Top 5 Articles journal logos for June

Insights from MDPI Top 5 Picks: June

June’s Top 5 MDPI articles vary in theme, ranging from membranes to nutrition, to marine science and sustainability. We explore the studies in greater detail below.

How Is the Forest Sector’s Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Being Addressed? A Systematic Review of the Methods

“Discussions regarding the Sustainable Development Goals have gained attention in the last few years and become very popular among researchers. The methods and methodologies used to address the SDGs could vary among sectors and have different approaches. In this article, the authors aimed to understand which methods are being used to measure the contributions of the Forest Sector to the SDGs.

The Forest Sector is responsible for providing sustainable and renewable materials that work as substitutes for fossil fuel-based materials. Understanding how this important sector contributes to the SDGs is extremally important for future actions that aim to reduce climate change and improve sustainable development in larger scenarios. The authors will keep investigating innovative ways of addressing these issues in their future studies.” ~ Renata Aguayo

New Insight into the Genus Cladocroce (Porifera, Demospongiae) Based on Morphological and Molecular Data, with the Description of Two New Species

“This study is the fruit of scientific expeditions along the coast line and marine lakes of Indonesia and Vietnam, focusing on Porifera fauna. Here we analyzed specimens belonging to genus Cladocroce.

The integration of morphological and molecular analyses (DNA barcoding and phylogenetic approaches) allowed us to describe two new species–C. pansinii sp. nov. and C. lamellata sp. nov.–and to report C. aculeata in Indonesian waters for the first time. Re-examination of the type material of C. burapha showed that this species lives in sympatry with C. pansinii sp. nov. in Vietnam and with C. lamellata sp. nov. in Indonesia.

We further proposed the relocation of  C. burapha  paratype to the new species described here, C. pansinii sp. nov. Our findings make us aware of the enormous uncovered sponge biodiversity, and of the need to revise potential incongruences in the type material, often related to vague descriptions on old damaged material.” ~ Dr. Núñez Pons

Impact of Pasta Intake on Body Weight and Body Composition: A Technical Review

This systematic literature review suggests pasta consumption is not associated with overweight or obesity in healthy children and adults, and in fact, may be inversely associated with Body Mass Index (BMI) or abdominal obesity, particularly when consumed in the context of a healthy dietary pattern.

Pasta is a common part of the diet in many cultures but is often perceived as contributing to overweight or obesity because it is a refined carbohydrate. This study suggests that is likely not true. Unlike many other refined carbohydrate foods, pasta has a unique, compact structure and low glycemic response which may help maintain a healthy body weight and doesn’t hinder weight loss.

Pasta is also often paired with other healthy, high-fiber foods. This review noted that in most studies the pasta dietary pattern was also higher in vegetables, legumes, fruits, and ‎fish compared to other dietary patterns.” ~ Dr. Lisa Sanders

Association between Wine Consumption with Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiovascular Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

The association between cardiovascular disease and alcohol consumption is complex. Although high levels of alcohol consumption are associated with higher overall mortality, studies suggest that low to moderate consumption of certain types of alcoholic beverages might be beneficial in some cases.

Specifically, this systematic review and meta-analysis looks at the potential protective effects of wine consumption in the context of cardiovascular disease. The authors note that this link could be related to the components of wine, rather than the ethanol it contains.

Overall, the study highlights that according to current evidence, “Wine seems to have a stronger beneficial effect on CVD than other alcoholic beverages”. Further insights could help to uncover more about this complex relationship, and to understand whether this relationship is clear on a larger scale.

Conformational State of Fenamates at the Membrane Interface: A MAS NOESY Study

This study looks at the H NOESY MAS NMR spectra of three fenamates.

Specifically, the authors study mefenamic, tolfenamic, and fufenamic acid molecules at the lipid–water interface of phosphatidyloleoylphosphatidylcholine (POPC) membranes. Using the MAS NOESY data collected in their study, the authors found that fenamate molecules changed their three-dimensional structure when embedded in POPC membranes.

The study helps to show that “the conformation of the fenamates in a membrane environment could be used to predict their behavior when interacting with cellular membranes”.  The research conducted by the authors is also useful for the future development of drug delivery methods.

All of the discussed studies have been published in an Open Access format, meaning you can read the full texts online at