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A new computerized instrument (the Multimedia Behavioral Avoidance Test, or MBAT) for blood-injury-injection phobia (BII) assessment is presented. Analogous stimuli such as images and videos can also elicit anxiety responses; thus, they can be used for the assessment of phobia. The MBAT was applied to participants via computer, and subjective anxiety responses and time latency were recorded. The MBAT was composed of 30 original images and 30 videos related to blood, injury and injections. The MBAT was compared with other pencil-and-paper questionnaires for BII phobia, and heart rate was also measured with a pulsioximeter. The participants included 160 students and professionals (34.5% males, 65.6% females; mean 28.6 years old). The results showed a high reliability for internal consistency in images and videos (α = .98 both), with a single factor that groups all the items. In addition, the MBAT had high concurrent validity (r = .78 to .85) with the different anxiety scales compared. The MBAT diagnosed 12 participants with possible BII phobia. It is a useful instrument in the assessment of this kind of phobia because it is easier and quicker than pencil-and-paper questionnaires, it uses more objective measurements, and it is useful in planning subsequent exposure with images and videos.
The Murcia Twin Registry (MTR) is the only population-based registry in Spain. Created in 2006, the registry has been growing more than a decade to become one of the references for twin research in the Mediterranean region. The MTR database currently comprises 3545 adult participants born between 1940 and 1977. It also holds a recently launched satellite registry of university students (N = 204). Along five waves of data collection, the registry has gathered questionnaire and anthropometric data, as well as biological samples. The MTR keeps its main research focus on health and health-related behaviors from a public health perspective. This includes lifestyle, health promotion, quality of life or environmental conditions. Future short-term development points to the expansion of the biobank and the continuation of the collection of longitudinal data.
Reducing the energy consumed by a car-like mobile robot makes it possible to move at a lower cost, yet it takes more working time. This paper proposes an optimization algorithm for trajectories with optimal times and analyzes the consequences of restricting the energy consumed on the trajectory obtained for a car-like robot. When modeling the dynamic behavior of the vehicle, it is necessary to consider its inertial parameters, the behavior of the motor, and the basic properties of the tire in its interaction with the ground. To obtain collision-free, minimum-time trajectories quadratic sequential optimization techniques are used, where the objective function is the time taken by the robot to move between two given configurations. This is subject to constraints relating to the vehicle and tires as well as the energy consumed, which is the basis for this paper. We work with a real random distribution of consumed energy values following a normal Gaussian distribution in order to analyze its influence on the trajectories obtained by the vehicle. The energy consumed, the time taken, the maximum velocity reached, and the distance traveled are analyzed in order to characterize the properties of the trajectories obtained. The proposed algorithm has been applied to 101 examples, showing that the computational times needed to obtain the solutions are always lower than those required to realize the trajectories. The results obtained allow us to reach conclusions about the energy efficiency of the trajectories.
Polyurethanes (PUs) were synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil and isophorone diisocyanate. The materials were evaluated for their mechanical properties using stress–strain curves, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, and contact angle analysis. The biological response of the materials was evaluated by determining their cell viability in vitro, antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and biological response in vivo of PUs by means of implanting them in Wistar rats. The cell proliferation on the materials was analyzed using mouse fibroblast L929, human fibroblast MRC-5, and adult human dermal fibroblast (HDFa) cells by the ISO 10993-5 method. The materials showed no toxic effects and promoted cell proliferation. Experiments performed in vivo for 30 days in mice showed that the materials neither affected the wound healing process nor caused adverse effects or severe injuries in the dorsal mid-cervical tissue or organs on histological evaluation. PUs synthesized can be used in biomedical devices.
