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Conventional tests with written information used for the evaluation of sign language (SL) comprehension introduce distortions due to the translation process. This fact affects the results and conclusions drawn and, for that reason, it is necessary to design and implement the same language interpreter-independent evaluation tools. Novel web technologies facilitate the design of web interfaces that support online, multiple-choice questionnaires, while exploiting the storage of tracking data as a source of information about user interaction. This paper proposes an online, multiple-choice sign language questionnaire based on an intuitive methodology. It helps users to complete tests and automatically generates accurate, statistical results using the information and data obtained in the process. The proposed system presents SL videos and enables user interaction, fulfilling the requirements that SL interpretation is not able to cover. The questionnaire feeds a remote database with the user answers and powers the automatic creation of data for analytics. Several metrics, including time elapsed, are used to assess the usability of the SL questionnaire, defining the goals of the predictive models. These predictions are based on machine learning models, with the demographic data of the user as features for estimating the usability of the system. This questionnaire reduces costs and time in terms of interpreter dedication, as well as widening the amount of data collected while employing user native language. The validity of this tool was demonstrated in two different use cases.
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).
Ceramic–metal composites are an important group of materials that have gained interest recently because of their peculiar properties. There have been numerous studies on the reinforcement of alumina through the incorporation of various ductile metals in it. However, these studies have been limited to determining the effect of the addition of metals on the mechanical properties of ceramics, without determining the effect of these metal additions on other physical properties of the resulting composite. In this way, in agreement with the obtained results, we have that because of the conductive nature of metals, there is a considerable decrease in the electrical resistivity of alumina, mainly when copper is added to it. However, in terms of optical performance, alumina matrix composites showed significant changes in absorbance in the visible spectra. The addition of iron, titanium, and yttrium enhanced the absorbance of alumina, whereas manganese addition significantly decreased the optical absorption.
Even though AA 7075 is an aluminum alloy with high mechanical properties, it is not often applied in manufacturing. This is so, because it is considered as very difficult to produce defect free welded joints. This is so, because this alloy has a tendency to hot cracking. The metallurgical problems that appear during welding of AA 7075 have not been fully solved but they have been reduced by applying alloys such as: 4043 and 5356 as filler metals. However, in literature there is little information about the metallurgical effects of these types of filler metals applied in arc welded joints of AA7075. This is especially true for Tungsten Inert gas welding. Therefore, this work is focused in comparing the microstructure and Vickers microhardness in weldments of AA 7075 with ER4043, ER5356 and AA7075 as filler metals. Besides, a set of welded joints with the three different filler metals were quenched after welding in order to modify the final microstructure. The results were evaluated by microstructural analysis focused on the Heat Affected Zone and Vickers microhardness and they were compared among them.
In the present study, aiming to control the setting reaction and to increase the strength of hydroxyapatite-based biocements, gelatin, citric acid and malonic acid, and combinations of them, were used as binders. The mechanical strength of the developed biocements was evaluated after 1 to 15 days of exposure (aging) to air with 100% relative humidity at 37-40 °C. Especially for the case of gelatin, the mechanical properties of the biocements increased as a function of aging time in the humid environment. In this case, the standard compressive strength increased from ∼19 to ∼40 MPa, while the diametral compressive strength increased from ∼2 to ∼12 MPa, between day 1 and day 15 of aging. These values are similar to those reported in the past for HAp-containing biocements added with a variety of organic or inorganic binders. However, the resulting setting times were too long. Thus, it was proposed that crosslinking of gelatin by a suitable chemical agent during the application of the prepared HAp-based biocements could be a potential way to control their handling and setting characteristics, while preserving their good mechanical properties, good biocompatibility, and good solubilization characteristics in the presence of biological fluids.
