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Article
Global DNA 5hmc and CK195hmC+ Contents: A Promising Biomarker for Predicting Prognosis in Small Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(5), 3758-3770; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28050321 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) with dynamic existence possesses multiple regulatory functions. Whereas, 5hmC’s impact on small hepatocellular carcinoma (SHCC) remains unclear. The present work focused on characterizing 5hmC content within SHCC and assessing the possibility of using global genomic 5hmC level as the predicative [...] Read more.
Background: 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) with dynamic existence possesses multiple regulatory functions. Whereas, 5hmC’s impact on small hepatocellular carcinoma (SHCC) remains unclear. The present work focused on characterizing 5hmC content within SHCC and assessing the possibility of using global genomic 5hmC level as the predicative factor of clinical outcome. Methods: This study applied ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) in measuring 5mC, 5fC and 5hmC contents. In addition, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was adopted to measure CK19 and 5hmC contents. Results: Research showed 5mC, 5hmC, and 5fC contents from global genomics of SHCC reduced extensively compared with healthy samples (p < 0.001). Moreover, SHCC was associated with lymph node metastasis (LNM). Greater 5mC and 5hmC levels were observed in non-metastasis group compared with the metastasis group (p < 0.001). Correlation analysis between the HBV DNA level and 5mC, 5fC and 5hmC levels exhibited that HBV DNA was associated with 5mC, 5hmC, and 5fC content reduction, which was verified in the cytological experiments. Moreover, 5hmC content had a negative correlation with the expression level of CK19 in SHCC. The decrease in 5hmC and CK19 containing 5hmC positive cell (called CK195hmC+) should be ascribed to the bad prognosis among SHCC patients. Conclusions: The contents of 5hmC and CK195hmC+ of genomic DNA might be adopted for predicting SHCC survival as an important biomarker. Full article
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Commentary
The Surgical Management of Proximal Femoral Metastases: A Narrative Review
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(5), 3748-3757; https://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28050320 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The proximal femur is a common location for the development of bony metastatic disease. Metastatic bone disease in this location can cause debilitating pain, pathologic fractures, reduced quality of life, anemia or hypercalcemia. A thorough history, physical examination and preoperative investigations are required [...] Read more.
The proximal femur is a common location for the development of bony metastatic disease. Metastatic bone disease in this location can cause debilitating pain, pathologic fractures, reduced quality of life, anemia or hypercalcemia. A thorough history, physical examination and preoperative investigations are required to ensure accurate diagnosis and prognosis. The goals of surgical management is to provide pain relief and return to function with a construct that provides stability to allow for immediate weightbearing. Current surgical treatment options include intramedullary nailing, hemiarthroplasty or total hip arthroplasty and endoprosthetic reconstructions. Oligometastatic renal cell carcinoma must be given special consideration as tumor resection and reconstruction has survival benefit. Both tumor and patient characteristics must be taken into account before deciding on the appropriate surgical intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Treatment of Bone Metastasis)
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Communication
An Experimental Pricing Framework for E-Commerce
J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 2021, 16(7), 2571-2578; https://doi.org/10.3390/jtaer16070141 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Characterizing the demand curve of products is important for pricing them optimally. However, in deriving empirical demand curves, econometricians have to contend with identification issues. Furthermore, theoretical demand curves derived using standard economic theory are divorced from empirical realities: firms rarely have information [...] Read more.
Characterizing the demand curve of products is important for pricing them optimally. However, in deriving empirical demand curves, econometricians have to contend with identification issues. Furthermore, theoretical demand curves derived using standard economic theory are divorced from empirical realities: firms rarely have information on customers’ budget constraints; theoretical utility functions are seldom derived empirically. Recognizing these issues, we propose an experimental approach for determining a product’s demand curve and, in turn, its profit-maximizing price in online environments. The proposed approach yields precise estimates and is quick and inexpensive to implement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Digital Marketing and the Connected Consumer)
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Article
CC(T) Specimen Load-Bearing Capacity Related to Yield Strength and Upper-Shelf Charpy-V Energy
Appl. Mech. 2021, 2(4), 666-680; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmech2040038 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The load-bearing capacity of a CC(T) specimen (Center-Cracked Tension) in the ductile fracture regime is usually controlled by plastic collapse. If the material’s tearing resistance is sufficiently low, the load-bearing capacity can drop below the plastic collapse value. Here, a recently developed simple [...] Read more.