This study aimed to propose an adapted feedback using a psychological learning technique based on Skinner’s shaping method to help the users to modulate two cognitive tasks (right-hand motor imagination and relaxed state) and improve better control in a Brain-Computer Interface. In the first experiment, a comparative study between performance in standard feedback (N = 9) and shaping method (N = 10) was conducted. The NASA Task Load Index questionnaire was applied to measure the user’s workload. In the second experiment, a single case study was performed (N = 5) to verify the continuous learning by the shaping method. The first experiment showed significant interaction effect between sessions and group (F(1, 17) = 5.565; p = .031) which the shaping paradigm was applied. A second interaction effect demonstrates a higher performance increase in the relax state task with shaping procedure (F(1, 17) = 5. 038; p = .038). In NASA-TXL an interaction effect was obtained between the group and the cognitive task in Mental Demand (F(1, 17) = 6, 809; p = .018), Performance (F(1, 17) = 5, 725; p = .029), and Frustration (F(1, 17) = 9, 735; p = .006), no significance was found in Effort. In the second experiment, a trial-by-trial analysis shows an ascendant trend learning curve for the cognitive task with the lowest initial acquisition (relax state). The results suggest the effectiveness of the shaping procedure to modulate brain rhythms, improving mainly the cognitive task with greater initial difficulty and provide better interaction perception.
Human fascioliasis is a worldwide, pathogenic food-borne trematodiasis. Impressive clinical pictures comprising puzzling polymorphisms, manifestation multifocality, disease evolution changes, sequelae and mortality, have been reported in patients presenting with neurological, meningeal, neuropsychic and ocular disorders caused at distance by flukes infecting the liver. Proteomic and mass spectrometry analyses of the Fasciola hepatica excretome/secretome identified numerous, several new, plasminogen-binding proteins enhancing plasmin generation. This may underlie blood-brain barrier leakage whether by many simultaneously migrating, small-sized juvenile flukes in the acute phase, or by breakage of encapsulating formations triggered by single worm tracks in the chronic phase. Blood-brain barrier leakages may subsequently occur due to a fibrinolytic system-dependent mechanism involving plasmin-dependent generation of the proinflammatory peptide bradykinin and activation of bradykinin B2 receptors, after different plasminogen-binding protein agglomeration waves. Interactions between diverse parasitic situations and non-imbalancing fibrinolysis system alterations are for the first time proposed that explain the complexity, heterogeneity and timely variations of neurological disorders. Additionally, inflammation and dilation of blood vessels may be due to contact system–dependent generation bradykinin. This baseline allows for search of indicators to detect neurological risk in fascioliasis patients and experimental work on antifibrinolytic treatments or B2 receptor antagonists for preventing blood-brain barrier leakage.
Polyurethane/cellulose composites were synthesized from castor-oil-derived polyols and isophorone diisocyanate using dibutyltin dilaurate (DBTDL) as the catalyst. Materials were obtained by adding 2% cellulose in the form of either microcrystals (20 μm) or nanocrystals obtained by acid hydrolysis. The aim was to assess the effects of filler particle size and the use of a catalyst on the physicochemical properties and biological response of these composites. The addition of the catalyst was found to be essential to prevent filler aggregations and to enhance the tensile strength and elongation at break. The cellulose particle size influenced the composite properties, as its nanocrystals heighten hydrogen bond interactions between the filler surface and polyurethane domains, improving resistance to hydrolytic degradation. All hybrids retained cell viability, and the addition of DBTDL did not impair their biocompatibility. The samples were prone to calcification, which suggests that they could find application in the development of bioactive materials.
Human fascioliasis infection sources are analysed for the first time in front of the new worldwide scenario of this disease. These infection sources include foods, water and combinations of both. Ingestion of freshwater wild plants is the main source, with watercress and secondarily other vegetables involved. The problem of vegetables sold in uncontrolled urban markets is discussed. Distinction between infection sources by freshwater cultivated plants, terrestrial wild plants, and terrestrial cultivated plants is made. The risks by traditional local dishes made from sylvatic plants and raw liver ingestion are considered. Drinking of contaminated water, beverages and juices, ingestion of dishes and soups and washing of vegetables, fruits, tubercles and kitchen utensils with contaminated water are increasingly involved. Three methods to assess infection sources are noted: detection of metacercariae attached to plants or floating in freshwater, anamnesis in individual patients, and questionnaire surveys in endemic areas. The infectivity of metacercariae is reviewed both under field conditions and experimentally under the effects of physicochemical agents. Individual and general preventive measures appear to be more complicated than those considered in the past. The high diversity of infection sources and their heterogeneity in different countries underlie the large epidemiological heterogeneity of human fascioliasis throughout.
