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Review
State-of-Art Review on Chemical Indicators for Monitoring the Aging Status of Oil-Immersed Transformer Paper Insulation
by , , , , and
Energies 2023, 16(3), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16031396 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Chemical compounds dissolved in insulating oil, as indicators can excellently monitor the paper aging condition, which has attracted increasing interest in areas of transformer condition monitoring and fault diagnosis. Because of their outstanding features, such as good correlation with the degree of polymerization [...] Read more.
Chemical compounds dissolved in insulating oil, as indicators can excellently monitor the paper aging condition, which has attracted increasing interest in areas of transformer condition monitoring and fault diagnosis. Because of their outstanding features, such as good correlation with the degree of polymerization of cellulose paper and the aid of non-destructive online monitoring, chemical indicators have been effectively used for transformer condition assessment. In this study, a comprehensive, in-depth insight into the indicators of the aging of insulating paper from aging characteristics, physico-chemical characteristics, shortcomings of various compounds, generation pathways and mechanisms, and monitoring technologies are provided. It is expected that these chemical indicators can provide better guidance for the evaluation of paper insulation performance and transformer aging. In addition, the latest research progress, as well as current challenges and future prospects are also outlined. This study provides a theoretical basis and reference for chemical indicators in the fields of microscopic formation mechanism, diffusion equilibrium phenomenon, and insulation aging state assessment. Full article
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Article
The Issue of Gender Bias Represented in Authorship in the Fields of Exercise and Rehabilitation: A 5-Year Research in Indexed Journals
by , , , , , , , , and
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2023, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk8010018 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Despite progress made in recent decades, gender bias is still present in scientific publication authorship. The underrepresentation of women and overrepresentation of men has already been reported in the medical fields but little is known in the fields of exercise sciences and rehabilitation. [...] Read more.
Despite progress made in recent decades, gender bias is still present in scientific publication authorship. The underrepresentation of women and overrepresentation of men has already been reported in the medical fields but little is known in the fields of exercise sciences and rehabilitation. This study examines trends in authorship by gender in this field in the last 5 years. All randomized controlled trials published in indexed journals from April 2017 to March 2022 through the widely inclusive Medline dataset using the MeSH term “exercise therapy” were collected, and the gender of the first and last authors was identified through names, pronouns and photographs. Year of publication, country of affiliation of the first author, and ranking of the journal were also collected. A chi-squared test for trends and logistic regression models were performed to analyze the odds of a woman being a first or last author. The analysis was performed on a total of 5259 articles. Overall, 47% had a woman as the first author and 33% had a woman as the last author, with a similar trend over five years. The trend in women’s authorship varied by geographical area, with the higher representation of women authors in Oceania (first: 53.1%; last: 38.8%), North-Central America (first: 45.3%; last: 37.2%), and Europe (first: 47.2%; last: 33.3%). The logistic regression models (p < 0.001) indicated that women have lower odds of being authors in prominent authorship positions in higher-ranked journals. In conclusion, over the last five years, in the field of exercise and rehabilitation research, women and men are almost equally represented as first authors, in contrast with other medical areas. However, gender bias, unfavoring women, still exists, especially in the last authorship position, regardless of geographical area and journal ranking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Working Group in Sports Medicine)
Article
Sport Participation for People with Disabilities: Exploring the Potential of Reverse Integration and Inclusion through Wheelchair Basketball
by , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(3), 2491; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032491 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Reverse integration is defined as the inclusion of able-bodied people into disability sport. For decades, there have been movements towards integrating people with a disability in mainstream society. There has been a lack of research supporting the movement of able-bodied involvement in disability [...] Read more.
Reverse integration is defined as the inclusion of able-bodied people into disability sport. For decades, there have been movements towards integrating people with a disability in mainstream society. There has been a lack of research supporting the movement of able-bodied involvement in disability sport, known as reverse integration. In this study, the real-life experiences and motivations of 11 national wheelchair basketball players (four able-bodied and seven with a disability) were explored, identifying the potential of reverse integration and what influenced the players involvement. Thematic analysis was employed using a deductive approach. The social-relational model was used as a framework to help interpret the findings. The results highlighted that health and social benefits were key factors towards prolonged engagement in wheelchair basketball, and it was reported that reverse integration led to an increased mutual understanding of the impact of (dis)ability. All participants reported positive experiences and supported able-bodied involvement, suggesting that able-bodied players play a key role and help to grow the sport locally. However, involvement of able-bodied players was not supported at international level. This challenges the concept of inclusion at higher level and whether the sport could be more inclusive. These findings could provide direction to coaches and policymakers for developing further inclusive opportunities at all levels. Further research may explore coach education programs and learning experiences of becoming an inclusive coach to ensure coaches know how to create, stimulate and coach in inclusive sport environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical Education and Disability)
Article
Leaf Nitrogen and Phosphorus Stoichiometry and Its Response to Geographical and Climatic Factors in a Tropical Region: Evidence from Hainan Island
by , , , , , , and
Agronomy 2023, 13(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020411 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Leaf stoichiometry effectively indicates the response and adaptation of plants to environmental changes. Although numerous studies on leaf stoichiometry patterns have focused on the mid-latitudes and specific species of plants, these patterns and the effect of the climate change on them across a [...] Read more.
Leaf stoichiometry effectively indicates the response and adaptation of plants to environmental changes. Although numerous studies on leaf stoichiometry patterns have focused on the mid-latitudes and specific species of plants, these patterns and the effect of the climate change on them across a broad range of plants have remained poorly characterized in hot and humid regions at low latitudes. In the present study, leaf N, P, N:P, C:N, and C:P ratios, were determined from 345 plant leaf samples of 268 species at four forest sites in Hainan Island, China. For all plants, leaf N (3.80 ± 0.20 mg g−1) and P (1.82 ± 0.07 mg g−1) were negatively correlated with latitude and mean annual temperature (MAT) but were positively correlated with longitude. Leaf N was found to be positively correlated with altitude (ALT), and leaf P was positively correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP). The leaf C:N ratio (278.77 ± 15.86) was significantly correlated with longitude and ALT, leaf C:P ratio (390.69 ± 15.15) was significantly correlated with all factors except ALT, and leaf N:P ratio (2.25 ± 0.10) was significantly correlated with ALT, MAT, and MAP. Comparable results were observed for woody plants. The results suggest that leaf stoichiometry on Hainan Island is affected by changes in geographical and climatic factors. In addition, the low N:P ratio indicates that plant growth may be limited by N availability. Moreover, the significant correlation between leaf N and P implies a possible synergistic relationship between N and P uptake efficiency in the plants of this region. This study helps to reveal the spatial patterns of leaf stoichiometry and their response to global climate change in a variety of plants in tropical regions with hot and humid environments, which may provide an insight in nutrient management in tropical rainforest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultivated Land Sustainability in the Anthropocene)
Article
Role of Non-Structural Sugar Metabolism in Regulating Tuber Dormancy in White Yam (Dioscorea rotundata)
by , , , , , and
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020343 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Changes in sugar composition occur continuously in plant tissues at different developmental stages. Tuber dormancy induction, stability, and breaking are very critical developmental transitions in yam crop production. Prolonged tuber dormancy after physiological maturity has constituted a great challenge in yam genetic improvement [...] Read more.