The origins of the large Classic and Postclassic urban centres of Central Mexico remain poorly understood. Archaeological investigations at the Formative site of Tlalancaleca in Puebla (Mexico) provide the first detailed study of a large-scale urban centre of that period. Preliminary results suggest that the growth and development of this particular site may have influenced the subsequent growth of Teotihuacan itself. This study explores how urbanisation can be identified archaeologically by tracing the expansion of population and the emergence of monumental architecture.
A new rapid and energy saving method for the obtention of high performance nanoparticles and thin films of Nb2O5 by microwave-assisted hydrothermal synthesis is reported. The hydrothermal treatment of a sol–gel precursor solution in a microwave oven at 180 °C for 20 min was enough to obtain amorphous nanoparticles with average sizes of 40 nm. The calcination promotes the formation of different phases of Nb2O5 (TT and T) with pseudohexagonal and orthorhombic structure, respectively, that transform at higher temperatures in a mixture of orthorhombic and monoclinic phases. Crystalline phase composition was found to have a significant influence on the photocatalytic activity. The best photocatalytic performance was observed for the material mainly constituted by the TT-Nb2O5 phase. Thin films constituted by the TT phase were prepared by dip-coating. Photocatalytic experiments confirmed the high photocatalytic activity of this material, which showed a kinetic curve similar to that of a reference TiO2-P25 thin film.
Glasses and glass-ceramics of the system Diopside [D, CaMgSi2O6] - Fluorapatite [FAp, Ca5(PO4)3F] were synthesized and characterized. The studied theoretical phase compositions were (wt%): 1) 70% D-30% FAp, 2) 60% D-40% FAp and 3) 80% D-20% FAp. The glass-ceramics were synthesized by isothermal treatment of the corresponding parent glasses at either 800, 900 or 1000 °C, with holding times of either 30 min, 2 h or 5 h at high temperature. The in vitro bioactivities of all materials were tested in Kokubo’s Simulated Body Fluid (SBF), for 21 days at pH = 7.4 and 37 °C. All materials were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM/EDS). In all cases, the in vitro bioactivity increased with decreasing crystallization degree in the materials, which was likely due to an inhibitory effect of the structural changes occurring during thermal treatment of the glasses. This was more accentuated for long thermal treatments. After 21 days of soaking in the SBF, an apatite-like surface layer, with a Ca/P molar ratio close to 1.67, was formed in the case of the parent glass of composition 2. This was attributed to an enhancing effect of so-called “phase separation” phenomenon that took place during the synthesis of that particular glass. Lastly, the MgO content of the glasses made no clear difference on their in vitro bioactivity.
Hydroxyapatite [HAp, Ca5(PO4)3(OH)] was synthesized by chemical precipitation, using H3PO4 and Ca(OH)2 as chemical precursors. The precursors were slowly mixed in suitable proportions aiming to obtain Ca/P molar ratios of 1.5, 1.67 or 2.0 in the reacting suspension. This was followed by 21.5 h of aging. Both reaction and aging stages were carried out under an atmosphere of still ambient air and under continuous stirring, either at room temperature, 60 or 90 °C. The precipitates were characterized by ICP-AES and XRD. The results suggested that the most suitable Ca/P molar ratio for the production of pure phase HAp is Ca/P = 1.67, as long as the initial Ca(OH)2 particle size and/or the suspension pH are carefully controlled, especially when the synthesis is carried out above room temperature.
