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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Acid Dyes from Textile Wastewaters Using Fish Scales by Absorption Process
Clean Technol. 2019, 1(1), 311-324; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol1010021 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Fish scales (FS), a byproduct of the fish processing industry, are often discarded carelessly. In this present study, FS were used as a promising bio-sorbent for the removal of anionic acid dyes (acid red 1 (AR1), acid blue 45 (AB45) and acid yellow [...] Read more.
Fish scales (FS), a byproduct of the fish processing industry, are often discarded carelessly. In this present study, FS were used as a promising bio-sorbent for the removal of anionic acid dyes (acid red 1 (AR1), acid blue 45 (AB45) and acid yellow 127 (AY127)) from the wastewaters of textile coloration. Here, physiochemical characterizations of the FS were investigated by SEM-EDS, TGA and FI-IR analyses, and dye absorption and removal efficiency were evaluated and optimized considering different process parameters such as concentration of initial dye solution, amount of FS used, contact time, FS size, process temperature, additives, stirring and vacuum. SEM images and EDS elemental analyses showed architectural variation and heterogeneous composition of FS at different places. TGA identified the 50% minerals, 33% organic matters and 17% moisture and volatile components. FI-IR evidenced considerable absorption of acid dyes. Process optimization revealed that additives and fine pulverized FS had significant positive and negative impact on the dye removal efficacy, respectively. Temperature and stirring improved dye removal efficiency, and dye absorption by FS was very fast at the beginning and became almost constant after an hour indicating saturation of absorption. The maximum dye absorptions in scales for AR1, AB45, and AY127 were noted as 1.8, 2.7 and 3.4 mg/g, respectively, and removal percentages were 63.5%, 89.3% and 93%. The effects of the process parameters were consistent across all three acid dyes used in this study. Two-way ANOVA model showed that dye type, process parameters and ‘dye type X process parameters’ interactions had significant effect on the dye removal efficiency. Full article
Open AccessReview
Effect of Probiotics on Oral Candidiasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2449; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102449 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Oral candidiasis (OC) is an increasing health problem due to the introduction of new drugs, population aging, and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. This study systematically reviews the effects of the oral intake of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on Candida spp. counts (colony-forming [...] Read more.
Oral candidiasis (OC) is an increasing health problem due to the introduction of new drugs, population aging, and increasing prevalence of chronic illness. This study systematically reviews the effects of the oral intake of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on Candida spp. counts (colony-forming units (CFU)/mL) in oral and palatal samples. A literature search was conducted. Twelve studies, eight randomized clinical trials (RCTs), and four pre-post studies, resulted as eligible for the meta-analysis, which was performed through a Bayesian random-effects model. All studies analyzed probiotics, and none of them analyzed prebiotics or synbiotics. The treatments effects were measured in terms of odds ratio (OR) of OC (CFU/mL >102, 103, or 104). The meta-analytic OR was 0.71 (95% credibility interval (CrI): 0.37, 1.32), indicating a beneficial effect of treatment; the I2 index was 56.3%. Focusing only on RCTs, the OR was larger and more precise at 0.53 (95% CrI: 0.27, 0.93). The effect of treatment appeared to be larger on denture wearers. Our findings indicate that the intake of probiotics can have a beneficial effect on OC and that the effects could vary according to the patients’ characteristics. Due to the presence of medium–high-risk studies, the results should be interpreted with caution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Development of Nickel-BTC-MOF-Derived Nanocomposites with rGO Towards Electrocatalytic Oxidation of Methanol and Its Product Analysis
Catalysts 2019, 9(10), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9100856 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this study, electrochemical oxidation of methanol to formic acid using the economical and highly active catalytic Nickel Benzene tricarboxylic acid metal organic framework (Ni-BTC-MOF) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposites modified glassy carbon electrode GCE in alkaline media, which was examined via [...] Read more.
