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Published by MDPI AG
Online ISSN: 2413-4155
Publications
Typical appearance of the three groups of liver tissues under investigation. (A) A healthy mouse liver. (B) A heterogeneously inflamed liver with small nodules ca. 0.5-1 mm in size (arrows) and a cirrhotic gross appearance. (C) An HCC tumor (arrow) in the liver. B and C were obtained from aged MDR2-KO mice.
Typical 13 C spectra, enzyme activities, and histological preparations of PCLS from a healthy mouse, and MRD2-KO mice with heterogeneous liver and HCC tumors. (A-C) 13 C spectra acquired at specific times following the injection of [1-13 C]pyruvate to PCLS obtained from a normal mouse (A, at 41 s), an aged MDR2 KO mouse with heterogeneous liver (B, at 32 s), and an aged MDR2-KO mouse with an HCC tumor in the liver (C, at 32 s). The spectra were processed with 5 Hz exponential multiplication, zero filled from 16,384 to 65,536 points, and baseline corrected. Ala, [1-13 C]alanine; Lac, [1-13] lactate. The [1-13 C]pyruvate hydrate at 179.35 signal is truncated. (D-F) The enzymatic activity of LDH and ALT calculated from the spectra shown in A-C, respectively. The error bars show a 10% error which was estimated based on the signal-to-noise ratio in the spectra. (G-I) Typical histological preparations from the PCLS that were perfused in the spectrometer and used for the metabolic study. The tissues were taken for histology many hours after harvesting-at the end of the study which consisted of several hours of perfusion in the spectrometer. For this reason, the quality of the preparation for light microscopy is reduced. (G) Liver of a healthy mouse, with hepatic sinusoids (green arrows), and normal hepatocytes with small heterochromatic nuclei (blue arrows). (H) Heterogeneous liver of an aged MDR2-KO mouse, with hepatocytes with less heterochromatic nuclei (blue arrows). (I) An HCC tumor from the liver of an aged MDR2-KO mouse, with hepatocytes with large euchromatic nuclei (red arrows). Bar size is 100 µm; PV, portal vein; BD, bile duct; BV, blood vessel.
The LDH to ALT activities ratio in PCLS from normal liver, heterogeneous liver, and HCC tumors in the liver.
Parameters used for enzymatic rate calculations per animal per injection of hyperpolarized [1-13 C]pyruvate.
The clinical characterization of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lesions in the liver and differentiation from heterogeneous inflammatory or fibrotic background is important for early detection and treatment. Metabolic monitoring of hyperpolarized 13C-labeled substrates has been suggested as a new avenue for diagnostic magnetic resonance. The metabolism of hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate was monitored in mouse precision-cut liver slices (PCLS) of aged MDR2-KO mice, which served as a model for heterogeneous liver and HCC that develops similarly to the human disease. The relative in-cell activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to alanine transaminase (ALT) were found to be 0.40 ± 0.06 (n = 3) in healthy livers (from healthy mice), 0.90 ± 0.27 (n = 3) in heterogeneously inflamed liver, and 1.84 ± 0.46 (n = 3) in HCC. Thus, the in-cell LDH/ALT activities ratio was found to correlate with the progression of the disease. The results suggest that the LDH/ALT activities ratio may be useful in the assessment of liver disease. Because the technology used here is translational to both small liver samples that may be obtained from image-guided biopsy (i.e., ex vivo investigation) and to the intact liver (i.e., in a non-invasive MRI scan), these results may provide a path for differentiating heterogeneous liver from HCC in human subjects.
 
The clinical characterization of small hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lesions in the liver and differentiation from heterogeneous inflammatory or fibrotic background is important for early detection and treatment. Metabolic monitoring of hyperpolarized 13C-labeled substrates has been suggested as a new avenue for diagnostic magnetic resonance. The metabolism of hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate was monitored in mouse precision-cut liver slices (PCLS) of aged MDR2-KO mice, which served as a model for heterogeneous liver and HCC that develops similarly to the human disease. The relative in-cell activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) to alanine transaminase (ALT) were found to be 0.40 ± 0.06 (n = 3) in healthy livers (from healthy mice), 0.90 ± 0.27 (n = 3) in heterogeneously inflamed liver, and 1.84 ± 0.46 (n = 3) in HCC. Thus, the in-cell LDH/ALT activities ratio was found to correlate with the progression of the disease. The results suggest that the LDH/ALT activities ratio may be useful in the assessment of liver disease. Because the technology used here is translational to both small liver samples that may be obtained from image-guided biopsy (i.e., ex vivo investigation) and to the intact liver (i.e., in a non-invasive MRI scan), these results may provide a path for differentiating heterogeneous liver from HCC in human subjects.
 
Hypothesis for the emergence of the primitive translation sytem. (A) The primitive structure of the primitive tRNA anticodon stem loop and small and large subunit as obtained from junctions of ancestral tRNAs. (B) Interactions between the primitive small subunit with the primitive mRNA and the PTC, and with the tRNA anticodon stem loop. (C) Accretion of new parts and increased stability of the small and large subunit made possible the interaction between small and large subunit and emergence of the primitive translation system.
Individual alignments between each canonical ancestor tRNAs (plus strand) and the 16S molecule from Thermus thermophilus.
We tested the hypothesis that concatemers of ancestral tRNAs gave rise to the 16S ribosomal RNA. We built an ancestral sequence of proto-tRNAs that showed a significant identity of 51.69% and a percentage of structural identity of 0.941 with the 16S ribosomal molecule. We also propose a hypothesis for the emergence of translation.
 
(A) Structural alignment generated between ancestral concatemers of tRNAs (blue), and modern 16S ribosomal molecule from T. thermophilus (red) with RMSD = 0.602 and PSI = 0.940, E. coli (yellow) with RMSD = 1.159 and PSI = 0.906, and Mycobacterium smegmatis (green) with RMSD = 1.201 and PSI = 0.861. (B) Consensual tridimensional model derivate from multiple structural alignment.
Individual alignments between each canonical ancestor tRNAs and the 16S molecule from Thermus thermophilus.
We tested the hypothesis that concatemers of ancestral tRNAs gave rise to the 16S ribosomal RNA. We built an ancestral sequence of proto-tRNAs that showed a significant identity of 51.69% and a percentage of structural identity of 0.941 with the 16S ribosomal molecule. We also propose a hypothesis for the emergence of translation.
 
Classification of Direct Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
Summary of tests for the retrieval of PII that has expired.
On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Article 17, the Right to Erasure (“Right to be Forgotten”) came into force, making it vital for organisations to identify, locate and delete all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) where a valid request is received from a data subject to erase their PII and the contractual period has expired. This must be done without undue delay and the organisation must be able to demonstrate that reasonable measures were taken. Failure to comply may incur significant fines, not to mention impact to reputation. Many organisations do not understand their data, and the complexity of a hybrid cloud infrastructure means they do not have the resources to undertake this task. The variety of available tools are quite often unsuitable as they involve restructuring so there is one centralised data repository. This research aims to demonstrate that compliance with GDPR’s Article 17 Right to Erasure (“Right to be Forgotten”) is achievable in a hybrid cloud environment by following a list of recommendations. However, full retrieval, all of the time will not be possible, but we show that small organisations running an ad-hoc hybrid cloud environment can demonstrate that reasonable measures were taken to be Right to Erasure (“Right to be Forgotten”) compliant.
 
On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)Article 17, the Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) came into force making it vital for organisations to identify, locate and delete all Personally Identifiable Information (PII) where a valid request is received from a data subject to erase their PII and the contractual period has expired. This must be done without undue delay and the organisation must be able to demonstrate reasonable measures were taken. Failure to comply may incur significant fines, not to mention impact to reputation. Many organisations do not understand their data, and the complexity of a hybrid cloud infrastructure means they do not have the resources to undertake this task. The variety of available tools are quite often unsuitable as they involve restructuring so there is one centralised data repository. This research aims to demonstrate compliance with GDPR’s Article 17 Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) is achievable in a Hybrid cloud environment by following a list of recommendations. However, 100% retrieval, 100% of time will not be possible, but we show that small organisations running an ad-hoc Hybrid cloud environment can demonstrate that reasonable measures were taken to be Right to Erasure (‘Right to be Forgotten’) compliant.
 