A numerical study of the saturation process inside a rectangular open cavity is presented. Previous experiments and linear stability analysis of the problem completely described the flow in its onset, as well as in a saturated regime, characterized by three-dimensional centrifugal modes. The morphology of the modes found in the experiments matched the ones predicted by linear analysis, but with a shift in frequencies for the oscillating modes. A three-dimensional incompressible direct numerical simulation (DNS) is employed for a detailed investigation of the saturation process inside a cavity with dimensions similar to the one used in the experiments, to further explain the behaviour of these modes. In this work, periodic boundary conditions are first imposed to better understand the effect of the saturation process far from the walls. Then, the effects of spanwise solid wall boundary conditions are investigated with a DNS reproducing the full dynamics of the experiments. The main flow structures are identified using the dynamic mode decomposition technique and compared with previous experimental and linear stability analysis results. The main reason for the aforementioned shift in frequency is explained in this paper, as it is a function of the velocity of the main recirculating vortex.
Polyurethane-based bioadhesive was synthesized with polyols derived from castor oil (chemically modified and unmodified) and hexamethylene diisocyanate with chitosan addition as a bioactive filler. The objective was to evaluate the effect of type of polyols with the incorporation of low-concentrations of chitosan on the mechanical and biological properties of the polymer to obtain suitable materials in the design of biomaterials. The results showed that increasing physical crosslinking increased the mechanical and adhesive properties. An in vitro cytotoxic test of polyurethanes showed cellular viability. The biocompatibility of the polyurethanes favors the adhesion of L929 cells at 6, 24, and 48 h. The polyurethanes showed bacterial inhibition depending on the polyol and percentage of chitosan. The antibacterial effect of the polyurethanes for Escherichia coli decreased 60–90% after 24 h. The mechanical and adhesive properties together with biological response in this research suggested these polyurethanes as external application tissue bioadhesives.
Maruca vitrata (Fabricius, 1787) is a cryptic pantropical species of Lepidoptera that are comprised of two unique strains that inhabit the American continents (New World strain) and regions spanning from Africa through to Southeast Asia and Northern Australia (Old World strain). In this study, we de novo assembled the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the New World legume pod borer, M. vitrata, from shotgun sequence data generated on an Illumina HiSeq 2000. Phylogenomic comparisons were made with other previously published mitochondrial genome sequences from crambid moths, including the Old World strain of M. vitrata. The 15,385 bp M. vitrata (New World) sequence has an 80.7% A+T content and encodes the 13 protein-coding, 2 ribosomal RNA and 22 transfer RNA genes in the typical orientation and arrangement of lepidopteran mitochondrial DNAs. Mitochondrial genome-wide comparison between the New and Old World strains of M. vitrata detected 476 polymorphic sites (4.23% nucleotide divergence) with an excess of synonymous substitution as a result of purifying selection. Furthermore, this level of sequence variation suggests that these strains diverged from ~1.83 to 2.12 million years ago, assuming a linear rate of short-term substitution. The de novo assemblies of mitochondrial genomes from next-generation sequencing (NGS) reads provide readily available data for similar comparative studies.
We report on the EPICA Dronning Maud Land (East Antarctica) deep drilling operation. Starting with the scientific questions that led to the outline of the EPICA project, we introduce the setting of sister drillings at NorthGRIP and EPICA Dome C within the European ice-coring community. The progress of the drilling operation is described within the context of three parallel, deep-drilling operations, the problems that occurred and the solutions we developed. Modified procedures are described, such as the monitoring of penetration rate via cable weight rather than motor torque, and modifications to the system (e.g. closing the openings at the lower end of the outer barrel to reduce the risk of immersing the drill in highly concentrated chip suspension). Parameters of the drilling (e.g. core-break force, cutter pitch, chips balance, liquid level, core production rate and piece number) are discussed. We also review the operational mode, particularly in the context of achieved core length and piece length, which have to be optimized for drilling efficiency and core quality respectively. We conclude with recommendations addressing the design of the chip-collection openings and strictly limiting the cable-load drop with respect to the load at the start of the run.