Changes in sugar composition occur continuously in plant tissues at different developmental stages. Tuber dormancy induction, stability, and breaking are very critical developmental transitions in yam crop production. Prolonged tuber dormancy after physiological maturity has constituted a great challenge in yam genetic improvement and productivity. In the present study, biochemical profiling of non-structural sugar in yam tubers during dormancy was performed to determine the role of non-structural sugar in yam tuber dormancy regulation. Two genotypes of the white yam species, one local genotype (Obiaoturugo) and one improved genotype (TDr1100873), were used for this study. Tubers were sampled at 42, 56, 87, 101, 115, and 143 days after physiological maturity (DAPM). Obiaoturugo exhibited a short dormant phenotype and sprouted at 101-DAPM, whereas TDr1100873 exhibited a long dormant phenotype and sprouted at 143-DAPM. Significant metabolic changes were observed in non-structural sugar parameters, dry matter, and moisture content in Obiaoturugo from 56-DAPM, whereas in TDr1100873, significant metabolic changes were observed from 101-DAPM. It was observed that the onset of these metabolic changes occurred at a point when the tubers of both genotypes exhibited a dry matter content of 60%, indicating that a dry matter content of 60% might be a critical threshold for white yam tuber sprouting. Non-reducing sugars increased by 9–10-fold during sprouting in both genotypes, which indicates their key role in tuber dormancy regulation in white yam. This result implicates that some key sugar metabolites can be targeted for dormancy manipulation of the yam crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Crop Ecophysiology: From Lab to Field)
Article
Polyphasic Characterization of Geotalea uranireducens NIT-SL11 Newly Isolated from a Complex of Sewage Sludge and Microbially Reduced Graphene Oxide
by , and
Microorganisms 2023, 11(2), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020349 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Graphene oxide (GO), a chemically oxidized sheet of graphite, has been used as a conductive carbon carrier of microbes to boost various bioelectrochemical reactions. However, the types of microbes that can reduce GO have rarely been investigated. In this study, a strain of [...] Read more.
Graphene oxide (GO), a chemically oxidized sheet of graphite, has been used as a conductive carbon carrier of microbes to boost various bioelectrochemical reactions. However, the types of microbes that can reduce GO have rarely been investigated. In this study, a strain of GO-reducing bacteria, named NIT-SL11, which was obtained from a hydrogel of microbially reduced GO and anaerobic sludge that converts sewage to electricity, was phylogenically identified as a novel strain of Geotalea uraniireducens. Considering the current lack of information on the electrogenic ability of the bacterium and its physicochemical and chemotaxonomic characteristics, the polyphasic characterization of the Geotalea uraniireducens strain NIT-SL11 was performed. NIT-SL11 utilized various organic acids, such as lactate, benzoate, and formate, as electron donors and exhibited respiration using GO, electrodes, fumarate, and malate. The strain contained C16 : 1ω7c and C16 : 0 as the major fatty acids and MK-8 and 9 as the major respiratory quinones. The complete genome of NIT-SL11 was 4.7 Mbp in size with a G+C content of 60.9%, and it encoded 80 putative c-type cytochromes and 23 type IV pili-related proteins. The possible extracellular electron transfer (EET) pathways of the strain were the porin–cytochrome (Pcc) EET pathway and type IV pili-based pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Electrogenic Microbes)
Review
The Role of Flaxseed in Improving Human Health
by and
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030395 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Flaxseed contains high amounts of biologically active components such as α-linolenic acid, lignans, and dietary fiber. Due to its numerous nutritional properties, flaxseed has been classified as a "superfood", that is, a food of natural origin with various bioactive components and many health-promoting [...] Read more.
Flaxseed contains high amounts of biologically active components such as α-linolenic acid, lignans, and dietary fiber. Due to its numerous nutritional properties, flaxseed has been classified as a "superfood", that is, a food of natural origin with various bioactive components and many health-promoting benefits. Flaxseed consumption can be an important factor in the prevention of diseases, particularly related to nutrition. The regular consumption of flaxseed may help to improve lipid profile and lower blood pressure, fasting glucose, and insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR). Moreover, flaxseed is characterized by anticancer and antioxidant properties and can significantly reduce the intensity of symptoms associated with menopause, constipation, and mental fatigue, improve skin condition, and accelerate wound healing. In addition to its bioactive compounds, flaxseed also contains antinutrients such as cyanogenic glycosides (CGs), cadmium, trypsin inhibitors, and phytic acid that can reduce the bioavailability of essential nutrients and/or limit its health-promoting effects. Three common forms of flaxseed available for human consumption include whole flaxseed, ground flaxseed, and flaxseed oil. The bioavailability of ALA and lignans is also dependent on the form of flaxseed consumed. To ensure high bioavailability of its bioactive components, flaxseed should be consumed in the ground form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Healthcare)
Technical Note
An Increase of GNSS Data Time Rate and Analysis of the Carrier Phase Spectrum
by , , and
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(3), 792; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15030792 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Natural hazards and geomagnetic disturbances can generate a combination of atmospheric and ionospheric waves of different scales. The carrier phase of signals of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) can provide the highest efficiency to detect and study the weak ionospheric disturbances in contrast [...] Read more.