Glass-ceramics of eutectic composition in the wollastonite [W, CaO⋅SiO2]- tricalcium phosphate [TCP, β-Ca3(PO4)2] binary system were synthesized by using the glass-crystallization method. The parent glass was crystalized at 800-1300 °C for 0.5-5 h. The in vitro bioactivity of the synthesized glass-ceramics was tested in Kokubo’s Simulated Body Fluid (SBF) for 7-21 days, at pH = 7.4 and 37 °C. All materials were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM/EDS). The results showed that metastable Apatite phase [Ap, Ca10(PO4)6O], plus W and TCP phases expected according to the binary phase diagram, were formed. Ap was the first phase formed at 900 °C/0.5 h, which was followed by formation of W phase at 900 °C/2 h and of TCP phase at 1200 °C/0.5 h. The relative proportion of the formed crystalline phases was a function of heat treatment temperature and time. A eutectic microstructure was obtained for the materials heat-treated at 1300 °C for 2 or 5 h. All glass-ceramics showed the formation of a hydroxyapatite (HAp)-like layer during the in vitro bioactivity tests. After 21 days of soaking in SBF, the samples treated at 1300 °C/5 h showed a behavior similar to that typically shown by Bioeutectic® material, while the materials heat-treated at lower temperatures tended to form denser HAp-like layers, with similar thicknesses but with higher Ca/P molar ratios.
Chitosan is biocompatible polymer has a great commercial interest because it can be processed in a sort of devices varying in shape and size, such as membranes, gels and nanoparticles. Mostly, the cell’s attachment and proliferation are very positive on nanostructurated materials with a three-dimensional formation. An irreversible network can be produced by covalently binding the polymer to the cross-linker molecules. Chitosan nanoparticles were prepared using glutaraldehyde as cross-linker. This crosss-liker mostly reacts with chitosan amino groups. In order to control and understand the physical characteristics of chitosan nanoparticle, in this work is showed the molecular behavior of chitosan/glutaraldehyde from the viewpoint of molecular interactions base in a series of molecular dynamics (MD) computer simulation. The results indicated the conformations of both molecules, which had a significant influence on the molecular association. The chitosan chains were uniformly distributed presenting a high flexibility and preference for the relaxed two-fold helix. This was due to the various associations such as intramolecular chitosan interactions –O-H···O-C-. While the chitosan-glutaraldehyde associations were due to the positive net charge density of hydrogens in the chitosan plus - H2N···C=O associations. In solid state chitosan nano and microparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). According to the micrographs results, the nanoparticles presented a monomorphism with piles of particles arranged in linear order which was consistent with the conformations determined by simulation.
Deglaciation processes in the upper Gállego Valley, central–southern Pyrenees, were studied using geomorphological mapping and 36Cl cosmogenic dating of moraine and rock glacier boulders, as well as polished bedrock. Although the precise position of the Gállego Glacier during the global last glacial maximum is not known, there is evidence that ice tongues retreated to the headwaters, which caused subdivision of the main glacier into a number of individual glaciers prior to 17 ka. A range of ages (16 to 11 ka) was found among three tributary valleys within the general trend of deglaciation. The retreat rate to cirque was estimated to be relatively rapid (approximately 5 km per ka). The mapped glacial sedimentology and geomorphology appears to support the occurrence of multiple minor advances and retreats, or periods of stasis during the late deglaciation. Geomorphological and geological differences among the tributary valleys, and error estimates associated with the results obtained, prevented unambiguous correlations of the advances with the late Pleistocene cold periods. During the latter advances, small glaciers and rock glaciers developed close to the cirque headwalls, and co-occurred under the same climatic conditions. No evidence for Holocene re-advance was found for any of the three tributary valleys.
In the coast of Galicia an average of 200 stranded cetaceans are reported annually. From 1990 to 2013, 21 individuals of four species of the family Ziphiidae were found: 15 Cuvier's beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris), two Sowerby's beaked whales (Mesoplodon bidens), one True's beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) and one Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris), as well as two unidentified ones. These were the first records in Galicia for True's beaked whale and Blainville's beaked whale. The study of the distribution of oceanic species considering only stranded animals has limitations, but is a good approach to this not well-known cetacean family. Due to the small number of individuals of the different species, statistical analyses for geographic or seasonal patterns were only carried out for the Cuvier's beaked whales. Between the periods of 1990–2002 and 2003–2013 significant differences were found for geographic and seasonal occurrence patterns. Over the last decade strandings were located only in the north area of the region, mainly during the spring season, while in the previous decade they were located along the three considered areas and only in autumn and winter.
