Advancing Open Science
for more than 25 years
MDPI is a pioneer in scholarly open access publishing
and has supported academic communities since 1996.
Case Report
Cytomegalovirus Retinitis and Retinal Detachment following Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy for Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma
Curr. Oncol. 2022, 29(2), 490-496; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol29020044 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a rare end-organ disease of CMV infection and is a marker of severe immunosuppression, especially in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients. In multiple myeloma (MM) patients, CMV retinitis has been reported in the post-transplant setting, with an incidence lower [...] Read more.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis is a rare end-organ disease of CMV infection and is a marker of severe immunosuppression, especially in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients. In multiple myeloma (MM) patients, CMV retinitis has been reported in the post-transplant setting, with an incidence lower than 0.2%, and in patients receiving lenalidomide. Here, we describe the first case of CMV retinitis in myeloma patients following B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeted chimeric antigen receptor T (BCMA CAR-T) cell therapy. In addition to CMV, the patient developed multiple infections including a mouth ulcer, pneumonia, and fungal enteritis. While the complete remission (CR) status of MM was maintained, he regained a visual acuity of 20/1000 after appropriate ophthalmologic treatment. This single case illustrates the potential of BCMA CAR-T therapy to induce profound humoral immunosuppression, and demonstrates an imperative need for an established standard of monitoring and prophylaxis of post-CAR-T infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Therapy)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Facilitates the Homeostatic Control of Feeding Behavior
J. Clin. Med. 2022, 11(3), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm11030580 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a stress hormone that is released from the liver in response to nutritional and metabolic challenges. In addition to its well-described effects on systemic metabolism, a growing body of literature now supports the notion that FGF21 also [...] Read more.
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a stress hormone that is released from the liver in response to nutritional and metabolic challenges. In addition to its well-described effects on systemic metabolism, a growing body of literature now supports the notion that FGF21 also acts via the central nervous system to control feeding behavior. Here we review the current understanding of FGF21 as a hormone regulating feeding behavior in rodents, non-human primates, and humans. First, we examine the nutritional contexts that induce FGF21 secretion. Initial reports describing FGF21 as a ‘starvation hormone’ have now been further refined. FGF21 is now better understood as an endocrine mediator of the intracellular stress response to various nutritional manipulations, including excess sugars and alcohol, caloric deficits, a ketogenic diet, and amino acid restriction. We discuss FGF21’s effects on energy intake and macronutrient choice, together with our current understanding of the underlying neural mechanisms. We argue that the behavioral effects of FGF21 function primarily to maintain systemic macronutrient homeostasis, and in particular to maintain an adequate supply of protein and amino acids for use by the cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Appetite Regulation)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Protein-Protein Interaction Inhibitors Targeting the Eph-Ephrin System with a Focus on Amino Acid Conjugates of Bile Acids
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(2), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15020137 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
The role of the Eph-ephrin system in the etiology of pathological conditions has been consolidated throughout the years. In this context, approaches directed against this signaling system, intended to modulate its activity, can be strategic therapeutic opportunities. Currently, the most promising class of [...] Read more.
The role of the Eph-ephrin system in the etiology of pathological conditions has been consolidated throughout the years. In this context, approaches directed against this signaling system, intended to modulate its activity, can be strategic therapeutic opportunities. Currently, the most promising class of compounds able to interfere with the Eph receptor-ephrin protein interaction is composed of synthetic derivatives of bile acids. In the present review, we summarize the progresses achieved, in terms of chemical expansions and structure-activity relationships, both in the steroidal core and the terminal carboxylic acid group, along with the pharmacological characterization for the most promising Eph-ephrin antagonists in in vivo settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Editorial
Theoretical Investigation on Non-Covalent Interactions
Crystals 2022, 12(2), 167; https://doi.org/10.3390/cryst12020167 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
This editorial is dedicated to announcing the Special Issue “Theoretical investigation on non-covalent interactions” of Crystals. The Special Issue covers the most recent progress in the rapidly growing fields of data science, artificial intelligence, and quantum and computational chemistry in topics relevant [...] Read more.