The load-bearing capacity of a CC(T) specimen (Center-Cracked Tension) in the ductile fracture regime is usually controlled by plastic collapse. If the material’s tearing resistance is sufficiently low, the load-bearing capacity can drop below the plastic collapse value. Here, a recently developed simple fracture mechanics-based Charpy-V impact energy criterion for plastic collapse was used to provide a best estimate assessment of the CC(T) specimen load-bearing capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Fracture, Fatigue, and Wear)
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Article
De-Historicizing (Mainstream) Ottoman Historiography on Tanzimat and Tahdith: Jus Gentium and Pax Britannica ViolateOsmanli Sovereignty in Arabia
Histories 2021, 1(4), 218-255; https://doi.org/10.3390/histories1040020 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The (secular-humanist) philosophical theology governing (positivist) disciplines such as International Law and International Relations precludes a priori any communicative examination of how the exclusion of Arab-Ottoman jurisprudence is necessary for the ontological coherence of jurisprudent concepts such as society and sovereignty, together with [...] Read more.
The (secular-humanist) philosophical theology governing (positivist) disciplines such as International Law and International Relations precludes a priori any communicative examination of how the exclusion of Arab-Ottoman jurisprudence is necessary for the ontological coherence of jurisprudent concepts such as society and sovereignty, together with teleological narratives constellating the “Age of Reason” such as modernity and civilization. The exercise of sovereignty by the British Crown—in 19th and 20th century Arabia—consisted of (positivist) legal doctrines comprising “scientific processes” denying Ottoman legal sovereignty, thereby proceeding to “order” societies situated in Dar al-Islam and “detach” Ottoman-Arab subjects from their Ummah. This “rational exercise” of power by the British Crown—mythologizing an unbridgeable epistemological gap between a Latin-European subject as civic and an objectified Ottoman-Arab as despotic—legalized (regulatory) measures referencing ethno/sect-centric paradigms which not only “deported” Ottoman-Arab ijtihad (Eng. legal reasoning and exegetic hermeneutics) from the realm of “international law”, but also rationalized geographic demarcations and demographic alterations across Ottoman-Arab vilayets. Both inter-related disciplines, therefore, affirm an “exclusionary self-image” when dealing with “foreign epistemologies” by transforming “cultural difference” into “legal difference”, thus suing that it is in the protection of jus gentium that “recognized sovereigns” exercise redeeming measures on “Turks”, “Moors”, or “Arabs”. It is precisely the knowledge lost ensuing from such irreflexive “positivist image” that this legal-historical research seeks to deconstruct by moving beyond a myopic analysis claiming Ottoman-Arab ‘Umran (Eng. civilization) as homme malade (i.e., sick man); or that the Caliphate attempted but failed to become reasonable during the 18th and 19th century because it adhered to Arab-Islamic philosophical theology. Therefore, this research commits to deconstructing “mainstream” Ottoman historiography claiming that tanzimat (Eng. reorganization) and tahdith (Eng. modernization) were simply “degenerative periods” affirming the temporal “backwardness” of Ottoman civilization and/or the innate incapacity of its epistemology in furnishing a (modern) civil society. Full article
Article
Evaluation of the Efficacy of IALUSET VITAL® Cream in Helping the Improvement of the Atopic Dermatitis Symptoms in Adults: A Randomized, Double Blind, Vehicle-Controlled Clinical Trial
Allergies 2021, 1(4), 195-205; https://doi.org/10.3390/allergies1040018 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing skin disease, associated with impaired skin barrier function and characterized by poorly defined pruritic, erythematous lesions. In this study, the efficacy of a new topical cream (IALUSET VITAL®), containing hyaluronic acid and the extract [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic relapsing skin disease, associated with impaired skin barrier function and characterized by poorly defined pruritic, erythematous lesions. In this study, the efficacy of a new topical cream (IALUSET VITAL®), containing hyaluronic acid and the extract of Salvia haenkei, in reducing symptoms of moderate AD in adults was investigated. This study was a randomized, double blind, vehicle-controlled clinical study. Treatment efficacy was evaluated considering both objective parameters (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis, SCORAD) and subjective pa-rameters (Patient Oriented Eczema Measure, POEM, and an itching sensation) and through non-invasive bioengineering techniques to measure skin moisturization and Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). Under the experimental conditions of the study, IALUSET VITAL® significantly reduced AD severity, as shown by the SCORAD index, and was revealed to be effective in alleviating the most common signs and symptoms of moderate AD, suppressing itch and improving skin moisturization, and to have a good safety profile, being well-tolerated by patients. However, statistically significant differences between active and vehicle group were not found in the other parameters analyzed, likely because the basic formulation of IALUSET VITAL® guarantees good emollient properties and the addition of hyaluronic acid and extract of Salvia haenkei as active ingredients results in a great increase in effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Allergies Specifically Dedicated to Allergic Contact Dermatitis)
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Technical Note
Spatiotemporal Land-Use Changes of Batticaloa Municipal Council in Sri Lanka from 1990 to 2030 Using Land Change Modeler
Geographies 2021, 1(3), 166-177; https://doi.org/10.3390/geographies1030010 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess [...] Read more.