A multidisciplinary study from a number of drilled cores in the Guadalquivir estuary has made possible to identify as many as three extreme wave events and their facies in the 4th millennium BP (A: ~ 4000 cal yr BP, B: ~ 3550 cal yr BP, and C: ~ 3150 cal yr BP). These events, which caused strong erosion in the Guadalquivir sandy barrier and in the neighboring aeolian systems of El Abalario, brought about significant paleogeographical changes that may have affected human settlements established in the area during the Neolithic and Copper Age periods and during the Middle Bronze Age. The three events can be spatially correlated and their facies differentiated from more proximal to more distal from the coastline. The most proximal facies is characterized by a massive accumulation of shells, a sandy or sandy–muddy matrix, an erosive base, a highly diverse mixture of species (marine and estuarine), and lithoclasts. The most distal facies presents a muddy–sandy matrix, dominance of estuarine fauna, shell accumulation, presence of terrestrial species, mudpebbles, pebbles in a clayey matrix, and bioturbation. The evidence presented will further advance scientific knowledge about the impact of extreme wave events on coastal areas in SW Iberia and NW Africa.
This paper addresses the diversification of plant resource management practices in the lowlands of southeastern Uruguay starting in the fourth millennium B.P. Our approach includes (a) a reexamination of ethnohistorical sources; (b) a review of lithic and ceramic materials; (c) the presentation of new ethnoarchaeological information; and (d) the analysis of starch grains from grinding stones. The results highlight the importance of the palm Butia odorata as a source of food and useful materials for much of the year. Furthermore, the analysis of both macro- and micro-residues has enabled us to identify the presence of Datura ferox seeds and starch grains from edible plants. While many of these identifications confirm the use of a number of previously reported species, others are new, as is the case with Phaseolus sp., Arachis sp., and Typha domingensis. Continuity in the management of certain plant species and in environmental conditioning is interpreted as an important investment in the long-term cycles of human-environment interactions.
This research explored the underlying processes mediating risky decisions for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). We tested whether BPD patients were more apt to take risks compared to a matched comparison group. We used two controlled tasks designed to assess risky decision-making, both to achieve gains and to avoid losses. Overall, BPD patients showed increased risk-taking compared to the comparison group (p = .011, η2 = .224), and were especially likely to be risk-seeking when the decision was framed as a potential loss (p < .0001, d = 1.77). When the outcome involved pure losses, BPD patients were insensitive to the relative expected value between choice options resulting in suboptimal decision making (p = .004, d = 1.24), but did not differ from the comparison group when taking risks to achieve gains (p = .603, d = 0.21). We discuss these results in the context of behavioral and neuropsychiatric research suggesting abnormalities BPD patients’ ability to effectively regulate affect.
The purpose of this work was to study the relationship between self-focused
attention and mindfulness in participants prone to hallucinations and others who
were not. A sample of 318 healthy participants, students at the universities of
Sevilla and Almería, was given the Launay-Slade Hallucinations
Scale-revised (LSHS-R, Bentall & Slade, 1985). Based on this sample, two groups were formed:
participants with high (n = 55) and low proneness
(n = 28) to hallucinations. Participants with a
score higher than a standard deviation from the mean in the LSHS-R were included
in the high proneness group, participants with a score lower than a standard
deviation from the mean in the LSHR-R were included in the second one. All
participants were also given the Self-Absorption Scale (SAS, McKenzie
& Hoyle, 2008) and the
Southampton Mindfulness Questionnaire (SMQ, Chadwick et al., 2008). The results showed that
participants with high hallucination proneness had significantly higher levels
of public (t(80) = 6.81, p
< .001) and private (t(77) = 7.39,
p < .001) self-focused attention and lower levels
of mindfulness (t(81) = -4.56, p
< .001) than participants in the group with low hallucination
proneness. A correlational analysis showed a negative association between
self-focused attention (private and public) and mindfulness (r
= -0.23, p < .001; r
= -0.38, p < .001 respectively). Finally,
mindfulness was found to partly mediate between self-focused attention and
hallucination proneness. The importance of self-focused attention and
mindfulness in understanding the etiology of hallucinations discussed and
suggest some approaches to their treatment.
