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Article
On the Tribological and Oxidation Study of Xanthophylls as Natural Additives in Castor Oil for Green Lubrication
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185431 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
The present study focuses on an introductory analysis of the use of three xanthophylls as additives for green lubricant applications. For this purpose, the additives were characterized by FTIR and 1H-NMR techniques, and the bio-lubricants were described by their physical properties. The [...] Read more.
The present study focuses on an introductory analysis of the use of three xanthophylls as additives for green lubricant applications. For this purpose, the additives were characterized by FTIR and 1H-NMR techniques, and the bio-lubricants were described by their physical properties. The effect of the natural compounds on the friction and wear properties of bio-lubricants were evaluated by sliding friction tests under boundary conditions, as confirmed by an analysis of the lubricating film thickness. The antioxidant capacity was analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy. It was observed better wear protection in castor oil with xanthophylls than without these additives. The wear rate was reduced up to 50% compared with neat oil. Lesser beneficial effects were appreciated in friction coefficient since it was increased 25%. The best contribution was observed with astaxanthin as an additive. In addition, a significant improvement in the oxidation of castor oil, complemented with this additive, was exhibited by FTIR analysis. It was found that xanthophylls could be employed as additives for totally biodegradable lubricant applications since they have better tribological and antioxidant behavior than current additives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Tribological Properties of Materials and Coatings)
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Article
The Role of Surface Electromyography in Data Fusion with Inertial Sensors to Enhance Locomotion Recognition and Prediction
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6291; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186291 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Locomotion recognition and prediction is essential for real-time human–machine interactive control. The integration of electromyography (EMG) with mechanical sensors could improve the performance of locomotion recognition. However, the potential of EMG in motion prediction is rarely discussed. This paper firstly investigated the effect [...] Read more.
Locomotion recognition and prediction is essential for real-time human–machine interactive control. The integration of electromyography (EMG) with mechanical sensors could improve the performance of locomotion recognition. However, the potential of EMG in motion prediction is rarely discussed. This paper firstly investigated the effect of surface EMG on the prediction of locomotion while integrated with inertial data. We collected EMG signals of lower limb muscle groups and linear acceleration data of lower limb segments from ten healthy participants in seven locomotion activities. Classification models were built based on four machine learning methods—support vector machine (SVM), k-nearest neighbor (KNN), artificial neural network (ANN), and linear discriminant analysis (LDA)—where a major vote strategy and a content constraint rule were utilized for improving the online performance of the classification decision. We compared four classifiers and further investigated the effect of data fusion on the online locomotion classification. The results showed that the SVM model with a sliding window size of 80 ms achieved the best recognition performance. The fusion of EMG signals does not only improve the recognition accuracy of steady-state locomotion activity from 90% (using acceleration data only) to 98% (using data fusion) but also enables the prediction of the next steady locomotion (∼370 ms). The study demonstrates that the employment of EMG in locomotion recognition could enhance online prediction performance. Full article
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Article
Theoretical Investigation of the Adsorption of Cadmium Iodide from Water Using Polyaniline Polymer Filled with TiO2 and ZnO Nanoparticles
Water 2021, 13(18), 2591; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182591 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
The removal of heavy metals from drinking water has attracted great interest in water purification technology. In this study, a biocompatible Polyaniline (PANI) polymer filled with TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) is considered as an adsorbent of cadmium iodide from water. Theoretical [...] Read more.
The removal of heavy metals from drinking water has attracted great interest in water purification technology. In this study, a biocompatible Polyaniline (PANI) polymer filled with TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) is considered as an adsorbent of cadmium iodide from water. Theoretical investigation of the van der Waals (vdW) interactions deduced from the Hamaker constant calculated on the basis of Lifshitz theory was presented. It was found that the surface energy as well as the work of adhesion between water and PANI/NPs across air increases with an increasing volume fraction of the TiO2 and ZnO nanoparticles. Consequently, an increase in the Laplace pressure around the cavities/porosities was found, which leads to the enhancement of the specific contact surface between water and PANI/NPs. On the other hand, for the interactions between CdI2 particles and PANI/NPs surface across water, we show that the interactions are governed principally by the attractive London dispersion forces. The vdW energy and force increase proportionally with the augmentation of the volume fraction of nanoparticles and of the radius of the CdI2 particle. Particularly, the PANI/TiO2 has been proved to be a better candidate for adsorption of cadmium iodide from water than PANI/ZnO. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Treatment by Adsorption and Catalytic Methods)
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Article
Characteristics of Three-Dimensional Sound Propagation in Western North Pacific Fronts
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(9), 1035; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9091035 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Oceanic fronts involved by ocean currents led to strong gradients of temperature, density and salinity, which have significant effects on underwater sound propagation. This paper focuses on the impact of the oceanic front on three-dimensional underwater sound propagation. A joint experiment of ocean [...] Read more.
