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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Amsterdam : Elsevier
    Physics Letters B 294 (1992), S. 466-478 
    ISSN: 0370-2693
    Source: Elsevier Journal Backfiles on ScienceDirect 1907 - 2002
    Topics: Physics
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Amsterdam : Elsevier
    Physics Letters B 317 (1993), S. 474-484 
    ISSN: 0370-2693
    Source: Elsevier Journal Backfiles on ScienceDirect 1907 - 2002
    Topics: Physics
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-08-28
    Description: by Andy Hopker, Naveen Pandey, Aniruddha Dhamorikar, Sophie Hopker, Pradeep Gautam, Subash Pandey, Sharad Kumar, Narendra Rahangadale, Prakash Mehta, Rebecca Marsland, Neil Sargison
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 4
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-08-28
    Description: by Lottie W. Stipdonk, Marie-Christine J. P. Franken, Jeroen Dudink
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 5
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Apisit Chaidee, Sudarat Onsurathum, Kitti Intuyod, Patchareewan Pannangpetch, Chatlert Pongchaiyakul, Porntip Pinlaor, Chawalit Pairojkul, Wannaporn Ittiprasert, Christina J. Cochran, Victoria H. Mann, Paul J. Brindley, Somchai Pinlaor Complications arising from infection with the carcinogenic liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini cause substantial morbidity and mortality in Thailand and adjacent lower Mekong countries. In parallel, the incidence rate of diabetes mellitus (DM) is increasing in this same region, and indeed worldwide. Many residents in opisthorchiasis-endemic regions also exhibit DM, but the hepatobiliary disease arising during the co-occurrence of these two conditions remains to be characterized. Here, the histopathological profile during co-occurrence of opisthorchiasis and DM was investigated in a rodent model of human opisthorchiasis in which diabetes was induced with streptozotocin. The effects of excretory/secretory products from the liver fluke, O . viverrini (OVES) on hepatocyte and cholangiocyte responses during hyperglycemic conditions also were monitored. Both the liver fluke-infected hamsters (OV group) and hamsters with DM lost weight compared to control hamsters. Weight loss was even more marked in the hamsters with both opisthorchiasis and DM (OD group). Hypertrophy of hepatocytes, altered biliary canaliculi, and biliary hyperplasia were more prominent in the OD group, compared with OV and DM groups. Profound oxidative DNA damage, evidenced by 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and periductal fibrosis characterized the OD compared to OV and DM hamsters. Upregulation of expression of cytokines in response to infection and impairment of the pathway for insulin receptor substrate (IRS)/phosphatidylinositol-3-kinases (PI3K)/protein kinase B (AKT) signaling attended these changes. In vitro , OVES and glucose provoked time- and dose-dependent effects on the proliferation of both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. In overview, the co-occurrence of opisthorchiasis and diabetes exacerbated pathophysiological damage to the hepatobiliary tract. We speculate that opisthorchiasis and diabetes together aggravate hepatobiliary pathogenesis through an IRS/PI3K/AKT-independent pathway.
    Print ISSN: 1935-2727
    Electronic ISSN: 1935-2735
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 6
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by The PLOS ONE Editors
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 7
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Sergio Salvatore, Viviana Fini, Terri Mannarini, Giuseppe Alessandro Veltri, Evrinomi Avdi, Fiorella Battaglia, Jorge Castro-Tejerina, Enrico Ciavolino, Marco Cremaschi, Irini Kadianaki, Nikita A. Kharlamov, Anna Krasteva, Katrin Kullasepp, Anastassios Matsopoulos, Claudia Meschiari, Piergiorgio Mossi, Polivios Psinas, Rozlyn Redd, Alessia Rochira, Alfonso Santarpia, Gordon Sammut, Jaan Valsiner, Antonella Valmorbida, on behalf of the Re.Cri.Re. Consortium
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 8
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by The PLOS ONE Staff
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 9
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Moises B. da Silva, Juliana M. Portela, Wei Li, Mary Jackson, Mercedes Gonzalez-Juarrero, Andrea Sánchez Hidalgo, John T. Belisle, Raquel C. Bouth, Angélica R. Gobbo, Josafá G. Barreto, Antonio H. H. Minervino, Stewart T. Cole, Charlotte Avanzi, Philippe Busso, Marco A. C. Frade, Annemieke Geluk, Claudio G. Salgado, John S. Spencer Mycobacterium leprae ( M . leprae ) is a human pathogen and the causative agent for leprosy, a chronic disease characterized by lesions of the skin and peripheral nerve damage. Zoonotic transmission of M . leprae to humans by nine-banded armadillos ( Dasypus novemcinctus ) has been shown to occur in the southern United States, mainly in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Nine-banded armadillos are also common in South America, and residents living in some areas in Brazil hunt and kill armadillos as a dietary source of protein. This study examines the extent of M . leprae infection in wild armadillos and whether these New World mammals may be a natural reservoir for leprosy transmission in Brazil, similar to the situation in the southern states of the U.S. The presence of the M . leprae -specific repetitive sequence RLEP was detected by PCR amplification in purified DNA extracted from armadillo spleen and liver tissue samples. A positive RLEP signal was confirmed in 62% of the armadillos (10/16), indicating high rates of infection with M . leprae . Immunohistochemistry of sections of infected armadillo spleens revealed mycobacterial DNA and cell wall constituents in situ detected by SYBR Gold and auramine/rhodamine staining techniques, respectively. The M . leprae -specific antigen, phenolic glycolipid I (PGL-I) was detected in spleen sections using a rabbit polyclonal antibody specific for PGL-I. Anti-PGL-I titers were assessed by ELISA in sera from 146 inhabitants of Belterra, a hyperendemic city located in western Pará state in Brazil. A positive anti-PGL-I titer is a known biomarker for M . leprae infection in both humans and armadillos. Individuals who consumed armadillo meat most frequently (more than once per month) showed a significantly higher anti-PGL-I titer than those who did not eat or ate less frequently than once per month. Armadillos infected with M . leprae represent a potential environmental reservoir. Consequently, people who hunt, kill, or process or eat armadillo meat are at a higher risk for infection with M . leprae from these animals.
    Print ISSN: 1935-2727
    Electronic ISSN: 1935-2735
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Zhilin Wang, Jianhui Zhang, Fengzhi Wu, Xingang Zhou Phytotoxic effects of phenolic compounds have been extensively studied, but less attention has been given to the effects of these compounds on soil microbial communities, which are crucial to the productivity of agricultural systems. Responses of cucumber rhizosphere bacterial and fungal communities to syringic acid (SA), a phenolic compound with autotoxicity to cucumber, were analyzed by high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene and internal transcribed spacer amplicons. SA at the concentration of 0.1 μmol g -1 soil changed rhizosphere bacterial and fungal community compositions, decreased bacterial community diversity but increased fungal community richness and diversity (P
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 11
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Aleksandra Kroemeke, Ewelina Kubicka Background Perceived social support relates to infertility-related distress in couples undergoing assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment. Studies examining the effect of other support types on both positive and negative adjustment among infertile couples are scarce or non-existent. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of support receipt, provision, invisibility (the discrepancy between one partner’s received and the other partner’s provided support), and equity (the discrepancy between each partner’s received and provided support) on the positive (life purpose) and negative (depressive symptoms) indices of well-being in couples undergoing ART treatment. Methods Depressive symptoms (CES-D), life purpose (PIL), and social support (BSSS) were assessed among 31 married couples (mean age 32.67 years) undergoing ART treatment. Data were analyzed by applying the Actor-Partner-Interdependence Model (APIM) using multilevel modeling. Findings Both receiving and providing support had beneficial effects in women and men. However, sub-analysis showed differences according to gender and the support exchange effects. Women reported higher depression and lower life purpose but benefited more from support, and their well-being was more dependent on their own perception of support provision and receipt. Men demonstrated higher adjustment to infertility but benefited less from support, and their well-being was mostly correlated with supportive behaviors of their wives. Discussion Adjustment mechanisms of women and men undergoing ART treatment vary considerably; thus, gender should be taken into consideration in interventions. Future studies should focus on costs/benefits and gender differences of visible and invisible support in infertility settings.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 12
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1835: Healthcare Utilization and All-Cause Premature Mortality in Hungarian Segregated Roma Settlements: Evaluation of Specific Indicators in a Cross-Sectional Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091835 Authors: János Sándor Anita Pálinkás Ferenc Vincze Nóra Kovács Valéria Sipos László Kőrösi Zsófia Falusi László Pál Gergely Fürjes Magor Papp Róza Ádány Roma is the largest ethnic minority of Europe with deprived health status, which is poorly explored due to legal constrains of ethnicity assessment. We aimed to elaborate health indicators for adults living in segregated Roma settlements (SRS), representing the most vulnerable Roma subpopulation. SRSs were mapped in a study area populated by 54,682 adults. Records of all adults living in the study area were processed in the National Institute of Health Insurance Fund Management. Aggregated, age-sex standardized SRS-specific and non-SRS-specific indicators on healthcare utilization and all-cause premature death along with the ratio of them (RR) were computed with 95% confidence intervals. The rate of GP appointments was significantly higher among SRS inhabitants (RR = 1.152, 95% CI: 1.136–1.167). The proportion of subjects hospitalized (RR = 1.286, 95% CI: 1.177–1.405) and the reimbursement for inpatient care (RR = 1.060, 95% CI: 1.057–1.064) were elevated for SRS. All-cause premature mortality was significantly higher in SRSs (RR = 1.711, 1.085–2.696). Our study demonstrated that it is possible to compute the SRS-specific version of routine healthcare indicators without violating the protection of personal data by converting a sensitive ethical issue into a non-sensitive small-area geographical analysis; there is an SRS-specific healthcare utilization pattern, which is associated with elevated costs and increased risk of all-cause premature death.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 13
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1832: Prenatal Exposure to Perfluoroalkyl Substances and Birth Outcomes; An Updated Analysis from the Danish National Birth Cohort International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091832 Authors: Meng Inoue Ritz Olsen Liew Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are widespread industrial pollutants that are extremely persistent in the environment. A previous study in the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) found prenatal perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) exposure was associated with decreased birth weight, but had insufficient statistical power to evaluate adverse birth outcomes. Here, we conducted additional analyses in three samples originating from the DNBC for 3535 mothers and infant pairs to evaluate associations between prenatal PFASs exposures and low birth weight and preterm birth. Maternal plasma concentrations were measured for six types of PFASs in early pregnancy. Several PFASs were associated with a reduction in birth weight and gestational age. We estimated a nearly 2-fold increase in risks of preterm birth for the higher quartiles of PFOA and perflourooctanesulfonate (PFOS) exposure. In spline models, risk of preterm birth was increased for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluoroheptane sulfonate (PFHpS) and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) in higher exposure ranges. We also observed some elevated risks for low birth weight but these estimates were less precise. Our findings strengthen the evidence that in-utero PFASs exposures affect fetal growth. Future studies are needed to evaluate whether these associations persist with the decline of PFOA and PFOS in populations and should also investigate newer types of fluorinated compounds introduced more recently.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 14
