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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Heavy Precipitation Simulated by the WRF Model Using 4D-Var Data Assimilation with TRMM 3B42 and GPM IMERG over the Huaihe River Basin, China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 646; doi:10.3390/rs10040646 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To obtain independent, consecutive, and high-resolution precipitation data, the four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) method was applied to directly assimilate satellite precipitation products into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The precipitation products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 (TRMM 3B42) and its
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To obtain independent, consecutive, and high-resolution precipitation data, the four-dimensional variational (4D-Var) method was applied to directly assimilate satellite precipitation products into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The precipitation products of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission 3B42 (TRMM 3B42) and its successor, the Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM IMERG) were assimilated in this study. Two heavy precipitation events that occurred over the Huaihe River basin in eastern China were studied. Before assimilation, the WRF model simulations were first performed with different forcing data to select more suitable forcing data and determine the control experiments for the subsequent assimilation experiments. Then, TRMM 3B42 and GPM IMERG were separately assimilated into the WRF. The simulated precipitation results in the outer domain (D01), with a 27-km resolution, and the inner domain (D02), with a 9-km resolution, were evaluated in detail. The assessments showed that (1) 4D-Var with TRMM 3B42 or GPM IMERG could both significantly improve WRF precipitation predictions at a time interval of approximately 12 hours; (2) the WRF simulated precipitation assimilated with GPM IMERG outperformed the one with TRMM 3B42; (3) for the WRF output precipitation assimilated with GPM IMERG over D02, which has spatiotemporal resolutions of 9 km and 50 s, the correlation coefficients of the studied events in August and November were 0.74 and 0.51, respectively, at the point and daily scales, and the mean Heidke skill scores for the two studied events both reached 0.31 at the grid and hourly scales. This study can provide references for the assimilation of TRMM 3B42 or GPM IMERG into the WRF model using 4D-Var, which is especially valuable for hydrological applications of GPM IMERG during the transition period from the TRMM era into the GPM era. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Synergistic Effect of Nitrogen Doping and MWCNT Intercalation for the Graphene Hybrid Support for Pt Nanoparticles with Exemplary Oxygen Reduction Reaction Performance
Materials 2018, 11(4), 642; doi:10.3390/ma11040642 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The potential of graphene–multi-walled-carbon nanotube (G-M) hybrids prepared by the one-pot modified Hummers method followed by thermal annealing has been demonstrated by employing one as an electrocatalyst support for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). N doping effectively modified the electronic structure of the G-M
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The potential of graphene–multi-walled-carbon nanotube (G-M) hybrids prepared by the one-pot modified Hummers method followed by thermal annealing has been demonstrated by employing one as an electrocatalyst support for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). N doping effectively modified the electronic structure of the G-M hybrid support, which was beneficial for the uniform distribution of Pt nanoparticles, and ORR activities were further improved. The newly prepared Pt/N-G-M catalyst demonstrated higher electrochemical activity than Pt/G-M and Pt/G catalysts. Even compared with commercial 20 wt % Pt/C (JM20), Pt/N-G-M delivered a better half-wave potential and mass activity. In terms of the durability test, Pt/N-G-M maintained 72.7% of its initial electrochemical active surface area (ECSA) after 2000 repeated potential cycles between 0 and 1.2 V in acidic media in relation to the 44.4% retention for JM20. Moreover, the half-wave potential for Pt/N-G-M showed only a minimal change, significantly superior to the 139 mV of loss for JM20. It is expected that Pt/N-G-M can be the potential candidate as a highly efficient and durable catalyst if utilized in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ultralight Graphene/Carbon Nanotubes Aerogels with Compressibility and Oil Absorption Properties
Materials 2018, 11(4), 641; doi:10.3390/ma11040641 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Graphene aerogels have many advantages, such as low density, high elasticity and strong adsorption. They are considered to be widely applicable in many fields. At present, the most valuable research area aims to find a convenient and effective way to prepare graphene aerogels
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Graphene aerogels have many advantages, such as low density, high elasticity and strong adsorption. They are considered to be widely applicable in many fields. At present, the most valuable research area aims to find a convenient and effective way to prepare graphene aerogels with excellent properties. In this work graphene/carbon nanotube aerogels are prepared through hydrothermal reduction, freeze-drying and high temperature heat treatment with the blending of graphene oxide and carbon nanotubes. A new reducing agent-ascorbic acid is selected to explore the best preparation process. The prepared aerogels have compression and resilience and oil absorption properties due to the addition of carbon nanotubes as designed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Resin Type on the Tribological Properties of a Three-Dimensional Self-Lubricating Composite Surface
Materials 2018, 11(4), 643; doi:10.3390/ma11040643 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this paper, three kinds of polymer, of epoxy resin (EP), phenolic resin (PF), and unsaturated polyester (UP), were used as fillers to prepare the laminated composite surface, and the tribological properties of a composite surface were studied under dry sliding condition. The
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In this paper, three kinds of polymer, of epoxy resin (EP), phenolic resin (PF), and unsaturated polyester (UP), were used as fillers to prepare the laminated composite surface, and the tribological properties of a composite surface were studied under dry sliding condition. The results showed that: (i) the composites surface without MoS2 exhibited high friction coefficient and high wear rate at 25 °C, while the friction coefficients were reduced when the temperature increases to 100 °C; (ii) with the addition of MoS2, the friction coefficient of the epoxy resin composite containing MoS2 (E1) was below 0.22 under a temperature of 25–150 °C, and the friction coefficient was increased to 0.32 as temperature increased to 150 °C, while the average friction coefficient of the unsaturated polyester composite containing MoS2 (U1) was very low and below 0.20 under a temperature of 25–150 °C. Analysis of the wear scars indicated that, for the MoS2-containing composite, the transfer films of the E1 and U1 were smooth and continuous under low temperature, while the transfer film of U1 was comparatively complete than that of E1 under 150 °C. The composites with solid lubrication had excellent high-temperature self-lubricating properties, which was attributed to the synergistic effect of the laminated structure, and the thermal expansion of the polymer, and finally a transfer film was formed on the sliding path. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pushbroom Hyperspectral Data Orientation by Combining Feature-Based and Area-Based Co-Registration Techniques
