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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
Allylamine (AA)-functionalized surfaces for cell adhesion and tissue engineering generated by plasma reactions present several disadvantages, such as amine degradation after 1 week of storage in air and difficulty in achieving a highly specific surface functionalization. In this work, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) films were functionalized with AA by γ irradiation to enhance adhesion and compatibility without changing intrinsic bulk properties, thus avoiding the disadvantages of plasma synthesis. Irradiation grafting was realized by a direct and pre-irradiation oxidation method. The effect of different parameters studied were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, and contact angle measurements.
This work presents the synthesis and characterization of TiO2 nanotubes (NTT) with chitosan (CS). In a first stage, electrochemical anodization of titanium foils was used to generate NTT in a membrane-type arrangement. From these experiments, suitable experimental conditions were selected. In a second stage, the synthesized NTT were detached from the titanium foils by sonication. In the third stage, the detached NTT were dispersed in an acid solution containing CS in various concentrations. Finally, the nanotubes-chitosan (NTT/CS) samples were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). Our results showed that the NTT presented very regular tube morphology with -OH and Ti-O- functional groups on the surface. The interaction of NTT and chitosan was enhanced by increasing the time of contact during the synthesis of the titanium composites.
Supplementation with copper (Cu) improves deer antler characteristics, but it could modify meat quality and increase its Cu content to levels potentially harmful for humans. Here, we studied the effects of Cu bolus supplementation by means on quality and composition of sternocephalicus (ST) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles (n=13 for each one) from yearling male red deer fed with a balanced diet. Each intraruminal bolus, containing 3.4 g of Cu, was administered orally in the treatment group to compare with the control group. Meat traits studied were pH at 24 h postmortem (pH24), colour, chemical composition, cholesterol content, fatty acid (FA) composition, amino acid (AA) profile and mineral content. In addition, the effect of Cu supplementation on mineral composition of liver and serum (at 0 and 90 days of treatment) was analysed. No interactions between Cu supplementation and muscle were observed for any trait. Supplementation with Cu increased the protein content of meat (P<0.01). However, Cu content of meat, liver and serum was not modified by supplementation. In fact, Cu content of meat (1.20 and 1.34 mg/kg for Cu supplemented and control deer, respectively) was much lower in both groups than 5 mg/kg of fresh weight allowed legally for food of animal origin. However, bolus of Cu tended to increase the meat content of zinc and significantly increased (P<0.05) the hepatic contents of sodium and lead. Muscles studied had different composition and characteristics. The RA muscle had significantly higher protein content (P<0.001), monounsaturated FA content (P<0.05) and essential/non-essential AA ratio (P<0.01) but lower pH24 (P<0.01) and polyunsaturated FA content (P=0.001) than the ST muscle. In addition, RA muscle had 14.4% less cholesterol (P=0.001) than ST muscle. Also, mineral profile differed between muscles with higher content of iron, significantly higher (P<0.001) content of zinc and lower content of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (P<0.05) for ST muscle compared with RA. Therefore, supplementation with Cu modified deer meat characteristics, but it did not increase its concentration to toxic levels, making it a safe practice from this perspective. Despite the lower content of polyunsaturated FA, quality was better for RA than for ST muscle based on its higher content of protein with more essential/non-essential AA ratio and lower pH24 and cholesterol content.