This editorial is dedicated to announcing the Special Issue “Theoretical investigation on non-covalent interactions” of Crystals. The Special Issue covers the most recent progress in the rapidly growing fields of data science, artificial intelligence, and quantum and computational chemistry in topics relevant to the problem of theoretical investigation on non-covalent interactions (including, but not limited to, hydrogen, halogen, chalcogen, pnictogen, tetrel, and semi-coordination bonds; agosic and anagosic interactions; stacking, anion-/cation–π interactions; metallophilic interactions, etc.). The main successes of my colleagues and I in the field of fundamental theoretical studies of non-covalent interactions in various chemical compounds over the past year are briefly highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Theoretical Investigation on Non-covalent Interactions)
Article
The Social Acceptance of Smart Health Services in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031298 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
In recent years, smart health (s-Health) services have gained momentum worldwide. The s-Health services obtain personal information and aim to provide efficient health and medical services based on these data. In Japan, active efforts to implement these services have increased, but there is [...] Read more.
In recent years, smart health (s-Health) services have gained momentum worldwide. The s-Health services obtain personal information and aim to provide efficient health and medical services based on these data. In Japan, active efforts to implement these services have increased, but there is a lack of social acceptance. This study examined social acceptance concerning various factors such as trust in the city government, perceived benefits, perceived necessity, perceived risk, and concern about interventions for individuals. An online survey was conducted, and Japanese participants (N = 720) were presented with a vignette depicting a typical s-Health service overview. The results of structural equation modeling showed that trust was positively related to perceived benefit and necessity and negatively related to perceived risk and concern about interventions for individuals. Perceived benefit and trust were positively related to social acceptance, and perceived risk was negatively related to acceptance. The model obtained in this study can help implement s-Health services in public. Empirical studies that contribute to improving public health by investigating the social acceptance of s-Health services should be conducted in the future. Full article
Article
Expression of 3-Methylcrotonyl-CoA Carboxylase in Brain Tumors and Capability to Catabolize Leucine by Human Neural Cancer Cells
Cancers 2022, 14(3), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers14030585 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Leucine is an essential, ketogenic amino acid with proteinogenic, metabolic, and signaling roles. It is readily imported from the bloodstream into the brain parenchyma. Therefore, it could serve as a putative substrate that is complementing glucose for sustaining the metabolic needs of brain [...] Read more.
Leucine is an essential, ketogenic amino acid with proteinogenic, metabolic, and signaling roles. It is readily imported from the bloodstream into the brain parenchyma. Therefore, it could serve as a putative substrate that is complementing glucose for sustaining the metabolic needs of brain tumor cells. Here, we investigated the ability of cultured human cancer cells to metabolize leucine. Indeed, cancer cells dispose of leucine from their environment and enrich their media with the metabolite 2-oxoisocaproate. The enrichment of the culture media with a high level of leucine stimulated the production of 3-hydroxybutyrate. When 13C6-leucine was offered, it led to an increased appearance of the heavier citrate isotope with a molar mass greater by two units in the culture media. The expression of 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCC), an enzyme characteristic for the irreversible part of the leucine catabolic pathway, was detected in cultured cancer cells and human tumor samples by immunoprobing methods. Our results demonstrate that these cancer cells can catabolize leucine and furnish its carbon atoms into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Furthermore, the release of 3-hydroxybutyrate and citrate by cancer cells suggests their capability to exchange these metabolites with their milieu and the capability to participate in their metabolism. This indicates that leucine could be an additional substrate for cancer cell metabolism in the brain parenchyma. In this way, leucine could potentially contribute to the synthesis of metabolites such as lipids, which require the withdrawal of citrate from the TCA cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Significance of Altered (Glucose) Metabolism in Cancers)
Article
Aberrant Methylation of 20 miRNA Genes Specifically Involved in Various Steps of Ovarian Carcinoma Spread: From Primary Tumors to Peritoneal Macroscopic Metastases
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031300 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Our work aimed to differentiate 20 aberrantly methylated miRNA genes that participate at different stages of development and metastasis of ovarian carcinoma (OvCa) using methylation-specific qPCR in a representative set of clinical samples: 102 primary tumors without and with metastases (to lymph nodes, [...] Read more.
