Advancing Open Science
for more than 25 years
MDPI is a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing
and has supported academic communities since 1996.
 
Article
Antifungal and Cytotoxic Activity of Diterpenes and Bisnorsesquiterpenoides from the Latex of Euphorbia resinifera Berg
by , , , , , , , , , and
Molecules 2022, 27(16), 5234; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27165234 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Euphorbia resinifera latex has been extensively utilized in traditional medicine due to its range of bioactivities. Chromatographic separations on silica gel of ethanol extract of E. resinifera latex led to the development of a new procedure for isolating resiniferatoxin (4) via [...] Read more.
Euphorbia resinifera latex has been extensively utilized in traditional medicine due to its range of bioactivities. Chromatographic separations on silica gel of ethanol extract of E. resinifera latex led to the development of a new procedure for isolating resiniferatoxin (4) via dried E. resinifera latex and the identification of nine compounds. Among these, catechol (7), protocatechuic acid (8) and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (9), known phenolic compounds, were identified for the first time in E. resinifera latex. Herein we investigated the effects of major compounds of the latex of E. resinifera on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, on the growth of Aspergillus carbonarius, a widespread fungal contaminant, and on the breast cancer cell line MCF7 as well as on MCF10A normal breast cells. 12-deoxyphorbol-13-isobutyrate-20-acetate (2) had an inhibiting effect on the growth of A. carbonarius, and 7-p-metoxyphenylacetate-3,8,12-triacetate ingol (3) showed a negative effect on yeast cell growth and also a cytotoxic effect on breast cancer cell line MCF7, but not on MCF10A cells. Deglucosyl euphorbioside A (5) and euphorbioside A (6) showed a discoloration effect that was possibly related to mitochondrial functionality in yeast, and also cytotoxicity only on the cancer cell line that was tested. Interestingly, treatment of MCF7 cells with 7-p-metoxyphenylacetate-3,8,12-triacetate ingol (3) and deglucosyl euphorbioside A (5) not only led to a specific cytotoxic effect but also to the increase in the level of intracellular ROS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activities of Traditional Medicinal Plants)
Article
Effects of the Diamine Chain End Functionalized Liquid Butadiene Rubber as a Processing Aid on the Properties of Carbon-Black-Filled Rubber Compounds
Polymers 2022, 14(16), 3343; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym14163343 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The implementation of vehicle electrification and autonomous driving technologies has recently emphasized the importance of abrasion resistance and fuel efficiency of truck bus radial (TBR) tire treads that undergo high loads and long driving times. In this study, a functionalized liquid butadiene rubber [...] Read more.
The implementation of vehicle electrification and autonomous driving technologies has recently emphasized the importance of abrasion resistance and fuel efficiency of truck bus radial (TBR) tire treads that undergo high loads and long driving times. In this study, a functionalized liquid butadiene rubber (F-LqBR) was introduced to replace the treated distillate aromatic extracted (TDAE) oil as a way to improve abrasion resistance and fuel efficiency in the TBR tire tread compound and to solve the oil migration. First, radical polymerization was used to synthesize nonfunctionalized LqBR (N-LqBR) and amino-LqBR with an amine group at the chain ends. The synthesized LqBRs were then substituted in place of TDAE oil to manufacture carbon-black-filled natural rubber (NR) compounds and to evaluate their physical properties. The results show that LqBRs improved the migration resistance and enhanced the abrasion resistance by lowering the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the compound. In particular, amino-LqBR improved carbon black dispersion in the rubber matrix through a chemical bond between the functional group of the carbon black surface and the base rubber. In conclusion, amino-LqBR successfully served as a processing aid in a carbon black-filled NR compound while simultaneously enhancing its fuel efficiency and abrasion resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rubber/Silica Composites)
Technical Note
Laparoscopic Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging Can Visualize Anastomotic Perfusion: A Demonstration in a Porcine Model
Life 2022, 12(8), 1251; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12081251 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Background: Intestinal resection causes inevitable vascular damage, which cannot always be seen during an intraoperative clinical assessment of local intestinal perfusion. If left unaltered, impaired perfusion can lead to complications, such as anastomotic leakage (AL). Therefore, we demonstrate the use of a novel [...] Read more.