The main objective of our study was to describe the epidemiological and microbiological features of an oligoclonal hospital-wide outbreak caused by OXA-48-producing Enterobacteriaceae (OXA-48-PE). OXA-48 is a carbapenemase belonging to Ambler class D beta-lactamases, identified frequently in the Mediterranean and Southern European countries, and associated with several Enterobacteriaceae species. An outbreak of OXA-48-PE with a complex epidemic pattern was detected in January 2011. Initial control measures included contact precautions and the reinforcement of infection control practices, but despite all efforts made, the epidemiological situation hardly changed and new measures were implemented during 2013. An observational retrospective study was performed to describe the main features of the outbreak and to analyse the cumulative incidence (CI) trends. Eight hundred and 16 patients colonised or infected by OXA-48-PE were identified during the 2-year period (January 2013–December 2014), female 46%, mean age (s.d.), 71.6 (15.2). The samples isolated in the incident cases were rectal swabs (80%), urine samples (10.7%), blood samples (2.8%) and other clinical samples (6.6%). The most frequent OXA-48-PE was Klebsiella pneumoniae. Eleven different clones were identified, but K. pneumoniae sequence types 11 and 405 were predominant: ST11 (64.2%) and ST405 (29.3%). OXA-48-PE CI trend suffered a statistically significant change in August 2013, which continued the following months. Though we could not eradicate the outbreak, we observed a statistically significant drop in CI after an intervention for OXA-48-PE control, based on patient cohort, active surveillance, electronic alerts and reinforcement of infection control measures in a tertiary hospital.
A new genus and species of nematode, Tziminema unachi n. gen., n. sp. is described from the caecum and colon of Baird's tapir Tapirus bairdii (Gill, 1865), found dead in the Reserva de la Biósfera El Triunfo, Chiapas State, in the Neotropical realm of Mexico. Tziminema n. gen. differs from the other nine genera included in the Strongylinae by two main characteristics: having 7–9 posteriorly directed tooth-like structures at the anterior end of the buccal capsule, and the external surface of the buccal capsule being heavily striated. Phylogenetic analyses of the DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase and nuclear DNA, including a partial sequence of the internal transcribed spacer 1, 5.8S and a partial sequence of the internal transcribed spacer 2 of the new taxon, confirmed its inclusion in Strongylinae and its rank as a new genus.
The main goal of this work consisted in cloning, purifying and characterizing a protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) from promastigotes of Leishmania major. The gene was cloned and amplified by PCR using specific oligonucleotides and the recombinant protein was purified by affinity chromatography. The peak with maximal protein concentration was analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and revealed a protein of 44·9 kDa with PP2C activity. This activity was dependent on divalent cations (Mg+2 and Mn+2) and was optimal at pH of 8·5, using phosphothreonine as the substrate. Sanguinarine inhibited the activity of the recombinant LmPP2C, while protein tyrosine phosphatase inhibitors had no effect. The recombinant LmPP2C was used to generate polyclonal antibodies. These antibodies recognized a protein of 44·9 kDa in different Leishmania species; the LmPP2C was localized in the flagellar pocket and the flagellum of promastigotes.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
In the present investigation, nanostructured ceramic HfN coatings were deposited onto silicon (100) wafer by magnetron sputtering DC method, from a metallic Hf target. The deposition process followed by a similar pattern as the multilayer film deposition, using cycles with the nitrogen gas turned on for 90 s and turned off for 15 s; four sets of samples were obtained using 5, 10, 15 and 20 cycles. The X ray diffraction (XRD) identified the presence of two different cubic crystalline phases of HfN, corroborated by Rietveld analysis. The Vickers hardness test showed that the hardness values increases with more cycles, due to a higher compressive stress evaluated by Stoney formula. All samples were investigated with no visible fracture until 10 grf for the 5 cycles sample; however, no fractures were visible at all for the 15 and 20 cycle samples for that given load, instead fractures started to appear at 25grf for the 10 and 15 cycles coating. Eventually it is distinguished that, the thickness and morphology of the coatings were measured by field emission scanning electron microscopy FE-SEM. As well as, the thickness increased from 0.4 µm to almost 1.33 µm as the number of cycles also increased, where we can observe the formation of columnar growth, moreover it is possible to distinguish the formation of two different clusters which might be related to different phases.