Our work aimed to differentiate 20 aberrantly methylated miRNA genes that participate at different stages of development and metastasis of ovarian carcinoma (OvCa) using methylation-specific qPCR in a representative set of clinical samples: 102 primary tumors without and with metastases (to lymph nodes, peritoneum, or distant organs) and 30 peritoneal macroscopic metastases (PMM). Thirteen miRNA genes (MIR107, MIR124-2, MIR124-3, MIR125B-1, MIR127, MIR129-2, MIR130B, MIR132, MIR193A, MIR339, MIR34B/C, MIR9-1, and MIR9-3) were hypermethylated already at the early stages of OvCa, while hypermethylation of MIR1258, MIR137, MIR203A, and MIR375 was pronounced in metastatic tumors, and MIR148A showed high methylation levels specifically in PMM. We confirmed the significant relationship between methylation and expression levels for 11 out of 12 miRNAs analyzed by qRT-PCR. Moreover, expression levels of six miRNAs were significantly decreased in metastatic tumors in comparison with nonmetastatic ones, and downregulation of miR-203a-3р was the most significant. We revealed an inverse relationship between expression levels of miR-203a-3р and those of ZEB1 and ZEB2 genes, which are EMT drivers. We also identified three miRNA genes (MIR148A, MIR9-1, and MIR193A) that likely regulate EMT–MET reversion in the colonization of PMM. According to the Kaplan–Meier analysis, hypermethylation of several examined miRNA genes was associated with poorer overall survival of OvCa patients, and high methylation levels of MIR130B and MIR9-1 were related to the greatest relative risk of death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Role of MicroRNAs in Cancer Development and Treatment)
Article
Expanding the Clinical Phenotype of 19q Interstitial Deletions: A New Case with 19q13.32-q13.33 Deletion and Short Review of the Literature
Genes 2022, 13(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13020212 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
19q13 microdeletion syndrome is a very rare genetic disease characterized by pre- and postnatal growth retardation, intellectual disability, expressive language impairment, ectodermal dysplasia, and slender habitus. Since the description of the first case in 1998, less than 30 cases have been reported worldwide. [...] Read more.
19q13 microdeletion syndrome is a very rare genetic disease characterized by pre- and postnatal growth retardation, intellectual disability, expressive language impairment, ectodermal dysplasia, and slender habitus. Since the description of the first case in 1998, less than 30 cases have been reported worldwide. This article aims to review the knowledge gathered so far on this subject and to present the case of a 10-year-old girl admitted to the National University Center for Children Neurorehabilitation “Dr. Nicolae Robanescu” in November of 2018 who presented a slender habitus, growth retardation, facial dysmorphism, skeletal abnormalities, and ectodermal dysplasia. Array-CGH analysis revealed a 1.53 Mb deletion in the 19q13.32-q13.33 region. MLPA for the FKRP gene revealed that the microdeletion was de novo. The patient’s phenotype overlapped with the clinical features of 19q13 microdeletion syndrome. To our knowledge, this is the first case of 19q13 microdeletion syndrome to ever be reported in Romania. We believe our case presents additional features that have never been previously reported in this syndrome, namely, dilatation of the third ventricle and subependymal cyst, left iris coloboma, and tracheomalacia. Moreover, unlike the other 19q13 microdeletion cases that presented with dystonia, our patient also presented dystonia but, interestingly, without having haploinsufficiency of the KMT2B gene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
Article
Consumers’ Attitudes toward the Use of an Edible Coating for Lamb Meat According to Label Information
Foods 2022, 11(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030323 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
The use of edible coatings in meat is currently being investigated in several studies. However, consumers’ attitudes toward this technology are not clear. This study evaluated consumers’ intention to purchase vacuum-packaged meat with a chitosan coating based on the label information. Three factors [...] Read more.
The use of edible coatings in meat is currently being investigated in several studies. However, consumers’ attitudes toward this technology are not clear. This study evaluated consumers’ intention to purchase vacuum-packaged meat with a chitosan coating based on the label information. Three factors combined with different levels were considered: type of cut (“loin”, “French rack”, or “leg steak”), coating/information (no information, chitosan without information explained, and chitosan with information explained), and price (low or high). Consumers’ purchase intentions were evaluated using a 7-point structured scale (1 = certainly would not buy; 7 = certainly would buy). The data were analyzed by conjoint analysis and cluster analysis. The average purchase intention value was 4.3 ± 0.5. The “French rack” cut showed the highest value for purchase intention and a high price was also a relevant factor. The packaging with the label stating the presence of a “chitosan” coating without giving any further information obtained higher purchase intentions than the one with the more detailed information label. In the cluster analysis, the factor “type of cut” showed the highest relative importance in two groups, while “price” had a higher impact in another. The type of cut was the main factor affecting consumers’ purchase intentions. However, different attitudes were observed depending on the group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open Innovation in Meat and Meat Products)
Article
Optimal Fertilization Level for Yield, Biological and Quality Traits of Soybean under Drip Irrigation System in the Arid Region of Northwest China
Agronomy 2022, 12(2), 291; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy12020291 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Soybean is one of the most important oilseed crops worldwide. Fertilization severely restricts the yield potential of soybean in the arid regions of Northwest China. A two-year field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of fertilization on soybean yield in arid areas [...] Read more.
