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Open AccessArticle
TP53-Mutated Circulating Tumor DNA for Disease Monitoring in Lymphoma Patients after CAR T Cell Therapy
by , , , , , , , , and
Diagnostics 2021, 11(5), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050844 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell immunotherapy has shown remarkable efficacy in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients. Minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring in NHL is essential after CAR T cell therapy, which can be achieved by monitoring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The mutation [...] Read more.
Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell immunotherapy has shown remarkable efficacy in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) patients. Minimal residual disease (MRD) monitoring in NHL is essential after CAR T cell therapy, which can be achieved by monitoring circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The mutation of TP53 in NHL has been suggested to be associated with a poor prognosis. However, whether TP53-mutated ctDNA can be used as a biomarker remains undetermined. In this study, a total of 40 patients with mutated TP53 who received CAR T cell treatment were analyzed, and specific probes targeting 29 different TP53 mutation sites in the 40 patients were designed and verified. Then, the presence of TP53-mutated ctDNA in longitudinal plasma samples was tracked by droplet digital PCR. Patients were stratified into two groups, favorable or unfavorable, based on their highest ctDNA level using a MAF cutoff of 3.15% according to the ROC curve. The unfavorable group had significantly worse PFS than the favorable group (p < 0.001). Our results suggest that patients with mutated TP53 with a favorable ctDNA profile in the first trimester have better prognostic outcomes than patients with an unfavorable profile, and ctDNA can be a reliable predictor of the subsequent clinical outcome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
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Open AccessReview
Peripheral Membrane Proteins: Promising Therapeutic Targets across Domains of Life
by , and
Membranes 2021, 11(5), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11050346 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Membrane proteins can be classified into two main categories—integral and peripheral membrane proteins—depending on the nature of their membrane interaction. Peripheral membrane proteins are highly unique amphipathic proteins that interact with the membrane indirectly, using electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions, or directly, using hydrophobic [...] Read more.
Membrane proteins can be classified into two main categories—integral and peripheral membrane proteins—depending on the nature of their membrane interaction. Peripheral membrane proteins are highly unique amphipathic proteins that interact with the membrane indirectly, using electrostatic or hydrophobic interactions, or directly, using hydrophobic tails or GPI-anchors. The nature of this interaction not only influences the location of the protein in the cell, but also the function. In addition to their unique relationship with the cell membrane, peripheral membrane proteins often play a key role in the development of human diseases such as African sleeping sickness, cancer, and atherosclerosis. This review will discuss the membrane interaction and role of periplasmic nitrate reductase, CymA, cytochrome c, alkaline phosphatase, ecto-5’-nucleotidase, acetylcholinesterase, alternative oxidase, type-II NADH dehydrogenase, and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase in certain diseases. The study of these proteins will give new insights into their function and structure, and may ultimately lead to ground-breaking advances in the treatment of severe diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Membranes in Life Sciences)
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Open AccessArticle
Effective Microorganisms (EM) Improve Internal Organ Morphology, Intestinal Morphometry and Serum Biochemical Activity in Japanese Quails Under Clostridium perfringens Challenge
by , , , , and
Molecules 2021, 26(9), 2786; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26092786 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The effect of effective microorganisms (EM) on internal organ morphology, intestinal morphometry, and serum biochemical activity in Japanese quails under Clostridium perfringens challenge was determined. After 30 days of EM addition, one group of quails was orally inoculated with Clostridium perfringens. The [...] Read more.
The effect of effective microorganisms (EM) on internal organ morphology, intestinal morphometry, and serum biochemical activity in Japanese quails under Clostridium perfringens challenge was determined. After 30 days of EM addition, one group of quails was orally inoculated with Clostridium perfringens. The second group did not receive EM and was inoculated with C. perfringens. In the gut, EM supplementation reduced the number of lesions, enhanced gut health, and protected the mucosa from pathogenic bacteria. EM showed an anti-inflammatory effect and fewer necrotic lesions in villi. In the internal organs, EM showed a protective effect against a typical lesion of C. perfringens infection. Necrosis and degeneration of the hepatocytes, necrosis of bile ducts, and bile duct proliferation were more severe in the infected group without EM. Morphometric evaluation showed significantly higher villi in the jejunum after EM addition. A greater crypt depth was observed in the C. perfringens group. Biochemical analysis of the blood indicated lower cholesterol on the 12th day of the experiment and between-group differences in total protein, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and albumin levels in the EM group. Further studies are needed to improve EM activity against pathologic bacteria as a potential alternative to antibiotics and to develop future natural production systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Products Chemistry)
Open AccessArticle
Protecting Food Cultural Biodiversity: From Theory to Practice. Challenging the Geographical Indications and the Slow Food Models
by , , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5265; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095265 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
A global expansion in public and private initiatives seeks to strengthen the link between traditional products and sustainable development by creating a niche in the market for these products. Relevant examples are the Geographical Indications and the Slow Food Presidia models. This paper [...] Read more.