In this study, electrochemical oxidation of methanol to formic acid using the economical and highly active catalytic Nickel Benzene tricarboxylic acid metal organic framework (Ni-BTC-MOF) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposites modified glassy carbon electrode GCE in alkaline media, which was examined via cyclic voltammetry technique. Nickel based MOF and rGO nanocomposites were prepared by solvothermal approach, followed by morphological and structural characterization of prepared samples through X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. The electrochemical testing of synthesized materials represents the effect of the sequential increase in rGO concentration on electrocatalytic activity. The Ni-BTC/4 wt % rGO composite with a pronounced current density of 200.22 mA/cm2 at 0.69 V versus Hg/HgO electrode at 50 mV/s was found to be a potential candidate for methanol oxidation in Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) applications. Product analysis was carried out through Gas Chromatography (GC) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, which confirmed the formation of formic acid during the oxidation process, with approximately 62% yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Electrocatalysis)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Ruin Probability Approximations in Sparre Andersen Models with Completely Monotone Claims
Risks 2019, 7(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/risks7040104 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
We consider the Sparre Andersen risk process with interclaim times that belong to the class of distributions with rational Laplace transform. We construct error bounds for the ruin probability based on the Pollaczek–Khintchine formula, and develop an efficient algorithm to approximate the ruin [...] Read more.
We consider the Sparre Andersen risk process with interclaim times that belong to the class of distributions with rational Laplace transform. We construct error bounds for the ruin probability based on the Pollaczek–Khintchine formula, and develop an efficient algorithm to approximate the ruin probability for completely monotone claim size distributions. Our algorithm improves earlier results and can be tailored towards achieving a predetermined accuracy of the approximation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects on the Caco-2 Cells of a Hypoglycemic Protein from Lupin Seeds in a Solution and Adsorbed on Polystyrene Nanoparticles to Mimic a Complex Food Matrix
Biomolecules 2019, 9(10), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9100606 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
The search for bioactivities influencing the human wellbeing of food proteins and peptides is a topic of broad and current interest. γ-Conglutin (γC) is a lupin seed protein drawing remarkable pharmacological and/or nutraceutical interest, as it is able to reduce hyperglycemia in humans [...] Read more.
The search for bioactivities influencing the human wellbeing of food proteins and peptides is a topic of broad and current interest. γ-Conglutin (γC) is a lupin seed protein drawing remarkable pharmacological and/or nutraceutical interest, as it is able to reduce hyperglycemia in humans and animal models. The present work deepens our investigations to understand the molecular basis of the in vitro effects of γC by testing the possible metabolic effects on cultivated Caco-2 cells. γC and its derived peptides (obtained via simulated gastrointestinal digestion) did not influence the cell viability at incubation times up to 24 h. The incubation of cells with native or digested γC caused no detectable inflammation processes mediated by Nuclear Factor kappa B (NFκB). We checked if treatment with γC or its derived peptides can elicit the expression of two peptide transporters (Pept-1 and Htp-1) by using an RT-qPCR approach. Native γC caused the halving of Pept-1 expression compared to untreated cells, but this effect disappeared when γC was digested. Either native γC or γC peptides reduced the expression levels of Hpt-1. Finally, this work also sheds light on the possible structural modifications of γC that may occur in the gastrointestinal tract, using an in vitro simulated dispersed system with polystyrene nanoparticles (NPs). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Hollywood Dance-In: Abstract and Material Relations of Corporeal Reproduction
Arts 2019, 8(4), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040133 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
This essay asks what the figure of the Hollywood dance-in—a dancer who performed in place of a star prior to filming and who assisted the choreographer in the creation of dance numbers—can reveal about the reproduction of corporeality as an operation that is [...] Read more.
This essay asks what the figure of the Hollywood dance-in—a dancer who performed in place of a star prior to filming and who assisted the choreographer in the creation of dance numbers—can reveal about the reproduction of corporeality as an operation that is both abstract and material. Focusing on the white film star Gene Kelly and his Mexican-born dance-in Alex Romero, the essay shows how the men functioned as literal and virtual doubles for one another in the rehearsal process and argues for an understanding of their relations of reproduction as queer and racially charged. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dance and Abstraction)
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Open AccessArticle
The Performance of Wood Decking after Five Years of Exposure: Verification of the Combined Effect of Wetting Ability and Durability
Forests 2019, 10(10), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100903 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Wood is one of the most important construction materials, and its use in building applications has increased in recent decades. In order to enable even more extensive and reliable use of wood, we need to understand the factors affecting wood’s service life. A [...] Read more.
