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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.
Standard external beam radiotherapy is a treatment option for patients with localised prostate cancer and is used in patients with low-, intermediate- and high-risk disease with androgen deprivation according to the risk of the disease. In the last few years, hypofractionated radiotherapy has been demonstrated to be as safe as standard radiotherapy if given over a shorter time than standard radiotherapy with larger doses per fraction. External radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer typically delivers 37–42 fractions of 1·8–2·0 Gy per fraction given 5 days per week over 7·5–8·5 weeks. Hypofractionated radiotherapy delivers 20–28 fractions of 2·5–2·6 Gy per fraction given 5 days per week over 4–5·6 weeks.
A retrospective analysis of assessment of 30 patients was undertaken from 2016 to 2018. The aim of this study was to evaluate the 2-year outcomes of 30 patients with prostate cancer treated with hypofractionated radiotherapy 70 Gy in 28 fractions.
Biochemical failure with hypofractionated radiotherapy was found in a total of 20% of patients. In the classification by risk groups, there were no biochemical failures in low-risk patients; in the low intermediate course, 3·3% of patients; in the high intermediate group, 3·3% patients; and in the high-risk group, the largest documented biochemical failure was in 13·3% of patients. For acute urinary toxicity, grade I was 56·6%; grade II, 6·6%. For acute rectal toxicity, grade I was 46·6%; grade II, 3·3%.
This is one of the first studies of hypofractionated radiotherapy in prostate cancer in Latin America, and the results of this study demonstrated that the outcomes were similar to the standard regimen in all risk groups.
Exoskeletons are wearable devices intended to physically assist one or multiple human joints in executing certain activities. From a mechanical point of view, they are kinematic structures arranged in parallel to the biological joints. In order to allow the users to move while assisted, it is crucial to avoid mobility restrictions introduced by the exoskeleton’s kinematics. Passive degrees of freedom and other self-alignment mechanisms are a common option to avoid any restrictions. However, the literature lacks a systematic method to account for large inter- and intra-subject variability in designing and assessing kinematic chains. To this end, we introduce a model-based method to assess the kinematics of exoskeletons by representing restrictions in mobility as disturbances and undesired forces at the anchor points. The method makes use of robotic kinematic tools and generates useful insights to support the design process. Though an application on a back-support exoskeleton designed for lifting tasks is illustrated, the method can describe any type of rigid exoskeleton. A qualitative pilot trial is conducted to assess the kinematic model that proved to predict kinematic configurations associated to rising undesired forces recorded at the anchor points, that give rise to mobility restrictions and discomfort on the users.
Wearable devices, such as exoskeletons, are becoming increasingly common and are being used mainly for improving motility and daily life autonomy, rehabilitation purposes, and as industrial aids. There are many variables that must be optimized to create an efficient, smoothly operating device. The selection of a suitable actuator is one of these variables, and the actuators are usually sized after studying the kinematic and dynamic characteristics of the target task, combining information from motion tracking, inverse dynamics, and force plates. While this may be a good method for approximate sizing of actuators, a more detailed approach is necessary to fully understand actuator performance, control algorithms or sensing strategies, and their impact on weight, dynamic performance, energy consumption, complexity, and cost. This work describes a learning-based evaluation method to provide this more detailed analysis of an actuation system for our XoTrunk exoskeleton. The study includes: (a) a real-world experimental setup to gather kinematics and dynamics data; (b) simulation of the actuation system focusing on motor performance and control strategy; (c) experimental validation of the simulation; and (d) testing in real scenarios. This study creates a systematic framework to analyze actuator performance and control algorithms to improve operation in the real scenario by replicating the kinematics and dynamics of the human–robot interaction. Implementation of this approach shows substantial improvement in the task-related performance when applied on a back-support exoskeleton during a walking task.
To reduce the incidence of occupational musculoskeletal disorders, back-support exoskeletons are being introduced to assist manual material handling activities. Using a device of this type, this study investigates the effects of a new control strategy that uses the angular acceleration of the user’s trunk to assist during lifting tasks. To validate this new strategy, its effectiveness was experimentally evaluated relative to the condition without the exoskeleton as well as against existing strategies for comparison. Using the exoskeleton during lifting tasks reduced the peak compression force on the L5S1 disc by up to 16%, with all the control strategies. Substantial differences between the control strategies in the reductions of compression force, lumbar moment and back muscle activation were not observed. However, the new control strategy reduced the movement speed less with respect to the existing strategies. Thanks to improved timing in the assistance in relation to the typical dynamics of the target task, the hindrance to typical movements appeared reduced, thereby promoting intuitiveness and comfort.