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1831: Hospitalisation Cost of Patients with Diabetic Foot Ulcers in Valencia (Spain) in the Period 2009–2013: A Retrospective Descriptive Analysis International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091831 Authors: Pilar Nieto-Gil Ana Belen Ortega-Avila Manuel Pardo-Rios Manuel Cobo-Najar Carlos Blasco-Garcia Gabriel Gijon-Nogueron Ulcers are the main cause of hospitalisation and clinical complications in patients with diabetes. We analyse the length and cost of hospital stay of patients with diabetic foot ulcers, taking into consideration that hospitalisation and, if necessary, amputation represent the greatest area of expense to the healthcare system for such patients. This analysis focuses on the treatment provided to these patients in public hospitals in the region of Valencia (Spain), registered in the Spanish Minimum Basic Data Set, during the period 2009–2013. The number of acute hospital admissions in this respect is increasing and has a high socioeconomic cost. During the study period, there were over 2700 hospital admissions, an average of nearly 550 per year. The total hospital stay for these patients was 30,886 days, with an average of 11.4 days and a cost of €7633 per admission. Preventive policies and the deployment of multidisciplinary teams are essential to reduce these costs and avoid future complications such as amputation.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 15
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1833: European Web-Based Platform for Recording International Health Regulations Ship Sanitation Certificates: Results and Perspectives International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091833 Authors: Varvara Mouchtouri Diederik Van Reusel Nikolaos Bitsolas Antonis Katsioulis Raf Van den Bogaert Björn Helewaut Inge Steenhout Dion Damman Miguel Dávila Cornejo Christos Hadjichristodoulou the EU SHIPSAN ACT Joint Action Partnership The purpose of this study was to report the data analysis results from the International Health Regulations (2005) Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSCs), recorded in the European Information System (EIS). International sea trade and population movements by ships can contribute to the global spread of diseases. SSCs are issued to ensure the implementation of control measures if a public health risk exists on board. EIS designed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of SSC”. Inspection data were recorded and SSCs issued by inspectors working at European ports were analysed. From July 2011–February 2017, 107 inspectors working at 54 ports in 11 countries inspected 5579 ships. Of these, there were 29 types under 85 flags (including 19 EU Member States flags). As per IHR (2005) 10,281 Ship Sanitation Control Exception Certificates (SSCECs) and 296 Ship Sanitation Control Certificates (SSCCs) were issued, 74 extensions to existing SSCs were given, 7565 inspection findings were recorded, and 47 inspections were recorded without issuing an SSC. The most frequent inspection findings were the lack of potable water quality monitoring reports (23%). Ships aged ≥12 years (odds ratio, OR = 1.77, 95% confidence intervals, CI = 1.37–2.29) with an absence of cargo at time of inspection (OR = 3.36, 95% CI = 2.51–4.50) had a higher probability of receiving an SSCC, while ships under the EU MS flag had a lower probability of having inspection findings (OR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.66–0.79). Risk factors to prioritise the inspections according to IHR were identified by using the EIS. A global information system, or connection of national or regional information systems and data exchange, could help to better implement SSCs using common standards and procedures.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 16
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1830: Mind–Body (Baduanjin) Exercise Prescription for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091830 Authors: Shi-Jie Liu Zhanbing Ren Lin Wang Gao-Xia Wei Liye Zou Baduanjin exercise is a traditional Chinese health Qigong routine created by an ancient physician for health promotion. Its mild-to-moderate exercise intensity is suitable for individuals with medical conditions. Recently, a large number of trials have been conducted to investigate the effects of Baduanjin exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It remains to be determined whether Baduanjin exercise prescription is beneficial for the management of COPD patients. Thus, we conducted a systematic review to objectively evaluate the existing literature on this topic. We searched six databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Scopus, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wanfang) from inception until early May 2018. The adapted Physical Therapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale was used for study quality assessment of all randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Based on 95% confidence interval (CI), the pooled effect size (Hedge’s g) of exercise capability (6-Minute Walking Test, 6-MWT), lung function parameters (forced expiratory volume in one second, FEV1; forced volume vital capacity, FVC; FEV1/FVC ratio), and quality of life were calculated based on the random-effects model. Twenty RCTs (n = 1975 COPD patients) were included in this review, with sum scores of the adapted PEDro scale between 5 and 9. Study results of the meta-analysis indicate that Baduanjin is effective in improving exercise capability (Hedge’s g = 0.69, CI 0.44 to 0.94, p < 0.001, I2 = 66%), FEV1 (Hedge’s g = 0.47, CI 0.22 to 0.73, p < 0.001, I2 = 68.01%), FEV1% (Hedge’s g = 0.38, CI 0.21 to 0.56, p < 0.001, I2 = 54.74%), FVC (Hedge’s g = 0.39, CI 0.22 to 0.56, p < 0.001, I2 = 14.57%), FEV1/FVC (Hedge’s g = 0.5, CI 0.33 to 0.68, p < 0.001, I2 = 53.49%), and the quality of life of COPD patients (Hedge’s g = −0.45, CI −0.77 to −0.12, p < 0.05, I2 = 77.02%), as compared to control groups. Baduanjin exercise as an adjunctive treatment may potentially improve exercise capability and pulmonary function of COPD patients as well as quality of life. Baduanjin exercise could be tentatively prescribed for COPD in combination with the conventional rehabilitation program to quicken the process of recovery. To confirm the positive effects of Baduanjin exercise for COPD patients, future researchers need to consider our suggestions mentioned in this article.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 17
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1829: Market Returns, External Pressure, and Safe Pesticide Practice—Moderation Role of Information Acquisition International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091829 Authors: Jianhua Wang Yuanyuan Deng Hanyu Diao The main objective of this study is to examine how market returns and external pressure influence farmers’ standardized pesticide application and to investigate the moderating role of information acquisition. Data were collected from 986 farmers following a multi-stage sampling method from five major agricultural provinces in China. A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to test the hypothesis. The results show that market returns and information acquisition of pesticide application had a significant and positive influence on standardized pesticide application. Also, interaction effects were found between acquisition of policy information and market returns, and also between acquisition of pesticide application information and external pressure. The policy implication is that the improvement of market returns of safe agricultural products is a potential way to improve farmers’ pesticide usage behaviors. Policy information and pesticide application information should be widely provided to farmers in order to facilitate the transition to standardized pesticide application.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 18
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1828: The Effects of Vitamin E from Elaeis guineensis (Oil Palm) in a Rat Model of Bone Loss Due to Metabolic Syndrome International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091828 Authors: Sok Kuan Wong Kok-Yong Chin Farihah Hj Suhaimi Fairus Ahmad Soelaiman Ima-Nirwana The beneficial effects of vitamin E in improving components of MetS or bone loss have been established. This study aimed to investigate the potential of palm vitamin E (PVE) as a single agent, targeting MetS and bone loss concurrently, using a MetS animal model. Twelve-week-old male Wistar rats were divided into five groups. The baseline group was sacrificed upon arrival. The normal group was given standard rat chow. The remaining three groups were fed with high-carbohydrate high-fat (HCHF) diet and treated with tocopherol-stripped corn oil (vehicle), 60 mg/kg or 100 mg/kg PVE. At the end of the study, the rats were evaluated for MetS parameters and bone density. After euthanasia, blood and femurs were harvested for the evaluation of lipid profile, bone histomorphometric analysis, and remodeling markers. PVE improved blood pressure, glycemic status, and lipid profile; increased osteoblast surface, osteoid surface, bone volume, and trabecular thickness, as well as decreased eroded surface and single-labeled surface. Administration of PVE also significantly reduced leptin level in the HCHF rats. PVE is a potential agent in concurrently preventing MetS and protecting bone loss. This may be, in part, achieved by reducing the leptin level and modulating the bone remodeling activity in male rats.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 19
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1827: Can Urban-Rural Patterns of Hospital Selection Be Changed Using a Report Card Program? A Nationwide Observational Study International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091827 Authors: Tsung-Hsien Yu Nikolas Matthes Chung-Jen Wei Background: Guiding patients to choose high-quality healthcare providers helps ensure that patients receive excellent care and helps reduce health disparities among patients of different socioeconomic backgrounds. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the effect of implementing a report-card program on the patterns of hospital selection in patients from different socioeconomic subgroups. Patients undergoing total knee replacement (TKR) surgery were used as the sample population. Methods: A patient-level, retrospective, observational and cross-sectional study design was conducted. Taiwan National Health Insurance claims data were used and all patients in this database who had received TKR between April 2007–March 2008 (prior to report-card program implementation) and between April 2009–March 2010 (after program implementation) were included. Those patients who were under 18 years of age or who lacked area-of-residence or National Health Insurance premium information were excluded. Travelling distance to the hospital and level of hospital performance were used to evaluate the effect of the report-card program. Results: A total of 32,821 patients were included in this study. The results showed that patterns of hospital selection varied based on the socioeconomic characteristics of patients. In terms of travelling distance and hospital selection, the performance of urban and higher income patients was shorter and better, respectively, than their rural and lower-income peers both before and after report-card-program implementation. Moreover, although the results of multivariate analysis showed that the urban-rural difference in travelling distance enlarged (by 4.75 km) after implementation of the report-card program, this increase was shown to not be significantly related to this program. Furthermore, the results revealed that implementation of the report-card program did not significantly affect the urban-rural difference in terms of level of hospital performance. Conclusions: A successful report-card program should ensure that patients in all socioeconomic groups obtain comprehensive information. However, the results of this study indicate that those in higher socioeconomic subgroups attained more benefits from the program than their lower-subgroup peers. Ensuring that all have equal opportunity to access high-quality healthcare providers may therefore be the next issue that needs to be addressed and resolved.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 20
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    MDPI
    In: Risks
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Risks, Vol. 6, Pages 85: A VaR-Type Risk Measure Derived from Cumulative Parisian Ruin for the Classical Risk Model Risks doi: 10.3390/risks6030085 Authors: Mohamed Amine Lkabous Jean-François Renaud In this short paper, we study a VaR-type risk measure introduced by Guérin and Renaud and which is based on cumulative Parisian ruin. We derive some properties of this risk measure and we compare it to the risk measures of Trufin et al. and Loisel and Trufin.