Natural hazards and geomagnetic disturbances can generate a combination of atmospheric and ionospheric waves of different scales. The carrier phase of signals of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) can provide the highest efficiency to detect and study the weak ionospheric disturbances in contrast to total electron content (TEC) and TEC-based indices. We consider the border between the informative part of the carrier phase spectrum and the uninformative noises—the deviation frequency—as the promising means to improve the GNSS-based disturbance detection algorithms. The behavior of the deviation frequency of the carrier phase spectra was studied under quiet and disturbed geomagnetic conditions. The results showed that the deviation frequency value increases under magnetic storms. This effect was revealed for all GNSS constellations and signals regardless the GNSS type, receiver type/make and data rate (50 or 100 Hz). For the 100 Hz data, the most probable values of the deviation frequency grouped within ~28–40 Hz under quiet condition and shifted to ~37–48 Hz during the weak geomagnetic storms. Additionally, the lower values of deviation frequency of ~18–25 Hz almost disappear from the distribution of the deviation frequencies as it becomes narrower during geomagnetic storms. Considering that the small-scale irregularities shift the deviation frequencies, we can use this indicator as a “red alert” for weakest small-scale irregularities when the deviation frequency reaches ~35–50 Hz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS High Rate Data for Research of the Ionosphere)
Case Report
Severe COVID-19 Infection during Pregnancy Requiring ECMO: Case Report and Review of the Literature
by , , and
J. Pers. Med. 2023, 13(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm13020263 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
The risk of developing severe COVID-19 that requires admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and invasive ventilation is increased in pregnant women. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been successfully used to manage critical pregnant and peripartum patients. Case Report: A 40-year-old [...] Read more.
The risk of developing severe COVID-19 that requires admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) and invasive ventilation is increased in pregnant women. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been successfully used to manage critical pregnant and peripartum patients. Case Report: A 40-year-old patient, unvaccinated for COVID-19, presented to a tertiary hospital in January 2021 at 23 weeks of gestation due to respiratory distress, cough, and fever. The patient had a confirmed diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 with a PCR test in a private center 48 hours before. She required admission into the ICU due to respiratory failure. High-flow nasal oxygen therapy, intermittent noninvasive mechanical ventilation (BiPAP), mechanical ventilation, prone positioning, and nitric oxide therapy were administered. Additionally, hypoxemic respiratory failure was diagnosed. Thus, circulatory assistance using ECMO with venovenous access was performed. After 33 days of ICU admission, the patient was transferred to the internal medicine department. She was discharged 45 days after hospital admission. At 37 weeks of gestation, the patient presented active labor and underwent an uneventful vaginal delivery. Conclusions: Severe COVID-19 in pregnancy may lead to the requirement for ECMO administration. This therapy should be administered in specialized hospitals using a multidisciplinary approach. COVID-19 vaccination should be strongly recommended to pregnant women to decrease the risk of severe COVID-19. Full article
Article
Refining the Resolution of DUACS Along-Track Level-3 Sea Level Altimetry Products
by , , , , , , , , , , and
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(3), 793; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15030793 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
This paper describes the demonstration of a regional high-resolution level-3 (L3) altimeter data unification and altimeter combination system (DUACS) developed with support from the French space agency (CNES). Deduced from full-rate (20 Hz to 40 Hz) level-2 (L2) altimeter measurements, this product provides [...] Read more.
This paper describes the demonstration of a regional high-resolution level-3 (L3) altimeter data unification and altimeter combination system (DUACS) developed with support from the French space agency (CNES). Deduced from full-rate (20 Hz to 40 Hz) level-2 (L2) altimeter measurements, this product provides sea level anomalies (SLA) and other essential physical variables at a spatial resolution of one sample every ~1 km over the North Atlantic Ocean. This allows us to resolve wavelengths from ~35 km to ~55 km depending on the altimeter considered. This was made possible by recent advances in radar altimeter processing for both synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and low-resolution-mode (LRM) measurements, as well as improvements made to different stages of the DUACS processing chain. Firstly, the new adaptive and low-resolution with range migration correction (LR-RMC) processing techniques were considered for Jason and Sentinel-3 (S3A), respectively. They significantly reduce errors at short wavelengths, and the adaptive processing also reduces possible land contamination near the coast. Next, up-to-date geophysical and environmental corrections were selected for this production. This includes specific corrections intended to reduce the measurement noise on LRM measurements and thus enhance the observability at short wavelengths. Compared with the 1 Hz product, the observable wavelengths reached with the demonstration high-resolution product are reduced by up to one third, or up to half in the northeast Atlantic region. The residual noises were optimally filtered from full-rate measurements, taking into consideration the different observing capabilities of the altimeters processed. A specific data recovery strategy was applied, significantly optimizing the data availability, both in the coastal and open ocean areas. This demonstration L3 product is thus better resolved than the conventional 1 Hz product, especially near the coast, where it is defined up to ~5 km against ~10 km for the 1 Hz version. Multi-mission cross-calibration processing was also optimized with an improved long-wavelength error (LWE) correction, leading to a better consistency between tracks, with a 9–15% reduction in SLA variance at cross-overs. The new L3 product improves the overall consistency with tide gauge measurements, with a reduction in SLA differences variance by 5 and 17% compared with the 1 Hz product from the S3A and Jason-3 (J3) measurements, respectively. Primarily intended for regional applications, this product can significantly contribute to improving high-resolution numerical model output via data assimilation. It also opens new perspectives for a better understanding of regional sea-surface dynamics, with an improved representation of the coastal currents and a refined spectral content revealing the unbalanced signal. Full article
Review
Diabetes Mellitus and Hearing Loss: A Complex Relationship
by , , , , , , , and
Medicina 2023, 59(2), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina59020269 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Discussion is open about the relationship between diabetes (DM) and hearing loss (HL). There is a lot of evidence in the literature suggesting a causal link between these conditions, beyond being considered simple comorbidities. The difficulty in identifying populations [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Discussion is open about the relationship between diabetes (DM) and hearing loss (HL). There is a lot of evidence in the literature suggesting a causal link between these conditions, beyond being considered simple comorbidities. The difficulty in identifying populations free from confounding factors makes it difficult to reach definitive conclusions on the pathophysiological mechanisms at play. Nonetheless, there is numerous evidence that demonstrates how the population affected by DM is more affected by sensorineural HL (SNHL) and exhibit a higher prevalence of idiopathic sudden sensorineural HL (ISSNHL). Materials and Methods: Articles reporting potentially relevant information were reviewed, and the most significant results are discussed in this article. Starting from the possible mechanisms relating to auditory impairment in the diabetic condition, this article summarizes the studies on auditory evaluation in subjects with DM1 and DM2 and addresses the relationship between DM and ISSNHL. Results: DM is considered a risk factor for SNHL, although some studies have reported no relationship when the associations were adjusted for age, gender, and hypertension. Macro and microvascular insults that cause decreased blood flow, oxygen exchange, and ion transport are major complications of hypertension and DM and can have a direct effect on the sensory and support cells of the cochlea. Conclusions: Given the difficulty of carrying out studies on populations without confounding factors, new laboratory studies are strongly required to clarify which specific physiopathological mechanisms underlie the diabetic damage caused to the hearing organs and how pharmacological management may contribute to counteracting the pathophysiological effects of the diabetic condition on the auditory system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Disorders and Sensorineural Hearing Loss)
Article
Line-Features-Based Pose Estimation Method for the Disc Cutter Holder of Shield Machine
Sensors 2023, 23(3), 1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23031536 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
To achieve automatic disc cutter replacement of shield machines, measuring the accurate pose of the disc cutter holder by machine vision is crucial. However, under polluted and restricted illumination conditions, achieving pose estimation by vision is a great challenge. This paper proposes a [...] Read more.
