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Article
Multiple-P450 Gene Co-Up-Regulation in the Development of Permethrin Resistance in the House Fly, Musca domestica
by , , , and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043170 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
This paper reports a study conducted at the whole transcriptome level to characterize the P450 genes involved in the development of pyrethroid resistance, utilizing expression profile analyses of 86 cytochrome P450 genes in house fly strains with different levels of resistance to pyrethroids/permethrin. [...] Read more.
This paper reports a study conducted at the whole transcriptome level to characterize the P450 genes involved in the development of pyrethroid resistance, utilizing expression profile analyses of 86 cytochrome P450 genes in house fly strains with different levels of resistance to pyrethroids/permethrin. Interactions among the up-regulated P450 genes and possible regulatory factors in different autosomes were examined in house fly lines with different combinations of autosomes from a resistant house fly strain, ALHF. Eleven P450 genes that were significantly up-regulated, with levels > 2-fold those in the resistant ALHF house flies, were in CYP families 4 and 6 and located on autosomes 1, 3 and 5. The expression of these P450 genes was regulated by trans- and/or cis-acting factors, especially on autosomes 1 and 2. An in vivo functional study indicated that the up-regulated P450 genes also conferred permethrin resistance in Drosophila melanogaster transgenic lines. An in vitro functional study confirmed that the up-regulated P450 genes are able to metabolize not only cis- and trans-permethrin, but also two metabolites of permethrin, PBalc and PBald. In silico homology modeling and the molecular docking methodology further support the metabolic capacity of these P450s for permethrin and substrates. Taken together, the findings of this study highlight the important function of multi-up-regulated P450 genes in the development of insecticide resistance in house flies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Toxicology)
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Article
The In Vitro Anticoccidial Activity of Some Herbal Extracts against Eimeria spp. Oocysts Isolated from Piglets
by , , , , , , , , , and
Pathogens 2023, 12(2), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens12020258 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Coccidiosis in pigs seldom results in important economic losses. However, it can influence growth rates in weaners and it is an important hygiene indicator in swine farms. Certain herbs, along with their extracts, have been used over the course of history in traditional [...] Read more.
Coccidiosis in pigs seldom results in important economic losses. However, it can influence growth rates in weaners and it is an important hygiene indicator in swine farms. Certain herbs, along with their extracts, have been used over the course of history in traditional medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro anticoccidial effects of Allium sativum L. (garlic), Artemisia absinthium L. (wormwood), Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander), Cucurbita pepo L. (pumpkin), Satureja hortensis L. (summer savory), and Calendula officinalis L. (marigold) against Eimeria suis and Eimeria debliecki oocysts. The stock solution of oocysts (58% E. suis + 42% E. debliecki) was incubated for three days, before adding the tested solutions. The unsporulated Eimeria spp. oocysts were then placed in a 3 mL well plate and incubated for 96 h at 27 °C, in a suspension containing serial dilutions of alcoholic plant extracts (5%, 2.5%, 1.25%, 0.625%, and 0.312%). The percentage of sporulated and destroyed oocysts was recorded every 24 h for 96 h. All extracts had a good in vitro anticoccidial effect against oocysts of Eimeria spp. compared with the control groups. Oocyst sporulation was significantly (p = 0.05) inhibited by the 5% marigold extract (3.6% sporulated oocysts). The same extract had the highest lytic effect on oocysts (65.2% destroyed oocysts). Our results prove that the most effective alcoholic plant extract is the marigold extract, followed, in order of efficiency, by the wormwood, coriander, garlic, pumpkin, and summer savory extracts. This study represents a preliminary contribution for establishing a new generation of natural disinfectants aimed at destroying Eimeria oocysts in the context of swine contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Coccidian Parasites in Livestock)
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Review
Methyl Donor Micronutrients: A Potential Dietary Epigenetic Target in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients
by , , , and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043171 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by an aberrant immune response and persistent inflammation. Its pathogenesis remains unknown; however, a complex interaction between environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors has been suggested to cause disease onset. Several studies have demonstrated [...] Read more.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by an aberrant immune response and persistent inflammation. Its pathogenesis remains unknown; however, a complex interaction between environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors has been suggested to cause disease onset. Several studies have demonstrated that epigenetic alterations, such as DNA hypomethylation, miRNA overexpression, and altered histone acetylation, may contribute to SLE onset and the disease’s clinical manifestations. Epigenetic changes, especially methylation patterns, are modifiable and susceptible to environmental factors such as diet. It is well known that methyl donor nutrients, such as folate, methionine, choline, and some B vitamins, play a relevant role in DNA methylation by participating as methyl donors or coenzymes in one-carbon metabolism. Based on this knowledge, this critical literature review aimed to integrate the evidence in animal models and humans regarding the role of nutrients in epigenetic homeostasis and their impact on immune system regulation to suggest a potential epigenetic diet that could serve as adjuvant therapy in SLE. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Epigenetic Modifications)
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Article
Measuring the Effectiveness of Career Education: A Kindergarten Intervention
by , , and
Psych 2023, 5(1), 113-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5010011 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Several studies have confirmed the importance of career education in promoting career development in children. This study aims to test whether specific career education interventions would develop new conceptions about career choice and career attainment in kindergarten pupils. The intervention was conducted directly [...] Read more.
Several studies have confirmed the importance of career education in promoting career development in children. This study aims to test whether specific career education interventions would develop new conceptions about career choice and career attainment in kindergarten pupils. The intervention was conducted directly by teachers who were adequately trained and supervised. The career conceptions were assessed in experimental and control groups through the Conceptions of Career Choice and Attainment protocol, before and after career education intervention. The results showed that the two groups started from the same level and increased their conceptions over time. However, the experimental groups increased them much more, and statistically significantly, than the control groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prominent Papers in Psych- 2021-2023!)