    Electronic ISSN: 2227-9091
    Topics: Economics
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  • 21
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    Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    In: PLoS ONE
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: by Yukiko Sakai, Yoko Sato, Masae Sato, Makiko Watanabe Objectives Considering that there is a lack of evidence regarding the contribution of library and information services to evidence-based medicine in actual clinical practice in Japan, the purpose of the study is to explore the current status of use and value of library and information services in clinical settings to examine the usefulness of information in implementing evidence-based medicine (EBM) into practice. Methods A Web-based survey was conducted at seven sites (hospitals with 300–1,200 beds) and interviews conducted at five sites to investigate information behavior among health professionals (physicians, residents, and nurses) in 2016, replicating the Value Study carried out in the United States in 2010 and 2011. Using a critical incident technique, respondents answered questions about their information topics, information resources used, search location, access points, and evaluation of the information. Results Analysis from 598 valid responses (275 physicians, 55 residents, and 268 nurses) revealed the characteristics of information use and recognition of the value of information. Physicians and residents showed their information needs regarding clinical care using PubMed (80.4%, 65.5%), Ichushi-Web (61.8%, 63.6%), and UpToDate (40.4%, 65.5%). While physicians rely more on electronic journals (37.8%), residents use more hybrid resources including Japanese print books (38.2%) and online books (30.9% for Japanese, 32.7% for English) to confirm their knowledge. Nurses need more information close to patients and explore a wider variety of information resources such as Japanese print books (60.4%), Ichushi -Web (40.3%), Japanese online books (20.5%), and websites of academic organizations (19.0%). Although the overall recognition of the value of information was relatively modest, concrete changes in clinical practice were found in some areas. Environments with insufficient information and availability of electronic resources should be improved to increase the use of library and information services for implementing EBM.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 22
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1826: Spatiotemporal Characteristics of Bacillary Dysentery from 2005 to 2017 in Zhejiang Province, China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091826 Authors: Congcong Yan Yijuan Chen Ziping Miao Shuwen Qin Hua Gu Jian Cai Background: This study aimed to analyze the epidemiological and spatiotemporal characteristics of bacillary dysentery in Zhejiang Province and to provide the basis for its monitoring, prevention and control. Methods: This study included cases registered in China Information System for Diseases Control and Prevention from 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2017 in Zhejiang. Descriptive methods were employed to investigate the long trend of this disease: gender distribution, high-risk population, seasonality, and circular distribution was explored to detect the peak period; incidence maps were made to show the incidence trend of disease at county level; spatial autocorrelation was explored and the regions with autocorrelation were detected; and spatiotemporal scan was conducted to map out the high-risk regions of disease and how long they lasted. Statistical significance was assumed at p value of <0.05. Results: A total of 105,577 cases of bacillary dysentery were included, the incidence declining sharply from 45.84/100,000 to 3.44/100,000 with an obvious seasonal peak from July to October. Males were more predisposed to the infection than females. Pre-education children had the highest proportion among all occupation categories. Incidence in all age groups were negatively correlated with the year (p < 0.001), and the incidences were negatively correlated with the age groups in 2005–2008 (p = 0.022, 0.025, 0.044, and 0.047, respectively). Local autocorrelation showed that counties in Hangzhou were high-risk regions of bacillary dysentery. The spatiotemporal scan indicated that all clusters occurred before 2011, and the most likely cluster for disease was found in Hangzhou, Jiaxing and Huzhou. Conclusions: The incidence of bacillary dysentery in Zhejiang from 2005 to 2017 featured spatiotemporal clustering, and remained high in some areas and among the young population. Findings in this study serve as a panorama of bacillary dysentery in Zhejiang and provide useful information for better interventions and public health planning.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 23
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    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2215: Agri-Food Chain Establishment as a Means to Increase Sustainability in Food Systems: Lessons from Sunflower in Brazil Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072215 Authors: Lucas Oliveira de Sousa Marcelo Dias Paes Ferreira Marcus Mergenthaler The growing international food demand, the call for plant proteins to improve sustainability, the technological possibilities for sunflower protein ingredients, and the prominent role of Brazil in the world agricultural supply constitute the research background of this article. The aim is to analyze the process of establishment of the major sunflower agri-food chain in Brazil, seeking to support the future development of new sunflower chains to meet an expected increasing demand for high-quality sunflower proteins. A case study research design was applied, involving interviews with stakeholders from the input, farming, and processing segments. Moreover, the case analysis was guided by an analytical framework that regards the agri-food chain establishment as an entrepreneurial process. The findings show that the successful process of the sunflower agri-food chain establishment in Mato Grosso (MT) stems from a set of interconnected driving forces composed of entrepreneurial skills, social network, resource availability, and crop suitability. Furthermore, the analysis indicates the potential for the development of new sunflower chains among soybean farmers from other regions in MT, especially if new sunflower protein food ingredients lead to higher sunflowers prices, which would make this crop economically more attractive. Finally, this case study suggests that the collective establishment of agri-food chains is a challenging endeavor, especially if conducted by outside actors.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 24
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    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2213: Soil Fertility Management by Transition Matrices and Crop Rotation: On Spatial and Dynamic Aspects in Programming of Ecosystem Services Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072213 Authors: Ernst-August Nuppenau This paper deals with crop rotation as a method to improve soil fertility and control pests from an economic point of view. It outlines a new framework for modelling of more sustainable decision-making of farmers under the auspices of ecosystem services. It is intended for practical application in extension and farmer communication to show values of rotations referring to natural capital. In the past farmers created complex rotations to benefit from ecological processes which enabled them to control natural pests (at least partly), to build soil fertility on recycling of organics (humus formation), and to promote pollination (including wild bees and other insects) and water retention (diverse water requests of different crops). Farmers which were accommodating cropping orders in small parcels of fields used long lists of crop sequences and offered mixed farming systems: this was a major feature of agriculture. Cropping orders evolved from necessity and were followed as rules. Today we are faced with large fields and monoculture, instead, and ecosystem services are diminished. Usually, attempts to recognize economic pay-offs from rotation through modelling are meagre because of complexity. We address the issue of complexity by suggesting a new flexible type of modelling crop rotations (dynamic optimization) which condenses ecological information into matrices. A newly-hosted transfer matrix shall delineate the impacts of cropping patterns in period t to fertility of land in t + 1. Categorizing different states of nature (which have to be brought in line with farmers’ knowledge of externalities), it can be implemented in models on rotation decision.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 25
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2212: Is the Maker Movement Contributing to Sustainability? Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072212 Authors: Jeremy Millard Marie N. Sorivelle Sarah Deljanin Elisabeth Unterfrauner Christian Voigt ICT has already revolutionized content creation and communications. In principle, today, everybody with Internet access, the right skills and equipment can produce digital content composed of virtual “bits” and make it instantly available across the globe. The same is now happening to manufacturing for everyone with access to tools like 3D printers. This inter-changeability of bits and atoms is being called the maker movement, which started as a community-based, socially-driven bottom-up movement but is today also impacting mainstream manufacturing through increased efficiencies, distributed local production and the circular economy. The maker movement thus has significant promise for increasing social, economic and environmental sustainability, but is it currently living up to this potential? This paper reports on work undertaken by the European-funded MAKE-IT project has examined this question through detailed qualitative and quantitative empirical research, including ten in-depth case studies across Europe and a detailed examination of 42 maker initiatives at Europe’s foremost city-based maker faire, supplemented by extensive secondary research. Despite the maker movement’s short history, the overall results provide sound evidence of its important though variable contribution to sustainability thus far. In addition, there is a strong gender dimension showing that females are underrepresented both as users and leaders of maker initiatives, whilst female leaders tend to achieve much higher sustainability impacts than their male counterparts. There is also clear evidence that maker initiatives in close collaboration with each other and other actors in city- and region-wide ecosystems are much more successful in achieving sustainability impacts than others.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 26
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2210: Merging Vehicles and Lane Speed-Flow Relationship in a Work Zone Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072210 Authors: Li Li Dong Zhang In addition to closed merge lanes as physical bottlenecks of work zones, traffic oscillations caused by merging vehicles at multiple locations could reduce work-zone capacity. This study took a step-wise procedure to reveal spatial distributions of merging vehicles along work zones and their influence on speed-flow relationships of lane traffic flows. Field data showed that inserting vehicles from merge lanes could spread their influence over adjacent unclosed through lanes. Moreover, with increases in total volume, merging vehicles could choose their inserting positions further upstream of the work zone, which could induce oscillations near the insertion point. At the identified upstream bottlenecks, capacity drop was found in speed-flow diagrams of through-lane traffic, but it was not found in the diagrams of merge-lane traffic flows. Lack of sufficient demand and special merging behaviors on merge lanes could be attributed to the distinct speed-flow relationship. Two-part piecewise regression models were developed to fit the speed-flow relationships of uncongested and congested flows of through lanes. By comparing the estimated speed-flow models, it was found that when a queue is forming, the extent of the capacity drop and speed reduction is different for through lanes. Queue discharge uses different lengths of time on through lanes and multiple merging locations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 27
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3014: Toward a New Cycle: Short-Term Population Dynamics, Gentrification, and Re-Urbanization of Milan (Italy) Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093014 Authors: Margherita Carlucci Francesco Maria Chelli Luca Salvati After sequential cycles of urbanization and suburbanization, European cities underwent a (more or less intense) re-urbanization wave. The present study analyzes short-term population dynamics in the core of a large metropolitan region (Milan, northern Italy), providing evidence of spatially-heterogeneous re-urbanization characterized by spatially-complex population growth (or shrinkage) at a local scale. Population dynamics over 1999–2017 were assessed in 88 urban districts partitioning Milan′s municipal area and projected up to 2036 for the same spatial units. Empirical results identify spatially-complex and temporally non-linear dynamics with expanding or declining districts distributed heterogeneously across the study area. Multivariate analysis outlines a generalized population decline during 1999–2008 and an opposite pattern afterward (2008–2017), with spatially-homogeneous population expansion expected in the near future. Spatial analysis finally highlights that local-scale population growth rates were more clustered in 2008–2017 than in 1999–2008. While the population decreased continuously in the inner districts (<1 km from the city centre), sub-central districts (1–5 km far from the city centre) experienced mixed patterns of population growth and stability. These results confirm the relevance of local-scale policies managing urban renewal and rehabilitation and promoting metropolitan expansion in a spatially-coordinated manner.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 28
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2208: The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Organizational Commitment: The Sequential Mediating Effect of Meaningfulness of Work and Perceived Organizational Support Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072208 Authors: Byung-Jik Kim Mohammad Nurunnabi Tae-Hyun Kim Se-Youn Jung Although many scholars have investigated the influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in an organization, there has been relatively minimal research regarding the CSR’s impacts on employees as well as the underlying mechanisms of it. Considering the research gaps, in the present research, we examine how CSR practices influence attitudes of employees. In particular, we hypothesize that perceived CSR would enhance organizational commitment (OC) of employees through the sequential mediation of meaningfulness of work (MOW) and perceived organizational support (POS). In order to empirically test this, we utilized two-wave time-lagged survey data from 378 employees who work for companies in South Korea. The results show that MOW and POS sequentially mediate the relationship between perceived CSR and OC. The findings suggest that CSR practices could be an active investment which enhances important attitudes of employees, instead of merely being a cost or obligation for firms.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 29