Land-use change is a predictable and principal driving force of potential environmental changes on all spatial and temporal scales. A land-use change model is a tool that supports the analysis of the sources and consequences of land-use dynamics. This study aims to assess the spatiotemporal land-use changes that occurred during 1990–2020 in the municipal council limits of Batticaloa. A land change modeler has been used as an innovative land planning and decision support system in this study. The main satellite data were retrieved from Landsat in 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020. For classification, the supervised classification method was employed, particularly with the medium resolution satellite images. Land-use classes were analyzed by the machine learning algorithm in theland change modeler. The Markov chain method was also used to predict future land-use changes. The results of the study reveal that only one land-use type, homestead, has gradually increased, from 12.1% to 34.1%, during the above-mentioned period. Agriculture land use substantially declined from 26.9% to 21.9%. Bare lands decreased from 11.5% to 5.0%, and wetlands declined from 13.9% to 9.6%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Career Scientists’ (ECS) Contributions to Geographies)
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Article
GC-MS Analysis and In Silico Approaches of Indigofera heterantha Root Oil Chemical Constituents
Compounds 2021, 1(3), 116-124; https://doi.org/10.3390/compounds1030010 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The phytochemical investigation on Indigofera heterantha root oil resulted in the identification of 121 phytochemicals using GC-MS analysis. These phytochemicals were docked against alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase enzymes. The docking results suggested that Hexacosyl acetate (121) possess alpha-amylase inhibitory potential with a docking score [...] Read more.
The phytochemical investigation on Indigofera heterantha root oil resulted in the identification of 121 phytochemicals using GC-MS analysis. These phytochemicals were docked against alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase enzymes. The docking results suggested that Hexacosyl acetate (121) possess alpha-amylase inhibitory potential with a docking score of −8.2944994 and the interaction with alpha-glucosidase enzyme was −9.73762512, followed by 9, 12, 15-Octadecatrienoic acid, 2, 3-dihydroxypropyl ester, (Z, Z, Z)-(83) with a docking score of −9.59869957, showed outstanding results in all the stages of the study and may be shown as the most auspicious phytochemical resulting from the docking studies of the new antidiabetic drug. Additionally, Pharmacokinetic and PASS studies revealed their drug-likeness, expected safety upon consumption, and likely pharmacological effects. Full article
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Article
Characterization of Wave Fronts of Ultradistributions Using Directional Short-Time Fourier Transform
Axioms 2021, 10(4), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/axioms10040240 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
In this paper we give a characterization of Sobolev k-directional wave front of order p[1,) of tempered ultradistributions via the directional short-time Fourier transform. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Time-Frequency Analysis, Distributions, and Operators)
Article
Impacts of Extreme Ambient Temperatures and Road Gradient on Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions of a Euro 6d-Temp Gasoline Vehicle
Energies 2021, 14(19), 6195; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14196195 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The EU aims to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the following decades and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Better CO2 estimates, particularly in urban conditions, are necessary for assessing the effectiveness of various regional policy strategies. In this study, we [...] Read more.