Article
Do Sleep-Related Metacognitive Strategies Shape My Sleep? The Relationships between Strategies for Controlling Sleep-Related Intrusive Thoughts and Subjective and Objective Sleep Quality in Young Adulthood and Older Age
Brain Sci. 2023, 13(2), 271; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci13020271 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
This study examined the associations between thought control strategies and subjective and objective sleep quality, across the adult lifespan. One hundred forty-nine individuals without insomnia (age range 18–86 years; M = 45.35, SD = 20.53) completed the Thought Control Questionnaire Insomnia–Revised for assessing [...] Read more.
This study examined the associations between thought control strategies and subjective and objective sleep quality, across the adult lifespan. One hundred forty-nine individuals without insomnia (age range 18–86 years; M = 45.35, SD = 20.53) completed the Thought Control Questionnaire Insomnia–Revised for assessing sleep-related thought control strategies. Self-reported sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Then, subjective and objective sleep parameters (i.e., total sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency) were recorded through a sleep diary and an actigraph across 7 days. Results from linear mixed-effects models showed that a worry strategy was associated with longer subjective sleep latency and shorter subjective total sleeping time. An aggressive suppression strategy was associated with longer subjective total sleeping time. No such involvement of thought control strategies was detected for subjective sleep efficiency and all of the objective sleep parameters. Other individual differences (i.e., age, sex, circadian preference, self-reported sleep quality) also explained both subjective and objective sleep parameters, though to a different extent depending on the sleep parameter considered. The assessment of sleep-related thought control strategies, along with other individual characteristics, should be considered to account for individual differences in sleep quality and implement practices/interventions to support it in adulthood and older age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Behavioral Neuroscience)
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Article
Exergy-Based Efficiency Assessment of Fans vs. Isentropic Efficiency
Int. J. Turbomach. Propuls. Power 2023, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijtpp8010004 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
The efficiency definition allows us to compare two machines with each other. In general, the efficiency is defined as the ratio of usable power to the required power. This raises the question: what is the usable power? Most engineers discuss efficiency on the [...] Read more.
The efficiency definition allows us to compare two machines with each other. In general, the efficiency is defined as the ratio of usable power to the required power. This raises the question: what is the usable power? Most engineers discuss efficiency on the basis of the energy balance, i.e., the first law of thermodynamics. In this paper, we derive the exegetic efficiency taking the second law of thermodynamics into account. Exergy analysis takes into account work and heat and is able to model reality very accurately. On this basis, a comparison between the isentropic and exergetic efficiencies is given. A high-pressure radial fan is used as an example, and the differences are discussed. Therefore, measurements of a non-adiabatic fan are evaluated, and the role of the heat flux in the environment is discussed. The investigations show that a relevant difference between the isentropic and exergetic efficiencies becomes apparent in the partial-load range with high-pressure build-up. The thermal energy contained in the flow belongs proportionally to the exergy, i.e., the working capacity of the gas relative to its environment. For a standard such as ISO 5801 “Fans—Performance testing using standardized airways”, the efficiency must not only be physically correct, it must also be simple and practical. Against this background, the outlook of this paper discusses when and which efficiency definition is appropriate and best suited for a standard. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fan Noise, Aerodynamics, Applications and Systems)
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Article
In-Situ TEM Investigation of Helium Implantation in Ni-SiOC Nanocomposites
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041357 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Ni-SiOC nanocomposites maintain crystal-amorphous dual-phase nanostructures after high-temperature annealing at different temperatures (600 °C, 800 °C and 1000 °C), while the feature sizes of crystal Ni and amorphous SiOC increase with the annealing temperature. Corresponding to the dual-phase nanostructures, Ni-SiOC nanocomposites exhibit a [...] Read more.
Ni-SiOC nanocomposites maintain crystal-amorphous dual-phase nanostructures after high-temperature annealing at different temperatures (600 °C, 800 °C and 1000 °C), while the feature sizes of crystal Ni and amorphous SiOC increase with the annealing temperature. Corresponding to the dual-phase nanostructures, Ni-SiOC nanocomposites exhibit a high strength and good plastic flow stability. In this study, we conducted a He implantation in Ni-SiOC nanocomposites at 300 °C by in-situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) irradiation test. In-situ TEM irradiation revealed that both crystal Ni and amorphous SiOC maintain stability under He irradiation. The 600 °C annealed sample presents a better He irradiation resistance, as manifested by a smaller He-bubble size and lower density. Both the grain boundary and crystal-amorphous phase boundary act as a sink to absorb He and irradiation-induced defects in the Ni matrix. More importantly, amorphous SiOC ceramic is immune to He irradiation damage, contributing to the He irradiation resistance of Ni alloy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Glass and Glass-Ceramic Materials)
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Article
Crip Linguistics Goes to School
Languages 2023, 8(1), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages8010048 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Teachers of the deaf, signed language interpreters, and associated staff (e.g., secretaries and sanitation workers) are a salient part of a deaf child’s community often because hearing parents and other family members of deaf children do not become proficient signers leading many deaf [...] Read more.