Wearable devices are fast evolving to address mobility and autonomy needs of elderly people who would benefit from physical assistance. Recent developments in soft robotics provide important opportunities to develop soft exoskeletons (also called exosuits) to enable both physical assistance and improved usability and acceptance for users. The XoSoft EU project has developed a modular soft lower limb exoskeleton to assist people with low mobility impairments. In this paper, we present the design of a soft modular lower limb exoskeleton to improve person’s mobility, contributing to independence and enhancing quality of life. The novelty of this work is the integration of quasi-passive elements in a soft exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides mechanical assistance for subjects with low mobility impairments reducing energy requirements between 10% and 20%. Investigation of different control strategies based on gait segmentation and actuation elements is presented. A first hip–knee unilateral prototype is described, developed, and its performance assessed on a post-stroke patient for straight walking. The study presents an analysis of the human–exoskeleton energy patterns by way of the task-based biological power generation. The resultant assistance, in terms of power, was 10.9% ± 2.2% for hip actuation and 9.3% ± 3.5% for knee actuation. The control strategy improved the gait and postural patterns by increasing joint angles and foot clearance at specific phases of the walking cycle.
Legged robots have the potential to navigate in more challenging terrains than wheeled robots. Unfortunately, their control is more demanding, because they have to deal with the common tasks of mapping and path planning as well as more specific issues of legged locomotion, like balancing and foothold planning. In this paper, we present the integration and the development of a stabilized vision system on the fully torque-controlled hydraulically actuated quadruped robot (HyQ). The active head added onto the robot is composed of a fast pan and tilt unit (PTU) and a high-resolution wide angle stereo camera. The PTU enables camera gaze shifting to a specific area in the environment (both to extend and refine the map) or to track an object while navigating. Moreover, as the quadruped locomotion induces strong regular vibrations, impacts or slippages on rough terrain, we took advantage of the PTU to mechanically compensate for the robot's motions. In this paper, we demonstrate the influence of legged locomotion on the quality of the visual data stream by providing a detailed study of HyQ's motions, which are compared against a rough terrain wheeled robot of the same size. Our proposed Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)-based controller allows us to decouple the camera from the robot motions. We show through experiments that, by stabilizing the image feedback, we can improve the onboard vision-based processes of tracking and mapping. In particular, during the outdoor tests on the quadruped robot, the use of our camera stabilization system improved the accuracy on the 3D maps by 25%, with a decrease of 50% of mapping failures.
Experimental and human studies have shown that proteinuria contributes to the progression of renal disease. Overexposure to filtered proteins promotes the expression and release of chemokines by tubular epithelial cells, thus leading to inflammatory cell recruitment and renal impairment. This review focuses on recent progress in cellular and molecular understanding of the role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of proteinuria-induced renal injury, as well as their clinical implications and therapeutic potential.
The pathological basis of tardive dyskinesia is unknown. Although its clinical features implicate the basal ganglia, imaging studies have not found clear evidence that it is associated with volume changes in these or other brain structures.
To determine, using voxel-based structural imaging, whether there are regions of grey matter volume change in people with schizophrenia who also have tardive dyskinesia compared with those without tardive dyskinesia.
A total of 81 people with chronic schizophrenia, 32 with tardive dyskinesia and 49 without, were examined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and whole-brain, optimised voxel-based morphometry. A comparison group of 61 healthy controls was also examined.
Compared with those without tardive dyskinesia, patients with tardive dyskinesia showed a pattern of volume reductions in predominantly subcortical regions, including the basal ganglia and the thalamus. Within the basal ganglia, volume reductions were seen in the caudate nucleus, to a lesser extent in the putamen, and only marginally in the globus pallidus. The patients with tardive dyskinesia, but not those without, showed significant volume reductions in the basal ganglia compared with the healthy controls but both groups had smaller volumes than controls in other affected areas.
The pathological process or processes that underlie the development of tardive dyskinesia are not just neurochemical in nature, but affect brain structure.
Fisheries by-catch is considered to be a major threat to loggerhead turtles in the Mediterranean Sea. Technical differences in both gear configurations (e.g. hook and bait type) and fisheries operations carried out by the Spanish Mediterranean surface longline fleet could have an effect on by-catch rates and size selectivity. The aim of the present study was to test the differences in by-catch per unit effort and body size of loggerhead sea turtles caught using different gear types in the Mediterranean surface longline fishery. Our results suggest that differences in the gear type used have an effect on catch rates and size selectivity. Thus, surface longliners targeting albacore (LLALB) using smaller hooks tend to capture smaller loggerheads but have the highest by-catch per unit of effort (BPUE), whereas other longlines, such as surface longliners targeting bluefin tuna (LLJAP) and traditional surface longliners targeting swordfish (LLHB), using larger hooks tend to select the larger animals; moreover, LLHB had the lowest BPUE. Disproportionate rates of fisheries-induced mortality on certain size/age-classes can differentially affect sea turtle populations, as each sea turtle age-class contributes differently to current and future reproduction. Thus, fisheries management should not only be focusing on preserving the large juvenile and mature turtles, but also on reducing the total by-catch. Thus, we recommend encouraging the use of LLHB versus other surface gears. We suggest that it is very important to take into account the gear type (and its particular catch rates) when making inferences about the impact of longline fisheries on sea turtle populations.
