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  • Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)  (154)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019-01-17
    Description: Quiescent volcanoes dissipate a large part of their thermal energy through hot soils and ground degassing mainly in restricted areas called Diffuse Degassing Structures. La Solfatara crater represents the main spot of thermal release for the Campi Flegrei volcano (Italy) despite its reduced dimensions with regards to the whole caldera. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to measure thermal energy release extrapolating it from the ground surface temperature. We used imaging from thermal cameras at short distances (1 m) to obtain a mapping of areas with thermal anomalies and a measure of their temperatures. We built a conceptual model of the energy release from the ground to atmosphere, which well fits the experimental data taken in the La Solfatara crater. Using our model and data, we could estimate the average heat flux in a portion of the crater as q a v g = 220 ± 40 W / m 2 , compatible with other measurements in literature.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-4292
    Topics: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying , Geography
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-02-02
    Description: This article presents the impact on cyberbullying of the Asegúrate program. This educational program is based on the theory of normative social behavior, self-regulation skills, and the beliefs held by adolescents and consists in a whole package of strategies and resources to help teachers to include in the ordinary curricula. The evaluation of Asegúrate was carried out with a sample of 4779 students (48.9% girls) in 5th and 6th grade in primary education and compulsory secondary education (M = 12.76; SD = 1.67) through a quasi-experimental methodology, with two measures over time. The instrument used was the European Cyberbullying Intervention Project Questionnaire. The results show that the involvement in cyberbullying as cyber-victim, cyber-aggressor, and cyber-bully-victim increase without intervention, whereas it diminishes when intervention is carried out by the teachers who have received specific training and have used the didactic Asegúrate package. Additionally, the impact of the intervention on the different types of behaviors was analyzed, and the results show that Asegúrate is more effective with some forms than with others. Consequently, the Asegúrate program is effective for decreasing the prevalence of cyberbullying, but some modifications need to be made to impact on all the different forms it can take.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-11-29
    Description: In recent decades, numerous marine species have changed their distribution ranges due to ocean warming. The Spotfin burrfish, Chilomycterus reticulatus, is a reef fish with a global distribution along tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate areas of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. In this work, we analyzed the presence of this species, between 1990 and 2019, at two islands of the Canarian Archipelago under varying oceanographic conditions: El Hierro (the westernmost island, under more tropical conditions) and Gran Canaria (a central-east island, under more cooler conditions). We expected that, under increased ocean temperatures in recent decades, the number of sightings has increased in Gran Canaria relative to El Hierro. We compiled information from different sources, including interviews and local citizenship databases. A total of 534 sightings were reported: 38.58% from El Hierro and 61.43% from Gran Canaria. The number of sightings on Gran Canaria has significantly increased through time, at a rate of 0.1 sightings per year; at El Hierro, however, the number of sightings has not significantly changed over time. Sea Surface Temperature has linearly increased in both El Hierro and Gran Canaria islands over the last three decades. Positive Sea Surface Temperature anomalies, particularly in 1998 and 2010, including high winter minimum temperatures, provide an ideal oceanographic context to favour the arrival of new individuals and, consequently, the increase in the number of sightings in Gran Canaria. Still, potential donor areas of fish recruits remain unknown.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-11-27
    Description: Literature points out the role of parenting on adolescent cyberbullying involvement. However, it is necessary to clarify how gender affects this relationship. The aim of this study has been to examine the relation between the adolescents’ perception about parenting practices, and their involvement in cyberbullying, bearing in mind both girls’ and boys’ gender and progenitors’ gender. The sample comprised 2060 Spanish secondary school students (47.9% girls; Mage = 14.34). Two-way ANOVA and binary logistic regression analyses were carried out. An effect of the interaction between sex and cyberbullying roles in maternal affection and communication, inductive discipline, and psychological control, as well as paternal promotion of autonomy and psychological control, was found. In general, it can be observed that the more negative results were found in cyber-aggressors, especially when this role is assumed by girls. The results of logistic regression analysis suggest that parenting practices explain better cyberbullying involvement in girls compared to boys, finding some important differences between both sexes regarding protective and risk factors. These findings highlight the importance of parenting practices to explain cyberbullying involvement, which supports the necessity of including family among the addresses of intervention programs.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 5
