Advancing Open Science
for more than 25 years
Supporting academic communities
since 1996
 
13 pages, 5297 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Hydrophobic Au Catalyst and Application in One-Step Oxidative Esterification of Methacrolein to Methyl Methacrylate
by Yanxia Zheng, Yubo Yang, Yixuan Li, Lu Cai, Xuanjiao Zhao, Bing Xue, Yuchao Li, Jiutao An and Jialiang Zhang
Molecules 2024, 29(8), 1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules29081854 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
The water produced during the oxidative esterification reaction occupies the active sites and reduces the activity of the catalyst. In order to reduce the influence of water on the reaction system, a hydrophobic catalyst was prepared for the one-step oxidative esterification of methylacrolein [...] Read more.
The water produced during the oxidative esterification reaction occupies the active sites and reduces the activity of the catalyst. In order to reduce the influence of water on the reaction system, a hydrophobic catalyst was prepared for the one-step oxidative esterification of methylacrolein (MAL) and methanol. The catalyst was synthesized by loading the active component Au onto ZnO using the deposition–precipitation method, followed by constructing the silicon shell on Au/ZnO using tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) to introduce hydrophobic groups. Trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS) was used as a hydrophobic modification reagent to prepare hydrophobic catalysts, which exhibited a water droplet contact angle of 111.2°. At a temperature of 80 °C, the hydrophobic catalyst achieved a high MMA selectivity of over 95%. The samples were characterized using XRD, N2 adsorption, ICP, SEM, TEM, UV-vis, FT-IR, XPS, and water droplet contact angle measurements. Kinetic analysis revealed an activation energy of 22.44 kJ/mol for the hydrophobic catalyst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design, Synthesis and Application of Heterogeneous Catalysts)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
19 pages, 6789 KiB  
Article
Complete Neuron Reconstruction Based on Branch Confidence
by Ying Zeng and Yimin Wang
Brain Sci. 2024, 14(4), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci14040396 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
In the past few years, significant advancements in microscopic imaging technology have led to the production of numerous high-resolution images capturing brain neurons at the micrometer scale. The reconstructed structure of neurons from neuronal images can serve as a valuable reference for research [...] Read more.
In the past few years, significant advancements in microscopic imaging technology have led to the production of numerous high-resolution images capturing brain neurons at the micrometer scale. The reconstructed structure of neurons from neuronal images can serve as a valuable reference for research in brain diseases and neuroscience. Currently, there lacks an accurate and efficient method for neuron reconstruction. Manual reconstruction remains the primary approach, offering high accuracy but requiring significant time investment. While some automatic reconstruction methods are faster, they often sacrifice accuracy and cannot be directly relied upon. Therefore, the primary goal of this paper is to develop a neuron reconstruction tool that is both efficient and accurate. The tool aids users in reconstructing complete neurons by calculating the confidence of branches during the reconstruction process. The method models the neuron reconstruction as multiple Markov chains, and calculates the confidence of the connections between branches by simulating the reconstruction artifacts in the results. Users iteratively modify low-confidence branches to ensure precise and efficient neuron reconstruction. Experiments on both the publicly accessible BigNeuron dataset and a self-created Whole-Brain dataset demonstrate that the tool achieves high accuracy similar to manual reconstruction, while significantly reducing reconstruction time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Computational Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
6 pages, 1193 KiB  
Editorial
CDK Inhibitors and FDA: Approved and Orphan
by Jonas Cicenas and Jokubas Simkus
Cancers 2024, 16(8), 1555; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers16081555 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
The protein kinases are a large family of enzymes which catalyze protein phosphorylation at certain amino acids [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Kinases in Cancer and Other Diseases, 2nd Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">
12 pages, 1845 KiB  
Article
Multi-Omics Integration for Liver Cancer Using Regression Analysis
by Aditya Raj, Ruben C. Petreaca and Golrokh Mirzaei
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(4), 3551-3562; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46040222 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
Genetic biomarkers have played a pivotal role in the classification, prognostication, and guidance of clinical cancer therapies. Large-scale and multi-dimensional analyses of entire cancer genomes, as exemplified by projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), have yielded an extensive repository of data that [...] Read more.
