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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Energy Consumption in Different European Cities: The Adaptive Comfort Control Implemented Model (ACCIM) Considering Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) Scenarios
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041513 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have set various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, through which the evolution of the temperature of the planet can be estimated throughout the 21st century. The reduction of the emissions from the different activities carried out by [...] Read more.
Reports of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have set various greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, through which the evolution of the temperature of the planet can be estimated throughout the 21st century. The reduction of the emissions from the different activities carried out by mankind is crucial to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. One of the most significant activities is users’ behaviour within buildings, particularly the use of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning systems. Modifying users’ behaviour patterns to guarantee acceptable thermal conditions inside buildings could lead to considerable energy saving percentages, and adaptive thermal comfort models could be an opportunity to achieve important savings. For this reason, this study analyzes the potential to apply adaptive thermal comfort models to use artificial air-conditioning systems by modifying setpoint temperatures. The analysis was conducted in five major European cities (Barcelona, Berlin, Bern, Rome, and Vienna) and in five climate change scenarios in the year 2050. The results showed that, in general, the energy saving achieved by adaptive strategies was larger in the cities with a greater cooling demand. Also, in both Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) considered, the energy saving were decreased in the cities of Barcelona and Rome, with values lower than those of the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) scenarios considered, whereas in the cities of Berlin, Bern, and Vienna, the saving in the RCP scenarios is greater than those in the other scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact Assessment of Climate Change on Buildings)
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Open AccessArticle
Nutrients, Antinutrients, Phenolic Composition, and Antioxidant Activity of Common Bean Cultivars and their Potential for Food Applications
Antioxidants 2020, 9(2), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9020186 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Phaseolus vulgaris L. is the most commonly consumed legume in the world, given its high vegetable protein content, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant properties. It also represents one of the most sustainable, low-carbon and sources of food available at present to man. This study [...] Read more.
Phaseolus vulgaris L. is the most commonly consumed legume in the world, given its high vegetable protein content, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant properties. It also represents one of the most sustainable, low-carbon and sources of food available at present to man. This study aims to identify the nutrients, antinutrients, phenolic composition, and antioxidant profile of 10 common bean cultivars (Arikara yellow, butter, cranberry, red kidney, navy, pinto, black, brown eyed, pink eyed, and tarrestre) from two harvest years, thereby assessing the potential of each cultivar for specific applications in the food industry. Navy and pink eyed beans showed higher potential for enrichment of foodstuffs and gluten-free products due to their higher protein and amino acid contents. Additionally, red kidney, cranberry and Arikara yellow beans had the highest content of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties, which can act as functional ingredients in food products, thus bringing health benefits. Our study highlights the potential of using specific bean cultivars in the development of nutrient-enriched food and as functional ingredients in diets designed for disease prevention and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Synthetic Antioxidants)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Graphene Oxide Reinforcing Genipin Crosslinked Chitosan-Gelatin Blend Films
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020189 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
This study was targeted towards the synthesis and characterization of new chitosan–gelatin biocomposite films reinforced with graphene oxide and crosslinked with genipin. The composites’ mode of structuration was characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, while morphology and topography were investigated [...] Read more.