In the present study Aprepitant (APT) ternary solid dispersions (SDs) were developed and evaluated for the first time. Specifically, ternary SDs of APT with Poloxamer 188 and Soluplus® (SOL) were prepared via melt mixing and compared to binary APT/Poloxamer 188 and APT/SOL SDs. Initially, combined thermo-gravimetric and hot-stage polarized light microscopy studies indicated that all tested compounds were thermally stable up to 280 °C, while Poloxamer 188 acted as a plasticizer to SOL by significantly reducing the temperature required to fully solubilize the API during SD preparation. Differential scanning calorimetry combined with wide angle X-ray diffraction studies showed that crystalline API was dispersed in both binary and ternary SDs, while Fourier transformation-infrared spectroscopy studies revealed no molecular interactions among the components. Scanning electron microscopy combined with EDAX element analysis showed that the API was dispersed in nano-scale within the polymer matrices, while increasing APT content led to increasing API nano-crystals within the SDs. Finally, dissolution studies showed that the prepared formulations enhanced dissolution of Aprepitant and its mechanism analysis was further studied. A mathematical model was also investigated to evaluate the drug release mechanism
 
In the present study Aprepitant (APT) ternary solid dispersions (SDs) were developed and evaluated for the first time. Specifically, ternary SDs of APT with Poloxamer 188 and Soluplus® (SOL) were prepared via melt mixing and compared to binary APT/Poloxamer 188 and APT/SOL SDs. Initially, combined thermo-gravimetric and hot-stage polarized light microscopy studies indicated that all tested compounds were thermally stable up to 280 °C, while Poloxamer 188 acted as a plasticizer to SOL by significantly reducing the temperature required to fully solubilize the API during SD preparation. Differential scanning calorimetry combined with wide angle X-ray diffraction studies showed that crystalline API was dispersed in both binary and ternary SDs, while Fourier transformation-infrared spectroscopy studies revealed no molecular interactions among the components. Scanning electron microscopy combined with EDAX element analysis showed that the API was dispersed in nano-scale within the polymer matrices, while increasing APT content led to increasing API nano-crystals within the SDs. Finally, dissolution studies showed that the prepared formulations enhanced dissolution of Aprepitant and its mechanism analysis was further studied. A mathematical model was also investigated to evaluate the drug release mechanism.
 
In the present study Aprepitant (APT) ternary solid dispersions (SDs) were developed and evaluated for the first time. Specifically, ternary SDs of APT with Poloxamer 188 and Soluplus® (SOL) were prepared via melt mixing and compared to binary APT/Poloxamer 188 and APT/SOL SDs. Initially, combined thermo-gravimetric and hot-stage polarized light microscopy studies indicated that all tested compounds were thermally stable up to 280 °C, while Poloxamer 188 acted as a plasticizer to SOL by significantly reducing the temperature required to fully solubilize the API during SD preparation. Differential scanning calorimetry combined with wide angle X-ray diffraction studies showed that crystalline API was dispersed in both binary and ternary SDs, while Fourier transformation-infrared spectroscopy studies revealed no molecular interactions among the components. Scanning electron microscopy combined with EDAX element analysis showed that the API was dispersed in nano-scale within the polymer matrices, while increasing APT content led to increasing API nano-crystals within the SDs. Finally, dissolution studies showed that the prepared formulations enhanced dissolution of Aprepitant and its mechanism analysis was further studied. A mathematical model was also investigated to evaluate the drug release mechanism.
 
Total Number of Kuwaiti and Non-Kuwaiti COVID-19 Cases and Control Strategies in Kuwait between 28th of February and 17th of April, 2020 (Data Source: MOH, 2020).
Daily COVID-19 Cases in Kuwait by Source (Source: MOH, 2020).
Breakdown of COVID-19 Cases by Nationality in Kuwait. Source: KUNA Report on Ministry.of Health Media Office (17 April 2020).
Kuwait Daily COVID-19 Cases and Global COVID-19 Trajectory (Source: MOH, 2020).
The world is currently facing a serious pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which started in Wuhan, China, and was then transmitted rapidly to other countries. Countries applied different methods and procedures in an attempt to prevent or reduce and/or control the incidence of cases and manage existing ones. This paper discusses the methods and procedures applied by Kuwait to control this epidemic, and how effective they have been. The State of Kuwait followed WHO, European CDC, US CDC, and/or other countries’ institutional guidelines, and is still working on containing the disease, given the rising number of cases among Kuwaitis returning from affected areas such as the UK and USA, and migrant workers who share the burden, given their living conditions.
 
Kuwait Daily COVID-19 Cases and Global COVID-19 Trajectory (Source: MOH, 2020).
The world is currently facing a serious pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which started in Wuhan, China, and was then transmitted rapidly to other countries. Countries applied different methods and procedures in an attempt to prevent or reduce and/or control the incidence of cases and manage existing ones. This paper discusses the methods and procedures applied by Kuwait to control this epidemic, and how effective they have been. The State of Kuwait followed WHO, European CDC, US CDC, and/or other countries’ institutional guidelines, and is still working on containing the disease, given the rising number of cases among Kuwaitis returning from affected areas such as the UK and USA, and migrant workers who bear the highest burden, given their cramped living conditions.
 
Verification of COVID-19 vaccine status workflow.
Accident monitoring system-multi-sensor data processing framework.
Physical activity is a crucial factor for maintaining not only physical health status, but vast amounts of research have shown its link with better mental health. Supporting the use of gyms for the safety of its practitioners is vital in the new norm and living with COVID-19. Therefore, in this study we show research supporting the development of a framework for a Total Safe-Care Fitness Solution based on a multimodal COVID-19 tracking system integrating computer vision and data from wearable sensors. We propose a framework with three areas that need to be integrated: a COVID-19 vaccine and health status recognition system (QR code scan prior to entry to the gym, and physiological signals monitored by a smart-band and a health questionnaire filled in prior to entry to the gym); an accident detection system (video and smart-band based); and a gym-user digital tracking system (CCTV and smart-band based). We show the proposed architecture for the integration of these systems and provide practical tips on how to implement it in testbeds for feasibility testing. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first proposed COVID-19 tracking system of use in gyms that includes a predictive model for accident detection for safer exercise participation through health monitoring.
 
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global community in terms of every imaginable parameter. The research output on COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal, especially in the medical and biomedical sciences, where the search for a potential vaccine has been conducted in earnest. Much of the advanced research has been distributed in leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), where the latest research is distributed on a daily basis. The purpose of this paper is to provide some perspectives on 44 interesting and highly topical research papers that have been published in JAMA, at the time of writing, within the past two weeks. The diverse topics include public health, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, pediatrics, geriatrics, and biostatistics.
 
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease has wreaked havoc on the world community in terms of every imaginable parameter. The research output on COVID-19 has been nothing short of phenomenal, especially in the medical and biomedical sciences, where the search for a potential vaccine is being conducted in earnest. Much of the advanced research has been distributed in the leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), where the latest research is distributed on a daily basis. The purpose of this paper is to provide some perspectives on 44 interesting and highly topical research papers that have been published in JAMA, at the time of writing, within the past two weeks. The diverse topics include public health, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, paediatrics, geriatrics, and biostatistics.
 
Cont.
Experimental X-ray data collection data collection details from (C 4 N 2 H 14 )[Co(H2PO3)4]·2H2O.
Hydrogen bonding network in the framework of (C4H14N2)[Co(H2PO3)4]·2H2O.
Hydrogen bonding network in the framework of (C 4 H 14 N 2 )[Co(H 2 PO 3 ) 4 ]·2H 2 O.
A novel hybrid phosphite (C4H14N2)[Co(H2PO3)4]∙2H2O was synthesized with 1,4-diaminobutane (dabn) as a structure-directing agent using slow evaporation method. Single crystalX-ray diraction analysis showed that it crystallizes in the P-1 triclinic space group, with the following unit cell parameters (Å, °) a = 5.4814 (3), b = 7.5515 (4), c = 10.8548 (6), α = 88.001 (4), β = 88.707 (5), = 85.126 (5), and V= 447.33 (4) Å3. The crystal structure was built up from corner-sharing [CoO6]octahedrons, forming chains parallel to [001], which are interconnected by H2PO3-pseudo-tetrahedral units. The diprotonated 1,4-butanediammonium molecules, residing between the parallel chains, interacted with the inorganic moiety via hydrogen bonds leading thus to the formation of the 3D crystal structure. The Fourier transform infrared spectrum showed characteristic bands corresponding to the phosphite group and the organic molecule. The thermal decomposition of the compound consisted mainly of the loss of the organic moiety and the water molecules. The biological tests exhibited significant activity against Candida albicans and Escherichia coli strains in all used concentrations, while less activity was pronounced when tested against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Saccharomycescerevisiae, while there was no activity against the nematode model Steinernema feltiae.
 