Background: Intestinal resection causes inevitable vascular damage, which cannot always be seen during an intraoperative clinical assessment of local intestinal perfusion. If left unaltered, impaired perfusion can lead to complications, such as anastomotic leakage (AL). Therefore, we demonstrate the use of a novel laparoscopic laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI)-based approach in order to assess local intestinal perfusion during the construction of intestinal anastomoses. Methods: Three segments were isolated from the small intestine of a pig, while the perfusion of each was compromised by coagulating 7–8 mesenteric arteries. Both clinical assessments and LSCI were used to detect the induced perfusion deficits and to subsequently guide a transection in either a well perfused, marginally perfused, or poorly perfused tissue area within the segment. Bowel ends were then utilized for the creation of three differently perfused anastomoses: well perfused/well perfused (anastomosis segment 1), well perfused/poorly perfused (anastomosis segment 2), and poorly perfused/poorly perfused (anastomosis segment 3). After construction of the anastomoses, a final perfusion assessment using both clinical assessment and LSCI was executed in order to evaluate the vascular viability of the anastomosis. Results: Laparoscopic LSCI enabled continuous assessment of local intestinal perfusion and allowed for detection of perfusion deficits in real time. The imaging feedback precisely guided the surgical procedure, and, when evaluating the final anastomotic perfusion, LSCI was able to visualize the varying degrees of perfusion, whereas standard clinical assessment yielded only minor differences in visual appearance of the tissue. Conclusions: In this technical note, we demonstrate a novel LSCI-based approach for intraoperative perfusion assessment. With its ability to continuously visualize perfusion in real time, laparoscopic LSCI has significant potential for the optimization of anastomotic surgery in the near future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances and Applications of Image-Guided Surgery)
Review
Characteristics of Probiotic Preparations and Their Applications
Foods 2022, 11(16), 2472; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11162472 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The probiotics market is one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry as there is growing scientific evidence of the positive health effects of probiotics on consumers. Currently, there are various forms of probiotic products and they can be categorized according [...] Read more.
The probiotics market is one of the fastest growing segments of the food industry as there is growing scientific evidence of the positive health effects of probiotics on consumers. Currently, there are various forms of probiotic products and they can be categorized according to dosage form and the site of action. To increase the effectiveness of probiotic preparations, they need to be specifically designed so they can target different sites, such as the oral, upper respiratory or gastrointestinal tracts. Here we review the characteristics of different dosage forms of probiotics and discuss methods to improve their bioavailability in detail, in the hope that this article will provide a reference for the development of probiotic products. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Paralyzed by Fear?—A Case Report in the Context of Narrative Review on Catatonia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610161 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
In ICD-11, catatonia is a complex syndrome that includes psychomotor disorders (negativity, catalepsy, wax flexibility, mutism, automatism, mannerisms, or echolalia) and volitional processes affect modulation and action planning, which leads to hypofunctional, hyperfunctional, or parafunctional motor action. This is a very important clue [...] Read more.
In ICD-11, catatonia is a complex syndrome that includes psychomotor disorders (negativity, catalepsy, wax flexibility, mutism, automatism, mannerisms, or echolalia) and volitional processes affect modulation and action planning, which leads to hypofunctional, hyperfunctional, or parafunctional motor action. This is a very important clue that this state can be associated with both mental and somatic diseases. In order to create a narrative review, authors analyzed the diagnostic criteria of ICD-10 and ICD-11 and searched the PubMed medical base for articles on the diagnosis and different approaches to the treatment of catatonia. The treatment of catatonia is not standardized. It is based on the use of benzodiazepines, GABAa receptor antagonists, NMDA receptor antagonists, D2 receptor antagonist, and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). The authors also would like to present the case of a patient in whom the diagnosis of catatonia was not so clear according to the diagnostic criteria, emphasizing the importance of the key diagnosis for the patient’s recovery. The authors would also like to point out that the topic of catatonia should be of interest not only to psychiatrists, but also to doctors of other specialties, who may encounter cases of catatonia complicating somatic states in hospital wards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
Article
Effects of Ultrasound Modification with Different Frequency Modes on the Structure, Chain Conformation, and Immune Activity of Polysaccharides from Lentinus edodes
Foods 2022, 11(16), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11162470 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ultrasound with different frequency modes on the chemical structure, chain conformation, and immune activity of lentinan from Lentinus edodes; the structure–activity relationship of lentinan was also discussed. The results showed that, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ultrasound with different frequency modes on the chemical structure, chain conformation, and immune activity of lentinan from Lentinus edodes; the structure–activity relationship of lentinan was also discussed. The results showed that, compared with original lentinan (extracted using hot water), although ultrasonic treatment did not change the monosaccharide composition and main functional groups of lentinan, it significantly changed its chain conformation. Especially at 60, 40/60, and 20/40/60 kHz, according to atomic force microscopy and solution chain conformation parameters, lentinan transformed from a rigid triple-helix chain to a flexible single-helix chain, and the side-chain was severely broken. Under this condition, lentinan had the worst immune activity. However, at 20/40 and 20/60 kHz, the rigid triple-helix chain transformed into a loose and flexible triple-helix chain, showing the strongest immune activity. These results indicated that dual-frequency ultrasound had significant effects on the conformation of lentinan, and the conformation characteristics of polysaccharide chain such as spiral number, stiffness and flexibility, and side-chain played an important role in immune activity. This study shows the great potential of ultrasound with different frequency modes in carbohydrate food processing, which may have important reference value and practical significance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Ultrasonic Technology in Food Processing)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
The Clinical Impact of Precisely Defining Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Contributions of Elaine Jaffe
Hemato 2022, 3(3), 508-517; https://doi.org/10.3390/hemato3030035 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive yet incurable B-cell lymphoma that was only first recognized as a distinct subtype in 1992, with early reports suggesting a poor median survival. Elaine Jaffe is a renowned hematopathologist and scientist from the National Cancer Institute [...] Read more.
