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Open AccessArticle
Do Household Time, Risk, and Social Preferences Affect Home Energy Retrofit Decisions in Korea?
by and
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4152; http://doi.org/10.3390/su13084152 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Paying attention to impacts of behavioral factor on energy efficiency (EE) investments, this study attempts to identify preference characteristics affecting EE investments. We model households’ EE investments with time, risk, and social preferences, conduct a survey, and empirically examine the effects of the [...] Read more.
Paying attention to impacts of behavioral factor on energy efficiency (EE) investments, this study attempts to identify preference characteristics affecting EE investments. We model households’ EE investments with time, risk, and social preferences, conduct a survey, and empirically examine the effects of the preference characteristics on home energy retrofit decisions in Korea. We find that the research hypotheses for risk and social preferences that we are derived from the model are supported while those for time preference are partially supported. The results are summarized as follows. First, respondents who discount the future more heavily are less likely to plan a home energy retrofit. Second, very risk-averse respondents are less likely to have experienced a home energy retrofit and very risk-seeking ones are more likely to plan a home energy retrofit. Third, those seriously concerned about environmental issues or who strongly respond to moral norms are likely to have experienced or plan a home energy retrofit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Sustainability: Energy and Carbon Efficiency)
Open AccessArticle
Mode of Death after Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
by , , , , , , , , , and
Membranes 2021, 11(4), 270; http://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11040270 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Introduction: Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) might be a lifesaving therapy for patients with cardiac arrest and no return of spontaneous circulation during advanced life support. However, even with ECPR, mortality of these severely sick patients is high. Little is known on the exact [...] Read more.
Introduction: Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) might be a lifesaving therapy for patients with cardiac arrest and no return of spontaneous circulation during advanced life support. However, even with ECPR, mortality of these severely sick patients is high. Little is known on the exact mode of death in these patients. Methods: Retrospective registry analysis of all consecutive patients undergoing ECPR between May 2011 and May 2020 at a single center. Mode of death was judged by two researchers. Results: A total of 274 ECPR cases were included (age 60.0 years, 47.1% shockable initial rhythm, median time-to-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) 53.8min, hospital survival 25.9%). The 71 survivors had shorter time-to-ECMO durations (46.0 ± 27.9 vs. 56.6 ± 28.8min, p < 0.01), lower initial lactate levels (7.9 ± 4.5 vs. 11.6 ± 8.4 mg/dL, p < 0.01), higher PREDICT-6h (41.7 ± 17.0% vs. 25.3 ± 19.0%, p < 0.01), and SAVE (0.4 ± 4.8 vs. −0.8 ± 4.4, p < 0.01) scores. Most common mode of death in 203 deceased patients was therapy resistant shock in 105/203 (51.7%) and anoxic brain injury in 69/203 (34.0%). Comparing patients deceased with shock to those with cerebral damage, patients with shock were significantly older (63.2 ± 11.5 vs. 54.3 ± 16.5 years, p < 0.01), more frequently resuscitated in-hospital (64.4% vs. 29.9%, p < 0.01) and had shorter time-to-ECMO durations (52.3 ± 26.8 vs. 69.3 ± 29.1min p < 0.01). Conclusions: Most patients after ECPR decease due to refractory shock. Older patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest might be prone to development of refractory shock. Only a minority die from cerebral damage. Research should focus on preventing post-CPR shock and treating the shock in these patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation)
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Open AccessArticle
Time Granularity Impact on Propagation of Disruptions in a System-of-Systems Simulation of Infrastructure and Business Networks
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3922; http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083922 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
A system-of-systems (SoS) approach is often used for simulating disruptions to business and infrastructure system networks allowing for integration of several models into one simulation. However, the integration is frequently challenging as each system is designed individually with different characteristics, such as time [...] Read more.