Antimicrobial activity of (H2DAB)[Co(H2PO3)4]·2H2O against C. albicans, S. cerevisiae, E. coli, S. epidermidis and S. feltiae.
Experimental X-ray data collection from (H 2 DAB)[Co(H 2 PO 3 ) 4 ]·2H 2 O.
A novel hybrid cobalt phosphite, (H2DAB)[Co(H2PO3)4] 2H2O, was synthesized by using a slow evaporation method in the presence of cobalt nitrate, phosphorous acid, and 1,4-diaminobutane (DAB = 1,4-diaminobutane) as a structure-directing agent. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the compound crystallizes in the triclinic system (space group P-1(n.2)) with the following unit cell parameters (Å, °) a = 5.4814 (3), b = 7.5515 (4), c = 10.8548 (6), α = 88.001 (4), β = 88.707 (5), γ = 85.126 (5), and V = 447.33 (4) Å3. The crystal structure is built up from corner-sharing [CoO6] octahedra, forming chains parallel to [001], which are interconnected by H2PO3− pseudo-tetrahedral units. The diprotonated cations, residing between the parallel chains, interact with the inorganic moiety via hydrogen bonds, thus leading to the formation of the 3D crystal structure. The Fourier transform infrared spectrum showed characteristic bands corresponding to the phosphite group and the organic amine. The thermal behavior of the compound mainly consisted of the loss of its organic moiety and the water molecules. The biological tests exhibited significant activity against Candida albicans and Escherichia coli strains at different concentrations, while less inhibitory activity was pronounced against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and in the case of multi-cellular organisms, no activity against the nematode model Steinernema feltiae was detected.
 
The infrared spectrum of [(C4N2H14)Co(H2PO3)4·2H2O].
H-bonds distances in the framework of [(C4N2H14)Co(H2PO3)4·2H2O].
A novel hybrid phosphite [(C4N2H14)Co(H2PO3)4·2H2O] was synthesized with 1,4- diaminobutane (dabn) as a structure-directing agent using slow evaporation method. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis showed that it crystallizes in the triclinic system (S.G: P-1, #2) with the following unit cell parameters (Å, °) a = 5.4814 (3), b = 7.5515 (4), c = 10.8548 (6), α = 88.001 (4), β = 88.707 (5), γ = 85.126 (5). The crystal structure was built up from corner-sharing [CoO6]-octahedrons, forming chains parallel to [001], which are interconnected by H2PO3 pseudo-pyramid units. The diprotonated 1,4-diaminobutane molecules, residing between the parallel chains, interacted with the inorganic moiety via hydrogen bonds leading thus to the formation of the 3D crystal structure. The Fourier transform infrared result exhibited characteristic bands corresponding to the phosphite group and the organic molecule. The thermal decomposition of the compound consists mainly of the loss of the organic moiety and the water molecules. The biological tests exhibited significant activity against Candida albicans and Escherichia coli strains in all used concentrations, while less activity was pronounced when tested against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, while there was no activity against the nematode model Steinernema feltiae.
 
The infrared spectrum of (C 4 N 2 H 14 )[Co(H 2 PO 3 ) 4 ]·2H 2 O.
Experimental X-ray data collection data collection details from (C 4 N 2 H 14 )[Co(H 2 PO 3 ) 4 ]·2H 2 O.
Hydrogen bonding network in the framework of (C 4 N 2 H 14 )[Co(H 2 PO 3 ) 4 ]·2H 2 O.
A novel hybrid phosphite (C4N2H14)[Co(H2PO3)4]·2H2O was synthesized with 1,4- diaminobutane (dabn) as a structure-directing agent using slow evaporation method. Single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis showed that it crystallizes in the P\-1 triclinic space group, with the following unit cell parameters (Å, °) a = 5.4814 (3), b = 7.5515 (4), c = 10.8548 (6), α = 88.001 (4), β = 88.707 (5), γ = 85.126 (5), and V = 447.33 (4) Å3. The crystal structure was built up from corner-sharing [CoO6]-octahedrons, forming chains parallel to [001], which are interconnected by H2PO3− pseudo-tetrahedral units. The diprotonated 1,4-butanediammonium molecules, residing between the parallel chains, interacted with the inorganic moiety via hydrogen bonds leading thus to the formation of the 3D crystal structure. The Fourier transform infrared spectrum showed characteristic bands corresponding to the phosphite group and the organic molecule. The thermal decomposition of the compound consisted mainly of the loss of the organic moiety and the water molecules. The biological tests exhibited significant activity against Candida albicans and Escherichia coli strains in all used concentrations, while less activity was pronounced when tested against Staphylococcus epidermidis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, while there was no activity against the nematode model Steinernema feltiae.
 
The coordination polymer [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 exhibits the rare phenomenon of spin crossover in an attractive temperature range, i.e., somewhat above room temperature. Spin crossover in [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 is manifest by thermochromism, which is accompanied by a magnetic transition from diamagnetism to paramagnetism. However, [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 is brittle and difficult to process, which limits its use. In this study, we show that [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 can be co-processed with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which possesses outstanding mechanical properties, particularly when tensile drawn. Therefore, [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2–UHMWPE blends were gel-processed by extrusion, employing a relatively poor solvent, which has recently been shown to offer advantages compared to good solvents. Uniform and flexible films, ribbons and fibers with [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 fractions as high as 33.3% m/m were obtained that could be readily drawn. Spin crossover in the coordination polymer is retained in these materials, as evident from their thermochromism. The tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the blends exceed those of typical commodity polymers. Thus, the films, ribbons and fibers constitute a special class of multifunctional materials that combine the flexibility and excellent mechanical properties of drawn UHMWPE with the spin crossover behavior of [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2.
 
(a) Knitted fabric of gel-spun fibers of an UHMWPE-[Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 blend with ~33.3% m/m [Fe(NH2trz3)](2ns)2 (scale bar 5 mm). (b) Magnification of a part of the fabric (scale bar 0.5 mm).
The coordination polymer [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 (NH2trz = 4-amino-1,2,4-triazole and 2ns− = counterion 2-naphthalene sulfonate) exhibits the rare phenomenon of spin crossover in an attractive temperature range, i.e., somewhat above room temperature. Spin crossover in [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 is manifested by thermochromism, which is accompanied by a magnetic transition from diamagnetism to paramagnetism. However, [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 is brittle and difficult to process, which limits its use. In this study, we show that [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 can be co-processed with ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which possesses outstanding mechanical properties, particularly when tensile-drawn. Therefore, [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2–UHMWPE blends were gel-processed by extrusion, employing a relatively poor solvent, which has recently been shown to offer advantages compared to good solvents. Uniform and flexible films, ribbons and fibers with [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2 fractions as high as 33.3% m/m were obtained that could be readily drawn. Spin crossover in the coordination polymer is retained in these materials, as evident from their thermochromism. The tensile strength and Young’s modulus of the blends exceed those of typical commodity polymers. Thus, the films, ribbons and fibers constitute a special class of multifunctional materials that combine the flexibility and excellent mechanical properties of drawn UHMWPE with the spin crossover behavior of [Fe(NH2trz)3](2ns)2.
 
Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese painting style most commonly printed using wood blocks. Ukiyo-e prints feature distinct line work, bright colours, and a non-perspective projection. Most previous research on ukiyo-e styled computer graphics has been focused on creation of 2D images. In this paper we propose a framework for rendering interactive 3D scenes with ukiyo-e style. The rendering techniques use standard 3D models as input and require minimal additional information to automatically render scenes in a ukiyo-e style. The described techniques are evaluated based on their ability to emulate ukiyo-e prints, performance, and temporal coherence.
 