The EU aims to substantially reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in the following decades and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Better CO2 estimates, particularly in urban conditions, are necessary for assessing the effectiveness of various regional policy strategies. In this study, we measured the CO2 emissions of a Euro 6d-temp gasoline direct injection (GDI) vehicle with a three-way catalyst (TWC) and a gasoline particulate filter (GPF) at ambient temperatures from −30 °C up to 50 °C with the air-conditioning on. The tests took place both on the road and in the laboratory, over cycles simulating congested urban traffic, dynamic driving, and uphill driving towing a trailer at 85% of the maximum payloads of both the car and the trailer. The CO2 values varied over a wide range depending on the temperature and driving conditions. Vehicle simulation was used to quantify the effect of ambient temperature, vehicle weight and road grade on the CO2 emissions. The results showed that vehicle energy demand was significantly increased under the test conditions. In urban trips, compared to the baseline at 23 °C, the CO2 emissions were 9–20% higher at −10 °C, 30–44% higher at −30 °C, and 37–43% higher at 50 °C. Uphill driving with a trailer had 2–3 times higher CO2 emissions. In motorway trips at 50 °C, CO2 emissions increased by 13–19%. The results of this study can help in better quantification of CO2 and fuel consumption under extreme conditions. Additional analysis on the occurrence of such conditions in real-world operation is advisable. Full article
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Article
Chemical Constituents of the Essential Oil Extracted from Elsholtzia densa and Their Insecticidal Activity against Tribolium castaneum and Lasioderma serricorne
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2304; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102304 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Storage pests pose a great threat to global food security. Here, we found that the essential oil (EO) extracted from E. densa possesses obvious effects against the insects that threaten stored-products. In this work, we investigated the chemical constituents of the essential oil [...] Read more.
Storage pests pose a great threat to global food security. Here, we found that the essential oil (EO) extracted from E. densa possesses obvious effects against the insects that threaten stored-products. In this work, we investigated the chemical constituents of the essential oil extracted from Elsholtzia densa, and their insecticidal (contact and fumigant) toxicity against Tribolium castaneum and Lasioderma serricorne. A total of 45 compounds were identified by GC-MS, accounting for 98.74% of the total EO. Meanwhile, 11 compounds were isolated from the EO, including limonene, β-caryophyllene, ρ-cymene, trans-phytol, α-terpineol, linalool, acetophenone, 1,8-cineole, ρ-cymen-7-ol, 1-O-cerotoylgly-cerol, and palmitic acid. Furthermore, acetophenone, ρ-cymen-7-ol, and 1-O-cerotoylgly-cerol were isolated for the first time from Elsholtzia spp. The results of the bioassays indicated that the EO had the property of insecticidal toxicity against T. castaneum and L. serricorne. All of the compounds showed different levels of insecticidal toxicity against the two species of insects. Among them, 2-ethyl-1H-imidazole had no insecticidal toxicity against T. castaneum, but possessed fumigant and obvious contact toxicity against L. serricorne. ρ-Cymen-7-ol had beneficial insecticidal toxicity against the two species of insects, and fumigant toxicity against L. serricorne. ρ-Cymen-7-ol (LD50 = 13.30 μg/adult), 1-octen-3-ol (LD50 = 13.52 μg/adult), and 3-octanol (LD50 = 17.45 μg/adult) showed significant contact toxicity against T. castaneum. Acetophenone (LD50 = 7.07 μg/adult) and ρ-cymen-7-ol (LD50 = 8.42 μg/adult) showed strong contact toxicity against L. serricorne. ρ-Cymene (LC50 = 10.91 mg/L air) and ρ-cymen-7-ol (LC50 = 10.47 mg/L air) showed powerful fumigant toxicity to T. castaneum. Limonene (LC50 = 5.56 mg/L air), acetophenone (LC50 = 5.47 mg/L air), and 3-octanol (LC50 = 5.05 mg/L air) showed obvious fumigant toxicity against L. serricorne. In addition, the EO and its chemical compounds possessed different levels of repellent activity. This work provides some evidence of the value of exploring these materials for insecticidal activity, for human health purposes. We suggest that the EO extracted from E. densa may have the potential to be developed as an insecticidal agent against stored product insect pests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Quality and Safety)
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Article
Miniaturized Electrochemical Sensors to Monitor Fetal Hypoxia and Acidosis in a Pregnant Sheep Model
Biomedicines 2021, 9(10), 1344; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9101344 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Perinatal asphyxia is a major cause of severe brain damage and death. For its prenatal identification, Doppler ultrasound has been used as a surrogate marker of fetal hypoxia. However, Doppler evaluation cannot be performed continuously. We have evaluated the performance of a miniaturized [...] Read more.