A system-of-systems (SoS) approach is often used for simulating disruptions to business and infrastructure system networks allowing for integration of several models into one simulation. However, the integration is frequently challenging as each system is designed individually with different characteristics, such as time granularity. Understanding the impact of time granularity on propagation of disruptions between businesses and infrastructure systems and finding the appropriate granularity for the SoS simulation remain as major challenges. To tackle these, we explore how time granularity, recovery time, and disruption size affect the propagation of disruptions between constituent systems of an SoS simulation. To address this issue, we developed a high level architecture (HLA) simulation of three networks and performed a series of simulation experiments. Our results revealed that time granularity and especially recovery time have huge impact on propagation of disruptions. Consequently, we developed a model for selecting an appropriate time granularity for an SoS simulation based on expected recovery time. Our simulation experiments show that time granularity should be less than 1.13 of expected recovery time. We identified some areas for future research centered around extending the experimental factors space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cascading Disaster Modelling and Prevention)
Open AccessReview
The Nonribosomal Peptide Valinomycin: From Discovery to Bioactivity and Biosynthesis
by , , , and
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 780; http://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040780 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Valinomycin is a nonribosomal peptide that was discovered from Streptomyces in 1955. Over the past more than six decades, it has received continuous attention due to its special chemical structure and broad biological activities. Although many research papers have been published on valinomycin, [...] Read more.
Valinomycin is a nonribosomal peptide that was discovered from Streptomyces in 1955. Over the past more than six decades, it has received continuous attention due to its special chemical structure and broad biological activities. Although many research papers have been published on valinomycin, there has not yet been a comprehensive review that summarizes the diverse studies ranging from structural characterization, biogenesis, and bioactivity to the identification of biosynthetic gene clusters and heterologous biosynthesis. In this review, we aim to provide an overview of valinomycin to address this gap, covering from 1955 to 2020. First, we introduce the chemical structure of valinomycin together with its chemical properties. Then, we summarize the broad spectrum of bioactivities of valinomycin. Finally, we describe the valinomycin biosynthetic gene cluster and reconstituted biosynthesis of valinomycin. With that, we discuss possible opportunities for the future research and development of valinomycin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Antimicrobial Compounds)
Open AccessArticle
Correlation between Myocardial Function and Electric Current Pulsatility of the Sputnik Left Ventricular Assist Device: In-Vitro Study
by , , , , , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3359; http://doi.org/10.3390/app11083359 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
This study assesses the electric current parameters and reports on the analysis of the associated degree of myocardial function during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. An assumption is made that there is a correlation between cardiac output and the pulsatility index of [...] Read more.
This study assesses the electric current parameters and reports on the analysis of the associated degree of myocardial function during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. An assumption is made that there is a correlation between cardiac output and the pulsatility index of the pump electric current. The experimental study is carried out using the ViVitro Pulse Duplicator System with Sputnik LVAD connected. Cardiac output and cardiac power output are used as a measure of myocardial function. Different heart rates (59, 73, 86 bpm) and pump speeds (7600–8400 rpm in 200 rpm steps) are investigated. In our methodology, ventricular stroke volumes in the range of 30–80 mL for each heart rate at a certain pump speed were used to simulate different levels of contractility. The correlation of the two measures of myocardial function and proposed pulsatility index was confirmed using different correlation coefficients (values ≥ 0.91). Linear and quadratic models for cardiac output and cardiac power output versus pulsatility index were obtained using regression analysis of measured data. Coefficients of determination for CO and CPO models were in the ranges of 0.914–0.982 and 0.817–0.993, respectively. Study findings suggest that appropriate interpretation of parameters could potentially serve as a valuable clinical tool to assess myocardial therapy using LVAD infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering)
Open AccessArticle
Compositional Simulation of Geological and Engineering Controls on Gas Huff-n-Puff in Duvernay Shale Volatile Oil Reservoirs, Canada
by , , , , and
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2070; http://doi.org/10.3390/en14082070 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Duvernay shale is a world class shale deposit with a total resource of 440 billion barrels oil equivalent in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). The volatile oil recovery factors achieved from primary production are much lower than those from the gas-condensate window, [...] Read more.