Oceanic fronts involved by ocean currents led to strong gradients of temperature, density and salinity, which have significant effects on underwater sound propagation. This paper focuses on the impact of the oceanic front on three-dimensional underwater sound propagation. A joint experiment of ocean acoustic and physical oceanography at the western North Pacific fronts is introduced. The measurement data for sound waves passed through the oceanic front is processed. The results are analysed and compared with the numerical simulation. It was found that transmission loss presented some difference when the source was located in the front centre and sound waves propagated towards water mass on opposite sides of the front centre. And when the sound field is excited by the underwater explosion at a depth of 200 m, the effects of the horizontal refraction cannot be neglected. On the other hand, the transmission loss for sound pressure fell sharply and rose rapidly at the side of cold water masses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sea Level Fluctuations)
Review
The Link between Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Children 2021, 8(9), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/children8090824 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that affects up to 9.5% of the pediatric population. Untreated OSA is associated with several complications, including neurobehavioral sequelae, growth and developmental delay, cardiovascular dysfunction, and insulin resistance. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among [...] Read more.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a form of sleep-disordered breathing that affects up to 9.5% of the pediatric population. Untreated OSA is associated with several complications, including neurobehavioral sequelae, growth and developmental delay, cardiovascular dysfunction, and insulin resistance. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the neurobehavioral sequelae associated with OSA. This review aims to summarize the research on the relationship between OSA and ADHD and investigate the impacts of OSA treatment on ADHD symptoms. A literature search was conducted on electronic databases with the key terms: “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” or “ADHD”, “obstructive sleep apnea” or “OSA”, “sleep disordered breathing”, and “pediatric” or “children. Review of relevant studies showed adenotonsillectomy to be effective in the short-term treatment of ADHD symptoms. The success of other treatment options, including continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), in treating ADHD symptoms in pediatric OSA patients has not been adequately evaluated. Further studies are needed to evaluate the long-term benefits of surgical intervention, patient factors that may influence treatment success, and the potential benefits of other OSA treatment methods for pediatric ADHD patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Children)
Article
Application of Fungus Enzymes in Spent Mushroom Composts from Edible Mushroom Cultivation for Phthalate Removal
Microorganisms 2021, 9(9), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9091989 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Spent mushroom composts (SMCs) are waste products of mushroom cultivation. The handling of large amounts of SMCs has become an important environmental issue. Phthalates are plasticizers which are widely distributed in the environment and urban wastewater, and cannot be effectively removed by conventional [...] Read more.
Spent mushroom composts (SMCs) are waste products of mushroom cultivation. The handling of large amounts of SMCs has become an important environmental issue. Phthalates are plasticizers which are widely distributed in the environment and urban wastewater, and cannot be effectively removed by conventional wastewater treatment methods. In this study, SMCs are tested for their ability to remove phthalates, including benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP). Batch experiments reveal that BBP, DBP, and DEP can be degraded by the SMC enzyme extracts of four edible mushrooms: Pleurotus eryngii, Pleurotus djamor, Pleurotus ostreatus, and Auricularia polytricha. Potential fungus enzymes associated with BBP, DBP, and DEP degradation in SMCs (i.e., esterases, oxygenases, and oxidases/dehydrogenases) are uncovered by metaproteomic analysis using mass spectrometry. Bioreactor experiments indicate that the direct application of SMCs can remove BBP, DBP, and DEP from wastewater, through adsorption and biodegradation. The results of this study extend the application of white-rot fungi without laccases (e.g., Auricularia sp.) for the removal of organic pollutants which are not degraded by laccases. The application of SMCs for phthalate removal can be developed into a mycoremediation-based green and sustainable technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biodiversity for Bioremediation)
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Article
Towards a Framework for High-Performance Simulation of Livestock Disease Outbreak: A Case Study of Spread of African Swine Fever in Vietnam
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092743 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
The spread of disease in livestock is an important research topic of veterinary epidemiology because it provides warnings or advice to organizations responsible for the protection of animal health in particular and public health in general. Disease transmission simulation programs are often deployed [...] Read more.