A global expansion in public and private initiatives seeks to strengthen the link between traditional products and sustainable development by creating a niche in the market for these products. Relevant examples are the Geographical Indications and the Slow Food Presidia models. This paper compares both types of Origin Food Schemes (OFS) to disclose the main commonalities and differences in their institutionalization, and their complex outcomes on cultural biodiversity (CB), which is a major concern for the sustainability of rural communities. We used underpinning knowledge dynamics as an analytical lens through the cross-comparison of ethnographic findings collected in four case studies of origin cheeses located in France, Italy and Morocco. Our findings suggest that OFS have high potential to defend CB because of their collective and context-dependent approaches. We argue that knowledge and practices mobilized in OFS are the result of power relations and confrontations among local actors, and show how four identified tensions between different forms and types of knowledge differently shape food culture, food technique, perceptions, and representations. In conclusion, the institutional approaches, practices and knowledge dynamics compared in this analysis show six effective ways to link OFS and CB, facilitating the trajectory toward sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geographical Indications, Public Goods, and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessReview
The Effect of Nanostructures in Aluminum Alloys Processed Using Additive Manufacturing on Microstructural Evolution and Mechanical Performance Behavior
by , and
Crystals 2021, 11(5), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst11050524 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
This paper reviews the status of nanoparticle technology as it relates to the additive manufacturing (AM) of aluminum-based alloys. A broad overview of common AM processes is given. Additive manufacturing is a promising field for the advancement of manufacturing due to its ability [...] Read more.
This paper reviews the status of nanoparticle technology as it relates to the additive manufacturing (AM) of aluminum-based alloys. A broad overview of common AM processes is given. Additive manufacturing is a promising field for the advancement of manufacturing due to its ability to yield near-net-shaped components that require minimal post-processing prior to end-use. AM also allows for the fabrication of prototypes as well as economical small batch production. Aluminum alloys processed via AM would be very beneficial to the manufacturing industry due to their high strength to weight ratio; however, many of the conventional alloy compositions have been shown to be incompatible with AM processing methods. As a result, many investigations have looked to methods to improve the processability of these alloys. This paper explores the use of nanostructures to enhance the processability of aluminum alloys. It is concluded that the addition of nanostructures is a promising route for modification of existing alloys and may be beneficial to other powder-based processes. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Characterization of ETFDH and PHGDH Mutations in a Patient with Mild Glutaric Aciduria Type II and Serine Deficiency
by , , , and
Genes 2021, 12(5), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12050703 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Glutaric aciduria type II (GA-II) is a rare autosomal recessive disease caused by defects in electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF), ultimately causing insufficiencies in multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MAD). 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (3-PHGDH) deficiency, is another rare autosomal disorder that appears due to a defect in [...] Read more.
Glutaric aciduria type II (GA-II) is a rare autosomal recessive disease caused by defects in electron transfer flavoprotein (ETF), ultimately causing insufficiencies in multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MAD). 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (3-PHGDH) deficiency, is another rare autosomal disorder that appears due to a defect in the synthesis of L-serine amino acid. Several mutations of ETFDH and PHGDH genes have been associated with different forms of GA-II and serine deficiency, respectively. In this study, we report a unique case of GA-II with serine deficiency using biochemical, genetic, and in silico approaches. The proband of Syrian descent had positive newborn screening (NBS) for GA-II. At two years of age, the patient presented with developmental regression, ataxia, and intractable seizures. Results of amino acid profiling demonstrated extremely low levels of serine. Confirmatory tests for GA-II and whole exome sequencing (WES) were performed to determine the etiology of intractable seizure. Sequencing results indicated a previously reported homozygous missense mutation, c.679 C>A (p.Pro227Thr) in the ETFDH gene and a novel missense homozygous mutation c.1219 T>C (p.Ser407Pro) in the PHGDH gene. In silico tools predicted these mutations as deleterious. Here, the clinical and biochemical investigations indicate that ETFDH:p.Pro227Thr and PHGDH:p.Ser407Pro variants likely underlie the pathogenesis of GA-II and serine deficiency, respectively. This study indicates that two rare autosomal recessive disorders should be considered in consanguineous families, more specifically in those with atypical presentation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Disease in Mediterranean Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Green Innovation, Institutional Constraints and Their Interactions on High-Quality Economic Development across China
by , , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5277; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095277 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
In 2015, China put forward five development concepts, propounded the concept of green development and green innovation, and adhered to the road of sustainable development. China also promoted the vision of high-quality economic development in 2017. It is very important to study the [...] Read more.