Wood is one of the most important construction materials, and its use in building applications has increased in recent decades. In order to enable even more extensive and reliable use of wood, we need to understand the factors affecting wood’s service life. A new concept for characterizing the durability of wood-based materials and for predicting the service life of wood has recently been proposed, based on material-inherent protective properties, moisture performance, and the climate- and design-induced exposure dose of wooden structures. This approach was validated on the decking of a model house in Ljubljana that was constructed in October 2013. The decay and moisture content of decking elements were regularly monitored. In addition, the resistance dose DRd, as the product of the critical dose Dcrit, and two factors taking into account the wetting ability of wood (kwa) and its inherent durability (kinh), were determined in the laboratory. DRd correlated well with the decay rates of the decking of the model house. Furthermore, the positive effect of thermal modification and water-repellent treatments on the outdoor performance of the examined materials was evident, as well as the synergistic effects between moisture performance and inherent durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Protection and Preservation)
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Open AccessEditorial
The Role of Hypoxia and the Immune System in Tumor Radioresistance
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11101555 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Radiotherapy is given to a majority of patients with cancer, and remains one of the most (cost)effective treatment options available [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Radioresistance)
Open AccessArticle
How Fast Is Europe Getting Old? Analysis of Dynamics Applying the Spatial Shift–Share Approach
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5661; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205661 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this article, we analyzed the dynamics of the population aging process in Europe. The study was conducted on the basis of statistical data on the number of people aged 65 and above per 1000 of the population in 32 European countries in [...] Read more.
In this article, we analyzed the dynamics of the population aging process in Europe. The study was conducted on the basis of statistical data on the number of people aged 65 and above per 1000 of the population in 32 European countries in the years 1991–2018. The analyses also took into account the structure of the population by gender in five age groups: 65–69, 70–74, 75–79, 80–84, and 85 and above. An extensive analysis of the rate of changes in the magnitude of the phenomenon was carried out, which gave an answer to the question about how quickly Europe is aging. We applied the spatial dynamic shift–share method. The spatial variant of the method allowed, among others, indicating countries where the pace of population aging in a specific age group was faster/slower than in locations neighboring the examined country. Specific regions characterized by the fastest population aging were also indicated, and shares of structural and sectoral factors of the changes were estimated. Furthermore, based on the values of local competitiveness indicators, regions were identified where the aging of the population decelerated or accelerated the phenomenon in neighboring countries in the study period. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Mechanisms Underlying Hepatitis C Virus-Associated Hepatic Fibrosis
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1249; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101249 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often causes liver diseases, including fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver fibrosis is the outcome of the wound healing response to tissue damage caused by chronic HCV infection. This process is characterized by the excessive accumulation of [...] Read more.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection often causes liver diseases, including fibrosis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver fibrosis is the outcome of the wound healing response to tissue damage caused by chronic HCV infection. This process is characterized by the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as collagen fibers secreted by activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Activation of HSCs from the quiescent stage is mediated by different mechanisms, including pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines released from HCV-infected hepatocytes and liver macrophages. HCV infection modulates the expression of different microRNAs that can be transported and delivered to the HSCs via exosomes released from infected cells, also leading to the development of advanced disease pathogenesis. Although recent advancements in direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment can efficiently control viremia, there are very few treatment strategies available that can be effective at preventing pathogenesis in advanced liver fibrosis or cirrhosis in patients. Assessment of fibrosis is considered to be the major part of proper patient care and decision making in clinical practice. In this review, we highlighted the current knowledge of molecular mechanisms responsible for the progression of liver fibrosis in chronically HCV-infected patients, and currently available methods for evaluation of fibrosis in patients. A detailed understanding of these aspects at the molecular level may contribute to the development of new therapies targeting HCV-related liver fibrosis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Potential Mechanisms of Probiotics Action in the Prevention and Treatment of Colorectal Cancer
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2453; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102453 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common and most diagnosed cancers in the world. There are many predisposing factors, for example, genetic predisposition, smoking, or a diet rich in red, processed meat and poor in vegetables and fruits. Probiotics may be helpful [...] Read more.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most common and most diagnosed cancers in the world. There are many predisposing factors, for example, genetic predisposition, smoking, or a diet rich in red, processed meat and poor in vegetables and fruits. Probiotics may be helpful in the prevention of cancer and may provide support during treatment. The main aim of this study is to characterize the potential mechanisms of action of probiotics, in particular the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. Probiotics’ potential mechanisms of action are, for example, modification of intestinal microbiota, improvement of colonic physicochemical conditions, production of anticancerogenic and antioxidant metabolites against carcinogenesis, a decrease in intestinal inflammation, and the production of harmful enzymes. The prevention of colorectal cancer is associated with favorable quantitative and qualitative changes in the intestinal microbiota, as well as changes in metabolic activity and in the physicochemical conditions of the intestine. In addition, it is worth noting that the effect depends on the bacterial strain, as well as on the dose administered. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Translational Application of Circulating DNA in Oncology: Review of the Last Decades Achievements
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101251 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In recent years, the introduction of new molecular techniques in experimental and clinical settings has allowed researchers and clinicians to propose circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis and liquid biopsy as novel promising strategies for the early diagnosis of cancer and for the definition of [...] Read more.