The spread of disease in livestock is an important research topic of veterinary epidemiology because it provides warnings or advice to organizations responsible for the protection of animal health in particular and public health in general. Disease transmission simulation programs are often deployed with different species, disease types, or epidemiological models, and each research team manages its own set of parameters relevant to their target diseases and concerns, resulting in limited cooperation and reuse of research results. Furthermore, these simulation and decision support tools often require a large amount of computational power, especially for models involving tens of thousands of herds with millions of individuals spread over a large geographical area such as a region or a country. It is a matter of fact that epidemic simulation programs are often heterogeneous, but they often share some common workflows including processing of input data and execution of simulation, as well as storage, analysis, and visualization of results. In this article, we propose a novel architectural framework for simultaneously deploying any epidemic simulation program both on premises and on the cloud to improve performance and scalability. We also conduct some experiments to evaluate the proposed architectural framework on some aspects when applying it to simulate the spread of African swine fever in Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue African Swine Fever – Knowledge, Theses, Facts)
Article
Association of Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity with Depression in Sport University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9881; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189881 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: Sports university students are usually expected to lead an active life and have a lower risk of depression. Therefore, there are few studies on depression and its risk factors among this population. This study aimed to investigate depression and its association with [...] Read more.
Background: Sports university students are usually expected to lead an active life and have a lower risk of depression. Therefore, there are few studies on depression and its risk factors among this population. This study aimed to investigate depression and its association with sedentary behavior and physical activity in sports university students. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduates majoring in physical education in a sports university in Beijing in March 2021. Students were asked about sociodemographic information, domain-specific sedentary behavior, physical activity, and depression (using a nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire). Chi-squared test and logistic regression were carried out to analyze the data. Results: Among a total of 584 participants, the detection rate of depression was 49.1%. The median of total sedentary time was 7.29 h per day. After adjusting for covariates, recreational screen time (OR = 1.540, p = 0.035), sedentary time spent completing schoolwork (OR = 0.658, p = 0.038), and participation in vigorous physical activity everyday (OR = 0.415, p = 0.001) and a few times per week (OR = 0.423, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with depression. Conclusions: Sports university students are not immune to depression and inactive lifestyles. Excessive recreational screen time may have an adverse effect on depression, which is somewhat independent of physical activity. Full article
Article
The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study on the Emotional-Behavioral Sequelae for Children and Adolescents with Neuropsychiatric Disorders and Their Families
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9880; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189880 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the immediate and short-term impact of the pandemic on the psychological well-being of Italian children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders and their families. Overall, 56 patients aged 6–18 (M = 13.4 years, SD = 2.77) and their parents [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the immediate and short-term impact of the pandemic on the psychological well-being of Italian children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders and their families. Overall, 56 patients aged 6–18 (M = 13.4 years, SD = 2.77) and their parents were evaluated during the COVID-19 lockdown (T0) and after 4 months (T1). An ad hoc data sheet, Youth Self-Report 11–18 (YSR), Child Behavior Checklist 6–18 (CBCL), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) were administered. Patients, mainly suffering from internalizing disorders, overall demonstrated a good adaptation to the pandemic context. Moreover, patients with behavioral disorders showed a greater psychological discomfort at both T0 and T1 compared to patients with internalizing disorders. Over time, patients presented an improvement on the emotional side, as proven by a significant decrease in internalizing and post-traumatic stress problems. Finally, no significant differences were found in the emotional-behavioral profile of patients according to the means of conducting neuropsychiatric interventions during the lockdown (i.e., in person/remotely/interrupted), thus allowing us to exclude important negative effects caused by the transition to remote therapy. Concerning parents, an inverse relationship emerged between the DASS-21 scores and the level of resilience, which therefore represents a protective factor against psychological maladjustment. Over time, an improvement in the psychological well-being of parents was observed, as shown by a significant decrease in mothers’ anxiety and fathers’ stress. Full article