Teachers of the deaf, signed language interpreters, and associated staff (e.g., secretaries and sanitation workers) are a salient part of a deaf child’s community often because hearing parents and other family members of deaf children do not become proficient signers leading many deaf children and adults to feel alienated in the home environment (e.g., dinner table syndrome). Because the school environment provides another way for deaf children to acquire language, professional signed language fluency is critical. Yet, in other second language acquisition contexts, fluency is not necessary for effective teaching and often highly racialized. If perceived fluency is often dependent on proximity to whiteness, and language fluency is not necessary for effective teaching, then why is it necessary to require professionals to be fluent in signed languages before teaching and working with deaf children? Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translanguaging in Deaf Communities)
Article
An Interplay of Wigner–Ville Distribution and 2D Hyper-Complex Quadratic-Phase Fourier Transform
Fractal Fract. 2023, 7(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/fractalfract7020159 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Two-dimensional hyper-complex (Quaternion) quadratic-phase Fourier transforms (Q-QPFT) have gained much popularity in recent years because of their applications in many areas, including color image and signal processing. At the same time, the applications of Wigner–Ville distribution (WVD) in signal analysis and image processing [...] Read more.
Two-dimensional hyper-complex (Quaternion) quadratic-phase Fourier transforms (Q-QPFT) have gained much popularity in recent years because of their applications in many areas, including color image and signal processing. At the same time, the applications of Wigner–Ville distribution (WVD) in signal analysis and image processing cannot be ruled out. In this paper, we study the two-dimensional hyper-complex (Quaternion) Wigner–Ville distribution associated with the quadratic-phase Fourier transform (WVD-QQPFT) by employing the advantages of quaternion quadratic-phase Fourier transforms (Q-QPFT) and Wigner–Ville distribution (WVD). First, we propose the definition of the WVD-QQPFT and its relationship with the classical Wigner–Ville distribution in the quaternion setting. Next, we investigate the general properties of the newly defined WVD-QQPFT, including complex conjugate, symmetry-conjugation, nonlinearity, boundedness, reconstruction formula, Moyal’s formula, and Plancherel formula. Finally, we propose the convolution and correlation theorems associated with WVD-QQPFT. Full article
Article
Energy Security in the Context of Global Energy Crisis: Economic and Financial Conditions
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041605 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
We have been observing large fluctuations and price increases in electricity markets in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic, rising energy costs, political instability and increasing demand for electricity have been the factors intensifying the problems. This causes uncertainty related to maintaining energy security. [...] Read more.
We have been observing large fluctuations and price increases in electricity markets in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic, rising energy costs, political instability and increasing demand for electricity have been the factors intensifying the problems. This causes uncertainty related to maintaining energy security. Energy security is an element of the national security system. In this context, the question arises whether Polish energy companies are able to adapt to the growing demand for electricity while meeting the growing environmental requirements. Moreover, it remains to be seen how the current energy crisis will affect the financial condition of energy companies in Poland and whether companies from the energy sector will benefit from this crisis. Another issue is the impact of the current crisis on the sense of energy security of consumers. There are many factors affecting energy security. This study focuses on economic and financial factors. The article aims to assess the energy security of consumers from the perspective of the stability of energy prices and the financial condition of companies from the energy industry in Poland in the context of the global energy crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Process and System Approach to Achieve Energy Efficiency)
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Review
Review on Plasma-Assisted Ignition Systems for Internal Combustion Engine Application
Energies 2023, 16(4), 1604; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16041604 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Due to the depletion of conventional petroleum-based fuels and increasing environmental concerns, industries have been developing new combustion technologies with acceptable cost ranges and minimum system modifications for consumers. Among many approaches, the utilization of plasma ignition systems is considered as a promising [...] Read more.
Due to the depletion of conventional petroleum-based fuels and increasing environmental concerns, industries have been developing new combustion technologies with acceptable cost ranges and minimum system modifications for consumers. Among many approaches, the utilization of plasma ignition systems is considered as a promising pathway to achieve greener transportation while maintaining conventional internal combustion engine systems. Plasma contains highly reactive radicals, and those have a great potential of enhancing chemical reactions that are beneficial for reducing carbon emissions. The primary objective of this paper is to provide an overview of currently available plasma-assisted combustion systems including recent achievements in research and development, and technical challenges for successfully implementing a new ignition system. This review will introduce various plasma-assisted combustion approaches from worldwide projects, covering non-thermal and thermal plasma systems in internal combustion engines. Full article
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Article
Influence of Hurdle Technology on Foodborne Pathogen Survival in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract
Microorganisms 2023, 11(2), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020405 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
The application of several sublethal stresses in hurdle technology can exert microbial stress resistance, which, in turn, might enable foodborne pathogens to overcome other types of lethal stresses, such as the gastrointestinal barriers. The present study evaluated the survival of Salmonella Typhimurium and [...] Read more.
The application of several sublethal stresses in hurdle technology can exert microbial stress resistance, which, in turn, might enable foodborne pathogens to overcome other types of lethal stresses, such as the gastrointestinal barriers. The present study evaluated the survival of Salmonella Typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes during simulated digestion, following exposure to combinations of water activity (aw), pH and storage temperature stresses. The results revealed that both pathogens survived their passage through the simulated gastrointestinal tract (GIT) with their previous habituation to certain hurdle combinations inducing stress tolerance. More specifically, the habituation to a low temperature or to a high pH resulted in the increased stress tolerance of Salmonella, while for Listeria, the cells appeared stress tolerant after exposure to a high temperature or to a low pH. Nonetheless, both pathogens expressed increased sensitivity after habituation to growth-limiting hurdle combinations. The survival of stress-tolerant pathogenic cells in the human GIT poses major public health issues, since it can lead to host infection. Consequently, further research is required to obtain a deeper understanding of the adaptive stress responses of foodborne bacteria after exposure to combinations of sublethal hurdles to improve the existing food safety systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue An Update on Listeria monocytogenes 2.0)
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Article
Analyzing the Differential Impact of Semen Preparation Methods on the Outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Techniques
Biomedicines 2023, 11(2), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11020467 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Sperm separation plays a critical role in assisted reproductive technology. Based on migration, density gradient centrifugation and filtration, a properly selected sperm could help in increasing assisted reproductive outcomes in teratozoospermia (TZs). The current study aimed to assess the prognostic value of four [...] Read more.
