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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Using Kinesio Tape on Non-Infectious Complications after Impacted Mandibular Third Molar Surgery
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020399 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Non-infectious complications such as post-extraction pain, trismus, and swelling are extremely common after impacted wisdom tooth removal. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of using kinesio tape on the level of the postoperative swelling of soft tissues, trismus, and [...] Read more.
Non-infectious complications such as post-extraction pain, trismus, and swelling are extremely common after impacted wisdom tooth removal. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of using kinesio tape on the level of the postoperative swelling of soft tissues, trismus, and pain in patients undergoing the surgical extraction of an impacted mandibular third molar. One hundred patients undergoing the surgical extraction of a lower wisdom tooth were randomly divided into two groups: a study group with kinesio taping (KT) (n = 50) and a control group without kinesio taping (NKT) (n = 50). The surgical procedure was performed according to the same repeatable scheme. Kinesio tape was applied immediately after surgery in the KT group. In both groups, measurements of swelling, trismus, and pain were performed before the surgery and on the third and seventh postprocedural days. Kinesio tape had a significant effect on the decrease in facial swelling on the third day after surgery and a decrease in trismus and pain severity levels on the third and seventh days after surgery. The kinesio tape method is non-invasive, continuously active throughout the entire application period, and requires no additional patient appointments. KT application is an effective method for reducing postoperative edema, pain, and trismus after impacted mandibular wisdom teeth surgery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral and Dental Health)
Open AccessArticle
Design and Implementation of Virtual Security Function Based on Multiple Enclaves
Future Internet 2021, 13(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi13010012 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Network function virtualization (NFV) provides flexible and scalable network function for the emerging platform, such as the cloud computing, edge computing, and IoT platforms, while it faces more security challenges, such as tampering with network policies and leaking sensitive processing states, due to [...] Read more.
Network function virtualization (NFV) provides flexible and scalable network function for the emerging platform, such as the cloud computing, edge computing, and IoT platforms, while it faces more security challenges, such as tampering with network policies and leaking sensitive processing states, due to running in a shared open environment and lacking the protection of proprietary hardware. Currently, Intel® Software Guard Extensions (SGX) provides a promising way to build a secure and trusted VNF (virtual network function) by isolating VNF or sensitive data into an enclave. However, directly placing multiple VNFs in a single enclave will lose the scalability advantage of NFV. This paper combines SGX and click technology to design the virtual security function architecture based on multiple enclaves. In our design, the sensitive modules of a VNF are put into different enclaves and communicate by local attestation. The system can freely combine these modules according to user requirements, and increase the scalability of the system while protecting its running state security. In addition, we design a new hot-swapping scheme to enable the system to dynamically modify the configuration function at runtime, so that the original VNFs do not need to stop when the function of VNFs is modified. We implement an IDS (intrusion detection system) based on our architecture to verify the feasibility of our system and evaluate its performance. The results show that the overhead introduced by the system architecture is within an acceptable range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Future Internet—Internet of Things Section)
Open AccessReview
Effects of Strength vs. Plyometric Training Programs on Vertical Jumping, Linear Sprint and Change of Direction Speed Performance in Female Soccer Players: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020401 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The main purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the effects of strength training (ST) and plyometric training (PT) on vertical jump, linear sprint and change of direction (COD) performance in female soccer players. A systematic search of the PubMed, [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the effects of strength training (ST) and plyometric training (PT) on vertical jump, linear sprint and change of direction (COD) performance in female soccer players. A systematic search of the PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar and SportDiscus databases revealed 12 studies satisfying the inclusion criteria. The inverse-variance random-effects model for meta-analyses was used. Effect sizes (ES) were represented by the standardized mean difference and presented alongside 95% confidence intervals (CI). The magnitude of the main effect was small to moderate (vertical jump (ES 0.53 (95% CI—0.11, 0.95), Z = 2.47 (p = 0.01); linear sprint (ES −0.66 (95% CI—2.03, −0.21), Z = 2.20 (p = 0.03); COD (ES −0.36 (95% CI—0.68, −0.03), Z = 2.17 (p = 0.03)). Subgroup analyses were performed (i.e., ST and PT duration, frequency, session duration and total number of sessions), revealing no significant subgroup differences (p = 0.12–0.88). In conclusion, PT provides better benefits than ST to improve vertical jump, linear sprint and COD performance in female soccer players. However, significant limitations in the current literature prevent assured PT and ST prescription recommendations being made. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Pseudococyclic Partial Hadamard Matrices over Latin Rectangles
Mathematics 2021, 9(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/math9020113 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The classical design of cocyclic Hadamard matrices has recently been generalized by means of both the notions of the cocycle of Hadamard matrices over Latin rectangles and the pseudococycle of Hadamard matrices over quasigroups. This paper delves into this topic by introducing the [...] Read more.
