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A sample of 641 participants were presented with four decision-making tasks during the first stages of the COVID–19 lockdown in Spain: The dictator game, framing problems, utilitarian/deontological and altruistic/egoistic moral dilemmas. Participants also completed questionnaires on mental health status and experiences related to the COVID–19 pandemic. We used boosted regression trees (an advanced form of regression analysis based on machine learning) to model relationships between responses to the questionnaires and decision-making tasks. Results showed that the psychological impact of the COVID–19 pandemic predicted participants’ responses to the framing problems and utilitarian/deontological and altruistic/egoistic moral dilemmas (but not to the dictator game). More concretely, the more psychological impact participants suffered, the more they were willing to choose the safest response in the framing problems, and the more deontological/altruistic were their responses to moral dilemmas. These results suggest that the psychological impact of the COVID–19 pandemic might prompt automatic processes.
Current clinical practice is based on guidelines and local protocols that are informed by clinical evidence. This means that clinical variability is reduced, but can lead to inefficient clinical decision-making and can increase medical errors, decreasing patient's safety. The aim of the EXCON project is to investigate the innovative concept of Intelligent Clinical History (ICH), and to develop functional prototypes of high added-value in healthcare services.
The innovative EXCON project will take advantage of recent advances in technologies for coding, structuring and semantizing medical information. Thanks to this new structuring, the EXCON platform will be developed. The final users will be health professionals and other decision-makers. Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and information specialists will be involved in the development and subsequent validation of the platform.
The EXCON platform identifies profiles of patients with a high probability of ischemic heart disease. In the sample analyzed (n = 4,700), 17 percent of patients were admitted to a cardiology unit with suspected coronary heart disease. Of the patients admitted, 53.7 percent did not have ischemic heart disease at discharge. If we apply the algorithm developed by the EXCON project, 24.8 percent of patients would not have been admitted and did not have ischemic heart disease.
In coming decades, patient management will be impacted by the application of new advanced data analytics tools. This will allow for safer and more efficient clinical management, decrease variability in clinical practice, and improve equity. That is why the development and assessment of these technologies is necessary.
Human embryos generated in vitro have a high incidence of chromosomal abnormalities that negatively affect pregnancy rate. Embryos generated in vitro secrete extracellular vesicles (EVs) into the culture medium that could be used potentially as indicators of embryo competence. This research aimed to evaluate the concentration and size of EVs and their gDNA content as an indicator of developmental competence in human embryos. Human embryos generated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were classified morphologically as of either TOP, FAIR or POOR quality. Culture medium and developmentally arrested embryos (which were not able to be used for embryo transfer) were collected. Microvesicles, exosomes (MV/Exo) and apoptotic bodies (ABs) were isolated from culture medium. Nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) and array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) analysis were performed to evaluate EVs and their gDNA content. From NTA, the diameter (mean) of MVs/Exo from TOP quality embryos was higher (112.17 nm) compared with that of FAIR (108.02) and POOR quality embryos (102.78 nm) (P < 0.05). aCGH analysis indicated that MVs/Exo and ABs carried gDNA with the presence of 23 chromosome pairs. However, when arrested embryos were compared with their respective MVs/Exo and ABs, the latter had an increased rate of chromosomal abnormalities (24.9%) compared with embryos (8.7%) (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the size of EVs from culture medium might be an alternative for evaluating competence of human embryos, however more studies are needed to validate the use of gDNA from EVs as an indicator of embryo competence.
Pulses such as peas, beans or lentils are one of the most complete foods at the nutritional level; however, they are one of the most often neglected foods in the diets of university students. Entrance to university translates into a major lifestyle change for many young people, and the habits acquired or cemented at this time will remain into adulthood. The objective of this study is to analyse the association between personal/sociodemographic factors, dietary intake of other food groups and the consumption of pulses in first-year university students. This cross-sectional study is part of the UniHcos project, a multicentre study of multipurpose prospective cohorts in eleven Spanish universities. Data from 9862 university students were collected through an online self-questionnaire completed by all students who met the selection criteria and agreed to participate in the project during the 2011–2018 academic years. Of students, 75·8 % presented an inadequate (≤2 times/week) consumption of pulses. Living outside the family home in either a student residence (OR 0·76; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·84) or rental (OR 0·81; 95 % CI 0·70, 0·95) decreased the compliance with recommendations on the consumption of pulses. Low consumption of pulses is seemingly not restricted to a specific profile or dietary pattern among university students, and no specific focus group for intervention can be identified. Policies promoting the consumption of pulses among the university population as a whole are necessary to increase compliance rates with the dietary recommendations.