Perinatal asphyxia is a major cause of severe brain damage and death. For its prenatal identification, Doppler ultrasound has been used as a surrogate marker of fetal hypoxia. However, Doppler evaluation cannot be performed continuously. We have evaluated the performance of a miniaturized multiparametric sensor aiming to evaluate tissular oxygen and pH changes continuously in an umbilical cord occlusion (UCO) sheep model. The electrochemical sensors were inserted in fetal hindlimb skeletal muscle and electrochemical signals were recorded. Fetal hemodynamic changes and metabolic status were also monitored during the experiment. Additionally, histological assessment of the tissue surrounding the sensors was performed. Both electrochemical sensors detected the pO2 and pH changes induced by the UCO and these changes were correlated with hemodynamic parameters as well as with pH and oxygen content in the blood. Finally, histological assessment revealed no signs of alteration on the same day of insertion. This study provides the first evidence showing the application of miniaturized multiparametric electrochemical sensors detecting changes in oxygen and pH in skeletal muscular tissue in a fetal sheep model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors at the Aid of Medicine)
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Article
Opportunistic In-Flight INS Alignment Using LEO Satellites and a Rotatory IMU Platform
Aerospace 2021, 8(10), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8100280 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
With the emergence of numerous low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations such as Iridium-Next, Globalstar, Orbcomm, Starlink, and OneWeb, the idea of considering their downlink signals as a source of pseudorange and pseudorange rate measurements has become incredibly attractive to the community. LEO [...] Read more.
With the emergence of numerous low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations such as Iridium-Next, Globalstar, Orbcomm, Starlink, and OneWeb, the idea of considering their downlink signals as a source of pseudorange and pseudorange rate measurements has become incredibly attractive to the community. LEO satellites could be a reliable alternative for environments or situations in which the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is blocked or inaccessible. In this article, we present a novel in-flight alignment method for a strapdown inertial navigation system (SINS) using Doppler shift measurements obtained from single or multi-constellation LEO satellites and a rotation technique applied on the inertial measurement unit (IMU). Firstly, a regular Doppler positioning algorithm based on the extended Kalman filter (EKF) calculates states of the receiver. This system is considered as a slave block. In parallel, a master INS estimates the position, velocity, and attitude of the system. Secondly, the linearized state space model of the INS errors is formulated. The alignment model accounts for obtaining the errors of the INS by a Kalman filter. The measurements of this system are the difference in the outputs from the master and slave systems. Thirdly, as the observability rank of the system is not sufficient for estimating all the parameters, a discrete dual-axis IMU rotation sequence was simulated. By increasing the observability rank of the system, all the states were estimated. Two experiments were performed with different overhead satellites and numbers of constellations: one for a ground vehicle and another for a small flight vehicle. Finally, the results showed a significant improvement compared to stand-alone INS and the regular Doppler positioning method. The error of the ground test reached around 26 m. This error for the flight test was demonstrated in different time intervals from the starting point of the trajectory. The proposed method showed a 180% accuracy improvement compared to the Doppler positioning method for up to 4.5 min after blocking the GNSS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Astronautics & Space Science)
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Data Descriptor
Multiple Image Splicing Dataset (MISD): A Dataset for Multiple Splicing
Data 2021, 6(10), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/data6100102 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Image forgery has grown in popularity due to easy access to abundant image editing software. These forged images are so devious that it is impossible to predict with the naked eye. Such images are used to spread misleading information in society with the [...] Read more.
Image forgery has grown in popularity due to easy access to abundant image editing software. These forged images are so devious that it is impossible to predict with the naked eye. Such images are used to spread misleading information in society with the help of various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Hence, there is an urgent need for effective forgery detection techniques. In order to validate the credibility of these techniques, publically available and more credible standard datasets are required. A few datasets are available for image splicing, such as Columbia, Carvalho, and CASIA V1.0. However, these datasets are employed for the detection of image splicing. There are also a few custom datasets available such as Modified CASIA, AbhAS, which are also employed for the detection of image splicing forgeries. A study of existing datasets used for the detection of image splicing reveals that they are limited to only image splicing and do not contain multiple spliced images. This research work presents a Multiple Image Splicing Dataset, which consists of a total of 300 multiple spliced images. We are the pioneer in developing the first publicly available Multiple Image Splicing Dataset containing high-quality, annotated, realistic multiple spliced images. In addition, we are providing a ground truth mask for these images. This dataset will open up opportunities for researchers working in this significant area. Full article
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Article
Monitoring of Expansive Clays over Drought-Rewetting Cycles Using Satellite Remote Sensing
Atmosphere 2021, 12(10), 1262; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12101262 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
New capabilities for measuring and monitoring are needed to prevent the shrink-swell risk caused by drought-rewetting cycles. A clayey soil in the Loire Valley at Chaingy (France) has been instrumented with two extensometers and several soil moisture sensors. Here we show by direct [...] Read more.