The classical design of cocyclic Hadamard matrices has recently been generalized by means of both the notions of the cocycle of Hadamard matrices over Latin rectangles and the pseudococycle of Hadamard matrices over quasigroups. This paper delves into this topic by introducing the concept of the pseudococycle of a partial Hadamard matrix over a Latin rectangle, whose fundamentals are comprehensively studied and illustrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Codes, Designs, Cryptography and Optimization)
Open AccessReview
Chronic Inflammatory Diseases, Anti-Inflammatory Agents and Their Delivery Nanosystems
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13010064 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Inflammatory diseases, whether caused by excessive stress on certain tissues/parts of the body or arising from infections accompanying autoimmune or secondary diseases, have become a problem, especially in the Western world today. Whether these are inflammations of visceral organs, joints, bones, or the [...] Read more.
Inflammatory diseases, whether caused by excessive stress on certain tissues/parts of the body or arising from infections accompanying autoimmune or secondary diseases, have become a problem, especially in the Western world today. Whether these are inflammations of visceral organs, joints, bones, or the like, they are always a physiological reaction of the body, which always tries to eradicate noxious agents and restore tissue homeostasis. Unfortunately, this often results in damage, often irreversible, to the affected tissues. Nevertheless, these inflammatory reactions of the body are the results of excessive stress, strain, and the generally unhealthy environment, in which the people of Western civilization live. The pathophysiology and pathobiochemistry of inflammatory/autoimmune processes are being studied in deep detail, and pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing new drugs that modulate/suppress inflammatory responses and endogenous pro-inflammatory agents. In addition to new specifically targeted drugs for a variety of pro-inflammatory agents, a strategy can be found for the use of older drugs, which are formulated into special nanodrug delivery systems with targeted distribution and often modified release. This contribution summarizes the current state of research and development of nanoformulated anti-inflammatory agents from both conventional drug classes and experimental drugs or dietary supplements used to alleviate inflammatory reactions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Lung Ultrasound Is Often, but Not Always, Normal in Healthy Subjects: Considerations for COVID-19 Pandemic
Diagnostics 2021, 11(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11010082 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Background: Lung ultrasound (LU) is becoming an increasingly important diagnostic tool in detecting lung involvement in Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to ascertain the likelihood of finding LU abnormalities; mimicking lung involvement; in COVID-19 negative healthy individuals. [...] Read more.
Background: Lung ultrasound (LU) is becoming an increasingly important diagnostic tool in detecting lung involvement in Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The aim of this study was to ascertain the likelihood of finding LU abnormalities; mimicking lung involvement; in COVID-19 negative healthy individuals. Methods: We performed LU on 265 healthcare workers; not presenting COVID-19 major symptoms and in good health; during the course of a serological screening program for COVID-19 in our General Hospital. LU results were reported as total Lung Ultrasound Score (LUS) using a 12-zone method of reporting. Results: 250/265 subjects were included in the COVID-19 negative group. LU was not completely normal (LUS ¹ 0) in 65/250 COVID-19 negative subjects (26%) and in 12/15 (80%) poorly symptomatic COVID-19 positive subjects; with a multifocal pattern in 12.7% vs. 66.7% of cases respectively. Age and COVID-19 positivity were independent predictors of total LUS. A total LUS ³ 2 had a sensitivity of 66.67% and a specificity of 85.60% in detecting COVID-19 positivity. Conclusions: A slightly altered LU can be quite frequent in healthy COVID-19 negative subjects. LU can have a role in confirming but not screening COVID-19 poorly symptomatic cases Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging)
Open AccessArticle
A Parallel Unmixing-Based Content Retrieval System for Distributed Hyperspectral Imagery Repository on Cloud Computing Platforms
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(2), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13020176 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
As the volume of remotely sensed data grows significantly, content-based image retrieval (CBIR) becomes increasingly important, especially for cloud computing platforms that facilitate processing and storing big data in a parallel and distributed way. This paper proposes a novel parallel CBIR system for [...] Read more.