In recent years, the introduction of new molecular techniques in experimental and clinical settings has allowed researchers and clinicians to propose circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA) analysis and liquid biopsy as novel promising strategies for the early diagnosis of cancer and for the definition of patients’ prognosis. It was widely demonstrated that through the non-invasive analysis of ctDNA, it is possible to identify and characterize the mutational status of tumors while avoiding invasive diagnostic strategies. Although a number of studies on ctDNA in patients’ samples significantly contributed to the improvement of oncology practice, some investigations generated conflicting data about the diagnostic and prognostic significance of ctDNA. Hence, to highlight the relevant achievements obtained so far in this field, a clearer description of the current methodologies used, as well as the obtained results, are strongly needed. On these bases, this review discusses the most relevant studies on ctDNA analysis in cancer, as well as the future directions and applications of liquid biopsy. In particular, special attention was paid to the early diagnosis of primary cancer, to the diagnosis of tumors with an unknown primary location, and finally to the prognosis of cancer patients. Furthermore, the current limitations of ctDNA-based approaches and possible strategies to overcome these limitations are presented. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Backward Bifurcation and Optimal Control Analysis of a Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense Model
Mathematics 2019, 7(10), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/math7100971 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this paper, a mathematical model for the transmission dynamics of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense that incorporates three species—namely, human, animal and vector—is formulated and analyzed. Two controls representing awareness campaigns and insecticide use are investigated in order to minimize the number of infected [...] Read more.
In this paper, a mathematical model for the transmission dynamics of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense that incorporates three species—namely, human, animal and vector—is formulated and analyzed. Two controls representing awareness campaigns and insecticide use are investigated in order to minimize the number of infected hosts in the population and the cost of implementation. Qualitative analysis of the model showed that it exhibited backward bifurcation generated by awareness campaigns. From the optimal control analysis we observed that optimal awareness and insecticide use could lead to effective control of the disease even when they were implemented at low intensities. In addition, it was noted that insecticide control had a greater impact on minimizing the spread of the disease compared to awareness campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology)
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Open AccessLetter
Exceptionally High 2018 Equilibrium Line Altitude on Taku Glacier, Alaska
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(20), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11202378 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
The Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) has been examining the glaciers of the Juneau Icefield since 1946. The height of the transient snowline (TSL) at the end of the summer represents the annual equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for the glacier, where ablation equals [...] Read more.
The Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) has been examining the glaciers of the Juneau Icefield since 1946. The height of the transient snowline (TSL) at the end of the summer represents the annual equilibrium line altitude (ELA) for the glacier, where ablation equals accumulation. On Taku Glacier the ELA has been observed annually from 1946 to 2018. Since 1998 multiple annual observations of the TSL in satellite imagery identify both the migration rate of the TSL and ELA. The mean ELA has risen 85 ± 10 m from the 1946–1985 period to the 1986–2018 period. In 2018 the TSL was observed at: 900 m on 5 July; 975 m on 21 July; 1075 m on 30 July; 1400 m on 16 September; and 1425 m on 1 October. This is the first time since 1946 that the TSL has reached or exceeded 1250 m on Taku Glacier. The 500 m TSL rise from 5 July to 30 July, 8.0. md−1, is the fastest rate of rise observed. This combined with the observed balance gradient in this region yields an ablation rate of 40–43 mmd−1, nearly double the average ablation rate. On 22 July a snow pit was completed at 1405 m with 0.93 m w.e. (water equivalent), that subsequently lost all snow cover, prior to 16 September. This is one of eight snow pits completed in July providing field data to verify the ablation rate. The result of the record ELA and rapid ablation is the largest negative annual balance of Taku Glacier since records began in 1946. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing for Climate Change Studies)
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Open AccessArticle
The Invariant Two-Parameter Function of Algebras ψ
Math. Comput. Appl. 2019, 24(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/mca24040089 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
At present, the research on invariant functions for algebras is very extended since Hrivnák
and Novotný defined in 2007 the invariant functions [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical and Symbolic Computation: Developments and Applications)

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