Duvernay shale is a world class shale deposit with a total resource of 440 billion barrels oil equivalent in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). The volatile oil recovery factors achieved from primary production are much lower than those from the gas-condensate window, typically 5–10% of original oil in place (OOIP). The previous study has indicated that huff-n-puff gas injection is one of the most promising enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods in shale oil reservoirs. In this paper, we built a comprehensive numerical compositional model in combination with the embedded discrete fracture model (EDFM) method to evaluate geological and engineering controls on gas huff-n-puff in Duvernay shale volatile oil reservoirs. Multiple scenarios of compositional simulations of huff-n-puff gas injection for the proposed twelve parameters have been conducted and effects of reservoir, completion and depletion development parameters on huff-n-puff are evaluated. We concluded that fracture conductivity, natural fracture density, period of primary depletion, and natural fracture permeability are the most sensitive parameters for incremental oil recovery from gas huff-n-puff. Low fracture conductivity and a short period of primary depletion could significantly increase the gas usage ratio and result in poor economical efficiency of the gas huff-n-puff process. Sensitivity analysis indicates that due to the increase of the matrix-surface area during gas huff-n-puff process, natural fractures associated with hydraulic fractures are the key controlling factors for gas huff-n-puff in Duvernay shale oil reservoirs. The range for the oil recovery increase over the primary recovery for one gas huff-n-puff cycle (nearly 2300 days of production) in Duvernay shale volatile oil reservoir is between 0.23 and 0.87%. Finally, we proposed screening criteria for gas huff-n-puff potential areas in volatile oil reservoirs from Duvernay shale. This study is highly meaningful and can give valuable reference to practical works conducting the huff-n-puff gas injection in both Duvernay and other shale oil reservoirs. Full article
Open AccessReview
Recent Progress Trend on Abrasive Waterjet Cutting of Metallic Materials: A Review
by , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3344; http://doi.org/10.3390/app11083344 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Abrasive water jet machining has been extensively used for cutting various materials. In particular, it has been applied for difficult-to-cut materials, mostly metals, which are used in various manufacturing processes in the fabrication industry. Due to its vast applications, in-depth comprehension of the [...] Read more.
Abrasive water jet machining has been extensively used for cutting various materials. In particular, it has been applied for difficult-to-cut materials, mostly metals, which are used in various manufacturing processes in the fabrication industry. Due to its vast applications, in-depth comprehension of the systems behind its cutting process is required to determine its effective usage. This paper presents a review of the progress in the recent trends regarding abrasive waterjet cutting application to extend the understanding of the significance of cutting process parameters. This review aims to append a substantial understanding of the recent improvement of abrasive waterjet machine process applications, and its future research and development regarding precise cutting operations in metal fabrication sectors. To date, abrasive waterjet fundamental mechanisms, process parameter improvements and optimization reports have all been highlighted. This review can be a relevant reference for future researchers in investigating the precise machining of metallic materials or characteristic developments in the identification of the significant process parameters for achieving better results in abrasive waterjet cutting operations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Manufacturing of Metals)
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Open AccessArticle
Flavor and Metabolite Profiles of Meat, Meat Substitutes, and Traditional Plant-Based High-Protein Food Products Available in Australia
by , , and
Foods 2021, 10(4), 801; http://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040801 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Demand for plant-based proteins and plant-based food products is increasing globally. This trend is driven mainly by global population growth and a consumer shift towards more sustainable and healthier diets. Existing plant-based protein foods and meat mimetics often possess undesirable flavor and sensory [...] Read more.
Demand for plant-based proteins and plant-based food products is increasing globally. This trend is driven mainly by global population growth and a consumer shift towards more sustainable and healthier diets. Existing plant-based protein foods and meat mimetics often possess undesirable flavor and sensory properties and there is a need to better understand the formation of desirable meat-like flavors from plant precursors to improve acceptance of novel high-protein plant foods. This study aimed to comprehensively characterize the non-volatile flavor metabolites and the volatiles generated in grilled meat (beef, chicken, and pork) and compare these to commercially available meat substitutes and traditional high-protein plant-based foods (natto, tempeh, and tofu). Solid phase microextraction with gas-chromatography mass-spectrometry was used for elucidation of the flavor volatilome. Untargeted characterization of the non-volatile metabolome was conducted using Orbitrap mass spectrometry and Compound DiscovererTM datamining software. The study revealed greater diversity and higher concentrations of flavor volatiles in plant-based foods in comparison to grilled meat, although the odor activity of specific volatiles was not considered. On average, the total amount of volatiles in plant-based products were higher than in meat. A range of concentrations of free amino acids, dipeptide, tripeptides, tetrapeptides, nucleotides, flavonoids, and other metabolites was identified in meat and plant-based foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meat)
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Open AccessGuidelines
Patient and Patient Group Engagement in Cancer Clinical Trials: A Stakeholder Charter
by , , , , , , , , , and
Curr. Oncol. 2021, 28(2), 1447-1458; http://doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28020137 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Background—to guide the implementation of patient centricity and engagement in cancer clinical trials (CTs) and to operationalize the Canadianized version of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (C-CTTI) model, the development of a charter was identified by cancer CT stakeholders. Methods—the Canadian Cancer Trial [...] Read more.