As the volume of remotely sensed data grows significantly, content-based image retrieval (CBIR) becomes increasingly important, especially for cloud computing platforms that facilitate processing and storing big data in a parallel and distributed way. This paper proposes a novel parallel CBIR system for hyperspectral image (HSI) repository on cloud computing platforms under the guide of unmixed spectral information, i.e., endmembers and their associated fractional abundances, to retrieve hyperspectral scenes. However, existing unmixing methods would suffer extremely high computational burden when extracting meta-data from large-scale HSI data. To address this limitation, we implement a distributed and parallel unmixing method that operates on cloud computing platforms in parallel for accelerating the unmixing processing flow. In addition, we implement a global standard distributed HSI repository equipped with a large spectral library in a software-as-a-service mode, providing users with HSI storage, management, and retrieval services through web interfaces. Furthermore, the parallel implementation of unmixing processing is incorporated into the CBIR system to establish the parallel unmixing-based content retrieval system. The performance of our proposed parallel CBIR system was verified in terms of both unmixing efficiency and accuracy. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Incidence of Galls on Sympatric California Oaks: Ecological and Physiological Perspectives
Diversity 2021, 13(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13010020 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). [...] Read more.
Galls are abnormal outgrowths on the external tissues of plants caused by a restricted group of organisms. In this study, we surveyed the incidence and diversity of galling structures in sympatric oak species of a biological preserve (Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, NC, USA). We also measured different physiological parameters (SLA-specific leaf area, chlorophyll, nitrogen, flavonol, anthocyanin, and water content) in galled and ungalled leaves on the same individuals of the most abundant oak species (Quercus agrifolia, Q. lobata, and Q. douglasii). Overall, Q. lobata showed the highest gall incidence, with 64.5% of the sampled leaves affected by galls, followed by Q. douglasii, Q. agrifolia, Q. durata, and Q. kelloggii. The proportion of stems with galls was considerably lower than for leaves in all oak species, ranging from 0% incidence in Q. kelloggii to 27.4% in Q. lobata. The highly schlerophyllous Q. agrifolia supported the most diverse galling community at Jasper Ridge, with ten species, mostly belonging to the Cynipidae family. Our results show that leaf galling had no significant impact on the studied ecophysiological variables. The lack of differences between galled and ungalled leaves under controlled conditions (same tree and position in the tree) suggests that the ecophysiological variables measured are not significantly affected by galling agents or that our data collected for fully-developed galls (end of summer) are not sensitive enough to detect differences. However, there were some trends in plant responses to galling. Changes in galled vs. ungalled leaves were greater in flavonols, followed by chlorophyll, nitrogen, anthocyanin, SLA, and water content, indicating a nutrient deficiency in the plant nutrients. Our findings underscore the complexity of the gall-plant interaction and suggest some promising lines of future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions between Oaks and Insects)
Open AccessArticle
Matrix Product State Simulations of Non-Equilibrium Steady States and Transient Heat Flows in the Two-Bath Spin-Boson Model at Finite Temperatures
Entropy 2021, 23(1), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/e23010077 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Simulating the non-perturbative and non-Markovian dynamics of open quantum systems is a very challenging many body problem, due to the need to evolve both the system and its environments on an equal footing. Tensor network and matrix product states (MPS) have emerged as [...] Read more.
