DNA from a broad range of Fusarium species and its application to clinically relevant specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Diagnostics of Fungal Infections)
Open AccessReview
A Survey on Empirical Findings about Spillovers in Cryptocurrency Markets
J. Risk Financial Manag. 2019, 12(4), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm12040170 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
This paper provides a systematic survey on return and volatility spillovers of cryptocurrencies based on the empirical results of relevant academic literature. Evidence reveals that Bitcoin is the most influential among digital coins mainly as a transmitter toward digital currencies but also as [...] Read more.
This paper provides a systematic survey on return and volatility spillovers of cryptocurrencies based on the empirical results of relevant academic literature. Evidence reveals that Bitcoin is the most influential among digital coins mainly as a transmitter toward digital currencies but also as a receiver of spillovers from virtual currencies and alternative assets. Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple present the most significant interlinkages with Bitcoin. Return spillovers are more pronounced but volatility spillovers often present a bi-directional character. Volatility shock transmission is detected among Bitcoin and national currencies, while economic policy uncertainty is not influential. This survey provides useful guidance in the hotly-debated issue of reform and decentralization of financial systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Communication on the Science-Policy Interface: An Overview of Conceptual Models
Publications 2019, 7(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/publications7040064 (registering DOI) - 12 Nov 2019
Abstract
This article focuses on scholarly discourse on the science-policy interface, and in particular on questions regarding how this discourse can be understood in the course of history and which lessons we can learn. We aim to structure the discourse, show kinships of different [...] Read more.
This article focuses on scholarly discourse on the science-policy interface, and in particular on questions regarding how this discourse can be understood in the course of history and which lessons we can learn. We aim to structure the discourse, show kinships of different concepts, and contextualize these concepts. For the twentieth century we identify three major phases that describe interactions on the science policy interface: the “linear phase” (1960s–1970s) when science informed policy-making in a unidirectional manner, the “interactive phase” (1970–2000s) when both sides found themselves in a continuous interaction, and the “embedded phase” (starting from the 2000s) when citizens’ voices come to be involved within this dialogue more explicitly. We show that the communicative relationship between science and policy-making has become more complex over time with an increasing number of actors involved. We argue that better skill-building and education can help to improve communication within the science-policy interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Third Mission and Societal Impact)
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