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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Advances in the Interpretation of Frequency-Dependent Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Measurements from Porous Material
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3688; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203688 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Fast-field-cycling nuclear magnetic resonance (FFC-NMR) is a powerful technique for non-destructively probing the properties of fluids contained within the pores of porous materials. FFC-NMR measures the spin–lattice relaxation rate R 1 ( f ) as a function of NMR frequency f over the [...] Read more.
Fast-field-cycling nuclear magnetic resonance (FFC-NMR) is a powerful technique for non-destructively probing the properties of fluids contained within the pores of porous materials. FFC-NMR measures the spin–lattice relaxation rate R 1 ( f ) as a function of NMR frequency f over the kHz to MHz range. The shape and magnitude of the R 1 ( f ) dispersion curve is exquisitely sensitive to the relative motion of pairs of spins over time scales of picoseconds to microseconds. To extract information on the nano-scale dynamics of spins, it is necessary to identify a model that describes the relative motion of pairs of spins, to translate the model dynamics to a prediction of R 1 ( f ) and then to fit to the experimental dispersion. The principles underpinning one such model, the 3 τ model, are described here. We present a new fitting package using the 3 τ model, called 3TM, that allows users to achieve excellent fits to experimental relaxation rates over the full frequency range to yield five material properties and much additional derived information. 3TM is demonstrated on historic data for mortar and plaster paste samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Porous Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptome and Metabolic Profiling Analysis of Buckwheat (Fagopyrum Tataricum (L.) Gaertn.) under Salinity Stress
Metabolites 2019, 9(10), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9100225 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.) is a nutritional crop, which has high flavonoid content. However, buckwheat is a salt sensitive glycophyte cereal crop and the growth and grain yield of buckwheat are significantly affected by soil salinity. In this study, we [...] Read more.
Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.) is a nutritional crop, which has high flavonoid content. However, buckwheat is a salt sensitive glycophyte cereal crop and the growth and grain yield of buckwheat are significantly affected by soil salinity. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptome and metabolome of salt treated-buckwheat to understand the effects of salinity on buckwheat. A total of 50,681,938 clean reads were acquired from all samples. We acquired 94,950 unigenes with a mean length of 1133 bp and N50 length of 1900 bp assembly. Of these, 63,305 unigenes (66.7%) were matched in public databases. Comparison of the transcriptome expression patterns between control and salt treated groups showed that 4098 unigenes were up-regulated and 3292 unigenes were down-regulated significantly. Further, we found that genes involved with amino acid, lipid and nucleotide metabolism were most responsive to salt stress. Additionally, many genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis changed significantly following treatment. Those affected included phenylpropanoid biosynthesis and flavonoid biosynthesis. Chromatographic analysis was used to examine the differences in concentration of flavonoids, carotenoids, amino acids and organic acids in the samples following treatment. There was a significant increase in rutin (12.115 mg/g dry weight), following salt stress; whereas, six carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, 13Z-β-carotene, α-carotene, E-β-carotene and 9Z-β-carotene) did not significantly respond to salt stress. Ultimately, our data acts as a valuable resource for future research on buckwheat and can be used as the basis for future analysis focused on gene-to-metabolite networks in buckwheat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
‘Oh God, I Have to Eat Something, But Where Can I Get Something Quickly?’—A Qualitative Interview Study on Barriers to Healthy Eating among University Students in Germany
Nutrients 2019, 11(10), 2440; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102440 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Healthy eating can prevent individuals across all age groups from developing overweight/obesity and non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, unhealthy eating habits (e.g., a high level of fast food consumption) have been found to be widespread among university [...] Read more.