Genetic biomarkers have played a pivotal role in the classification, prognostication, and guidance of clinical cancer therapies. Large-scale and multi-dimensional analyses of entire cancer genomes, as exemplified by projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), have yielded an extensive repository of data that holds the potential to unveil the underlying biology of these malignancies. Mutations stand out as the principal catalysts of cellular transformation. Nonetheless, other global genomic processes, such as alterations in gene expression and chromosomal re-arrangements, also play crucial roles in conferring cellular immortality. The incorporation of multi-omics data specific to cancer has demonstrated the capacity to enhance our comprehension of the molecular mechanisms underpinning carcinogenesis. This report elucidates how the integration of comprehensive data on methylation, gene expression, and copy number variations can effectively facilitate the unsupervised clustering of cancer samples. We have identified regressors that can effectively classify tumor and normal samples with an optimal integration of RNA sequencing, DNA methylation, and copy number variation while also achieving significant p-values. Further, these regressors were trained using linear and logistic regression with k-means clustering. For comparison, we employed autoencoder- and stacking-based omics integration and computed silhouette scores to evaluate the clusters. The proof of concept is illustrated using liver cancer data. Our analysis serves to underscore the feasibility of unsupervised cancer classification by considering genetic markers beyond mutations, thereby emphasizing the clinical relevance of additional global cellular parameters that contribute to the transformative process in cells. This work is clinically relevant because changes in gene expression and genomic re-arrangements have been shown to be signatures of cellular transformation across cancers, as well as in liver cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bioinformatics and Systems Biology)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
18 pages, 11996 KiB  
Article
Ultrarobust Actuator Comprising High-Strength Carbon Fibers and Commercially Available Polycarbonate with Multi-Stimulus Responses and Programmable Deformation
by Jie Sheng, Shengkun Jiang, Tie Geng, Zhengqiang Huang, Jiquan Li and Lin Jiang
Polymers 2024, 16(8), 1144; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym16081144 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
Polymer-based actuators have gained extensive attention owing to their potential applications in aerospace, soft robotics, etc. However, poor mechanical properties, the inability of multi-stimuli response and programmable deformation, and the costly fabrication procedure have significantly hindered their practical application. Herein, these issues are [...] Read more.
Polymer-based actuators have gained extensive attention owing to their potential applications in aerospace, soft robotics, etc. However, poor mechanical properties, the inability of multi-stimuli response and programmable deformation, and the costly fabrication procedure have significantly hindered their practical application. Herein, these issues are overcome via a simple and scalable one-step molding method. The actuator is fabricated by hot-pressing commercial unidirectional carbon fiber/epoxy prepregs with a commodity PC membrane. Notable CTE differences between the CF and PC layers endow the bilayer actuator with fast and reliable actuation deformation. Benefiting from the high strength of CF, the actuator exhibits excellent mechanical performance. Moreover, the anisotropy of CF endows the actuator with design flexibility. Furthermore, the multifunction of CF makes the actuator capable of responding to thermal, optical, and electrical stimulation simultaneously. Based on the bilayer actuator, we successfully fabricated intelligent devices such as light-driven biomimetic flowers, intelligent grippers, and gesture-simulating apparatuses, which further validate the programmability and multi-stimuli response characteristics of this actuator. Strikingly, the prepared gripper possesses a grasping capacity approximately 31.2 times its own weight. It is thus believed that the concept presented paves the way for building next-generation robust robotics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Smart and Functional Polymers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
22 pages, 3736 KiB  
Article
Sexually Transmitted Infections in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Cross Section of Public Health
by Nunzia Cannovo, Elena Bianchini, Luciana Gironacci, Elisabetta Garbati, Filiberto Di Prospero, Mariano Cingolani, Roberto Scendoni and Piergiorgio Fedeli
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21040501 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
Introduction. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be caused by a number of microorganisms that vary greatly in size, life cycle, clinical manifestations, and sensitivity to available treatments. Transmission of STIs can occur during unprotected (or condomless) sexual contact and through the exchange of [...] Read more.
Introduction. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be caused by a number of microorganisms that vary greatly in size, life cycle, clinical manifestations, and sensitivity to available treatments. Transmission of STIs can occur during unprotected (or condomless) sexual contact and through the exchange of body fluids during any type of activity. The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases remains high in the world, despite diagnostic and therapeutic improvements for these infectious diseases that rapidly eliminate the contagiousness of patients. Our study determines the prevalence of STI pathogens in adolescents and young adults in the population of the Province of Macerata (Italy). We will analyze data in correspondence to age and gender, and we will compare our results to international studies. Materials and Method. We analyzed STI test results from the entire database of a Provincial Health Authority for the period 2021–2022. The samples came from the following age groups: 0–12, 13–18, 19–25, and 26–35 from 2021 to 2022. The results came from vaginal and cervical swabs (for females); urethral, rectal, and pharyngeal swabs (for males and females); and seminal fluid (for males) for the following infections: HPV, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma genitalium, Ureaplasmas, Gardnerella, Trichomonas vaginalis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Treponema pallidum. The results also came from blood tests for HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and Treponema pallidum (TPHA, VDRL). In addition, we examined results from urine tests for chlamydia, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, trichomonas, and Treponema pallidum. Conclusions. The literature for other countries reports the need for comprehensive, culturally and developmentally sensitive care to address sexuality-related issues in adolescents and young adults, a need that also applies to Italy. These data will be of great importance in adopting evidence-based STI control programs in Marche Region. This study could, indeed, represent a landmark for public health officials and professionals, with the aim of promoting adolescents’ access to sexual health services to receive useful information, strengthening preventive measures in younger age groups, and designing sexual education programs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
6 pages, 159 KiB  
Editorial
Two Types of Philosophy of Religion: Neutral Cognition versus Lived Experience
by Joseph Rivera
Religions 2024, 15(4), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040503 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
As a discipline taught and debated in universities and seminaries, philosophy of religion has traditionally been understood as a form of apologetics: that is, it pursues with concentrated effort what proof for the existence of God the human mind can mobilize with recourse [...] Read more.
