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Open AccessReview
Effect of Diet on the Gut Microbiota: Rethinking Intervention Duration
Nutrients 2019, 11(12), 2862; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11122862 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
The human gut is inhabited by trillions of microorganisms composing a dynamic ecosystem implicated in health and disease. The composition of the gut microbiota is unique to each individual and tends to remain relatively stable throughout life, yet daily transient fluctuations are observed. [...] Read more.
The human gut is inhabited by trillions of microorganisms composing a dynamic ecosystem implicated in health and disease. The composition of the gut microbiota is unique to each individual and tends to remain relatively stable throughout life, yet daily transient fluctuations are observed. Diet is a key modifiable factor influencing the composition of the gut microbiota, indicating the potential for therapeutic dietary strategies to manipulate microbial diversity, composition, and stability. While diet can induce a shift in the gut microbiota, these changes appear to be temporary. Whether prolonged dietary changes can induce permanent alterations in the gut microbiota is unknown, mainly due to a lack of long-term human dietary interventions, or long-term follow-ups of short-term dietary interventions. It is possible that habitual diets have a greater influence on the gut microbiota than acute dietary strategies. This review presents the current knowledge around the response of the gut microbiota to short-term and long-term dietary interventions and identifies major factors that contribute to microbiota response to diet. Overall, further research on long-term diets that include health and microbiome measures is required before clinical recommendations can be made for dietary modulation of the gut microbiota for health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Compounds Impact on Human Gut Microbiome and Gut Health)
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Open AccessEditorial
Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering—MaxEnt 2019
Proceedings 2019, 33(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019033008 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
As key building blocks for modern data processing and analysis methods—ranging from AI, ML and UQ to model comparison, density estimation and parameter estimation—Bayesian inference and entropic concepts are in the center of this rapidly growing research area. [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Chitosan’s Addition to Resorcinol/Formaldehyde Xerogels on the Characteristics of Resultant Activated Carbon
Materials 2019, 12(23), 3847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12233847 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Hybrid chitosan-resorcinol/formaldehyde xerogels were synthesized, and the effect of including minor quantities of chitosan on the consequent activated carbon was investigated. The resulting activated carbon were characterized by different techniques. Clear changes were found in the structure of activated carbon as a result [...] Read more.
Hybrid chitosan-resorcinol/formaldehyde xerogels were synthesized, and the effect of including minor quantities of chitosan on the consequent activated carbon was investigated. The resulting activated carbon were characterized by different techniques. Clear changes were found in the structure of activated carbon as a result of including chitosan in the synthesis. The results showed that the disorder ratio of crystal lattice decreased from 0.750 to 0.628 when increasing the concentration of chitosan from 0 to 0.037 wt%. The micropores increased from ~0.3% to ~1.0%, mesopores increased from ~11.2% to ~32.9% and macropores decreased from ~88.4% to ~66.1%. The total pore volume decreased from 1.040 to 0.238 cm3/g and the total pore surface area decreased from 912.3 to 554.4 m2/g. On the other hand, the average pore width decreased from 2.3 to 0.8 nm and the average particle size decreased from 224 to 149 nm. Nano-scale Scanning Electron Microscope (NanoSEM) morphology indicated a critical composition of chitosan (0.022 wt%) that affects the structure and thermal stability of activated carbon produced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sol-Gel Synthesis of Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
A Nomogram to Predict the Outcome of Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology in Head and Neck Masses
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(12), 2050; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8122050 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is an important diagnostic tool for tumors of the head and neck. However, non-diagnostic or inconclusive results may occur and lead to delay in treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that predict a [...] Read more.
Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is an important diagnostic tool for tumors of the head and neck. However, non-diagnostic or inconclusive results may occur and lead to delay in treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that predict a successful FNAC. A retrospective search was performed to identify all patients who received an FNAC at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of Vienna. The variables were patients’ age and sex, localization and size of the punctured structure, previous radiotherapy, experience of the head and neck surgeon, experience of the pathologist and the FNAC result. Based on these parameters, a nomogram was subsequently created to predict the probability of accurate diagnosis. After performing 1221 FNACs, the size of the punctured lesion (p = 0.0010), the experience of the surgeon and the pathologist (p = 0.00003) were important factors for a successfully procedure and reliable result. FNACs performed in nodes smaller than 20 mm had a significantly worse diagnostic outcome compared to larger nodes (p = 0.0004). In conclusion, the key factors for a successful FNAC are nodal size and the experience of the head and neck surgeon and the pathologist. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oncology)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Animal Models in Developing Pharmacotherapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(12), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8122049 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent disease characterized by recurrent closure of the upper airway during sleep. It has a complex pathophysiology involving four main phenotypes. An abnormal upper airway anatomy is the key factor that predisposes to sleep-related collapse of [...] Read more.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent disease characterized by recurrent closure of the upper airway during sleep. It has a complex pathophysiology involving four main phenotypes. An abnormal upper airway anatomy is the key factor that predisposes to sleep-related collapse of the pharynx, but it may not be sufficient for OSA development. Non-anatomical traits, including (1) a compromised neuromuscular response of the upper airway to obstruction, (2) an unstable respiratory control (high loop gain), and (3) a low arousal threshold, predict the development of OSA in association with anatomical abnormalities. Current therapies for OSA, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and oral appliances, have poor adherence or variable efficacy among patients. The search for novel therapeutic approaches for OSA, including pharmacological agents, has been pursued over the past years. New insights into OSA pharmacotherapy have been provided by preclinical studies, which highlight the importance of appropriate use of animal models of OSA, their applicability, and limitations. In the present review, we discuss potential pharmacological targets for OSA discovered using animal models. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Lead-Free Perovskites for Lighting and Lasing Applications: A Minireview
Materials 2019, 12(23), 3845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12233845 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Research on materials with perovskite crystal symmetry for photonics applications represent a rapidly growing area of the photonics development due to their unique optical and electrical properties. Among them are high charge carrier mobility, high photoluminescence quantum yield, and high extinction coefficients, which [...] Read more.
Research on materials with perovskite crystal symmetry for photonics applications represent a rapidly growing area of the photonics development due to their unique optical and electrical properties. Among them are high charge carrier mobility, high photoluminescence quantum yield, and high extinction coefficients, which can be tuned through all visible range by a controllable change in chemical composition. To date, most of such materials contain lead atoms, which is one of the obstacles for their large-scale implementation. This disadvantage can be overcome via the substitution of lead with less toxic chemical elements, such as Sn, Bi, Yb, etc., and their mixtures. Herein, we summarized the scientific works from 2016 related to the lead-free perovskite materials with stress on the lasing and lighting applications. The synthetic approaches, chemical composition, and morphology of materials, together with the optimal device configurations depending on the material parameters are summarized with a focus on future challenges. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Experimental Design and Sample Preparation in Forest Tree Metabolomics
Metabolites 2019, 9(12), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9120285 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Appropriate experimental design and sample preparation are key steps in metabolomics experiments, highly influencing the biological interpretation of the results. The sample preparation workflow for plant metabolomics studies includes several steps before metabolite extraction and analysis. These include the optimization of laboratory procedures, [...] Read more.
Appropriate experimental design and sample preparation are key steps in metabolomics experiments, highly influencing the biological interpretation of the results. The sample preparation workflow for plant metabolomics studies includes several steps before metabolite extraction and analysis. These include the optimization of laboratory procedures, which should be optimized for different plants and tissues. This is particularly the case for trees, whose tissues are complex matrices to work with due to the presence of several interferents, such as oleoresins, cellulose. A good experimental design, tree tissue harvest conditions, and sample preparation are crucial to ensure consistency and reproducibility of the metadata among datasets. In this review, we discuss the main challenges when setting up a forest tree metabolomics experiment for mass spectrometry (MS)-based analysis covering all technical aspects from the biological question formulation and experimental design to sample processing and metabolite extraction and data acquisition. We also highlight the importance of forest tree metadata standardization in metabolomics studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sample Preparation in Metabolomics)
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Open AccessArticle
From Students’ Personal and Social Responsibility to Autonomy in Physical Education Classes
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236589 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
The objective of this study was to analyze the effect that the application of the personal and social responsibility model has on students’ perception of a teacher’s interpersonal style and on the perception of autonomy. A quasi-experimental design was used with a control [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to analyze the effect that the application of the personal and social responsibility model has on students’ perception of a teacher’s interpersonal style and on the perception of autonomy. A quasi-experimental design was used with a control group (n = 60) and an experimental group (n = 60) to which the intervention was applied. Participants were aged between 10 and 13 years. As the main results, the experimental group saw improvements in support for the autonomous interpersonal style, in the need for autonomy satisfaction and also in the perception of personal and social responsibility. Perception of the controlling style decreased. In conclusion, the use of this type of program in educational centers is recommended for its benefits with regard to students’ autonomy and personal and social responsibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Education for Sustainability in Physical Education)
Open AccessArticle
Mechanism Underlying Flow Velocity and Its Corresponding Influence on the Growth of Euglena gracilis, a Dominant Bloom Species in Reservoirs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4641; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234641 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
The effects of hydrodynamics on algae growth have received considerable attention, and flow velocity is one of the most frequently discussed factors. For Euglena gracilis, which aggregates resources and is highly resistant to environmental changes, the mechanism underlying the impact of flow [...] Read more.
