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Open AccessCommunication
Improved Cycle Stability of LiSn Alloy Anode for Different Electrolyte Systems in Lithium Battery
Nanomaterials 2021, 11(2), 300; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nano11020300 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Lithium metal anode still confronts a series of problems at the way to commercialization though it has advantages in high energy density. The formation of Li dendrite is the major limitation need to be conquered. Here, a facile and simple LiSn alloy anode [...] Read more.
Lithium metal anode still confronts a series of problems at the way to commercialization though it has advantages in high energy density. The formation of Li dendrite is the major limitation need to be conquered. Here, a facile and simple LiSn alloy anode prepared by a direct metallurgy method is fabricated and evaluated in both liquid electrolyte and solid electrolyte. Structural analysis and electrochemical measurements reveal the promoted ionic transference of interface and enhanced cycling stability in different electrolyte systems, without dendrite formation. Furthermore, the application of this simple and sustainable LiSn alloy can be extended to more alloy anode and might unlock the next-generation anode in the future. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Plants in 2020
Plants 2021, 10(2), 226; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/plants10020226 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Plants maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Atmosphere in 2020
Atmosphere 2021, 12(2), 149; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/atmos12020149 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Atmosphere maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Responses of Bioactive Betanin Pigment and Its Derivatives from a Red Beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) Betalain-Rich Extract to Hypochlorous Acid
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22031155 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Neutrophils produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl) as well as other reactive oxygen species as part of a natural innate immune response in the human body; however, excessive levels of HOCl can ultimately be detrimental to health. Recent reports suggest that betacyanin plant pigments can [...] Read more.
Neutrophils produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl) as well as other reactive oxygen species as part of a natural innate immune response in the human body; however, excessive levels of HOCl can ultimately be detrimental to health. Recent reports suggest that betacyanin plant pigments can act as potent scavengers of inflammatory factors and are notably effective against HOCl. Comparison of the in vitro anti-hypochlorite activities of a novel betalain-rich red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract with its pure betalainic pigments revealed that the extract had the highest anti-hypochlorite activity, far exceeding the activity of all of the betalainic derivatives and selected reference antioxidants. This suggests that it may be an important food-based candidate for management of inflammatory conditions induced by excessive HOCl production. Among all pigments studied, betanidin exhibited the highest activity across the pH range. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Properties of Medicinal Plants)
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Open AccessCommentary
Effects of mitoTALENs-Directed Double-Strand Breaks on Plant Mitochondrial Genomes
Genes 2021, 12(2), 153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/genes12020153 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Mitochondrial genomes in flowering plants differ from those in animals and yeasts in several ways, including having large and variable sizes, circular, linear and branched structures, long repeat sequences that participate in homologous recombinations, and variable genes orders, even within a species. Understanding [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial genomes in flowering plants differ from those in animals and yeasts in several ways, including having large and variable sizes, circular, linear and branched structures, long repeat sequences that participate in homologous recombinations, and variable genes orders, even within a species. Understanding these differences has been hampered by a lack of genetic methods for transforming plant mitochondrial genomes. We recently succeeded in disrupting targeted genes in mitochondrial genomes by mitochondria-targeted transcription activator-like effector nucleases (mitoTALENs) in rice, rapeseed, and Arabidopsis. Double-strand breaks created by mitoTALENs were repaired not by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) but by homologous recombination (HR) between repeats near and far from the target sites, resulting in new genomic structures with large deletions and different configurations. On the other hand, in mammals, TALENs-induced DSBs cause small insertions or deletions in nuclear genomes and degradation of mitochondrial genomes. These results suggest that the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of plants and mammals have distinct mechanisms for responding to naturally occurring DSBs. The different responses appear to be well suited to differences in size and copy numbers of each genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Damage Repair in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
The Modern and Digital Transformation of Oral Health Care: A Mini Review
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/healthcare9020118 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Dentistry is a part of the field of medicine which is advocated in this digital revolution. The increasing trend in dentistry digitalization has led to the advancement in computer-derived data processing and manufacturing. This progress has been exponentially supported by the Internet of [...] Read more.
Dentistry is a part of the field of medicine which is advocated in this digital revolution. The increasing trend in dentistry digitalization has led to the advancement in computer-derived data processing and manufacturing. This progress has been exponentially supported by the Internet of medical things (IoMT), big data and analytical algorithm, internet and communication technologies (ICT) including digital social media, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and artificial intelligence (AI). The interplay between these sophisticated digital aspects has dramatically changed the healthcare and biomedical sectors, especially for dentistry. This myriad of applications of technologies will not only be able to streamline oral health care, facilitate workflow, increase oral health at a fraction of the current conventional cost, relieve dentist and dental auxiliary staff from routine and laborious tasks, but also ignite participatory in personalized oral health care. This narrative article review highlights recent dentistry digitalization encompassing technological advancement, limitations, challenges, and conceptual theoretical modern approaches in oral health prevention and care, particularly in ensuring the quality, efficiency, and strategic dental care in the modern era of dentistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Solutions for Oral Healthcare)
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Open AccessReview
The Role of Social Media in the Luxury Tourism Business: A Research Review and Trajectory Assessment
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1216; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031216 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
The luxury tourism industry immediately conjures up thoughts of exclusivity, with access to it confined to a small and elite group of travelers often located within their own social bubble. Our systematic literature review seeks to understand how tourism scholarship has addressed the [...] Read more.