New capabilities for measuring and monitoring are needed to prevent the shrink-swell risk caused by drought-rewetting cycles. A clayey soil in the Loire Valley at Chaingy (France) has been instrumented with two extensometers and several soil moisture sensors. Here we show by direct comparison between remote and in situ data that the vertical ground displacements due to clay expansion are well-captured by the Multi-Temporal Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (MT-InSAR) technique. In addition to the one-year period, two sub-annual periods that reflect both average ground shrinking and swelling timeframes are unraveled by a wavelet-based analysis. Moreover, the relative phase difference between the vertical displacement and surface soil moisture show local variations that are interpreted in terms of depth and thickness of the clay layer, as visualized by an electrical resistivity tomography. With regard to future works, a similar treatment relying fully on remote sensing observations may be scaled up to map larger areas in order to better assess the shrink-swell risk. Full article
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Article
Insight on Knowledge, Risk Perception and Practices to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: A Cross-Sectional Study among Italian University Students
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9031; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199031 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Addressing adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions among young adults represents a public health priority since this age group did not directly experience a health risk from COVID-19. The study aims were to investigate the level of knowledge, risk perception and practices to prevent the [...] Read more.
Addressing adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions among young adults represents a public health priority since this age group did not directly experience a health risk from COVID-19. The study aims were to investigate the level of knowledge, risk perception and practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among undergraduate university students in Southern Italy. This cross-sectional study was conducted between the 1st and 31st of July 2020. An anonymous and structured questionnaire was sent via institutional email. Among the 1323 sampled students, more than two-thirds gave the correct answer to all the knowledge statements. Good knowledge about COVID-19 showed a positive association with those studying medical or life sciences majors. Almost two-fifths (38.5%) of the sample declared to have quite a bit/extreme fear of falling ill with COVID-19 and it was significantly more likely among females and those with good knowledge. Only 30.2% of the students did not touch their face mask while using it. Moreover, practicing respiratory etiquette was more likely among females, among respondents with higher levels of fear of falling ill with COVID-19 and among those who exhibited good knowledge about COVID-19. The study insights will be valuable for the ongoing mitigation of the current pandemic especially with regard to the correct use of face masks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of COVID-19 on Public Health)
Article
Big Data in the Metal Processing Value Chain: A Systematic Digitalization Approach under Special Consideration of Standardization and SMEs
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9021; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199021 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Within the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, the role of Big Data became increasingly important for a successful digital transformation in the manufacturing environment. The acquisition, analysis, and utilization of this key technology can be defined as a driver for decision-making support, [...] Read more.
Within the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, the role of Big Data became increasingly important for a successful digital transformation in the manufacturing environment. The acquisition, analysis, and utilization of this key technology can be defined as a driver for decision-making support, process and operation optimization, and therefore increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a complete manufacturing site. Furthermore, if corresponding interfaces within the supply chain can be connected within a reasonable effort, this technology can boost the competitive advantage of all stakeholders involved. These developments face some barriers: especially SMEs have to be able to be connected to typically more evolved IT systems of their bigger counterparts. To support SMEs with the development of such a system, this paper provides an innovative approach for the digitalization of the value chain of an aluminum component, from casting to the end-of-life recycling, by especially taking into account the RAMI 4.0 model as fundament for a standardized development to ensure compatibility within the complete production value chain. Furthermore, the key role of Big Data within digitalized value chains consisting of SMEs is analytically highlighted, demonstrating the importance of associated technologies in the future of metal processing and in general, manufacturing. Full article
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Study Protocol
Mindfulness Awareness Practice (MAP) to Prevent Dementia in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial and Implementation Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910205 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: With an aging population, developing non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) to delay dementia has become critical. Apart from cognitive decline, dementia is associated with multiple pathophysiology, including increased oxidative stress, dysregulated gene expressions, cytokine, neurotrophin, and stress markers, telomere shortening, and deteriorations in brain [...] Read more.