In Amazonian fisheries, the silver arowana, Osteoglossum
bicirrhosum (Cuvier 1829) is heavily exploited for human
consumption as an adult, and for the aquarium trade as a small juvenile
(yolk sac juvenile mainly). The periodicity of annuli formation
on otoliths and growth variability of the silver arowana were studied in
different river river-basins of the Peruvian Amazon between 2006
and 2009. Transverse stained sections of 606 individual otoliths
were analysed from four different river-basins, the Amazonas, Ucayali,
Napo and Putumayo, of which 554 could be interpreted. These belonged
to 274 females ranging from 15 to 91 cm (standard length) and 280
males ranging from 30 to 91 cm. In addition, yolk sac juveniles
of known age were collected to improve growth modelling. Monthly
proportions of stained otolith edges validated the formation of
a single annulus per year in two different river-basins with lagged
hydrological cycles: the Amazonas-Ucayali and the Putumayo. Stained
growth mark counts resulted in a longevity estimate of at least
16 years for the silver arowana in the Peruvian Amazon. This fish
grew quickly during the first two years, and asymptotic growth was
reached after four to five years, except in the Putumayo where it
was reached slightly earlier. Results showed no significant growth
dimorphism between sexes within basins, but indicated significant
growth differences among river basins. Silver arowanas measured,
on average, between 38 and 40 cm at the end of their first year.
Length-at-age differences among river basins increased with age
to reach over 14 cm (and >3 kg) after 7 years between the faster
and slower growing populations (Amazonas and Putumayo, respectively).
The growth differences observed emphasize the need for further investigation
on the population structure of this species as, although these differences
might merely be phenotypic responses to contrasted environmental
conditions, they could alternatively reflect the existence of several
populations with distinct genetic and life history characteristics.
The consequences of such differences would be very important for
the management and conservation of this fragile and extensively
Cognitive impairment is an established feature of schizophrenia. However,
little is known about its relationship to the structural and functional
brain abnormalities that characterise the disorder.
To identify structural and/or functional brain abnormalities associated
with schizophrenic cognitive impairment.
We carried out structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and
voxel-based morphometry in 26 participants who were cognitively impaired
and 23 who were cognitively preserved, all with schizophrenia, plus 39
matched controls. Nineteen of those who were cognitively impaired and 18
of those who were cognitively preserved plus 34 controls also underwent
functional MRI during performance of a working memory task.
No differences were found between the participants who were cognitively
intact and those who were cognitively impaired in lateral ventricular
volume or whole brain volume. Voxel-based morphometry also failed to
reveal clusters of significant difference in grey and white matter volume
between these two groups. However, during performance of the n-back task,
the participants who were cognitively impaired showed hypoactivation
compared with those who were cognitively intact in the dorsolateral
prefrontal cortex among other brain regions.
Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is not a function of the structural
brain abnormality that accompanies the disorder but has correlates in
altered brain function.
Introduction. Mango producers of two important growing areas of the states of Guerrero and Michoacán, Mexico, reported extensive damage in mango trees caused by an abundant mycelial growth covering most diseased panicles of mango trees cv. Haden. Materials and methods. The fungus was isolated from panicles of mango. Pathogenicity was evaluated in the orchard by inoculating 20 inflorescences protected by cellophane paper bags. In vitro characterization was evaluated on monosporic cultures; conidial morphology and rate of growth were determined. A molecular characterization by DNA extraction was carried out to identify the microorganism. Results. Cladosporium tenuissimum caused necrosis of flowers, pedicels and small fruits on inoculated mango panicles cv. Haden in the long coast of Guerrero and Michoacan States of Mexico. The affected organs were covered with grey cottony mycelia and an olivaceous, green to grey sporulation. In vitro, young colonies were also olive green and velvety, turning dark green to grey with a whitish outer margin. The growth rate of colonies was 0.46 cm·day–1. Conidia were subspherical, lime-shaped and fusiform, olivaceous in color with visible scars and denticle-like extensions. The mean size of conidia was (5.85 × 2.93) µm with variations of 3.2–23 µm × 1.98–5.47 µm. The molecular characteristics rendered C. tenuissimum after identification. Symptoms of inoculated or naturally infected tree organs were similar. A diagrammatic scale was developed for the evaluation of disease severity, which varied from 69% to 100% in infected panicles. The organs were susceptible from blooming to fruit set. Discussion. Further research is proposed to evaluate the geographical distribution of C. tenuissimum in the production areas of mango with the concomitant evaluations of strategies of control.