In 2015, China put forward five development concepts, propounded the concept of green development and green innovation, and adhered to the road of sustainable development. China also promoted the vision of high-quality economic development in 2017. It is very important to study the impacts of green innovation on high-quality development. However, scant research has been conducted on the impact of green innovation and institutional constraints on high-quality economic development simultaneously over both space and time in China. In this study, we analyze the impacts of green innovation on high-quality economic development across China from 2014 to 2018. The panel data model and the panel threshold model are developed, and the impact of green innovation and institutional constraints on high-quality economic development is empirically analyzed. Our results indicate that the comprehensive index and the level of high-quality economic development in all regions of China are increasing consistently. At the national level, addressing green innovation and institutional constraints have shown a significant positive impact on high-quality economic development. At the regional level, the interaction of green innovation and institutional constraints (i.e., mitigation of institutional constraints by green revolution) has a more positive impact on the economic quality of eastern China than that of central China. The interaction between green innovation and institutional constraints shows no positive impact on the high-quality economic development of the central and western regions because the green innovation, institutional constraints, and economic development in the central and western regions are weaker than those in the eastern regions. Therefore, it is suggested that different regions of China, especially the central and western ones, should strengthen green innovation, improve the market system, and increase government support. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
GAT1 Gene, the GATA Transcription Activator, Regulates the Production of Higher Alcohol during Wheat Beer Fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae
by , , , , , and
Bioengineering 2021, 8(5), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering8050061 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Uncoordinated carbon-nitrogen ratio in raw materials will lead to excessive contents of higher alcohols in alcoholic beverages. The effect of GAT1 gene, the GATA transcription activator, on higher alcohol biosynthesis was investigated to clarify the mechanism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae regulating higher alcohol metabolism [...] Read more.
Uncoordinated carbon-nitrogen ratio in raw materials will lead to excessive contents of higher alcohols in alcoholic beverages. The effect of GAT1 gene, the GATA transcription activator, on higher alcohol biosynthesis was investigated to clarify the mechanism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae regulating higher alcohol metabolism under high concentrations of free amino nitrogen (FAN). The availability of FAN by strain SDT1K with a GAT1 double-copy deletion was 28.31% lower than that of parent strain S17, and the yield of higher alcohols was 33.91% lower. The transcript levels of the downstream target genes of GAT1 and higher alcohol production in the double-copy deletion mutant suggested that a part of the effect of GAT1 deletion on higher alcohol production was the downregulation of GAP1, ARO9, and ARO10. This study shows that GATA factors can effectively regulate the metabolism of higher alcohols in S. cerevisiae and provides valuable insights into higher alcohol biosynthesis, showing great significance for the wheat beer industry. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gene Expression Correlation Analysis Reveals MYC-NAC Regulatory Network in Cotton Pigment Gland Development
by , , , , , , , , , , , and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 5007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22095007 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Plant NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) family is involved in various development processes including Programmed Cell Death (PCD) associated development. However, the relationship between NAC family and PCD-associated cotton pigment gland development is largely unknown. In this study, we identified 150, 153 and [...] Read more.
Plant NAC (NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2) family is involved in various development processes including Programmed Cell Death (PCD) associated development. However, the relationship between NAC family and PCD-associated cotton pigment gland development is largely unknown. In this study, we identified 150, 153 and 299 NAC genes in newly updated genome sequences of G. arboreum, G. raimondii and G. hirsutum, respectively. All NAC genes were divided into 8 groups by the phylogenetic analysis and most of them were conserved during cotton evolution. Using the vital regulator of gland formation GhMYC2-like as bait, expression correlation analysis screened out 6 NAC genes which were low-expressed in glandless cotton and high-expressed in glanded cotton. These 6 NAC genes acted downstream of GhMYC2-like and were induced by MeJA. Silencing CGF1(Cotton Gland Formation1), another MYC-coding gene, caused almost glandless phenotype and down-regulated expression of GhMYC2-like and the 6 NAC genes, indicating a MYC-NAC regulatory network in gland development. In addition, predicted regulatory mechanism showed that the 6 NAC genes were possibly regulated by light, various phytohormones and transcription factors as well as miRNAs. The interaction network and DNA binding sites of the 6 NAC transcription factors were also predicted. These results laid the foundation for further study of gland-related genes and gland development regulatory network. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Plant Breeding)
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Open AccessArticle
Socio-Economic Drivers of Fish Species Consumption Preferences in Kenya’s Urban Informal Food System
by , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5278; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095278 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
In an effort to contribute to resilient food and nutritional security in urban slums, a food system approach was applied to understand the key socio-economic factors driving fish species consumption in Kibera, the largest informal settlement in Africa located in Nairobi, Kenya. Data [...] Read more.