This study was targeted towards the synthesis and characterization of new chitosan–gelatin biocomposite films reinforced with graphene oxide and crosslinked with genipin. The composites’ mode of structuration was characterized by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, while morphology and topography were investigated by scanning electron microscopy, nano-computer tomography and profilometry. Eventually, thermal stability was evaluated through thermogravimetrical analysis, mechanical properties assessment was carried out to detect potential improvements as a result of graphene oxide (GO) addition and in vitro enzyme degradation was performed to discern the most promising formulations for the maturation of the study towards in vivo assays. In accordance with similar works, results indicated the possibility of using GO as an agent for adjusting films’ roughness, chemical stability and polymer structuration. The enzymatic stability of chitosan–gelatin (CHT-GEL) films was also improved by genipin (GEN) crosslinking and GO supplementation, with the best results being obtained for CHT-GEL-GEN and CHT-GEL-GEN-GO3 (crosslinked formulation with 3 wt.% GO). Yet, contrary to previous reports, no great enhancement of CHT-GEN-GEL-GO thermal performances was obtained by the incorporation of GO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Polymer/Graphene Composite for Bio-Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Financial Development on Energy Consumption: Worldwide Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041428 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the influence of overall financial development and its components on energy consumption using the panel data of 120 countries and the generalized method of moments (GMM). By dividing the sample into developed and developing countries, we further examined [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the influence of overall financial development and its components on energy consumption using the panel data of 120 countries and the generalized method of moments (GMM). By dividing the sample into developed and developing countries, we further examined the national differences of the impact of financial development on energy consumption. The empirical results indicate that the overall financial development significantly positively impacts energy consumption from a worldwide perspective, and its two components (financial institution and the financial market) have the same effect. The analysis of national differences indicates that the financial development also positively impacts energy consumption in developing countries but with no obvious effect in developed countries. The results also suggest that financial development cannot be used to restrain the increase in energy consumption from the global perspective, and policymakers in developing countries must balance the relationship between the development of the financial sector and energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
Open AccessArticle
The Elusive Thomson Effect in Thermoelectric Devices. Experimental Investigation from 363 K to 213 K on Various Peltier Modules
Metals 2020, 10(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10020291 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
At steady state, in the governing equation of one-stage thermoelectric cooler, the heat resulting from Fourier conduction is balanced by heat generation due to the Joule and Thomson effects inside semiconductors. Since the heat flux observed at the junction of a semiconductor, r [...] Read more.
At steady state, in the governing equation of one-stage thermoelectric cooler, the heat resulting from Fourier conduction is balanced by heat generation due to the Joule and Thomson effects inside semiconductors. Since the heat flux observed at the junction of a semiconductor, r pair includes the Peltier effect and the Fourier heat flux caused by both the aforementioned contributions, the Thomson effect is easily masked by the Joule heat, which makes it elusive. With the aim of highlighting the contribution of the Thomson effect, measurements were carried out in the temperature range from 363 K to 213 K on different Peltier modules. The temperature dependence of the Seebeck and Thomson coefficients was evaluated as well as the electrical resistivity, and thermal conductivity of the Peltier modules examined. The results obtained show that the temperature dependence of the thermoelectric properties can reduce the cooling capacity of the Peltier module compared to what is declared in the technical datasheets of the commercial devices. The analyses allow us to conclude that an increase in the Thomson effect could have a positive effect on the performance of the Peltier only if it were possible to reduce the Joule contribution simultaneously. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoelectric Compounds: Processing, Properties and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Hemoglobin A1c Levels Modify Associations between Dietary Acid Load and Breast Cancer Recurrence
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020578 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: Metabolic acidosis promotes cancer metastasis. No prospective studies have examined the association between dietary acid load and breast cancer recurrence among breast cancer survivors, who are susceptible to metabolic acidosis. Hyperglycemia promotes cancer progression and acid formation; however, researchers have not examined [...] Read more.
Background: Metabolic acidosis promotes cancer metastasis. No prospective studies have examined the association between dietary acid load and breast cancer recurrence among breast cancer survivors, who are susceptible to metabolic acidosis. Hyperglycemia promotes cancer progression and acid formation; however, researchers have not examined whether hyperglycemia can modify the association between dietary acid load and breast cancer recurrence. Methods: We studied 3081 early-stage breast cancer survivors enrolled in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living study who provided dietary information through 24-h recalls at baseline and during follow-up and had measurements of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) at baseline. We assessed dietary acid load using two common dietary acid load scores, potential renal acid load (PRAL) score and net endogenous acid production (NEAP) score. Results: After an average of 7.3 years of follow-up, dietary acid load was positively associated with recurrence when baseline HbA1c levels were ≥ 5.6% (median level) and ≥5.7% (pre-diabetic cut-point). In the stratum with HbA1c ≥ 5.6%, comparing the highest to the lowest quartile of dietary acid load, the multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio was 2.15 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-3.48) for PRAL and was 2.31 (95% CI 1.42-3.74) for NEAP. No associations were observed in the stratum with HbA1c levels were <5.6%. P-values for interactions were 0.01 for PRAL and 0.05 for NEAP. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated for the first time that even at or above normal to high HbA1c levels, dietary acid load was associated with increased risk of breast cancer recurrence among breast cancer survivors. Impacts: Our study provides strong evidence for developing specific dietary acid load guidelines based on HbA1c levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutritional Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle
Zinc Burden Evokes Copper Deficiency in the Hypoalbuminemic Hemodialysis Patients
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020577 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Background: Recent research has focused on the roles of trace minerals such as zinc and copper. In 2017, oral zinc acetate was approved to treat zinc deficiency, and the next year, the Japanese Society for Clinical Nutrition developed the guidelines for diagnosis and [...] Read more.