Healthy eating can prevent individuals across all age groups from developing overweight/obesity and non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, unhealthy eating habits (e.g., a high level of fast food consumption) have been found to be widespread among university students. Thus, it seems necessary to develop prevention strategies to improve students’ eating habits. However, to ensure that such strategies are successful, it is important that they fit the needs of the target population. By conducting qualitative interviews with students (n = 20), we aimed to get a deeper understanding of barriers to healthy eating. Students were asked about barriers to healthy eating and to suggest possible ideas that could improve their eating behavior in the future. Our findings revealed that students are especially affected by time-related barriers (e.g., a lack of time due to university commitment) and environmental barriers (e.g., a lack of cheap, tasty, and healthy meal options at the university canteen). Time-related barriers were also related to motivational barriers (e.g., being too lazy to cook after a busy day at university). In addition, knowledge/information-related barriers, social-support-related barriers, and transition-related barriers emerged from our interviews. The variety of barriers addressed and the different views on some of these, indicate that various strategies seem to be needed to improve the eating behavior among university students and to prevent them from gaining weight and developing non-communicable diseases in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Eating Patterns in College Students)
Open AccessReview
Nuclear-cytoplasmic Shuttling in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: Implications in Leukemia Maintenance and Therapy
Cells 2019, 8(10), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8101248 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling is a highly regulated and complex process, which involves both proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in cellular compartmentalization of various proteins, including oncogenes and tumor suppressors, affect cellular behavior, promoting or inhibiting proliferation, apoptosis and sensitivity to therapies. In this review, [...] Read more.
Nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling is a highly regulated and complex process, which involves both proteins and nucleic acids. Changes in cellular compartmentalization of various proteins, including oncogenes and tumor suppressors, affect cellular behavior, promoting or inhibiting proliferation, apoptosis and sensitivity to therapies. In this review, we will recapitulate the role of various shuttling components in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and we will provide insights on the potential role of shuttling proteins as therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hematopoiesis and Stem Cells)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Role of Charge Transfer in the Formation of Type I Deep Eutectic Solvent-Analogous Ionic Liquid Mixtures
Molecules 2019, 24(20), 3687; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24203687 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
It was recently shown that tetramethylammonium chloride presented negative deviations to ideality when mixed with tetraethylammonium chloride or tetrapropylammonium chloride, leading to a strong decrease of the melting points of these salt mixtures, in a behavior akin to that observed in the formation [...] Read more.
It was recently shown that tetramethylammonium chloride presented negative deviations to ideality when mixed with tetraethylammonium chloride or tetrapropylammonium chloride, leading to a strong decrease of the melting points of these salt mixtures, in a behavior akin to that observed in the formation of deep eutectic solvents. To better rationalize this unexpected melting point depression between two structurally similar compounds devoid of dominant hydrogen bonding capability, new solid–liquid equilibria data for tetramethylammonium-based systems were measured and analyzed in this work. Molecular dynamics was used to show that the strong negative deviations from ideality presented by these systems arise from a synergetic share of the chloride ions. A transfer of chloride ions seems to occur from the bigger cation in the mixture (which possesses a more disperse charge) to the smaller cation (tetramethylammonium), resembling the formation of metal–chloride complexes in type I deep eutectic solvents. This rearrangement of the charged species leads to an energetic stabilization of both components in the mixture, inducing the negative deviations to the ideality observed. The conclusions presented herein emphasize the often-neglected contribution of charge delocalization in deep eutectic solvents formation and its applicability toward the design of new ionic liquid mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Eutectic Solvents)
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Open AccessEssay
T.C. Cannon’s Guitar
Arts 2019, 8(4), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8040132 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
How might we understand the art—and perhaps something of the life—of Kiowa/Caddo artist T.C. Cannon by centering his engagement with music and in particular with a meditation on Cannon’s 000-18 Martin guitar, which greeted visitors to the landmark exhibition, T.C. Cannon: At the [...] Read more.