Review
Chronic Kidney Disease: Role of Diet for a Reduction in the Severity of the Disease
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3277; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13093277 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease affects ≈37 million adults in the US, and it is often undiagnosed due to a lack of apparent symptoms in early stages. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) interferes with the body’s physiological and biological mechanisms, such as fluid electrolyte and pH [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease affects ≈37 million adults in the US, and it is often undiagnosed due to a lack of apparent symptoms in early stages. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) interferes with the body’s physiological and biological mechanisms, such as fluid electrolyte and pH balance, blood pressure regulation, excretion of toxins and waste, vitamin D metabolism, and hormonal regulation. Many CKD patients are at risk of hyperkalemia, hyperphosphatemia, chronic metabolic acidosis, bone deterioration, blood pressure abnormalities, and edema. These risks may be minimized, and the disease’s progression may be slowed through careful monitoring of protein, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and calcium, relieving symptoms experienced by CKD patients. In this review, the current Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) recommendations are highlighted, reflecting the 2020 update, including explanations for the pathophysiology behind the recommendations. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the Mediterranean diet, and the whole foods plant-based diet are currently being examined for their potential role in delaying CKD progression. Biological explanations for why the whole foods plant-based diet may benefit CKD patients compared to diets that include animal products are examined. Strong evidence continues to support the importance of diet meeting the daily requirement in the prevention and progression of kidney disease, and medical nutrition therapy with a registered dietitian is a critical aspect in medical intervention for CKD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Chronic Conditions)
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Article
Predicting Maize Yield at the Plot Scale of Different Fertilizer Systems by Multi-Source Data and Machine Learning Methods
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(18), 3760; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13183760 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Timely and reliable maize yield prediction is essential for the agricultural supply chain and food security. Previous studies using either climate or satellite data or both to build empirical or statistical models have prevailed for decades. However, to what extent climate and satellite [...] Read more.
Timely and reliable maize yield prediction is essential for the agricultural supply chain and food security. Previous studies using either climate or satellite data or both to build empirical or statistical models have prevailed for decades. However, to what extent climate and satellite data can improve yield prediction is still unknown. In addition, fertilizer information may also improve crop yield prediction, especially in regions with different fertilizer systems, such as cover crop, mineral fertilizer, or compost. Machine learning (ML) has been widely and successfully applied in crop yield prediction. Here, we attempted to predict maize yield from 1994 to 2007 at the plot scale by integrating multi-source data, including monthly climate data, satellite data (i.e., vegetation indices (VIs)), fertilizer data, and soil data to explore the accuracy of different inputs to yield prediction. The results show that incorporating all of the datasets using random forests (RF) and AB (adaptive boosting) can achieve better performances in yield prediction (R2: 0.85~0.98). In addition, the combination of VIs, climate data, and soil data (VCS) can predict maize yield more effectively than other combinations (e.g., combinations of all data and combinations of VIs and soil data). Furthermore, we also found that including different fertilizer systems had different prediction accuracies. This paper aggregates data from multiple sources and distinguishes the effects of different fertilization scenarios on crop yield predictions. In addition, the effects of different data on crop yield were analyzed in this study. Our study provides a paradigm that can be used to improve yield predictions for other crops and is an important effort that combines multi-source remotely sensed and environmental data for maize yield prediction at the plot scale and develops timely and robust methods for maize yield prediction grown under different fertilizing systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Learning Methods for Crop Monitoring and Crop Yield Prediction)
Article
Impact of Campylobacter spp. on the Integrity of the Porcine Gut
Animals 2021, 11(9), 2742; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11092742 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Campylobacter (C.) is the most common food-borne zoonosis in humans, which mainly manifests with watery to bloody diarrhoea. While C. jejuni is responsible for most cases of infection, C. coli is less frequently encountered. The object of the study was to [...] Read more.