Simulating the non-perturbative and non-Markovian dynamics of open quantum systems is a very challenging many body problem, due to the need to evolve both the system and its environments on an equal footing. Tensor network and matrix product states (MPS) have emerged as powerful tools for open system models, but the numerical resources required to treat finite-temperature environments grow extremely rapidly and limit their applications. In this study we use time-dependent variational evolution of MPS to explore the striking theory of Tamascelli et al. ( Phys. Rev. Lett. 2019, 123, 090402.) that shows how finite-temperature open dynamics can be obtained from zero temperature, i.e., pure wave function, simulations. Using this approach, we produce a benchmark dataset for the dynamics of the Ohmic spin-boson model across a wide range of coupling strengths and temperatures, and also present a detailed analysis of the numerical costs of simulating non-equilibrium steady states, such as those emerging from the non-perturbative coupling of a qubit to baths at different temperatures. Despite ever-growing resource requirements, we find that converged non-perturbative results can be obtained, and we discuss a number of recent ideas and numerical techniques that should allow wide application of MPS to complex open quantum systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transport and Diffusion in Quantum Complex Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Crosstalk between Mast Cells and Lung Fibroblasts Is Modified by Alveolar Extracellular Matrix and Influences Epithelial Migration
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020506 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Mast cells play an important role in asthma, however, the interactions between mast cells, fibroblasts and epithelial cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are less known. The objectives were to investigate the effect of mast cells on fibroblast activity and migration of epithelial [...] Read more.
Mast cells play an important role in asthma, however, the interactions between mast cells, fibroblasts and epithelial cells in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are less known. The objectives were to investigate the effect of mast cells on fibroblast activity and migration of epithelial cells. Lung fibroblasts from IPF patients and healthy individuals were co-cultured with LAD2 mast cells or stimulated with the proteases tryptase and chymase. Human lung fibroblasts and mast cells were cultured on cell culture plastic plates or decellularized human lung tissue (scaffolds) to create a more physiological milieu by providing an alveolar extracellular matrix. Released mediators were analyzed and evaluated for effects on epithelial cell migration. Tryptase increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) release from fibroblasts, whereas co-culture with mast cells increased IL-6 and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Culture in scaffolds increased the release of VEGF compared to culture on plastic. Migration of epithelial cells was reduced by IL-6, while HGF and conditioned media from scaffold cultures promoted migration. In conclusion, mast cells and tryptase increased fibroblast release of mediators that influenced epithelial migration. These data indicate a role of mast cells and tryptase in the interplay between fibroblasts, epithelial cells and the alveolar extracellular matrix in health and lung disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mast Cells and Fibrosis )
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Open AccessArticle
Estimating the Price Elasticity of Train Travel Demand and Its Variation Rules and Application in Energy Used and CO2 Emissions
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020475 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Investigation shows that train travel has a lower pollution impact on the environment than flight travel or car travel. A stated preferences (SP) survey can effectively obtain the data of the commuter’s response to the hypothetical train price changes beyond the scope of [...] Read more.
Investigation shows that train travel has a lower pollution impact on the environment than flight travel or car travel. A stated preferences (SP) survey can effectively obtain the data of the commuter’s response to the hypothetical train price changes beyond the scope of previous observations. To this end, based on SP survey, we estimate the price elasticity of train travel demand and analyze its variation rules. It is shown that: (1) the own-price elasticities of demand are −1.049028 during peak period and −1.090438 during off-peak period, respectively; (2) the cross-price elasticities of demand are 0.001280 for train and air and 0.001156 for train and car during peak period; and 0.001350 for train and air and 0.001230 for train and car during off-peak period; (3) the own and cross-price elasticities of demand during off-peak period are bigger than the ones during peak period; (4) when the influence factors’ influence degree is 3 or 5, the own and cross-price elasticities of demand are largest; when the influence degree is 1, the own and cross-price elasticities of demand are smallest. A result application example shows that the elasticities obtained from this paper could be used to reduce energy used and CO2 emissions effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Railway System)
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Open AccessArticle
Simulating Beef Cattle Herd Productivity with Varying Cow Liveweight and Fixed Feed Supply
Agriculture 2021, 11(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture11010035 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The liveweight of New Zealand beef cows has increased in recent decades due to selection for higher growth rates. Published data suggest that the efficiency of beef cow production decreases with increasing cow liveweight. Changes in beef herd size, feed demand, production, and [...] Read more.