Acute respiratory infection is one of the main causes of morbidity in children. Some studies have suggested that pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease with haemodynamic repercussion increase the severity of respiratory infections, but there are few publications in developing countries.
This was a prospective cohort study evaluating the impact of pulmonary hypertension and congenital heart disease (CHD) with haemodynamic repercussion as predictors of severity in children under 5 years of age hospitalised for acute respiratory infection.
Altogether, 217 children hospitalised for a respiratory infection who underwent an echocardiogram were evaluated; 62 children were diagnosed with CHD with haemodynamic repercussion or pulmonary hypertension. Independent predictors of admission to intensive care included: pulmonary hypertension (RR 2.14; 95% CI 1.06–4.35, p = 0.034), respiratory syncytial virus (RR 2.52; 95% CI 1.29–4.92, p = 0.006), and bacterial pneumonia (RR 3.09; 95% CI 1.65–5.81, p = 0.000). A significant difference was found in average length of hospital stay in children with the cardiovascular conditions studied (p = 0.000).
Pulmonary hypertension and CHD with haemodynamic repercussion as well as respiratory syncytial virus and bacterial pneumonia were predictors of severity in children with respiratory infections in this study. Early recognition of cardiovascular risks in paediatric populations is necessary to lessen the impact on respiratory infections.
Courts have increasingly become key players in the political arena and the policymaking process. Judicialization of politics, as this trend has been called (Vallinder, 1994), is the process by which issues that were traditionally in the realm of political bodies and decision makers, namely legislatures and the executive branch, are being increasingly decided in courts. Under certain conditions, in instances such as democratic settlings, demands for the protection of constitutional rights, and clashes between agencies and levels of government, judges have acquired a central role in the settlement of political disputes and the creation of new laws through the interpretation of existing constitutional provisions, whether by abstract review or by resolving concrete cases (Tate and Vallinder, 1995). The rise of a new constitutional order (Ackerman, 1997) has turned judicial tribunals into fora of political discussion, where different political agents, especially those traditionally excluded from traditional representative institutions, have found a place to advance their policy preferences (Epp, 1998; McCann, 2008).
Constitutional courts, in particular, have come to make, or increasingly dominate the making of public policies over several social issues, previously the remit of representative bodies or administrative agencies. One of the reasons that explains this change in the policy-making process, especially in Latin America, is the emergence of new institutional arrangements that have entailed the adoption of extensive rights catalogues and new legal mechanisms to enforce them. Legal claims “from below” (Sieder et al, 2005) regarding governmental policies have driven courts to analyze different public policies in order to establish whether or not governmental agencies have contributed to the neglect of individual and social rights, either by direct actions or by omissions in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of those policies. In case of negligence or omission, judges become guides and creators of new public policy.
Due to this modern political phenomenon, the study of judicial politics is now a consolidated subdiscipline within political science, especially regarding the US and, to a lesser extent, the western European democracies.
Maternal obesity (MO) during pregnancy and lactation leads to maternal and offspring metabolic dysfunction. Recent research has suggested that probiotics might be a novel approach to counteract these unwanted MO effects. The aim of this research was to analyze the impact of Leuconostoc SD23, a probiotic isolated from aguamiel (traditional Mexican drink), on MO metabolism in rats at the end of lactation (21 days). From weaning through lactation, control female Wistar rats (C) ate chow (5% fat) or high-energy obesogenic diet (MO; 25% fat). Half the C and MO mothers received a daily dose (1 × 1010 CFU/ml) of probiotic orally, control with probiotic (CP) and MO with probiotic (MOP), 1 month before mating and through pregnancy and lactation. Histological analyses of the liver, white adipose tissue and small intestine, body composition, glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and leptin were determined in mothers at the end of lactation. Maternal weight during pregnancy was greater in MO than C mothers, but similar at the end of lactation. Probiotic intervention had no effect on maternal weight. However, at the end of lactation, percentage of body fat was higher in MO than C, CP, and MOP. Serum glucose, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, and triglycerides were higher in MO versus C, CP, and MOP. MO small intestine villus height was higher versus MOP, C, and CP. Leuconostoc SD23 did not present adverse effects in C. Conclusions: maternal administration of Leuconostoc SD23 has beneficial effects on maternal metabolism, which holds possibilities for preventing adverse offspring metabolic programming.