To achieve automatic disc cutter replacement of shield machines, measuring the accurate pose of the disc cutter holder by machine vision is crucial. However, under polluted and restricted illumination conditions, achieving pose estimation by vision is a great challenge. This paper proposes a line-features-based pose estimation method for the disc cutter holder of the shield machine by using a monocular camera. For the blurring effect of rounded corners on the image edge, a rounded edge model is established to obtain edge points that better match the 3D model of the workpiece. To obtain the edge search box corresponding to each edge, a contour separation method based on an adaptive threshold region growing method is proposed. By preprocesses on the edge points of each edge, the efficiency and the accuracy of RANSAC linear fitting are improved. The experimental result shows that the proposed pose estimation method is highly reliable and can meet the measurement accuracy requirements in practical engineering applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Article
Prediction of Parkinson’s Disease Depression Using LIME-Based Stacking Ensemble Model
Mathematics 2023, 11(3), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/math11030708 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Depression symptoms are comparable to Parkinson’s disease symptoms, including attention deficit, fatigue, and sleep disruption, as well as symptoms of dementia such as apathy. As a result, it is difficult for Parkinson’s disease caregivers to diagnose depression early. We examined a LIME-based stacking [...] Read more.
Depression symptoms are comparable to Parkinson’s disease symptoms, including attention deficit, fatigue, and sleep disruption, as well as symptoms of dementia such as apathy. As a result, it is difficult for Parkinson’s disease caregivers to diagnose depression early. We examined a LIME-based stacking ensemble model to predict the depression of patients with Parkinson’s disease. This study used the epidemiologic data of Parkinson’s disease dementia patients (EPD) from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s National Biobank, which included 526 patients’ information. We used Logistic Regression (LR) as the meta-model, and five base models, including LightGBM (LGBM), K-nearest Neighbors (KNN), Random Forest (RF), Extra Trees (ET), and AdaBoost. After cleansing the data, the stacking ensemble model was trained using 261 participants’ data and 10 variables. According to the research, the best combination of the stacking ensemble model is ET + LGBM + RF + LR, a harmonious model. In order to achieve model prediction explainability, we also combined the stacking ensemble model with a LIME-based explainable model. This explainable stacking ensemble model can help identify the patients and start treatment on them early in a way that medical professionals can comprehend. Full article
Article
Association among University Students’ Motivation, Resilience, Perceived Competence, and Classroom Climate from the Perspective of Self-Determination Theory
Educ. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13020147 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Self-determination theory (SDT) suggests that motivation can interact with resilience and perceived competence. The climate-related characteristics of the classroom can influence student motivation. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between the differentiated motivation of theoretical and practical teaching, resilience, and perceived competence, [...] Read more.
Self-determination theory (SDT) suggests that motivation can interact with resilience and perceived competence. The climate-related characteristics of the classroom can influence student motivation. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between the differentiated motivation of theoretical and practical teaching, resilience, and perceived competence, considering the number of students per class and the profiles of the lecturers. A total of 789 students participated (mean age = 19.31; SD = 3.37) from Psychology, Nursing, and Education degrees from different Spanish universities. The BRS (resilience), PCNS (perceived competence), and PLOC-U (university student motivation) questionnaires were used with a new scale designed ad hoc to measure motivation in practical teaching. Student-to-class ratios and different levels of teaching experience were also recorded. A test–retest design was used to verify the stability of the measures before and after the examination of the subjects. Intrinsic motivation in practical teaching was significantly associated with resilience (r = 0.09, p < 0.03) and perceived competence (r = 0.23, p < 0.01), and in theoretical teaching, it was associated only with perceived competence (r = 20, p < 0.01). The factorial analysis of the new subscale of the PLOC-U for the measurement of motivation in practical teaching presented a good fit and reliability (α = 0.60 to 0.84) in the five factors. Test–retest analyses revealed good temporal stability. Students in small groups with more experienced lecturers scored higher on intrinsic motivation, particularly in practical classes. The stable and reliable measurement of the different types of student motivation allows their analysis and association with other variables of interest in university education, which could lead to significant improvements in teaching planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Higher Education)
Article
Radiation Dose Assessment for Myocardial Perfusion Imaging: A Single Institution Survey
Tomography 2023, 9(1), 264-273; https://doi.org/10.3390/tomography9010021 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Objective: This study aims to establish a local diagnostic reference level (LDRL) for single-photon emission tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) and positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) with respect to myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Materials and Methods: The acquisition protocol and dosimetry data on the MPI procedures [...] Read more.