Soybean is one of the most important oilseed crops worldwide. Fertilization severely restricts the yield potential of soybean in the arid regions of Northwest China. A two-year field experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of fertilization on soybean yield in arid areas under a drip irrigation system. The treatment consisted of 14 fertilizer combinations comprising of four rates each of nitrogen (N) (0, 225, 450, and 675 kg ha−1), phosphorus (P) (0, 135, 270, and 405 kg ha−1), and potassium (K) (0, 75, 150, and 225 kg ha−1). The results revealed that grain yield was more sensitive to N fertilizer than to P and K fertilizers. The P and K fertilizers influenced harvest index and biomass, respectively. The optimized combination of fertilizers for high yield, as well as biological and quality traits was obtained by quadratic polynomial regression analysis. The theoretical grain yields based on the performed statistical calculations and plant biomass were greater than 7.21 tons ha−1 and 16.38 tons ha−1 with 300,000 plants ha−1 and were obtained under a fertilization combination of 411.62–418.39 kg ha−1 N, 153.97−251.03 kg ha−1 P2O5, and 117.77−144.73 kg ha−1 K2O. Thus, our findings will serve as a guideline for an effective fertilizer application in order to achieve a balance between grain yield and plant biomass as well as to contribute to the promotion of large-scale cultivation of soybean under drip irrigation. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Design and Optimization of a Novel MEMS Tuning Fork Gyroscope Microstructure
Micromachines 2022, 13(2), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13020172 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
This paper presents the design and optimization of a novel MEMS tuning fork gyroscope microstructure. In order to improve the mechanical sensitivity of the gyroscope, much research has been carried out in areas such as mode matching, improving the quality factor, etc. This [...] Read more.
This paper presents the design and optimization of a novel MEMS tuning fork gyroscope microstructure. In order to improve the mechanical sensitivity of the gyroscope, much research has been carried out in areas such as mode matching, improving the quality factor, etc. This paper focuses on the analysis of mode shape, and effectively optimizes the decoupling structure and size of the gyroscope. In terms of structural design, the vibration performance of the proposed structure was compared with other typical structures. It was found that slotting in the middle of the base improved the transmission efficiency of Coriolis vibration, and opening arc slots between the tines reduced the working modal order and frequency. In terms of size optimization, the Taguchi method was used to optimize the relevant feature sizes of the gyroscope. Compared with the initial structure, the transmission efficiency of Coriolis vibration of the optimized gyroscope was improved by about 18%, and the working modal frequency was reduced by about 2.7 kHZ. Improvement of these two indicators will further improve the mechanical sensitivity of the gyroscope. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MEMS Mechanical Sensing Device)
Article
Applications of Computational and Statistical Models for Optimizing the Electrochemical Removal of Cephalexin Antibiotic from Water
Water 2022, 14(3), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030344 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
One of the most serious effects of micropollutants in the environment is biological magnification, which causes adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem. Among all of the micro-pollutants, antibiotics are commonly present in the aquatic environment due to their wide use in treating [...] Read more.
One of the most serious effects of micropollutants in the environment is biological magnification, which causes adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem. Among all of the micro-pollutants, antibiotics are commonly present in the aquatic environment due to their wide use in treating or preventing various diseases and infections for humans, plants, and animals. Therefore, an aluminum-based electrocoagulation unit has been used in this study to remove cephalexin antibiotics, as a model of the antibiotics, from water. Computational and statistical models were used to optimize the effects of key parameters on the electrochemical removal of cephalexin, including the initial cephalexin concentration (15–55 mg/L), initial pH (3–11), electrolysis time (20–40 min), and electrode type (insulated and non-insulated). The response surface methodology-central composite design (RSM-CCD) was used to investigate the dependency of the studied variables, while the artificial neural network (ANN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) methods were applied for predicting the experimental training data. The results showed that the best experimental and predicted removals of cephalexin (CEX) were 88.21% and 93.87%, respectively, which were obtained at a pH of 6.14 and electrolysis time of 34.26 min. The results also showed that the ANFIS model predicts and interprets the experimental results better than the ANN and RSM-CCD models. Sensitivity analysis using the Garson method showed the comparative significance of the variables as follows: pH (30%) > electrode type (27%) > initial CEX concentration (24%) > electrolysis time (19%). Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessment of Geological Heritage Sites and Their Significance for Geotouristic Exploitation: The Case of Lefkas, Meganisi, Kefalonia and Ithaki Islands, Ionian Sea, Greece
Geosciences 2022, 12(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences12020055 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Geological heritage or geoheritage refers to the total of geosites, i.e., areas of high geological interest in a given area. Geosites have a high potential of attracting geotourists, thus contributing to the development of the local economy. Assessing sites of geological interest can [...] Read more.