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2209: Machine Vision Retrofit System for Mechanical Weed Control in Precision Agriculture Applications Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072209 Authors: Federico Pallottino Paolo Menesatti Simone Figorilli Francesca Antonucci Roberto Tomasone Andrea Colantoni Corrado Costa This paper presents a machine vision retrofit system designed for upgrading used tractors to allow the control of the tillage implements and enable real-time field operation. The retrofit package comprises an acquisition system placed in the cabin, a front-mounted RGB camera sensor, and a rear-mounted Peiseler encoder wheel. The method combines shape analysis and colorimetric k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) clustering for in-field weed discrimination. This low-cost retrofit package can use interchangeable sensors, supplying flexibility of use with different farming implements. Field tests were conducted within lettuce and broccoli crops to develop the image analysis system for the autonomous control of an intra-row hoeing implement. The performance showed by the system in the trials was judged in terms of accuracy and speed. The system was capable of discriminating weed plants from crop with few errors, achieving a fairly high performance, given the severe degree of weed infestation encountered. The actuation time for image processing, currently implemented in MATLAB integrated with the retrofit kit, was about 7 s. The correct detection rate was higher for lettuce (from 69% to 96%) than for broccoli (from 65% to 79%), also considering the negative effect of shadows. To be implementable, the experimental code needs to be optimized to reduce acquisition and processing times. A software utility was developed in Java to reach a processing time of two images per second.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 30
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2207: PCR Species-Specific Primers for Molecular Gut Content Analysis to Determine the Contribution of Generalist Predators to the Biological Control of the Vector of Xylella fastidiosa Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072207 Authors: Esther Lantero Beatriz Matallanas Susana Pascual Carmen Callejas The European Union (EU) is facing the recent arrival of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa. Its fast spread has caused great alarm because of the economic impact it implies for the agroeconomy of European countries. Among its insect vectors, Philaenus spumarius has been demonstrated to transmit the bacterium from infected to uninfected trees in the EU, where different measures have been established to control it. One of the proposals to manage this vector is the augmentation of natural enemy populations. However, the identification of candidate predator species is essential if such a management system is to be introduced. The present paper describes a set of species-specific primers designed to detect the presence of P. spumarius DNA in soil arthropod fauna generalist predators’ gut which can reveal candidate species for the pest’s biological control. Such primers have been proven to be a useful and reliable taxonomic tool for P. spumarius identification at any life stage, i.e., nymphs. This rapid and accurate identification is essential for control strategies designed to avoid the spread of the pest and consequently the considerable economic losses it causes in crops.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 31
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 2206: Striving towards the Deployment of Bio-Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): A Review of Research Priorities and Assessment Needs Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10072206 Authors: Vassilis Stavrakas Niki-Artemis Spyridaki Alexandros Flamos Assessing the performance or the implications of climate change mitigation options (CCMOs) is instrumental in achieving research and innovation efficiency in the field of climate change and becomes more imperative considering the Paris Agreement (‘the Agreement’). Many climate scientists already believe that meeting the Agreement’s goals and stabilizing “well-below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels” signals the deployment of currently undetermined and contentious mitigation technologies, such as bio-energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). BECCS is considered one of the most promising negative emissions technologies (NETs) with many scenarios already exhibiting its mitigation potential. However, stakeholders and policymakers remain skeptical about widespread reliance on BECCS questioning its unproven credibility. In this article, we aim at identifying research priorities and assessment needs to intensify the further deployment of BECCS, considering relevant technology associations’ and platforms’ perspectives and insights raised by scientific literature. The main outcome of our study is a list of 10 research priorities along with more specific assessment needs for each priority area. We also focus attention on several implications for potential end-users involved in the field of policy and practice. Overall, our work seeks to bridge the gap between market/industry and academia and to assist policymakers to make better-informed decisions.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 32
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-06-29
    Description: Development and validation of a new rating scale for perimenopausal depression—the Meno-D Development and validation of a new rating scale for perimenopausal depression—the Meno-D, Published online: 28 June 2018; doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0172-0 Development and validation of a new rating scale for perimenopausal depression—the Meno-D
    Electronic ISSN: 2158-3188
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 33
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1521: Treatment Technology of Hazardous Water Contaminated with Radioisotopes with Paper Sludge Ash-Based Geopolymer—Stabilization of Immobilization of Strontium and Cesium by Mixing Seawater Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091521 Authors: Zhuguo Li Mariko Nagashima Ko Ikeda Long-term immobilization ratios of strontium (Sr2+) and cesium (Cs+) in paper sludge ash-based geopolymer (PS-GP) were investigated in one year. PS-GP paste specimens were prepared in the conditions of 20 °C and 100% R.H., using two kinds of paper sludge ash (PS-ash). Two kinds of alkaline solution were used in the PS-GP as activator. One was prepared by diluting aqueous Na-disilicate (water glass) with seawater. Another was a mixture of this solution and caustic soda of 10 M concentration. When seawater was mixed into the alkaline solution, unstable fixations of Sr2+ and Cs+ were greatly improved, resulting stable and high immobilization ratios at any age up to one year, no matter what kind of PS-ash and alkaline solution were used. Element maps obtained by EPMA exhibited nearly even distribution of Cs+. However Sr2+ was biased, making domains so firmly related to Ca2+ presence. The mechanism that seawater stabilizes immobilization of Sr2+ and Cs+ was discussed in this study, but still needs to further investigation. Chemical composition analyses of PS-GP were also conducted by SEM-EDS. Two categories of GP matrix were clearly observed, so called N-A-S-H and C-A-S-H gels, respectively. By plotting in ternary diagrams of SiO2-(CaO + Na2O)-Al2O3 and Al2O3-CaO-Na2O, compositional trends were discussed in view of ‘plagioclase gels’ newly found in this study. As a result, it is suggested that the N-A-S-H and C-A-S-H gels should be strictly called Na-rich N-C-A-S-H and Ca-rich N-C-A-S-H gels, respectively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 34
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Inhibition of osteoblastic Smurf1 promotes bone formation in mouse models of distinctive age-related osteoporosis Inhibition of osteoblastic Smurf1 promotes bone formation in mouse models of distinctive age-related osteoporosis, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05974-z BMP promotes bone formation but its efficacy is limited in some patients. Here, the authors show that osteoporosis patients with a poor response to BMP have increased expression of Smurf1, which targets BMP effectors for degradation, and demonstrate that its chemical inhibition enhances BMP-mediated bone formation in mice.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: High entropy oxides for reversible energy storage High entropy oxides for reversible energy storage, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05774-5 High entropy oxides provide a new strategy toward materials design by stabilizing single-phase crystal structures composed of multiple cations. Here, the authors apply this concept to the development of conversion-type electrode materials for lithium-ion storage and show the underlying mechanism.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 36
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Treatment with mRNA coding for the necroptosis mediator MLKL induces antitumor immunity directed against neo-epitopes Treatment with mRNA coding for the necroptosis mediator MLKL induces antitumor immunity directed against neo-epitopes, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05979-8 Necroptosis has immunogenic cell death properties. Here, the authors show that the intra-tumor delivery of mRNA that codes for the necroptosis effector MLKL triggers neo-epitope-specific anti-tumor T cell responses and inhibits primary tumor growth and lung metastasis.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 37
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Peritectic titanium alloys for 3D printing Peritectic titanium alloys for 3D printing, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05819-9 3D printing of titanium alloys today is based on known alloy compositions that result in anisotropic structural properties. Here, the authors add lanthanum to commercially pure titanium and exploit a solidification path that reduces texture and anisotropy.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 38
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Elevated H3K79 homocysteinylation causes abnormal gene expression during neural development and subsequent neural tube defects Elevated H3K79 homocysteinylation causes abnormal gene expression during neural development and subsequent neural tube defects, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05451-7 Elevated maternal homocysteine (Hcy) increases the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs) but how this arises is unclear. Here, the authors show that high levels of Hcy on histone H3K79Hcy correlate with NTDs, causing abnormal gene expression (for example Cecr2, Smarca4 and Dnmt3B) linked to neural tube closure.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 39
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Vti1a/b regulate synaptic vesicle and dense core vesicle secretion via protein sorting at the Golgi Vti1a/b regulate synaptic vesicle and dense core vesicle secretion via protein sorting at the Golgi, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05699-z Vti1a and Vti1b are SNARE proteins implicated in regulated secretion. Here the authors show that Vti1a and Vti1b control protein sorting at the Golgi, and targeting to the axon, and thereby indirectly control regulated secretion at the synapse.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 40
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Minerals
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Minerals, Vol. 8, Pages 367: Cr Release from Cr-Substituted Goethite during Aqueous Fe(II)-Induced Recrystallization Minerals doi: 10.3390/min8090367 Authors: Jian Hua Manjia Chen Chengshuai Liu Fangbai Li Jian Long Ting Gao Fei Wu Jing Lei Minghua Gu The interaction between aqueous Fe(II) (Fe(II)aq) and iron minerals is an important reaction of the iron cycle, and it plays a critical role in impacting the environmental behavior of heavy metals in soils. Metal substitution into iron (hydr)oxides has been reported to reduce Fe atom exchange rates between Fe(II)aq and metal-substituted iron (hydr)oxides and inhibit the recrystallization of iron (hydr)oxides. However, the environmental behaviors of the substituted metal during these processes remain unclear. In this study, Fe(II)aq-induced recrystallization of Cr-substituted goethite (Cr-goethite) was investigated, along with the sequential release behavior of substituted Cr(III). Results from a stable Fe isotopic tracer and Mössbauer characterization studies show that Fe atom exchange occurred between Fe(II)aq and structural Fe(III) (Fe(III)oxide) in Cr-goethites, during which the Cr-goethites were recrystallized. The Cr substitution inhibited the rates of Fe atom exchange and Cr-goethite recrystallization. During the recrystallization of Cr-goethites induced by Fe(II)aq, Cr(III) was released from Cr-goethite. In addition, Cr-goethites with a higher level of Cr-substituted content released more Cr(III). The highest Fe atom exchange rate and the highest amount of released Cr(III) were observed at a pH of 7.5. Under reaction conditions involving a lower pH of 5.5 or a higher pH of 8.5, there were substantially lower rates of Fe atom exchange and Cr(III) release. This trend of Cr(III) release was similar with changes in Fe atom exchange, suggesting that Cr(III) release is driven by Fe atom exchange. The release and reincorporation of Cr(III) occurred simultaneously during the Fe(II)aq-induced recrystallization of Cr-goethites, especially during the late stage of the observed reactions. Our findings emphasize an important role for Fe(II)aq-induced recrystallization of iron minerals in changing soil metal characteristics, which is critical for the evaluation of soil metal activities, especially those in Fe-rich soils.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-163X
    Topics: Geosciences
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  • 41
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Morphology and structure of ZIF-8 during crystallisation measured by dynamic angle-resolved second harmonic scattering Morphology and structure of ZIF-8 during crystallisation measured by dynamic angle-resolved second harmonic scattering, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05713-4 Angle-resolved monitoring of structure parameters during crystal growth is often slow owing to mechanical movements. Here, the authors use second harmonic scattering and Fourier-plane imaging to dynamically monitor size, shape and concentration of ZIF-8 in situ during the growth process.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 42
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Exploiting the tunability of stimulated emission depletion microscopy for super-resolution imaging of nuclear structures Exploiting the tunability of stimulated emission depletion microscopy for super-resolution imaging of nuclear structures, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41467-018-05963-2 A known limitation of super-resolution STED microscopy is the need of high laser power which can cause photobleaching and phototoxicity. Here the authors further optimize this method and show that modulating STED intensity during acquisition results in an enhanced resolution and reduced background.