In an effort to contribute to resilient food and nutritional security in urban slums, a food system approach was applied to understand the key socio-economic factors driving fish species consumption in Kibera, the largest informal settlement in Africa located in Nairobi, Kenya. Data were collected from 385 randomly selected households using a structured questionnaire. A multivariate probit model was applied to estimate the relationship between the variables in order to determine the socio-economic drivers of preferences for different fish species. The results indicated that Lake Victoria sardine (Rastrineobola argentea) had the highest preference (73%) among the respondents, followed by Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) (70%) and Nile perch (Lates niloticus) (23%), respectively, with other fish species at 12%, including African catfish, marbled lungfish, common carp, fulu and tuna (Clarias gariepinus, Protopterus aethiopicus, Cyprinus carpio, Haplochromine cichlids and Thunnus sp., respectively). Large household size showed an increase in preference for the Lake Victoria sardine, while higher income influenced preference for Nile tilapia and Nile perch positively, implying that when more income is available, Nile tilapia is the preferred fish over other fish species. Increased fish prices positively influenced preference for Nile tilapia, which is explained by the willingness to pay extra for quality and origin, for instance, to avoid the cheaply cultivated Chinese fish. In the case of the Lake Victoria sardine, lower prices positively affected the preferences. Religious and cultural practices and beliefs influenced preference for species and consumption of fish. Residents who migrated from western Kenya had a higher preference for the Lake Victoria sardine, while residents born and raised in Kibera had a higher preference for Nile tilapia. Neighbourhood effects reduced the preference for consuming Nile perch. These findings provide insights into future market opportunities for specific target groups. For instance, given that small-sized fish like the Lake Victoria sardine is highly demanded, in order to increase resiliency in food and nutrition security, small-sized cheap Nile tilapia will have a large potential in the future, with ever higher demand specifically from the residents born and raised in Kibera. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Influence of Wave Climate on Intra and Inter-Annual Nearshore Bar Dynamics for a Sandy Beach
by , , , and
Geosciences 2021, 11(5), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences11050206 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The study investigates cross-shore outer sand bar dynamics in an open-coast non-tidal beach at the Bulgarian Black Sea due to wave climate. On seasonal to short-term (1–2 years) time scale, monthly field measurements of the outer bar profiles were related to respective modeled [...] Read more.
The study investigates cross-shore outer sand bar dynamics in an open-coast non-tidal beach at the Bulgarian Black Sea due to wave climate. On seasonal to short-term (1–2 years) time scale, monthly field measurements of the outer bar profiles were related to respective modeled nearshore wave data. Hereby, seaward-shoreward bar migration was examined depending on the wave forcing, wave non-linearity, wave transformation scenarios, storms and direction of wave incidence. Analysis revealed that intra-annually highly non-linear waves were responsible for outer bar displacement, while the direction of migration depended on wave period, duration of conditions with wave steepness >0.04, angle of approach and total duration of storms. Short-term bar evolution was mainly governed by wave height and storms’ parameters as the angle of approach and duration. The correlation between the outer bar location and wave height annual variations initiated the first for the explored Black Sea region examination of possible connection between wave height’s temporal fluctuations and the variability of climatic indices the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO), the East Atlantic Oscillation (EA), the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the East Atlantic-Western Russia (EA/WR) and the Scandinavian (SCAND) patterns. According to the results the inter-annual outer bar location may vary depending on periods of maximum annual wave fluctuations, which in turn predominantly depend on indices the EA (4–5, 10–11, 20–30 years), the EA/WR (2–4, 9–13 years) and the NAO (15 years). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shoreline Dynamics and Beach Erosion)
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Open AccessReview
Peptide-Based Vaccines: Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus, a Paradigm in Animal Health
by , , , , , , , and
Vaccines 2021, 9(5), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050477 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Vaccines are considered one of the greatest global health achievements, improving the welfare of society by saving lives and substantially reducing the burden of infectious diseases. However, few vaccines are fully effective, for reasons ranging from intrinsic limitations to more contingent shortcomings related, [...] Read more.