The luxury tourism industry immediately conjures up thoughts of exclusivity, with access to it confined to a small and elite group of travelers often located within their own social bubble. Our systematic literature review seeks to understand how tourism scholarship has addressed the issue of luxury travel based on social media pronouncements and the areas of concentration in which earlier studies have been conducted. Literature was sourced using the following key terms “luxury tourism”, “elite travel”, “social media”, and “sustainability” in various combinations using the OneSearch online platform, the Proquest Database, and Google Scholar. Only peer-reviewed journals were used for the critical analysis. Three main thematic areas were identified and reviewed: (1) the role of social media in luxury tourism; (2) the behavioral attributes of luxury travelers’ when using social media; and (3) the methodologies employed in the extant literature, given the limitations of accessing specific data for the luxury tourism market. The selected period for the journals and articles reviewed was the last ten years, from March 2010 to March 2020. NVivo version 12 was used to decipher the themes and focus areas as well as quantify the significance of social media to luxury tourism. Drawing from these literature review outcomes, the study explores future research areas and issues that require new theoretical and methodological frameworks to further our understanding of the intersection between social media and the luxury tourism business. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media Strategy in Sustainable Business)
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Open AccessArticle
Estrogen Receptor Signaling Pathways Involved in Invasion and Colony Formation of Androgen-Independent Prostate Cancer Cells PC-3
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1153; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22031153 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is an advanced and androgen-independent form of prostate cancer. Recent studies of rapid actions mediated by estrogen in the prostate and its relationship with CRPC are emerging. We have previously shown that estrogen receptor (ER) promotes migration and invasion [...] Read more.
Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is an advanced and androgen-independent form of prostate cancer. Recent studies of rapid actions mediated by estrogen in the prostate and its relationship with CRPC are emerging. We have previously shown that estrogen receptor (ER) promotes migration and invasion of the androgen-independent prostate cancer cells PC-3, but the signaling pathways involved in these events remain to be elucidated. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze the role of ERα and ERβ in the activation of SRC, and the involvement of SRC and PI3K/AKT on invasion and colony formation of the PC-3 cells. Our results showed that the activation of ERα (using ERα-selective agonist PPT) and ERβ (using ERβ-selective agonist DPN) increased phosphorylation of SRC in PC-3 cells. In the presence of the selective inhibitor for SRC-family kinases PP2, the effects of DPN and PPT on transmigration and soft agar colony formation assays were decreased. Furthermore, SRC is involved in the expression of the non-phosphorylated β-catenin. Finally, using PI3K specific inhibitor Wortmannin and AKT inhibitor MK2206, we showed that PI3K/AKT are also required for invasion and colony formation of PC-3 cells simulated by ER. This study provides novel insights into molecular mechanisms of ER in PC-3 cells by demonstrating that ER, located outside the cell nucleus, activates rapid responses molecules, including SRC and PI3K/AKT, which enhance the tumorigenic potential of prostate cancer cells, increasing cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and tumor formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Estrogen Receptors in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Pharmaceutics in 2020
Pharmaceutics 2021, 13(2), 154; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020154 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Pharmaceutics maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Novel Role for the DNA Repair Enzyme 8-Oxoguanine DNA Glycosylase in Adipogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1152; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22031152 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Cells sustain constant oxidative stress from both exogenous and endogenous sources. When unmitigated by antioxidant defenses, reactive oxygen species damage cellular macromolecules, including DNA. Oxidative lesions in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA are repaired via the base excision repair (BER) pathway, initiated by [...] Read more.
