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  • Latest Articles

    Open AccessArticle
    Effect of Operating Parameters on the Performance Evaluation of Benthic Microbial Fuel Cells Using Sediments from the Bay of Campeche, Mexico
    Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2446; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072446 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    Benthic microbial fuel cells (BMFC) are devices that remove organic matter (OM) and generate energy from sediments rich in organic nutrients. They are composed of electrodes with adequate different distances and floating air cathodes in an aqueous medium with saturated oxygen. In this
    352| 805| 620| 341| 710| 322| 776| 222| 522| 718| [...] Read more.
    Benthic microbial fuel cells (BMFC) are devices that remove organic matter (OM) and generate energy from sediments rich in organic nutrients. They are composed of electrodes with adequate different distances and floating air cathodes in an aqueous medium with saturated oxygen. In this study we proposed to design, build, analyze and evaluate a set of BMFCs with floating air cathodes to test the optimal distance between the electrodes, using sediment from the Bay of Campeche as a substrate. For the analysis of OM removal, COD tests, volatile solids (VS), E4/E6 study and FTIR analysis were performed. Power generation was evaluated through polarization curves, cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). We achieved a current density and power density at 10 cm depth of 929.7 ± 9.5 mA/m2 and 109.6 ± 7.5 mW/m2 respectively, with 54% removal of OM from the sediment, obtaining formation of aliphatic structures. BMFCs are proposed as adequate systems for bioremediation and power generation. The system at 10 cm depth and 100 cm distance between sediment and the floating air cathode had a good performance and therefore the potential for possible scaling. Full article
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    Figure 1
    <p>(<bold>a</bold>) SSM with electrodeposition; (<bold>b</bold>) SSME with AC-CB; (<bold>c</bold>) base for the electrode structure; (<bold>d</bold>) base on which the electrode is located; (<bold>e</bold>) lid that serves to press the electrode; (<bold>f</bold>) electrode seal; (<bold>g</bold>) Anode electrode; (<bold>h</bold>) structure of BMFC with assembled electrodes.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 2
    <p>BMFC diagram with different distances between floating air cathode and anode depths.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 3
    <p>FTIR of humic acids (HA) and fulvic acids (FA) (peak descriptors in the text).</p>
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    <p>Polarization and power density curves at 10 cm (anode depth) and separation between the cathode and anode of 10 cm and 100 cm (North and Rain).</p>
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    <p>Cyclic voltammetry obtained from the evaluation of the sediment at different sweeping speeds.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 6
    <p>Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (<bold>a</bold>) BMFC during weather system from the North and (<bold>b</bold>) BMFC in Rainy season and equivalent circuit. DS: Distance, D. Depth.</p>
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    Open AccessReview
    Inclisiran: A New Promising Agent in the Management of Hypercholesterolemia
    Diseases 2018, 6(3), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/diseases6030063 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    The discovery of proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a serine protease which binds to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors and targets the receptors for lysosomal degradation, offered an additional route through which plasma LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels can be controlled. Initially, the therapeutic
    [...] Read more.
    The discovery of proprotein convertase subtilisin-kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a serine protease which binds to the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors and targets the receptors for lysosomal degradation, offered an additional route through which plasma LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels can be controlled. Initially, the therapeutic approaches to reduce circulating levels of PCSK9 were focused on the use of monoclonal antibodies. To that effect, evolocumab and alirocumab, two human monoclonal antibodies directed against PCSK9, given on a background of statin therapy, have been shown to markedly decrease LDL-C levels and significantly reduce cardiovascular risk. The small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules have been used recently to target the hepatic production of PCSK9. siRNA interferes with the expression of specific genes with complementary nucleotide sequences by affecting the degradation of mRNA post-transcription, thus preventing translation. Inclisiran is a long-acting, synthetic siRNA directed against PCSK9 and it has been shown to significantly decrease hepatic production of PCSK9 and cause a marked reduction in LDL-C levels. This review aims to present and discuss the current clinical and scientific evidence pertaining to inclisiran, which is a new promising agent in the management of hypercholesterolemia. Full article
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    <p>Mechanism of action of inclisiran in conjunction with the action of PCSK9.</p>
    Full article ">
    Open AccessReview
    Therapeutic Agents with AHR Inhibiting and NRF2 Activating Activity for Managing Chloracne
    Antioxidants 2018, 7(7), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox7070090 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    Chloracne is the major skin symptom caused by dioxin intoxication. Dioxin activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)–cytochrome p450 1A1 (CYP1A1) system, generates oxidative stress, and induces hyperkeratinization of keratinocytes and sebocytes leading to chloracne. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (NRF2) is a master switch
    [...] Read more.