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(4), 645; doi:10.3390/rs10040645 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Direct georeferencing of airborne pushbroom scanner data usually suffers from the limited precision of navigation sensors onboard of the aircraft. The bundle adjustment of images and orientation parameters, used to perform geocorrection of frame images during the post-processing phase, cannot be used for
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Direct georeferencing of airborne pushbroom scanner data usually suffers from the limited precision of navigation sensors onboard of the aircraft. The bundle adjustment of images and orientation parameters, used to perform geocorrection of frame images during the post-processing phase, cannot be used for pushbroom cameras without difficulties—it relies on matching corresponding points between scan lines, which is not feasible in the absence of sufficient overlap and texture information. We address this georeferencing problem by equipping our aircraft with both a frame camera and a pushbroom scanner: the frame images and the navigation parameters measured by a couple GPS/Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) are input to a bundle adjustment algorithm; the output orientation parameters are used to project the scan lines on a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and on an orthophoto generated during the bundle adjustment step; using the image feature matching algorithm Speeded Up Robust Features (SURF), corresponding points between the image formed by the projected scan lines and the orthophoto are matched, and through a least-squares method, the boresight between the two cameras is estimated and included in the calculation of the projection. Finally, using Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) on the gradient image, the projection is deformed into a final image that fits the geometry of the orthophoto. We apply this algorithm to five test acquisitions over Lake Geneva region (Switzerland) and Lake Baikal region (Russia). The results are quantified in terms of Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) between matching points of the RGB orthophoto and the pushbroom projection. From a first projection where the Interior Orientation Parameters (IOP) are known with limited precision and the RMSE goes up to 41 pixels, our geocorrection estimates IOP, boresight and Exterior Orientation Parameters (EOP) and produces a new projection with an RMSE, with the reference orthophoto, around two pixels. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ethanol Extract of Evodia rutaecarpa Attenuates Cell Growth through Caspase-Dependent Apoptosis in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia-1 Cells
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 523; doi:10.3390/nu10040523 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The dried fruits of Evodia rutaecarpa Bentham have been used widely as a herbal medicine for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and abdominal pain. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a nonmalignant disease characterized by overgrowth of prostates. Despite the pharmacological efficacy of the
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The dried fruits of Evodia rutaecarpa Bentham have been used widely as a herbal medicine for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and abdominal pain. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a nonmalignant disease characterized by overgrowth of prostates. Despite the pharmacological efficacy of the fruits of E. rutaecarpa against various diseases, their effects against BPH have not been reported. Here, we investigated the inhibitory activity of a 70% ethanol extract of E. rutaecarpa (EEER) against BPH, and its underlying mechanisms regarding cell growth of BPH using BPH-1 cells. An in vitro 5α-reductase activity assay showed that EEER exhibited inhibitory activity against 5α-reductase. In BPH-1 cells, EEER treatment inhibited cell viability and reduced the expression of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), cyclin D1, and phosphor-ERK1/2 proteins. Moreover, EEER also induced apoptosis, with chromatin condensation, apoptotic bodies, and internucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Regarding its underlying mechanisms, EEER exacerbated the activation of caspase-8 and caspase-3 in a concentration-dependent manner and eventually caused the cleavage of PARP. Taken together, these data demonstrated that EEER had a potent 5α-reductase inhibitory activity and that EEER treatment in BPH-1 cells inhibited cell viability via caspase-8- and caspase-3-dependent apoptosis. Therefore, EEER may be a potential phytotherapeutic agent for the treatment of BPH. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Abuse of Prescription Drugs in the Context of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS): A Systematic Review
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(4), 73; doi:10.3390/brainsci8040073 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Recently, a range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs have been reportedly used as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), due to their potential for abuse resulting from their high dosage/idiosyncratic methods of self-administration. This paper provides a systematic review of the topic, focusing on a
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Recently, a range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs have been reportedly used as Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), due to their potential for abuse resulting from their high dosage/idiosyncratic methods of self-administration. This paper provides a systematic review of the topic, focusing on a range of medications which have emerged as being used recreationally, either on their own or in combination with NPS. Among gabapentinoids, pregabalin may present with higher addictive liability levels than gabapentin, with pregabalin being mostly identified in the context of opioid, polydrug intake. For antidepressants, their dopaminergic, stimulant-like, bupropion activities may explain their recreational value and diversion from the therapeutic intended use. In some vulnerable clients, a high dosage of venlafaxine (‘baby ecstasy’) is ingested for recreational purposes, whilst the occurrence of a clinically-relevant withdrawal syndrome may be a significant issue for all venlafaxine-treated patients. Considering second generation antipsychotics, olanzapine appears to be ingested at very large dosages as an ‘ideal trip terminator’, whilst the immediate-release quetiapine formulation may possess proper abuse liability levels. Within the image- and performance- enhancing drugs (IPEDs) group, the beta-2 agonist clenbuterol (‘size zero pill’) is reported to be self-administered for aggressive slimming purposes. Finally, high/very high dosage ingestion of the antidiarrhoeal loperamide has shown recent increasing levels of popularity due to its central recreational, anti-withdrawal, opiatergic effects. The emerging abuse of prescription drugs within the context of a rapidly modifying drug scenario represents a challenge for psychiatry, public health and drug-control policies. Full article
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