The liveweight of New Zealand beef cows has increased in recent decades due to selection for higher growth rates. Published data suggest that the efficiency of beef cow production decreases with increasing cow liveweight. Changes in beef herd size, feed demand, production, and cash operating surplus (COS) were simulated with average mature cow liveweight varied to 450, 500, 550, and 600 kg. With total annual beef feed demand fixed at the same level, in all scenarios cow numbers and numbers of weaned calves decreased with increasing cow liveweight. When the model was run with consistent efficiency of calf production across the mature cow liveweights (scenario A), heavier cows were more profitable. However, using published efficiency data (scenarios B and C), herds of heavier cows were less profitable. The likely most realistic scenario for New Zealand hill country farms (scenario B) had COS decrease from New Zealand Dollars (NZD) 456/ha with a herd of 450 kg cows to NZD 424/ha with 600 kg cows. Reductions in COS were relatively small, which may not deter farmers from breeding heavier cows for higher calf growth rates. However, the results of this analysis combined with indirect potential economic impacts suggest that the heaviest cows may not be optimal for New Zealand hill country conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Farm Animal Production)
Open AccessArticle
Fate of Emerging Contaminants in High-Rate Activated Sludge Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020400 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
High-rate activated sludge (HRAS) systems are designed to shift the energy-intensive processes to energy-saving and sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment. The high food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios and low solid retention times (SRTs) and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) applied in HRAS systems result in the [...] Read more.
High-rate activated sludge (HRAS) systems are designed to shift the energy-intensive processes to energy-saving and sustainable technologies for wastewater treatment. The high food-to-microorganism (F/M) ratios and low solid retention times (SRTs) and hydraulic retention times (HRTs) applied in HRAS systems result in the maximization of organic matter diversion to the sludge which can produce large amounts of biogas during anaerobic digestion, thus moving toward energy-neutral (or positive) treatment processes. However, in addition to the energy optimization, the removal of emerging contaminants (ECs) is the new challenge in wastewater treatment. In the context of this study, the removal efficiencies and the fates of selected ECs (three endocrine disruptors (endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs))—nonylphenol, bisphenol A and triclosan, and four pharmaceuticals (PhACs)—ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac and ketoprofen) in HRAS systems have been studied. According to the results, EDCs occurred in raw wastewater and secondary sludge at higher concentrations compared to PhACs. In HRAS operating schemes, all compounds were poorly (<40%) to moderately (<60%) removed. Regarding removal mechanisms, biotransformation was found to be the dominant process for PhACs, while for EDCs sorption onto sludge is the most significant removal mechanism affecting their fates and their presence in excess sludge. Full article
Open AccessArticle
L-Arginine Exerts Excellent Anti-Stress Effects on Stress-Induced Shortened Lifespan, Cognitive Decline and Depression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020508 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The anti-stress potential of dietary L-arginine (Arg) was assessed in psychosocially stress-loaded senescence-accelerated (SAMP10) mice. Although this strain of mouse is sensitive to stress, daily administration of Arg at 3 mg/kg significantly suppressed aging-related cognitive decline and behavioral depression at nine months of [...] Read more.
The anti-stress potential of dietary L-arginine (Arg) was assessed in psychosocially stress-loaded senescence-accelerated (SAMP10) mice. Although this strain of mouse is sensitive to stress, daily administration of Arg at 3 mg/kg significantly suppressed aging-related cognitive decline and behavioral depression at nine months of age and counteracted stress-induced shortened lifespan. To investigate the mechanism of the anti-stress effect of Arg in the brain, early changes in oxidative damage and gene expression levels were measured using SAMP10 mice that were stress-loaded for three days. Increased lipid peroxidation in the brains of stressed mice was significantly lowered by Arg intake. Several genes associated with oxidative stress response and neuronal excitotoxic cell death, including Nr4a1, Arc, and Cyr61, remarkably increased in response to psychosocial stress; however, their expression was significantly suppressed in mice that ingested Arg even under stress conditions. In contrast, the genes that maintain mitochondrial functions and neuronal survival, including Hba-a2 and Hbb-b2, were significantly increased in mice that ingested Arg. These results indicate that Arg reduces oxidative damage and enhances mitochondrial functions in the brain. We suggest that the daily intake of Arg plays important roles in reducing stress-induced brain damage and slowing aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research of Aging Stress Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Mechanisms of Succinimide Formation from Aspartic Acid Residues Catalyzed by Two Water Molecules in the Aqueous Phase
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020509 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Aspartic acid (Asp) residues are prone to nonenzymatic isomerization via a succinimide (Suc) intermediate. The formation of isomerized Asp residues is considered to be associated with various age-related diseases, such as cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease. In the present paper, we describe the reaction [...] Read more.