    Electronic ISSN: 2041-1723
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
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  • 43
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    American Physical Society (APS)
    In: Physics
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Author(s): David Ehrenstein An improved imaging system for electrons confined to two dimensions allows the intrinsic properties of the 2D structure to be separated from the effects of the probe. [Physics 11, 86] Published Fri Aug 24, 2018
    Electronic ISSN: 1539-0748
    Topics: Physics
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  • 44
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    Institute of Physics (IOP)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: In the absence of Lorentz symmetry, the pseudospin-1 counterpart of the Weyl fermion (feroton) with linear dispersions and an exact flat band can emerge in condensed matter systems. The flat band branch of the feroton is equivalent to the longitudinal photon in Maxwell theory, which is a redundant degree of freedom due to the emergent (fermionic) gauge symmetry. Upon coupling to an external magnetic field, the fermionic gauge symmetry is broken and the flat band ferotons become gapless excitations characterized by Landau level indices ( n 〉 1). In the long wavelength limit, these gapless modes are of the opposite chirality to the chiral anomaly related zero Landau level, which leads to much more plentiful magnetic transport properties. To further explore the novel properties of these gapless modes, we investigate the quantum oscillation through a generalized Lieb lattice model. We find an extra oscillating behavior which indicates the existence of these exotic gapless m...
    Electronic ISSN: 1367-2630
    Topics: Physics
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  • 45
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Sustainability, Vol. 10, Pages 3004: Spatial Suitability Evaluation of an Arid City Based on the Perspective of Major Function Oriented Zoning: A Case Study of Urumqi City in Xinjiang, China Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su10093004 Authors: Dongli Chen Degang Yang Xinhuan Zhang Yannan Zhao Yufang Zhang The realization of regional sustainable development has been a popular research topic during the process of urbanization. To explore the coordination relationships between urban development and ecological security—taking Urumqi city, a representative arid city in Xinjiang, China, as a study area—this study has constructed a framework of spatial suitability evaluation based on the characteristics of a Mountain–Oasis–Desert System (MODS) in an arid area under the framework of major function oriented zoning (MFOZ). A spatial overlay analysis using Geographic Information System (GIS) with a 5 m × 5 m grid or towns and streets as the basic unit was applied to comprehensively evaluate spatial suitability. The results showed that the study area was zoned into a forbidden development zone (as patches set in towns and streets), an ecological protection zone (nine towns or streets), a moderate development zone (16 towns or streets), and a key development zone (82 towns or streets), accounting for 30.35%, 32.50%, 23.79%, and 13.36%, respectively. The zoning results provided a basis to pointedly put forward the development and protection strategies of each administrative unit; and the research framework can be applied to other arid areas for the decision-making related to the urban space layout and environmental management.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 46
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    In: Symmetry
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Symmetry, Vol. 10, Pages 360: Hyperbolicity on Graph Operators Symmetry doi: 10.3390/sym10090360 Authors: J. A. Méndez-Bermúdez Rosalío Reyes José M. Rodríguez José M. Sigarreta A graph operator is a mapping F : Γ → Γ ′ , where Γ and Γ ′ are families of graphs. The different kinds of graph operators are an important topic in Discrete Mathematics and its applications. The symmetry of this operations allows us to prove inequalities relating the hyperbolicity constants of a graph G and its graph operators: line graph, Λ ( G ) ; subdivision graph, S ( G ) ; total graph, T ( G ) ; and the operators R ( G ) and Q ( G ) . In particular, we get relationships such as δ ( G ) ≤ δ ( R ( G ) ) ≤ δ ( G ) + 1 / 2 , δ ( Λ ( G ) ) ≤ δ ( Q ( G ) ) ≤ δ ( Λ ( G ) ) + 1 / 2 , δ ( S ( G ) ) ≤ 2 δ ( R ( G ) ) ≤ δ ( S ( G ) ) + 1 and δ ( R ( G ) ) − 1 / 2 ≤ δ ( Λ ( G ) ) ≤ 5 δ ( R ( G ) ) + 5 / 2 for every graph which is not a tree. Moreover, we also derive some inequalities for the Gromov product and the Gromov product restricted to vertices.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics , Physics
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  • 47
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    Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: The genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease beyond APOE ε4: systematic review of Alzheimer’s genetic risk scores The genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease beyond 〈i〉APOE ε4:〈/i〉 systematic review of Alzheimer’s genetic risk scores, Published online: 24 August 2018; doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0221-8 The genetic risk of Alzheimer’s disease beyond APOE ε4: systematic review of Alzheimer’s genetic risk scores
    Electronic ISSN: 2158-3188
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 48
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1132: Quantity and Quality of Surface and Subsurface Runoff from an Eroded Loess Slope Used for Agricultural Purposes Water doi: 10.3390/w10091132 Authors: Andrzej Mazur The purpose of the work was to determine the surface and subsurface water runoff and selected constituents of the matter contained and carried out from the eroded loess slope used as arable land. The research was carried out in 2008–2011 on the Lublin Upland. The quantity of water flowing out of the slope was measured and samples were collected in order to determine the concentration of the soil suspension of nitrogen and its forms as well as phosphorus and potassium. Soil tests were also carried out and the rainfall amount and intensity was monitored. The research results show that the amount of precipitation was significantly statistically correlated with the quantity of surface and subsurface water runoff and with the precipitation and surface runoff erosion indicator EI30 (correlations at the level of r = 0.75–0.78). In addition, the mass of eroded soil was strongly correlated with the erosion indicator of rain and surface runoff EI30 (r = 0.86). The annual soil losses were from 21.1 to 173.1 Mg ha−1. The concentration of chemical components dissolved in the surface and subsurface runoff water in most cases proved to be negatively statistically correlated with the amount of precipitation and indicator EI30. The correlation coefficients (r) were at levels from −0.32 to −0.52. The annual loss of nutrients caused by chemical erosion was: nitrogen 7.210–29.949 kg ha−1, phosphorus 0.846–5.279 kg ha−1 and potassium 7.065–21.660 kg ha−1. The highest intensity of water erosion was recorded in 2010, when root crops were grown in the field.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 49
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1129: Development of Bubble Characteristics on Chute Spillway Bottom Water doi: 10.3390/w10091129 Authors: Ruidi Bai Chang Liu Bingyang Feng Shanjun Liu Faxing Zhang Chute aerators introduce a large air discharge through air supply ducts to prevent cavitation erosion on spillways. There is not much information on the microcosmic air bubble characteristics near the chute bottom. This study was focused on examining the bottom air-water flow properties by performing a series of model tests that eliminated the upper aeration and illustrated the potential for bubble variation processes on the chute bottom. In comparison with the strong air detrainment in the impact zone, the bottom air bubble frequency decreased slightly. Observations showed that range of probability of the bubble chord length tended to decrease sharply in the impact zone and by a lesser extent in the equilibrium zone. A distinct mechanism to control the bubble size distribution, depending on bubble diameter, was proposed. For bubbles larger than about 1–2 mm, the bubble size distribution followed a—5/3 power-law scaling with diameter. Using the relationship between the local dissipation rate and bubble size, the bottom dissipation rate was found to increase along the chute bottom, and the corresponding Hinze scale showed a good agreement with the observations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 50
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1131: Water Resources Carrying Capacity Analysis of YarLung Tsangpo River Basin (I) Water doi: 10.3390/w10091131 Authors: Lili Wang Zhonggen Wang Xiaocong Liu Water resources carrying capacity (WRCC) analysis is critically important in providing guidance to the sustainable development strategies of the YarLung Tsangpo River Basin (YTRB) due to the conflicts among the ample water resources, low development level of society, and the fragile ecological environment. This study evaluated the scheduled developing mode of YTRB in the planning years from 2016 to 2030 with a WRCC system containing three components: a hydrological informatics modeling system (HIMS), water resources carrying capacity (WRCC) model, and an index evaluation system. The averaged WRCC index is 4.29, 1.19, and 0.06 for the planning years, and 2.61, 0.98, 0.05 for the baseline years for the three sub-basins. The water deficiency problem becomes more severe in the upper sub-basin and appears in the middle sub-basin with the WRCC index greater than 1, while the water resources are not fully utilized in the lower sub-basin in the planning years, with the WRCC index far less than 1. The GDP of the three sub-basins is greater in the planning years, with 2.25 × 108, 54.60 × 108, and 3.94 × 108 dollars year−1 than those in the baseline years with 1.97 × 108, 47.71 × 108, 3.43 × 108 dollars year−1. However, GDP per capita/cubic meter keeps decreasing due to the great population growth rate and non-enhanced water use efficiency. The sustainability index is 0.04, 0.23, and 0.47 in the planning years, which is lower than the 0.04, 0.31, and 0.50 in the baseline years. Therefore, the scheduled growth rates of the population, urbanization, and GDP are a developing mode with low sustainability and are not appropriate to be continued in the planning years. Further work is needed to identify a sustainable developing mode with a decreased population growth rate, enhanced water use efficiency in the economic system, and the optimized allocation of water resources distribution in the three sub-basins with hydraulic facilities.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 51
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1130: Flood Routing in River Reaches Using a Three-Parameter Muskingum Model Coupled with an Improved Bat Algorithm Water doi: 10.3390/w10091130 Authors: Saeed Farzin Vijay P. Singh Hojat Karami Nazanin Farahani Mohammad Ehteram Ozgur Kisi Mohammed Falah Allawi Nuruol Syuhadaa Mohd Ahmed El-Shafie Design of hydraulic structures, flood warning systems, evacuation measures, and traffic management require river flood routing. A common hydrologic method of flood routing is the Muskingum method. The present study attempted to develop a three-parameter Muskingum model considering lateral flow for flood routing, coupling with a new optimization algorithm namely, Improved Bat Algorithm (IBA). The major function of the IBA is to optimize the estimated value of the three-parameters associated with the Muskingum model. The IBA acts based on the chaos search tool, which mainly enhances the uniformity and erogidicty of the population. In addition, the current research, unlike the other existing models which consider flood routing, is based on dividing one reach to a few intervals to increase the accuracy of flood routing models. Three case studies with lateral flow were considered for this study, including the Wilson flood, Karahan flood, and Myanmar flood. Seven performance indexes were examined to evaluate the performance of the proposed Muskingum model integrated with IBA, with other models that were also based on the Muskingum Model with three-parameters but utilized different optimization algorithms. The results for the Wilson flood showed that the proposed model could reduce the Sum of Squared Deviations (SSD) value by 89%, 51%, 93%, 69%, and 88%, compared to the Genetic Algorithm (GA), Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm, Pattern Search (PS) algorithm, Harmony Search (HS) algorithm, and Honey Bee Mating Optimization (HBMO), respectively. In addition, increasing the number of intervals for flood routing significantly improved the accuracy of the results. The results indicated that the Sum of Absolute Deviations (SAD) using IBA for the Karahan flood was 117, which had reduced by 83%, 88%, 94%, and 12%, compared to the PSO, GA, HS, and BA, respectively. Furthermore, the achieved results for the Myanmar flood showed that SSD for IBA relative to GA, BA, and PSO was reduced by 32%, 11%, and 42%, respectively. In conclusion, the proposed Muskingum Model integrated with IBA considering the existence of lateral flow, outperformed the existing applied simple Muskingum models in previous studies. In addition, the more the number of intervals used in the model, the better the accuracy of flood routing prediction achieved.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 52