Objective: This study aims to establish a local diagnostic reference level (LDRL) for single-photon emission tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) and positron emission tomography/CT (PET/CT) with respect to myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI). Materials and Methods: The acquisition protocol and dosimetry data on the MPI procedures of five SPECT/CT scans and one PET/CT scan were collected. Data on technitum-99m sestamibi (99mTc-sestamibi), 99mTc-tetrofosmin, thallium-201 (201Tl), and rubidium-82 (82RB) were all collected from one centre via questionnaire booklets. Descriptive data analysis was used to analyse all variables, and the 50th percentile was used to analyse each radiation dose quantity. Results: The reported 50th percentile dose for a one-day stress/rest protocol using 99mTc-sestamibi (445/1147 MBq) and 99mTc-tetrofosmin (445/1147 MBq) and for a two-day stress/rest protocol using 99mTc-sestamibi (1165/1184 MBq) and 99mTc-tetrofosmin (1221/1184 MBq) are in good agreement with reported national diagnostic reference levels (NDRLs). However, the dose from the study data on a one-day stress/rest protocol using 99mTc-sestamibi was more than the 50th percentile dose from the Brazilian data (370/1110 MBq) on a similar protocol, and the dose from the study data on a two-day stress/rest protocol using 99mTc-tetrofosmin was more than the 50th percentile dose (1084/1110 MBq) from the United States data on MPI scans. Regarding the computed tomography (CT) portion of the SPECT/CT framework, the 50th percentile doses were lower than all the identified doses in the data considered in the literature reviewed. However, regarding the CT component of the PET/CT MPI scans, the 82RB dose was more than the recorded doses in the CT data in the published literature. Conclusion: This study determined the LDRL of five SPECT/CT protocols and one PET/CT MPI protocol. The results suggest that there may be opportunities to optimise the patient radiation burden from administered activities in patients undergoing SPECT examinations and the CT components associated with 82RB PET/CT scans without compromising diagnostic image quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cardiac Imaging: State of the Art)
Article
A New Giant Petrel (Macronectes, Aves: Procellariidae) from the Pliocene of Taranaki, New Zealand
Taxonomy 2023, 3(1), 57-67; https://doi.org/10.3390/taxonomy3010006 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
A new species of giant petrel, Macronectes tinae sp. nov., is described from the Pliocene deposits of South Taranaki, New Zealand. The holotype is a near complete skull and the paratype a fragmentary left humerus; both come from the Tangahoe Formation, dating from [...] Read more.
A new species of giant petrel, Macronectes tinae sp. nov., is described from the Pliocene deposits of South Taranaki, New Zealand. The holotype is a near complete skull and the paratype a fragmentary left humerus; both come from the Tangahoe Formation, dating from the late Pliocene (Piacenzian or “Waipipian”; age estimated as ca. 3.36–3.06 Ma). The new species of giant petrel is the first fossil Macronectes ever reported. It is morphologically similar to the two present-day Macronectes spp., but it was a smaller bird. The skull is diagnosed by its overall smaller size, a proportionately longer apertura nasi ossea, and potentially by a shorter os supraocciptale. The humerus is diagnosed from both species by a proportionately less deep shaft, a more prominent medial portion of the epicondylus ventralis, and a larger and fusiform fossa medialis brachialis. The Tangahoe Formation is proving to be a remarkable source of marine vertebrate fossils and an important piece of the puzzle in understanding the evolution and biogeography of seabirds. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Flexible Ureteroscope Performance between Reusable and Single-Use Models
J. Clin. Med. 2023, 12(3), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12031093 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Background: Single-use flexible ureteroscopes for urinary retention have been developed in recent years as an alternative to reusable ureteroscopes in order to eliminate the risk of cross-infections and to solve the primary limitations of traditional reusable flexible ureteroscopes for urinary retention. Methods: In [...] Read more.
Background: Single-use flexible ureteroscopes for urinary retention have been developed in recent years as an alternative to reusable ureteroscopes in order to eliminate the risk of cross-infections and to solve the primary limitations of traditional reusable flexible ureteroscopes for urinary retention. Methods: In this study, we evaluated and contrasted three of the most recent types of flexible ureteroscopes, including two digital reusable versions (Olympus URF-V and Olympus URF-V2) and one single-use model (Pusen Medi-calUscope UE3022), in both ex vivo and in vivo scenarios. The influence of a variety of instruments on the flow of irrigation and its deflection was investigated ex vivo. In the in vivo investigation, a total of 40 patients were treated with retrograde fURS utilizing URF-V, 20 patients were treated with URF-V2, and 20 patients were treated with single-use fURS. The visibility and maneuverability of each fURS were evaluated by the same urologist during the procedures, and the results were compared. Results: Intraoperatively, we compared the image quality of reusable (URF-V and URF-V2) and single-use fURS USCOPE UE3022 cameras and found that there was no statistically significant difference between the two types of camera. The score for maneuverability was the same (4.2) regardless of whether we used the UscopeUE3022 or the URF-V2, but it was significantly lower (3.8, p = 0.03) when we utilized the URF-V. Irrigation was about the same when utilizing reused scopes, whereas employing a single-use scope was more than fifty percent more effective. Conclusions: The findings of our research indicate that reusable and single-use fURs have visibility and maneuverability characteristics that are at least comparable to one another. The possibilities of the single-use type in terms of irrigation flow and deflection are superior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nephrology & Urology)
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Article
Enhanced Emulsifying Ability of Deoxycholate through Dynamic Interaction with Layered Double Hydroxide
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(3), 567; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13030567 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
The emulsifying ability of the naturally occurring surfactant deoxycholic acid (DCA) was improved by dynamic interaction with nanometric layered particles, layered double hydroxide (LDH). As DCA molecules are rigid due to the facial configuration of hydrophobic–hydrophilic groups, they tend to form molecular aggregation [...] Read more.
The emulsifying ability of the naturally occurring surfactant deoxycholic acid (DCA) was improved by dynamic interaction with nanometric layered particles, layered double hydroxide (LDH). As DCA molecules are rigid due to the facial configuration of hydrophobic–hydrophilic groups, they tend to form molecular aggregation in an acidic condition or imbalanced water–lipid ratios. In this study, the homogeneous hybrids of DCA and LDH were obtained by the in situ growth of LDH at a DCA molecule. The DCA−LDH hybrid successfully prevented the molecular aggregation of DCA at an acidic pH and imbalanced water–to–oil ratio. The dynamic light scattering showed that the hydrodynamic radius of micelle in the emulsion made with DCA−LDH maintained its small size (<500 nm), while upon pH change and dilution with water, that made with DCA only uncontrollably increased up to ~3000 nm. The polydispersity index value of the DCA–LDH emulsion remained constant (<0.3) after the pH change and dilution with water, indicating the high stability of the formulation. Furthermore, time-dependent turbidity monitoring revealed that the DCA-only formulation suffered from serious coalescence and creaming compared with the DCA–LDH formulation. It is suggested that the dynamic interaction between LDH layers and DCA prevented molecular aggregation under unfavorable conditions for the oil–in–water emulsion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Micro/Nano Emulsions: Fabrication and Applications)
Review
Restoring the Importance of Cereal-Grain Legume Mixtures in Low-Input Farming Systems
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 341; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020341 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
In the paper, we overview the benefits of cereal-grain legume mixtures in low-input farming systems and identify the key factors affecting their agricultural performance. The review was based on the data collected from databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect. [...] Read more.