Cells sustain constant oxidative stress from both exogenous and endogenous sources. When unmitigated by antioxidant defenses, reactive oxygen species damage cellular macromolecules, including DNA. Oxidative lesions in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA are repaired via the base excision repair (BER) pathway, initiated by DNA glycosylases. We have previously demonstrated that the BER glycosylase 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase (OGG1) plays a novel role in body weight maintenance and regulation of adiposity. Specifically, mice lacking OGG1 (Ogg1−/−) are prone to increased fat accumulation with age and consumption of hypercaloric diets. Conversely, transgenic animals with mitochondrially-targeted overexpression of OGG1 (Ogg1Tg) are resistant to age- and diet-induced obesity. Given these phenotypes of altered adiposity in the context of OGG1 genotype, we sought to determine if OGG1 plays a cell-intrinsic role in adipocyte maturation and lipid accumulation. Here, we report that preadipocytes from Ogg1−/− mice differentiate more efficiently and accumulate more lipids than those from wild-type animals. Conversely, OGG1 overexpression significantly blunts adipogenic differentiation and lipid accretion in both pre-adipocytes from Ogg1Tg mice, as well as in 3T3-L1 cells with adenovirus-mediated OGG1 overexpression. Mechanistically, changes in adipogenesis are accompanied by significant alterations in cellular PARylation, corresponding with OGG1 genotype. Specifically, deletion of OGG1 reduces protein PARylation, concomitant with increased adipogenic differentiation, while OGG1 overexpression significantly increases PARylation and blunts adipogenesis. Collectively, these data indicate a novel role for OGG1 in modulating adipocyte differentiation and lipid accretion. These findings have important implications to our knowledge of the fundamental process of adipocyte differentiation, as well as to our understanding of lipid-related diseases such as obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adipogenesis and Adipose Tissue Metabolism 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Visual Stimulus Signals Using Hue Change for SSVEP
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1045; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11031045 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
This study focuses on the problem of eye irritation when measuring steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) using a brain–computer interface and aims to clarify experimentally visual stimulus signals that do not cause discomfort to users. To this end, a method is proposed that [...] Read more.
This study focuses on the problem of eye irritation when measuring steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs) using a brain–computer interface and aims to clarify experimentally visual stimulus signals that do not cause discomfort to users. To this end, a method is proposed that introduces a flash stimulus in which the color is changed by changing its hue. This reduces the change in brightness while providing a color change, thereby facilitating visual stimulation with less discomfort. In experiments conducted, flash stimuli of the primary colors red, green, and blue and colors with different hues of 5–45° from these primary colors were generated to investigate the algorithm accuracy of SSVEP and discomfort. Subjective questionnaire and CFF values, which are ophthalmic parameters, were obtained for the subjects and compared to the discrimination rate. As a result of the comparison, it was confirmed that the fatigue level of the visual stimulus generated by the proposed hue change was lower than that of the conventional black-and-white stimulus. It was also confirmed that the combination of the hue difference and frequency could obtain the same discrimination rate as the conventional method. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Improving the Field’s Understanding of Suicide Protective Factors and Translational Suicide Prevention Initiatives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1027; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18031027 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
World Health Organization data show that approximately 800,000 persons die by suicide each year [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Biosynthesized Silica Nanosuspension as Thermal Fluid in Parabolic Solar Panels
Entropy 2021, 23(2), 142; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/e23020142 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
In this work, the production of biologically synthesized silica nanoparticles was proposed to prepare a nanosuspension as a thermal fluid in parabolic solar panels at the laboratory level. Silica nanoparticles were produced from construction sand in two stages. Biosynthesis broth was produced by [...] Read more.
In this work, the production of biologically synthesized silica nanoparticles was proposed to prepare a nanosuspension as a thermal fluid in parabolic solar panels at the laboratory level. Silica nanoparticles were produced from construction sand in two stages. Biosynthesis broth was produced by Aspergillus niger aerated fermentation in a 1 L bioreactor for 9 days. Each supernatant was contacted with 18% construction sand in a 500 L reactor with mechanical agitation, at a temperature of 25 °C, and a contact time of 30 min. Subsequently, the separation process was carried out. For day 9, a pH value of 1.71 was obtained as well as acid concentrations of 15.78 g/L for citrus and 4.16 g/L for malic. The metal extraction efficiency of Si nanoparticles was 19%. The vibration peaks in the FTIR were characteristic of the presence of silica nanoparticles in wavenumbers 1020 cm−1 and 1150 cm−1. Finally, a prototype solar radiation test bench for parabolic systems was built and provided with a radiation source that falls on a translucent pipe that transports the nanoparticles, which has a pump and a series of thermocouples. The heat capacity of the biotechnologically produced silica nanoparticle suspension was 0.72 ± 0.05 kJ/kgK, using material and energy balances in the flow circuit. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Chen, Y.-R., et al. Improvement of Impaired Motor Functions by Human Dental Exfoliated Deciduous Teeth Stem Cell-Derived Factors in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 3807
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(3), 1154; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22031154 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
The authors regret to have made a mistake in publishing this paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms Underlying CNS Inflammation)
Open AccessEditorial
Systematics and Conservation of Neotropical Amphibians and Reptiles
Diversity 2021, 13(2), 45; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/d13020045 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Conservation of Neotropical Amphibians and Reptiles)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Foods in 2020
Foods 2021, 10(2), 238; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/foods10020238 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Foods maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Open AccessBrief Report
Mesh-Type Three-Dimensional (3D) Printing of Human Organs and Tumors: Fast, Cost-Effective, and Personalized Anatomic Modeling of Patient-Oriented Visual Aids
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(3), 1047; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/app11031047 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Although three-dimensional (3D)-printed anatomic models are not new to medicine, the high costs and lengthy production times entailed have limited their application. Our goal was developing a new and less costly 3D modeling method to depict organ-tumor relations at faster printing speeds. We [...] Read more.