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    In: Water
    Publication Date: 2018-08-25
    Description: Water, Vol. 10, Pages 1128: Microbial Electrochemical Technologies for Wastewater Treatment: Principles and Evolution from Microbial Fuel Cells to Bioelectrochemical-Based Constructed Wetlands Water doi: 10.3390/w10091128 Authors: Carlos A. Ramírez-Vargas Amanda Prado Carlos A. Arias Pedro N. Carvalho Abraham Esteve-Núñez Hans Brix Microbial electrochemical technologies (MET) rely on the presence of the metabolic activity of electroactive bacteria for the use of solid-state electrodes for oxidizing different kinds of compound that can lead to the synthesis of chemicals, bioremediation of polluted matrices, the treatment of contaminants of interest, as well as the recovery of energy. Keeping these possibilities in mind, there has been growing interest in the use of electrochemical technologies for wastewater treatment, if possible with simultaneous power generation, since the beginning of the present century. In the last few years, there has been growing interest in exploring the possibility of merging MET with constructed wetlands offering a new option of an intensified wetland system that could maintain a high performance with a lower footprint. Based on that interest, this paper explains the general principles of MET, and the different known extracellular electron transfer mechanisms ruling the interaction between electroactive bacteria and potential solid-state electron acceptors. It also looks at the adoption of those principles for the development of MET set-ups for simultaneous wastewater treatment and power generation, and the challenges that the technology faces. Ultimately, the most recent developments in setups that merge MET with constructed wetlands are presented and discussed.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4441
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Chem. Commun. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CC05350B, Communication Jean-Charles Buffet, Zoe Turner, Dermot O’Hare Unsymmetrical permethylindenyl bent metallocene complexes have been synthesised and reacted with inorganic solid supports to afford catalysts for the slurry phase polymerisation of ethylene. Those supported on solid polymethylaluminoxane were... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Print ISSN: 1359-7345
    Electronic ISSN: 1364-548X
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  • 54
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    Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MPDI)
    In: Cancers
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Cancers, Vol. 10, Pages 288: p53 Isoforms and Their Implications in Cancer Cancers doi: 10.3390/cancers10090288 Authors: Maximilian Vieler Suparna Sanyal In this review we focus on the major isoforms of the tumor-suppressor protein p53, dysfunction of which often leads to cancer. Mutations of the TP53 gene, particularly in the DNA binding domain, have been regarded as the main cause for p53 inactivation. However, recent reports demonstrating abundance of p53 isoforms, especially the N-terminally truncated ones, in the cancerous tissues suggest their involvement in carcinogenesis. These isoforms are ∆40p53, ∆133p53, and ∆160p53 (the names indicate their respective N-terminal truncation). Due to the lack of structural and functional characterizations the modes of action of the p53 isoforms are still unclear. Owing to the deletions in the functional domains, these isoforms can either be defective in DNA binding or more susceptive to altered ‘responsive elements’ than p53. Furthermore, they may exert a ‘dominant negative effect’ or induce more aggressive cancer by the ‘gain of function’. One possible mechanism of p53 inactivation can be through tetramerization with the ∆133p53 and ∆160p53 isoforms—both lacking part of the DNA binding domain. A recent report and unpublished data from our laboratory also suggest that these isoforms may inactivate p53 by fast aggregation—possibly due to ectopic overexpression. We further discuss the evolutionary significance of the p53 isoforms.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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    Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MPDI)
    In: Cancers
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Cancers, Vol. 10, Pages 289: miRNA-205 Nanoformulation Sensitizes Prostate Cancer Cells to Chemotherapy Cancers doi: 10.3390/cancers10090289 Authors: Prashanth K. B. Nagesh Pallabita Chowdhury Elham Hatami Vijaya K. N. Boya Vivek K. Kashyap Sheema Khan Bilal B. Hafeez Subhash C. Chauhan Meena Jaggi Murali M. Yallapu The therapeutic application of microRNA(s) in the field of cancer has generated significant attention in research. Previous studies have shown that miR-205 negatively regulates prostate cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and drug resistance. However, the delivery of miR-205 is an unmet clinical need. Thus, the development of a viable nanoparticle platform to deliver miR-205 is highly sought. A novel magnetic nanoparticle (MNP)-based nanoplatform composed of an iron oxide core with poly(ethyleneimine)-poly(ethylene glycol) layer(s) was developed. An optimized nanoplatform composition was confirmed by examining the binding profiles of MNPs with miR-205 using agarose gel and fluorescence methods. The novel formulation was applied to prostate cancer cells for evaluating cellular uptake, miR-205 delivery, and anticancer, antimetastasis, and chemosensitization potentials against docetaxel treatment. The improved uptake and efficacy of formulations were studied with confocal imaging, flow cytometry, proliferation, clonogenicity, Western blot, q-RT-PCR, and chemosensitization assays. Our findings demonstrated that the miR-205 nanoplatform induces significant apoptosis and enhancing chemotherapeutic effects in prostate cancer cells. Overall, these study results provide a strong proof-of-concept for a novel nonviral-based nanoparticle protocol for effective microRNA delivery to prostate cancer cells.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 56
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Chem. Commun. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CC04112A, Communication Cheng Zhang, Yang Li, Yan Zhou, Qijian Zhang, Hua Li, Jian-Mei Lu A novel pyridine-based organic conjugated molecule (NCPy) has been successfully synthesized and converted to an organic pyridinium salt (NCPy-salt). Highly oriented organic nanofibers and high-quality films were obtained by transforming... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Print ISSN: 1359-7345
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  • 57
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Chem. Commun. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CC05832F, Communication Jun-Jie Li, Wan Ning Li, Wen-Fang Du, Mengmei Lv, Zhen-Kun Wu, Jian-Hui Jiang A novel DNAzymatic amplifier nanomachine that is reconstructed in response to mRNA input has been developed to enable functions of concurrent sensitive mRNA imaging and activatable gene therapy in living... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Print ISSN: 1359-7345
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  • 58
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Chem. Commun. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CC04745F, Communication Carolina Cionti, Cristina Della Pina, Daniela Meroni, Ermelinda Falletta, Silvia Ardizzone An environmental benign procedure for the preparation of polyaniline/TiO2 composites is presented. The UV irradiation-induced synthesis leads to materials with good crystallinity and tailored morphology, showing promising sorption and recycle... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Print ISSN: 1359-7345
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  • 59
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: CrystEngComm , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CE00954F, Communication Changyan Guo, yonghong zhang, Li Zhang, Yi Zhang, Jide Wang We report a facile strategy to fabricate two-dimensional (2D) MOF-5 with a thickness of 4 nm by 2-methylimidazole (2-MI) as a coordination regulator. 2-MI can inhibit the growth of MOF-5... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Electronic ISSN: 1466-8033
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
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  • 60
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: CrystEngComm , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8CE01224E, Paper Yunchuan Xu, Quan-Ping Zhang, Jun-Hua Liu, You Wu, Li-Ping Liu, Duigong Xu, Yuanlin Zhou Assembling versatile materials such as good thermal conductivity and mechanical loading for radiation shielding have recently attracted widespread attention. Herein, a facile strategy with (3-Mercaptopropyl) trimethoxysilane (KH590) as surfactant is... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Electronic ISSN: 1466-8033
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  • 61
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Dalton Trans. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8DT02548G, Paper Karim Khan, Ayesha Khan Tareen, Jia Li, Usman Khan, Adeela Nairan, Yao Yuan, Xuyang Zhang, Minghui Yang, Zhengbiao Ouyang In this work we synthesized nanosize Sn-doped C12A7:e- (thereafter, C12A7-xSnx:e-, where x = 0.20 to 1) composite with high surface area of 244 m2.g-1. The increasing trend in the conductivity... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
    Print ISSN: 1477-9226
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology
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  • 62
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    Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Dalton Trans. , 2018, Accepted Manuscript DOI : 10.1039/C8DT02354A, Paper Lei Geng, Hao Wang, Qiang Li, Hong Yan Lu, Guobao Li Three new transition metal oxychlorides MBi(SeO3)2(H2O)Cl (M = Co, Ni, Cu) have been firstly synthesized through hydrothermal reaction method at 200 °C. They were structurally determined to be isostructural with... The content of this RSS Feed (c) The Royal Society of Chemistry
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  • 63
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2231: Compact Water-Cooled Thermoelectric Generator (TEG) Based on a Portable Gas Stove Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092231 Authors: Hongkun Lv Guoneng Li Youqu Zheng Jiangen Hu Jian Li A compact water-cooled thermoelectric generator (TEG) based on a portable gas stove was designed and analyzed to supply electricity in off-grid scenarios. The TEG incorporates a newly designed heat collector, eight thermoelectric (TE) modules, and a radiator to ensure its portability (5.9 kg) and sufficiency of electric power (12.9 W). Detailed measurements and discussions on power load feature and TE efficiency are presented. Experiments showed that the power generation capability of the proposed TEG is compromised by its compactness over previous water-cooled TEGs. A theoretical model incorporated with heat leaks from various origins has been developed to illustrate that the designed TEG exerts the potential of every TE module, and to reveal the proportion of various heat fluxes. The predicted electric power, various heat fluxes, and TE efficiency agree well with experimental data. The limitations of TE efficiency and the nonlinearity caused by Joule heat are discussed quantitatively.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 64