    Chloracne is the major skin symptom caused by dioxin intoxication. Dioxin activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)–cytochrome p450 1A1 (CYP1A1) system, generates oxidative stress, and induces hyperkeratinization of keratinocytes and sebocytes leading to chloracne. Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (NRF2) is a master switch that induces the expression of various antioxidative enzymes, such as heme oxygenase-1. Cinnamaldehyde is an antioxidant phytochemical that inhibits AHR–CYP1A1 signaling and activates the NRF2–antioxidative axis. The cinnamaldehyde-containing Kampo herbal medicine Keishibukuryogan is capable of improving chloracne in Yusho patients who are highly contaminated with dioxin. Agents with dual functions in promoting AHR–CYP1A1 inhibition and NRF2 activation may be useful for managing dioxin-related health hazards. Full article
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    <p>Dioxins activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), upregulate the expression of cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1), and generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) in keratinocytes and sebocytes. The ligation of AHR by dioxins also accelerates terminal differentiation. Oxidative stress and hyperkeratinization are probably responsible for chloracne. Cinnamaldehyde (a functional component of <italic>C. cassia</italic>) and perillaldehyde (a functional component of <italic>P. frutescens</italic>) are potent inhibitors of AHR–CYP1A1 signaling. On the other hand, they activate nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (NRF2). NRF2 is a master switch for the cellular antioxidative system. The activation of NRF2 upregulates various antioxidative enzymes, such as heme oxygenase-1 (HMOX1), and neutralizes ROS. These natural phytochemicals are useful for managing chloracne.</p>
    Full article ">
    Open AccessArticle
    A Novel Carrier Loop Algorithm Based on Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) and Kalman Filter (KF) for Weak TC-OFDM Signals
    Sensors 2018, 18(7), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18072256 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    Digital broadcasting signals represent a promising positioning signal for indoors applications. A novel positioning technology named Time & Code Division-Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (TC-OFDM) is mainly discussed in this paper, which is based on China mobile multimedia broadcasting (CMMB). Signal strength is an
    [...] Read more.
    Digital broadcasting signals represent a promising positioning signal for indoors applications. A novel positioning technology named Time & Code Division-Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (TC-OFDM) is mainly discussed in this paper, which is based on China mobile multimedia broadcasting (CMMB). Signal strength is an important factor that affects the carrier loop performance of the TC-OFDM receiver. In the case of weak TC-OFDM signals, the current carrier loop algorithm has large residual carrier errors, which limit the tracking sensitivity of the existing carrier loop in complex indoor environments. This paper proposes a novel carrier loop algorithm based on Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) and Kalman Filter (KF) to solve the above problem. The discriminator of the current carrier loop is replaced by the MLE discriminator function in the proposed algorithm. The Levenberg-Marquardt (LM) algorithm is utilized to obtain the MLE cost function consisting of signal amplitude, residual carrier frequency and carrier phase, and the MLE discriminator function is derived from the corresponding MLE cost function. The KF is used to smooth the MLE discriminator function results, which takes the carrier phase estimation, the angular frequency estimation and the angular frequency rate as the state vector. Theoretical analysis and simulation results show that the proposed algorithm can improve the tracking sensitivity of the TC-OFDM receiver by taking full advantage of the characteristics of the carrier loop parameters. Compared with the current carrier loop algorithms, the tracking sensitivity is effectively improved by 2–4 dB, and the better performance of the proposed algorithm is verified in the real environment. Full article
    Figures

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    <p>TC-OFDM signal Frame Structure.</p>
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    <p>Conventional carrier loop structure.</p>
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    <p>The principle of MLE.</p>
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    <p>LM algorithm flow chart.</p>
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    <p>The proposed carrier loop structure based on MLE and KF.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 6
    <p>The Relationship between Loss of Lock Probability and SNR.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 7
    <p>The RMS Frequency Tracking Error with SNR under different sample observations.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 8
    <p>The residual carrier and phase convergence curve estimated by LM algorithm.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 9
    <p>Frequency error comparison results by MLE and MLE&amp;KF.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 10
    <p>Comparison results of frequency estimation errors by three algorithms under different SNR.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 11
    <p>Comparison of the tracking probabilities between the three algorithms.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 12
    <p>Each component of the modified base stations.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 13
    <p>The TC-OFDM receiver. (<bold>a</bold>) is the internal and external structure of the TC-OFDM receiver; and (<bold>b</bold>) is the communication between the positioning receiver and the mobile phone.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 14
    <p>Actual test diagram of the tracking sensitivity between the three algorithms.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 15