Campylobacter (C.) is the most common food-borne zoonosis in humans, which mainly manifests with watery to bloody diarrhoea. While C. jejuni is responsible for most cases of infection, C. coli is less frequently encountered. The object of the study was to prove the clinical impact of mono- and co-colonisation of C. coli and C. jejuni on weaned piglets in an infection model and to investigate the impact on transepithelial transport processes in the jejunum and caecum. At an age of eight weeks, eight pigs were infected with C. coli (ST-5777), 10 pigs with C. jejuni (ST‑122), eight pigs with both strains, and 11 piglets served as control. During the four-week observation period, no clinical signs were observed. During dissection, both strains could be isolated from the jejunum and the caecum, but no alteration of the tissue could be determined histopathologically. Mono-infection with C. jejuni showed an impact on transepithelial ion transport processes of the caecum. An increase in the short circuit current (Isc) was observed in the Ussing chamber resulting from carbachol- and forskolin-mediated Cl secretion. Therefore, we speculate that caecal colonisation of C. jejuni might affect the transport mechanisms of the intestinal mucosa without detectable inflammatory reaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
Article
A Reverse Transcription Recombinase-Aided Amplification Method for Rapid and Point-of-Care Detection of SARS-CoV-2, including Variants
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1875; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091875 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
The worldwide pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its emergence of variants needs rapid and point-of-care testing methods for a broad diagnosis. The regular RT-qPCR is time-consuming and limited in central laboratories, so a broad and large-scale screening [...] Read more.
The worldwide pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its emergence of variants needs rapid and point-of-care testing methods for a broad diagnosis. The regular RT-qPCR is time-consuming and limited in central laboratories, so a broad and large-scale screening requirement calls for rapid and in situ methods. In this regard, a reverse transcription recombinase-aided amplification (RT-RAA) is proposed here for the rapid and point-of-care detection of SARS-CoV-2. A set of highly conserved primers and probes targeting more than 98% of SARS-CoV-2 strains, including currently circulating variants (four variants of concerns (VOCs) and three variants of interest (VOIs)), was used in this study. With the preferred primers, the RT-RAA assay showed a 100% specificity to SARS-CoV-2 from eight other respiratory RNA viruses. Moreover, the assay here is of a high sensitivity and 0.48 copies/μL can be detected within 25 min at a constant temperature (42 °C), which can be realized on portable equipment. Furthermore, the RT-RAA assay demonstrated its high agreement for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical specimens compared with RT-qPCR. The rapid, simple and point-of-care RT-RAA method is expected to be an appealing detection tool to detect SARS-CoV-2, including variants, in clinical diagnostic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Markers and the Diagnosis of COVID-19)
Article
Functional and Structural Changes in the Corticospinal Tract of Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 10123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms221810123 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
This study aimed to reveal functional and morphological changes in the corticospinal tract, a pathway shown to be susceptible to diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was induced in 13-week-old male Wistar rats administered streptozotocin. Twenty-three weeks after streptozotocin injection, diabetic animals and age-matched control [...] Read more.
This study aimed to reveal functional and morphological changes in the corticospinal tract, a pathway shown to be susceptible to diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was induced in 13-week-old male Wistar rats administered streptozotocin. Twenty-three weeks after streptozotocin injection, diabetic animals and age-matched control animals were used to demonstrate the conduction velocity of the corticospinal tract. Other animals were used for morphometric analyses of the base of the dorsal funiculus of the corticospinal tract in the spinal cord using both optical and electron microscopy. The conduction velocity of the corticospinal tract decreased in the lumbar spinal cord in the diabetic animal, although it did not decrease in the cervical spinal cord. Furthermore, atrophy of the fibers of the base of the dorsal funiculus was observed along their entire length, with an increase in the g-ratio in the lumbar spinal cord in the diabetic animal. This study indicates that the corticospinal tract fibers projecting to the lumbar spinal cord experience a decrease in conduction velocity at the lumbar spinal cord of these axons in diabetic animals, likely caused by a combination of axonal atrophy and an increased g-ratio due to thinning of the myelin sheath. Full article
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Article
Aluminium, Iron and Silicon Subcellular Redistribution in Wheat Induced by Manganese Toxicity
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8745; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188745 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Acidic soils can promote the bioavailability of Al, Mn, and Fe to toxic levels, reducing crop growth and productivity. Symptoms of metal excess/deficit are dependent on the chemical composition of the soil solution and of plant tissues. In the present study, the concentration [...] Read more.