How might we understand the art—and perhaps something of the life—of Kiowa/Caddo artist T.C. Cannon by centering his engagement with music and in particular with a meditation on Cannon’s 000-18 Martin guitar, which greeted visitors to the landmark exhibition, T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America? In the form of a personal reflective essay, T.C. Cannon’s Guitar contemplates my own history with similar guitars, songs from the folk-songwriter tradition, and questions of multi-media crossings—art, music, text, object—that demonstrate revealing stylistic affinities. The essay explores intergenerational relations between myself, Cannon, and my father Vine Deloria, Jr., the three of us evenly spaced over the course of the late twentieth century, and it does so in an effort to understand something about the historical impulses of the period between 1965 and 1978. In that moment—accessible to me through memories of affects more than memories of actions—Native politics and art were both figuring out ways to honor the past while making it new, creating distinctive forms that we can recognize around concepts such as survivance, sovereignty, and indigenous modernism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Localization and Tracking Approach in NLOS Environment Based on Distance and Angle Probability Model
Sensors 2019, 19(20), 4438; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19204438 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this paper, an optimization algorithm is presented based on a distance and angle probability model for indoor non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments. By utilizing the sampling information, a distance and angle probability model is proposed so as to identify the NLOS propagation. Based on [...] Read more.
In this paper, an optimization algorithm is presented based on a distance and angle probability model for indoor non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments. By utilizing the sampling information, a distance and angle probability model is proposed so as to identify the NLOS propagation. Based on the established model, the maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) method is employed to reduce the error of distance in the NLOS propagation. In order to reduce the computational complexity, a modified Monte Carlo method is applied to search the optimal position of the target. Moreover, the extended Kalman filtering (EKF) algorithm is introduced to achieve localization. The simulation and experimental results show the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm in the improvement of localization accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors Localization in Indoor Wireless Networks)
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Open AccessArticle
Artificial Intelligence Algorithms and Natural Language Processing for the Recognition of Syncope Patients on Emergency Department Medical Records
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(10), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8101677 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Background: Enrollment of large cohorts of syncope patients from administrative data is crucial for proper risk stratification but is limited by the enormous amount of time required for manual revision of medical records. Aim: To develop a Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm to [...] Read more.
Background: Enrollment of large cohorts of syncope patients from administrative data is crucial for proper risk stratification but is limited by the enormous amount of time required for manual revision of medical records. Aim: To develop a Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm to automatically identify syncope from Emergency Department (ED) electronic medical records (EMRs). Methods: De-identified EMRs of all consecutive patients evaluated at Humanitas Research Hospital ED from 1 December 2013 to 31 March 2014 and from 1 December 2015 to 31 March 2016 were manually annotated to identify syncope. Records were combined in a single dataset and classified. The performance of combined multiple NLP feature selectors and classifiers was tested. Primary Outcomes: NLP algorithms’ accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and F3 score. Results: 15,098 and 15,222 records from 2013 and 2015 datasets were analyzed. Syncope was present in 571 records. Normalized Gini Index feature selector combined with Support Vector Machines classifier obtained the best F3 value (84.0%), with 92.2% sensitivity and 47.4% positive predictive value. A 96% analysis time reduction was computed, compared with EMRs manual review. Conclusions: This artificial intelligence algorithm enabled the automatic identification of a large population of syncope patients using EMRs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Clinical Medicine)
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Open AccessArticle
Experimental and Numerical Analysis of a Seawall’s Effect on Wind Turbine Performance
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3877; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203877 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
For the purposes of this study, a wind tunnel experiment and a numerical analysis during ebb and high tides were conducted to determine the positive and negative effects of wind flow influenced by a seawall structure on the performance of wind turbines installed [...] Read more.