Background—to guide the implementation of patient centricity and engagement in cancer clinical trials (CTs) and to operationalize the Canadianized version of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (C-CTTI) model, the development of a charter was identified by cancer CT stakeholders. Methods—the Canadian Cancer Trial Stakeholder Charter (the Charter) was initiated by Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) and developed via the—1—formation of an inclusive working group (WG) that drafted the document using recommendations collected during the development of the C-CTTI model; 2—socialization of the draft Charter to solicit feedback from cancer CT stakeholders, including those who attended the 2019 CCC Conference; and 3—incorporation of stakeholders’ feedback and finalization of the Charter by the WG. Results—the Charter was built around five guiding principles—1—patient centricity; 2—commitment to education and training; 3—collaboration as equal and independent partners in research; 4—transparency and accountability; and 5—high standards in data collection integrity and honesty. These principles led to the Charter’s five tenets, which stipulate stakeholder commitments, aiming to make CTs accessible to all patients, improve the design and implementation of CTs to benefit patients, expand recruitment and retention of patients in CTs, and further advance cancer research and treatment. Conclusions—the Charter is intended to integrate the patient voice into the Canadian cancer CT continuum. The next phases of the C-CTTI model include the adoption and implementation of the Charter, the establishment of a patient group training program, and the development of real-world evidence/real-world data methodologies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Korean Maritime Cadets’ Onboard Training Environment Survey
by , , , and
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4161; http://doi.org/10.3390/su13084161 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
The onboard training environment is important for the continuity of cadets’ maritime careers and for the wider industry. Various studies have been conducted with the aim of improving the onboard training environment of cadets in various respects including education, health and safety, and [...] Read more.
The onboard training environment is important for the continuity of cadets’ maritime careers and for the wider industry. Various studies have been conducted with the aim of improving the onboard training environment of cadets in various respects including education, health and safety, and sexual harassment. However, there is a lack of research that details the problems associated with onboard training and how the safety of cadets is managed in the field. Descriptive and non-parametric statistics were used to analyze the data from 284 cadets from maritime universities and 41 shipping company employees in South Korea collected between March and July 2020. The results show that many cadets are not guaranteed enough rest time and the provision of personal protective equipment. In addition, some companies consider cadets to be crew members or temporary workers. To improve the training environment, recommendations include the evaluation of the ship’s environment to establish whether it is suitable for training, constant monitoring of whether the onboard training guidelines are maintained in the field, strengthening of preventive education on human rights violations, and expanding efforts continuously not only to physically improve the onboard training environment but systematically manage cadets as students. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Incidence and Intensity of Postendodontic Pain and Flareup in Single and Multiple Visit Root Canal Treatments: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by , , , , , , , , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3358; http://doi.org/10.3390/app11083358 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
To assess the incidence and intensity of postendodontic pain and flareup in single and multiple visit root canal treatment (RCT) and determine if the difference between the two is significant, a search of PubMed, Medline, Embase, Cochrane, Scopus and Web of science was [...] Read more.
To assess the incidence and intensity of postendodontic pain and flareup in single and multiple visit root canal treatment (RCT) and determine if the difference between the two is significant, a search of PubMed, Medline, Embase, Cochrane, Scopus and Web of science was conducted. The grey literature was searched using Google Scholar and Saudi digital library. Randomised controlled trials evaluating the incidence and intensity of postendodontic pain and flareup published in English from 1 January 2000 to 15 April 2020 were searched. The PRISMA protocol was followed to select the articles. A random effects model was used for the meta-analysis of the data in the included studies. Twenty-one articles were included in the review. Three compared both the incidence and the intensity, while the rest compared either one of the parameters. Most studies used both hand-driven and rotary instruments and irrigated with sodium hypochlorite. Twelve studies used an intracanal medicament. Although individual studies showed discordant treatment outcomes, the meta-analysis did not reveal any significant difference in the incidence or the intensity of the postendodontic flareup between the single and multiple visit RCT groups. Single or a multiple visit root canal treatment is not an independent determinant for the risk of postendodontic pain or a flareup. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Techniques in Endodontics)
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Open AccessArticle
Sea-Surface Characteristics of the Newfoundland Basin of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean during the Last 145,000 Years: A Study Based on the Sedimentological and Paleontological Proxies
by , , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3343; http://doi.org/10.3390/app11083343 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Dramatic changes occur in the sea-surface characteristics (i.e., temperature and salinity) and freshwater input due to the interaction of cold and fresh Labrador Current and warm and salty North Atlantic Current (NAC) on the southeast Grand Banks. As a result, the biological productivity [...] Read more.