The Asian fish tapeworm, Schyzocotyle acheilognathi (syn. Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) represents a threat to freshwater fish, mainly cyprinids, across the globe. This tapeworm possesses an extraordinary ability to adapt to different environmental conditions and, because of that, from its natural geographical origin in mainland Asia, it has colonized every continent except Antarctica. It is thought that this pathogenic tapeworm was first co-introduced into Mexico in 1965 from China, with the grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella, although the first formal record of its presence was published in 1981. Over the past 35 years, the Asian fish tapeworm has invaded about 22% of the freshwater fish in Mexico. Because fish communities in Mexico are characterized by high species richness and levels of endemism, S. acheilognathi is considered as a co-introduced and co-invasive species. In this review, we update the geographic distribution and host spectrum of the Asian fish tapeworm in Mexico. Up until December 2016, the tapeworm had been recorded in 110 freshwater fish species (96 native and 14 introduced), included in 51 genera, 11 families and 4 orders; it was also widely distributed in all types of aquatic environments, and has been found in 214 localities. We present novel data from a survey aimed at establishing the distribution pattern of the tapeworm in native freshwater fishes of two rivers in north-central Mexico, and the genetic variation among individuals of this co-invasive species collected from different host species and localities. We discuss briefly the factors that have determined the remarkable invasive success of this parasite in freshwater systems in Mexico.
A Q fever outbreak was declared in February 2016 in a company that manufactures hoists and chains and therefore with no apparent occupational-associated risk. Coxiella burnetii infection was diagnosed by serology in eight of the 29 workers of the company; seven of them had fever or flu-like signs and five had pneumonia, one requiring hospitalisation. A further case of C. burnetii pneumonia was diagnosed in a local resident. Real-time PCR (RTi–PCR) showed a widespread distribution of C. burnetii DNA in dust samples collected from the plant facilities, thus confirming the exposure of workers to the infection inside the factory. Epidemiological investigations identified a goat flock with high C. burnetii seroprevalence and active shedding which was owned and managed by one of the workers of the company as possible source of infection. Genotyping by multispacer sequence typing (MST) and a 10-loci single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discrimination using RTi–PCR identified the same genotype (MST18 and SNP type 8, respectively) in the farm and the factory. These results confirmed the link between the goat farm and the outbreak and allowed the identification of the source of infection. The circumstances and possible vehicles for the bacteria entering the factory are discussed.
The recent development of genetic methods allows the delineation of species boundaries, especially in organisms where morphological characters are not reliable to differentiate species. However, few empirical studies have used these tools to delineate species among parasitic metazoans. Here we investigate the species boundaries of Clinostomum, a cosmopolitan trematode genus with complex life cycle. We sequenced a mitochondrial [cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI)] gene for multiple individuals (adults and metacercariae) from Middle-America. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the COI uncovered five reciprocally monophyletic clades. COI sequences were then explored using the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery to identify putative species; this species delimitation method recognized six species. A subsample was sequenced for a nuclear gene (ITS1, 5·8S, ITS2), and a concatenated phylogenetic analysis was performed through Bayesian inference. The species delimitation of Middle-American Clinostomum was finally validated using a multispecies coalescent analysis (species tree). In total, five putative species are recognized among our samples. Mapping the second intermediate hosts (fish) onto the species tree suggests that metacercariae of these five species exhibit some level of host specificity towards their fish intermediate host (at the family level), irrespective of geographical distribution.