In the paper, we overview the benefits of cereal-grain legume mixtures in low-input farming systems and identify the key factors affecting their agricultural performance. The review was based on the data collected from databases such as Google Scholar, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect. The gathered literature covered the original research articles, reviews, book chapters, and, in a few cases, conference proceedings. The focus was on literature coming from Mediterranean countries and Central-Eastern Europe, especially from Poland. Originating from two different plant families, legumes and cereals complement each other. The legumes provide biologically fixed nitrogen for the cereals in the mixture, but also increase its pool available to the following crops. Additional benefits include, but are not limited to more efficient pathogen and weed control, supply of high-quality fodder, and improved economic efficiency. Cultivation of crops after such mixtures usually results in higher and more stable yields. The productivity of cereal-grain legume mixtures largely depends on the soil factors (soil type, pH, water availability, etc.), crop species, crop variety, and crop management. Cereal-grain legume mixtures are particularly relevant to the poor (sandy) soils which are often unsuitable for the production of the components grown as a sole crop and are often linked with low-input farming systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Legumes: Advances in Breeding, Productivity and Quality)
Article
Control of Spodoptera frugiperda on Fresh Corn via Pesticide Application before Transplanting
Agriculture 2023, 13(2), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020342 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Background: Pesticide application before transplanting crops has been widely used in rice as an economical and effective method for reducing the use of chemical pesticides. This study focused on the feasibility of the application of pesticides before transplanting in a fresh corn nursery [...] Read more.
Background: Pesticide application before transplanting crops has been widely used in rice as an economical and effective method for reducing the use of chemical pesticides. This study focused on the feasibility of the application of pesticides before transplanting in a fresh corn nursery to control Spodoptera frugiperda. Methods: Three pesticides, including 35% Chlorantraniliprole WDG, 6% Spinetoram SC, and 3% Emamectin Benzoate WDG, combined with Polyorganosilicon (HTY-A8) or special flight additives (MF) as synergists were used and their toxicity was determined in the larvae of S. frugiperda feeding on sweet corn in the third leaf stage treated with 5 and 25 times the conventional field application concentration. The best combinations were tested in the field. The results showed that S. frugiperda exhibited high sensitivity to the three pesticides. The period of pest control validity of 35% Chlorantraniliprole WDG and 6% Spinetoram SC in the larvae was about 20 days, while that of 3% Emamectin Benzoate WDG was much shorter. The active component content of Chlorantraniliprole in the corn leaves was significantly higher than that of Emamectin Benzoate and Spinetoram. The pest control effects of Chlorantraniliprole were significantly promoted by HTY-A8 and MF. The field experiment showed that the control effect on S. frugiperda could last for 17 days by spraying Chlorantraniliprole or Spinetoram at 25 times the conventional concentration before transplanting, Furthermore, this method could reduce the amount of active ingredient to 4/5 or 3/4 of that found in a single field spray or seed coating treatment, respectively. Conclusions: This study puts forward a new method to effectively control S. frugiperda in the seedling stage of fresh corn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Use of Pesticides)
Article
Embryotoxicity and Teratogenicity of Steroidal Saponin Isolated from Ophiopholis mirabilis
Toxics 2023, 11(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics11020137 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Benthic invertebrates produce secondary metabolites that serve as defenses against consumers and promote their fitness. To explore the chemical defense in marine benthic echinoderms, the chemical constituents of Ophiopholis mirabilis were investigated. A steroidal monoglycoside, asterosaponin P1, was isolated from O. mirabilis for [...] Read more.
Benthic invertebrates produce secondary metabolites that serve as defenses against consumers and promote their fitness. To explore the chemical defense in marine benthic echinoderms, the chemical constituents of Ophiopholis mirabilis were investigated. A steroidal monoglycoside, asterosaponin P1, was isolated from O. mirabilis for the first-time using column chromatography. The chemical structure was characterized by spectroscopic and spectrometric methods. The embryotoxicity and teratogenicity of the isolated compound were assessed using the zebrafish embryo assay, a powerful vertebrate animal model system to study mechanisms of toxicity. When applied at high concentrations, asterosaponin P1 causes a significant increase in embryo mortality. A moderate LC50 of asterosaponin P1 appeared to be time- and concentration-dependent in its toxicity to zebrafish embryos. Teratogenicity in zebrafish embryos also included morphological defects, decreased hatchability, and a reduced heart rate. These findings revealed that steroidal saponin extracted from O. mirabilis exhibited acute toxic effects on zebrafish embryos, suggesting a potential chemical defense function in marine habitats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecotoxicology)
Article
Fine Particle Adsorption Capacity of Volcanic Soil from Southern Kyushu, Japan
Nanomaterials 2023, 13(3), 568; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano13030568 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
“Akahoya” is a volcanic soil classified as a special soil deposited in Kyushu, Japan. Many of its properties are not yet clearly understood. We found that Akahoya had the potential to adsorb bacteria in cattle feces, which prompted us to investigate its material [...] Read more.