The effects of hydrodynamics on algae growth have received considerable attention, and flow velocity is one of the most frequently discussed factors. For Euglena gracilis, which aggregates resources and is highly resistant to environmental changes, the mechanism underlying the impact of flow velocity on its growth is poorly understood. Experiments were conducted to examine the response of algae growth to different velocities, and several enzymes were tested to determine their physiological mechanisms. Significant differences in the growth of E. gracilis were found at different flow velocities, and this phenomenon is unique compared to the growth of other algal species. With increasing flow velocity and time, the growth of E. gracilis is gradually inhibited. In particular, we found that the pioneer enzyme is peroxidase (POD) and that the main antioxidant enzyme is catalase (CAT) when E. gracilis experiences flow velocity stress. Hysteresis between total phosphorus (TP) consumption and alkaline phosphatase (AKP) synthesis was observed. Under experimental control conditions, the results indicate that flow velocities above 0.1 m/s may inhibit growth and that E. gracilis prefers a relatively slow or even static flow velocity, and this finding could be beneficial for the control of E. gracilis blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Quality Improvement and Ecological Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle
A Hybrid Optimization from Two Virtual Physical Force Algorithms for Dynamic Node Deployment in WSN Applications
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5108; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235108 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicle in space exploration and national defense, large-scale wireless sensor network (WSN) became an important and effective technology. It may require highly accurate locating for the nodes in some real applications. The dynamic node topology control [...] Read more.
With the rapid development of unmanned aerial vehicle in space exploration and national defense, large-scale wireless sensor network (WSN) became an important and effective technology. It may require highly accurate locating for the nodes in some real applications. The dynamic node topology control of a large-scale WSN in an unmanned region becomes a hot research topic recently, which helps improve the system connectivity and coverage. In this paper, a hybrid optimization based on two different virtual force algorithms inspired by the interactions among physical sensor nodes is proposed to address the self-consistent node deployment in a large-scale WSN. At the early stage, the deployment algorithm was to deploy the sensor nodes by leveraging the particle motions in dusty plasma to achieve the hexagonal topology of the so-called “Yukawa crystal”. After that, another virtual exchange force model was combined to present a hybrid optimization, which could yield perfect hexagonal topology, better network uniformity, higher coverage rate, and faster convergence speed. The influence of node position, velocity, and acceleration during the node deployment stage on the final network topology are carefully discussed for this scheme. It can aid engineers to control the network topology for a large number of wireless sensors with affordable system cost by choosing suitable parameters based on physical environments or application scenarios in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Topology Control and Protocols in Sensor Network and IoT Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Inequalities in Use of Preventive Dental and Medical Services among Adults in European Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4642; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234642 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study examined inequalities in dental check-ups and medical screenings using subjective and objective socioeconomic indicators. Data from 23,464 adults, aged 20 years old and over, who participated in a multi-national survey across Europe (Eurobarometer 72.3) were analysed. Participants’ socioeconomic position (SEP) was [...] Read more.
This study examined inequalities in dental check-ups and medical screenings using subjective and objective socioeconomic indicators. Data from 23,464 adults, aged 20 years old and over, who participated in a multi-national survey across Europe (Eurobarometer 72.3) were analysed. Participants’ socioeconomic position (SEP) was measured by education, difficulty in paying bills and subjective social status. Use of preventive services was measured by attendance for dental check-ups, cancer and cardiovascular screenings in the past 12 months. Socioeconomic inequalities were assessed in two-level logistic regression (adults nested within countries), adjusting for demographic factors and type of healthcare system. There were apparent social inequalities in using all three preventive services. However, only dental check-ups showed consistent and significant inequalities across all socioeconomic indicators with those in the bottom groups in education (odds ratio: 0.51; 95% confidence interval: 0.46–0.55), difficulty in paying bills (OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.59–0.72) and subjective social status (OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.57–0.69) having lower odds of reporting dental check-ups in the past 12 months than those in the top groups. Cancer screening was not associated with difficulty in paying bills whereas cardiovascular disease screening was not associated with education and subjective social status. Despite the availability of universal health coverage, there were clear social gradients in using preventive services particularly across education and subjective social status groups. The stronger and more consistent gradients observed in dental check-ups compared to cancer and cardiovascular screening could be attributed to difference in the level of coverage of dental and medical services in Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Health Inequalities in the World)
Open AccessArticle
Hospital Malnutrition, a Call for Political Action: A Public Health and NutritionDay Perspective
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(12), 2048; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8122048 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Disease-related malnutrition (DRM) is prevalent in hospitals and is associated with increased care needs, prolonged hospital stay, delayed rehabilitation and death. Nutrition care process related activities such as screening, assessment and treatment has been advocated by scientific societies and patient organizations but implementation [...] Read more.