As a discipline taught and debated in universities and seminaries, philosophy of religion has traditionally been understood as a form of apologetics: that is, it pursues with concentrated effort what proof for the existence of God the human mind can mobilize with recourse strictly to reason and logic [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What Is Philosophy of Religion? Definitions, Motifs, New Directions)
17 pages, 5561 KiB  
Article
Anatomical and Morphological Structure of the Skull of a Juvenile Specimen of Myotis myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae)
by Grzegorz K?ys and El?bieta Koenig
Animals 2024, 14(8), 1225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14081225 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
Few studies analyze the morphology and anatomy of the bat skull, and most of them are incomplete. Some of the difficulties stem from the fact that, in the representatives of the order Chiroptera, the interosseous sutures disappear by fusing together before active flight [...] Read more.
Few studies analyze the morphology and anatomy of the bat skull, and most of them are incomplete. Some of the difficulties stem from the fact that, in the representatives of the order Chiroptera, the interosseous sutures disappear by fusing together before active flight begins, which takes place over only a few months. This study presents a detailed morphological and anatomical description of the skull of a juvenile specimen of Myotis myotis (Borkhausen, 1797). Juvenile skulls are difficult to preserve and often incomplete. Previously inconsistent terminology related to bones, sutures, and other cranial structures was unified, which will provide insight on the distribution of each structure in both juvenile and adult specimens to be investigated. The description fill in the gaps in knowledge about the cranial structures of Myotis myotis and the representatives of the family Vespertilionidae. This will allow for precise descriptions of the skulls of bats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mammals)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
11 pages, 382 KiB  
Article
Higher Prevalence of the Periodontal Pathogen Selenomonas noxia among Pediatric and Adult Patients May Be Associated with Overweight and Obesity
by Austin Williams, Jace Porter, Karl Kingsley and Katherine M. Howard
Pathogens 2024, 13(4), 338; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens13040338 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
New evidence has suggested that oral and gut microflora may have significant impacts on the predisposition, development, and stability of obesity in adults over time—although less is known about this phenomenon in children. Compared with healthy-weight controls, overweight and obese adult patients are [...] Read more.
New evidence has suggested that oral and gut microflora may have significant impacts on the predisposition, development, and stability of obesity in adults over time—although less is known about this phenomenon in children. Compared with healthy-weight controls, overweight and obese adult patients are now known to harbor specific pathogens, such as Selenomonas noxia (S. noxia), that are capable of digesting normally non-digestible cellulose and fibers that significantly increase caloric extraction from normal dietary intake. To evaluate this phenomenon, clinical saliva samples (N = 122) from subjects with a normal BMI (18–25) and a BMI over 25 (overweight, obese) from an existing biorepository were screened using qPCR. The prevalence of S. noxia in samples from normal-BMI participants were lower (21.4%) than in overweight-BMI (25–29; 46.1%) and obese-BMI (30 and above; 36.8%) samples—a strong, positive correlation that was not significantly affected by age or race and ethnicity. These data strongly suggest that S. noxia may be intricately associated with overweight and obesity among patients, and more research will be needed to determine the positive and negative feedback mechanisms that may be responsible for these observations as well as the interventions needed to remove or reduce the potential effects of this oral pathogen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oral Microbiome and Human Systemic Health)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">
8 pages, 196 KiB  
Brief Report
Sensory Symptoms without Structural Pathology in Patients with Gluten Sensitivity
by Marios Hadjivassiliou, Nick Trott, Nigel Hoggard and David S. Sanders
Nutrients 2024, 16(8), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu16081209 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
We report on a group of patients with gluten sensitivity with and without coeliac disease presenting with unexplained sensory symptoms in the absence of structural pathology. Methods: The patients were selected from the gluten neurology clinic based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, [...] Read more.