“Akahoya” is a volcanic soil classified as a special soil deposited in Kyushu, Japan. Many of its properties are not yet clearly understood. We found that Akahoya had the potential to adsorb bacteria in cattle feces, which prompted us to investigate its material properties and perform experiments to comprehensively evaluate its adsorption performance for various fine particles such as acidic and basic dyes, NOx/SOx gas, and phosphoric acid ions, in addition to bacteria. Akahoya had a very high specific surface area owing to the large number of nanometer-sized pores in its structure; it exhibited a high adsorption capacity for both NO2 and SO2. Regarding the zeta potential of Akahoya, the point of zero charge was approximately pH 7.0. The surface potential had a significant effect on the adsorption of acidic and basic dyes. Akahoya had a very high cation exchange capacity when the sample surface was negatively charged and a high anion exchange capacity when the sample surface was positively charged. Akahoya also exhibited a relatively high adsorption capacity for phosphoric acid because of its high level of Al2O3, and the immersion liquid had a very high Al ion concentration. Finally, filtration tests were performed on Escherichia coli suspension using a column filled with Akahoya or another volcanic soil sample. The results confirmed that the Escherichia coli adhered on the Akahoya sample. The results of the Escherichia coli release test, after the filtration test, suggested that this adhesion to Akahoya could be phosphorus-mediated. Full article
Article
Custom-Developed Reflection–Transmission Integrated Vision System for Rapid Detection of Huanglongbing Based on the Features of Blotchy Mottled Texture and Starch Accumulation in Leaves
Plants 2023, 12(3), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12030616 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a highly contagious and devastating citrus disease that causes huge economic losses to the citrus industry. Because it cannot be cured, timely detection of the HLB infection status of plants and removal of diseased trees are effective ways to reduce [...] Read more.
Huanglongbing (HLB) is a highly contagious and devastating citrus disease that causes huge economic losses to the citrus industry. Because it cannot be cured, timely detection of the HLB infection status of plants and removal of diseased trees are effective ways to reduce losses. However, complex HLB symptoms, such as single HLB-symptomatic or zinc deficiency + HLB-positive, cannot be identified by a single reflection imaging method at present. In this study, a vision system with an integrated reflection–transmission image acquisition module, human–computer interaction module, and power supply module was developed for rapid HLB detection in the field. In reflection imaging mode, 660 nm polarized light was used as the illumination source to enhance the contrast of the HLB symptoms in the images based on the differences in the absorption of narrow-band light by the components within the leaves. In transmission imaging mode, polarization images were obtained in four directions, and the polarization angle images were calculated using the Stokes vector to detect the optical activity of starch. A step-by-step classification model with four steps was used for the identification of six classes of samples (healthy, HLB-symptomatic, zinc deficiency, zinc deficiency + HLB-positive, magnesium deficiency, and boron deficiency). The results showed that the model had an accuracy of 96.92% for the full category of samples and 98.08% for the identification of multiple types of HLB (HLB-symptomatic and zinc deficiency + HLB-positive). In addition, the classification model had good recognition of zinc deficiency and zinc deficiency + HLB-positive samples, at 92.86%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disease Control Strategies in Citrus Plants)
Article
Factors Influencing the Aged in the Use of Mobile Healthcare Applications: An Empirical Study in China
Healthcare 2023, 11(3), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030396 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Mobile healthcare applications are of significant potential value in the development of the aged-care industry due to their great convenience, high efficiency, and low cost. Since the cognition and utilization rates of mobile healthcare applications for the elderly are still low, this study [...] Read more.
Mobile healthcare applications are of significant potential value in the development of the aged-care industry due to their great convenience, high efficiency, and low cost. Since the cognition and utilization rates of mobile healthcare applications for the elderly are still low, this study explored the factors that affect the elderly’s adoption of mobile healthcare applications. This study conducted a questionnaire survey on the elderly in China and received 365 valuable responses. This study combined the technology acceptance model, protection motivation theory, and perceived risk theory to build a research model of factors affecting the use of mobile healthcare applications by the elderly. The data were analyzed using a structural equation model. The results were as follows: according to the empirical research, (1) perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use positively affect the use attitude of the elderly; perceived usefulness and user attitude positively affect the behavior intention of the elderly; perceived ease of use positively affects perceived usefulness; (2) perceived severity has a significant positive correlation with use attitude; perceived susceptibility and attitude to use have no significant impact; (3) perceived risk is negatively correlated with the use attitude and behavioral intention. The above-mentioned factors should be taken into consideration during the development of mobile healthcare applications for the aged to upgrade the overall service quality of mobile healthcare applications, thus enhancing the operational level of mobile healthcare applications and the health literacy of the aged. Full article
Article
Study on the Equivalence of Metallic-Cerium-Simulated Uranium-Aerosol Generation under Fire
Processes 2023, 11(2), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr11020419 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Uranium aerosols are released from uranium-containing materials in high-temperature environments caused by nuclear accidents or other processes. Research on the generation characteristics of uranium aerosols under such conditions is an important part of nuclear-safety analysis. In this experiment, the similarity between metal cerium [...] Read more.
Uranium aerosols are released from uranium-containing materials in high-temperature environments caused by nuclear accidents or other processes. Research on the generation characteristics of uranium aerosols under such conditions is an important part of nuclear-safety analysis. In this experiment, the similarity between metal cerium aerosols and uranium material aerosols was evaluated from the aspects of particle size distribution and source term. Combined with the experiment data, the effect of air flow rate and sampling time is discussed. The calculation result of the air release fraction (ARF) is 6.07 × 10−3–4.8 × 10−2, and the respirable fraction (RF) is 0.810–0.978, respectively, showing that the size distribution of particles and ARF of the cerium aerosol are different from the results of the uranium aerosols in the literature, while the RF is similar to the results obtained by using the uranium–niobium alloy in the literature. Full article
Review
Nutritional Status and Feeding Behavior of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Middle East and North Africa Region: A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2023, 15(3), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15030711 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children is associated with increased risks of overweight/obesity and underweight, altered nutrient profile, and abnormal feeding behaviors. This systematic review aimed to elucidate the literature on the nutritional status of children with ASD in the Middle East North [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children is associated with increased risks of overweight/obesity and underweight, altered nutrient profile, and abnormal feeding behaviors. This systematic review aimed to elucidate the literature on the nutritional status of children with ASD in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, by providing a summary and assessment of the body of evidence. A systematic review of English and Arabic publications up to November 2020 was conducted of five databases in addition to the grey literature, which include a nutrition-related parameter, from both experimental and observational study designs. Children with ASD (ASD-C) between 2 and 19 years in the MENA Region were the target population. For risk of bias, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Quality Criteria Checklist (QCC) was adopted. The number of published articles was grossly limited. Forty-three articles were included, of which only four articles reported a low risk of bias; therefore, the results were interpreted in light of methodological limitations. Both overweight and underweight were common in ASD-C, although not consistently different than typically developing children. Nutrient inadequacies of energy, protein, omega-3, and others; deficiencies in serum iron indicators and calcium, as well as vitamins B12, B9, and D levels; and higher levels of homocysteine and omega-6/omega-3 ratios were reported. Feeding behavior problems were also common in ASD-C. Understanding nutritional requirements and food preferences can guide the planning of the appropriate comprehensive interventions for ASD-C. Various nutritional and behavioral concerns were identified in the included studies; however, they were subject to methodological weaknesses, which limited the generalizability of these results. Future research is warranted that must be directed to finding strong evidence using robust study designs on nutritional status and feeding behaviors of ASD-C, with a particular emphasis on the MENA Region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 2023 Collection: Dietary, Lifestyle and Children Health)
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Article
Robot Bionic Eye Motion Posture Control System
Electronics 2023, 12(3), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics12030698 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
This paper mainly studies the structure and system of robot bionic eye. Given that most robots usually run on battery power, the STM32L053C8T6 with high efficiency and super low power consumption was selected as the main control. By carrying IMU, the bionic eye [...] Read more.