Background: With an aging population, developing non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) to delay dementia has become critical. Apart from cognitive decline, dementia is associated with multiple pathophysiology, including increased oxidative stress, dysregulated gene expressions, cytokine, neurotrophin, and stress markers, telomere shortening, and deteriorations in brain connectivity. Although mindfulness practices have been proposed to ameliorate these biological changes, no empirical studies were conducted. We thus aimed to investigate the effects of mindfulness awareness practice (MAP) to prevent cognitive decline and improve peripheral biomarkers in community-dwelling older adults diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Methods/Design: This was a single-blinded and parallel-group randomized controlled trial with two arms (intervention and active control arms), conducted over nine months. A total of 60 consenting community-dwelling older adults diagnosed with MCI were planned to be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either the MAP or the Health Education Program (HEP). Interventions were performed weekly for the initial 12 weeks, and monthly for the subsequent six months. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline, 3-month, and 9-month post-intervention by blinded assessors. Primary outcomes were neurocognitive tests, comprehensive peripheral biomarkers, and brain imaging scans. Secondary outcomes included basic health screening measures, affective symptoms, and measures of physical functions. Linear-mixed models were used to examine the effects of MAP on these outcome measures. Significance: This is the first randomized controlled trial to systematically investigate the effects of a mindfulness intervention in improving cognitive functions and various biomarkers in community-dwelling older adults diagnosed with MCI. Our findings have the potential to inform mindfulness intervention as a novel approach to delay dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Healthy Ageing Commuities)
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Systematic Review
Magnetic Resonance Accuracy in the Diagnosis of Anterior Talo-Fibular Ligament Acute Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Diagnostics 2021, 11(10), 1782; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11101782 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Background: The studies about injury to the anterior talo-fibular ligament (ATFL) are focused mainly on chronic symptoms and chronic instability, and the literature about the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in acute injuries is quite lacking. Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis [...] Read more.
Background: The studies about injury to the anterior talo-fibular ligament (ATFL) are focused mainly on chronic symptoms and chronic instability, and the literature about the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in acute injuries is quite lacking. Methods: This systematic review with meta-analysis analyzes the diagnostic accuracy of MRI on acute ATFL injury. Relative studies were retrieved after searching three databases (MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trails). Eligible studies were summarized. The quality of the included articles was assessed using the revised Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool. Data were extracted to calculate pooled sensitivity and specificity of MRI. Results: Seven studies met our inclusion and exclusion criteria. For MRI, the pooled sensitivities and specificity in diagnosing acute ATFL injury were respectively 1.0 (95% CI: 0.58–1) and 0.9 (95% CI: 0.79–0.96). Pooled LR+ and LR− were respectively 10.4 (95% CI: 4.6–23) and 0 (95% CI: 0–0.82). Conclusion: This systematic review with meta-analysis investigated the accuracy of imaging for the diagnosis of acute ATFL injury. Our results demonstrated that MRI shows high diagnostic accuracy in the diagnosis of acute ATFL lesions. These results suggest that routine MRI in the case of suspected ATFL acute injury may be clinically useful, although this is not done in clinical practice due probably to high cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advance in the Diagnostics and Management of Musculoskeletal Diseases)
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Article
Water-Soluble Anions in PM10 Samples Collected in the Metropolitan Area of Costa Rica: Temporal and Spatial Variations
Atmosphere 2021, 12(10), 1264; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12101264 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The concentrations of water-soluble anions present in PM10 collected from ambient air in four sites of Costa Rica’s greater metropolitan area (GAM) were analyzed. Samples were collected over a 24-h period for three days during the 2011–2018 period, using high-volume air samplers [...] Read more.
The concentrations of water-soluble anions present in PM10 collected from ambient air in four sites of Costa Rica’s greater metropolitan area (GAM) were analyzed. Samples were collected over a 24-h period for three days during the 2011–2018 period, using high-volume air samplers with mass flow controller. The PM10 samples were collected using quartz fiber filters, which were analyzed using ion chromatography to identify organic and inorganic ions. The annual averages for PM10, F, Cl, and SO42− showed significant differences between the sampling sites, with Uruca (UR) consistently registering annual averages above the maximum concentration established by Costa Rica’s air quality regulations (30 µgm−3). The ions analyzed contributed 33%, 34%, 35%, and 37% of the PM10 mass for sampling sites UR, HA, AL, and CA, respectively. Using Spearman correlations and principal component analysis (PCA), the following contributions were identified: biomass burning, secondary particle formation processes from mobile and stationary emissions, and biogenic emissions. For each variable, seasonal patterns and trends were analyzed using time series with additive decomposition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
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Article
The Influence of Cognitive Styles as Promoters of Entrepreneurial Orientation and Intrapreneurship as Drivers of Innovation: The Case of Nurses in Health Services in Portugal in Times of COVID-19
Adm. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/admsci11040107 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
The main objective of this study is to assess how cognitive styles promote individual entrepreneurial orientation (IOE) and intrapreneurship and how they drive innovation among nurses in the healthcare services in Portugal. A total of 667 nurses participated, by completing an online questionnaire [...] Read more.