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive yet incurable B-cell lymphoma that was only first recognized as a distinct subtype in 1992, with early reports suggesting a poor median survival. Elaine Jaffe is a renowned hematopathologist and scientist from the National Cancer Institute who was instrumental in many of the early descriptions of MCL that distinguished it from other B-cell lymphomas. Further, she has led multiple international collaborations that have harmonized the lymphoma classification systems that are currently in use today. The early morphologic descriptions of MCL along with the contributions of immunologic and genetic techniques have confirmed MCL as a distinct entity with unique biology and clinical behavior. Importantly, these scientific discoveries laid the foundation for unprecedented therapeutic breakthroughs that have led to significant improvements in overall survival. Full article
Article
Evaluation of Total Quality Management in Turkish Pharmaceutical Companies: A Case Study
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10181; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610181 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Corporate sustainability is one of the most challenging issues in superior organizations, and is always one of the main concerns of top managers. The importance of quality management in organizations—especially as total quality management—is considered to be one of the most important indicators [...] Read more.
Corporate sustainability is one of the most challenging issues in superior organizations, and is always one of the main concerns of top managers. The importance of quality management in organizations—especially as total quality management—is considered to be one of the most important indicators of sustainability. We cannot achieve sustainability and its important sub-parameters—including economic and social sustainability—by merely employing the value of knowledge creation and knowledge sharing, without also focusing on customers, leadership, and process management. We designed appropriate questionnaires to test this premise, and then distributed and collected them from various reputable pharmaceutical companies in Turkey. We recorded the opinions of managers, supervisors, and deputies of different departments at various organizational levels. To analyze the data, SPSS software—one of the well-known applications in this field—was used. The new regular economy introduces new requirements for newly built public universities or pharmaceutical companies; therefore, their transformation and development are imminent. For example, colleges should comply with the new requirements of economic and social transformation for higher education, innovate their talent training models, and cultivate higher ideological standards and morality while instilling strong practical ability in their graduates to serve society. The results of this study not only illustrate the positive effects of total quality management on firms’ sustainability, but also validate knowledge management and its sub-variables, including knowledge creation and sharing. In addition, they confirm the mediating role of sub-variables, including knowledge creation and knowledge sharing in companies, influencing the effects of total quality management on the sustainability of companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systems Approach and Management for Urban Sustainability)
Article
Activity Patterns of Stenocercus iridescens in an Ecuadorian Coastal Agroecosystem: Is Temperature Important?
Diversity 2022, 14(8), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/d14080662 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Circadian rhythms of Neotropical lizards have been poorly studied, which represents a problem when designing ecological studies or monitoring such species based on direct observations. In this work, 1000 m-long transects were established in an agroecosystem area of the Ecuadorian coast region to [...] Read more.
Circadian rhythms of Neotropical lizards have been poorly studied, which represents a problem when designing ecological studies or monitoring such species based on direct observations. In this work, 1000 m-long transects were established in an agroecosystem area of the Ecuadorian coast region to study the activity patterns of Stenocercus iridescens. The number of individuals (as a response variable) was correlated with local weather conditions: temperature, precipitation, and heliophany (duration of the solar brightness). We carried out the study in both dry and rainy seasons, and during different time ranges. The time range in which the transects were performed was the most important predictor, and the activity peak was established between 16:00 h and 18:00 h. Heliophany negatively affected lizard activity, but only on the days with higher heliophany during the dry season, whereas temperature was not a significant predictor. Our results suggest that in an area where temperature is relatively constant and the solar radiation is high, particularly during the dry season, the heliophany (an indirect measure of solar radiation) can affect ectotherm activity patterns more than temperature, particularly in open habitats such as agroecosystems. Full article
Article
Comparison of Volatile Constituent Present in Commercial and Lab-Distilled Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) Essential Oils for Authentication
Plants 2022, 11(16), 2134; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11162134 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
A comparative analysis of the chemical constituents present in twenty-one commercial and two lab-distilled frankincense (Boswellia carteri) essential oils was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and chiral gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (CGC-MS) for authentication. Out of the twenty-one commercial samples, [...] Read more.