This paper mainly studies the structure and system of robot bionic eye. Given that most robots usually run on battery power, the STM32L053C8T6 with high efficiency and super low power consumption was selected as the main control. By carrying IMU, the bionic eye attitude data can be acquired quickly and accurately, and the measurement data of accelerometer and gyroscope can be fused by the algorithm to obtain stable and accurate bionic eye attitude data. Thus, the precise control of the motor can be realized through the drive control system equipped with PCA9685, which can enhance the motion control precision of robot bionic eye. In the present study, three kinds of IMU sensors, MPU6050, MPU9250, and WT9011G4K, were selected to carry out experiments. Finally, MPU9250 with better power consumption and adaptability is selected. This is the attitude acquisition device of bionic eye. In addition, three different filters, CF, GD, and EKF, were used for data fusion and comparison. The experimental result showed that the dynamic mean errors of CF, GD, and EKF are 0.62°, 0.61°, and 0.43°, respectively, and the static mean errors are 0.1017°, 0.1001°, and 0.0462°, respectively. The result showed that, after the use of EKF, the robot bionic eye system designed in this paper can significantly reduce the attitude angle error and effectively improve the image quality. It ensures accuracy and reduces power consumption and cost, which has lower requirements on hardware and is easier to popularize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application Research Using AI, IoT, HCI, and Big Data Technologies)
Article
Changes in Selected Forage Parameters of Meadow Timothy (Phleum pratense L.) Biomass and in the Soil as a Response to Slurry Interaction with Soil Conditioners
Sustainability 2023, 15(3), 2502; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032502 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
The aim of the research was to assess the effect of slurry and soil conditioners on Phleum pratense yield and its selected parameters and on soil nutrients. The second aspect of the experiment was to obtain information whether slurry and soil conditioners applied [...] Read more.
The aim of the research was to assess the effect of slurry and soil conditioners on Phleum pratense yield and its selected parameters and on soil nutrients. The second aspect of the experiment was to obtain information whether slurry and soil conditioners applied together will increase the accumulation of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the soil compared to slurry applied on its own or together with NPK fertilizers. The research was carried out on the basis of a three-year (2015–2017) field experiment. The interaction of soil conditioners or mineral fertilizers with slurry was tested on forage grass of the Meadow timothy species of the Secesja variety, sown in autumn 2014. Grass total protein, crude fiber and crude ash content and net energy concentration (NE) were determined; additionally, at the end of the experiment, total nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content in the soil was measured. The results of plant material analyses were statistically developed using a three-factor analysis of variance, while the results of soil content determination were developed with a one-factor analysis. The interaction of slurry with Humus Active or Rosahumus significantly increased the amount of meadow timothy biomass in relation to plants fertilized with slurry on its own (by 22% and 26%, respectively) or supplemented with NPK fertilizers (by 9% and 7%). The interaction of slurry with the Rosahumus soil conditioner resulted in a significant increase in meadow timothy crude fiber content compared to the effect of slurry applied on its own or with NPK fertilizers (by 5% and 6.5%). The interaction of slurry with soil conditioners did not result in a significant increase in total protein and crude ash content or in the net energy concentration compared to slurry applied on its own or with NPK fertilizers. Soil nutrient content determined after the experiment proved a significant impact of the interaction of soil conditioners and slurry on the accumulation of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Article
Measuring Mindfulness in Business School Students: A Comparative Analysis of Mindful Attention Awareness Scale and Langer’s Scale
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13020116 (registering DOI) - 30 Jan 2023
Abstract
Research studies have established that mindfulness helps in psychological well-being, stress reduction, chronic pain management, behavioral therapy, and other areas including organizational development. Mindfulness often refers to a state of consciousness, but mindfulness can also be understood as a personality trait. State mindfulness [...] Read more.
Research studies have established that mindfulness helps in psychological well-being, stress reduction, chronic pain management, behavioral therapy, and other areas including organizational development. Mindfulness often refers to a state of consciousness, but mindfulness can also be understood as a personality trait. State mindfulness is referred as the individual’s capacity to cultivate a particular state of mind during meditative practice. Traits are more permanent facets of personality characteristics that are difficult to change and likely have some basis in genetics. Few scholars have criticized meditative mindfulness as a trend and cautioned that organizations should carefully consider their goals before introducing meditative mindfulness training. This dichotomy has prompted us to review the literature and carry out a comparative analysis of two divergent measurement scales of mindfulness: the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and Langer’s mindfulness/mindlessness scale. The MAAS is the most widely used mindfulness scale to measure mindfulness, and Langer’s scale measures mindfulness/mindlessness. We developed hypotheses relating Langer’s scale and the MAAS. Further, we studied whether there is any difference in mindfulness/mindlessness among business school students with an undergraduate background in engineering and nonengineering streams. Using a self-administered questionnaire, we measured the mindfulness levels of 221 MBA first- and second-year graduates and tested the hypothesis using partial least squares structural equations modeling (PLS-SEM). We found that Langer’s mindfulness/mindlessness scale was negatively associated with the MAAS. We did not find any effect of gender, education, and professional specializations on mindfulness. Full article

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