Acidic soils can promote the bioavailability of Al, Mn, and Fe to toxic levels, reducing crop growth and productivity. Symptoms of metal excess/deficit are dependent on the chemical composition of the soil solution and of plant tissues. In the present study, the concentration and subcellular distribution of Al, Mn, Fe, and Si (known to alleviate metal stress) were quantified through inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in roots and shoots of wheat grown in acidic soils with rising levels of Mn. In control acidic soil, wheat showed high concentrations of Al, Mn, and Fe. After Mn supplementation, bioavailable Al, Fe, and Si levels increased in the soil solution, but plant uptake ratio decreased. Root Mn levels increased, while those of Al, Fe, and Si decreased. Although elements were increasingly translocated to the shoot, root Al and Fe concentrations were 10-fold higher than those in the shoot. At the highest Mn concentration supplied, Al, Fe, and Si proportions increased in the organelles, while Mn proportion increased in the vacuole. High bioavailable Mn levels disrupt metal homeostasis in wheat grown in acidic soils, influencing element subcellular distribution. Symptoms of metal toxicity result from interactions between several elements, and therefore a comprehensive chemical analysis of soil solution and plant tissues contributes to a more accurate understanding of their uptake dynamics and their agronomic implications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mass Spectrometry and Analytical Techniques in the Environment)
Article
Thymus vulgaris Essential Oil and Its Biological Activity
Plants 2021, 10(9), 1959; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10091959 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Thymus vulgaris essential oil has potential good biological activity. The aim of the research was to evaluate the biological activity of the T. vulgaris essential oil from the Slovak company. The main components of T. vulgaris essential oil were thymol (48.1%), p-cymene [...] Read more.
Thymus vulgaris essential oil has potential good biological activity. The aim of the research was to evaluate the biological activity of the T. vulgaris essential oil from the Slovak company. The main components of T. vulgaris essential oil were thymol (48.1%), p-cymene (11.7%), 1,8-cineole (6.7), γ-terpinene (6.1%), and carvacrol (5.5%). The antioxidant activity was 85.2 ± 0.2%, which corresponds to 479.34 ± 1.1 TEAC. The antimicrobial activity was moderate or very strong with inhibition zones from 9.89 to 22.44 mm. The lowest values of MIC were determined against B. subtilis, E. faecalis, and S. aureus. In situ antifungal analysis on bread shows that the vapor phase of T. vulgaris essential oil can inhibit the growth of the microscopic filamentous fungi of the genus Penicillium. The antimicrobial activity against S. marcescens showed 46.78–87.80% inhibition at concentrations 62.5–500 µL/mL. The MALDI TOF MS analyses suggest changes in the protein profile of biofilm forming bacteria P. fluorescens and S. enteritidis after the fifth and the ninth day, respectively. Due to the properties of the T. vulgaris essential oil, it can be used in the food industry as a natural supplement to extend the shelf life of the foods. Full article
Review
Vorinostat (SAHA) and Breast Cancer: An Overview
Cancers 2021, 13(18), 4700; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13184700 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Vorinostat (SAHA), an inhibitor of class I and II of histone deacetylases, is the first histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in 2006. HDIs are promising anticancer agents that inhibit the proliferation of many types of cancer [...] Read more.