Dramatic changes occur in the sea-surface characteristics (i.e., temperature and salinity) and freshwater input due to the interaction of cold and fresh Labrador Current and warm and salty North Atlantic Current (NAC) on the southeast Grand Banks. As a result, the biological productivity and seasonal stratification of the upper water masses are intensified. Such changes must have been more dramatic during the glacial times due to the penetration of the Polar and Arctic fronts and southward migration of the Gulf Stream/NAC. However, the extent to which such changes impacted the sea-surface characteristics in the Newfoundland Basin is poorly known. We report changes in the sea-surface characteristics using a piston core (Hu9007-08) collected from the Milne seamount during the last 145,000 years. Heinrich layers H1, H2, H4, and H5 and H11 within the MIS3 and at the penultimate deglaciation were identified by the ice-rafted detritus (IRD) and Neogloboquadrina pachyderma peaks and lighter oxygen isotopes. Rapid turnover by the foraminiferal species with distinct depth habitats and ecological niches in the mixed-layer and thermocline suggests an interplay between the polar and subpolar water masses during the Heinrich and non-Heinrich periods. Only two North Atlantic-wide cooling events, C24 and C21, in which the latter event linked to the minor IRD event during the marine isotope stage (MIS) 5 in Hu90-08, compared to the eight events in the eastern subpolar gyre (e.g., ODP site 984). Millennial-scale N. pachyderma variability in the western subpolar gyre appears to be absent in the eastern subpolar gyre during the MIS3 suggesting the occasional presence of salty and warm water by the NAC inflow, implying a different climate state between the western and eastern subpolar gyre. Although T. quinqueloba data are fragmentary, there are differences between the western and eastern subpolar gyre in addition to the differences within the western subpolar gyre during MIS5 that might imply a variable influence by the subpolar water. This finding suggests that the influence by the NAC outweighs the impact of cold and fresh polar water in the northern northwest Atlantic during the MIS5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paleoceanography: Latest Advances and Prospects)
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Open AccessArticle
Bryophyte Diversity along an Elevational Gradient on Pico Island (Azores, Portugal)
by , , , and
Diversity 2021, 13(4), 162; http://doi.org/10.3390/d13040162 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
The study of elevational patterns is a valuable method for inferring the influence of the climate and other variables in the regional distributions of species. Bryophytes are ideal for revealing different environmental patterns in elevational studies, since they occur from sea level to [...] Read more.
The study of elevational patterns is a valuable method for inferring the influence of the climate and other variables in the regional distributions of species. Bryophytes are ideal for revealing different environmental patterns in elevational studies, since they occur from sea level to above the tree line. Taking advantage of the long elevational transect of Pico Island and the use of standardized survey methods, our main aims were: (1) to identify and characterize the alpha and beta diversities of bryophytes across the full elevational gradient (12 sites of native vegetation, ranging from 10 to 2200 m above sea level [a.s.l.]); (2) to detect the ecological factors driving bryophyte composition; (3) to identify bryophytes’ substrate specificity; and (4) to check the presence of rare and endemic species. The identification of 878 microplots yielded 141 species (71 liverworts and 70 mosses), almost half of those known to occur on Pico Island. The bryophyte species richness followed a parabolic unimodal pattern with a mid-elevation peak, where the richest native forests occur. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the bryophyte composition and explanatory variables revealed the effect of the elevation, precipitation, disturbance, richness of vascular plants and bark pH in explaining bryophyte compositions at regional levels. Very few species of bryophytes showed substrate specificity. Pico Island’s elevational gradient could be an asset for studying long-term changes in bryophyte species composition and alpha diversity under global change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Diversity on Islands)
Open AccessArticle
Synergy between Low Earth Orbit (LEO)–MODIS and Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO)–GOES Sensors for Sargassum Monitoring in the Atlantic Ocean
by , , , , and
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(8), 1444; http://doi.org/10.3390/rs13081444 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Since 2011, massive stranding of the brown algae Sargassum has regularly affected the coastal waters of the West Caribbean, Brazil, and West Africa, leading to heavy environmental and socio-economic impacts. Ocean color remote sensing observations as performed by sun-synchronous satellite sensors such as [...] Read more.