Vaccines are considered one of the greatest global health achievements, improving the welfare of society by saving lives and substantially reducing the burden of infectious diseases. However, few vaccines are fully effective, for reasons ranging from intrinsic limitations to more contingent shortcomings related, e.g., to cold chain transport, handling and storage. In this context, subunit vaccines where the essential antigenic traits (but not the entire pathogen) are presented in rationally designed fashion have emerged as an attractive alternative to conventional ones. In particular, this includes the option of fully synthetic peptide vaccines able to mimic well-defined B- and T-cell epitopes from the infectious agent and to induce protection against it. Although, in general, linear peptides have been associated to low immunogenicity and partial protection, there are several strategies to address such issues. In this review, we report the progress towards the development of peptide-based vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) a highly transmissible, economically devastating animal disease. Starting from preliminary experiments using single linear B-cell epitopes, recent research has led to more complex and successful second-generation vaccines featuring peptide dendrimers containing multiple copies of B- and T-cell epitopes against FMD virus or classical swine fever virus (CSFV). The usefulness of this strategy to prevent other animal and human diseases is discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Development of Epitope-Based Peptide Vaccine)
Open AccessReview
The Use of Psychoacoustics in Marine Mammal Conservation in the United States: From Science to Management and Policy
by and
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(5), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9050507 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Underwater sound generated from human activities has been long recognized to cause adverse effects on marine mammals, ranging from auditory masking to behavioral disturbance to hearing impairment. In certain instances, underwater sound has led to physical injuries and mortalities. Research efforts to assess [...] Read more.
Underwater sound generated from human activities has been long recognized to cause adverse effects on marine mammals, ranging from auditory masking to behavioral disturbance to hearing impairment. In certain instances, underwater sound has led to physical injuries and mortalities. Research efforts to assess these impacts began approximately four decades ago with behavioral observations of large whales exposed to seismic surveys and rapidly progressed into the diverse field that today includes studies of behavioral, auditory, and physiological responses of marine mammals exposed to anthropogenic sound. Findings from those studies have informed the manner in which impact assessments have been and currently are conducted by regulatory agencies in the United States. They also have led to additional questions and identified information needed to understand more holistically the impacts of underwater sound, such as population- and species-level effects, long-term, chronic, and cumulative effects, and effects on taxa for which little or no information is known. Despite progress, the regulatory community has been slow to incorporate the best available science in marine mammal management and policy and often has relied on outdated and overly simplified methods in its impact assessments. To implement conservation measures effectively, regulatory agencies must be willing to adapt their regulatory scheme to ensure that the best available scientific information is incorporated accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Noise: From Science to Management)
Open AccessArticle
Multi-Temporal Arable Land Monitoring in Arid Region of Northwest China Using a New Extraction Index
by , , , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5274; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095274 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Development of a high-accuracy method to extract arable land using effective data sources is crucial to detect and monitor arable land dynamics, servicing land protection and sustainable development. In this study, a new arable land extraction index (ALEI) based on spectral analysis was [...] Read more.
Development of a high-accuracy method to extract arable land using effective data sources is crucial to detect and monitor arable land dynamics, servicing land protection and sustainable development. In this study, a new arable land extraction index (ALEI) based on spectral analysis was proposed, examined by ground truth data, and then applied to the Hexi Corridor in northwest China. The arable land and its change patterns during 1990–2020 were extracted and identified using 40 Landsat TM/OLI images acquired in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020. The results demonstrated that the proposed method can distinguish arable land areas accurately, with the User’s (Producer’s) accuracy and overall accuracy (kappa coefficient) exceeding 0.90 (0.88) and 0.89 (0.87), respectively. The mean relative error calculated using field survey data obtained in 2012 and 2020 was 0.169 and 0.191, respectively, indicating the feasibility of the ALEI method in arable land extracting. The study found that arable land area in the Hexi Corridor was 13217.58 km2 in 2020, significantly increased by 25.33% compared to that in 1990. At 10-year intervals, the arable land experienced different change patterns. The study results indicate that ALEI index is a promising tool used to effectively extract arable land in the arid area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agricultural Landscape Stability and Sustainable Land Management)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Actuator Saturated Fuzzy Controller Design for Interval Type-2 Takagi-Sugeno Fuzzy Models with Multiplicative Noises
by , , , and
Processes 2021, 9(5), 823; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9050823 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
In many practical systems, stochastic behaviors usually occur and need to be considered in the controller design. To ensure the system performance under the effect of stochastic behaviors, the controller may become bigger even beyond the capacity of practical applications. Therefore, the actuator [...] Read more.