Background: Recent research has focused on the roles of trace minerals such as zinc and copper. In 2017, oral zinc acetate was approved to treat zinc deficiency, and the next year, the Japanese Society for Clinical Nutrition developed the guidelines for diagnosis and treatment for zinc deficiency. Accordingly, hemodialysis patients began receiving zinc acetate when zinc deficiency was diagnosed. However, studies regarding the values of zinc and copper in hemodialysis patients are extremely poor, thus it remains unclear if the guidelines for healthy subjects can be applied to hemodialysis patients. Methods: We conducted a descriptive study, in which 132 patients were subjected to simply examine serum zinc concentration and its association with copper levels in hemodialysis patients (N = 65) versus healthy individuals attending a routine check-up (control group; N = 67) in our hospital. Analyses were performed with BellCurve for Excel (Social Survey Research Information Co., Ltd. Tokyo, Japan). Results: The distribution of zinc level in the hemodialysis group was distinct from that in the control group (P < 0.001). The zinc level was correlated with serum albumin concentration. Zinc concentration was also negatively correlated with serum copper level in both groups. In the hemodialysis group, the upper limit of zinc to avoid copper deficiency was 109.7 μg/dL, and the safety upper limit was 78.3 μg/dL. Conclusions: Hemodialysis patients exhibited a lower level of zinc concentration compared to normal healthy subjects. Since albumin binds to zinc as a carrier, low zinc levels could be attributed to lower level of serum albumin. Importantly, zinc and copper levels were inversely correlated, thus administration of oral zinc acetate could increase a risk for copper deficiency. It might be better to check both zinc and copper values monthly after prescribing zinc acetate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Environmental Regulation, Technological Innovation, and Export Competitiveness: An Empirical Study Based on China’s Manufacturing Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041427 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
A current and universal challenge, particularly in developing nations, is the establishment of effective environmental regulation policies that protect the ecological environment without adversely affecting the international competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing industry. To deal with this dilemma, this study investigates the export [...] Read more.
A current and universal challenge, particularly in developing nations, is the establishment of effective environmental regulation policies that protect the ecological environment without adversely affecting the international competitiveness of the domestic manufacturing industry. To deal with this dilemma, this study investigates the export competitiveness of China’s manufacturing industry from the viewpoint of export value added. The Porter hypothesis is applied for an empirical investigation of the effect of environmental regulation on export competitiveness and to determine the presence of intra-industry heterogeneity. Furthermore, this study seeks to understand the mechanisms through which environmental regulation affects export competitiveness by exploring the two main approaches to technological innovation. The findings reveal that environmental regulation has a promotion effect of approximately 2% on the export competitiveness of China’s manufacturing industry; however, this effect is non-linear and displays a “U-shaped” tendency, indicating that certain prerequisites must be fulfilled to validate the Porter hypothesis. In addition, the effect of environmental regulation displays significant intra-industry heterogeneity, which is evident primarily in heavily polluting sub-industries and to a lesser extent in moderately polluting sub-industries but insignificant in lightly polluting sub-industries. Environmental regulation also differs significantly in the mechanisms through which it affects different approaches to technological innovation. Independent research and development is affected by environmental regulation through the compliance cost effect, which limits export competitiveness, while technology introduction is affected by the innovation offset effect, which favors export competitiveness. These findings offer political implications for the sustainable development of the ecological environment and foreign trade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Remediation and Management)
Open AccessArticle
Late Quaternary Tectonic Activity of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust, Friulian Plain, NE Italy
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020084 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
The NW-SE trending Udine-Buttrio Thrust is a partly blind fault that affects the Friulian plain southeast of Udine in NE Italy. It is part of a wider fault system that accommodates the northward motion of the Adriatic plate. Although seismic reflection data and [...] Read more.