For the purposes of this study, a wind tunnel experiment and a numerical analysis during ebb and high tides were conducted to determine the positive and negative effects of wind flow influenced by a seawall structure on the performance of wind turbines installed along a coastal seawall. The comparison of the wind flow field between a wind tunnel experiment performed with a 1/100 scale model and a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis confirmed that the MP k-turbulence model estimated flow separation on the leeside of the seawall the most accurately. The CFD analysis verified that wind speed-up occurred due to the virtual hill effect caused by the seawall’s windward slope and the recirculation zone of its rear face, which created a positive effect by mitigating wind shear while increasing the mean wind speed in the wind turbine’s rotor plane. In contrast, the turbulence effect of flow separation on the seawall’s leeside was limited to the area below the wind turbine rotor, and had no negative effect. The use of the CFD verified with the comparison with the wind tunnel experiment was extended to the full-scale seawall, and the results of the analysis based on the wind turbine Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) data of a wind farm confirmed that the seawall effect was equivalent to a 1.5% increase in power generation as a result of a mitigation of the wind profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) 2018)
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Open AccessArticle
Strength Development and Thermogravimetric Investigation of High-Volume Fly Ash Binders
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3344; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203344 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
To address sustainability issues by facilitating the use of high-volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete in industry, this paper investigates the early age hydration properties of HVFA binders in concrete and the correlation between hydration properties and compressive strengths of the cement pastes. A [...] Read more.
To address sustainability issues by facilitating the use of high-volume fly ash (HVFA) concrete in industry, this paper investigates the early age hydration properties of HVFA binders in concrete and the correlation between hydration properties and compressive strengths of the cement pastes. A new method of calculating the chemically bound water of HVFA binders was used and validated. Fly ash (FA) types used in this study were sourced from Indonesia and Australia for comparison. The water to binder (w/b) ratio was 0.4 and FA replacement levels were 40%, 50% and 60% by weight. Isothermal calorimetry tests were conducted to study the heat of hydration which was further converted to the adiabatic temperature rise. Thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) was employed to explore the chemically bound water (WB) of the binders. The results showed that Australian FA pastes had higher heat of hydration, adiabatic temperature rise, WB and compressive strength compared to Indonesian FA pastes. The new method of calculating chemically bound water can be successfully applied to HVFA binders. Linear correlation could be found between the WB and compressive strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Construction and Building Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Gelatin-Alginate Complexes for EGF Encapsulation: Effects of H-Bonding and Electrostatic Interactions
Pharmaceutics 2019, 11(10), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics11100530 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Gelatin Type A (GA) and sodium alginate (SA) complexes were explored to encapsulate epidermal growth factor (EGF), and thereby to circumvent its proteolytic degradation upon topical application to chronic wounds. Phase diagrams were constructed based on turbidity as a function of GA to [...] Read more.
Gelatin Type A (GA) and sodium alginate (SA) complexes were explored to encapsulate epidermal growth factor (EGF), and thereby to circumvent its proteolytic degradation upon topical application to chronic wounds. Phase diagrams were constructed based on turbidity as a function of GA to SA ratio and pH. Various GA-SA mixtures were compared for polydispersity index, zeta potential, Z-average, and ATR-FTIR spectra. Trypsin digestion and human dermal fibroblast scratch wound assay were done to evaluate the effects of EGF encapsulation. The onset pH values for coacervation and precipitation were closer together in high molecular weight GA (HWGA)-SA reaction mixtures than in low molecular weight GA (LWGA)-SA, which was attributed to strong H-bonding interactions between HWGA and SA probed by ATR-FTIR. EGF incorporation in both HWGA-SA precipitates and LWGA-SA coacervates below the isoelectric point of EGF, but not above it, suggests the contribution of electrostatic interactions between EGF and SA. EGF encapsulated in LWGA-SA coacervates was effectively protected from trypsin digestion and showed better in vitro scratch wound activity compared to free EGF. LWGA-SA coacervates are suggested as a novel delivery system for topical application of EGF to chronic wounds. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Special Issue “Nanogrids, Microgrids, and the Internet of Things (IoT): Towards the Digital Energy Network”
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3878; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203878 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
I started hearing a lot about energy digitization a little over a year ago, talking to my colleagues during conferences and meetings [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial
A Two-Way Avenue of Knowledge: An Editorial for the Special Issue “Geoscience of the Built Environment 2019 Edition”
Geosciences 2019, 9(10), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9100439 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
This editorial presents the papers published in the 2019 edition of this series of special issues in the context of the contribution of geological studies to the development of knowledge on the built environment (namely materials) and in the opposite sense, that is [...] Read more.