In many practical systems, stochastic behaviors usually occur and need to be considered in the controller design. To ensure the system performance under the effect of stochastic behaviors, the controller may become bigger even beyond the capacity of practical applications. Therefore, the actuator saturation problem also must be considered in the controller design. The type-2 Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy model can describe the parameter uncertainties more completely than the type-1 T-S fuzzy model for a class of nonlinear systems. A fuzzy controller design method is proposed in this paper based on the Interval Type-2 (IT2) T-S fuzzy model for stochastic nonlinear systems subject to actuator saturation. The stability analysis and some corresponding sufficient conditions for the IT2 T-S fuzzy model are developed using Lyapunov theory. Via transferring the stability and control problem into Linear Matrix Inequality (LMI) problem, the proposed fuzzy control problem can be solved by the convex optimization algorithm. Finally, a nonlinear ship steering system is considered in the simulations to verify the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed fuzzy controller design method. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Fuzzy Control in Computational Intelligence)
Open AccessArticle
Examining the Relationship between Mindfulness, Personality, and National Culture for Construction Safety
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4998; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094998 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The construction industry still leads the world as one of the sectors with the most work-related injuries and worker fatalities. Considering that one of the barriers to improving construction safety is its stressful working environment, which increases risk of inattentiveness among construction workers, [...] Read more.
The construction industry still leads the world as one of the sectors with the most work-related injuries and worker fatalities. Considering that one of the barriers to improving construction safety is its stressful working environment, which increases risk of inattentiveness among construction workers, safety managers seek practices to measure and enhance worker focus and reduce stress, such as mindfulness. Considering the important role of mindfulness in curbing frequency and severity of incidents, researchers are interested in understanding the relationship between mindfulness and other common, more static human characteristics. As a result, this study examines the relationship between mindfulness and such variables as personality and national culture in the context of construction safety. Collecting data from 155 participants, this study used elastic net regression to examine the influence of independent (i.e., personality and national culture) variables on the dependent (i.e., mindfulness) variable. To validate the results of the regression, 10-fold cross-validation was conducted. The results reveal that certain personality traits (e.g., conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness) and national cultural dimensions (e.g., uncertainty avoidance, individualism, and collectivism) can be used as predictors of mindfulness for individuals. Since mindfulness has shown to increase safety and work performance, safety managers can utilize these variables to identify at-risk workers so that additional safety training can be provided to enhance work performance and improve safety outcomes. The results of this study will inform future work into translating personal and mindfulness characteristics into factors that predict specific elements of unsafe human behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Risks in Construction)
Open AccessArticle
Representation of the Universe as a Dendrogramic Hologram Endowed with Relational Interpretation
by , and
Entropy 2021, 23(5), 584; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23050584 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
A proposal for a fundamental theory is described in which classical and quantum physics as a representation of the universe as a gigantic dendrogram are unified. The latter is the explicate order structure corresponding to the purely number-theoretical implicate order structure given by [...] Read more.
A proposal for a fundamental theory is described in which classical and quantum physics as a representation of the universe as a gigantic dendrogram are unified. The latter is the explicate order structure corresponding to the purely number-theoretical implicate order structure given by p-adic numbers. This number field was zero-dimensional, totally disconnected, and disordered. Physical systems (such as electrons, photons) are sub-dendrograms of the universal dendrogram. Measurement process is described as interactions among dendrograms; in particular, quantum measurement problems can be resolved using this process. The theory is realistic, but realism is expressed via the the Leibniz principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. The classical-quantum interplay is based on the degree of indistinguishability between dendrograms (in which the ergodicity assumption is removed). Depending on this degree, some physical quantities behave more or less in a quantum manner (versus classic manner). Conceptually, our theory is very close to Smolin’s dynamics of difference and Rovelli’s relational quantum mechanics. The presence of classical behavior in nature implies a finiteness of the Universe-dendrogram. (Infinite Universe is considered to be purely quantum.) Reconstruction of events in a four-dimensional space type is based on the holographic principle. Our model reproduces Bell-type correlations in the dendrogramic framework. By adjusting dendrogram complexity, violation of the Bell inequality can be made larger or smaller. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophy of Quantum Physics)
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Open AccessArticle
Ultrasonic Synthesis and Biomedical Application of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 Nanoparticles
by , , , , , , , , and
Biomolecules 2021, 11(5), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11050703 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
In the present study, biocompatible manganese nanoparticles have been linked with zinc and iron molecules to prepare different derivatives of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs (x = 0.02, 0.04, 0.06, 0.08, 0.10), using an ultrasonication [...] Read more.