The NW-SE trending Udine-Buttrio Thrust is a partly blind fault that affects the Friulian plain southeast of Udine in NE Italy. It is part of a wider fault system that accommodates the northward motion of the Adriatic plate. Although seismic reflection data and morphological evidence show that the fault was active during the Quaternary, comparably little is known about its tectonic activity. We used high-resolution digital elevation models to investigate the surface expression of the fault. Measured vertical surface offsets show significant changes along strike with uplift rates varying between 0 and 0.5 mm/yr. We then analyze a topographic scarp near the village of Manzano in more detail. Field mapping and geophysical prospections (Georadar and Electrical Resistivity Tomography) were used to image the subsurface geometry of the fault. We found vertical offsets of 1–3 m in Natisone River terraces younger than 20 ka. The geophysical data allowed the identification of deformation of the fluvial sediments, supporting the idea that the topographic scarp is a tectonic feature and that the terraces have been uplifted systematically over time. Our findings fit the long-term behaviour of the Udine-Buttrio Thrust. We estimate a post-glacial vertical uplift rate of 0.08–0.17 mm/yr recorded by the offset terraces. Our results shed light on the Late Quaternary behaviour of this thrust fault in the complicated regional tectonic setting and inform about its hitherto overlooked possible seismic hazard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seismic Sequence in Mediterranean Region)
Open AccessReview
Oral Health and Molecular Aspects of Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma Patients: A Systematic Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041426 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is one of the most common soft tissue sarcomas in adults. It occurs only occasionally in oral soft tissues, and knowledge about its characteristics is based on a limited number of cases reported in the literature. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma belongs [...] Read more.
Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is one of the most common soft tissue sarcomas in adults. It occurs only occasionally in oral soft tissues, and knowledge about its characteristics is based on a limited number of cases reported in the literature. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma belongs to the group of soft tissue sarcomas and makes up less than 10% of soft tissue sarcomas. For therapeutic purposes, complete exeresis of the lesion (macroscopic and microscopic) is performed because they have frequent recurrences. As for complementary therapy in addition to surgery, neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy have been shown to reduce the risk of death related to the disease. Often patients complain of a swelling that grows in a short period of time. It is quite common for patients to report trauma in the area, which is not the cause, but rather the event that allows diagnosis. The mass usually does not cause pain unless it compresses an adjacent nerve structure. The aim of this study is to systematically review the scientific literature in order to identify the most recent studies concerning malignant fibrous histiocytomas localized in oral soft tissues and report their main data. The main outcomes of this study concern the immunohistochemical, molecular, and clinical aspects of this pathology. A systematic review of articles in the electronic databases pubmed, Scopus, and Web of Science was performed. After the selection process, 11 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. The mean age of the patients was 50.8 years old. The lesions affected various parts of the oral cavity, showing predominantly storiform–pleomorphic patterns. All cases except one were treated with surgical resection and radiation therapy. Although some data emerged from this review, they remain limited to a few case reports. Further studies are necessary in order to standardize the approach to patients affected by oral malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Prevention and Management of Oral Healthcare)
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Open AccessArticle
Evidence for Dietary Agmatine Sulfate Effectiveness in Neuropathies Associated with Painful Small Fiber Neuropathy. A Pilot Open-Label Consecutive Case Series Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 576; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020576 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Peripheral neuropathies associated with painful small fiber neuropathy (SFN) are complex conditions, resistant to treatment with conventional medications. Previous clinical studies strongly support the use of dietary agmatine as a safe and effective treatment for neuropathic pain. Based on this evidence, we conducted [...] Read more.
Peripheral neuropathies associated with painful small fiber neuropathy (SFN) are complex conditions, resistant to treatment with conventional medications. Previous clinical studies strongly support the use of dietary agmatine as a safe and effective treatment for neuropathic pain. Based on this evidence, we conducted an open-label consecutive case series study to evaluate the effectiveness of agmatine in neuropathies associated with painful SFN (Study Registry: ClinicalTrials.gov, System Identifier: NCT01524666). Participants diagnosed with painful SFN and autonomic dysfunctions were treated with 2.67 g/day agmatine sulfate (AgmaSet® capsules containing G-Agmatine® brand of agmatine sulfate) for a period of 2 months. Before the beginning (baseline) and at the end of the treatment period, participants answered the established 12-item neuropathic pain questionnaire specifically developed to distinguish symptoms associated with neuropathy and to quantify their severity. Secondary outcomes included other treatment options and a safety assessment. Twelve patients were recruited, and 11 patients—8 diagnosed with diabetic neuropathy, two with idiopathic neuropathy and one with inflammatory neuropathy—completed the study. All patients showed improvement in neuropathic pain to a varied extent. The average decrease in pain intensity was 26.0 rating points, corresponding to a 46.4% reduction in overall pain (p < 0.00001). The results suggest that dietary agmatine sulfate has a significant effect in reducing neuropathic pain intensity associated with painful SFN resistant to treatment with conventional neuropathic pain medications. Larger randomized placebo-controlled studies are expected to establish agmatine sulfate as a preferred treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Nutrition in Neuropathic Pain and Headache)
Open AccessArticle
Excess Length of Acute Inpatient Stay Attributable to Acquisition of Hospital-Onset Gram-Negative Bloodstream Infection with and without Antibiotic Resistance: A Multistate Model Analysis
Antibiotics 2020, 9(2), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9020096 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Excess length of stay (LOS) is an important outcome when assessing the burden of nosocomial infection, but it can be subject to survival bias. We aimed to estimate the change in LOS attributable to hospital-onset (HO) Escherichia coli/Klebsiella spp. bacteremia using [...] Read more.