Flowing snow is a cohesive granular material. Snow temperature and moisture content control the strength of the cohesive bonding between granules and therefore the outcome of granular interactions. Strong, cohesive interactions reduce the free mechanical energy in the avalanche core and therefore play a significant role in defining the avalanche flow regime. We introduce cohesion into avalanche dynamics model calculations by (1) treating cohesion as an additional internal binding energy that must be overcome to expand the avalanche flow volume, (2) modifying the Coulomb stress function to account for the increase in shear because of cohesive interactions and (3) increasing the activation energy to control the onset of avalanche fluidization. The modified shear stress function is based on force measurements in chute experiments with flowing snow. Example calculations are performed on ideal and real terrain to demonstrate how snow cohesion modifies avalanche flow and runout behaviour.
To demonstrate how snow-cover release and entrainment temperature influence avalanche runout we develop an avalanche dynamics model that accounts for the thermal heat energy of flowing snow. Temperature defines the mechanical properties of snow and therefore the avalanche flow regime. We show that the avalanche flow regime depends primarily on the temperature of the snow mass in the starting zone, as well as the density and temperature of the entrained snow cover, which define the influx of heat energy. Avalanche temperature, however, not only depends on the initial and boundary conditions, but also on the path-dependent frictional processes that increase internal heat energy. We account for two processes: (1) frictional shearing in the slope-parallel flow direction and (2) dissipation of random fluctuation energy by inelastic granular interactions. In avalanche flow, nonlinear irreversible processes are coupled with variable initial and boundary conditions that lead to transitions in flow regime. Snow avalanches thus exhibit a wide variety of flow behaviour with variation in snow-cover temperature.
New Super-High-Density (SHD) olive orchards designed for mechanical harvesting are increasing very rapidly in Spain. Most studies have focused in effectively removing the olive fruit, however the machine needs to put significant amount of energy on the canopy that could result in structural damage or extra stress on the trees. During harvest, a series of 3-axis accelerometers were installed on the tree structure in order to register vibration patterns. A LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and a camera sensing device were also mounted on a tractor. Before and after harvest measurements showed significant differences in the LiDAR and image data. A fast estimate of the damage produced by an over-the-row harvester with contactless sensing could be useful information for adjusting the machine parameters in each olive grove automatically in the future.
Using the notion of styles of knowledge we refer to the ways diverse scientific communities claim to produce true knowledge, their understandings regarding the attitudes and values that scientists should have in order to grasp natural and social reality, and the practices and technologies developed within such styles. This paper analyzes scientific and medical enterprises that explored the relationship between environment, population, and society in Colombia between 1850 and 1920. We argue that similar styles of knowledge production were shared in human geography, medical geography, and climatic physiology at the mid-nineteenth century; and that some physicians working in bacteriology and physiology since the 1880s established epistemic boundaries between their work and earlier scientific activities, while others found these distinctions irrelevant. However, the historical actors committed to any of the styles of knowledge production explored in this article agreed on the local specificity of their objects of inquiry, therefore questioning European science. These styles of knowledge production also shaped different ways of perceiving and addressing national problems. Hence, this article is a contribution to the recent literature on both historical epistemology and social and cultural history of science and medicine.
