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Topic review
Updated time: 28 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Yu Peng
Definition: Global drylands are expanding due to climate change, threatening global food security (FS), especially in Africa. Eastern Africa has 328 million hectares of drylands, 6% of which is covered by crops; most crops are rained on, and irrigated land accounts for only 5 million hectares (22%). In Ethiopia, 75% of the landmass is categorized as dryland, the majority of which experiences high risks of land degradation, natural hazards, and water and food shortages.
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Topic review
Updated time: 08 Jun 2021
Submitted by: Asvina Sunassee
Definition: The existing state of the world climate creates the need for an educational programme that incorporates effective proposals for the environment that can be practically implemented. The present environmental education literature has changed due to new study paradigms. Understanding how students relate to nature, how their personal beliefs and behaviours are influenced, and how their actions are affected can provide an increased understanding of how they can contribute meaningfully to global objectives. This paper aims to analyse educational research papers published in the area of environmental art education in order to find the factor with the greatest effect and illuminate how they can help to improve the measures implemented.
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Topic review
Updated time: 19 Nov 2021
Submitted by: Natasa Poklar Ulrih
Definition: “Extremophiles”, first introduced in 1974, describes organisms that thrive in environments where one or more physical or chemical parameters are beyond most organisms’ normal optimal range. They can be broadly separated into two categories: extremophilic organisms that require one or more extreme conditions to grow and extremotolerant organisms that can tolerate harsh conditions but grow optimally in a milder environment
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Topic review
Updated time: 19 May 2021
Submitted by: Tito Fernandes
Definition: Fermented foods and beverages are generally defined as products made by microbial organisms and enzymatic conversions of major and minor food components. Further to the commonly-recognized effects of nutrition on the digestive health and well-being, there is now strong evidence for the impact of fermented foods and beverages, produced or preserved by the action of microorganisms, on general health, namely their significance on the gut microbiota balance and brain functionality.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 26 Nov 2021
Submitted by: Hafiz M. N. Iqbal
Definition: The ubiquitous persistence of plastic waste in diverse forms and different environmental matrices is one of the main challenges that modern societies are facing at present. The exponential utilization and recalcitrance of synthetic plastics, including polyethylene terephthalate (PET), results in their extensive accumulation, which is a significant threat to the ecosystem. The growing amount of plastic waste ending up in landfills and oceans is alarming due to its possible adverse effects on biota. Thus, there is an urgent need to mitigate plastic waste to tackle the environmental crisis of plastic pollution. With regards to PET, there is a plethora of literature on the transportation route, ingestion, environmental fate, amount, and the adverse ecological and human health effects. Several studies have described the deployment of various microbial enzymes with much focus on bacterial-enzyme mediated removal and remediation of PET. However, there is a lack of consolidated studies on the exploitation of fungal enzymes for PET degradation. Herein, an effort has been made to cover this literature gap by spotlighting the fungi and their unique enzymes, e.g., esterases, lipases, and cutinases. These fungal enzymes have emerged as candidates for the development of biocatalytic PET degradation processes. The first half of this review is focused on fungal biocatalysts involved in the degradation of PET. The latter half explains three main aspects: (1) catalytic mechanism of PET hydrolysis in the presence of cutinases as a model fungal enzyme, (2) limitations hindering enzymatic PET biodegradation, and (3) strategies for enhancement of enzymatic PET biodegradation.
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Topic review
Updated time: 29 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Sophie Marie Briffa
Definition: Plastics are considered one of the most serious environmental global concerns as they are ubiquitous and contribute to the build-up of pollution. Nanoplastics are also an emerging environmental concern as little is known about their generation, degradation, transformation, ageing, and transportation. Owing to their small size, nanoplastics can be trapped by filter-feeding organisms and can enter the food chain at an early stage.
Entry Collection : Environmental Sciences
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Topic review
Updated time: 26 Nov 2021
Submitted by: Jorge Nascimento
Definition: This study’s objective is to provide an overview on literature state-of-the-art related to sustainable tourism and technological innovations, offering insights for further advancing this domain. We employ a bibliometric analysis and a comprehensive review of 139 articles, collected from Web of Science and Scopus databases, for the purpose of: (i) exploring and discussing the most relevant contributions in the publication network: (ii) highlighting key issues and emerging topics; (iii) uncovering open questions for the future. Our findings reveal contradictory views on the risks and benefits of technology adoption. Artificial intelligence, internet of things, circular economy, big data, augmented and virtual reality emerge as major trends. Five work streams are identified and described, leading to a broader perspective on how technology can shape the future of sustainable tourism. Relevant theoretical and managerial implications are derived. Finally, a research agenda is proposed as guidance for future studies addressing the outcomes of digital disruption on sustainable tourism.
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Topic review
Updated time: 18 Aug 2021
Submitted by: Xinyi Cao
Definition: The influence radius was originally used in the calculation of some hydrogeological parameters but, owing to various coincidences that occur in practical situations, it has been considered that the parameterized influence radius is reasonable and convenient for calculations pertaining to actual production problems, and this misconception has perpetuated. However, by considering the continuity principle of flow, it can be proven that the parameterized influence radius does not exist. The influence radius is essentially the distance in the time–distance problem in physics and is influenced by the hydrogeological conditions and pumping conditions, which is different from the hydrogeological parameters reflecting the natural properties of aquifers, such as the porosity, specific yield, and hydraulic conductivity.
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Topic review
Updated time: 19 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Filippo Pesapane
Definition: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its pressure on the healthcare system is happening at a time of technological optimism and promise. The digitalization of health data, together with the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, have the potential to completely change the current pattern of the healthcare scenario and provide precise and predictive medical assessment for individuals in the future.
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Topic review
Updated time: 13 Oct 2021
Submitted by: Amira Abubakar
Definition: Biofilms comprising aggregates of microorganisms or multicellular communities have been a major issue as they cause resistance against antimicrobial agents and biofouling. To date, numerous biofilm-forming microorganisms have been identified, which have been shown to result in major effects including biofouling and biofilm-related infections. Quorum sensing (which describes the cell communication within biofilms) plays a vital role in the regulation of biofilm formation and its virulence. As such, elucidating the various mechanisms responsible for biofilm resistance (including quorum sensing) will assist in developing strategies to inhibit and control the formation of biofilms in nature. Employing biological control measures (such as the use of bioactive compounds) in targeting biofilms is of great interest since they naturally possess antimicrobial activity among other favorable attributes and can also possibly act as potent antibiofilm agents.
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