Tick-borne apicomplexan haemoparasites infect wild and domestic animals, but studies on their distribution among free-living animals are comparatively fewer. Tissues from 241 wild carnivores of eight Mustelidae, two Canidae, one Viverridae and one Felidae species were collected in Northern Spain, and analysed by real-time PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene and sequencing. Babesia vulpes (formerly known as Theileria annae) was the only piroplasm detected in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Badgers (Meles meles) were shown to harbour two novel Babesia sp. sequence types (A and B) that only shared 96.7% homology between them and were closely related (ca. 97–98%) to, but distinct from B. vulpes and other babesia from carnivores. Analysis of PCR-derived sequences also revealed the presence of Cystoisospora sp. and Hepatozoon sp. in badgers and showed that wild cats (Felis silvestris catus) were infected with Cytauxzoon sp. Forty-two per cent of the animals subjected to a detailed external examination were parasitized by ixodid ticks, being Ixodes hexagonus and Ixodes ricinus the most abundant species. This study provided novel data on the different haemoparasites that can infect European wild carnivores and showed that they can be hosts for a range of haemoparasites and pose a potential risk for transmission to domestic animals.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) remains an important health problem in many areas of the world, including the Mediterranean region. We performed a retrospective study of cases reported from 1998 to 2012 in order to review and update the epidemiology of this disease in a highly endemic area situated in western Spain. A total of 471 patients were diagnosed with hydatid disease. Of these cases, 55·8% were male, with an average age of 62·3 ± 19·5 years. More importantly, 1·5% of patients were children, and 20·5% were aged <45 years. An active therapeutic approach was implemented for 92·6% of the CE patients with primary diagnoses; however, a ‘watch and wait’ strategy was used in 59·3% of all secondary CE diagnoses. The incidence rate of hydatid disease was significantly higher compared to the incidence described in the Notifiable Disease System in this area. Furthermore, a significant decrease in hydatid incidence during the years included in the study was observed (β = −0·4357, P < 0·001). CE incidence has diminished in recent years, although active transmission remains in paediatric cases. Additionally, CE incidence remains high in our region despite public health plans for its control. The documented incidence of CE disease clearly underestimates the real numbers.
This work presents results on the prediction of the molecular weight distributions (MWD) of chain growth polymerization using conventional software and hardware tools. The investigation focuses on two kinds of polymerization processes: free radical batch and continuous polymerization processes with application to low density polyethylene synthesis (LDPE); and coordination polymerization via metallocenes with application to high density polyethylene synthesis (HDPE). For both processes, kinetic models, consisting of sets of differential equations describing the dynamic behavior of all the chemical species in the reaction media, are presented. From these sets is possible to obtain the molecular weight distribution of the polymer1,2,4
Strategies for the simulation of the polymerization models were developed and results of these simulations are presented. On the free radical polymerization case, the next results are highlighted: i) It was confirmed that the chain transfer to polymer step produces strong asymmetries on the MWD as well as a high polydispersity index; ii) It’s possible to calculate the MWD in the CSTR process through a simulation strategy that permits the decoupling of the live and dead chains populations. On the metallocene polymerization case, it was demonstrated that the coordination standard model represents well the system experimentally studied and it can be employed to directly calculate the molecular weight distribution.
These results confirm the idea that the complete MWD can be directly calculated with conventional hardware and software tools.
An experimental study oriented to gather kinetic modelling data in the ethylene polymerization via metallocenes is reported. Also is illustrated the employment of two methods for determination of kinetic behavior and the instantaneous activity of Ziegler-Natta catalysts in the slurry polymerization of ethylene. The theoretical basis for both methods is described as well as the required instrumentation for its implantation at a laboratory level. An experimental program of polymerization with two different metallocenic systems was executed, showing that the direct (measurement of ethylene flow) as well as the calorimetric method (based on energy balances) give equivalent high quality information on the kinetic performance of the catalyst.
This paper aims to present the Integrated Atlas of Mental Health of Catalonia (2010) focusing on: (a) the importance of using a taxonomy-based coding and standard system of data collection when assessing health services; and (b) its relevance as a tool for evidence-informed policy.
This study maps all the care-related services for people with mental disorders available in Catalonia in 2010, using the ‘Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for long-term care’ (DESDE-LTC). The unit of analysis is the Basic Stable Input of Care (BSIC), which is the minimal organisation unit composed by a set of inputs with temporal stability. We presented data on: (a) availability of BSICs and their capacity; (b) the adequacy of the provision of care, taking into account availability and accessibility; (c) the evolution of BSCIs from 2002 to 2010; and (d) the perceived relevance of Atlas of Mental Health as a tool for evidence-informed policy.
We identified a total of 639 BSICs. A lack of Health services was detected in highly rural areas, although there was moderate availability of Social Services. Overall, more than 80% of the small mental health areas in Catalonia had an adequate core mental health service. Since 2002 the availability of mental health services has increased. Decision makers found the Atlas a useful and relevant tool for evidence informed policy.
Policy makers can use Atlases to detect gaps and inequities in the provision of care for people with mental health needs.