Ukiyo-e is a traditional Japanese painting style most commonly printed using wood blocks. Ukiyo-e prints feature distinct line work, bright colours, and a non-perspective projection. Most previous research on ukiyo-e styled computer graphics has been focused on creation of 2D images. In this paper we propose a framework for rendering interactive 3D scenes with ukiyo-e style. The rendering techniques use standard 3D models as input and require minimal additional information to automatically render scenes in a ukiyo-e style. The described techniques are evaluated based on their ability to emulate ukiyo-e prints, performance, and temporal coherence.
 
This paper addresses the management of digital–informational transformation of industrial enterprises. Any transformation requires the coordinated action of several independent actors. Similarly, the digital–informational transformation required for the fourth industrial revolution (i.e., Industry 4.0) requires the involvement of multiple actors from the public and private sectors. This applies to an individual company as well as to the entire sector, regardless of the desired level of transformation. The increasing dissolution of boundaries between industrial and non-industrial actors is therefore essential for Industry 4.0. This paper addresses the above dissolution activities, focusing on cross-company networks and management issues. The management aspects of the following factors are examined: culture change, strategies, degree of digitalization, degree of networking, Internet of Things, digital ecosystems, human resources, organizational development, hierarchies, cross-functional collaboration, cost drivers, innovation pressures, supply chains, enterprise resource planning systems and corporate acquisitions/mergers. Based on the findings on the above factors, a management-driven model of the “transformation to Industry 4.0” for manufacturing companies is presented and discussed. This work thus complements the existing literature on Industry 4.0, as the majority of the literature on Industry 4.0 deals with technical problem solving at the field level.
 
In this work, a hybrid component Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) approach for industrial sensor systems is established and analyzed, to provide a hybrid schema that combines the advantages and eliminates the drawbacks of both model-based and data-driven methods of diagnosis. Moreover, it shines the light on a new utilization of Random Forest (RF) together with model-based diagnosis, beyond its ordinary data-driven application. RF is trained and hyperparameter tuned using three-fold cross validation over a random grid of parameters using random search, to finally generate diagnostic graphs as the dynamic, data-driven part of this system. This is followed by translating those graphs into model-based rules in the form of if-else statements, SQL queries or semantic queries such as SPARQL, in order to feed the dynamic rules into a structured model essential for further diagnosis. The RF hyperparameters are consistently updated online using the newly generated sensor data to maintain the dynamicity and accuracy of the generated graphs and rules thereafter. The architecture of the proposed method is demonstrated in a comprehensive manner, and the dynamic rules extraction phase is applied using a case study on condition monitoring of a hydraulic test rig using time-series multivariate sensor readings.
 
In this work, a hybrid component Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) approach for industrial sensor systems is established and analyzed, to provide a hybrid schema that combines the advantages and eliminates the drawbacks of both model-based and data-driven methods of diagnosis. Moreover, it shines light on a new utilization of Random Forest (RF) together with model-based diagnosis, beyond its ordinary data-driven application. RF is trained and hyperparameter tuned using three-fold cross validation over a random grid of parameters using random search, to finally generate diagnostic graphs as the dynamic, data-driven part of this system. This is followed by translating those graphs into model-based rules in the form of if-else statements, SQL queries or semantic queries such as SPARQL, in order to feed the dynamic rules into a structured model essential for further diagnosis. The RF hyperparameters are consistently updated online using the newly generated sensor data to maintain the dynamicity and accuracy of the generated graphs and rules thereafter. The architecture of the proposed method is demonstrated in a comprehensive manner, and the dynamic rules extraction phase is applied using a case study on condition monitoring of a hydraulic test rig using time-series multivariate sensor readings.
 
Industry 4.0 is one of the most influential trends in manufacturing as of now. Coined as the fourth industrial revolution it promises to overthrow entrenched structures opening new pathways for innovation and value creation. Like all revolutions, it is accompanied by disruption and uncertainty. Consequently, many manufacturing companies struggle to adopt an Industry 4.0 perspective that benefits their performance. Hence, our goal was to develop a method for increasing firm performance through Industry 4.0. A key factor was to focus on the entire company as a socio-technical system to depict the numerous interactions between people, technology, and business/organization. To realize the method, we combined consortium research, design science, and method engineering. We gathered comprehensive data from workshops, interviews, and five case studies, which we used to develop the method. It consists of four phases: a maturity model to determine the status quo, a procedure to derive a target position, a pattern-based approach to design the socio-technical system, and a procedure to define a transformation setup. Our approach is the first to combine maturity models with foresight and extensive prescriptive knowledge. For practitioners, the method gives orientation for the future-oriented planning of their transformation processes.
 
One of the decision trees in the RF after feature selection and hyperparameter tuning. One of the decision trees in the RF after feature selection and hyperparameter tuning.
Hydraulic test rig chosen faults and their full description.
RF accuracies using different features based on their importance.
In this work, a hybrid component Fault Detection and Diagnosis (FDD) approach for industrial sensor systems is established and analyzed, to provide a hybrid schema that combines the advantages and eliminates the drawbacks of both model-based and data-driven methods of diagnosis. Moreover, it shines the light on a new utilization of Random Forest (RF) together with model-based diagnosis, beyond its ordinary data-driven application. RF is trained and hyperparameter tuned using three-fold cross validation over a random grid of parameters using random search, to finally generate diagnostic graphs as the dynamic, data-driven part of this system. This is followed by translating those graphs into model-based rules in the form of if-else statements, SQL queries or semantic queries such as SPARQL, in order to feed the dynamic rules into a structured model essential for further diagnosis. The RF hyperparameters are consistently updated online using the newly generated sensor data to maintain the dynamicity and accuracy of the generated graphs and rules thereafter. The architecture of the proposed method is demonstrated in a comprehensive manner, and the dynamic rules extraction phase is applied using a case study on condition monitoring of a hydraulic test rig using time-series multivariate sensor readings.
 
Essential fields of Data Democratization for Manufacturing.
Results for the capability "Collaboration in IT".
Data-driven transparency in end-to-end operations in real-time is seen as a key benefit of the fourth industrial revolution. In the context of a factory, it enables fast and precise diagnoses and corrections of deviations and, thus, contributes to the idea of an agile enterprise. Since a factory is a complex socio-technical system, multiple technical, organizational and cultural capabilities need to be established and aligned. In recent studies, the underlying broad accessibility of data and corresponding analytics tools are called “data democratization”. In this study, we examine the status quo of the relevant capabilities for data democratization in the manufacturing industry. (1) and outline the way forward. (2) The insights are based on 259 studies on the digital maturity of factories from multiple industries and regions of the world using the acatech Industrie 4.0 Maturity Index as a framework. For this work, a subset of the data was selected. (3) As a result, the examined factories show a lack of capabilities across all dimensions of the framework (IT systems, resources, organizational structure, culture). (4) Thus, we conclude that the outlined implementation approach needs to comprise the technical backbone for a data pipeline as well as capability building and an organizational transformation.
 
Variants of Industrie 4.0 and the respective time of market emergence in China. 2.1.1. China Manufacturing 2025 "China Manufacturing 2025" was a strategic initiative brought out by Prime Minister Li Keqiang. An official document was issued by the State Council in May 2015 meant to strengthen the manufacturing capability of the Chinese economy. The China Manufacturing 2025 Plan is also known as the "China Version of The Industrie 4.0 Plan". The concept of "China Manufacturing 2025" was first proposed by the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Under the overall planning of the State Council, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) took the lead in working with more than 20 ministries and commissions such as the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Science and Technology and more than 50 academicians to formally compile the "China Manufacturing 2025 Plan" [5].
Talent demand and talent gap in intelligent manufacturing field in China; unit: 10,000 persons (Source: China Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security).
Industrie 4.0 has stirred turbulences in China since its birth in 2011. The struggles of the Chinese manufacturing enterprises towards realizing and adapting Industrie 4.0 in their production processes have given us many new perceptions. These insights and findings can in turn serve as inputs for academics and policy makers to structure or fine tune the development of the next generation of Industrie 4.0. The authors of this paper summarize the knowledge and understandings from their personal engagement assisting the Chinese manufacturing enterprises with digitalization in their production processes. A real-life example shows how a typical Chinese mid-size manufacturing enterprise ended up with new business models when they started out the digitalization journey with a simple goal to increase efficiency. We conclude that the Chinese market will continue to be relevant for the future development of Industrie 4.0.
 