A comparative analysis of the chemical constituents present in twenty-one commercial and two lab-distilled frankincense (Boswellia carteri) essential oils was carried out using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and chiral gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (CGC-MS) for authentication. Out of the twenty-one commercial samples, six were adulterated with synthetic limonene, three were contaminated with synthetic octyl acetate, three were adulterated with castor oil, and two samples each were contaminated with frankincense resin and Boswellia occulta species, respectively, and one was contaminated with the Boswellia serrata species. Additionally, one sample was contaminated with phthalates as well as a cheap essential oil with similar compositions. Furthermore, one sample was adulterated with copaiba resin and frankincense resin in combination with synthetic octyl acetate. Additionally, one was contaminated with Boswellia serrata species, which was further adulterated with castor oil and frankincense resin. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to compare the enantiomeric distribution of chiral terpenoids present in commercial frankincense essential oil with lab-distilled frankincense oil for authentication. The CGC-MS analysis showed the presence of a total of eight chiral terpenoids in lab-distilled frankincense essential oils, which can be used as chemical fingerprints for the authentication of frankincense essential oil. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytochemistry of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Evaluating the Impact of Modic Changes on Operative Treatment in the Cervical and Lumbar Spine: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610158 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Modic changes (MCs) are believed to be potential pain generators in the lumbar and cervical spine, but it is currently unclear if their presence affects postsurgical outcomes. We performed a systematic review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and [...] Read more.
Modic changes (MCs) are believed to be potential pain generators in the lumbar and cervical spine, but it is currently unclear if their presence affects postsurgical outcomes. We performed a systematic review in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. All studies evaluating cervical or lumbar spine postsurgical outcomes in patients with documented preoperative MCs were included. A total of 29 studies and 6013 patients with 2688 of those patients having preoperative MCs were included. Eight included studies evaluated cervical spine surgery, eleven evaluated lumbar discectomies, nine studied lumbar fusion surgery, and three assessed lumbar disc replacements. The presence of cervical MCs did not impact the clinical outcomes in the cervical spine procedures. Moreover, most studies found that MCs did not significantly impact the clinical outcomes following lumbar fusion, lumbar discectomy, or lumbar disc replacement. A meta-analysis of the relevant data found no significant association between MCs and VAS back pain or ODI following lumbar discectomy. Similarly, there was no association between MCs and JOA or neck pain following ACDF procedures. Patients with MC experienced statistically significant improvements following lumbar or cervical spine surgery. The postoperative improvements were similar to patients without MCs in the cervical and lumbar spine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Low Back Pain and Disability)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Sorbent and Photocatalytic Potentials of Local Clays for the Removal of Organic Xenobiotic: Case of Crystal Violet
Catalysts 2022, 12(8), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal12080899 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Natural materials are widely used in the field of environmental remediation and are appreciated for their surface physical and chemical properties. Clay constitutes a typical example. In this work, we report the evaluation of sorbent and photocatalytic potentials of local clay of two [...] Read more.
Natural materials are widely used in the field of environmental remediation and are appreciated for their surface physical and chemical properties. Clay constitutes a typical example. In this work, we report the evaluation of sorbent and photocatalytic potentials of local clay of two irrigated rice field waters in the degradation of crystal violet. The structural, textural and compositional properties of the local clay were investigated by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. The analysis results showed that these materials were composed mainly of quartz and kaolinite. The efficiency of these adsorbents (Y. Clay and L. Clay) to eliminate crystal violet dye from aqueous medium was examined at different initial concentrations, pH, contact time, adsorbent dose and the possible interference of inorganic salts from fertilizers. Kinetic studies showed that the adsorption process was well described by the pseudo-second order model and the equilibrium modelling results fitted adequately to the Freundlich model. The maximum amount of uptake capacity achieved at pH 2.0 was 18.40 (mg·g−1) and 20.40 (mg·g−1), respectively, for Y. Clay and L. Clay. The evaluation of the photocatalytic potential showed that the raw clay samples do not show photocatalytic activities during the 30 min of exposure to UV light. On the other hand, their photocatalytic potential is manifested when loaded with titanium dioxide (TiO2). Clays coupled with TiO2 under UV light showed an improvement in the degradation of the crystal violet dye by 15%. The synergistic effects between the high photocatalytic activity of TiO2 and the strong adsorption capacity of clays can be one promising technique for in situ remediation of contaminated soaked rice field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials for Photocatalysis)
Review
Towards A Socioeconomic Model of Sleep Health among the Canadian Population: A Systematic Review of the Relationship between Age, Income, Employment, Education, Social Class, Socioeconomic Status and Sleep Disparities
Eur. J. Investig. Health Psychol. Educ. 2022, 12(8), 1143-1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ejihpe12080080 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
A better understanding of the contribution of the socioeconomic status (SES) in sleep health could guide the development of population-based interventions aiming to reduce “the silent public health issue” that are sleep disturbances. PRISMA was employed to identify relevant studies having examined the [...] Read more.