Excess length of stay (LOS) is an important outcome when assessing the burden of nosocomial infection, but it can be subject to survival bias. We aimed to estimate the change in LOS attributable to hospital-onset (HO) Escherichia coli/Klebsiella spp. bacteremia using multistate models to circumvent survival bias. We analyzed a cohort of all patients with HO E. coli/Klebsiella spp. bacteremia and matched uninfected control patients within the U.S. Veterans Health Administration System in 2003–2013. A multistate model was used to estimate the change in LOS as an effect of the intermediate state (HO-bacteremia). We stratified analyses by susceptibilities to fluoroquinolones (fluoroquinolone susceptible (FQ-S)/fluoroquinolone resistant (FQ-R)) and extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC susceptible (ESC-S)/ESC resistant (ESC-R)). Among the 5964 patients with HO bacteremia analyzed, 957 (16.9%) and 1638 (28.9%) patients had organisms resistant to FQ and ESC, respectively. Any HO E.coli/Klebsiella bacteremia was associated with excess LOS, and both FQ-R and ESC-R were associated with a longer LOS than susceptible strains, but the additional burdens attributable to resistance were small compared to HO bacteremia itself (FQ-S: 12.13 days vs. FQ-R: 12.94 days, difference: 0.81 days (95% CI: 0.56–1.05), p < 0.001 and ESC-S: 11.57 days vs. ESC-R: 16.56 days, difference: 4.99 days (95% CI: 4.75–5.24), p < 0.001). Accurate measurements of excess attributable LOS associated with resistance can help support the business case for infection control interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gram-Negative Bloodstream Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Male-Produced (−)-δ-Heptalactone, Pheromone of Fruit Fly Rhagoletis batava (Diptera: Tephritidae), a Sea Buckthorn Berries Pest
Insects 2020, 11(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020138 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
The plantation area of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is expanding in many European countries due to increasing demand for berries, thus creating suitable conditions for the rapid expansion of the fruit fly Rhagoletis batava, a pest of economic importance. To [...] Read more.
The plantation area of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) is expanding in many European countries due to increasing demand for berries, thus creating suitable conditions for the rapid expansion of the fruit fly Rhagoletis batava, a pest of economic importance. To decrease insecticide use, effective means for pest population monitoring are required, including the use of pheromones. Male fruit flies emit (-)-δ-heptalactone as revealed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of samples obtained using headspace methods. The two enantiomers of δ-heptalactone were synthesized using enantioselective synthesis. A gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection analysis of both stereoisomers revealed that only (-)-δ-heptalactone elicited electrophysiological responses, whereas no signal was registered to (+)-δ-heptalactone in fruit flies of either sex. In the field assay, traps baited with (-)-δ-heptalactone caught significantly more fruit flies compared with the unbaited traps. Our results are the first to demonstrate the efficacy of (-)-δ-heptalactone as a bait for trapping R. batava. As a behaviorally attractive compound to R. batava fruit flies of both sexes, (-)-δ-heptalactone is attributed to aggregation pheromones. This is the first report of an aggregation pheromone within the genus Rhagoletis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards an Assessment of the Ephemeral Gully Erosion Potential in Greece Using Google Earth
Water 2020, 12(2), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020603 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
Gully erosion may cause considerable soil losses and produce large volumes of sediment. The aim of this study was to perform a preliminary assessment on the presence of ephemeral gullies in Greece by sampling representative cultivated fields in 100 sites randomly distributed throughout [...] Read more.