Aspartic acid (Asp) residues are prone to nonenzymatic isomerization via a succinimide (Suc) intermediate. The formation of isomerized Asp residues is considered to be associated with various age-related diseases, such as cataracts and Alzheimer’s disease. In the present paper, we describe the reaction pathway of Suc residue formation from Asp residues catalyzed by two water molecules using the B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) level of theory. Single-point energies were calculated using the MP2/6-311+G(d,p) level of theory. For these calculations, we used a model compound in which an Asp residue was capped with acetyl and methylamino groups on the N- and C-termini, respectively. In the aqueous phase, Suc residue formation from an Asp residue was roughly divided into three steps, namely, iminolization, cyclization, and dehydration, with the activation energy estimated to be 109 kJ mol−1. Some optimized geometries and reaction modes in the aqueous phase were observed that differed from those in the gas phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Genetic Mechanism of Cataracts)
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Open AccessReview
Fungicide Resistance Evolution and Detection in Plant Pathogens: Plasmopara viticola as a Case Study
Microorganisms 2021, 9(1), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010119 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The use of single-site fungicides to control plant pathogens in the agroecosystem can be associated with an increased selection of resistance. The evolution of resistance represents one of the biggest challenges in disease control. In vineyards, frequent applications of fungicides are carried out [...] Read more.
The use of single-site fungicides to control plant pathogens in the agroecosystem can be associated with an increased selection of resistance. The evolution of resistance represents one of the biggest challenges in disease control. In vineyards, frequent applications of fungicides are carried out every season for multiple years. The agronomic risk of developing fungicide resistance is, therefore, high. Plasmopara viticola, the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew, is a high risk pathogen associated with the development of fungicide resistance. P. viticola has developed resistance to most of the fungicide classes used and constitutes one of the most important threats for grapevine production. The goals of this review are to describe fungicide resistance evolution in P. viticola populations and how to conduct proper monitoring activities. Different methods have been developed for phenotyping and genotyping P. viticola for fungicide resistance and the different phases of resistance evolution and life cycles of the pathogen are discussed, to provide a full monitoring toolkit to limit the spread of resistance. A detailed revision of the available tools will help in shaping and harmonizing the monitoring activities between countries and organizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungicide Resistance in Plant Pathogens)
Open AccessReview
tRNA Biology in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes: Role of Genetic and Environmental Factors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22020496 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The global rise in type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental assaults that negatively affect insulin action in peripheral tissues and impair pancreatic β-cell function and survival. Nongenetic heritability of metabolic traits may be an important contributor to [...] Read more.
The global rise in type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic predisposition with environmental assaults that negatively affect insulin action in peripheral tissues and impair pancreatic β-cell function and survival. Nongenetic heritability of metabolic traits may be an important contributor to the diabetes epidemic. Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are noncoding RNA molecules that play a crucial role in protein synthesis. tRNAs also have noncanonical functions through which they control a variety of biological processes. Genetic and environmental effects on tRNAs have emerged as novel contributors to the pathogenesis of diabetes. Indeed, altered tRNA aminoacylation, modification, and fragmentation are associated with β-cell failure, obesity, and insulin resistance. Moreover, diet-induced tRNA fragments have been linked with intergenerational inheritance of metabolic traits. Here, we provide a comprehensive review of how perturbations in tRNA biology play a role in the pathogenesis of monogenic and type 2 diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Journey inside the Beta Cells in Type 2 Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Environmental Conditions on the Quality of UAS Orthophoto-Maps in the Coastal Environment
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2021, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi10010018 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Marine conservation and management require detailed and accurate habitat mapping, which is usually produced by collecting data using remote sensing methods. In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are used for marine data acquisition, as they provide detailed and reliable information through very [...] Read more.