The main objective of this study is to assess how cognitive styles promote individual entrepreneurial orientation (IOE) and intrapreneurship and how they drive innovation among nurses in the healthcare services in Portugal. A total of 667 nurses participated, by completing an online questionnaire in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, working in different health units in Portugal. PLS-SEM structural equation modelling was used as a data analysis technique. The results show that cognitive styles have a positive influence on nurses’ IOE; that cognitive styles have a positive influence on intrapreneurship, which is mediated by the IO; that the IOE impacts nurses’ intrapreneurship and innovation, which is mediated by intrapreneurship; and that intrapreneurship impacts nurses’ innovation. The originality of this study lies in the absence of studies showing relationships between the dimensions that we propose to analyze during the pandemic of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research)
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Article
Canopy Spraying of Abscisic Acid to Improve Fruit Quality of Different Sweet Cherry Cultivars
Agronomy 2021, 11(10), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy11101947 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a major role in promoting ripening in sweet cherry, a non-climacteric fruit. Exogenous application of ABA has been performed to study fruit ripening and cracking, but this growth regulator is not used for commercial production. To determine the potential [...] Read more.
Abscisic acid (ABA) plays a major role in promoting ripening in sweet cherry, a non-climacteric fruit. Exogenous application of ABA has been performed to study fruit ripening and cracking, but this growth regulator is not used for commercial production. To determine the potential of this growth regulator to improve sweet cherry fruit quality, ABA canopy spraying was assayed in four cultivars. Canopy spraying of S-ABA significantly: (1) enhanced sweet cherry fruit color in ‘Glenred’, ‘Lapins’ and ‘Bing’ cultivars, but not in ‘Royal Rainier’ (a bi-colored cultivar), and (2) decreased fruit size and firmness in ‘Lapins’, ‘Bing’ and ‘Royal Rainier’. Seasonally reproducible effects were seen in ‘Lapins’ (mid/late-maturing) but not in ‘Glenred’ (early-maturing). Canopy spraying of nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) decreased color and increased fruit size in ‘Lapins’, but not in ‘Glenred’. Direct application of ABA on fruits attached to the tree, without application to the foliage, increased ‘Lapins’ fruit color without reducing size. These results suggest a localized fruit response to exogenous ABA application on fruit color development, but that a decrease in fruit size may be due to the effects of exogenous ABA on the tree canopy foliage. Full article
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Article
Improving the Accuracy of Predicting Bank Depositor’s Behavior Using a Decision Tree
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9016; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199016 - 28 Sep 2021
Abstract
Telemarketing is a widely adopted direct marketing technique in banks. Since customers hardly respond positively, data prediction models can help in selecting the most likely prospective customers. We aim to develop a classifier accuracy to predict which customer will subscribe to a long-term [...] Read more.
Telemarketing is a widely adopted direct marketing technique in banks. Since customers hardly respond positively, data prediction models can help in selecting the most likely prospective customers. We aim to develop a classifier accuracy to predict which customer will subscribe to a long-term deposit proposed by a bank. Accordingly, this paper focuses on a combination of resampling, in order to reduce the imbalanced data, using feature selection, to reduce the complexity of data computing and dimension reduction of inefficiency data modeling. The performed operation has shown an improvement in the performance of the classification algorithm in terms of accuracy. The experimental results were run on a real bank dataset and the J48 decision tree achieved 94.39% accuracy prediction, with 0.975 sensitivity and 0.709 specificity, showing better results when compared to other approaches reported in the existing literature, such as logistic regression (91.79 accuracy; 0.975 sensitivity; 0.495 specificity) and Naive Bayes classifier (90.82% accuracy; 0.961 sensitivity; 0.507 specificity). Furthermore, our resampling and feature selection approach resulted in improved accuracy (94.39%) when compared to a state-of-the-art approach based on a fuzzy algorithm (92.89%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Machine and Deep Learning)
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