Vorinostat (SAHA), an inhibitor of class I and II of histone deacetylases, is the first histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in 2006. HDIs are promising anticancer agents that inhibit the proliferation of many types of cancer cells including breast carcinoma (BC). BC is a heterogeneous disease with variable biological behavior, morphological features, and response to therapy. Although significant progress in the treatment of BC has been made, high toxicity to normal cells, serious side effects, and the occurrence of multi-drug resistance limit the effective therapy of BC patients. Therefore, new active agents which improve the effectiveness of currently used regimens are highly needed. This manuscript analyzes preclinical and clinical trials data of SAHA, applied individually or in combination with other anticancer agents, considering different histological subtypes of BC. Full article
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Article
A Long-Term Symbiotic Relationship: Recruitment and Fidelity of the Crab Trapezia on Its Coral Host Pocillopora
Diversity 2021, 13(9), 450; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13090450 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
The symbiotic relationship between the crab Trapezia spp. and pocilloporid corals has been characterized as obligate. Although this relationship is considered common and has been widely registered within the distribution areas of these corals, the initiation of this symbiotic relation and its potential [...] Read more.
The symbiotic relationship between the crab Trapezia spp. and pocilloporid corals has been characterized as obligate. Although this relationship is considered common and has been widely registered within the distribution areas of these corals, the initiation of this symbiotic relation and its potential persistence throughout the life cycle of the crustacean is still poorly described. To understand the TrapeziaPocillopora symbiosis, determining the time and conditions when Trapezia recruits a coral colony and the factors influencing this process are key. Thus, in the present study, healthy, small and unrecruited coral fragments were attached to the substrates (using cable ties) of nearby adult Pocillopora colonies. All fragments were monitored for two years to measure their growth and size at the first evidence of Trapezia crab recruitment, as well as the abundance and permanence of the crabs on the coral fragments. Results showed a relation between the space available (coral volume) and crab recruitment as an increase in substrate complexity is required to provide protection for the crabs and hence maintain the symbiosis, while abiotic conditions such as sea temperature and the distance of the fragments from the adult coral colonies seemingly did not affect the recruitment process. In addition, crabs are able to move between colonies, thus discarding the theory that once recruited, crabs are obligate residents on this specific colony. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Diversity of Marine Decapods)
Review
The Agony of Choice—Where to Place the Wave of BCMA-Targeted Therapies in the Multiple Myeloma Treatment Puzzle in 2022 and Beyond
Cancers 2021, 13(18), 4701; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers13184701 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
Since the introduction of first-generation proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents, the multiple myeloma (MM) treatment landscape has undergone a remarkable development. Most recently, immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) entered the clinical stage providing access to highly anticipated novel treatment [...] Read more.
Since the introduction of first-generation proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents, the multiple myeloma (MM) treatment landscape has undergone a remarkable development. Most recently, immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) entered the clinical stage providing access to highly anticipated novel treatment strategies. At present, numerous different approaches investigate BCMA as an effective multi-modal target. Currently, BCMA-directed antibody–drug conjugates, bispecific and trispecific antibodies, autologous and allogeneic CAR-T cell as well as CAR-NK cell constructs are either approved or in different stages of clinical and preclinical development for the treatment of MM. This armamentarium of treatment choices raises several challenges for clinical decision making, particularly in the absence of head-to-head comparisons. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview of BCMA-targeting therapeutics, deliver latest updates on clinical trial data, and focus on potential patient selection criteria for different BCMA-targeting immunotherapeutic strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Treatment Strategies for Multiple Myeloma)
Review
The Role of Mitochondria in Oocyte Maturation
by , , and
Cells 2021, 10(9), 2484; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10092484 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
With the nucleus as an exception, mitochondria are the only animal cell organelles containing their own genetic information, called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). During oocyte maturation, the mtDNA copy number dramatically increases and the distribution of mitochondria changes significantly. As oocyte maturation requires a [...] Read more.