We report on a group of patients with gluten sensitivity with and without coeliac disease presenting with unexplained sensory symptoms in the absence of structural pathology. Methods: The patients were selected from the gluten neurology clinic based at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK, on the basis of sensory symptoms but normal neuroaxis imaging and peripheral nerve evaluation. Results: A total of 30 patients were identified with a mean age at presentation of 47 years. The prevalence of enteropathy was 78%. The sensory disturbance was characterised by tingling at 50%, numbness at 27%, pain at 20%, burning at 13% and “buzzing” feeling at 7%. The distribution of the sensory symptoms included hands and feet in 27% of the patients, torso in 27%, legs only in 23%, face in 17% and arms only in 10%. For five patients, the sensory disturbance was migratory and affected different parts of the body at any given time. After the introduction of a gluten-free diet, 77% of patients noted significant improvement in their sensory symptoms. In one-third of the patients, there was a complete resolution of the sensory symptoms. Conclusion: Unexplained sensory symptoms can be seen in patients with gluten sensitivity and respond to strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Intolerance and Food Allergy: Novel Aspects in a Changing World)
20 pages, 9362 KiB  
Article
The Therapeutic Potential of Four Main Compounds of Zanthoxylum nitidum (Roxb.) DC: A Comprehensive Study on Biological Processes, Anti-Inflammatory Effects, and Myocardial Toxicity
by Xiaohan Li, Qi Wang, Ling Liu, Yang Shi, Yang Hong, Wanqing Xu, Henghui Xu, Jing Feng, Minzhen Xie, Yang Li, Baofeng Yang and Yong Zhang
Pharmaceuticals 2024, 17(4), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph17040524 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
Zanthoxylum nitidum (Roxb.) DC. (Z. nitidum) is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant that is indigenous to the southern regions of China. Previous research has provided evidence of the significant anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties exhibited by Z. nitidum. The potential [...] Read more.
Zanthoxylum nitidum (Roxb.) DC. (Z. nitidum) is a traditional Chinese medicinal plant that is indigenous to the southern regions of China. Previous research has provided evidence of the significant anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anticancer properties exhibited by Z. nitidum. The potential therapeutic effects and cardiac toxicity of Z. nitidum remain uncertain. The aim of this research was to investigate the potential therapeutic properties of the four main compounds of Z. nitidum in cardiovascular diseases, their impact on the electrical activity of cardiomyocytes, and the underlying mechanism of their anti-inflammatory effects. We selected the four compounds from Z. nitidum with a high concentration and specific biological activity: nitidine chloride (NC), chelerythrine chloride (CHE), magnoflorine chloride (MAG), and hesperidin (HE). A proteomic analysis was conducted on the myocardial tissues of beagle dogs following the administration of NC to investigate the role of NC in vivo and the associated biological processes. A bioinformatic analysis was used to predict the in vivo biological processes that MAG, CHE, and HE were involved in. Molecular docking was used to simulate the binding between compounds and their targets. The effect of the compounds on ion channels in cardiomyocytes was evaluated through a patch clamp experiment. Organ-on-a-chip (OOC) technology was developed to mimic the physiological conditions of the heart in vivo. Proteomic and bioinformatic analyses demonstrated that the four compounds of Z. nitidum are extensively involved in various cardiovascular-related biological pathways. The findings from the patch clamp experiments indicate that NC, CHE, MAG, and HE elicit a distinct activation or inhibition of the IK1 and ICa-L in cardiomyocytes. Finally, the anti-inflammatory effects of the compounds on cardiomyocytes were verified using OOC technology. NC, CHE, MAG, and HE demonstrate anti-inflammatory effects through their specific interactions with prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2) and significantly influence ion channels in cardiomyocytes. Our study provides a foundation for utilizing NC, CHE, MAG, and HE in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
13 pages, 231 KiB  
Article
Nature’s Apostle: The Dove as Communicator in the Hebrew Bible, from Ararat to Nineveh
by Menahem Blondheim and Hananel Rosenberg
Religions 2024, 15(4), 502; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040502 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
The dove, the most frequently mentioned bird in the Hebrew Bible, appears in diverse contexts, spanning its appearance as an element in the narrative (as in the case of Noah’s ark), and as an allegory and metaphor (as in the cryptic “sword of [...] Read more.
The dove, the most frequently mentioned bird in the Hebrew Bible, appears in diverse contexts, spanning its appearance as an element in the narrative (as in the case of Noah’s ark), and as an allegory and metaphor (as in the cryptic “sword of the dove”—twice in Jeremiah—and “the city of the dove”—Zephaniah). The dove even appears as the proper name of a prophet (or possibly of two, both named Jonah, son of Amittai). This article applies a communication perspective to better interpret some of these texts. We argue that the dove’s communicative attributes, to include unique acoustics, remarkable power of flight, but primarily the trait of returning home—the basis for the use of doves as carrier pigeons—may either explain or deepen the interpretation of many of the references to the pigeon in the Bible. In this vein, a major focus of the article is on using the dove’s homing ability as a key for reinterpreting the Book of Jonah. We conclude by suggesting that the dove’s trait of returning and, hence, its use as envoy made it a useful symbol of the deity’s presence in the world. In the Jewish reading, it became an emblem of one of the main political and eschatological themes of the Bible: the return home from exile, beginning with the exodus and return of Jacob’s sons to Canaan and ending with the Eschaton. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flora and Fauna in the Hebrew Bible)
14 pages, 853 KiB  
Article
Field Evaluation of Experimental Maize Hybrids for Resistance to the Fall Armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in a Warm Temperate Climate
by Xinzhi Ni, Alisa Huffaker, Eric A. Schmelz, Wenwei Xu, W. Paul Williams, Baozhu Guo, Xianchun Li and Fangneng Huang
Insects 2024, 15(4), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects15040289 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
The polyphagous fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, has become an invasive pest worldwide in recent years. To develop maize germplasm with multiple pest resistance and understand genetic inheritance, 12 experimental hybrids (six pairs of reciprocal crosses) with diverse genetic backgrounds and four [...] Read more.