Sperm separation plays a critical role in assisted reproductive technology. Based on migration, density gradient centrifugation and filtration, a properly selected sperm could help in increasing assisted reproductive outcomes in teratozoospermia (TZs). The current study aimed to assess the prognostic value of four sperm selection techniques: density gradient centrifugation (DGC), swim-up (SU), DGC-SU and DGC followed by magnetic-activated cell sorting (DGC-MACS). These were evaluated using spermatozoa functional parameters. A total of 385 infertile couples underwent the procedure of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), with an isolated teratozoospermia in the male partner. Semen samples were prepared by using one of the mentioned sperm preparation techniques. The improvements in the percentage of normal mature spermatozoa, rate of fertilization, cleavage, pregnancy and the number of live births were assessed. The normal morphology, spermatozoa DNA fragmentation (SDF) and chromatin maturity checked by using chromomycin A3 (CMA3) with DGC-MACS preparation were better compared to the other three methods. Embryo cleavage, clinical pregnancy and implantation were better improved in the DGC-MACS than in the other tested techniques. The DGC-MACS technique helped in the selection of an increased percentage of normal viable and mature sperm with intact chromatin integrity in patients with teratozoospermia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biomedical Engineering in Human Health)
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Article
Photocatalytic Activity of MoS2 Nanoflower-Modified CaTiO3 Composites for Degradation of RhB under Visible Light
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(4), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13040636 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Nanoflower-like MoS2 deposited on the surface of rectangular CaTiO3(CTO) was designed and synthesized via a simple template-free strategy. Through SEM, TEM, and other characterization methods, the MoS2 nanoflowers were confirmed to be well deposited on the surface of CTO. [...] Read more.
Nanoflower-like MoS2 deposited on the surface of rectangular CaTiO3(CTO) was designed and synthesized via a simple template-free strategy. Through SEM, TEM, and other characterization methods, the MoS2 nanoflowers were confirmed to be well deposited on the surface of CTO. LED was used as the visible light source, and rhodamine B (RhB) in an aqueous solution was used as the model pollutant to assess the photodegradation activity of the samples. The results showed that the MoS2/CaTiO3(MCTO) composite significantly improved the photocatalytic degradation of rhodamine B (RhB) in water, compared with a single CTO, and with the MCTO-2 composite photocatalysts, 97% degradation of RhB was achieved in 180 min, and its photocatalytic activity was about 5.17 times higher than that of the bare CTO. The main reasons for enhancing photocatalytic performance are the strong interaction between the nanoflower-like MoS2 and rectangular CTO, which can lead to the effective separation of electron transfer and photoexcited electron–hole pairs in MCTO composites. This work provides a new notion for researching an effective method of recycling catalytic materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Nanocomposite Materials for Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Article
Discriminative ‘Turn-on’ Detection of Al3+ and Ga3+ Ions as Well as Aspartic Acid by Two Fluorescent Chemosensors
Sensors 2023, 23(4), 1798; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23041798 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
In this work, two Schiff-base-based chemosensors L1 and L2 containing electron-rich quinoline and anthracene rings were designed. L1 is AIEE active in a MeOH-H2O solvent system while formed aggregates as confirmed by the DLS measurements and fluorescence lifetime studies. The chemosensor [...] Read more.
In this work, two Schiff-base-based chemosensors L1 and L2 containing electron-rich quinoline and anthracene rings were designed. L1 is AIEE active in a MeOH-H2O solvent system while formed aggregates as confirmed by the DLS measurements and fluorescence lifetime studies. The chemosensor L1 was used for the sensitive, selective, and reversible ‘turn-on’ detection of Al3+ and Ga3+ ions as well as Aspartic Acid (Asp). Chemosensor L2, an isomer of L1, was able to selectively detect Ga3+ ion even in the presence of Al3+ ions and thus was able to discriminate between the two ions. The binding mode of chemosensors with analytes was substantiated through a combination of 1H NMR spectra, mass spectra, and DFT studies. The ‘turn-on’ nature of fluorescence sensing by the two chemosensors enabled the development of colorimetric detection, filter-paper-based test strips, and polystyrene film-based detection techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Editorial Board Members' Collection Series: Fluorescent Sensors)
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Article
Study of Effector CD8+ T Cell Interactions with Cortical Neurons in Response to Inflammation in Mouse Brain Slices and Neuronal Cultures
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043166 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells contribute to neuronal damage in inflammatory and degenerative CNS disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The mechanism of cortical damage associated with CD8+ T cells is not well understood. We developed in vitro cell culture and ex vivo brain [...] Read more.
Cytotoxic CD8+ T cells contribute to neuronal damage in inflammatory and degenerative CNS disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The mechanism of cortical damage associated with CD8+ T cells is not well understood. We developed in vitro cell culture and ex vivo brain slice co-culture models of brain inflammation to study CD8+ T cell–neuron interactions. To induce inflammation, we applied T cell conditioned media, which contains a variety of cytokines, during CD8+ T cell polyclonal activation. Release of IFNγ and TNFα from co-cultures was verified by ELISA, confirming an inflammatory response. We also visualized the physical interactions between CD8+ T cells and cortical neurons using live-cell confocal imaging. The imaging revealed that T cells reduced their migration velocity and changed their migratory patterns under inflammatory conditions. CD8+ T cells increased their dwell time at neuronal soma and dendrites in response to added cytokines. These changes were seen in both the in vitro and ex vivo models. The results confirm that these in vitro and ex vivo models provide promising platforms for the study of the molecular details of neuron–immune cell interactions under inflammatory conditions, which allow high-resolution live microscopy and are readily amenable to experimental manipulation. Full article
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Article
Cloud Computing Considering Both Energy and Time Solved by Two-Objective Simplified Swarm Optimization
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(4), 2077; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13042077 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Cloud computing is an operation carried out via networks to provide resources and information to end users according to their demands. The job scheduling in cloud computing, which is distributed across numerous resources for large-scale calculation and resolves the value, accessibility, reliability, and [...] Read more.
