Latest Articles

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Increasing Maize Densities on Agronomic Performances and the Community Stability of Productivity of Maize/Peanut Intercropping Systems
Agronomy 2019, 9(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9030150 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Rational crop community structure plays an important role in maximizing the intercropping yield advantage. Effects of increasing maize densities in maize (Zea mays L.)/peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping on yields and other agronomic traits, and the community stability of productivity were [...] Read more.
Rational crop community structure plays an important role in maximizing the intercropping yield advantage. Effects of increasing maize densities in maize (Zea mays L.)/peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) intercropping on yields and other agronomic traits, and the community stability of productivity were conducted across three different experimental sites. There were significant and positive correlations between maize densities and both maize grain/biomass yields and corresponding partial land equivalent ratios (LERs) across all three locations; but grain/biomass yields and partial LERs of peanut were all negatively correlated with maize densities in each or across all locations. LERs of grain yields averaged over three locations ranged from 0.89 to 0.98, while LERs of biomass yields ranged from 0.94 to 1.09 (>1.0 except for the maize inter-plant distance of 27 cm), indicating the intercropping advantage on biomass yields but not grain yields. Peanut had significantly lower kernel harvest indexes than those in monoculture. Excessive narrowing maize inter-plant distances reduced the community stability of productivity severely (especially for maize and total LERs) and are more likely to lead to abnormal maize and peanut plants. Therefore, a rational increase of maize densities in intercropping is suggested to keep the balance between maize and peanut and the comprehensive yield advantage. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessArticle
Identification of Targetable Lesions in Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer by Genome Profiling
Cancers 2019, 11(3), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11030402 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare and extremely malignant tumor with no available cure. The genetic landscape of this malignancy has not yet been fully explored. In this study, we performed whole exome sequencing and the RNA-sequencing of fourteen cases of ATC [...] Read more.
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare and extremely malignant tumor with no available cure. The genetic landscape of this malignancy has not yet been fully explored. In this study, we performed whole exome sequencing and the RNA-sequencing of fourteen cases of ATC to delineate copy number changes, fusion gene events, and somatic mutations. A high frequency of genomic amplifications was seen, including 29% of cases having amplification of CCNE1 and 9% of CDK6; these events may be targetable by cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) inhibition. Furthermore, 9% harbored amplification of TWIST1, which is also a potentially targetable lesion. A total of 21 fusion genes in five cases were seen, none of which were recurrent. Frequent mutations included TP53 (55%), the TERT promoter (36%), and ATM (27%). Analyses of mutational signatures showed an involvement of processes that are associated with normal aging, defective DNA mismatch repair, activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID)/apolipoprotein B editing complex (APOBEC) activity, failure of DNA double-strand break repair, and tobacco exposure. Taken together, our results shed new light on the tumorigenesis of ATC and show that a relatively large proportion (36%) of ATCs harbor genetic events that make them candidates for novel therapeutic approaches. When considering that ATC today has a mortality rate of close to 100%, this is highly relevant from a clinical perspective. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessReview
The Clinical Features, Pathogenesis and Methotrexate Therapy of Chronic Chikungunya Arthritis
Viruses 2019, 11(3), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11030289 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is an emerging viral infection that has spread widely, along with its Aedes vectors, throughout the tropics and beyond, causing explosive epidemics of acute illness and persistent disabling arthritis. The rheumatic symptoms associated with chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection include polyarthralgia, [...] Read more.
Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is an emerging viral infection that has spread widely, along with its Aedes vectors, throughout the tropics and beyond, causing explosive epidemics of acute illness and persistent disabling arthritis. The rheumatic symptoms associated with chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection include polyarthralgia, polyarthritis, morning stiffness, joint edema, and erythema. Chronic CHIK arthritis (CCA) often causes severe pain and associated disability. The pathogenesis of CCA is not well understood. Proposed hypotheses include the persistence of a low level of replicating virus in the joints, the persistence of viral RNA in the synovium, and the induction of autoimmunity. In this review, we describe the main hypotheses of CCA pathogenesis, some of which support methotrexate (MTX) treatment which has been shown to be effective in preliminary studies in CCA. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessAbstract
Postprandial Metabolic Responses When Manipulating Timing and Composition of a Meal
Proceedings 2019, 8(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019008056 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Background: Controlling postprandial glycaemia helps to prevent and manage
non-communicable diseases. One strategy in controlling glycaemia may be to consume meals in two
parts; a preload, followed by the remainder of the meal [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Combination of Global Features for the Automatic Quality Assessment of Retinal Images
Entropy 2019, 21(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/e21030311 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common causes of visual loss in developed countries. Computer-aided diagnosis systems aimed at detecting DR can reduce the workload of ophthalmologists in screening programs. Nevertheless, a large number of retinal images cannot be analyzed by [...] Read more.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common causes of visual loss in developed countries. Computer-aided diagnosis systems aimed at detecting DR can reduce the workload of ophthalmologists in screening programs. Nevertheless, a large number of retinal images cannot be analyzed by physicians and automatic methods due to poor quality. Automatic retinal image quality assessment (RIQA) is needed before image analysis. The purpose of this study was to combine novel generic quality features to develop a RIQA method. Several features were calculated from retinal images to achieve this goal. Features derived from the spatial and spectral entropy-based quality (SSEQ) and the natural images quality evaluator (NIQE) methods were extracted. They were combined with novel sharpness and luminosity measures based on the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) and the hue saturation value (HSV) color model, respectively. A subset of non-redundant features was selected using the fast correlation-based filter (FCBF) method. Subsequently, a multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural network was used to obtain the quality of images from the selected features. Classification results achieved 91.46% accuracy, 92.04% sensitivity, and 87.92% specificity. Results suggest that the proposed RIQA method could be applied in a more general computer-aided diagnosis system aimed at detecting a variety of retinal pathologies such as DR and age-related macular degeneration. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessArticle
Antiviral Activity of Uridine Derivatives of 2-Deoxy Sugars against Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus
Molecules 2019, 24(6), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24061129 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), one of the most important human infections involving the central nervous system. Although effective vaccines are available on the market, they are recommended only in endemic areas. Despite many attempts, there [...] Read more.
Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a causative agent of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), one of the most important human infections involving the central nervous system. Although effective vaccines are available on the market, they are recommended only in endemic areas. Despite many attempts, there are still no specific antiviral therapies for TBEV treatment. Previously, we synthesized a series of uridine derivatives of 2-deoxy sugars and proved that some compounds show antiviral activity against viruses from the Flaviviridae and Orthomyxoviridae families targeting the late steps of the N-glycosylation process, affecting the maturation of viral proteins. In this study, we evaluated a series of uridine derivatives of 2-deoxy sugars for their antiviral properties against two strains of the tick-borne encephalitis virus; the highly virulent TBEV strain Hypr and the less virulent strain Neudoerfl. Four compounds (2, 4, 10, and 11) showed significant anti-TBEV activity with IC50 values ranging from 1.4 to 10.2 µM and low cytotoxicity. The obtained results indicate that glycosylation inhibitors, which may interact with glycosylated membrane TBEV E and prM proteins, might be promising candidates for future antiviral therapies against TBEV. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessArticle
A New Fuzzy Multiple Attribute Decision Making Method Based on the Utility Transformation Functions
Symmetry 2019, 11(3), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym11030418 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The 2-tuple linguistic information model (2TLIM) is a useful tool to avoid the loss of information, which has been widely adapted in the study of the multiple attribute decision making (MADM) problem. However, there is a limitation, the limitation is that the difference [...] Read more.