Although three-dimensional (3D)-printed anatomic models are not new to medicine, the high costs and lengthy production times entailed have limited their application. Our goal was developing a new and less costly 3D modeling method to depict organ-tumor relations at faster printing speeds. We have devised a method of 3D modeling using tomographic images. Coordinates are extracted at a specified interval, connecting them to create mesh-work replicas. Adjacent constructs are depicted by density variations, showing anatomic targets (i.e., tumors) in contrasting colors. An array of organ solid-tumor models was printed via a Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printer at significantly less cost ($0.05/cm3) and time expenditure (1.73 min/cm3; both, p < 0.001). Printed models helped promote visual appreciation of organ-tumor anatomy and adjacent tissues. Our mesh-work 3D thyroidal prototype reproduced glandular size/contour and tumor location, readily approximating the surgical specimen. This newly devised mesh-type 3D printing method may facilitate anatomic modeling for personalized care and improve patient awareness during informed surgical consent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Materials)
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Open AccessArticle
Indoor Camping in Fortified Heritage Buildings: A New Way of Sustainable Tourism Valorization
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13031215 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Indoor camping is an innovative, sustainable model of accommodation, the least intrusive one in solid facilities. Its temporary tourism function demands almost no additional construction work, meaning no permanent modification of space is needed for tourism purposes. Fortifications and defence buildings are recognised [...] Read more.
Indoor camping is an innovative, sustainable model of accommodation, the least intrusive one in solid facilities. Its temporary tourism function demands almost no additional construction work, meaning no permanent modification of space is needed for tourism purposes. Fortifications and defence buildings are recognised as valuable cultural attractions and present an anthropogenic resource with potential for touristic valorisation, both as sightseeing facilities as well as accommodation facilities. This paper explores the connection between the requirements of heritage protection of fortifications and the requirements of the application of indoor camping in these fortifications. The purpose of this paper is to help conserve fortifications by providing funding for their maintenance with the application of this innovative accommodation model respecting the principles of sustainability and health and safety standards in post-Covid tourism. The goal is to provide a general framework that could reconcile tourism businesses on one side and conservators on the other. The main scientific contribution is summarised in the framework of adequate implementation of indoor camping in fortified buildings according to conservators’ requirements. The interview technique was used to assess this. The authors found that indoor camping can be a suitable accommodation model in fortified buildings. The key limitation of the model is based on the fact that an individual approach is necessary for every heritage building, as well as fortification, since they are unique. Therefore, each application of an indoor camping model should receive a proper conservators’ permit before the entrepreneurship venture. Furthermore, the opinions of key stakeholders were also investigated. Full article
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Open AccessProceedings
Powering E-Textiles Using a Single Thread Radio Frequency Energy Harvesting Rectenna
Proceedings 2021, 68(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/proceedings2021068016 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Radio frequency energy harvesting (RFEH) and wireless power transfer (WPT) are increasingly seen as a method of enabling sustainable computing, as opposed to mechanical or solar EH WPT does not require special materials or resonators and can be implemented using low-cost conductors and [...] Read more.
Radio frequency energy harvesting (RFEH) and wireless power transfer (WPT) are increasingly seen as a method of enabling sustainable computing, as opposed to mechanical or solar EH WPT does not require special materials or resonators and can be implemented using low-cost conductors and standard semiconductor devices. This work revisits the simplest antenna design, the wire monopole to demonstrate the lowest-footprint, lowest-cost rectifying antenna (rectenna) based on a single Schottky diode. The antenna is fabricated using a single Litz-wire silk-coated thread, embroidered into a standard textile substrate. The rectifier is fabricated on a compact low-cost flexible printed circuit board (PCB) using ultra-thin polyimide copper laminates to accommodate low-footprint surface mount components. The antenna maintains its bandwidth across the 868/915 MHz license-free band on- and off-body with only −4.7 dB degradation in total efficiency in human proximity. The rectenna achieves up to 55% RF to DC efficiency with 1.8 V DC output, at 1 mW of RF power, demonstrating its suitability as a power-supply unit for ultra-low power e-textile nodes. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Antioxidants in 2020
Antioxidants 2021, 10(2), 170; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antiox10020170 (registering DOI) - 25 Jan 2021
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Antioxidants maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article

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