A better understanding of the contribution of the socioeconomic status (SES) in sleep health could guide the development of population-based interventions aiming to reduce “the silent public health issue” that are sleep disturbances. PRISMA was employed to identify relevant studies having examined the association between social class, social capital, education, income/assets, occupation/employment status, neighborhood deprivation and sleep health. Sixteen cross-sectional and three longitudinal studies were selected, having sampled 226,029 participants aged from 2 months to 85 years old. Findings showed that: (1) sleep health disparities among children and adolescent are strongly correlated to parental socioeconomic indicators; (2) poor parental income, poor family SES and poor parental education are associated with higher sleep disturbances among children and adolescents; (3) lower education is a predictor of increased sleep disturbances for adults; (4) low SES is associated with high sleep disturbances in adults and old people and; (5) low income and full-time employment was significantly associated with short sleep among adults and old people. In conclusion, sleep health should be an important public health target. Such intervention would be beneficial for populational health, for all taxpayers and public administrations, which would see a reduction in absenteeism and productivity losses attributable to sleep-related health problems in the global economy. Full article
Article
Mechanical Behavior Characteristics and Energy Evolution Law of Coal Samples under the Influence of Loading Rate—A Case Study of Deep Mining in Wudong Coal Mine
Minerals 2022, 12(8), 1032; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12081032 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
In order to clarify the mechanical properties and energy changes of coal samples under the influence of mining depth, a mechanical test analysis method to determine that the increase in mining depth increases the loading rate has been developed. Taking the Wudong Coal [...] Read more.
In order to clarify the mechanical properties and energy changes of coal samples under the influence of mining depth, a mechanical test analysis method to determine that the increase in mining depth increases the loading rate has been developed. Taking the Wudong Coal Mine as an example, a mechanical test analysis of coal samples is carried out. The results show that the surface deformation and failure of coal samples in the loading process presents four stages. That is, the evolution process of ‘complete coal sample’–‘partial failure-failure extension’–‘overall instability’. The maximum temperature of a coal sample when it is destroyed shows an obvious nonlinear increasing trend with the increase in loading rate. With the increase in loading rate, the strength and elastic modulus of coal samples decrease gradually. The cumulative total energy and elastic energy of coal samples are linearly positively correlated with the loading rate. The research results provide ideas for rational control of mining intensity and determination of productivity in steeply inclined thick coal seams for deep mining. Full article
Article
Land Use-Based Participatory Assessment of Ecosystem Services for Ecological Restoration in Village Tank Cascade Systems of Sri Lanka
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10180; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610180 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Village Tank Cascade System (VTCS) landscapes in the dry zone of Sri Lanka provide multiple ecosystem services (ESs) and benefits to local communities, sustaining the productivity of their land use systems (LUSs). However, there is a lack of adequate scientific research on the [...] Read more.
Village Tank Cascade System (VTCS) landscapes in the dry zone of Sri Lanka provide multiple ecosystem services (ESs) and benefits to local communities, sustaining the productivity of their land use systems (LUSs). However, there is a lack of adequate scientific research on the ESs of LUSs, despite the recent land use changes that have greatly impacted the provisioning of ESs. Collection of baseline ESs data is a pre-requisite for decision making on ESs-based ecological restoration and management of the VTCS. Thus, this study aimed at assessing ESs of the Mahakanumulla VTCS (MVTCS) located in the Anuradhapura district of Sri Lanka by using a participatory approach involving the integration of local knowledge, expert judgements and LUSs attribute data to assess the ESs. The methodology was designed to integrate the biodiversity and land degradation status of LUSs in a way that is directly linked with the supply of ESs. The study identified twenty-four ESs of the MVTCS based on community perceptions. The identified ESs were assessed as a function of LUSs to develop an ecosystem service supply (ESS) and demand (ESD) matrix model. The results reveal that the current overall ESD for regulating and supporting ESs is higher than the ESS capacity of MVTCS. The assessment also revealed that land degradation and biodiversity deterioration reduce the capacity to provide ESs. Downstream LUSs of the meso-catchment were found to be more vulnerable to degradation and insufficient to provide ESs. Further, the study established that ESs in the MVTCS are generated through direct species-based and biophysical-based providers. In addition, it emerged that social and cultural engagements also played an important role in association with both providers to generate certain types of ESs. Therefore, it can be concluded that VTCS ecological restoration depends on the extent to which integrated effort addresses the levels of ecological complexity, as well as the social engagement of communities and stakeholders. The results of this study provide a scientific basis that can inform future land use decision making and practices that are applicable to successful ESs-based ecological restoration and management of the VTCSs in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Full article
Editorial
Editorial on Special Issue “Quantitative PET and SPECT”
Diagnostics 2022, 12(8), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12081989 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Since the introduction of personalized (or precision) medicine, where individually tailored treatments are designed to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, the primary focus of imaging has moved from detection and diagnosis to tissue characterization, determination of [...] Read more.