Cloud computing is an operation carried out via networks to provide resources and information to end users according to their demands. The job scheduling in cloud computing, which is distributed across numerous resources for large-scale calculation and resolves the value, accessibility, reliability, and capability of cloud computing, is important because of the high development of technology and the many layers of application. An extended and revised study was developed in our last work, titled “Multi Objective Scheduling in Cloud Computing Using Multi-Objective Simplified Swarm Optimization MOSSO” in IEEE CEC 2018. More new algorithms, testing, and comparisons have been implemented to solve the bi-objective time-constrained task scheduling problem in a more efficient manner. The job scheduling in cloud computing, with objectives including energy consumption and computing time, is solved by the newer algorithm developed in this study. The developed algorithm, named two-objective simplified swarm optimization (tSSO), revises and improves the errors in the previous MOSSO algorithm, which ignores the fact that the number of temporary nondominated solutions is not always only one in the multi-objective problem, and some temporary nondominated solutions may not be temporary nondominated solutions in the next generation based on simplified swarm optimization (SSO). The experimental results implemented show that the developed tSSO performs better than the best-known algorithms, including nondominated sorting genetic algorithm II (NSGA-II), multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO), and MOSSO in the convergence, diversity, number of obtained temporary nondominated solutions, and the number of obtained real nondominated solutions. The developed tSSO accomplishes the objective of this study, as proven by the experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Manufacturing Networks for Industry 4.0)
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Communication
Synthesis and Crystal Structure of Ethyl 5-(4-Bromophenyl)-7-methyl-3-oxo-2,3-dihidro-5H-thiazolo[3,2-a]pyrimidine-6-carboxylate
Molbank 2023, 2023(1), M1581; https://doi.org/10.3390/M1581 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Thiazolopyrimidines are attractive to medical chemists as new antitumor agents due to their high inhibitory activity against the replication process of tumor cells and the easy modification of their structure by changing the number and nature of substituents. The presence of asymmetric C5 [...] Read more.
Thiazolopyrimidines are attractive to medical chemists as new antitumor agents due to their high inhibitory activity against the replication process of tumor cells and the easy modification of their structure by changing the number and nature of substituents. The presence of asymmetric C5 carbon atoms requires the development of racemic mixture separation procedures for these heterocycles. One of the most effective methods is the crystallization of a racemic compound in the form of a conglomerate. The prerequisite for such separation is the construction of chiral, supramolecular ensembles in the crystalline state. Halogen-π interactions were chosen as supramolecular synthons. In this context, ethyl 7-methyl-3-oxo-2,3-dihidro-5H-thiazolo[3,2-a]pyrimidine-6-carboxylate containing a 4-bromophenyl fragment at C5 was synthesized. The crystal structure of the resulting compound was established using SCXRD. The role of the halogen-π interaction on the formation of one-dimensional homochiral chains is revealed. Full article
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Article
Effect of Seawall Embankment Reclamation on the Distribution of Cr, Cu, Pb and Zn Pollution in Invasive Spartina alterniflora and Native Phragmites australis Coastal Saltmarshes of East China
Biology 2023, 12(2), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12020253 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Coastal reclamation by seawall embankments and the spread of invasive C4 perennial grass Spartina alterniflora have recently become more prevalent in eastern China’s coastal wetlands. While trace metals (TMs), carbon, and nitrogen dynamics concerning reclamation have extensively been explored across China’s coastal [...] Read more.
Coastal reclamation by seawall embankments and the spread of invasive C4 perennial grass Spartina alterniflora have recently become more prevalent in eastern China’s coastal wetlands. While trace metals (TMs), carbon, and nitrogen dynamics concerning reclamation have extensively been explored across China’s coastal wetlands, to date, the impact of reclamation by coastal embankment and exotic plant invasion on TMs’ pollution dynamics in coastal marshes remains largely unexplored. We compared TMs Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn cumulation in coastal embankment-reclaimed versus unreclaimed S. alterniflora and Phragmites australis saltmarshes in eastern China coastal wetlands. In both S. alterniflora and P. australis marshes, coastal embankment reclamation spurred an increase in Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn concentrations by 31.66%, 53.85%, 32.14%, 33.96% and by 59.18%, 87.50%, 55.55%, 36.84%, respectively, in both marsh types. Reclamation also reduced plant biomass, soil moisture, and soil salinity in both plants’ marshes. Our findings suggest that the impact of coastal embankment reclamation and replacement of native saltmarshes by invasive S. alterniflora had a synergistic effect on TM accumulation in the P. australis marshes, as corroborated by bioaccumulation and translocation factors. Reclamation by coastal embankments and invasive alien plants could significantly impair the physico-chemical properties of native plant saltmarsh and essentially weaken the accumulation of Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn potential of the coastal saltmarshes. Our findings provide policymakers with an enhanced knowledge of the relationship between reclamation, plant invasiveness, and TM pollution dynamics in coastal wetlands, providing a baseline for attaining future goals and strategies related to the tradeoffs of various wetland reclamation types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Wetland Ecosystems)
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Article
Operation of Gate-Controlled Irrigation System Using HEC-RAS 2D for Spring Flood Hazard Reduction
Computation 2023, 11(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/computation11020027 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Flooding events have been negatively affecting the Republic of Kazakhstan, with higher occurrence in flat parts of the country during spring snowmelt in snow-fed rivers. The current project aims to assess the flood hazard reduction capacity of Alva irrigation system, which is located [...] Read more.