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2230: Numerical Investigation on the Effects of Baffles with Various Thermal and Geometrical Conditions on Thermo-Fluid Dynamics and Kinetic Power of a Solar Updraft Tower Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092230 Authors: Seungjin Lee Yoon Seok Kim Joong Yull Park Solar updraft towers (SUTs) are used for renewable power generation, taking advantage of the thermal updraft air flow caused by solar energy. Aerodynamic devices have been applied to SUTs to improve their performance and the baffle is one such device. Here, we investigate the effect of baffle installation on the thermo-fluid dynamic phenomena in the collector of an SUT and how it enhances the overall SUT performance using computational fluid dynamics analysis. Two geometric parameters (height and width of baffle) and two thermal boundary conditions of the baffle (adiabatic condition and heat flux condition) were tested through simulations with 10 different models. The vortex generated by the baffle has a positive effect on the delivery of heat energy from the ground to the main flow; however, one disadvantage is that the baffle inherently increases the resistance of the main flow. Over 3% higher kinetic power was achieved with some of the simulated baffle models. Therefore, an optimum design for baffle installation can be achieved by considering the positive and negative thermo-fluid dynamics of baffles.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 65
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2228: Development and Validation of Numerical Models for Evaluation of Foam-Vacuum Insulation Panel Composite Boards, Including Edge Effects Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092228 Authors: Kaushik Biswas A combined finite element analysis (FEA) and experimental validation approach to estimating effective edge conductivities of vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) embedded in foam-VIP composites is presented. The edge conductivities were estimated by comparing the simulation results with measurements of small-scale (0.61 × 0.61 m) foam-VIP composites and using an error minimization method. The two composites contained multiple VIPs that were butt-jointed with each other in one composite and separated by foam insulation in the other. Edge conductivities were estimated by considering the neighboring materials, i.e., whether the VIPs were adjacent to other VIPs or foam insulation. Models incorporating the edge conductivities were then used to simulate additional small- and large-scale (2.44 × 1.22 m) composites for validation and evaluation of the overall thermal transmission properties. The simulations used either the same boundary conditions as the experiments or used the experimental parameters to define the appropriate boundary conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 66
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    In: Energies
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Energies, Vol. 11, Pages 2229: Biodiesel by Transesterification of Rapeseed Oil Using Ultrasound: A Kinetic Study of Base-Catalysed Reactions Energies doi: 10.3390/en11092229 Authors: José María Encinar Ana Pardal Nuria Sánchez Sergio Nogales The objective of this work was to study the acceleration that ultrasound causes in the rate of biodiesel transesterification reactions. The effect of different operating variables, such as ultrasound power, catalyst (KOH) concentration and methanol:oil molar ratio, was studied. The evolution of the process was followed by gas chromatography, determining the concentration of methyl esters at different reaction times. The biodiesel was characterized by its density, viscosity, saponification and iodine values, acidity index, water content, flash and combustion points, cetane index and cold filter plugging point (CFPP), according to EN 14214 standard. High methyl ester yield and fast reaction rates were obtained in short reaction times. Ultrasound power and catalyst concentration had a positive effect on the yield and the reaction rate. The methanol:oil molar ratio also increased the yield of the reaction, but negatively influenced the process rate. The reaction followed a pseudo-first order kinetic model and the rate constants at several temperatures were determined. The activation energy was also determined using the Arrhenius equation. The main conclusion of this work is that the use of ultrasound irradiation did not require any additional heating, which could represent an energy savings for biodiesel manufacture.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1073
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 67
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 640: Fixed-Rate Universal Lossy Source Coding and Model Identification: Connection with Zero-Rate Density Estimation and the Skeleton Estimator Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090640 Authors: Jorge F. Silva Milan S. Derpich This work demonstrates a formal connection between density estimation with a data-rate constraint and the joint objective of fixed-rate universal lossy source coding and model identification introduced by Raginsky in 2008 (IEEE TIT, 2008, 54, 3059–3077). Using an equivalent learning formulation, we derive a necessary and sufficient condition over the class of densities for the achievability of the joint objective. The learning framework used here is the skeleton estimator, a rate-constrained learning scheme that offers achievable results for the joint coding and modeling problem by optimally adapting its learning parameters to the specific conditions of the problem. The results obtained with the skeleton estimator significantly extend the context where universal lossy source coding and model identification can be achieved, allowing for applications that move from the known case of parametric collection of densities with some smoothness and learnability conditions to the rich family of non-parametric L 1 -totally bounded densities. In addition, in the parametric case we are able to remove one of the assumptions that constrain the applicability of the original result obtaining similar performances in terms of the distortion redundancy and per-letter rate overhead.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 68
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 638: 1-D versus 2-D Entropy Velocity Law for Water Discharge Assessment in a Rough Ditch Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090638 Authors: Michele Greco Giovanni Martino Water discharge assessment in open channel flow is one of the most crucial issues for hydraulic engineers in the fields of water resource management, river dynamics, ecohydraulics, irrigation, and hydraulic structure design, among others. Recent studies state that the entropy velocity law allows expeditive methodology for discharge estimation and rating curve development due to the simple mathematical formulation and implementation. Many works have been developed based on the one-dimensional (1-D) formulation of the entropy velocity profile, supporting measurements in the lab and the field for rating curve assessment, but in recent years, the two-dimensional (2-D) formulation was proposed and applied in studies of regular ditch flow, showing good performance. The present work deals with a comparison between the 1-D and 2-D approaches in order to give a general framework of threats and opportunities related to the robust operational application of such laws. The analysis was carried out on a laboratory ditch with regular roughness, under controlled boundary conditions, and in different stages, generating an exhaustive dashboard for better appraisal of the approaches.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 69
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    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 639: Convex Optimization via Symmetrical Hölder Divergence for a WLAN Indoor Positioning System Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090639 Authors: Osamah Abdullah Modern indoor positioning system services are important technologies that play vital roles in modern life, providing many services such as recruiting emergency healthcare providers and for security purposes. Several large companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, and Google, have researched location-based services. Wireless indoor localization is key for pervasive computing applications and network optimization. Different approaches have been developed for this technique using WiFi signals. WiFi fingerprinting-based indoor localization has been widely used due to its simplicity, and algorithms that fingerprint WiFi signals at separate locations can achieve accuracy within a few meters. However, a major drawback of WiFi fingerprinting is the variance in received signal strength (RSS), as it fluctuates with time and changing environment. As the signal changes, so does the fingerprint database, which can change the distribution of the RSS (multimodal distribution). Thus, in this paper, we propose that symmetrical Hölder divergence, which is a statistical model of entropy that encapsulates both the skew Bhattacharyya divergence and Cauchy–Schwarz divergence that are closed-form formulas that can be used to measure the statistical dissimilarities between the same exponential family for the signals that have multivariate distributions. The Hölder divergence is asymmetric, so we used both left-sided and right-sided data so the centroid can be symmetrized to obtain the minimizer of the proposed algorithm. The experimental results showed that the symmetrized Hölder divergence consistently outperformed the traditional k nearest neighbor and probability neural network. In addition, with the proposed algorithm, the position error accuracy was about 1 m in buildings.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 70
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 637: Comparative Performance Analysis of a Simplified Curzon-Ahlborn Engine Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090637 Authors: Ricardo T. Páez-Hernández Juan Carlos Chimal-Eguía Delfino Ladino-Luna Juan Manuel Velázquez-Arcos This paper presents a finite-time thermodynamic optimization based on three different optimization criteria: Maximum Power Output (MP), Maximum Efficient Power (MEP), and Maximum Power Density (MPD), for a simplified Curzon-Ahlborn engine that was first proposed by Agrawal. The results obtained for the MP are compared with those obtained using MEP and MPD criteria. The results show that when a Newton heat transfer law is used, the efficiency values of the engine working inthe MP regime are lowerthan the efficiency values ( τ ) obtained withthe MEP and MPD regimesfor all values of the parameter τ = T 2 / T 1 , where T 1 and T 2 are the hot and cold temperatures of the engine reservoirs ( T 2 < T 1 ) , respectively. However, when a Dulong-Petit heat transfer law is used, the efficiency values of the engine working at MEP are larger than those obtained withthe MP and the MPD regimesfor all values of τ . Notably, when 0 < τ < 0.68 , the efficiency values for the MP regime are larger than those obtained withthe MPD regime. Also, when 0.68 < τ < 1 , the efficiency values for the aforementioned regimes are similar. Importantly, the parameter τ plays a crucial role in the engine performance, providing guidance during the design of real power plants.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 71
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Entropy
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Entropy, Vol. 20, Pages 636: New Binary Locally Repairable Codes with Locality 2 and Uneven Availabilities for Hot Data Entropy doi: 10.3390/e20090636 Authors: Kang-Seok Lee Hosung Park Jong-Seon No In this paper, a new family of binary LRCs (BLRCs) with locality 2 and uneven availabilities for hot data is proposed, which has a high information symbol availability and low parity symbol availabilities for the local repair of distributed storage systems. The local repair of each information symbol for the proposed codes can be done not by accessing other information symbols but only by accessing parity symbols. The proposed BLRCs with k = 4 achieve the optimality on the information length for their given code length, minimum Hamming distance, locality, and availability in terms of the well-known theoretical upper bound.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 72
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    MDPI
    In: Galaxies
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Galaxies, Vol. 6, Pages 91: Towards the Provision of Accurate Atomic Data for Neutral Iron Galaxies doi: 10.3390/galaxies6030091 Authors: Andrew Conroy Catherine Ramsbottom Connor Ballance Francis Keenan The rich emission and absorption line spectra of Fe I may be used to extract crucial information on astrophysical plasmas, such as stellar metallicities. There is currently a lack, in quality and quantity, of accurate level-resolved effective electron-impact collision strengths and oscillator strengths for radiative transitions. Here, we discuss the challenges in obtaining an accurate model of the neutral iron atom and compare our theoretical fine-structure energy levels with observation for several increasingly large models. Radiative data is presented for several transitions for which the atomic data is accurately known.