Since the introduction of personalized (or precision) medicine, where individually tailored treatments are designed to deliver the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, the primary focus of imaging has moved from detection and diagnosis to tissue characterization, determination of prognosis, prediction of treatment efficacy, and measurement of treatment response [1] [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantitative PET and SPECT)
Article
Subtherapeutic Doses of Vancomycin Synergize with Bacteriophages for Treatment of Experimental Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infective Endocarditis
Viruses 2022, 14(8), 1792; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14081792 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Background. Recurrent therapeutic failures reported for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infective endocarditis (IE) with vancomycin may be due to poor bactericidal activity. Alternative antibacterial approaches using bacteriophages may overcome this limitation. Objectives. An experimental rat model of MRSA IE [...] Read more.
Background. Recurrent therapeutic failures reported for the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infective endocarditis (IE) with vancomycin may be due to poor bactericidal activity. Alternative antibacterial approaches using bacteriophages may overcome this limitation. Objectives. An experimental rat model of MRSA IE (EE) was used to examine the efficacy of vancomycin combined with a 1:1 bacteriophage (phage) cocktail composed of Herelleviridae vB_SauH_2002 and Routreeviridae 66. Methods. Six hours after inoculation with ca. 5 log10 colony forming units (CFU) of MRSA strain AW7, animals were treated with either: (i) saline, (ii) an equimolar two-phage cocktail (bolus of 1 mL followed by a 0.3 mL/h continuous infusion of 10 log10 plaque forming units (PFU)/mL phage suspension), (iii) vancomycin (at a dose mimicking the kinetics in humans of 0.5 g b.i.d.), or (iv) a combination of both. Bacterial loads in vegetations, and phage loads in vegetations, liver, kidney, spleen, and blood, were measured outcomes. Results. Phage cocktail alone was unable to control the growth of strain AW7 in cardiac vegetations. However, when combined with subtherapeutic doses of vancomycin, a statistically significant decrease of ∆4.05 ± 0.94 log10 CFU/g at 24 h compared to placebo was detected (p < 0.001). The administration of vancomycin was found to significantly impact on the local concentrations of phages in the vegetations and in the organs examined. Conclusions. Lytic bacteriophages as an adjunct treatment to the standard of care antibiotics could potentially improve the management of MRSA IE. Further studies are needed to investigate the impact of antibiotics on phage replication in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Phage Therapy Development in Europe 2022)
Opinion
The Importance of Skills Training for Service Users in Health Care: A Comparative Analysis
Healthcare 2022, 10(8), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10081554 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Health care and other human services such as education are diverse in many substantive aspects. However, arguably, they all use the skills training of service users to accomplish at least some of their key aims. This brief article uses a selective literature review [...] Read more.
Health care and other human services such as education are diverse in many substantive aspects. However, arguably, they all use the skills training of service users to accomplish at least some of their key aims. This brief article uses a selective literature review and a comparative analysis to review the commonalities of skills training of service users in health care and education in order to illustrate and argue for the importance of a skills training approach in health care and other human services (recognizing that complementary approaches such as support provision are needed too and that not all service users need skills training). Research and development is needed in this area. Full article
Systematic Review
Evaluation of Root Anatomy and Canal Configuration of Human Permanent Maxillary First Molar Using Cone-Beam Computed Tomography: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610160 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The aim of this paper is to review the literature on root canal configuration (RCC) and the frequency of occurrence of a second mesiobuccal canal (MB) in human permanent maxillary first molars where cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is used. Online electronic databases such [...] Read more.