Since 2011, massive stranding of the brown algae Sargassum has regularly affected the coastal waters of the West Caribbean, Brazil, and West Africa, leading to heavy environmental and socio-economic impacts. Ocean color remote sensing observations as performed by sun-synchronous satellite sensors such as MODIS (NASA), MERIS (ESA), or OLCI (ESA/Copernicus) are used to provide quantitative assessments of Sargassum coverage through the calculation of indices as the Alternative Floating Algae Index (AFAI). Sun-synchronous sensors usually provide at best one daytime observation per day of a given oceanic area. However, such a daily temporal revisit rate is not fully satisfactory to monitor the dynamics of Sargassum aggregation due to their potentially significant drift over the course of the day as a result of oceanic currents and sea surface wind stress. In addition, the sun glint and the presence of clouds limit the use of low earth orbit observations, especially in tropical zones. The high frequency sampling provided by geostationary sensors can be a relevant alternative approach in synergy with ocean color sun-synchronous sensors to increase the temporal resolution of the observations, thus allowing efficient monitoring of Sargassum dynamics. In this study, data acquired by a geostationary satellite sensor located at 36,000 km from Earth, namely GOES-16 (NASA/NOAA), which was primarily designed for meteorology applications, are analyzed to investigate the Sargassum dynamics. The results demonstrate that a GOES-16 hourly composite product is appropriate to identify Sargassum aggregations using an index commonly used for vegetation monitoring, namely NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index). It is also shown that GOES hourly observations can significantly improve the simulated drift obtained with a transport circulation model, which uses geostrophic current, wind, and waves. This study thus highlights the significant relevance of the effective synergy between sun-synchronous and geostationary satellite sensors for characterizing the Sargassum dynamics. Such a synergy could be summarized as follows: (i) A sun-synchronous sensor enables accurate Sargassum detection and quantitative estimates (e.g., fractional coverage) through AFAI Level-2 products while (ii) a geostationary sensor enables the determination of the displacement features of Sargassum aggregations (velocity, direction). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Remote Sensing)
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Open AccessReview
Natural Blues: Structure Meets Function in Anthocyanins
by , and
Plants 2021, 10(4), 726; http://doi.org/10.3390/plants10040726 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Choices of blue food colourants are extremely limited, with only two options in the USA, synthetic blue no. 1 and no. 2, and a third available in Europe, patent blue V. The food industry is investing heavily in finding naturally derived replacements, with [...] Read more.
Choices of blue food colourants are extremely limited, with only two options in the USA, synthetic blue no. 1 and no. 2, and a third available in Europe, patent blue V. The food industry is investing heavily in finding naturally derived replacements, with limited success to date. Here, we review the complex and multifold mechanisms whereby blue pigmentation by anthocyanins is achieved in nature. Our aim is to explain how structure determines the functionality of anthocyanin pigments, particularly their colour and their stability. Where possible, we describe the impact of progressive decorations on colour and stability, drawn from extensive but diverse physico-chemical studies. We also consider briefly how this understanding could be harnessed to develop blue food colourants on the basis of the understanding of how anthocyanins create blues in nature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Colours Omics and Biotechnological Advances)
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Open AccessArticle
Disproportionate Impacts of Wildfires among Elderly and Low-Income Communities in California from 2000–2020
by , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3921; http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083921 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Wildfires can be detrimental to urban and rural communities, causing impacts in the form of psychological stress, direct physical injury, and smoke-related morbidity and mortality. This study examined the area burned by wildfires over the entire state of California from the years 2000 [...] Read more.
Wildfires can be detrimental to urban and rural communities, causing impacts in the form of psychological stress, direct physical injury, and smoke-related morbidity and mortality. This study examined the area burned by wildfires over the entire state of California from the years 2000 to 2020 in order to quantify and identify whether burned area and fire frequency differed across Census tracts according to socioeconomic indicators over time. Wildfire data were obtained from the California Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) and National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), while demographic data were obtained from the American Community Survey. Results showed a doubling in the number of Census tracts that experienced major wildfires and a near doubling in the number of people residing in wildfire-impacted Census tracts, mostly due to an over 23,000 acre/year increase in the area burned by wildfires over the last two decades. Census tracts with a higher fire frequency and burned area had lower proportions of minority groups on average. However, when considering Native American populations, a greater proportion resided in highly impacted Census tracts. Such Census tracts also had higher proportions of older residents. In general, high-impact Census tracts tended to have higher proportions of low-income residents and lower proportions of high-income residents, as well as lower median household incomes and home values. These findings are important to policymakers and state agencies as it relates to environmental justice and the allocation of resources before, during, and after wildfires in the state of California. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A MCDM Methodology to Determine the Most Critical Variables in the Pressure Drop and Heat Transfer in Minichannels
by , , and
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2069; http://doi.org/10.3390/en14082069 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
This paper proposes a methodology aiming at determining the most influent working variables and geometrical parameters over the pressure drop and heat transfer during the condensation process of several refrigerant gases using heat exchangers with pipes mini channels technology. A multi-criteria decision making [...] Read more.