Rare neuromuscular diseases (NDs) are a group of inherited or acquired neurological pathologies affecting the muscles and the nervous system. Their low prevalence and high geographical dispersion can cause isolation and difficulties in social interaction between affected equals. New technologies, such as videoconferencing, offer a complementary option for improving the health of this population. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a teleassistance program at improving health-related quality of life (HRQoL) through social interaction in adults with NDs. The sample consisted of 45 participants affected by rare NDs. Twenty-four participants were assigned to the experimental group (EG), which participated in the videoconferencing sessions, and 21 to the control group. Three questionnaires were administered: WHO-DAS II, Sickness Impact Profile, and SF-36 Health Survey. Effectiveness was assessed by a pre-post design. An online psychosocial program was applied over three-month period. Data revealed an improvement of the EG in psychosocial variables, e.g. “Getting along with people” (z = –2.289, r = –.47, p ≤ .05) or “Psychosocial Domain” (z = –2.404, r = –.49, p ≤ .05), and in physical variables, e.g. “Life activities” (z = –2.844, r = –.58, p ≤ .05). Social interaction appeared as a relevant factor at improving HRQoL levels. High levels of satisfaction about the teleassistance program were reported.
The association of cerebral white matter lesions (WMLs) with cognitive status is not well understood in middle-aged individuals. Our aim was to determine the specific contribution of periventricular hyperintensities (PVHs) and deep white matter hyperintensities (DWMHs) to cognitive function in a community sample of asymptomatic participants aged 50 to 65 years. One hundred stroke- and dementia-free adults completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery and brain MRI protocol. Participants were classified according to PVH and DWMH scores (Fazekas scale). We dichotomized our sample into low grade WMLs (participants without or with mild lesions) and high grade WMLs (participants with moderate or severe lesions). Analyses were performed separately in PVH and DWMH groups. High grade DWMHs were associated with significantly lower scores in executive functioning (−0.45 standard deviations [SD]), attention (−0.42 SD), verbal fluency (−0.68 SD), visual memory (−0.52 SD), visuospatial skills (−0.79 SD), and psychomotor speed (−0.46 SD). Further analyses revealed that high grade DWMHs were also associated with a three- to fourfold increased risk of impaired scores (i.e.,<1.5 SD) in executive functioning, verbal fluency, visuospatial skills, and psychomotor speed. Our findings suggest that only DWMHs, not PVHs, are related to diminished cognitive function in middle-aged individuals. (JINS, 2012, 18, 1–12)
New data and a review of historiographic information from Neolithic sites of the Malaga and Algarve coasts (southern Iberian Peninsula) and from the Maghreb (North Africa) reveal the existence of a Neolithic settlement at least from 7.5 cal ka BP. The agricultural and pastoralist food producing economy of that population rapidly replaced the coastal economies of the Mesolithic populations. The timing of this population and economic turnover coincided with major changes in the continental and marine ecosystems, including upwelling intensity, sea-level changes and increased aridity in the Sahara and along the Iberian coast. These changes likely impacted the subsistence strategies of the Mesolithic populations along the Iberian seascapes and resulted in abandonments manifested as sedimentary hiatuses in some areas during the Mesolithic–Neolithic transition. The rapid expansion and area of dispersal of the early Neolithic traits suggest the use of marine technology. Different evidences for a Maghrebian origin for the first colonists have been summarized. The recognition of an early North-African Neolithic influence in Southern Iberia and the Maghreb is vital for understanding the appearance and development of the Neolithic in Western Europe. Our review suggests links between climate change, resource allocation, and population turnover.