The polyphagous fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, has become an invasive pest worldwide in recent years. To develop maize germplasm with multiple pest resistance and understand genetic inheritance, 12 experimental hybrids (six pairs of reciprocal crosses) with diverse genetic backgrounds and four commercial checks were examined for FAW resistance in 2013 and 2014. The experiment utilized a randomized complete block design with four replications as the block factor. FAW injury on maize plants was assessed at 7 and 14 d after the artificial infestation at the V6 stage, and predatory arthropod taxa and abundance on maize seedlings were recorded 7 d after the infestation. Spodoptera frugiperda resistance varied significantly among the 16 hybrids. Two reciprocal crosses (‘FAW1430’ × ‘Oh43’ and ‘CML333’ × ‘NC358’) showed the least FAW injury. Eleven arthropod predators [i.e., six coleopterans, three hemipterans, earwigs (dermapterans), and spiders (or arachnids)] were also recorded; the two most common predators were the pink spotted ladybeetle, Coleomegilla maculata, and the insidious flower (or minute pirate) bug, Orius spp. Predator abundance was not correlated to FAW injury but varied greatly between 2013 and 2014. Principal component analysis demonstrated that, when compared with FAW resistant (or Bt-transgenic) checks (‘DKC69-71’, ‘DKC67-88’, and ‘P31P42’), five pairs of the reciprocal crosses had moderate FAW resistance, whereas a pair of reciprocal crosses (‘NC350’ × ‘NC358’ and NC358 × NC350) showed the same FAW susceptibility as the non-Bt susceptible check ‘DKC69-72’. Both parents contributed similarly to FAW resistance, or no maternal/cytoplasmic effect was detected in the experimental hybrids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Integrated Pest Management of Crop)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">
11 pages, 245 KiB  
Article
Studying Rome While It Burns
by Richard M. Carp
Religions 2024, 15(4), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel15040501 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
The call for papers for this Special Issue Iidentifies contemporary humanity as experiencing a global “biogeochemical … political, economic, technological, ethical, and therefore, biocultural” crisis and asks scholars to consider how “religion may function as an adaptive or maladaptive presence” in response. Unasked [...] Read more.
The call for papers for this Special Issue Iidentifies contemporary humanity as experiencing a global “biogeochemical … political, economic, technological, ethical, and therefore, biocultural” crisis and asks scholars to consider how “religion may function as an adaptive or maladaptive presence” in response. Unasked is the adaptive capacity of scholarship as a crisis response. When buildings fall in earthquakes, or cities burn in wildfires, or second stories flood, few people just keep on doing what they were doing, “with a change of focus”. This is “studying Rome while it burns”. It’s time to put out the fire if we can and survive it if we cannot. We scholar/teachers can’t go on doing the same things and expecting different results. Unprecedented circumstances call for unprecedented actions in response. What would actual crisis responses on our part look like? What steps do we need to take as human beings in response to this crisis? How will that affect us as professionals? Seeking an ecology, rather than unanimity, of action and thought, and guided by Brian Walker’s resilience theory and a number of Indigenous scholars, I suggest a process of reintegration, analogous to regenerative agriculture, which is at once both socio-cultural and ecological. This process, necessarily rooted in place, progressively situates us experientially in a dynamic, creative, and relational world characterized by connection, collaboration, and relation. As scholars, we will find forms of discovery, discussion, and dissemination that share these qualities. As teachers, we will model this world to our students and embody it in our classrooms and curricula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion and Planetary Climate Crisis)
13 pages, 280 KiB  
Article
Relationships and Gender Differences in Math Anxiety, Math Self-Efficacy, Geoscience Self-Efficacy, and Geoscience Interest in Introductory Geoscience Students
by Molly M. Jameson, Julie Sexton, Dina London and Jennifer M. Wenner
Educ. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci14040426 (registering DOI) - 19 Apr 2024
Abstract
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from [...] Read more.