    <p>The base station distribution of the test environment on the campus.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 16
    <p>The RMSE positioning accuracy error in horizontal direction.</p>
    Full article ">
    Open AccessArticle
    Bioactive and Bioadhesive Catechol Conjugated Polymers for Tissue Regeneration
    Polymers 2018, 10(7), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10070768 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    The effective treatment of chronic wounds constitutes one of the most common worldwide healthcare problem due to the presence of high levels of proteases, free radicals and exudates in the wound, which constantly activate the inflammatory system, avoiding tissue regeneration. In this study,
    [...] Read more.
    The effective treatment of chronic wounds constitutes one of the most common worldwide healthcare problem due to the presence of high levels of proteases, free radicals and exudates in the wound, which constantly activate the inflammatory system, avoiding tissue regeneration. In this study, we describe a multifunctional bioactive and resorbable membrane with in-built antioxidant agent catechol for the continuous quenching of free radicals as well as to control inflammatory response, helping to promote the wound-healing process. This natural polyphenol (catechol) is the key molecule responsible for the mechanism of adhesion of mussels providing also the functionalized polymer with bioadhesion in the moist environment of the human body. To reach that goal, synthesized statistical copolymers of N-vinylcaprolactam (V) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (H) have been conjugated with catechol bearing hydrocaffeic acid (HCA) molecules with high yields. The system has demonstrated good biocompatibility, a sustained antioxidant response, an anti-inflammatory effect, an ultraviolet (UV) screen, and bioadhesion to porcine skin, all of these been key features in the wound-healing process. Therefore, these novel mussel-inspired materials have an enormous potential for application and can act very positively, favoring and promoting the healing effect in chronic wounds. 秒速赛车是哪里的开奖:Full article
    Figures

    Graphical abstract

    Graphical abstract
    Full article ">Figure 1
    <p>Tridimensional diagram showing the variation of instantaneous H copolymer molar fraction as a function of conversion and H feed molar fraction. Red lines represent reaction course for H feed compositions used in this work (0.2 and 0.4 mol %).</p>
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    <p>Scheme of the synthesis of the acid chloride derivative of hydrocaffeic acid (HCA), VH copolymers and the catechol conjugated polymers VHC.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 3
    <p>Atomic force microscopy (AFM) (<bold>left</bold>) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (<bold>right</bold>) images of (<bold>a</bold>) VHC2 terpolymer and (<bold>b</bold>) VHC22 terpolymer.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 4
    <p>In vitro degradation kinetics of VHC films in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) (pH = 7.4) at 37 °C. Data are presented as mean ± standard deviation (<italic>n</italic> = 3).</p>
    Full article ">Figure 5
    <p>(<bold>a</bold>) Application of the polymer solution on the porcine tissue and skin samples attached each other. (<bold>b</bold>) Comparative studies in adhesion forces between the catechol conjugated polymers VHC2 and VHC22. Each line represents the stress-displacement representative curve of the two compositions after four replicates. (<bold>c</bold>) Detachment stress of the catechol containing polymers VHC2 and VHC22. Significant differences are denoted in the graph comparing the two groups at the significance level of *** <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 6
    <p>(<bold>a</bold>) Porcine skin samples irradiated with the terpolymer film (left) and after removing the terpolymer film (right). (<bold>b</bold>) Water contact angle images of the irradiated skin under de terpolymer film (left) and of the nude irradiated skin (right). (<bold>c</bold>) Water contact angle results of the skin control (non-irradiated and irradiated) and the skin under the VHC films. Significant differences are denoted in the graph comparing the values of the irradiated samples under the VHC films and the irradiated control skin (*** <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001).</p>
    Full article ">Figure 7
    <p>Cell viability of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) treated with medium extracts of VHC films taken at different times. The diagrams include the mean and the standard deviation (<italic>n</italic> = 8).</p>
    Full article ">Figure 8
    <p>Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) activity in hBMSCs measured from fluorescence emission at different times after treatment with VHC films extracts collected at 24 h. The diagrams include the mean, the standard deviation (<italic>n</italic> = 4) and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) between the different groups and the positive control at each time (* <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05, ** <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.01, *** <italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.001).</p>
    Full article ">Figure 9
    <p>Inhibitory effects of VHC terpolymers on nitric oxide production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated RAW 264.7 cells (bars) and cellular viability (lines and symbols).</p>
    Full article ">
    Open AccessArticle
    Neck Circumference Positively Relates to Cardiovascular Risk Factors in College Students
    Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1480; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071480 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between neck circumference (NC) and other anthropometric measures and examine cut-off points for males and females according to existing waist circumference cut-off levels in this age group. Across 8 universities, 1562 students underwent
    [...] Read more.