Disease-related malnutrition (DRM) is prevalent in hospitals and is associated with increased care needs, prolonged hospital stay, delayed rehabilitation and death. Nutrition care process related activities such as screening, assessment and treatment has been advocated by scientific societies and patient organizations but implementation is variable. We analysed the cross-sectional nutritionDay database for prevalence of nutrition risk factors, care processes and outcome for medical, surgical, long-term care and other patients (n = 153,470). In 59,126 medical patients included between 2006 and 2015 the prevalence of recent weight loss (45%), history of decreased eating (48%) and low actual eating (53%) was more prevalent than low BMI (8%). Each of these risk factors was associated with a large increase in 30 days hospital mortality. A similar pattern is found in all four patient groups. Nutrition care processes increase slightly with the presence of risk factors but are never done in more than 50% of the patients. Only a third of patients not eating in hospital receive oral nutritional supplements or artificial nutrition. We suggest that political action should be taken to raise awareness and formal education on all aspects related to DRM for all stakeholders, to create and support responsibilities within hospitals, and to create adequate reimbursement schemes. Collection of routine and benchmarking data is crucial to tackle DRM. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Fertilization in Selected Phytometric Features and Contents of Bioactive Compounds in Dry Matter of Two Varieties of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236590 (registering DOI) - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of sustainable, organic and standard mineral fertilization in selected phytometric features and contents of bioactive compounds in dry matter of two varieties of Ocimum basilicum L. The herbal material was first examined for its phytometric characterisation and then [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of sustainable, organic and standard mineral fertilization in selected phytometric features and contents of bioactive compounds in dry matter of two varieties of Ocimum basilicum L. The herbal material was first examined for its phytometric characterisation and then subjected to the combined convective pre-drying and vacuum-microwave finish drying method (CPD-VMFD). The energy consumption for the drying process of plant material in the case of CPD-VMFD is lower in comparison to the convection method (CD). The obtained dry material was assessed for determination of the colour parameters. Next, the analysis to identify the total content of polyphenols and the antioxidant properties (ABTS) was done. The dried material was subjected to head space–solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME) to determine volatile compound content. The herbal material obtained from the basil cultivated with an addition of sustainable, organic fertilizer was found to have a significantly higher content of bioactive compounds than the control, especially of polyphenols and volatile compounds like eucalyptol. Presumably, this is an effect of the elicitation process resulting from the fact that extract from common nettle was applied as an organic fertilizer component. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development of the Bioeconomy—Challenges and Dilemmas)
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Open AccessShort Note
Paenidigyamycin G: 1-Acetyl-2,4-dimethyl-3-phenethyl-1H-imidazol-3-ium
Molbank 2019, 2019(4), M1094; https://doi.org/10.3390/M1094 (registering DOI) - 21 Nov 2019
Abstract
The Ghanaian Paenibacillus sp. DE2SH (GenBank Accession Number: MH091697) is a prolific producer of potent antiparasitic alkaloids. Further detailed study of the culture broth of this strain produced the compound Paenidigyamycin G (1), which is a derivative of the known antiparasitic [...] Read more.
The Ghanaian Paenibacillus sp. DE2SH (GenBank Accession Number: MH091697) is a prolific producer of potent antiparasitic alkaloids. Further detailed study of the culture broth of this strain produced the compound Paenidigyamycin G (1), which is a derivative of the known antiparasitic compound Paenidigyamycin A (2). Compound (1) was isolated on HPLC at tR ≈ 37.5 min and its structure determined by IR, UV, MS, 1D, and 2D-NMR data. Compound 1 produced weak to moderate antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal activity when tested against Leishmania donovani (Laveran and Mesnil) Ross (D10) and Trypanosoma brucei subsp. brucei strain GUTat 3.1 with IC50 = 115.41 and 28.75 μM, respectively. This result is interesting since the parent compound 2 is known to possess consistent and potent antiparasitic activity. However, 1 displayed a promising selectivity profile towards T. brucei subsp. brucei due to its relatively low toxicity against normal mouse macrophages RAW 264.7 cells (SI = 8.70). Given that compound 1 is also the main metabolite found in the hexane fraction of all extracts produced by Paenibacillus sp. DE2SH when it is co-cultured with other bacteria strains, it must possess some unique biological functions which should make it an excellent candidate for further biological activity screening in other bioassays. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products)
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