While the role of affective factors in learning is well understood in geoscience, math attitudes have been overlooked. This study sought to explore the relationships between math attitudes and geoscience attitudes, namely math anxiety, self-efficacy, and geoscience interest. Baseline data were collected from 245 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory geoscience courses at three colleges and universities in the United States, with self-report measures of math anxiety, math self-efficacy, geoscience self-efficacy, geoscience interest, and demographic information. Results show strong relationships and predictive values of math attitudes for students’ geoscience attitudes, particularly for female-identifying students. This research provides important empirical support for the study of math attitudes in geoscience; additionally, educators can use this knowledge to inform their understanding of their students’ math attitudes and possible interest in geoscience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gender and STEM Education)
10 pages, 353 KiB  
Article
Indirect Exposure to Atrocities and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms among Aid Workers: Hemispheric Lateralization Matters
by Einav Levy, Daniela Herzog, Chen Hanna Ryder, Rachel Grunstein and Yori Gidron
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(8), 2373; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13082373 (registering DOI) - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
Background: Humanitarian aid workers (HAWs) are indirectly exposed to atrocities relating to people of concern (POC). This may result in a risk of secondary traumatization demonstrated by post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). Previous studies have demonstrated that hemispheric lateralization (HL) moderates the relationship [...] Read more.
Background: Humanitarian aid workers (HAWs) are indirectly exposed to atrocities relating to people of concern (POC). This may result in a risk of secondary traumatization demonstrated by post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). Previous studies have demonstrated that hemispheric lateralization (HL) moderates the relationship between threat exposure and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSSs). Aims: We hypothesized that indirect exposure to atrocities (IETA) would be positively correlated with PTSSs among HAWs with right and not left HL. Method: Fifty-four HAWs from several countries that provided humanitarian support in Greece and Colombia participated in this correlational and cross-sectional observation study. They completed scales relating to IETA, PTSSs were assessed using a brief, valid scale, and HL was measured. Results: IETA was positively and significantly related to PTSSs (r = 0.39, p < 0.005). Considering HL, IETA was unrelated to PTSSs among people with right HL (r = 0.29, p = 0.14), while IETA was related to PTSSs among people with left HL (r = 0.52, p = 0.008). Right HL emerged as a protective factor in the relationship between IETA and PTSS. Conclusions: An assessment of dominant HL can serve as one consideration among others when deploying HAWs in specific locations and roles, vis à vis IETA. Moreover, those found to have a higher risk for PTSSs based on their HL could be monitored more closely to prevent adverse reactions to IETA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health)
31 pages, 3629 KiB  
Review
Inflammasome Molecular Insights in Autoimmune Diseases
by Monica Neam?u, Veronica Bild, Alexandru Vasincu, Oana Dana Arcan, Delia Bulea, Daniela-Carmen Ababei, R?zvan-Nicolae Rusu, Ioana Macadan, Ana Maria Sciuc? and Andrei Neam?u
Curr. Issues Mol. Biol. 2024, 46(4), 3502-3532; https://doi.org/10.3390/cimb46040220 - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) emerge due to an irregular immune response towards self- and non-self-antigens. Inflammation commonly accompanies these conditions, with inflammatory factors and inflammasomes playing pivotal roles in their progression. Key concepts in molecular biology, inflammation, and molecular mimicry are crucial to understanding [...] Read more.
Autoimmune diseases (AIDs) emerge due to an irregular immune response towards self- and non-self-antigens. Inflammation commonly accompanies these conditions, with inflammatory factors and inflammasomes playing pivotal roles in their progression. Key concepts in molecular biology, inflammation, and molecular mimicry are crucial to understanding AID development. Exposure to foreign antigens can cause inflammation, potentially leading to AIDs through molecular mimicry triggered by cross-reactive epitopes. Molecular mimicry emerges as a key mechanism by which infectious or chemical agents trigger autoimmunity. In certain susceptible individuals, autoreactive T or B cells may be activated by a foreign antigen due to resemblances between foreign and self-peptides. Chronic inflammation, typically driven by abnormal immune responses, is strongly associated with AID pathogenesis. Inflammasomes, which are vital cytosolic multiprotein complexes assembled in response to infections and stress, are crucial to activating inflammatory processes in macrophages. Chronic inflammation, characterized by prolonged tissue injury and repair cycles, can significantly damage tissues, thereby increasing the risk of AIDs. Inhibiting inflammasomes, particularly in autoinflammatory disorders, has garnered significant interest, with pharmaceutical advancements targeting cytokines and inflammasomes showing promise in AID management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Understanding Molecular Basis of Inflammatory Diseases)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
19 pages, 736 KiB  
Article
Recognizing and Looking at Masked Emotional Faces in Alexithymia
by Marla Fuchs, Anette Kersting, Thomas Suslow and Charlott Maria Bodenschatz
Behav. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 343; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs14040343 - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
Alexithymia is a clinically relevant personality construct characterized by difficulties identifying and communicating one’s emotions and externally oriented thinking. Alexithymia has been found to be related to poor emotion decoding and diminished attention to the eyes. The present eye tracking study investigated whether [...] Read more.