    The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between neck circumference (NC) and other anthropometric measures and examine cut-off points for males and females according to existing waist circumference cut-off levels in this age group. Across 8 universities, 1562 students underwent a physical assessment. Spearman rho correlations (ρ) were calculated to determine associations between NC and other continuous variables of health. Receiving operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the optimal cut-off levels of NC of males and females with central obesity. Participants were predominantly Caucasian (67%), female (70%), and outside of Appalachia (82%). Forty-one percent of males and 34% of females had a BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. In both sexes, significant positive correlations were seen between NC and body weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, and systolic blood pressure (all p-values < 0.0001). NC ≥ 38 cm for males and ≥33.5 cm for females were the optimal cut-off values to determine subjects with central obesity. NC has been identified to closely correlate with other anthropometric measurements related to disease and could be used as a convenient, low-cost, and noninvasive measurement in large-scale studies. Full article
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    <p>Receiving operating characteristics (ROC) curves determined from the neck circumference and central obesity (waist circumference &gt;102 cm in males (<bold>left</bold>) and &gt;88 cm females (<bold>right</bold>)).</p>
    Full article ">
    Open AccessArticle
    Performance of Exchange Traded Funds during the Brexit Referendum: An Event Study
    Int. J. Financial Stud. 2018, 6(3), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijfs6030064 (registering DOI) -
    Abstract
    In today’s interrelated economies, financial information travel at speed of light to reach investors around the globe. Global financial markets experience regular shocks that transmit negative waves to other equity markets and different asset classes. Given the unique characteristics of exchange-traded funds (ETFs),
    [...] Read more.
    In today’s interrelated economies, financial information travel at speed of light to reach investors around the globe. Global financial markets experience regular shocks that transmit negative waves to other equity markets and different asset classes. Given the unique characteristics of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), this paper examines how different ETFs that are traded on London Financial center reacted to the Brexit event in 23 June 2016. The unexpected referendum result the day after is viewed as the next significant financial event since 2008. The paper employs an event study market model on daily and abnormal returns of the selected ETFs with respect to FTSE 250 around the event date. Contrary to what is expected, the world equities fund experienced significant positive abnormal return on the event day. Emerging markets again proved to be a preferred investment destination in times of financial turmoil; the emerging equities fund gained 3% while enjoying an 11.5% positive significant abnormal returns. The US T-Bond fund recorded a 9% return with a significant 7.2% abnormal return. The gold fund soared as much as 4% as investors seeks refuge from Brexit, and the oil fund retraced 1% amid concerns of slowing global demand. Full article
    Figures

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    <p>World Equity ETF.</p>
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    <p>S&amp;P 500 ETF.</p>
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    <p>European Equity ETF.</p>
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    <p>Emerging Equity ETF.</p>
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    <p>Private Equity ETF.</p>
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    <p>US T-Bond ETF.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 7
    <p>Gold ETF.</p>
    Full article ">Figure 8
    <p>Oil ETF.</p>
    Full article ">

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