Marine conservation and management require detailed and accurate habitat mapping, which is usually produced by collecting data using remote sensing methods. In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are used for marine data acquisition, as they provide detailed and reliable information through very high-resolution orthophoto-maps. However, as for all remotely sensed data, it is important to study and understand the accuracy and reliability of the produced maps. In this study, the effect of different environmental conditions on the quality of UAS orthophoto-maps was examined through a positional and thematic accuracy assessment. Selected objects on the orthophoto-maps were also assessed as to their position, shape, and extent. The accuracy assessment results showed significant errors in the different maps and objects. The accuracy of the classified images varied between 2.1% and 27%. Seagrasses were under-classified, while the mixed substrate class was overclassified when environmental conditions were not optimal. The highest misclassifications were caused due to sunglint presence in combination with a rough sea-surface. A change detection workflow resulted in detecting misclassifications of up to 45%, on orthophoto-maps that had been generated under non-optimal environmental conditions. The results confirmed the importance of optimal conditions for the acquisition of reliable marine information using UAS. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Semi-Automatic Reconstruction of Archaeological Pottery Fragments from 2D Images Using Wavelet Transformation
Heritage 2021, 4(1), 76-89; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage4010004 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
The problem of matching fragments of three-dimensional (3D) objects has gained increasing attention, and several approaches have been developed to solve this problem. To date, however, to the best knowledge of the authors, there is no computer-based method supporting archaeologists in this activity. [...] Read more.
The problem of matching fragments of three-dimensional (3D) objects has gained increasing attention, and several approaches have been developed to solve this problem. To date, however, to the best knowledge of the authors, there is no computer-based method supporting archaeologists in this activity. For this purpose, in this paper, a semi-automatic approach is proposed for the reconstruction of archaeological pottery fragments based on two-dimensional (2D) images. Firstly, the method, considering the curves as features, involves the extraction of edge curves by applying the Canny filter algorithm to the fragments’ image. Next, the wavelet transformation method is used to fit the edge curves and obtain the approximation coefficients. Then, the correlation coefficients between fragments are computed and the matching of fragments is done by comparing their values. The proposed approach is tested on some real cases. The results of the experimentation show, if compared with the state-of-the-art, that the method seems to be efficient and accurate in the reconstruction of pottery from 2D images of their fragments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Application of Imaging in Cultural Heritage)
Open AccessReview
Microneedle Arrays Combined with Nanomedicine Approaches for Transdermal Delivery of Therapeutics
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10020181 (registering DOI) - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
Organic and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promising outcomes in transdermal drug delivery. NPs can not only enhance the skin penetration of small/biomacromolecule therapeutic agents but can also impart control over drug release or target impaired tissue. Thanks to their unique optical, photothermal, [...] Read more.
Organic and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) have shown promising outcomes in transdermal drug delivery. NPs can not only enhance the skin penetration of small/biomacromolecule therapeutic agents but can also impart control over drug release or target impaired tissue. Thanks to their unique optical, photothermal, and superparamagnetic features, NPs have been also utilized for the treatment of skin disorders, imaging, and biosensing applications. Despite the widespread transdermal applications of NPs, their delivery across the stratum corneum, which is the main skin barrier, has remained challenging. Microneedle array (MN) technology has recently revealed promising outcomes in the delivery of various formulations, especially NPs to deliver both hydrophilic and hydrophobic therapeutic agents. The present work reviews the advancements in the application of MNs and NPs for an effective transdermal delivery of a wide range of therapeutics in cancer chemotherapy and immunotherapy, photothermal and photodynamic therapy, peptide/protein vaccination, and the gene therapy of various diseases. In addition, this paper provides an overall insight on MNs’ challenges and summarizes the recent achievements in clinical trials with future outlooks on the transdermal delivery of a wide range of nanomedicines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Pharmacology)
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