Geological heritage or geoheritage refers to the total of geosites, i.e., areas of high geological interest in a given area. Geosites have a high potential of attracting geotourists, thus contributing to the development of the local economy. Assessing sites of geological interest can contribute to their promotion, as well as their preservation and protection. Greece’s geotectonic position in the convergent zone between the African and Eurasian plates has contributed to the existence of a considerable wealth of geosites, with the particularly active geotectonic region of the Ionian Sea characterized as a geoheritage hotspot. The purpose of this study is the selection of several such sites from the islands of Lefkas, Meganisi, Kefalonia and Ithaki and their assessment regarding their scientific, environmental, cultural, economic and aesthetic value. The most representative sites for the individual disciplines of geology (e.g., geomorphology, tectonics, stratigraphy and palaeontology) have been chosen, mapped and assessed, while indicative georoutes are proposed, which could aid the island’s geotouristic promotion to geologist and non-geologist future visitors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Selection of a Wheat Harvester According to Qualitative and Quantitative Criteria
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031313 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
With the development of technology and the expansion of agricultural machinery diversity, the need for an appropriate group decision-making system has arisen. The increasing number of criteria and alternatives complicates the decision-making process. Moreover, the uncertainty in the data leads to more complexity [...] Read more.
With the development of technology and the expansion of agricultural machinery diversity, the need for an appropriate group decision-making system has arisen. The increasing number of criteria and alternatives complicates the decision-making process. Moreover, the uncertainty in the data leads to more complexity in the decision. To select a wheat combine, multiple quantitative criteria were considered, such as the grain tank, rated horsepower, speed draining, and cleaning, along with qualitative criteria, including the level of harvest or harvest losses, fuel consumption, comfort and safety, the ability to harvest wet and lying, and price. To rank seven alternatives through the MULTIMOORA (multi-objective optimization on the basis of ratio analysis) method, a group decision making model applied for qualitative criteria and the Simos method was used for weighting as a subsidiary of mental groups. The performance of the hybrid model was confirmed by experts in agricultural machinery. The consensus model, when used in the process of group decision making, reduces the conflict level of decision-makers regarding criteria, alternatives and the decision matrix. The results of this research will be beneficial for industrial agriculture, especially wheat combine buyers. The proposed explainable consensus model can be used to construct decision support systems and can be applied to various decision-making problems owing to operability and easiness. Full article
Article
Advanced Operationalization Framework for Climate-Resilient Urban Public Health Care Services: Composite Indicators-Based Scenario Assessment of Khon Kaen City, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1283; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031283 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Conventional local public health planning and monitoring are insufficiently addressing the conjugated impact of urban development change and climate change in the future. The existing checklist and index often ignore the spatial-network interaction determining urban public health services in forward-looking aspects. This study [...] Read more.
Conventional local public health planning and monitoring are insufficiently addressing the conjugated impact of urban development change and climate change in the future. The existing checklist and index often ignore the spatial-network interaction determining urban public health services in forward-looking aspects. This study offers and demonstrates a climate-resilient operationalization framework for urban public health services considering the interaction between urban development change and climate change across scales. A combination of collaborative scenario planning and tailor-made composite indicators were applied based on the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)’s climate risk concept to adhere to local realities and diverse sets of scenarios. The framework was contested in a medium-sized city with a universal health care coverage setting, Khon Kaen city, Thailand. The results show that the coupling of collaborative scenario planning and composite indicators allows local public health care to operationalize their potential impact and climate-resilient targets in the future(s) in multiple service operation aspects. The scenarios assessment outcomes prove that although public health devotion can be fail-safe, achieving climate-resilient targets requires sectoral integration with urban development and health determining domains. Further exploration and disputation of the framework with a wider scale and diversified settings are recommended to enhance their robustness and universality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Change)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Case Report
Case Report of Cerebral Sinus Thrombosis Related to Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia Following Administration of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 for Vaccination against COVID-19
Life 2022, 12(2), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/life12020168 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) has been recently reported after vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We present a case of a patient with fulminant CVST and thrombocytopenia after receiving the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. [...] Read more.
Vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) has been recently reported after vaccination against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We present a case of a patient with fulminant CVST and thrombocytopenia after receiving the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. Although the patient received immediate anticoagulant and intravenous immune globulin treatment, he died within 24 h after hospital admission. VITT and CVST are rare conditions; however, the course may be fatal. Therefore, clinicians should be familiarized with the clinical and laboratory features of VITT. Full article
Article
Evaluation of the Program Subsidizing Prosumer Photovoltaic Sources in Poland
Energies 2022, 15(3), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030846 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
This article attempts to evaluate the My Electricity program concerning increasing renewable energy production in photovoltaic (PV) prosumer sources (PV micro-installations) in Poland. The assessment is made from the perspective of beneficiaries, business, and local community. One may also find an answer to [...] Read more.
This article attempts to evaluate the My Electricity program concerning increasing renewable energy production in photovoltaic (PV) prosumer sources (PV micro-installations) in Poland. The assessment is made from the perspective of beneficiaries, business, and local community. One may also find an answer to the question of how this program should be modified so that it continues to support the development of PV systems in Poland. Moreover, how Poles assess the PV technology, in terms of the safety of its users and its impact on the environment, is studied. For this purpose, there was exploratory, qualitative, and quantitative research conducted. Twelve case studies were used as well as online questionnaires conducted on prosumers who used the My Electricity program to install PV micro-installations (57 respondents). By means of interviews, there was a confrontation of their point of view with the opinions of seven skeptics of such installations. Moreover, five experts from the energy industry and politicians involved in the transformation of the energy system were interviewed in order to balance the enthusiastic opinions of prosumers and the skeptical views of objectors to home PV systems. The results of our research indicate that the program is rated very well by enthusiasts of PV systems, although they emphasize the high investment costs and the lack of solutions supporting energy storage. Experts point out that the power grid in Poland is not prepared for such an immediate increase in prosumer PV systems, and they suggest more care in solving this problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Financing Renewable Energy in the Energy Market)
Article
Fast and Robust People Detection in RGB Images
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12031225 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
People detection in images has many uses today, ranging from face detection algorithms used by social networks to help the users tag other people, to surveillance systems that can create a statistic of the population density in an area, or identify a suspect, [...] Read more.
People detection in images has many uses today, ranging from face detection algorithms used by social networks to help the users tag other people, to surveillance systems that can create a statistic of the population density in an area, or identify a suspect, or even in the automotive industry as part of the Pedestrian Crash Avoidance Mitigation (PCAM) system. This work focuses on creating a fast and reliable object detection algorithm that will be trained on scenes that depict people in an indoor environment, starting from an existing state-of-the-art approach. The proposed method improves upon the You Only Look Once version 4 (YOLOv4) network by adding a region of interest classification and regression branch such as Faster R-CNN’s head. The candidate bounding boxes proposed by YOLOv4 are ranked based on their confidence score, the best candidates being kept and sent as input to the Faster Region-Based Convolutional Neural Network (R-CNN) head. To keep only the best detections, non-maximum suppression is applied to all proposals. This decreases the number of false-positive candidate bounding boxes, the low-confidence detections of the regression and classification branch being eliminated by the detections of YOLOv4 and vice versa in the non-maximum suppression step. This method can be used as the object detection algorithm in an image-based people tracking system, namely Tracktor, having a higher inference speed than Faster R-CNN. Our proposed method manages to achieve an overall accuracy of 95% and an inference time of 22 ms. Full article
Review
A Review of Isothermal Amplification Methods and Food-Origin Inhibitors against Detecting Food-Borne Pathogens
Foods 2022, 11(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030322 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
The isothermal amplification method, a molecular-based diagnostic technology, such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), is widely used as an alternative to the time-consuming and labor-intensive culture-based detection method. However, food matrices or other compounds can inhibit molecular-based diagnostic [...] Read more.
The isothermal amplification method, a molecular-based diagnostic technology, such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA), is widely used as an alternative to the time-consuming and labor-intensive culture-based detection method. However, food matrices or other compounds can inhibit molecular-based diagnostic technologies, causing reduced detection efficiencies, and false-negative results. These inhibitors originating from food are polysaccharides and polyphenolic compounds in berries, seafood, and vegetables. Additionally, magnesium ions needed for amplification reactions can also inhibit molecular-based diagnostics. The successful removal of inhibitors originating from food and molecular amplification reaction is therefore proposed to enhance the efficiency of molecular-based diagnostics and allow accurate detection of food-borne pathogens. Among molecular-based diagnostics, PCR inhibitors have been reported. Nevertheless, reports on the mechanism and removal of isothermal amplification method inhibitors are insufficient. Therefore, this review describes inhibitors originating from food and some compounds inhibiting the detection of food-borne pathogens during isothermal amplification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Microbiology)
Article
Genome-Wide Survey Indicates Diverse Physiological Roles of Dendrobium officinale Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase Genes
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031298 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are crucial calcium ions (Ca2+) sensors in plants with important roles in signal transduction, plant growth, development, and stress responses. Here, we identified 24 genes encoding CDPKs in Dendrobium officinale using genome-wide analysis. The phylogenetic analysis [...] Read more.
Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are crucial calcium ions (Ca2+) sensors in plants with important roles in signal transduction, plant growth, development, and stress responses. Here, we identified 24 genes encoding CDPKs in Dendrobium officinale using genome-wide analysis. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that these genes formed four groups, with similar structures in the same group. The gene expression patterns following hormone treatments and yeast two-hybrid of homologous CDPK gene pairs with Rbohs showed differences, indicating functional divergence between homologous genes. In addition, the rapid accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and stomatal closure was observed in response to salicylic acid (SA)/jasmonic acid (JA) stress. Our data showed that CDPK9-2 and CDPK20-4 interacted with Rboh D and Rboh H, respectively, and were implicated in the generation of H2O2 and regulation of the stomatal aperture in response to salicylic acid/jasmonic acid treatment. We believe these results can provide a foundation for the functional divergence of homologous genes in D. officinale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genetic Diversity and Genomics)
Article
Cerebrospinal Fluid α-Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide: A Comparison between Alzheimer’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis
Biomolecules 2022, 12(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom12020199 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) represent an emerging health problem on a global scale, as they are responsible for a significant contribution to the burden of disability in Western countries. Limited numbers of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diagnostic markers are available for [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) represent an emerging health problem on a global scale, as they are responsible for a significant contribution to the burden of disability in Western countries. Limited numbers of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) diagnostic markers are available for each disease (amyloid and tau deposition markers for AD and oligoclonal bands for MS) representing mostly state markers that provide few, if any, clues about the severity of the clinical phenotype. α-CGRP is a neuropeptide implied in nociception, vasodilation, synaptic plasticity and immune functions. This neuropeptide is expressed in encephalic regions connected to memory, attention, autonomic and behavioral functions and is also expressed by spinal motor neurons. The present work confronted α-CGRP levels between 19 AD, 27 MS and 17 control subjects using an ELISA/EIA assay. We measured higher CSF α-CGRP contents in control subjects with respect to AD, as shown in previous studies, as well as in MS patients in comparison to AD. The control subjects and MS patients did not significantly differ between each other. We did not observe a relationship between CSF protein content, albumin quotient and α-CGRP. We also describe, retrospectively, an association between higher CSF CGRP content and higher MRI overall lesion count in MS and between lower α-CGRP and worse attention and visuo-perceptual skills in AD. We speculate that α-CGRP could be differentially involved in both disabling diseases. Full article
Article
Time Series Analysis of Atmospheric Precipitation Characteristics in Western Siberia for 1979–2018 across Different Datasets
Atmosphere 2022, 13(2), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13020189 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
A comparative statistical analysis of the spatiotemporal variability of atmospheric precipitation characteristics (mean and extreme values) in Western Siberia was performed based on data acquired from meteorological stations, global precipitation datasets such as the project of Asian Precipitation—Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation [...] Read more.
A comparative statistical analysis of the spatiotemporal variability of atmospheric precipitation characteristics (mean and extreme values) in Western Siberia was performed based on data acquired from meteorological stations, global precipitation datasets such as the project of Asian Precipitation—Highly-Resolved Observational Data Integration Towards Evaluation (APHRODITE) and from Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC), and reanalysis archives, including from National Centers of Environmental Prediction (NCEP-DOE) and the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ERA5) for the period 1979–2018. The best agreement of the values from the observational data was observed with the values from GPCC. This archive also represented the periodicities in the time series of observational data from meteorological stations, especially in the short-period part of the spectrum. Underestimated values were revealed for the APHRODITE archive, while overestimated ones were found for the NCEP reanalysis data. In comparison with GPCC, the ERA5 dataset reproduced the general variability but with a smaller amplitude (the correlation coefficient was up to 0.9). In general, the median estimates of the precipitation amount derived from the meteorological stations’ data, as well from the reanalysis data, were in better agreement with each other rather than their extreme values. However, their temporal variability can be effectively described by other datasets. Full article
Article
Effects of Ultrasound-Assisted Vacuum Impregnation Antifreeze Protein on the Water-Holding Capacity and Texture Properties of the Yesso Scallop Adductor Muscle during Freeze–Thaw Cycles
Foods 2022, 11(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11030320 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
The effect of antifreeze protein (AFP) on the water-holding capacity (WHC) and texture properties of the Patinopecten yessoensis adductor muscles during freeze–thaw cycles (FTCs) were evaluated based on three impregnation methods: general impregnation (GI), vacuum impregnation (VI), and ultrasound-assisted VI (US-VI). The WHC, [...] Read more.