This editorial presents the papers published in the 2019 edition of this series of special issues in the context of the contribution of geological studies to the development of knowledge on the built environment (namely materials) and in the opposite sense, that is the potential contribution of studies of the Built Environment to geoscientific knowledge. This is discussed considering the major framework of the Anthropocene. Full article
Open AccessArticle
High-Resolution Household Load Profiling and Evaluation of Rooftop PV Systems in Selected Houses in Qatar
Energies 2019, 12(20), 3876; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12203876 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
Even though Qatar’s per capita electricity consumption is one of the highest in the world, little is currently known about behind-the-meter power consumption. The residential sector is the largest consumer of electricity, accounting for approximately 59% of the overall consumption of electricity. As [...] Read more.
Even though Qatar’s per capita electricity consumption is one of the highest in the world, little is currently known about behind-the-meter power consumption. The residential sector is the largest consumer of electricity, accounting for approximately 59% of the overall consumption of electricity. As energy subsidies lead to budget deficits and overconsumption of carbon resources, there is a pressing need to examine the residential load profile to better understand consumption patterns and uncover potential solutions for more efficient usage. Residential load profiles are typically influenced by seasonal and socio-economic factors. Furthermore, household load profiles can be used to examine the viability of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems. In this study, a total of 10 houses in Qatar were chosen, and their power demand was monitored for over a year using smart energy monitors. This empirical research was conducted to achieve the following goals: (1) creation of the first high-resolution residential load profiles in Qatar and in the Gulf region; (2) analyses of the acquired load profiles and the determining factors that affect energy consumption; and (3) calculation of self-consumption values, analysis of the viability of household rooftop PV systems, and discussing potential use-cases for energy storage systems. Investigation of this topic is particularly important for Qatar as the country is adopting a sizable portion of PV systems (5% by 2021) and promotes sustainable energy options as a part of a national development strategy. Results show that there are significant differences between per-household and per-capita consumption due to factors such as electricity subsidies, household income and size, and air-conditioner type. Moreover, due to high electricity consumption, distributed energy storage units for bill management applications have limited applicability with current pricing tariffs. To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study conducted in Qatar and in the Gulf region where a growing amount of interest is given to measure and improve building energy performance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Enhanced Negative Nonlocal Conductance in an Interacting Quantum Dot Connected to Two Ferromagnetic Leads and One Superconducting Lead
Entropy 2019, 21(10), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21101003 (registering DOI) - 14 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the electronic transport properties of a quantum dot (QD) connected to two ferromagnetic leads and one superconducting lead in the Kondo regime by means of the finite-U slave boson mean field approach and the nonequilibrium Green function [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate the electronic transport properties of a quantum dot (QD) connected to two ferromagnetic leads and one superconducting lead in the Kondo regime by means of the finite-U slave boson mean field approach and the nonequilibrium Green function technique. In this three-terminal hybrid nanodevice, we focus our attention on the joint effects of the Kondo correlation, superconducting proximity pairing, and spin polarization of leads. It is found that the superconducting proximity effect will suppress the linear local conductance (LLC) stemming from the weakened Kondo peak, and when its coupling Γ s is bigger than the tunnel-coupling Γ of two normal leads, the linear cross conductance (LCC) becomes negative in the Kondo region. Regarding the antiparallel configuration, increasing spin polarization further suppresses LLC but enhances LCC, i.e., causing larger negative values of LCC, since it is beneficial for the emergence of cross Andreev reflection. On the contrary, for the parallel configuration, with increasing spin polarization, the LLC decreases and greatly widens with the appearance of shoulders, and eventually splits into four peaks, while the LCC decreases relatively rapidly to the normal conductance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Transport in Mesoscopic Systems)
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