Alexithymia is a clinically relevant personality construct characterized by difficulties identifying and communicating one’s emotions and externally oriented thinking. Alexithymia has been found to be related to poor emotion decoding and diminished attention to the eyes. The present eye tracking study investigated whether high levels of alexithymia are related to impairments in recognizing emotions in masked faces and reduced attentional preference for the eyes. An emotion recognition task with happy, fearful, disgusted, and neutral faces with face masks was administered to high-alexithymic and non-alexithymic individuals. Hit rates, latencies of correct responses, and fixation duration on eyes and face mask were analyzed as a function of group and sex. Alexithymia had no effects on accuracy and speed of emotion recognition. However, alexithymic men showed less attentional preference for the eyes relative to the mask than non-alexithymic men, which was due to their increased attention to face masks. No fixation duration differences were observed between alexithymic and non-alexithymic women. Our data indicate that high levels of alexithymia might not have adverse effects on the efficiency of emotion recognition from faces wearing masks. Future research on gaze behavior during facial emotion recognition in high alexithymia should consider sex as a moderating variable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
19 pages, 432 KiB  
Article
Joint Resource Allocation Optimization in Space–Air–Ground Integrated Networks
by Zhan Xu, Qiangwei Yu and Xiaolong Yang
Drones 2024, 8(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/drones8040157 - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
A UAV-assisted space–air–ground integrated network (SAGIN) can provide communication services for remote areas and disaster-stricken regions. However, the increasing types and numbers of ground terminals (GTs) have led to the explosive growth of communication data volume, which is far from meeting the communication [...] Read more.
A UAV-assisted space–air–ground integrated network (SAGIN) can provide communication services for remote areas and disaster-stricken regions. However, the increasing types and numbers of ground terminals (GTs) have led to the explosive growth of communication data volume, which is far from meeting the communication needs of ground users. We propose a mobile edge network model that consists of three tiers: satellites, UAVs, and GTs. In this model, UAVs and satellites deploy edge servers to deliver services to GTs. GTs with limited computing capabilities can upload computation tasks to UAVs or satellites for processing. Specifically, we optimize association control, bandwidth allocation, computation task allocation, caching decisions, and the UAV’s position to minimize task latency. However, the proposed joint optimization problem is complex, and it is difficult to solve. Hence, we utilize Block Coordinate Descent (BCD) and introduce auxiliary variables to decompose the original problem into different subproblems. These subproblems are then solved using the McCormick envelope theory, the Successive Convex Approximation (SCA) method, and convex optimization techniques. The simulation results extensively illustrate that the proposed solution dramatically decreases the overall latency when compared with alternative benchmark schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Drone Communications)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
18 pages, 10749 KiB  
Review
Research and Application Progress of Laser-Processing Technology in Diamond Micro-Fabrication
by Yangfan Zhang, Shuai Xu, E-Nuo Cui, Ling Yu and Zhan Wang
Micromachines 2024, 15(4), 547; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15040547 (registering DOI) - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
Laser-processing technology has been widely used in the ultra-precision machining of diamond materials. It has the advantages of high precision and high efficiency, especially in the field of super-hard materials and high-precision parts manufacturing. This paper explains the fundamental principles of diamond laser [...] Read more.
Laser-processing technology has been widely used in the ultra-precision machining of diamond materials. It has the advantages of high precision and high efficiency, especially in the field of super-hard materials and high-precision parts manufacturing. This paper explains the fundamental principles of diamond laser processing, introduces the interaction mechanisms between various types of lasers and diamond materials, focuses on analyzing the current development status of various modes of laser processing of diamond, briefly discusses the relevant applications in diamond cutting, micro-hole forming, and micro-groove machining, etc., and finally discusses the issues, challenges, and potential future advancements of laser technology in the field of diamond processing at this point. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Systems, 3rd Edition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
22 pages, 2403 KiB  
Review
Spectral Photon-Counting Computed Tomography: Technical Principles and Applications in the Assessment of Cardiovascular Diseases
by Antonella Meloni, Erica Maffei, Alberto Clemente, Carmelo De Gori, Mariaelena Occhipinti, Vicenzo Positano, Sergio Berti, Ludovico La Grutta, Luca Saba, Riccardo Cau, Eduardo Bossone, Cesare Mantini, Carlo Cavaliere, Bruna Punzo, Simona Celi and Filippo Cademartiri
J. Clin. Med. 2024, 13(8), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm13082359 (registering DOI) - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
Spectral Photon-Counting Computed Tomography (SPCCT) represents a groundbreaking advancement in X-ray imaging technology. The core innovation of SPCCT lies in its photon-counting detectors, which can count the exact number of incoming x-ray photons and individually measure their energy. The first part of this [...] Read more.