This paper proposes a methodology aiming at determining the most influent working variables and geometrical parameters over the pressure drop and heat transfer during the condensation process of several refrigerant gases using heat exchangers with pipes mini channels technology. A multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methodology was used; this MCDM includes a mathematical method called SIMUS (Sequential Interactive Modelling for Urban Systems) that was applied to the results of 2543 tests obtained by using a designed refrigeration rig in which five different refrigerants (R32, R134a, R290, R410A and R1234yf) and two different tube geometries were tested. This methodology allows us to reduce the computational cost compared to the use of neural networks or other model development systems. This research shows six variables out of 39 that better define simultaneously the minimum pressure drop, as well as the maximum heat transfer, saturation pressure fluid entering the condenser being the most important one. Another aim of this research was to highlight a new methodology based on operation research for their application to improve the heat transfer energy efficiency and reduce the CO2 footprint derived of the use of heat exchangers with minichannels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Modelling of Thermal and Energy Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Right Ventricular Global and Regional Remodeling in American-Style Football Athletes: A Longitudinal 3D Echocardiographic Study
by , , , , , , , , , , and
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3357; http://doi.org/10.3390/app11083357 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Few data exist concerning the right ventricular (RV) physiological adaptation in American-style football (ASF) athletes. We aimed to analyze the RV global and regional responses among ASF-trained athletes. Fifty-nine (20 linemen and 39 non-linemen) ASF athletes were studied before and after inter-seasonal training. [...] Read more.
Few data exist concerning the right ventricular (RV) physiological adaptation in American-style football (ASF) athletes. We aimed to analyze the RV global and regional responses among ASF-trained athletes. Fifty-nine (20 linemen and 39 non-linemen) ASF athletes were studied before and after inter-seasonal training. During this period, which lasted 7 months, all athletes were exposed to combined dynamic and static exercises. Cardiac longitudinal changes were examined using three-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography. A computational method based on geodesic distances was applied to volumetrically parcellate the RV into apical, outlet, and inlet regions. RV global and regional end-diastolic volumes increased significantly and similarly in linemen and non-linemen after training, with predominant changes in the apex and outlet regions. RV global and regional ejection fractions were preserved. Morphological changes were uniformly distributed among the four cardiac chambers, and it was independent of the field position. Assessment of RV end-diastolic global, inlet and apical volumes showed low intra-observer (3.3%, 4.1%, and 5.3%, respectively) and inter-observer (7%, 12.2%, and 9%, respectively) variability, whereas the outlet regional volumetric assessment was less reproducible. To conclude, ASF inter-seasonal training was associated with a proportionate biventricular enlargement, regardless of the field position. Regional RV analysis allowed us to quantify the amount of exercise-induced remodeling that was larger in the apical and outlet regions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Questionnaire-Based Survey to Assess the Level of Knowledge and Awareness about Drug–Food Interactions among General Public in Western Saudi Arabia
by , , , , , and
Pharmacy 2021, 9(2), 76; http://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy9020076 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
Introduction: Various drug–food interactions exist that may hinder treatment and can sometimes be lethal. Our aim was to assess the level of public knowledge and awareness in Jeddah city, Western Saudi Arabia, about drug–food interactions, along with the effects of demographics on their [...] Read more.
