Molecules, Volume 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28031366
Competing interactions between charged inclusions in membranes of living organisms or charged nanoparticles in near-critical mixtures can lead to self-assembly into various patterns. Motivated by these systems, we developed a simple triangular lattice model for binary mixtures of oppositely charged particles with additional short-range attraction or repulsion between like or different particles, respectively. We determined the ground state for the system in contact with a reservoir of the particles for the whole chemical potentials plane, and the structure of self-assembled conglomerates for fixed numbers of particles. Stability of the low-temperature ordered patterns was verified by Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, we performed molecular dynamics simulations for a continuous model with interactions having similar features, but a larger range and lower strength than in the lattice model. Interactions with and without symmetry between different components were assumed. We investigated both the conglomerate formed in the center of a thin slit with repulsive walls, and the structure of a monolayer adsorbed at an attractive substrate. Both models give the same patterns for large chemical potentials or densities. For low densities, more patterns occur in the lattice model. Different phases coexist with dilute gas on the lattice and in the continuum, leading to different patterns in self-assembled conglomerates (’rafts’).
Agronomy, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy13020435
Peppers are a very popular ingredient in many dishes, either as the fruit itself or as derived products. They are not only consumed because of their organoleptic characteristics, but also because of their high content of bioactive compounds. The aim of this work was to determine the optimal time to harvest the Bolilla pepper, based on the capsaicinoid concentration in the pericarp and placenta at two different plant maturities (young and adult), in order to maximize their potential biological properties. In the case of the pericarp, the maximum capsaicinoid concentration was reached at 30 days post-anthesis (dpa) (with values of 1565.98 and 2158.82 µmol/kg, for the young and adult plant, respectively), while in the placenta it was registered at 41 dpa with greater values (5898.12 and 2349.67 µmol/kg). In either case, from that moment on, there was a drastic reduction in the capsaicinoid content. With regard to the capsaicinoid content levels in the pericarp, this was greater in older plants, while the placenta presented greater content in younger plants, which is of considerable importance from an economic point of view. This work allows a better selection of the final product, taking full advantage of its beneficial effects on health and taste, which would be very interesting for analytical laboratories or industries.
Materials, Volume 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16031242
Fluoride is one of the elements commonly present in the human environment. Due to its characteristics, it is very widely used in medicine, dentistry, industry or agriculture. On the other hand, its universality possesses a real threat to the human body in the form of acute and chronic poisoning. The aim of this paper is to characterize the properties of fluoride and its effects on the human body, as well as the sources of its occurrence. Particular emphasis is placed on the safety of its use and optimal dosage intake, which prevents accumulation and reduces its potential side effects. The positive effect of proper fluoride supply is widely described. In order to avoid overdose, it is best to consult a specialist to properly select the dosage.
Remote Sensing, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15030817
Spectral unmixing is among one of the major hyperspectral image analysis tasks that aims to extract basic features (endmembers) at the subpixel level and estimate their corresponding proportions (fractional abundances). Recently, the rapid development of deep learning networks has provided us with a new method to solve the problem of spectral unmixing. In this paper, we propose a spatial-information-assisted spectral information learning unmixing network (SISLU-Net) for hyperspectral images. The SISLU-Net consists of two branches. The upper branch focuses on the extraction of spectral information. The input of the upper branch is a number of pixels randomly extracted from the hyperspectral image. The data are fed into the network as a random combination of different pixel blocks each time. The random combination of batches can boost the network to learn global spectral information. Another branch focuses on learning spatial information from the entire hyperspectral image and transmitting it to the upper branch through the shared weight strategy. This allows the network to take into account the spectral information and spatial information of HSI at the same time. In addition, according to the distribution characteristics of endmembers, we employ Wing loss to solve the problem of uneven distributions of endmembers. Experimental results on one synthetic and three real hyperspectral data sets show that SISLU-Net is effective and competitive compared with several state-of-the-art unmixing algorithms in terms of the spectral angle distance (SAD) of the endmembers and the root mean square error (RMSE) of the abundances.
Agriculture, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020355
Endophytic persistence of inoculated plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) involves interaction with the host plant and the host’s indigenous endophytic bacterial communities. This study investigated the persistence of Methylobacterium oryzae CBMB20 into the rice endosphere together with the impact of inoculation on the diversity and community structure of the root and shoot bacterial endophytes in Oryza sativa L. spp. indica cv. IR29. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) analysis of the root and shoot showed that M. oryzae CBMB20 was able to integrate and persist in the rice endosphere without causing drastic shifts in bacterial endophytic diversity and community composition. The bacterial communities in the root and shoot are very similar to the seeds of IR29, suggesting that most of them are seed-borne. The root endosphere bacterial communities of inoculated and uninoculated IR29 plants are more diverse compared to the shoots in terms of richness and diversity indices. The dominant bacterial T-RFs of the root endosphere of IR29 belong to Microbacterium, Delftia, Pseudomonas, Xanthomonas and Stenotrophomonas, Herbaspirillum, Enterobacter, and Sphingomonas, as observed in the three restriction enzyme T-RFLP profiles. Bacterial clades identified as Curtobacterium, Enterobacter, Stenotrophomonas, and Xanthomonas were distinctly observed in both the root and shoot communities, and these bacterial groups are also the dominant endophytes of the shoot endosphere. This study showed that Methylobacterium oryzae CBMB20 could persist and incorporate into the endophytic bacterial community of the endosphere without causing long-term antagonistic interactions with its host plant and with the native microbiota.