A novel series of copolymers were obtained from the copolymerization of 1-ethynylpyrene (EP) (known as pyrenylacetylene) and ethynylbenzene (EB) (named also phenylacetylene) with WCl6 as catalyst and toluene as solvent, using different monomer molar ratios EP/EB (80:20, 60:40, 50:50; 40:60, 20:80). The optical properties of the obtained copolymers Poly(EP-co-EB) were determined by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. Absorption spectra of the copolymers Poly(EP-co-EB) showed that copolymers containing phenylacetylene units possess a lower degree of conjugation than the homopolymer trans-poly(1-ethynylpyrene) (trans-PEP), since they showed a twisted conformation. These results were confirmed by emission spectroscopy showing the formation of excimers for those copolymers containing high pyrene content.
The second and final year of the Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme, where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in-class’ time is limited to 4 weeks a year, and the programme spans 2 years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion. Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just finished its second and final year. Six Learning Teaching Training activities have been held at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University, the University of Salamanca and the Institute of Plasma Physics and Lasers of the Hellenic Mediterranean University. The last of these institutes hosted two 2-week-long Intensive Programmes, while the activities at the other four universities were each 5 days in length. In addition, a ‘Multiplier Event’ was held at the University of Ioannina, which will be briefly described. In this second year, the work has concentrated on training in both experimental diagnostics and simulation techniques appropriate to the study of plasma physics, high power laser matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail, and some metrics relating to the activities carried out will be presented. In particular, this paper will focus on the overall assessment of the programme.
In cases of mass-casualty incidents (MCIs), triage represents a fundamental tool for the management of and assistance to the wounded, which helps discriminate not only the priority of attention, but also the priority of referral to the most suitable center.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the capacity of different prehospital triage systems based on physiological parameters (Shock Index [SI], Glasgow-Age-Pressure Score [GAP], Revised Trauma Score [RTS], and National Early Warning Score 2 [NEWS2]) to predict early mortality (within 48 hours) from the index event for use in MCIs.
This was a longitudinal prospective observational multi-center study on patients who were attended by Advanced Life Support (ALS) units and transferred to the emergency department (ED) of their reference hospital. Collected were: demographic, physiological, and clinical variables; main diagnosis; and data on early mortality. The main outcome variable was mortality from any cause within 48 hours.
From April 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019, a total of 1,288 patients were included in this study. Of these, 262 (20.3%) participants required assistance for trauma and injuries by external agents. Early mortality within the first 48 hours due to any cause affected 69 patients (5.4%). The system with the best predictive capacity was the NEWS2 with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.891 (95% CI, 0.84-0.94); a sensitivity of 79.7% (95% CI, 68.8-87.5); and a specificity of 84.5% (95% CI, 82.4-86.4) for a cut-off point of nine points, with a positive likelihood ratio of 5.14 (95% CI, 4.31-6.14) and a negative predictive value of 98.7% (95% CI, 97.8-99.2).
Prehospital scores of the NEWS2 are easy to obtain and represent a reliable test, which make it an ideal system to help in the initial assessment of high-risk patients, and to determine their level of triage effectively and efficiently. The Prehospital Emergency Medical System (PhEMS) should evaluate the inclusion of the NEWS2 as a triage system, which is especially useful for the second triage (evacuation priority).
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are less aware of their cholesterol levels and have a higher burden of associated adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular outcomes than non-Latino whites. Investigations of the associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in this population have often occurred within the context of metabolic syndrome and are limited to select lipids despite the fact that triglycerides (TGs) may be more relevant to the health of Hispanics/Latinos.
Baseline data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, collected from 2008 to 2011, was used to investigate the associations of lipid levels (i.e., TG, total cholesterol, TC; low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL-C and HDL-C) with cognition (i.e., learning, memory, verbal fluency, and digit symbol substitution, DSS), adjusting for relevant confounders.
In 7413 participants ages 45 to 74 years from Central American, Cuban, Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and South American backgrounds, separate, fully adjusted linear regression models revealed that TG levels were inversely associated with DSS performance; however, this relationship was no longer significant once additional cardiovascular disease risk factors were added to the model (p = .06). TC and LDL-C levels (separately) were positively associated with learning and verbal fluency regardless of adjustments (p-values < .05). Separate analyses investigating the effect modification by background and sex revealed a particularly robust association between TC levels and DSS performance for Puerto Ricans and Central Americans (albeit in opposite directions) and an inverse relationship between TG levels and DSS performance for women (p-values < .02).
It is important to consider individual lipid levels and demographic characteristics when investigating associations between cholesterol levels and cognition in Hispanics/Latinos.