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    Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
    In: Genes
    Publication Date: 2012-10-13
    Description: Although bacterial genomes have been traditionally viewed as being very compact, with relatively low amounts of repetitive and non-coding DNA, this view has dramatically changed in recent years. The increase of available complete bacterial genomes has revealed that many species present abundant repetitive DNA (i.e., insertion sequences, prophages or paralogous genes) and that many of these sequences are not functional but can have evolutionary consequences as concerns the adaptation to specialized host-related ecological niches. Comparative genomics analyses with close relatives that live in non-specialized environments reveal the nature and fate of this bacterial junk DNA. In addition, the number of insertion sequences and pseudogenes, as well as the size of the intergenic regions, can be used as markers of the evolutionary stage of a genome.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-09-30
    Description: Genes, Vol. 8, Pages 247: Et tu, Brute? Not Even Intracellular Mutualistic Symbionts Escape Horizontal Gene Transfer Genes doi: 10.3390/genes8100247 Authors: Sergio López-Madrigal Rosario Gil Many insect species maintain mutualistic relationships with endosymbiotic bacteria. In contrast to their free-living relatives, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has traditionally been considered rare in long-term endosymbionts. Nevertheless, meta-omics exploration of certain symbiotic models has unveiled an increasing number of bacteria-bacteria and bacteria-host genetic transfers. The abundance and function of transferred loci suggest that HGT might play a major role in the evolution of the corresponding consortia, enhancing their adaptive value or buffering detrimental effects derived from the reductive evolution of endosymbionts’ genomes. Here, we comprehensively review the HGT cases recorded to date in insect-bacteria mutualistic consortia, and discuss their impact on the evolutionary success of these associations.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2017-10-04
    Description: Genes, Vol. 8, Pages 253: Exonization of an Intronic LINE-1 Element Causing Becker Muscular Dystrophy as a Novel Mutational Mechanism in Dystrophin Gene Genes doi: 10.3390/genes8100253 Authors: Ana Gonçalves Jorge Oliveira Teresa Coelho Ricardo Taipa Manuel Melo-Pires Mário Sousa Rosário Santos A broad mutational spectrum in the dystrophin (DMD) gene, from large deletions/duplications to point mutations, causes Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy (D/BMD). Comprehensive genotyping is particularly relevant considering the mutation-centered therapies for dystrophinopathies. We report the genetic characterization of a patient with disease onset at age 13 years, elevated creatine kinase levels and reduced dystrophin labeling, where multiplex-ligation probe amplification (MLPA) and genomic sequencing failed to detect pathogenic variants. Bioinformatic, transcriptomic (real time PCR, RT-PCR), and genomic approaches (Southern blot, long-range PCR, and single molecule real-time sequencing) were used to characterize the mutation. An aberrant transcript was identified, containing a 103-nucleotide insertion between exons 51 and 52, with no similarity with the DMD gene. This corresponded to the partial exonization of a long interspersed nuclear element (LINE-1), disrupting the open reading frame. Further characterization identified a complete LINE-1 (~6 kb with typical hallmarks) deeply inserted in intron 51. Haplotyping and segregation analysis demonstrated that the mutation had a de novo origin. Besides underscoring the importance of mRNA studies in genetically unsolved cases, this is the first report of a disease-causing fully intronic LINE-1 element in DMD, adding to the diversity of mutational events that give rise to D/BMD.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-04-06