Cottonseed hulls are co-product of agribusiness that can be used in beef cattle rations, decreasing the cost of feed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different cottonseed hull levels, display and ageing times on visual and sensorial meat acceptability. Longissimus thoracis muscle from 30 crossbred young bulls finished on three high-grain diets (210, 270 or 330 g/kg of cottonseed hulls on dry matter, respectively) were visually evaluated during 10 days of display by 37 appraisers. Tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability from the three diets and three ageing times (1, 7 and 14 days) were evaluated by 120 consumers. On the visual study, time of display (P⩽0.001) was a more significant factor than diet. Cottonseed hull level had no effect on sensorial analyses, with tenderness acceptability improving with ageing time (P⩽0.001). Results indicate the possibility of using the three studied levels of cottonseed without damaging consumer meat acceptability.
Legume consumption plays a pivotal role in the prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome (MetS). This systematic review aimed to highlight the beneficial effects of legume interventions for the prevention and/or improvement of parameters related to the MetS and the implicated metabolic pathways so far reported. The methodology involved a search in four electronic databases (Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane Library) from January 2007 to December 2014, considering as descriptors ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ and ‘Fabaceae’ and adequately adjusting the equation in each one of them. In total, forty-one studies were finally included. The majority of the studies described a regulating effect on glucose and lipid metabolism due to legume administration, whereas effects on blood pressure and renal parameters are not fully described. Regarding the metabolic pathways involved, they include the up-regulation of genes related to β-oxidation and acetyl-CoA degradation and the down-regulation of glycolytic and lipogenesis genes, as well as those associated with the acetyl-CoA synthesis. The ameliorating effects of legume consumption on the alterations associated with the MetS are clearly reported and coincide with changes in the expression of protein and genes involved in lipid and glucose metabolism. More research needs to be conducted including more legume species that are highly consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern.
A long-standing problem in avalanche dynamics is to model the flow of a mixed flowing/powder avalanche. Here we use the thermodynamic concept of configurational energy to describe the blow-out of air from the avalanche core. Configurational energy is the mean potential energy associated with the location of snow and ice particles in the avalanche core. As such, configurational energy determines the avalanche flow density. Expansion of the particle ensemble reduces the flow density and leads to the intake of air. Compression of the particle ensemble causes the blow-out of the intaken air, now laden with ice dust. Once formed, the cloud moves independently of the flowing avalanche with the initial momentum acquired in the core. Configurational energy changes in the avalanche core are therefore intimately related to the formation of the powder suspension cloud. In this paper we use the concept of configurational energy to predict the mass of air taken into and blown out of the core. This requires calculating the dispersive pressure arising from random particle movements and configuration changes related to the expansion and collapse of the flowing particle ensemble. The ice avalanche that struck the Everest base camp on 25 April 2015 is simulated using the proposed concept.
A total of 64 intensively reared Friesian steers were used in a 2×2×2 design to study the effects of age of castration (15 days old v. 5 months old), dietary protein level (14.6% v. 16.8%; DM basis) and lysine/methionine (lys/met) ratio (3.0 v. 3.4) on meat quality. The lys/met ratio of 3.0 was reached with supplementation of protected methionine. Animals were slaughtered at a live weight of 443.5±26.2 kg at around 12 months of age. Colour and lipid oxidation were measured in the longissimus thoracis muscle throughout the 14 days of display under modified atmospheric and commercial display conditions. A panel of 17 consumers assessed daily the visual acceptability of the meat on display. A consumer acceptability eating test was also performed with 120 consumers in meat aged for 7 days under vacuum conditions. Lipid oxidation was not influenced by castration age and the protein level in the diet. Castration age did not affect meat colour, but meat from the low protein level diet and the low lys/met ratio showed higher redness (a*) from 3 days of display onwards. Nevertheless, from 6 days onwards, consumer visual acceptability was below the level of acceptance in all treatments, and even from 5 days onwards in those animals that underwent early castration and were fed either a high protein diet or a combination diet low in protein content and high in lys/met ratio. The best accepted treatments throughout the display period were those from late castrated animals fed a low protein diet, probably related to other visual aspects. However, the best accepted meat after consumption was that from late castrated animals fed high protein and high lys/met. The addition of protected methionine to reach lys/met levels of 3.0 did not improve beef acceptability, with the high protein diet being preferred by consumers in terms of palatability in late castrated animals.