Flooding events have been negatively affecting the Republic of Kazakhstan, with higher occurrence in flat parts of the country during spring snowmelt in snow-fed rivers. The current project aims to assess the flood hazard reduction capacity of Alva irrigation system, which is located in the interfluve area of Yesil and Nura Rivers. The assessment is performed by simulating spring floods using HEC-RAS 2D and controlling the gates of the existing system. A digital elevation model of the study domain was generated by integration of Sentinel-1 radar images with the data obtained from bathymetrical survey and aerial photography. Comparison of the simulated inundation area with a remote sensing image of spring flood in April 2019 indicated that the main reason for differences was due to local snowmelt in the study domain. Exclusion of areas flooded by local snowmelt, which were identified using the updated DEM, from comparison increased the model similarity to 70%. Further simulations of different exceedance probability hydrographs enabled classification of the study area according to maximum flood depth and flood duration. Theoretical changes on the dam crest as well as additional gates were proposed to improve the system capacity by flooding agriculturally important areas, which were not flooded during the simulation of the current system. The developed model could be used by local authorities for further development of flood mitigation measures and assessment of different development plans of the irrigation system. Full article
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Article
Electric Fields Regulate In Vitro Surface Phosphatidylserine Exposure of Cancer Cells via a Calcium-Dependent Pathway
Biomedicines 2023, 11(2), 466; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines11020466 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide after heart disease. The current treatment options to fight cancer are limited, and there is a critical need for better treatment strategies. During the last several decades, several electric field (EF)-based approaches for anti-cancer [...] Read more.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide after heart disease. The current treatment options to fight cancer are limited, and there is a critical need for better treatment strategies. During the last several decades, several electric field (EF)-based approaches for anti-cancer therapies have been introduced, such as electroporation and tumor-treating fields; still, they are far from optimal due to their invasive nature, limited efficacy and significant side effects. In this study, we developed a non-contact EF stimulation system to investigate the in vitro effects of a novel EF modality on cancer biomarkers in normal (human astrocytes, human pancreatic ductal epithelial -HDPE-cells) and cancer cell lines (glioblastoma U87-GBM, human pancreatic cancer cfPac-1, and MiaPaCa-2). Our results demonstrate that this EF modality can successfully modulate an important cancer cell biomarker-cell surface phosphatidylserine (PS). Our results further suggest that moderate, but not low, amplitude EF induces p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), actin polymerization, and cell cycle arrest in cancer cell lines. Based on our results, we propose a mechanism for EF-mediated PS exposure in cancer cells, where the magnitude of induced EF on the cell surface can differentially regulate intracellular calcium (Ca2+) levels, thereby modulating surface PS exposure. Full article
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Article
The Evolution of the Spatial Distribution Pattern of Mosques in the Kashgar Region from 1955 to 2004
Religions 2023, 14(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel14020216 (registering DOI) - 06 Feb 2023
Abstract
The spatial differences in the distribution of mosques reflect to a certain extent the diversity of the interaction between natural and human elements and Islamic beliefs in different geographic spaces. The Kashgar region of Xinjiang is one of the most developed regions of [...] Read more.
The spatial differences in the distribution of mosques reflect to a certain extent the diversity of the interaction between natural and human elements and Islamic beliefs in different geographic spaces. The Kashgar region of Xinjiang is one of the most developed regions of Islamic culture in China, its dominant religion is Islam, and the survival of Islamic culture in the region has a long history. The development of Islam in the region, after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, was influenced by the religious policy of Chinese Socialism, and the spatial distribution of mosques in the region has changed significantly. However, the distribution pattern of mosques in the spatial features of the region that had been especially indicated by the transformations in religious practice on the development of Islam impacted by geographical conditions and social factors has been less explored. Based on the Chinese Religious Digital Map dataset provided by the China Information Center at the University of Michigan, mathematical statistics and spatial analyses are used to analyze the spatial distribution pattern of mosques in the Kashgar region from 1955 to 2004, and the causes of the pattern characteristics in the context of the historical background of the study period. The results show that, during the study period, the spatial clustering of mosques occurred mainly in the northwestern and central parts of the Kashgar region. In all districts and counties, the number of mosques had increased and there was a growing gap in the number of mosques. Islam in the area had been well developed and the trend of spatially concentrated distribution of mosques had been increasing. The mosques in the region are mostly clustered in areas with gentle terrain, rivers and a dense population. In terms of the causes affecting the spatial distribution pattern of mosques in the Kashgar region, geographical conditions and population were the underlying factors that set the basic pattern for the location of mosques. In addition, the different effects of social factors, such as the improvement of productivity, the administrative system, religious management policies, and the historical background on the development of Islam in the area had led to a variation in the development of Islam, thus causing changes in the spatial distribution pattern of mosques in the area. In the period from 1976 to 1992, for example, the end of the Cultural Revolution and the shift in China’s foreign policy had a very major impact on Islam so that during this period the spatial distribution pattern of mosques varied the most in the area. This research has implications for learning about the spread of Islam in the Kashgar region after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the changes in the spatial distribution of mosques, and the causes of such variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital and Spatial Studies of Religions)
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Article
Scytosiphon lomentaria Extract Ameliorates Obesity and Modulates Gut Microbiota in High-Fat-Diet-Fed Mice
Nutrients 2023, 15(4), 815; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15040815 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
Scytosiphon lomentaria (SL) is a brown seaweed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; however, its effects on obesity are unknown. In this research, we investigated the anti-obesity properties and underlying mechanisms of the SL extract in vitro and in vivo. In 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, SL [...] Read more.