A Cobot and a Softbot helping a human worker (Source: DFKI).
Megatrends for the next level of Industrie 4.0 (own illustration).
Industrie 4.0 in a smart factory (Source: SmartFactory KL and DFKI IFS).
A decade after its introduction, Industrie 4.0 has been established globally as the dominant paradigm for the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry. Amalgamating research-based results and practical experience from the German industry, this contribution reviews the progress made in implementing Industrie 4.0 and identifies future fields of action from a technological and application-oriented perspective. Putting the human in the center, Industrie 4.0 is the basis for data-based value creation, innovative business models, and agile forms of organization. Today, in the German manufacturing industry, the Internet of Things and cyber–physical production systems are a reality in newly built factories, and the connectivity of machinery has been significantly increased in existing factories. Now, the trends of industrial AI, edge computing up to the edge cloud, 5G in the factory, team robotics, autonomous intralogistics systems, and trustworthy data infrastructures must be leveraged to strengthen resilience, sovereignty, semantic interoperability, and sustainability. This enables the creation of digital innovation ecosystems that ensure long-term adaptability in a volatile economic and geopolitical environment. In sum, this review represents a comprehensive assessment of the status quo and identifies what is needed in the future to reap the rewards of the groundwork done in the first ten years of Industrie 4.0.
 
Liquid chromatography (LC)–nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) combines the advantage of the outstanding separation power of liquid chromatography (LC) and the superior structural elucidating capability of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). NMR has proved that it is a standout detector for LC by providing maximum structural information about plant originated extracts, particularly on the isolating ability of isomeric (same molecular formula) and/or isobaric (same molecular weight) compounds as compared to other detectors. The present review provides an overview of the developmental trends and application of LC–NMR in natural product analysis. The different LC–NMR operational modes are described, and how technical improvements assist in establishing this powerful technique as an important analytical tool in the analysis of complex plant-derived compounds is also highlighted. On-flow, stop-flow and loop-storage modes, as well as the new offline mode LC–solid phase extraction (SPE)–NMR and capillary LC (capLC)–NMR configurations which avoid the ingestion of expensive deuterated solvents throughout the experiment, are mentioned. Utilization of cryogenic probe and microprobe technologies, which are the other important promising approaches for guaranteeing sensitivity, are also described. Concluding remarks and future outlooks are also discussed.
 
Sci (ISSN: 2413-4155) is a new and innovative open access journal from MDPI. [...]
 
Sci (ISSN: 2413-4155) is a new and innovative open access journal from MDPI. [...]
 
Experiments carried out.
Properties of the foams and the briquettes produced, and IR measured at different volumes.
In this work, briquettes from mattress waste are manufactured and the acoustic properties of the materials produced are checked. Briquettes are made at temperatures between 170 and 185 °C using waste from viscoelastic memory foam (VMF) and applying pressures between 25 and 75 MPa. Later, the properties of the materials such as their bulk density, porosity, and compaction factor are measured. Afterwards, the materials are subjected to a test to determine the sound reduction index at different frequencies. This is completed with a home-made system in which the acoustic signal is compared in the presence and absence of the mattress briquettes using MATLAB® software (Mathworks, Natick, MA, USA) for signal computing. The results are also compared with a reference acoustic insulation material. The runs show that the materials produced from mattress waste are able to reduce the intensity of sound in a similar way to commercial materials. In fact, reduction indices with prepared briquettes are much higher in the frequencies that most affect the human ear, compared to a reference insulating material.
 
Odds Ratios of Logistic Regression Models Predicting Health Insurance Coverage, U.S. Adults, NHIS 2009-2015.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the crossroads. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACA in order to make rational decisions about the ongoing healthcare reform, but existing research into its effect on health insurance status in the United States is insufficient and descriptive. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2009 to 2015, this study examines changes in health insurance status and its determinants before the ACA in 2009, during its partial implementation in 2010–2013, and after its full implementation in 2014 and 2015. The results of trend analysis indicate a significant increase in national health insurance rate from 82.2% in 2009 to 89.4% in 2015. Logistic regression analyses confirm the similar impact of age, gender, race, marital status, nativity, citizenship, education, and poverty on health insurance status before and after the ACA. Despite similar effects across years, controlling for other variables, youth aged 26 or below, the foreign-born, Asians, and other races had a greater probability of gaining health insurance after the ACA than before the ACA; however, the odds of obtaining health insurance for Hispanics and the impoverished rose slightly during the partial implementation of the ACA but somewhat declined after the full implementation of the ACA starting in 2014. These findings should be taken into account by the U.S. government in deciding the fate of the ACA.
 
Means and Standard Deviations (SD) of Variables Used in the Analysis, U.S. Adults, 2009-2015.
Percentage Distributions of Health Insurance Coverage by Predictors, U.S. Adults, 2009-2015.
Odds Ratios of Logistic Regression Models Predicting Health Insurance Coverage, U.S. Adults, NHIS 2009-2015.
Cont.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is at the crossroads. It is important to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACA in order to make rational decisions about the ongoing healthcare reform, but existing research into its effect on health insurance status in the United States is insufficient and descriptive. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2009 to 2015, this study examines changes in health insurance status and its determinants before the ACA in 2009, during its partial implementation in 2010–2013, and after its full implementation in 2014 and 2015. The results of trend analysis indicate a significant increase in national health insurance rate from 82.2% in 2009 to 89.4% in 2015. Logistic regression analyses confirm the similar impact of age, gender, race, marital status, nativity, citizenship, education, and poverty on health insurance status before and after the ACA. Despite similar effects across years, controlling for other variables, youth aged 26 or below, the foreign-born, Asians, and other races had a greater probability of gaining health insurance after the ACA than before the ACA; however, the odds of obtaining health insurance for Hispanics and the impoverished rose slightly during the partial implementation of the ACA, but somewhat declined after the full implementation of the ACA starting in 2014. These findings should be taken into account by the U.S. Government in deciding the fate of the ACA.
 
Subject demographics.
Results of Halo and sham on BL, RPE, HR and Time.
Background: Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique that delivers low levels of a constant current via scalp electrodes to specifically targeted areas of the brain. The effects of tDCS on whole-body exercise performance has been of interest in recent literature. The purpose of the current investigation was to investigate if tDCS, administered via Halo Sport, influences time trial performance in trained cyclists, and if changes in exercise performance are associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation and/or muscle oxygenation (SmO2). Methods: Twelve recreationally trained cyclists volunteered to participate in a crossover study design involving two 10-kilometer time trials following 20 min of tDCS or a sham condition. Results: t-tests showed there was no significant difference in performance (time to completion) or physiological measures (blood lactate (BL) concentration, heart rate (HR), SmO2, PFC oxygenation) between the Halo and sham conditions. Conclusions: These results indicate that the application of tDCS via Halo Sport does not induce changes in exercise performance or related physiological parameters during a 10-kilometer cycling time trial.
 
Flow chart of the empirical mode decomposition (EMD) process for signal decomposition.
(a) A simulated signal; (b) EMD results of the simulated signal; (c) ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) results of the simulated signal.
(a) Normal walking onset and cessation points for four participants; (b) the same four participants walked at 20% higher to normal speed.
Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference comparison of onset point and time of muscle activation.
Muscle onset performance results of threshold based algorithm and various denoising methods.
One of the most basic pieces of information gained from dynamic electromyography is accurately defining muscle action and phase timing within the gait cycle. The human gait relies on selective timing and the intensity of appropriate muscle activations for stability, loading, and progression over the supporting foot during stance, and further to advance the limb in the swing phase. A common clinical practice is utilizing a low-pass filter to denoise integrated electromyogram (EMG) signals and to determine onset and cessation events using a predefined threshold. However, the accuracy of the defining period of significant muscle activations via EMG varies with the temporal shift involved in filtering the signals; thus, the low-pass filtering method with a fixed order and cut-off frequency will introduce a time delay depending on the frequency of the signal. In order to precisely identify muscle activation and to determine the onset and cessation times of the muscles, we have explored here onset and cessation epochs with denoised EMG signals using different filter banks: the wavelet method, empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method, and ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method. In this study, gastrocnemius muscle onset and cessation were determined in sixteen participants within two different age groups and under two different walking conditions. Low-pass filtering of integrated EMG (iEMG) signals resulted in premature onset (28% stance duration) in younger and delayed onset (38% stance duration) in older participants, showing the time-delay problem involved in this filtering method. Comparatively, the wavelet denoising approach detected onset for normal walking events most precisely, whereas the EEMD method showed the smallest onset deviation. In addition, EEMD denoised signals could further detect pre-activation onsets during a fast walking condition. A comprehensive comparison is discussed on denoising EMG signals using EMD, EEMD, and wavelet denoising in order to accurately define an onset of muscle under different walking conditions.
 
Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference comparison of onset point and time of muscle activation.
Performance matrix of Onset detected by 16 participants with iEMG (integrated EMG) signal, Low -pass filtered (LPF), ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) denoised, Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) denoised and Wavelet (daubechies) denoising.
Muscle onset performance results of threshold based algorithm and various denoising methods.
One of the most basic pieces of information gained from dynamic electromyography is accurately defining muscle action and phase timing within the gait cycle. The human gait relies on selective timing and the intensity of appropriate muscle activations for stability, loading, and progression over the supporting foot during stance, and further to advance the limb in the swing phase. A common clinical practice is utilizing a low-pass filter to denoise integrated electromyogram (EMG) signals and to determine onset and cessation events using a predefined threshold. However, the accuracy of the defining period of significant muscle activations via EMG varies with the temporal shift involved in filtering the signals; thus, the low-pass filtering method with a fixed order and cut-off frequency will introduce a time delay depending on the frequency of the signal. In order to precisely identify muscle activation and to determine the onset and cessation times of the muscles, we have explored here onset and cessation epochs with denoised EMG signals using different filter banks: the wavelet method, empirical mode decomposition (EMD) method, and ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) method. In this study, gastrocnemius muscle onset and cessation were determined in sixteen participants within two different age groups and under two different walking conditions. Low-pass filtering of integrated EMG (iEMG) signals resulted in premature onset (28% stance duration) in younger and delayed onset (38% stance duration) in older participants, showing the time-delay problem involved in this filtering method. Comparatively, the wavelet denoising approach detected onset for normal walking events most precisely, whereas the EEMD method showed the smallest onset deviation. In addition, EEMD denoised signals could further detect pre-activation onsets during a fast walking condition. A comprehensive comparison is discussed on denoising EMG signals using EMD, EEMD, and wavelet denoising in order to accurately define an onset of muscle under different walking conditions.
 
Data analysis procedure.
(a) Optimal C value for adding white noise; (b) Optimal G value for adding white noise.
Parameters related to x 2 (t) in the test signal.
Optimal C and γ values and overall classification accuracy associated with sensitivity and specificity for classifying dynamic and static activities.
Although Support Vector Machines (SVM) are widely used for classifying human motion patterns, their application in the automatic recognition of dynamic and static activities of daily life in the healthy older adults is limited. Using a body mounted wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU), this paper explores the use of SVM approach for classifying dynamic (walking) and static (sitting, standing and lying) activities of the older adults. Specifically, data formatting and feature extraction methods associated with IMU signals are discussed. To evaluate the performance of the SVM algorithm, the effects of two parameters involved in SVM algorithm—the soft margin constant C and the kernel function parameter γ—are investigated. The changes associated with adding white-noise and pink-noise on these two parameters along with adding different sources of movement variations (i.e., localized muscle fatigue and mixed activities) are further discussed. The results indicate that the SVM algorithm is capable of keeping high overall accuracy by adjusting the two parameters for dynamic as well as static activities, and may be applied as a tool for automatically identifying dynamic and static activities of daily life in the older adults.
 
Proportion of variance (PoV) curve of the principal components.
(a) Optimal C value for adding white noise; (b) Optimal G value for adding white noise. Sci 2020, 3, x FOR PEER REVIEW 15 of 21
(a) Optimal C value for adding pink noise; (b) Optimal G value for adding pink noise.
Parameters related to x 2 (t) in the test signal.
Optimal C and γ values and overall classification accuracy associated with sensitivity and specificity for classifying dynamic and static activities.
Although Support Vector Machines (SVM) are widely used for classifying human motion patterns, their application in the automatic recognition of dynamic and static activities of daily life in the healthy older adults is limited. Using a body mounted wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU), this paper explores the use of SVM approach for classifying dynamic (walking) and static (sitting, standing and lying) activities of the older adults. Specifically, data formatting and feature extraction methods associated with IMU signals are discussed. To evaluate the performance of the SVM algorithm, the effects of two parameters involved in SVM algorithm—the soft margin constant C and the kernel function parameter γ—are investigated. The changes associated with adding white-noise and pink-noise on these two parameters along with adding different sources of movement variations (i.e., localized muscle fatigue and mixed activities) are further discussed. The results indicate that the SVM algorithm is capable of keeping high overall accuracy by adjusting the two parameters for dynamic as well as static activities, and may be applied as a tool for automatically identifying dynamic and static activities of daily life in the older adults.
 
ROC curve for classification of normal walking and lying activities. (a) ROC curve; (b) Interactive dot diagram.
ROC curve for classification of normal walking and standing still with eyes closed activities. (a) ROC curve; (b) Interactive dot diagram. Sci 2020, 3, x FOR PEER REVIEW 17 of 20
Parameters related to x 1 (t) in the test signal.
Parameters related to x 2 (t) in the test signal.
Optimal C and γ values and overall classification accuracy associated with sensitivity and specificity for classifying dynamic and static activities.
Although Support Vector Machines (SVM) are widely used for classifying human motion patterns, their application in the automatic recognition of dynamic and static activities of daily life in the healthy older adults is limited. Using a body mounted wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU), this paper explores the use of an SVM approach for classifying dynamic (walking) and static (sitting, standing and lying) activities of the older adults. Specifically, data formatting and feature extraction methods associated with IMU signals are discussed. To evaluate the performance of the SVM algorithm, the effects of two parameters involved in SVM algorithm—the soft margin constant C and the kernel function parameter γ —are investigated. The changes associated with adding white-noise and pink-noise on these two parameters along with adding different sources of movement variations (i.e., localized muscle fatigue and mixed activities) are further discussed. The results indicate that the SVM algorithm is capable of keeping high overall accuracy by adjusting the two parameters for dynamic as well as static activities, and may be applied as a tool for automatically identifying dynamic and static activities of daily life in the older adults.
 
Although Support Vector Machines (SVM) are widely used for classifying human motion patterns, their application in the automatic recognition of dynamic and static activities of daily life in the elderly is limited. Using a body mounted wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU), this paper explores the use of an SVM approach for classifying dynamic (walking) and static (sitting, standing and lying) activities of the elderly. Specifically, data formatting and feature extraction methods associated with IMU signals are discussed. To evaluate the performance of the SVM algorithm, the effects of two parameters involved in SVM algorithm—the soft margin constant C and the kernel function parameter —are investigated. The changes associated with adding white-noise and pink-noise on these two parameters along with adding different sources of movement variations (i.e., localized muscle fatigue and mixed activities) are further discussed. The results indicate that the SVM algorithm is capable of keeping high overall accuracy by adjusting the two parameters for dynamic as well as static activities, and may be applied as a tool for automatically identifying static and dynamic activities of daily life in the elderly.
 
Although Support Vector Machines (SVM) are widely used for classifying human motion patterns, their application in the automatic recognition of dynamic and static activities of daily life in the healthy older adults is limited. Using a body mounted wireless inertial measurement unit (IMU), this paper explores the use of SVM approach for classifying dynamic (walking) and static (sitting, standing and lying) activities of the older adults. Specifically, data formatting and feature extraction methods associated with IMU signals are discussed. To evaluate the performance of the SVM algorithm, the effects of two parameters involved in SVM algorithm—the soft margin constant C and the kernel function parameter γ—are investigated. The changes associated with adding white-noise and pink-noise on these two parameters along with adding different sources of movement variations (i.e., localized muscle fatigue and mixed activities) are further discussed. The results indicate that the SVM algorithm is capable of keeping high overall accuracy by adjusting the two parameters for dynamic as well as static activities, and may be applied as a tool for automatically identifying dynamic and static activities of daily life in the older adults.
 