Gully erosion may cause considerable soil losses and produce large volumes of sediment. The aim of this study was to perform a preliminary assessment on the presence of ephemeral gullies in Greece by sampling representative cultivated fields in 100 sites randomly distributed throughout the country. The almost 30-ha sampling surfaces were examined with visual interpretation of multi-temporal imagery from the online Google Earth for the period 2002–2019. In parallel, rill and sheet erosion signs, land uses, and presence of terraces and other anti-erosion features, were recorded within every sample. One hundred fifty-three ephemeral gullies were identified in total, inside 22 examined agricultural surfaces. The mean length of the gullies was 55.6 m, with an average slope degree of 9.7%. Vineyards showed the largest proportion of gullies followed by olive groves and arable land, while pastures exhibited limited presence of gullies. Spatial clusters of high gully severity were observed in the north and east of the country. In 77% of the surfaces with gullies, there were no terraces, although most of these surfaces were situated in slopes higher than 8%. It was the first time to use visual interpretation with Google Earth image time-series on a country scale producing a gully erosion inventory. Soil conservation practices such as contour farming and terraces could mitigate the risk of gully erosion in agricultural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effect of Hydrology on Soil Erosion)
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Open AccessArticle
An Exploration of Differences Between Deliberate Self-Harm with and without Suicidal Intent Amongst a Clinical Sample of Young People in Singapore: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041429 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
This study examined differences between young people with mental illness who engage in deliberate self-harm with and without suicidal intent, as well as socio-demographic and clinical factors that are related to the increased likelihood of suicide attempt amongst self-harming young people. A total [...] Read more.
This study examined differences between young people with mental illness who engage in deliberate self-harm with and without suicidal intent, as well as socio-demographic and clinical factors that are related to the increased likelihood of suicide attempt amongst self-harming young people. A total of 235 outpatients with mental illness who had engaged in deliberate self-harm were recruited from a tertiary psychiatric hospital in Singapore. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire which collected information on their socio-demographic background, self-harm history, diagnosis, depressive symptoms and childhood trauma. A total of 31.1% had reported a history of attempted suicide. Multiple logistic regression conducted found that engaging in self-harm ideation between 1 and 7 days (OR = 4.3, p = 0.30), and more than 1 week (OR = 10.5, p < 0.001) (versus no engagement in any self-harm ideation at all), were significantly associated with greater likelihood of attempted suicide. This study reports a relatively high prevalence rate of reported suicide attempts amongst young people with mental illness who engaged in self-harm. Identifying self-harm behaviors and treating it early could be the first step in managing potential suicidal behaviors among those who engage in self-harm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Trends in Mental Health Research in Asia Pacific Region)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Different InGaN/GaN Electron Emission Layers/Interlayers on Performance of a UV-A LED
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 1514; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041514 (registering DOI) - 23 Feb 2020
Abstract
In this study, we investigated the effects of InGaN/GaN-based interlayer (IL) and electron emitting layer (EEL) consisting of a GaN barrier layer grown with different metal-organic (MO) precursors of gallium (Ga), which were grown underneath the active layer. The growth behavior of GaN [...] Read more.
In this study, we investigated the effects of InGaN/GaN-based interlayer (IL) and electron emitting layer (EEL) consisting of a GaN barrier layer grown with different metal-organic (MO) precursors of gallium (Ga), which were grown underneath the active layer. The growth behavior of GaN with triethyl Ga (TEGa) showed an increasing growth time due to a lower growth rate compared with GaN grown with trimethyl Ga (TMGa), resulting in the formation of columnar domains and grain boundary with reduced defect. UV-A light emitting diode (LED) chips with three types of ILs and EELs, grown with different MO sources, were fabricated and evaluated by light output power (LOP) measurements. The LOP intensity of UVLED-III with the GaN barrier layer-based IL and EEL grown by TEGa was enhanced by 1.5 times compared to that of the IL and EEL grown with TMGa at 300 mA current injection. Use of the GaN barrier layer in ILs and EELs grown by TEGa improved the crystal quality of the post grown InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well, which reduces leakage current. Therefore, for the UV-A LED with ILs and EELs grown with TEGa MO precursors, electrical and optical properties were improved significantly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GaN-Based Light-Emitting Diodes)
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