Introduction: Various drug–food interactions exist that may hinder treatment and can sometimes be lethal. Our aim was to assess the level of public knowledge and awareness in Jeddah city, Western Saudi Arabia, about drug–food interactions, along with the effects of demographics on their knowledge. Methods: A survey questionnaire was administered in this cross-sectional study to participants spread across multiple locations in Jeddah, including in malls and public gatherings. Participants included both males and females. Sample size was calculated through Raosoft® software. Data analysis was executed using IBM Statistic SPSS and the level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. Results: A total of 410 people participated in the study and only 92.68% (380) of responses were enrolled in the study; 7.32% (30) were not enrolled due to the exclusion criteria. Surprisingly, only six out of eighteen questions regarding drug–food interactions in the administered questionnaire were correctly answered by 380 participants. Data indicated that the participants had a poor to intermediate level of both knowledge and awareness with respect to drug–food interactions. Furthermore, participants showed moderate to strong awareness of the effects of alcohol and tea generally, and their interaction with medication. Conclusion: Participants in our study showed inadequate knowledge of basic and fundamental information about drug–food interactions, which highlights the dire need to increase awareness. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Combining a Genetic Algorithm and a Fuzzy System to Optimize User Centricity in Autonomous Vehicle Concept Development
by , , and
Systems 2021, 9(2), 25; http://doi.org/10.3390/systems9020025 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
The megatrends of individualization and sharing will dramatically change our consumer behavior. The needs of a product’s users will be central input for its development. Current development processes are not suitable for this product development; thus, we propose a combination of a genetic [...] Read more.
The megatrends of individualization and sharing will dramatically change our consumer behavior. The needs of a product’s users will be central input for its development. Current development processes are not suitable for this product development; thus, we propose a combination of a genetic algorithm and a fuzzy system for user-centered development. We execute our new methodological approach on the example of autonomous vehicle concepts to demonstrate its implementation and functionality. The genetic algorithm minimizes the required number of vehicle concepts to satisfy the mobility needs of a user group, and the fuzzy system transfers user needs into vehicle-related properties, which are currently input for vehicle concept development. To present this method, we use a typical family and their potential mobility behavior. Our method optimizes their minimal number of vehicle concepts to satisfy all mobility needs and derives the properties of the vehicle concepts. By integrating our method into the entire vehicle concept development process, autonomous vehicles can be designed user-centered in the context of the megatrends of individualization and sharing. In summary, our method enables us to derive an optimized number of products for qualitatively described, heterogeneous user needs and determine their product-related properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Proteomic Characterization of Bacteriophage Peptides from the Mastitis Producer Staphylococcus aureus by LC-ESI-MS/MS and the Bacteriophage Phylogenomic Analysis
by , , , , , , and
Foods 2021, 10(4), 799; http://doi.org/10.3390/foods10040799 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
The present work describes LC-ESI-MS/MS MS (liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry) analyses of tryptic digestion peptides from phages that infect mastitis-causing Staphylococcus aureus isolated from dairy products. A total of 1933 nonredundant peptides belonging to 1282 proteins were identified and analyzed. Among them, [...] Read more.
The present work describes LC-ESI-MS/MS MS (liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry) analyses of tryptic digestion peptides from phages that infect mastitis-causing Staphylococcus aureus isolated from dairy products. A total of 1933 nonredundant peptides belonging to 1282 proteins were identified and analyzed. Among them, 79 staphylococcal peptides from phages were confirmed. These peptides belong to proteins such as phage repressors, structural phage proteins, uncharacterized phage proteins and complement inhibitors. Moreover, eighteen of the phage origin peptides found were specific to S. aureus strains. These diagnostic peptides could be useful for the identification and characterization of S. aureus strains that cause mastitis. Furthermore, a study of bacteriophage phylogeny and the relationship among the identified phage peptides and the bacteria they infect was also performed. The results show the specific peptides that are present in closely related phages and the existing links between bacteriophage phylogeny and the respective Staphylococcus spp. infected. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Influence of the Urban Environment on Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focus on Air Pollution and Migration—A Narrative Review
by , , , , , and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3920; http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18083920 (registering DOI) - 08 Apr 2021
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a crisis worldwide, due to both its public health impact and socio-economic consequences. Mental health was consistently affected by the pandemic, with the emergence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders and the exacerbation of pre-existing ones. Urban [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused a crisis worldwide, due to both its public health impact and socio-economic consequences. Mental health was consistently affected by the pandemic, with the emergence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders and the exacerbation of pre-existing ones. Urban areas were particularly affected by the virus spread. In this review, we analyze how the urban environment may influence mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, considering two factors that profoundly characterize urbanization: air pollution and migration. Air pollution serves as a possibly risk factor for higher viral spread and infection severity in the context of urban areas and it has also been demonstrated to play a role in the development of serious mental illnesses and their relapses. The urban environment also represents a complex social context where minorities such as migrants may live in poor hygienic conditions and lack access to adequate mental health care. A global rethinking of the urban environment is thus required to reduce the impact of these factors on mental health. This should include actions aimed at reducing air pollution and combating climate change, promoting at the same time a more inclusive society in a sustainable development perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health in the Time of COVID-19)

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