    Electronic ISSN: 2075-4434
    Topics: Physics
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  • 73
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    MDPI
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Environments, Vol. 5, Pages 97: Study on the Appraisal of Tourism Demands and Recreation Benefits for Nanwan Beach, Kenting, Taiwan Environments doi: 10.3390/environments5090097 Authors: Chih-Ming Dong Chien-Chi Lin Shu-Ping Lin This study implemented a questionnaire survey on tourists to the Nanwan Beach, Kenting, Taiwan and then applied the travel cost method to appraise the recreation benefits of the Nanwan Beach. The truncated Poisson model (TPOIS), truncated negative binomial distribution model, and on-site Poisson model were applied in view of the errors caused by truncated samples and endogenous stratification, and the results indicated that: (1) The on-site Poisson model was more suitable than the other two models for estimating the recreation benefits of Nanwan; (2) the three recreational benefit indicators (consumer surplus, compensation variation, and equivalent variation) estimated using the TPOIS model were all significantly greater than those of the on-site Poisson model; (3) the on-site Poisson model estimated the price elasticity and income elasticity of the tourism demands for Nanwan as −0.329 and 0.187, respectively; and (4) on the basis of the on-site Poisson model, the consumer surplus for Nanwan was NT$9639 (approximately US$289) per person per visit, and the annual gross recreation benefits were approximate NT$8.022 billion. The results are expected to provide a valuable reference for management and planning policies of the Kenting National Park.
    Electronic ISSN: 2076-3298
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
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  • 74
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    Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
    In: Genes
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Genes, Vol. 9, Pages 432: Bioinformatics Tools and Benchmarks for Computational Docking and 3D Structure Prediction of RNA-Protein Complexes Genes doi: 10.3390/genes9090432 Authors: Chandran Nithin Pritha Ghosh Janusz M. Bujnicki RNA-protein (RNP) interactions play essential roles in many biological processes, such as regulation of co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene expression, RNA splicing, transport, storage and stabilization, as well as protein synthesis. An increasing number of RNP structures would aid in a better understanding of these processes. However, due to the technical difficulties associated with experimental determination of macromolecular structures by high-resolution methods, studies on RNP recognition and complex formation present significant challenges. As an alternative, computational prediction of RNP interactions can be carried out. Structural models obtained by theoretical predictive methods are, in general, less reliable compared to models based on experimental measurements but they can be sufficiently accurate to be used as a basis for to formulating functional hypotheses. In this article, we present an overview of computational methods for 3D structure prediction of RNP complexes. We discuss currently available methods for macromolecular docking and for scoring 3D structural models of RNP complexes in particular. Additionally, we also review benchmarks that have been developed to assess the accuracy of these methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 75
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Forests
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Forests, Vol. 9, Pages 515: 25 Years of Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management: Why Some Intergovernmental C&I Processes Flourished While Others Faded Forests doi: 10.3390/f9090515 Authors: Stefanie Linser Bernhard Wolfslehner Fady Asmar Simon R. J. Bridge David Gritten Vicente Guadalupe Mostafa Jafari Steven Johnson Pablo Laclau Guy Robertson The use of criteria and indicators (C&I) for data collection, monitoring, assessing and reporting on sustainable forest management (SFM) has been growing since the Earth Summit in 1992, supported by eleven intergovernmental, regional and international forest-related C&I processes. The initial effort led to varying levels of implementation across countries. Several processes never went much beyond the adoption of a first set of C&I while others have made substantial progress. In recent years, interest in C&I for SFM has again increased. In light of the Sustainable Development Goals and emerging global challenges the contribution of C&I to monitor, assess and report on forest conditions and trends is increasingly important. We compare and analyse the structure, activities and progress of the intergovernmental C&I processes. The work is based on document analysis and questionnaires sent to the secretariats of the processes and C&I experts. We found many similarities but also major differences in the structure and content of the C&I sets. The results provide a context for discussing and understanding why some of the C&I processes are successful in their work while others have stalled. Finally, we propose the required ingredients for success for the future activities of the forest-related intergovernmental C&I processes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1999-4907
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
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  • 76
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    MDPI
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Information, Vol. 9, Pages 214: Individual Security and Network Design with Malicious Nodes Information doi: 10.3390/info9090214 Authors: Tomasz Janus Mateusz Skomra Marcin Dziubiński Networks are beneficial to those being connected but can also be used as carriers of contagious hostile attacks. These attacks are often facilitated by exploiting corrupt network users. To protect against the attacks, users can resort to costly defense. The decentralized nature of such protection is known to be inefficient, but the inefficiencies can be mitigated by a careful network design. Is network design still effective when not all users can be trusted? We propose a model of network design and defense with byzantine nodes to address this question. We study the optimal defended networks in the case of centralized defense and, for the case of decentralized defense, we show that the inefficiencies due to decentralization can be mitigated arbitrarily well when the number of nodes in the network is sufficiently large, despite the presence of the byzantine nodes.
    Electronic ISSN: 2078-2489
    Topics: Computer Science
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  • 77
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    MDPI Publishing
    In: Materials
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: Materials, Vol. 11, Pages 1533: Study of the Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) Characteristics of a 5083 Aluminum Alloy Sheet in Two Heat Treatment States Materials doi: 10.3390/ma11091533 Authors: Ni Tian Guangdong Wang Yiran Zhou Kun Liu Gang Zhao Liang Zuo In the present work, the role of Mg atoms in the form of either Mg clusters or β phase on the moving dislocations in 5083 aluminum alloy sheet were investigated by comparing the plastic flow behavior and Portevin-Le Chatelier (PLC) character in annealed and quenched conditions. It is found that the tensile strength of quenched sheets at different strain rates is slightly higher than those under annealed condition while the yield strength at both conditions is similar. In annealed sheets, the yield plateau was clearly observed at all tested strain rates with a strain less than 0.012, and its width increased with the increasing strain rate. However, no yield plateau was observed in quenched sheets. On the other hand, the characters of PLC are greatly varied with applied conditions and strain rate. Generally, annealed sheets have a higher waiting time, but lower critical strain/stress at lower strain rate (~1 × 10−4 s−1), but they are similar at a higher strain rate (1 × 10−2 s−1). However, the falling time at both annealed and quenched conditions are almost the same at tested strain rates.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
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  • 78
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: IJGI, Vol. 7, Pages 348: Nesting Patterns of Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta): Development of a Multiple Regression Model Tested in North Carolina, USA ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information doi: 10.3390/ijgi7090348 Authors: Joanne N. Halls Alyssa L. Randall Numerous environmental conditions may influence when a female Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) selects a nesting site. Limited research has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistical analysis to study sea turtle spatial patterns and temporal trends. Therefore, the goals of this research were to identify areas that were most prevalent for nesting and to test social and environmental variables to create a nesting suitability predictive model. Data were analyzed at all barrier island beaches in North Carolina, USA (515 km) and several variables were statistically significant: distance to hardened structures, beach nourishment, house density, distance to inlets, and beach elevation, slope, and width. Interestingly, variables that were not significant were population density, proximity to the Gulf Stream, and beach aspect. Several statistical techniques were tested and Negative Binomial Distribution produced good regional results while Geographically Weighted Regression models successfully predicted the number of nests with an average of 75% of the variance explained. Therefore, the combination of traditional and spatial statistics provided insightful predictive modeling results that may be incorporated into management strategies and may have important implications for the designation of critical Loggerhead nesting habitats.
    Electronic ISSN: 2220-9964
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geosciences
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  • 79
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    MDPI Publishing
    Publication Date: 2018-08-26
    Description: IJERPH, Vol. 15, Pages 1838: Risk Assessment and Source Identification of Toxic Metals in the Agricultural Soil around a Pb/Zn Mining and Smelting Area in Southwest China International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health doi: 10.3390/ijerph15091838 Authors: Jinnan Wu Jian Long Lingfei Liu Juan Li Hongkai Liao Mingjiang Zhang Chang Zhao Qiusheng Wu Mining and smelting activities are the primary sources of toxic metal pollution in China. The purpose of this study was to investigate the pollution risk and identify sources of metals in the arable soil of a Zn/Pb mining and smelting district located in Huize, in Southwest China. Topsoil (346) and profile (three) samples were collected and analyzed to determine the total concentrations of eight toxic elements (Cd, Hg, As, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn and Ni). The results showed that the mean Cd, Hg, As, Pb, Cr, Cu, Zn and Ni concentrations were 9.07, 0.37, 25.0, 512, 88.7, 239, 1761 and 90.3 mg/kg, respectively, all of which exceeded both the Huize and Yunnan soil background levels. Overall the topsoil was quite acidic, with a mean pH of 5.51. The mean geoaccumulation index (Igeo) revealed that the pollution level was in the order of Pb > Zn > Cd > Hg > As > Ni > Cu > Cr. The ecological risk index (Ei) indicated that there were serious contamination risks for Cd and Hg, high risk for Pb, moderate risk for As, and Cd and Hg were the dominant contributors to the high combined ecological risk index (Er) with a mean parameter of 699 meaning a serious ecological risk. The Nemerow pollution index (Pn) showed that 99.1% of soil samples were highly polluted or worse. Horizontally, high concentrations of Cd, Hg, As, Pb and Zn appeared in the north and middle of the study area, while Cr, Cu and Ni showed an opposite trend. Vertically, as the depth increased, Cd, Hg, As, Pb and Zn contents declined, but Cr, Cu and Ni exhibited an increasing trend. The mobilities of the metals were in the order of Zn > Cd > Hg > As > Pb. Horizontal and vertical distribution, coupled with correlation analysis, PCA and CA suggested that Cd, Hg, As, Pb and Zn mainly came from the anthropogenic sources, whereas Cr and Ni had a lithogenic origin. The source of Cu was a combination of the presence of parent materials as well as human activities. This study provides a base for the local government to control the toxic metal pollution and restore the soil environment system and an effective method to identify the sources of the studied pollutants.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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