Luminescent multilayers of SiGe nanocrystals embedded in an oxide matrix have been fabricated by Low Pressure Chemical Vapour Deposition of a-SiGe and SiO2 in a single run followed by a Rapid Thermal Annealing treatment. The diameter of the nanoparticles, the oxide interlayer thickness and the annealing conditions have been investigated in order to get the maximum intensity of the luminescence. The structures with small nanoparticles (3-4.5 nm) separated by thick oxide barriers (≈35 nm) annealed at 900 °C for 60 s yield the maximum intensity. These samples exhibit luminescence from 80 K to room temperature. An additional treatment at 450 °C in forming gas further increases the intensity of this luminescence.
Social psychologists have shown a profound interest in intergroup relationships, but there are very few papers focusing on the developmental aspects that explain the psychological mechanisms involved in the construction of group and cultural identity. Our research aims to explore how the self-categorization of Andalusian children evolves. We tried to assess the degree to which they self-identify as Andalusian, Spanish, and European, and how this identification changes with age. We were also interested in the affective evaluation of different groups (French, Italian, English, German, Spanish, Catalonian, and Andalusian) made by Andalusian children. Furthermore, we analyzed the relationship between self-categorization and the evaluation of these groups. Results show that the development of national (autonomous community) identity in these children is influenced by their cognitive development, as well as by the relationships among the regional communities of Spain and the relationships between Spain and other countries. The peculiarity of Andalusians as a group is that they assume both identities: Spanish and Andalusian, from a very early age. In-group favoritism is an extended phenomenon at all ages, and Andalusian children have a negative stereotype of the other Spanish groups and other European communities.
The compositional and microstructural transformations induced by heavy ions (GeV/amu Fe and Si ions) on nanocomposite carbon (n-C) films were investigated by Raman Spectroscopy (RS), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and X-ray Photoelectron Spectrscopy (XPS). Two identical sets of n-C films were prepared in a sulfur-assisted hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) system using methane, hydrogen and hydrogen sulfide. Films with various sp3 C and sp2 C bonding distributions were present within each set, which were obtained by varying the substrate temperature (400-600 °C). One set of films was submitted to a 20 krad dose of energetic Si and Fe ions at the NASA space radiation simulation facility hosted in Brookhaven National Laboratory's Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS). All the films showed the characteristic diamond (tetragonal sp3 C) band at around 1332 cm-1 and the graphitic (trigonal sp2 C) D and G bands at around 1350 and 1590 cm-1, respectively, evidencing their composite nature. The results indicate that sp2 C ←sp3 C interconversions take place in the nanocomposite carbon material during heavy ion irradiation. A mechanism is proposed to explain this behavior. The overall results imply that there could be a range of sp3/sp2 C ratios for which carbon bonding interconversion takes place under ion radiation without significant changes to the average composition of the material. Nanocomposite carbon materials with this characteristic would be radiation insensitive. A technique could be developed based on this carbon bonding interconversion property by using focused energetic beams onto carbon films to produce a robust information storage technology that would survive catastrophic events.
The transformations induced by the application of a continuous bias voltage parallel to the growing surface during the sulfur-assisted hot-filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) of nanocrystalline diamond (n-D) films were investigated by Raman spectroscopy (RS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The films were deposited on molybdenum substrates using CH4, H2 and H2S. Bias voltages in the range of 0 – 800 VDC were applied parallel to the substrate surface continuously during deposition. The study revealed a significant improvement in the films' density and a lowering in the defect density of the nanocrystalline diamond structure for parallel bias (PB) voltages above 400V. These high PB conditions cause the preferential removal of electrons from the gaseous environment, thus leading to the net accumulation of positive species in the volume above the growing film, which enhances the secondary nucleation. The nanoscale carbon nuclei self-assemble into carbon nano-clusters with diameters in the range of tens of nanometers, which contain diamond (sp3-bonded C) in their cores and graphitic (sp2-bonded C) enclosures. Hence, the observed improvement in film density and in atomic arrangement appears to be connected to the enhanced presence of positively charged ionic species, consistent with models which propose that positively charged carbon species are the crucial precursors for CVD diamond film growth.
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