Scytosiphon lomentaria (SL) is a brown seaweed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; however, its effects on obesity are unknown. In this research, we investigated the anti-obesity properties and underlying mechanisms of the SL extract in vitro and in vivo. In 3T3-L1 preadipocytes, SL extract inhibited lipid accumulation, decreased the expression of Acc1, C/ebpa, Pparg mRNA and p-ACC1, and increased the expression of Ucp1 mRNA, UCP1 and p-AMPK. In animal experiments, mice were fed a chow diet, a high-fat diet (HF; 60% of calories as fat), and high-fat diet with SL extract (150 and 300 mg/kg body weight) for eight weeks (n = 10/group). SL extract reduced HF-induced weight gain, epididymal fat weight, fat cell size, LDL-C, leptin, fasting glucose, and glucose tolerance. In addition, SL extract had comparable effects on mRNA expression in WAT and liver to those observed in vitro, thereby inhibiting p-ACC1/ACC1 and increasing p-AMPK/AMPK and UCP1 expression. Furthermore, SL extract decreased HF-induced Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and reversed HF-reduced Bacteroides spp., Bacteroides vulgatus, and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii. These findings suggest that SL extract can aid in weight loss in mice fed a high-fat diet by altering adipogenic and thermogenic pathways, as well as gut microbiota composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Phytochemicals and Human Health)
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Article
Novel Neural Network Optimized by Electrostatic Discharge Algorithm for Modification of Buildings Energy Performance
Sustainability 2023, 15(4), 2884; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15042884 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
Proper analysis of building energy performance requires selecting appropriate models for handling complicated calculations. Machine learning has recently emerged as a promising effective solution for solving this problem. The present study proposes a novel integrative machine learning model for predicting two energy parameters [...] Read more.
Proper analysis of building energy performance requires selecting appropriate models for handling complicated calculations. Machine learning has recently emerged as a promising effective solution for solving this problem. The present study proposes a novel integrative machine learning model for predicting two energy parameters of residential buildings, namely annual thermal energy demand (DThE) and annual weighted average discomfort degree-hours (HDD). The model is a feed-forward neural network (FFNN) that is optimized via the electrostatic discharge algorithm (ESDA) for analyzing the building characteristics and finding their optimal contribution to the DThE and HDD. According to the results, the proposed algorithm is an effective double-target model that can predict the required parameters with superior accuracy. Moreover, to further verify the efficiency of the ESDA, this algorithm was compared with three similar optimization techniques, namely atom search optimization (ASO), future search algorithm (FSA), and satin bowerbird optimization (SBO). Considering the Pearson correlation indices 0.995 and 0.997 (for the DThE and HDD, respectively) obtained for the ESDA-FFNN versus 0.992 and 0.938 for ASO-FFNN, 0.926 and 0.895 for FSA-FFNN, and 0.994 and 0.995 for SBO-FFNN, the ESDA provided higher accuracy of training. Subsequently, by collecting the weights and biases of the optimized FFNN, two formulas were developed for easier computation of the DThE and HDD in new cases. It is posited that building engineers and energy experts could consider the use of ESDA-FFNN along with the proposed new formulas for investigating the energy performance in residential buildings. Full article
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Article
A Closed-Loop Network for Single Infrared Remote Sensing Image Super-Resolution in Real World
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(4), 882; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15040882 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
Single image super-resolution (SISR) is to reconstruct a high-resolution (HR) image from a corresponding low-resolution (LR) input. It is an effective way to solve the problem that infrared remote sensing images are usually suffering low resolution due to hardware limitations. Most previous learning-based [...] Read more.
Single image super-resolution (SISR) is to reconstruct a high-resolution (HR) image from a corresponding low-resolution (LR) input. It is an effective way to solve the problem that infrared remote sensing images are usually suffering low resolution due to hardware limitations. Most previous learning-based SISR methods just use synthetic HR-LR image pairs (obtained by bicubic kernels) to learn the mapping from LR images to HR images. However, the underlying degradation in the real world is often different from the synthetic method, i.e., the real LR images are obtained through a more complex degradation kernel, which leads to the adaptation problem and poor SR performance. To handle this problem, we propose a novel closed-loop framework that can not only make full use of the learning ability of the channel attention module but also introduce the information of real images as much as possible through a closed-loop structure. Our network includes two independent generative networks for down-sampling and super-resolution, respectively, and they are connected to each other to get more information from real images. We make a comprehensive analysis of the training data, resolution level and imaging spectrum to validate the performance of our network for infrared remote sensing image super-resolution. Experiments on real infrared remote sensing images show that our method achieves superior performance in various training strategies of supervised learning, weakly supervised learning and unsupervised learning. Especially, our peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) is 0.9 dB better than the second-best unsupervised super-resolution model on PROBA-V dataset. Full article
Article
The Mediating Role of Employee Engagement in the Relationship between Flexible Work Arrangements and Turnover Intentions among Highly Educated Employees in the Republic of Serbia
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13020131 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
The main objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between flexible working arrangements (FWA) and turnover intentions (TI), as well as the mediation effect of employee engagement (EE) in the relationship between flexible working arrangements and turnover intentions. The main research [...] Read more.