Selection of articles for this brief overview.
Results from various databases.
The aim of this editorial is to demonstrate publications on self-acupuncture from both the East (China) and the West and to bring new variants such as self-applied laser medicine into the focus of interest. Self-acupuncture with needles may of course only be carried out according to the applicable laws of the respective country and these are naturally very different. However, important evidence from the studies published so far has not yet been clearly proven. The answer to a question resulting from the editorial, how tradition and innovation in the field of self-acupuncture can be efficiently combined, will have to be proven by future studies.
 
Sample districts.
Explanatory variables.
presents the determinants of climate change adaptation for change in temperature, change in precipitation and change in drought frequencies-called as temperature model, precipitation model and drought model. Each model has four dependent variables-change in cropping date (Crop_Date), change in crop type (Crop_Type), change in crop variety (Crop_Vrty)
This study assessed farmers’ perception of climate change, estimated the determinants of, and evaluated the relationship among adaptation practices using the multivariate probit model. A survey in 300 agricultural households was carried out covering 10 sample districts considering five agro-ecological zones and a vulnerability index. Four adaptation choices (change in planting date, crop variety, crop type and investment in irrigation) were deemed as outcome variables and socioeconomic, demographic, institutional, farm-level and perceptions variables were deployed as explanatory variables. Their marginal effects were determined for three climatic variables—temperature, precipitation and drought. Age, gender and education of head of household, credit access, farm area, rain-fed farming and tenure, are found to be more influential compared to other factors. All four adaptation-options are found to be complimentary to each other. Importantly, the intensity of impact of dependent variables in different models, and for available adaptation-options, are found to be unequal. Therefore, policy options and support facilities should be devised according to climatic variables and adaptation options to achieve superior results.
 
FLG increased VAP-1 expression in VAT (V) that mediated the FLG-induced increase in inflammation and lipolysis in VAT (V, visceral). (a) FLG increased the expression of VAP-1 monomer in cultured human adipocytes and VAT (V) of the WT mice. No VAP-1 expression was detected in KO mice; (b) FLG increased the concentrations of IL1b, MCP-1 and GM-CSF in VAT that were impeded by VAP-1 KO; (c) FLG-injected WT mice had more CD45-positive inflammatory cells (in photographs indicated with arrows, scale bar 100 µm) in VAT compared to the FLG-injected VAP-1 KO. One entire section was scored for each mouse. Approximately, 5 fields/section were scored (range 4-9). The results are shown as the number of cells divided by the number of high power fields. (d) FLG increased the lipolysis-activating phosphorylation of HSL that was impeded by VAP-1 KO in VAT. FLG treatment decreased the expression of lipid droplet membrane protein, Plin1 mRNA that was hampered by VAP-1 KO in VAT. The increased VAT lipolysis was reflected in higher serum glycerol levels in FLG-injected WT mice compared to controls. The FLG-injected KO mice had lower levels of serum glycerol than the WT. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. The mRNA levels were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The expression and phosphorylation levels of the proteins are presented as arbitrary units (AU) normalized to GAPDH housekeeping protein. The samples run in different gels were further normalized to calibrator sample. The membranes were cut horizontally to analyze several proteins of the samples in the same run. The blots were scanned with infrared imager to avoid exposure differences between the blots. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
FLG increases liver (L) fat content that is mediated by VAP-1. (a) The FLG-treated WT mice had higher hepatic fat content according to Oil Red O staining that was not observed in the liver of the KO mice (scale bar 100 µm). The hepatic fat content was scored according to the droplet sizes as 0 (smallest), 1, 2 and 3 (largest); (b) FLG increased hepatic triglyceride content in WT but not KO mice; (c) FLG increased hepatic fibrosis that was assessed with Van Gieson staining and by determining Mmp9 mRNA. Fibrosis seemed not be mediated by VAP-1. Van Gieson staining was semi quantitatively scored: 0-0.5 no damage, 1-2 damage and 3 severe damage; (d) FLG decreased the activity of hepatic AST and ALT in WT mice, but in the absence of VAP-1 in KO mice FLG increased both activities; (e) FLG did not affect xanthine oxidase activity but induced an increase in Sod1 mRNA that was absent in the liver of the VAP-1 KO mice. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. The mRNA levels were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
VAP-1 mediated the FLG-induced decrease in insulin-sensitive ERK1/2 phosphorylation in SAT (SC, subcutaneous). (a) No differences in the sizes of SAT adipocytes were found between the groups; (b) The phosphorylation of insulin-sensitive ERK1/2 phosphorylation decreased in SAT of FLG-treated WT mice but not VAP-1 KO mice; (c) FLG did not affect the number of CD45-positive cells in SAT. A reduced number of cells were detected in the KO controls compared to the WT CTRL. The arrows are pointing out some CD45-positive cells. Scale bar 100 µm. One entire section was scored for each mouse. Approximately 7.7 fields were scored (range 4-11). The results are shown as the number of cells divided by the number of high power fields. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. The phosphorylation levels are presented as arbitrary units (AU) normalized to Ponceau staining. The samples run in different gels were further normalized to calibrator sample. The membranes were cut horizontally to analyze several proteins of the samples in the same run. The blots were scanned with infrared imager to avoid exposure differences between the blots. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
VAP-1 KO mice differed from the WT mice in the gut microbiota compotion and intestinal Il1b expression. (a) The shannon indices shown as sequences per sample (upper graph) did not reveal any differences in the alpha-diversity of the gut microbiota between the groups, neither did the groups differ from each otherin beta-diversity as observed in the PCoA plot af all groups (lower graph); (b) The CTRL and FLG-injected KO mice had lower abundance of an unidentified (ud) genus of Bacteroidales order and Desulfovibrionaceae family than the WT mice. In addition, the CTRL KO mice had more Flexispira and of unidentified (ud) genus of Helicobacteriaceae, and the FLG-injected KO mice had higher abundance of Lactobacillus and Oscillospira. The bars are representative of the average abundances for each group. * indicates a significant difference in the given taxon (FDR < 0.05); (c) The KO CTRL mice expressed less intestinal Il1b than the WT CTRL mice. FLG did not affect the expression of Tjp1, Il1b or Tlr5 mRNA. The gene expression data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. The mRNA levels were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; Flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
The sequences of the primers used in real-time quantitative PCR.
Toll-like receptor 5 ligand, flagellin, and Vascular Adhesion Protein-1 (VAP-1) are involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study aimed to determine whether VAP-1 mediates flagellin-induced hepatic fat accumulation. The effects of flagellin on adipocyte VAP-1 expression were first studied in vitro. Then, flagellin (100 ng/mouse) or saline was intraperitoneally injected to C57BL/6J WT and C57BL/6-Aoc3-/- (VAP-1 KO) mice on high-fat diet twice a week every two weeks for 10-weeks. After that, the effects on inflammation, insulin signaling, and metabolism were studied in liver and adipose tissues. Hepatic fat was quantified histologically and biochemically. Because flagellin challenge increased VAP-1 expression in human adipocytes, we used VAP-1 KO mice to determine whether VAP-1 regulates the inflammatory and metabolic effects of flagellin in vivo. In mice, VAP-1 mediated flagellin-induced inflammation, leukocyte infiltration and lipolysis in visceral adipose tissue. Consequently, increased release of glycerol led to hepatic steatosis in WT but not KO mice. Flagellin-induced hepatic fibrosis was not mediated by VAP-1. VAP-1 KO mice harbored more inflammation-related microbes than WT, while flagellin did not affect the gut microbiota. Our results suggest that by acting on visceral adipose tissue, flagellin increased leukocyte infiltration that induced lipolysis. Further, the released glycerol participated in hepatic fat accumulation. In conclusion, the results describe that gut microbial flagellin through VAP-1 induced hepatic steatosis.
 