The 2-tuple linguistic information model (2TLIM) is a useful tool to avoid the loss of information, which has been widely adapted in the study of the multiple attribute decision making (MADM) problem. However, there is a limitation, the limitation is that the difference between the neighboring 2-tuple linguistic information is fixed regardless of the decision-makers’ attitude. In this paper, we define the utility transformation functions based on the 2-tuple linguistic utility to overcome the drawback. Firstly, by introducing the economic utility theory, the 2-tuple linguistic utility is defined, the 2-tuple linguistic utility parameter (2TLUP) and the 2-tuple linguistic marginal utility (2TLMU) are constructed to achieve the measurement of the decision-makers’ attitude. The utility transformation functions are developed on the decision-makers’ attitude. Secondly, the 2-tuple linguistic operational laws are presented with the extended Hamacher T-norm (TN) and T-conorm (TC). Subsequently, we propose the 2-tuple linguistic utility weighted average (2TLUWA) operator and the method of MADM. Lastly, the application and the comparison with the existing methods are summarized to verify the practicality and advantages of the proposed method of MADM. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessReview
Ayres Theories of Autism and Sensory Integration Revisited: What Contemporary Neuroscience Has to Say
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci9030068 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Abnormal sensory-based behaviors are a defining feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dr. A. Jean Ayres was the first occupational therapist to conceptualize Sensory Integration (SI) theories and therapies to address these deficits. Her work was based on neurological knowledge of the 1970’s. [...] Read more.
Abnormal sensory-based behaviors are a defining feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Dr. A. Jean Ayres was the first occupational therapist to conceptualize Sensory Integration (SI) theories and therapies to address these deficits. Her work was based on neurological knowledge of the 1970’s. Since then, advancements in neuroimaging techniques make it possible to better understand the brain areas that may underlie sensory processing deficits in ASD. In this article, we explore the postulates proposed by Ayres (i.e., registration, modulation, motivation) through current neuroimaging literature. To this end, we review the neural underpinnings of sensory processing and integration in ASD by examining the literature on neurophysiological responses to sensory stimuli in individuals with ASD as well as structural and network organization using a variety of neuroimaging techniques. Many aspects of Ayres’ hypotheses about the nature of the disorder were found to be highly consistent with current literature on sensory processing in children with ASD but there are some discrepancies across various methodological techniques and ASD development. With additional characterization, neurophysiological profiles of sensory processing in ASD may serve as valuable biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of therapeutic interventions, such as SI therapy. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessArticle
Food Safety Satisfaction in China and Its Influencing Factors: Empirical Study with a Hierarchical Linear Model
Safety 2019, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5010017 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Food safety is one of the residents’ initial demands in daily life, and the negative perception of food safety potentially leads to public panic and dissatisfaction with government performance. Existing literature only focused on certain regions in China by using different indicators, and [...] Read more.
Food safety is one of the residents’ initial demands in daily life, and the negative perception of food safety potentially leads to public panic and dissatisfaction with government performance. Existing literature only focused on certain regions in China by using different indicators, and their results varied and lacked comparability. This paper explores influencing factors of the public’s satisfaction with food safety by conducting a nationwide survey in China. Factors cover several demographic variables while considering the nature of governments to reveal the difference among provinces. The results show that demographic factors such as gender, age, type of residence, education, and census register are positively correlated with food safety satisfaction, while annual income is not significant. Evaluation of government regulation efforts has a positive correlation with food safety satisfaction. People with higher trust in the government show higher satisfaction with the food safety situation. On the province level, per capita GDP, per capita food safety fiscal expenditure, and food safety fiscal expenditure level are positively correlated with food safety satisfaction. The empirical findings are helpful for government regulations; we thereby discuss our analytical results and suggest some governmental policies. Full article
Open AccessReview
Mucormycosis in Burn Patients
J. Fungi 2019, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof5010025 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Patients with extensive burns are an important group at risk for cutaneous mucormycosis. This study aimed to perform a systematic review of all reported mucormycosis cases in burn patients from 1990 onward. A Medline search yielded identification of 7 case series, 3 outbreaks, [...] Read more.