The main objective of this research was to investigate the relationship between flexible working arrangements (FWA) and turnover intentions (TI), as well as the mediation effect of employee engagement (EE) in the relationship between flexible working arrangements and turnover intentions. The main research question is: what is the nature of the effect of flexible working arrangements on employees’ turnover intention, and the role of employee engagement in this relationship? The methodology of the paper consists of theoretical (literature review) and empirical parts (field research). The empirical research was performed on a sample of 514 highly educated employees from service sector organizations that operate in the Republic of Serbia. Sample collection lasted from January to October 2022, via Google Forms. The proposed relationships were tested by using the PLS-SEM method, with the application of the SmartPLS software. The main findings of the research are that there are direct positive effects of flexible work arrangements and employee engagement on turnover intentions, and that employee engagement has an indirect effect on the relationship between flexible work arrangements and turnover intentions. A partial mediation was found. Employees who are offered flexible work arrangements decrease their turnover intentions when they are more engaged at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organizational Behaviors)
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Article
Short Tandem Repeat Genotyping and Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Latin American Candida tropicalis Isolates
J. Fungi 2023, 9(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof9020207 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
Candida tropicalis is emerging as one of the most common Candida species causing opportunistic infections in Latin America. Outbreak events caused by C. tropicalis were reported, and antifungal resistant isolates are on the rise. In order to investigate population genomics and look into [...] Read more.
Candida tropicalis is emerging as one of the most common Candida species causing opportunistic infections in Latin America. Outbreak events caused by C. tropicalis were reported, and antifungal resistant isolates are on the rise. In order to investigate population genomics and look into antifungal resistance, we applied a short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping scheme and antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) to 230 clinical and environmental C. tropicalis isolates from Latin American countries. STR genotyping identified 164 genotypes, including 11 clusters comprised of three to seven isolates, indicating outbreak events. AFST identified one isolate as anidulafungin-resistant and harboring a FKS1 S659P substitution. Moreover, we identified 24 clinical and environmental isolates with intermediate susceptibility or resistance to one or more azoles. ERG11 sequencing revealed each of these isolates harboring a Y132F and/or Y257H/N substitution. All of these isolates, except one, were clustered together in two groups of closely related STR genotypes, with each group harboring distinct ERG11 substitutions. The ancestral C. tropicalis strain of these isolates likely acquired the azole resistance-associated substitutions and subsequently spread across vast distances within Brazil. Altogether, this STR genotyping scheme for C. tropicalis proved to be useful for identifying unrecognized outbreak events and better understanding population genomics, including the spread of antifungal-resistant isolates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenicity and Molecular Biology of Human Pathogenic Fungi)
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Article
Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Demonstrates the Benefit of Erythracytapheresis in Sickle Cell Disease Adult Patients with Cerebral Vasculopathy
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(4), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12041256 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
Background: Cerebral vasculopathy can induce chronic cerebral hypoperfusion leading to stroke in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and is treated by blood exchange transfusion (BET). However, no prospective clinical study has demonstrated the benefit of BET in adults with SCD and cerebral [...] Read more.
Background: Cerebral vasculopathy can induce chronic cerebral hypoperfusion leading to stroke in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) and is treated by blood exchange transfusion (BET). However, no prospective clinical study has demonstrated the benefit of BET in adults with SCD and cerebral vasculopathy. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is a recent non-invasive method complementary to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). We evaluated cerebral perfusion using NIRS during erythracytapheresis in patients with SCD with and without steno-occlusive arterial disease. Methods: We conducted a monocentric, prospective study in 16 adults with SCD undergoing erythracytapheresis in 2014. Among them, 10 had cerebral steno-occlusive arterial disease. NIRS measured the relative amounts of oxyhemoglobin (OxyHb), deoxyhemoglobin (DeoxyHb) and total hemoglobin (Total Hb) in brain tissue and in muscle. Results: In cerebral hemispheres associated with steno-occlusive arterial disease, we observed a significant increase of OxyHb and Total Hb during BET, without modification of DeoxyHb. Conclusion: Using NIRS during BET showed that BET improves cerebral perfusion in adult patients with SCD with cerebral vasculopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nuclear Medicine & Radiology)
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Article
Symbiotic Bacteria System of Locusta migratoria Showed Antifungal Capabilities against Beauveria bassiana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043138 (registering DOI) - 05 Feb 2023
Abstract
The stability of symbiotic flora is an important indicator of the health of an organism. Symbiotic bacteria have been proven to be closely involved in the immune process of organisms. The pathogenicity of Beauveria bassiana was studied in relation to symbiotic bacteria on [...] Read more.
The stability of symbiotic flora is an important indicator of the health of an organism. Symbiotic bacteria have been proven to be closely involved in the immune process of organisms. The pathogenicity of Beauveria bassiana was studied in relation to symbiotic bacteria on the surface and inside of the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria). The results showed that the surface disinfection of test locusts contributed to the pathogenicity of B. bassiana to locusts. Most of the surface bacteria of L. migratoria caused some inhibition of B. bassiana growth, and LM5-4 (Raoultella ornithinolytica), LM5-2 (Enterobacter aerogenes), and LM5-13 (Citrobacter freundii) showed the highest inhibitory effect on the growth of B. bassiana. The inoculation of locusts with additional surface symbiotic bacteria reduced the virulence of B. bassiana to L. migratoria. Infection by different strains of B. bassiana caused similar changes in the symbiotic flora of migratory locusts. The inoculation of locusts with additional intestinal symbiotic bacteria (Enterobacter sp.) reduced the virulence of B. bassiana to L. migratoria. These findings illustrate the effect of bacterial communities on fungal infections in L. migratoria when seen from the perspective of ecology in a microenvironment. The active antifungal substances of such bacteria and their mechanisms of action need further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Molecular Microbiology)
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