Flagellin (FLG) increased vascular adhesion protein 1 (VAP-1) expression in visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which mediated the FLG-induced increase in inflammation and lipolysis in VAT (V, visceral). (a) On the left side, the graph and Western blot show the quantification of VAP-1 in the control and flagellin-treated adipocytes. On the right side, the graph and Western blot show the quantification of VAP-1 in the visceral (V) adipose tissue of the mice groups. The graphs represent the expression levels of VAP-1 presented as arbitrary units (AU) normalized to the glyceraldehydes 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) housekeeping protein. The samples run in different gels were further normalized to the calibrator sample. The membranes were cut horizontally to analyze several proteins of the samples in the same run. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (b) The bars on the left graph represent the concentrations of the cytokines in the visceral (V) adipose tissue of the mice groups. The bars on the right graph represent the mRNA levels of Il1b, which were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (c) The photographs represent visceral adipose tissue sections stained for CD45-positive inflammatory cells. The cells in the photographs are indicated with arrows, and the scale bar is 100 μm. One entire section was scored for each mouse manually. Approximately five fields/sections were scored (range 4-9). The results in the bar graph are shown as the number of cells divided by the number of high power fields. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (d) Up on the left side, the graph and Western blot show the quantification of the lipolysis-activating phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) in the visceral (V) adipose tissue of the mice groups. The graphs represent the phosphorylation levels of HSL presented as arbitrary units (AU) normalized to the GAPDH housekeeping protein. The samples run in different gels were further normalized to the calibrator sample. The membranes were cut horizontally to analyze several proteins of the samples in the same run. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. Up on the right side, the bar graph represents the mRNA levels of lipid droplet membrane protein, Plin1, which were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. Down on the left side, the bar graph represents the serum glycerol levels in the mice groups. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
FLG increased liver (L) fat content, which was mediated by VAP-1. (a) The photographs represent frozen liver sections stained with Oil Red O, which stains all neutral lipids red. The scale bar is 100 μm. The hepatic fat content was scored according to the droplet sizes as 0 (smallest), 1, 2, and 3 (largest). (b) The bar graphs represent the biochemically measured amount (mmol/L) of cholesterol and triglycerides in the liver of the mice groups. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (c) The left graph shows the results and scoring of Van Gieson staining to estimate fibrosis in the liver of the mice. Van Gieson staining was semiquantitatively scored: 0-0.5 (no damage), 1-2 (damage), and 3 (severe damage). The right graph shows the mRNA levels of Mmp9 in the liver (L) of the mice, which were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (d) The bar graphs represent the activity (U/L/mg of total protein) of AST and ALT measured in the liver protein homogenates of the mice. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (e) The left graph represents the activity (U/L/mg of total protein) of xanthine oxidase measured in the liver protein homogenates of the mice. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. The right graph shows the expression levels of Sod1 mRNA in the liver (L) of the mice. The mRNA levels were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
VAP-1 mediated the FLG-induced decrease in ERK1/2 phosphorylation in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). (a) The adipocyte sizes from 500 randomly selected cells in each sample were determined with CellProfiler 2.2.0 from the H&E-stained SAT sections. The bar graphs present the percentage (%) of 10-20, 20-30, and 30-40 µM-sized adipocytes of the selected cells in the SAT of the mice. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. (b) The graph and Western blot show the quantification of the ERK1/2 phosphorylation in the SAT (SC, subcutaneous) of the mice groups. The phosphorylation levels are presented as arbitrary units (AU) normalized to Ponceau staining. The samples run in different gels were further normalized to the calibrator sample. The membranes were cut horizontally to analyze several proteins of the samples in the same run. The data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. (c) The photographs represent SAT sections stained for CD45-positive inflammatory cells. The cells in the photographs are indicated with arrows, and the scale bar is 100 µm. One entire section was scored for each mouse manually. Approximately 7.7 fields were scored (range 4-11). The results in the bar graph are shown as the number of cells divided by the number of high power fields. * indicates a statistically significant difference between the groups. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
VAP-1 KO mice differed from WT mice in the gut microbiota composition and intestinal Il1b mRNA expression. (a) The Shannon indices are shown as sequences per sample (upper graph) and correspond to the alpha diversity of the gut microbiota. The lower graph shows the principal component (PC) analysis plot of the beta diversity of the gut microbiota in the mice groups. (b) Average abundance of the gut microbiota genera in the mice groups. * indicates a significant difference in the given taxon (FDR < 0.05). (c) The graphs represent the relative mRNA levels of intestinal Il1b, Tjp1, Il1b, and Tlr5. The mRNA levels were calculated against a standard curve and are presented relative to Actb housekeeping mRNA. The gene expression data are presented as mean ± SD, n = 4-6/group. * indicates a significant difference between the groups. Abbreviations: PBS-injected wild type control, WT CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected wild type control, WT FLG; PBS-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO CTRL; flagellin (FLG)-injected VAP-1 knockout (KO) control, VAP-1 KO FLG.
The sequences of the primers used in real-time quantitative PCR.
Toll-like receptor 5 ligand, flagellin, and vascular adhesion protein 1 (VAP-1) are involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This study aimed to determine whether VAP-1 mediates flagellin-induced hepatic fat accumulation. The effects of flagellin on adipocyte VAP-1 expression were first studied in vitro. Then, flagellin (100 ng/mouse) or saline was intraperitoneally injected into C57BL/6J (WT) and C57BL/6-Aoc3-/- (VAP-1 KO) mice on a high-fat diet twice a week every 2 weeks for 10 weeks. After that, the effects on inflammation, insulin signaling, and metabolism were studied in liver and adipose tissues. Hepatic fat was quantified histologically and biochemically. Because flagellin challenge increased VAP-1 expression in human adipocytes, we used VAP-1 KO mice to determine whether VAP-1 regulates the inflammatory and metabolic effects of flagellin in vivo. In mice, VAP-1 mediated flagellin-induced inflammation, leukocyte infiltration, and lipolysis in visceral adipose tissue. Consequently, an increased release of glycerol led to hepatic steatosis in WT, but not in KO mice. Flagellin-induced hepatic fibrosis was not mediated by VAP-1. VAP-1 KO mice harbored more inflammation-related microbes than WT mice, while flagellin did not affect the gut microbiota. Our results suggest that by acting on visceral adipose tissue, flagellin increased leukocyte infiltration that induced lipolysis. Further, the released glycerol participated in hepatic fat accumulation. In conclusion, the results describe that gut microbial flagellin through VAP-1 induced hepatic steatosis.
 
Descriptive summary of toe clearance on main effect floor.
Descriptive summary of heel contact velocity on main effect floor.
Descriptive summary of friction demand at heel contact.
Descriptive summary of PPOFD at push-off on each floor surface.
As there is lack of understanding about the effect of transitioning between different flooring materials on the gait of older adults, this study investigated the effect of transitioning between a carpeted floor and a vinyl floor on the gait characteristics of older adults. Fourteen older (65 years old and over) and 14 younger (18 to 35 years old) adults walked on different transitional floors by measuring various gait parameters. While the older participants had greater toe clearance than their younger counterparts, the older participants had smaller toe clearance on a carpeted floor than on a vinyl floor, which would increase the probability of a trip-induced fall. Further, the study found the slower transitional acceleration of the whole body COM and the increased friction demand, especially during the toe-off phase, rather than heel contact phase, which will lead to a slip-induced fall on a vinyl floor shortly after transitioning from a carpeted floor to a vinyl floor. Although the increased likelihood of a slip or trip accident was found throughout the changes in gait parameters, the older participants did not perceive of slipping and tripping much. Therefore, the elderly are recommended to be made aware of the danger of slipping and tripping while transitioning between different flooring materials.
 
Descriptive summary of toe clearance on main effect floor.
Descriptive summary of heel contact velocity on main effect floor.
Descriptive summary of friction demand at heel contact.
Descriptive summary of PPOFD at push-off on each floor surface.
As there is lack of understanding about the effect of transitioning between different flooring materials on the gait of older adults, this study investigated the effect of transitioning between a carpeted floor and a vinyl floor on the gait characteristics of older adults. Fourteen older (65 years old and over) and 14 younger (18 to 35 years old) adults walked on different transitional floors by measuring various gait parameters. While the older participants had greater toe clearance than their younger counterparts, the older participants had smaller toe clearance on a carpeted floor than on a vinyl floor, which would increase the probability of a trip-induced fall. Further, the study found the slower transitional acceleration of the whole body COM and the increased friction demand, especially during the toe-off phase, rather than heel contact phase, which will lead to a slip-induced fall on a vinyl floor shortly after transitioning from a carpeted floor to a vinyl floor. Although the increased likelihood of a slip or trip accident was found throughout the changes in gait parameters, the older participants did not perceive of slipping and tripping much. Therefore, older adults are recommended to be made aware of the danger of slipping and tripping while transitioning between different flooring materials.
 
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Daniel M. Alongi
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Armand Ketcha Malan Kablan
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