The aim of this paper is to review the literature on root canal configuration (RCC) and the frequency of occurrence of a second mesiobuccal canal (MB) in human permanent maxillary first molars where cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is used. Online electronic databases such as PubMed-Medline, Embase, Scopus and Cochrane Library were searched using appropriate keywords from the earliest available date until 12th June 2022, without restriction on language. In the mesiobuccal root, type I was the most frequent (33.29%), followed by types II and IV (27.18% and 26.36%, respectively). Moreover, 68.2% of maxillary first molars had a second MB canal. For both the distobuccal and palatal roots, type I was the most prevalent, with 99.08% and 97.83% occurrence, respectively. All other types were infrequent. Type I RCC is most frequent in all the roots of the maxillary first molars. Hence, care must be taken during biomechanical preparation of the MB roots. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical and Experimental Approaches in Dental Health)
Article
Emotional Eating and Perfectionism as Predictors of Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder: The Role of Perfectionism as a Mediator between Emotional Eating and Body Mass Index
Nutrients 2022, 14(16), 3361; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14163361 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
(1) Background: Perfectionism has been linked to eating disorders and might be a risk factor for the appearance of eating pathologies. The aims of this study are (a) to verify the relationship between perfectionism, emotional eating (EE), binge eating (BE), and body mass [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Perfectionism has been linked to eating disorders and might be a risk factor for the appearance of eating pathologies. The aims of this study are (a) to verify the relationship between perfectionism, emotional eating (EE), binge eating (BE), and body mass index (BMI); (b) to identify the variables that predict BE symptoms and BMI; (c) to study the role of perfectionism as a mediator between EE and BMI. (2) Methods: 312 adult participants answered a cross-sectional survey that included the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (Frost & Marten, 1990), the Emotional Eater Questionnaire (EEQ) (Garaulet et al., 2012), the Binge Eating Scale (BES) (Gormally et al., 1982), and a sociodemographic questionnaire including BMI. (3) Results: The results suggest a direct correlation between EE, BE, and BMI, showing that EE is a powerful predictor of BE symptoms and BMI. Furthermore, two dimensions of perfectionism have a mediator role between EE and BMI, specifically doubts and actions and concern over mistakes: the presence of these two components of perfectionism reverses the relationship between EE and BMI. (4) Conclusions: These results have significant implications for the understanding of the two different (pathological) eating patterns: intake restriction and overeating and should be considered in intervention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Public Health)
Article
The Role of Oxidative Stress in Atopic Dermatitis and Chronic Urticaria
Antioxidants 2022, 11(8), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox11081590 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and chronic urticaria (CU) are common skin diseases with an increasing prevalence and pathogenesis that are not fully understood. Emerging evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a role in AD and CU. The aim of the single-center cross-sectional study was [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and chronic urticaria (CU) are common skin diseases with an increasing prevalence and pathogenesis that are not fully understood. Emerging evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a role in AD and CU. The aim of the single-center cross-sectional study was to compare markers of oxidative stress in 21 patients with AD, and 19 CU patients. The products of protein oxidation, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and markers of lipid peroxidation were estimated in the serum. AD patients had a higher level of advanced protein oxidation products and a lower level of thiol groups than healthy participants. However, CU patients had statistically higher levels of AOPP and 3-nitrotyrosine than healthy subjects. The level of thiol groups and serum TAC decreased significantly in patients with CU. There was no difference in serum concentration of lipid peroxidation products, Amadori products, ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione, and ability of albumin to binding cobalt between AD or CU patients compared to healthy subjects. We found a moderate positive significant correlation between AOPP and age in patients with AD. In patients with CU, TAC was negatively correlated with age. These results may shed light on the etiopathogenesis of AD or CU, and confirm an oxidative burden in these patients. Furthermore, our study could be useful in developing new therapeutic methods that include using antioxidants in dermatological diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of Oxidative Stress in the Dermatological Diseases)
Article
Oxidative Stress Is Associated with Overgrowth in Drosophila l(3)mbt Mutant Imaginal Discs
Cells 2022, 11(16), 2542; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells11162542 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The loss-of-function conditions for an l(3)malignant brain tumour (l(3)mbt) in larvae reared at 29 °C results in malignant brain tumours and hyperplastic imaginal discs. Unlike the former that have been extensively characterised, little is known about the latter. Here we report [...] Read more.
The loss-of-function conditions for an l(3)malignant brain tumour (l(3)mbt) in larvae reared at 29 °C results in malignant brain tumours and hyperplastic imaginal discs. Unlike the former that have been extensively characterised, little is known about the latter. Here we report the results of a study of the hyperplastic l(3)mbt mutant wing imaginal discs. We identify the l(3)mbt wing disc tumour transcriptome and find it to include genes involved in reactive oxygen species (ROS) metabolism. Furthermore, we show the presence of oxidative stress in l(3)mbt hyperplastic discs, even in apoptosis-blocked conditions, but not in l(3)mbt brain tumours. We also find that chemically blocking oxidative stress in l(3)mbt wing discs reduces the incidence of wing disc overgrowths. Our results reveal the involvement of oxidative stress in l(3)mbt wing discs hyperplastic growth. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Advances in Preclinical In Vitro Models for the Translation of Precision Medicine for Cystic Fibrosis
J. Pers. Med. 2022, 12(8), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm12081321 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
The development of preclinical in vitro models has provided significant progress to the studies of cystic fibrosis (CF), a frequently fatal monogenic disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Numerous cell lines were generated over [...] Read more.