Spectral Photon-Counting Computed Tomography (SPCCT) represents a groundbreaking advancement in X-ray imaging technology. The core innovation of SPCCT lies in its photon-counting detectors, which can count the exact number of incoming x-ray photons and individually measure their energy. The first part of this review summarizes the key elements of SPCCT technology, such as energy binning, energy weighting, and material decomposition. Its energy-discriminating ability represents the key to the increase in the contrast between different tissues, the elimination of the electronic noise, and the correction of beam-hardening artifacts. Material decomposition provides valuable insights into specific elements’ composition, concentration, and distribution. The capability of SPCCT to operate in three or more energy regimes allows for the differentiation of several contrast agents, facilitating quantitative assessments of elements with specific energy thresholds within the diagnostic energy range. The second part of this review provides a brief overview of the applications of SPCCT in the assessment of various cardiovascular disease processes. SPCCT can support the study of myocardial blood perfusion and enable enhanced tissue characterization and the identification of contrast agents, in a manner that was previously unattainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dual-Energy and Spectral CT in Clinical Practice)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
18 pages, 7204 KiB  
Article
Full Transfer and Segmental Emergence in the L2 Acquisition of Phonology: A Case Study
by Anaer Nulahan and Yvan Rose
Languages 2024, 9(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages9040149 - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
In this paper, we discuss a child Kazakh speaker’s acquisition of English as her second language. In particular, we focus on this child’s development of the English segments |f, v, θ, ð, ɹ, ʃ, ʧ|, which are not part of the Kazakh phonological [...] Read more.
In this paper, we discuss a child Kazakh speaker’s acquisition of English as her second language. In particular, we focus on this child’s development of the English segments |f, v, θ, ð, ɹ, ʃ, ʧ|, which are not part of the Kazakh phonological inventory of consonants. We begin with a longitudinal description of the patterns that the child displayed through her acquisition of each of these segments. The data reveal patterns that range from extremely rapid to rather slow and progressive acquisition. The data also reveal patterns that were unexpected at first, for example, the slow development of |ʧ| in syllable onsets, an affricate that occurs as a contextual allophone in syllable onsets in Kazakh. We analyze these patterns through the Phonological Interference hypothesis, which was recently extended into the Feature Redistribution and Recombination hypothesis. These models predict the transfer into the L2 of all of the relevant phonological features present within the learner’s first language and their recombination to represent segments present in the L2. We also discuss contexts where feature-based approaches to L2 acquisition fail to capture the full range of observations. In all such contexts, we show that the facts are modulated by phonetic characteristics of the speech sounds present in either the child’s L1 or her L2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Investigating L2 Phonological Acquisition from Different Perspectives)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">Full article ">
35 pages, 1320 KiB  
Review
Antibiotic Resistance in Plant Pathogenic Bacteria: Recent Data and Environmental Impact of Unchecked Use and the Potential of Biocontrol Agents as an Eco-Friendly Alternative
by Tarequl Islam, Md Azizul Haque, Hasi Rani Barai, Arif Istiaq and Jong-Joo Kim
Plants 2024, 13(8), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13081135 (registering DOI) - 18 Apr 2024
Abstract
The economic impact of phytopathogenic bacteria on agriculture is staggering, costing billions of US dollars globally. Pseudomonas syringae is the top most phytopathogenic bacteria, having more than 60 pathovars, which cause bacteria speck in tomatoes, halo blight in beans, and so on. Although [...] Read more.
The economic impact of phytopathogenic bacteria on agriculture is staggering, costing billions of US dollars globally. Pseudomonas syringae is the top most phytopathogenic bacteria, having more than 60 pathovars, which cause bacteria speck in tomatoes, halo blight in beans, and so on. Although antibiotics or a combination of antibiotics are used to manage infectious diseases in plants, they are employed far less in agriculture compared to human and animal populations. Moreover, the majority of antibiotics used in plants are immediately washed away, leading to environmental damage to ecosystems and food chains. Due to the serious risk of antibiotic resistance (AR) and the potential for environmental contamination with antibiotic residues and resistance genes, the use of unchecked antibiotics against phytopathogenic bacteria is not advisable. Despite the significant concern regarding AR in the world today, there are inadequate and outdated data on the AR of phytopathogenic bacteria. This review presents recent AR data on plant pathogenic bacteria (PPB), along with their environmental impact. In light of these findings, we suggest the use of biocontrol agents as a sustainable, eco-friendly, and effective alternative to controlling phytopathogenic bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Response to Abiotic Stress and Climate Change)

Open Access Journals

Browse by Indexing Browse by Subject Selected Journals
Back to TopTop
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news