    Description: Genes, Vol. 9, Pages 195: TRAP1 Regulation of Cancer Metabolism: Dual Role as Oncogene or Tumor Suppressor Genes doi: 10.3390/genes9040195 Authors: Danilo Swann Matassa Ilenia Agliarulo Rosario Avolio Matteo Landriscina Franca Esposito Metabolic reprogramming is an important issue in tumor biology. An unexpected inter- and intra-tumor metabolic heterogeneity has been strictly correlated to tumor outcome. Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor-Associated Protein 1 (TRAP1) is a molecular chaperone involved in the regulation of energetic metabolism in cancer cells. This protein is highly expressed in several cancers, such as glioblastoma, colon, breast, prostate and lung cancers and is often associated with drug resistance. However, TRAP1 is also downregulated in specific tumors, such as ovarian, bladder and renal cancers, where its lower expression is correlated with the worst prognoses and chemoresistance. TRAP1 is the only mitochondrial member of the Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90) family that directly interacts with respiratory complexes, contributing to their stability and activity but it is still unclear if such interactions lead to reduced or increased respiratory capacity. The role of TRAP1 is to enhance or suppress oxidative phosphorylation; the effects of such regulation on tumor development and progression are controversial. These observations encourage the study of the mechanisms responsible for the dualist role of TRAP1 as an oncogene or oncosuppressor in specific tumor types. In this review, TRAP1 puzzling functions were recapitulated with a special focus on the correlation between metabolic reprogramming and tumor outcome. We wanted to investigate whether metabolism-targeting drugs can efficiently interfere with tumor progression and whether they might be combined with chemotherapeutics or molecular-targeted agents to counteract drug resistance and reduce therapeutic failure.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2018-11-27
    Description: Collaboration between multiple Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to set up a Flying Ad Hoc Network (FANET) is a growing trend since future applications claim for more autonomous and rapid deployable systems. The user experience on watching videos transmitted over FANETs should always be satisfactory even under influence of topology changes caused by the energy consumption of UAVs. In addition, the FANET must keep the UAVs cooperating as much as possible during a mission. However, one of the main challenges in FANET is how to mitigate the impact of limited energy resources of UAVs on the FANET operation in order to monitor the environment for a long period of time. In this sense, UAV replacement is required in order to avoid the premature death of nodes, network disconnections, route failures, void areas, and low-quality video transmissions. In addition, decision-making must take into account energy consumption associated with UAV movements, since they are generally quite energy-intensive. This article proposes a cooperative UAV scheme for enhancing video transmission and global energy efficiency called VOEI. The main goal of VOEI is to maintain the video with QoE support while supporting the nodes with a good connectivity quality level and flying for a long period of time. Based on an Software Defined Network (SDN) paradigm, the VOEI assumes the existence of a centrailized controller node to compute reliable and energy-efficiency routes, as well as detects the appropriate moment for UAV replacement by considering global FANET context information to provide energy-efficiency operations. Based on simulation results, we conclude that VOEI can effectively mitigate the energy challenges of FANET, since it provides energy-efficiency operations, avoiding network death, route failure, and void area, as well as network partitioning compared to state-of-the-art algorithm. In addition, VOEI delivers videos with suitable Quality of Experience (QoE) to end-users at any time, which is not achieved by the state-of-the-art algorithm.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-06-26
    Description: Features were developed which accounted for the changing orientation of the inertial measurement unit (IMU) relative to the body, and demonstrably improved the performance of models for human activity recognition (HAR). The method is proficient at separating periods of standing and sedentary activity (i.e., sitting and/or lying) using only one IMU, even if it is arbitrarily oriented or subsequently re-oriented relative to the body; since the body is upright during walking, learning the IMU orientation during walking provides a reference orientation against which sitting and/or lying can be inferred. Thus, the two activities can be identified (irrespective of the cohort) by analyzing the magnitude of the angle of shortest rotation which would be required to bring the upright direction into coincidence with the average orientation from the most recent 2.5 s of IMU data. Models for HAR were trained using data obtained from a cohort of 37 older adults (83.9 ± 3.4 years) or 20 younger adults (21.9 ± 1.7 years). Test data were generated from the training data by virtually re-orienting the IMU so that it is representative of carrying the phone in five different orientations (relative to the thigh). The overall performance of the model for HAR was consistent whether the model was trained with the data from the younger cohort, and tested with the data from the older cohort after it had been virtually re-oriented (Cohen’s Kappa 95% confidence interval [0.782, 0.793]; total class sensitivity 95% confidence interval [84.9%, 85.6%]), or the reciprocal scenario in which the model was trained with the data from the older cohort, and tested with the data from the younger cohort after it had been virtually re-oriented (Cohen’s Kappa 95% confidence interval [0.765, 0.784]; total class sensitivity 95% confidence interval [82.3%, 83.7%]).
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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