With the nucleus as an exception, mitochondria are the only animal cell organelles containing their own genetic information, called mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). During oocyte maturation, the mtDNA copy number dramatically increases and the distribution of mitochondria changes significantly. As oocyte maturation requires a large amount of ATP for continuous transcription and translation, the availability of the right number of functional mitochondria is crucial. There is a correlation between the quality of oocytes and both the amount of mtDNA and the amount of ATP. Suboptimal conditions of in vitro maturation (IVM) might lead to changes in the mitochondrial morphology as well as alternations in the expression of genes encoding proteins associated with mitochondrial function. Dysfunctional mitochondria have a lower ability to counteract reactive oxygen species (ROS) production which leads to oxidative stress. The mitochondrial function might be improved with the application of antioxidants and significant expectations are laid on the development of new IVM systems supplemented with mitochondria-targeted reagents. Different types of antioxidants have been tested already on animal models and human rescue IVM oocytes, showing promising results. This review focuses on the recent observations on oocytes’ intracellular mitochondrial distribution and on mitochondrial genomes during their maturation, both in vivo and in vitro. Recent mitochondrial supplementation studies, aiming to improve oocyte developmental potential, are summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanism of Oocyte Maturation)
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Article
Modulation of Conductivity and Contact Resistance of RuO2 Nanosheets via Metal Nano-Particles Surface Decoration
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(9), 2444; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano11092444 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
We studied the variation in electrical conductivity of exfoliated RuO2 nanosheets and the modulation in the contact resistance of individual nanosheet devices using charge transfer doping effects based on surface metal nanoparticle decorations. The electrical conductivity in the monolayer and bilayer RuO [...] Read more.
We studied the variation in electrical conductivity of exfoliated RuO2 nanosheets and the modulation in the contact resistance of individual nanosheet devices using charge transfer doping effects based on surface metal nanoparticle decorations. The electrical conductivity in the monolayer and bilayer RuO2 nanosheets gradually increased due to the surface decoration of Cu, and subsequently Ag, nanoparticles. We obtained contact resistances between the nanosheet and electrodes using the four-point and two-point probe techniques. Moreover, the contact resistances decreased during the surface decoration processes. We established that the surface decoration of metal nanoparticles is a suitable method for external contact engineering and the modulation of the internal properties of nanomaterials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section 2D and Carbon Nanomaterials)
Article
Effect of Ni Addition on the Corrosion Resistance of NiTi Alloy Coatings on AISI 316L Substrate Prepared by Laser Cladding
Coatings 2021, 11(9), 1139; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11091139 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
In this paper, an equiatomic NiTi (55NiTi) alloy powder was mixed with pure Ni powder to prepare laser cladding coatings on a 316L stainless steel substrate to study the effect of Ni addition on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of the coatings. The [...] Read more.
In this paper, an equiatomic NiTi (55NiTi) alloy powder was mixed with pure Ni powder to prepare laser cladding coatings on a 316L stainless steel substrate to study the effect of Ni addition on the microstructure and corrosion resistance of the coatings. The microstructure and phase composition of the coatings were analyzed using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with configured energy-dispersive spectrometer (EDS) and X-ray diffractometer (XRD). OCP (open-circuit potential), PD (potentiodynamic polarization) and EIS (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy) experiments were conducted by a Gamry electrochemical workstation, and corresponding eroded morphologies were observed to evaluate the coating’s anti-corrosion performance. The addition of Ni led to fine and uniform dendrites and dense microstructure under the metallurgical microscope, which were beneficial for the formation of the passive film mainly consisting of titanium dioxide (TiO2). The results show that the pitting potential of the 55NiTi + 5Ni coating was 0.11 V nobler than that of the 55NiTi coating, and the corrosion current density was less than half that of the 55NiTi coating. The corrosion initiated preferentially at the interfaces of dendrites and inter-dendritic areas, then spread first to dendrites rather than in the inter-dendritic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Corrosion, Wear and Erosion)
Review
MicroRNAs in Hypertrophic, Arrhythmogenic and Dilated Cardiomyopathy
Diagnostics 2021, 11(9), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11091720 (registering DOI) - 19 Sep 2021
Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs of about 20 nucleotides in length, involved in the regulation of many biochemical pathways in the human body. The level of miRNAs in tissues and circulation can be deregulated because of altered pathophysiological mechanisms; thus, [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs of about 20 nucleotides in length, involved in the regulation of many biochemical pathways in the human body. The level of miRNAs in tissues and circulation can be deregulated because of altered pathophysiological mechanisms; thus, they can be employed as biomarkers for different pathological conditions, such as cardiac diseases. This review summarizes published findings of these molecular biomarkers in the three most common structural cardiomyopathies: human dilated, arrhythmogenic and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics)

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