The effect of antifreeze protein (AFP) on the water-holding capacity (WHC) and texture properties of the Patinopecten yessoensis adductor muscles during freeze–thaw cycles (FTCs) were evaluated based on three impregnation methods: general impregnation (GI), vacuum impregnation (VI), and ultrasound-assisted VI (US-VI). The WHC, texture properties, and tissue microstructure were all evaluated. Results showed that the WHC and texture properties of adductor muscle were significantly improved in the VI and US-VI groups during FTCs (p < 0.05). The WHC of the adductor muscle in the US-VI group was maximally enhanced in terms of yield (6.63%), centrifugal loss, cooking loss, and T22. The US-VI group of the adductor muscle had the optimal chewiness and springiness compared to others, and the shear force and hardness were most effectively enhanced by VI. The growth and recrystallization of ice crystals in the frozen adductor muscle were significantly inhibited by VI and US-VI. The average cross-sectional area and roundness of ice crystals in the US-VI group were decreased by 61.89% and increased by 22.22% compared with those of the control, respectively. The partial least squares regression (PLSR) model further confirmed that the WHC and texture properties of the adductor muscle were correlated appreciably with the degree of modification of ice crystal morphology through the AFP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seafood: Quality, Shelf Life and Sensory Attributes)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Data-Driven Approach for Studying the Influence of Carbides on Work Hardening of Steel
Materials 2022, 15(3), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15030892 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
This study proposes a new approach to determine phenomenological or physical relations between microstructure features and the mechanical behavior of metals bridging advanced statistics and materials science in a study of the effect of hard precipitates on the hardening of metal alloys. Synthetic [...] Read more.
This study proposes a new approach to determine phenomenological or physical relations between microstructure features and the mechanical behavior of metals bridging advanced statistics and materials science in a study of the effect of hard precipitates on the hardening of metal alloys. Synthetic microstructures were created using multi-level Voronoi diagrams in order to control microstructure variability and then were used as samples for virtual tensile tests in a full-field crystal plasticity solver. A data-driven model based on Functional Principal Component Analysis (FPCA) was confronted with the classical Voce law for the description of uniaxial tensile curves of synthetic AISI 420 steel microstructures consisting of a ferritic matrix and increasing volume fractions of M23C6 carbides. The parameters of the two models were interpreted in terms of carbide volume fractions and texture using linear mixed-effects models. Full article
Review
Revisiting miRNA Association with Melanoma Recurrence and Metastasis from a Machine Learning Point of View
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23(3), 1299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23031299 (registering DOI) - 24 Jan 2022
Abstract
The diagnostic and prognostic value of miRNAs in cutaneous melanoma (CM) has been broadly studied and supported by advanced bioinformatics tools. From early studies using miRNA arrays with several limitations, to the recent NGS-derived miRNA expression profiles, an accurate diagnostic panel of a [...] Read more.
The diagnostic and prognostic value of miRNAs in cutaneous melanoma (CM) has been broadly studied and supported by advanced bioinformatics tools. From early studies using miRNA arrays with several limitations, to the recent NGS-derived miRNA expression profiles, an accurate diagnostic panel of a comprehensive pre-specified set of miRNAs that could aid timely identification of specific cancer stages is still elusive, mainly because of the heterogeneity of the approaches and the samples. Herein, we summarize the existing studies that report several miRNAs as important diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in CM. Using publicly available NGS data, we analyzed the correlation of specific miRNA expression profiles with the expression signatures of known gene targets. Combining network analytics with machine learning, we developed specific non-linear classification models that could successfully predict CM recurrence and metastasis, based on two newly identified miRNA signatures. Subsequent unbiased analyses and independent test sets (i.e., a dataset not used for training, as a validation cohort) using our prediction models resulted in 73.85% and 82.09% accuracy in predicting CM recurrence and metastasis, respectively. Overall, our approach combines detailed analysis of miRNA profiles with heuristic optimization and machine learning, which facilitates dimensionality reduction and optimization of the prediction models. Our approach provides an improved prediction strategy that could serve as an auxiliary tool towards precision treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Artificial Intelligence in Biomarker Discovery)

Open Access Journals

Browse by Indexing Browse by Subject Selected Journals
Back to TopTop