The development of preclinical in vitro models has provided significant progress to the studies of cystic fibrosis (CF), a frequently fatal monogenic disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein. Numerous cell lines were generated over the last 30 years and they have been instrumental not only in enhancing the understanding of CF pathological mechanisms but also in developing therapies targeting the underlying defects in CFTR mutations with further validation in patient-derived samples. Furthermore, recent advances toward precision medicine in CF have been made possible by optimizing protocols and establishing novel assays using human bronchial, nasal and rectal tissues, and by progressing from two-dimensional monocultures to more complex three-dimensional culture platforms. These models also enable to potentially predict clinical efficacy and responsiveness to CFTR modulator therapies at an individual level. In parallel, advanced systems, such as induced pluripotent stem cells and organ-on-a-chip, continue to be developed in order to more closely recapitulate human physiology for disease modeling and drug testing. In this review, we have highlighted novel and optimized cell models that are being used in CF research to develop novel CFTR-directed therapies (or alternative therapeutic interventions) and to expand the usage of existing modulator drugs to common and rare CF-causing mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cystic Fibrosis: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Related Disorders)
Article
SNP rs2920280 in PSCA Is Associated with Susceptibility to Gastric Mucosal Atrophy and Is a Promising Biomarker in Japanese Individuals with Helicobacter pylori Infection
Diagnostics 2022, 12(8), 1988; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics12081988 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori infection results in gastric cancer (GC) with gastric mucosal atrophy (GMA). Some single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the prostate stem cell antigen gene (PSCA) are associated with GC and duodenal ulcers. However, the relationship of other identified SNPs in PSCA [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori infection results in gastric cancer (GC) with gastric mucosal atrophy (GMA). Some single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the prostate stem cell antigen gene (PSCA) are associated with GC and duodenal ulcers. However, the relationship of other identified SNPs in PSCA with these diseases remains unclear. Herein, the association between PSCA SNPs and GMA among 195 Japanese individuals with H. pylori infection was evaluated. The definition of GMA or non-GMA was based on serum pepsinogen levels or endoscopic findings. Five tag PSCA SNPs were analyzed using PCR high-resolution melting curve analysis with nonlabelled probes. The frequencies of alleles and the genotypes of each tag SNP were compared between the GMA and non-GMA groups. Subsequently, a genetic test was performed using associated SNPs as biomarkers to detect patients developing GMA. Two tag PSCA SNPs (rs2920280 and rs2294008) were related to GMA susceptibility. Individuals with the rs2920280 G/G genotype or the rs2294008 T/T genotype in PSCA had 3.5- and 2.1-fold susceptibility to GMA, respectively. In conclusion, SNP rs2920280 is a possible biomarker for detecting individuals developing GMA. PSCA polymorphisms may be useful biomarkers for predicting GMA linked to GC risk and a screening endoscopy strategy to detect GC related to early stage H. pylori associated GMA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Scientometric Analysis and Research Mapping Knowledge of Coconut Fibers in Concrete
Materials 2022, 15(16), 5639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15165639 (registering DOI) - 16 Aug 2022
Abstract
Biodegradable materials are appropriate for the environment and are gaining immense attention worldwide. The mechanical properties (such as elongation at break, density, and failure strain) of some natural fibers (such as Coir, Hemp, Jute, Ramie, and Sisal) are comparable with those of some [...] Read more.
Biodegradable materials are appropriate for the environment and are gaining immense attention worldwide. The mechanical properties (such as elongation at break, density, and failure strain) of some natural fibers (such as Coir, Hemp, Jute, Ramie, and Sisal) are comparable with those of some synthetic fibers (such as E glass, aramid, or Kevlar). However, the toughness of coconut fibers is comparatively more than other natural fibers. Numerous studies suggest coconut fibers perform better to improve the concrete mechanical properties. However, the knowledge is dispersed, making it difficult for anyone to evaluate the compatibility of coconut fibers in concrete. This study aims to perform a scientometric review of coconut fiber applications in cementitious concrete to discover the various aspects of the literature. The typical conventional review studies are somehow limited in terms of their capacity for linking different literature elements entirely and precisely. Science mapping, co-occurrence, and co-citation are among a few primary challenging points in research at advanced levels. The highly innovative authors/researchers famous for citations, the sources having the highest number of articles, domains that are actively involved, and co-occurrences of keywords in the research on coconut-fiber-reinforced cementitious concrete are explored during the analysis. The bibliometric database with 235 published research studies, which are taken from the Scopus dataset, are analyzed using the VOSviewer application. This research will assist researchers in the development of joint ventures in addition to sharing novel approaches and ideas with the help of a statistical and graphical description of researchers and countries/regions that are contributing. In addition, the applicability of coconut fiber in concrete is explored for mechanical properties considering the literature, and this will benefit new researchers for its use in concrete. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open Access Journals

Browse by Indexing Browse by Subject Selected Journals
Back to TopTop