Patients with extensive burns are an important group at risk for cutaneous mucormycosis. This study aimed to perform a systematic review of all reported mucormycosis cases in burn patients from 1990 onward. A Medline search yielded identification of 7 case series, 3 outbreaks, and 25 individual cases reports. The prevalence reached 0.04%–0.6%. The median age was 42–48 in the case series and outbreaks, except for the studies from military centers (23.5–32.5) and in individual reports (29.5). The median total body surface area reached 42.5%–65%. Various skin lesions were described, none being pathognomonic: the diagnosis was mainly reached because of extensive necrotic lesions sometimes associated with sepsis. Most patients were treated with systemic amphotericin B or liposomal amphotericin B, and all underwent debridement and/or amputation. Mortality reached 33%–100% in the case series, 29%–62% during outbreaks, and 40% in individual cases. Most patients were diagnosed using histopathology and/or culture. Mucorales qPCR showed detection of circulating DNA 2–24 days before the standard diagnosis. Species included the main clinically relevant mucorales (i.e., Mucor, Rhizopus, Absidia/Lichtheimia, Rhizomucor) but also more uncommon mucorales such as Saksenaea or Apophysomyces. Contact with soil was reported in most individual cases. Bandages were identified as the source of contamination in two nosocomial outbreaks. Full article
Open AccessCase Report
Improving Urban Runoff in Multi-Basin Hydrological Simulation by the HYPE Model Using EEA Urban Atlas: A Case Study in the Sege River Basin, Sweden
Hydrology 2019, 6(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6010028 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, the high-resolution polygonal land cover data of EEA Urban Atlas was applied for land-use characterization in the dynamic multi-basin hydrological model, HYPE. The objective of the study was to compare this dedicated urban land cover data in semi-distributed hydrological modelling [...] Read more.
In this study, the high-resolution polygonal land cover data of EEA Urban Atlas was applied for land-use characterization in the dynamic multi-basin hydrological model, HYPE. The objective of the study was to compare this dedicated urban land cover data in semi-distributed hydrological modelling with the widely used but less detailed EEA CORINE. The model was set up for a basin including a small town named Svedala in southern Sweden. In order to verify the ability of the HYPE model to reproduce the observed flow rate, the simulated flow rate was evaluated based on river flow time series, statistical indicators and flow duration curves. Flow rate simulated by the model based on Urban Atlas generally agreed better with observations of summer storm events than the CORINE-based model, especially when the daily rainfall amount was 10 mm/day or more, or the flow exceedance probability was 0.02 to 0.5. It suggests that the added value of the Urban Atlas model is higher for heavy-to-medium storm events dominated by direct runoff. To conclude, the effectiveness of the proposed approach, which aims at improving the accuracy of hydrological simulations in urbanized basins, was supported. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Accelerating Biologics Manufacturing by Upstream Process Modelling
Processes 2019, 7(3), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7030166 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Intensified and accelerated development processes are being demanded by the market, as innovative biopharmaceuticals such as virus-like particles, exosomes, cell and gene therapy, as well as recombinant proteins and peptides will possess no available platform approach. Therefore, methods that are able to accelerate [...] Read more.
Intensified and accelerated development processes are being demanded by the market, as innovative biopharmaceuticals such as virus-like particles, exosomes, cell and gene therapy, as well as recombinant proteins and peptides will possess no available platform approach. Therefore, methods that are able to accelerate this development are preferred. Especially, physicochemical rigorous process models, based on all relevant effects of fluid dynamics, phase equilibrium, and mass transfer, can be predictive, if the model is verified and distinctly quantitatively validated. In this approach, a macroscopic kinetic model based on Monod kinetics for mammalian cell cultivation is developed and verified according to a general valid model validation workflow. The macroscopic model is verified and validated on the basis of four decision criteria (plausibility, sensitivity, accuracy and precision as well as equality). The process model workflow is subjected to a case study, comprising a Chinese hamster ovary fed-batch cultivation for the production of a monoclonal antibody. By performing the workflow, it was found that, based on design of experiments and Monte Carlo simulation, the maximum growth rate µmax exhibited the greatest influence on model variables such as viable cell concentration XV and product concentration. In addition, partial least squares regressions statistically evaluate the correlations between a higher µmax and a higher cell and product concentration, as well as a higher substrate consumption. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">

Institutional Open Access Program (IOAP)

IOAP participants benefit from discounts and convenient payment options.

Feedback

We are keen to hear what you think about MDPI. To leave us your feedback, suggestions or questions please click here.

See what our authors and guest editors say about us.

About MDPI

MDPI.com is a platform for peer-reviewed, scientific open-access journals operated by MDPI, based in Basel, Switzerland. Additional offices are located in Beijing and Wuhan (China) as well as in Barcelona (Spain).

Back to Top