In the present study, biocompatible manganese nanoparticles have been linked with zinc and iron molecules to prepare different derivatives of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs (x = 0.02, 0.04, 0.06, 0.08, 0.10), using an ultrasonication approach. The structure, surface morphology, and chemical compositions of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs were elucidated by X-ray diffractometer (XRD), High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis (EDX) techniques. The bioactivity of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs on normal (HEK-293) and (HCT-116) colon cancer cell line was evaluated. The Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs treatment post 48 h resulted in a significant reduction in cells (via MTT assay, having an IC50 value between 0.88 µg/mL and 2.40 µg/mL). The specificity of Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs were studied by treating them on normal cells line (HEK-293). The results showed that Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs did not incur any effect on HEK-293, which suggests that Mn0.5Zn0.5ErxYxFe2−2xO4 NPs selectively targeted the colon cancerous cells. Using Candida albicans, antifungal activity was also studied by evaluating minimum inhibitory/fungicidal concentration (MIC/MFC) and the effect of nanomaterial on the germ tube formation, which exhibited that NPs significantly inhibited the growth and germ tube formation. The obtained results hold the potential to design nanoparticles that lead to efficient bioactivity. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Sex Differences in Circadian Clock Genes and Myocardial Infarction Susceptibility
by , , and
J. Cardiovasc. Dev. Dis. 2021, 8(5), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcdd8050053 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The growing body of evidence shows a significant difference in the circadian rhythm of cardiovascular disease based on biological sex. The incidence of cardiovascular disease varies between women and men. Additionally, biological sex is vital for the timely application of therapy—chronotherapy, which benefits [...] Read more.
The growing body of evidence shows a significant difference in the circadian rhythm of cardiovascular disease based on biological sex. The incidence of cardiovascular disease varies between women and men. Additionally, biological sex is vital for the timely application of therapy—chronotherapy, which benefits both sexes. This study aimed to examine the potential difference of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the circadian rhythm genes ARNTL, CLOCK, CRY2 and PER2 in women and men with myocardial infarction. A cross-sectional study was conducted, including 200 patients with myocardial infarction. Altogether, ten single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ARNTL, CLOCK, CRY2 and PER2 genes were analyzed. The Chi-square test yielded statistically significant differences in CLOCK gene rs11932595 polymorphism in a recessive genotype model between women and men with a p-value of 0.03 and an odds ratio 2.66, and a corresponding 95% confidence interval of 1.07 to 6.66. Other analyzed polymorphisms of the circadian rhythm genes ARNTL, CRY2, and PER2 did not significantly differ between the sexes. According to the study’s current results, the CLOCK gene’s genetic variability might affect myocardial infarction concerning biological sex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetics)
Open AccessArticle
Uptake Prediction of Eight Potentially Toxic Elements by Pistia stratiotes L. Grown in the Al-Sero Drain (South Nile Delta, Egypt): A Biomonitoring Approach
by , , , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5276; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095276 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
The potential to utilise the free-floating macrophyte Pistia stratiotes L. to survey contamination of the Al-Sero Drain in the South Nile Delta, Egypt, by eight potentially toxic elements (PTEs) was investigated in this study. This study considered the absorption of eight PTEs (Cd, [...] Read more.
The potential to utilise the free-floating macrophyte Pistia stratiotes L. to survey contamination of the Al-Sero Drain in the South Nile Delta, Egypt, by eight potentially toxic elements (PTEs) was investigated in this study. This study considered the absorption of eight PTEs (Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn), and the evaluated P. stratiotes were located in three sampling locations along the Al-Sero Drain, with sampling conducted in both monospecific and homogenous P. stratiotes. Samples of both types of P. stratiotes and water were collected on a monthly basis between May 2013 and April 2014 at each location, utilising three randomly chosen 0.5 × 0.5 m quadrats. Regression models were designed to predict the concentration of the PTEs within the plant’s shoot and root systems. Elevated water Fe levels were correlated with a rise in shoot system Fe concentration, whereas higher Ni concentrations in the water led to a higher Ni concentration within the root system. The latter was also true for Pb. Water Cu levels had a negative association with the Cu concentration within the P. stratiotes shoot system. Raised Fe levels were also correlated with a diminished Fe level within the roots. For all PTEs, P. stratiotes was characterised by a bioconcentration factor of more than 1.0, and for the majority by a translocation factor of less than 1.0. The goodness of fit for most of the designed models, as indicated by high R2 values and low mean averaged errors, demonstrated the associations between actual and predicted PTE concentrations. Any disparity between measured and predicted parameters failed to reach significance with Student t-tests, reinforcing the predictive abilities of the designed models. Thus, these novel models have potential value for the prediction of PTE uptake by P. stratiotes macrophytes inhabiting the Al-Sero Drain. Furthermore, the macrophyte’s constituents indicate the long-term impact of water contamination; this supports the potential future use of P. stratiotes for biomonitoring the majority of the PTEs evaluated in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Plants as Bioindicators of Trace Metal Pollution)
Open AccessArticle
Dissipative Particle Dynamics Study on Interfacial Properties of Symmetric Ternary Polymeric Blends
by , , , , and
Polymers 2021, 13(9), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13091516 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
We investigated the interfacial properties of symmetric ternary An/AmBm/Bn and An/Am/2BmAm/2/Bn polymeric blends by means of dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. We systematically [...] Read more.