Agriculture, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture13020356
The feeding characteristics of viscous miscellaneous fish bait were studied in order to place the bait into existing equipment. Through the feeding experiment and discrete element numerical simulation of miscellaneous fish pellet feed, the feeding characteristics of the sticky miscellaneous fish pellet feed in the silo were analyzed. The main factors affecting the uniform feeding of miscellaneous fish pellet bait were obtained, including the size of the feeding mouth of the silo, the size of the inclination angle of the silo, and the effect of external forces. According to the simulation and experiment results, the optimum design of the discharging device was carried out, including the optimization of the structure of the bin, the design of the agitation device and the optimization of the rotating parameters of the agitation device. The research and development of the stirred discharging device was completed, realizing the uniform, continuous and complete discharging of the mixed fish particle bait. Its feasibility was verified through the simulation and prototype experiment.
Microorganisms, Volume 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020363
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolated from healthy humans may prove an effective tool against pathogen growth, adherence and invasion in intestinal epithelial cells. This study aimed to evaluate the antilisterial properties of LAB isolated from fecal samples of healthy neonates. Forty-five LAB strains were tested for their antimicrobial activity against ten Listeria monocytogenes strains with spot-on-lawn and agar-well diffusion assays, and ten lactobacilli strains were further assessed for their inhibitory effect against adherence and invasion of Caco-2 cells by L. monocytogenes EGDe. Inhibition was estimated in competition, exclusion or displacement assays, where lactobacilli and L. monocytogenes were added to Caco-2 monolayers simultaneously or 1 h apart from each other. Inhibition of L. monocytogenes growth was only displayed with the spot-on-lawn assay; cell-free supernatants of lactobacilli were not effective against the pathogen. Lactobacillus (L.) paragasseri LDD-C1 and L. crispatus LCR-A21 were able to adhere to Caco-2 cells at significantly higher levels than the reference strain L. rhamnosus GG. The adherence of L. monocytogenes to Caco-2 cells was reduced by 20.8% to 62.1% and invasion by 33.5% to 63.1% during competition, which was more effective compared to the exclusion and displacement assays. These findings demonstrate that lactobacilli isolated from neonatal feces could be considered a good candidate against L. monocytogenes.
Cancers, Volume 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15030901
A glycal radical enzyme called isethionate sulfite-lyase (Isla) breaks the C–S bond in isethionate to produce acetaldehyde and sulfite. This enzyme was found in the Gram-negative, colonial Bilophila wadsworthia bacteria. Sulfur dioxide, acetate, and ammonia are produced by the anaerobic respiration route from (sulfonate isethionate). Strong genotoxic H2S damages the colon’s mucous lining, which aids in the development of colorectal cancer. H2S production also contributes to inflammatory bowel diseases such as colitis. Here, we describe the structure-based drug designing for the Isla using an in-house database of naturally isolated compounds and synthetic derivatives. In structure-based drug discovery, a combination of methods was used, including molecular docking, pharmacokinetics properties evaluation, binding free energy calculations by the molecular mechanics/generalized born surface area (MM/GBSA) method, and protein structure dynamics exploration via molecular dynamic simulations, to retrieve novel and putative inhibitors for the Isla protein. Based on the docking score, six compounds show significant binding interaction with the Isla active site crucial residues and exhibit drug-like features, good absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion profile with no toxicity. The binding free energy reveals that these compounds have a strong affinity with the Isla. In addition, the molecular dynamics simulations reveal that these compounds substantially affect the protein structure dynamics. As per our knowledge, this study is the first attempt to discover Isla potential inhibitors. The compounds proposed in the study using a multi-fold computational technique may be verified in vitro as possible inhibitors of Isla and possess the potential for the future development of new medications that target Isla.
Animals, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13030505
Foxp3+ cell counts were evaluated by immunohistochemistry in 59 canine mammary tumors, 20 adenomas, and 39 carcinomas in three different compartments: intratumoral, within the adjacent stroma, and in the distant stroma. Foxp3+ lymphocyte counts were compared with histotype, grading, presence of lymphatic invasion, immunohistochemical expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors, expression of c-erbB-2, and the overall survival (OS). Our findings confirmed that Foxp3+ cells were significantly higher in canine mammary carcinomas compared to adenomas. A significantly higher number of Foxp3+ cells were detected in grade III carcinomas compared to grade II carcinomas, as well as in tumors with lymphatic invasion and loss of ER-expression. Finally, a high number of Foxp3+ cells was associated with poor prognosis. In conclusion, our findings highlighted the association of Foxp3+ lymphocytes with negative clinicopathological features and shorter overall survival (OS), thus confirming the role of Tregs as a negative prognostic marker in canine mammary carcinomas.
Published: 31 January 2023
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20032611
Gender appears to be a strong predictor of online health information-seeking behaviour (OHISB), which is related to Digital Health Literacy (DHL). Gender differences in OHISB have been studied in different countries with different results, but no studies have investigated gender-specific OHISB among University students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sought to investigate any gender differences in OHISB in the period between the first and second waves of the pandemic in Italian university students. A questionnaire developed by the global COVID-HL network, including existing and adapted validated scales and self-developed scales, was administered to 2996 University students in Florence. Gender differences were tested using the χ2 test or the Mann–Whitney U test. Male students reported a higher score in DHL than females (p < 0.001). However, female students seek COVID-19 information more often on different sources (for themselves and other people), on various topics, consider various aspects of information quality to be “very important’’ (p < 0.05) and are more likely to be “often dissatisfied’’ or ”partly satisfied’’ with information (p < 0.001). Our study confirmed gender as an important dimension to explain students’ OHISB differences, which could help institutions promote gender-specific education programmes and provide gender-oriented health information.