We investigated the interfacial properties of symmetric ternary An/AmBm/Bn and An/Am/2BmAm/2/Bn polymeric blends by means of dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. We systematically analyzed the effects of composition, chain length, and concentration of the copolymers on the interfacial tensions, interfacial widths, and the structures of each polymer component in the blends. Our simulations show that: (i) the efficiency of the copolymers in reducing the interfacial tension is highly dependent on their compositions. The triblock copolymers are more effective in reducing the interfacial tension compared to that of the diblock copolymers at the same chain length and concentration; (ii) the interfacial tension of the blends increases with increases in the triblock copolymer chain length, which indicates that the triblock copolymers with a shorter chain length exhibit a better performance as the compatibilizers compared to that of their counterparts with longer chain lengths; and (iii) elevating the triblock copolymer concentration can promote copolymer enrichment at the center of the interface, which enlarges the width of the phase interfaces and reduces the interfacial tension. These findings illustrate the correlations between the efficiency of copolymer compatibilizers and their detailed molecular parameters. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Pilot Study of the Hazard Perception Test for Evaluation of the Driver’s Skill Using Virtual Reality
by , , , , , , and
Electronics 2021, 10(9), 1114; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10091114 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Background: Although various technologies are used to evaluate driving skill, there are some limitations such as the limited range of the monitor and the possible risk of causing cybersickness. The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in the hazard perception and [...] Read more.
Background: Although various technologies are used to evaluate driving skill, there are some limitations such as the limited range of the monitor and the possible risk of causing cybersickness. The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in the hazard perception and cybersickness experienced between novice and experienced drivers measured in a VR hazard perception test with a head-mounted display (HMD). Methods: The novice (n = 32) and the experienced drivers (n = 36) participated in the hazard perception test through the VR of an HMD. Results: The total number of identified hazards was 1071 in the novice drivers and 1376 in the experienced drivers. Two of the hazards appeared to be only identifiable through the HMD. A chi-square test revealed that experienced drivers were more likely to identify the hazards than the novice drivers (p < 0.05). The novice drivers appeared to identify “hazard prediction of the current behavior of other road users” more than other hazard types, unlike the experienced group. The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire scores indicated no significant difference in the different age or gender groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Our results suggest that the VR hazard perception test may be useful for evaluating patients’ driving skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Virtual-Reality-Based Rehabilitation Technology)
Open AccessReview
One Raft to Guide Them All, and in Axon Regeneration Inhibit Them
by , , and
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 5009; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22095009 (registering DOI) - 08 May 2021
Abstract
Central nervous system damage caused by traumatic injuries, iatrogenicity due to surgical interventions, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases is one of the most prevalent reasons for physical disability worldwide. During development, axons must elongate from the neuronal cell body to contact their precise target [...] Read more.
Central nervous system damage caused by traumatic injuries, iatrogenicity due to surgical interventions, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases is one of the most prevalent reasons for physical disability worldwide. During development, axons must elongate from the neuronal cell body to contact their precise target cell and establish functional connections. However, the capacity of the adult nervous system to restore its functionality after injury is limited. Given the inefficacy of the nervous system to heal and regenerate after damage, new therapies are under investigation to enhance axonal regeneration. Axon guidance cues and receptors, as well as the molecular machinery activated after nervous system damage, are organized into lipid raft microdomains, a term typically used to describe nanoscale membrane domains enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids that act as signaling platforms for certain transmembrane proteins. Here, we systematically review the most recent findings that link the stability of lipid rafts and their composition with the capacity of axons to regenerate and rebuild functional neural circuits after damage. Full article

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