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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.
This article deals with the trade of local merchandise in Santiago's district (Corregimiento) from 1773 to 1778, based on tributary sources. It contributes to the debate on the organization of the colonial internal market. The main traded merchandise, which represented about 80% of Chilean exports, came from the cattle exploitation that was developed in the haciendas around Santiago, whose cattle stocks were complemented from neighboring provinces in the Andes. The largest destination of this trade, in which big merchants acted together with a thousand minor merchants, were the retail channels and the artisan sectors supplying the population of Santiago. The impulse of this demand on the domestic market was so dynamic that it shows a degree of regional autonomy higher than what it is traditionally assumed for the Chilean economy in the late colonial period.
A 6–18 GHz high-power amplifier (HPA) design in GaN on SiC technology is presented. This power amplifier consists of a two-stage corporate amplifier with two and four transistors, respectively. It has been fabricated on UMS using their 0.25 µm gate length process, GH25. A study of the suitable attachment method and measurement on wafer and on jig are detailed. This HPA exhibits an averaged output power of 39.2 dBm with a mean gain of 11 dB in saturation and a 24.5% maximum power added efficiency in pulse mode operation with a duty cycle of 10% with a 25 µs pulse width.
Polyphenols are a wide family of phytochemicals present in diverse foods. They might play a role in cancer development and progression. In vivo and in vitro studies have suggested beneficial properties and potential mechanisms. We aimed to evaluate the association between total and main classes of polyphenol intake and breast cancer (BC) risk in the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra project – a prospective Mediterranean cohort study. We included 10 713 middle-aged, Spanish female university graduates. Polyphenol intake was derived from a semi-quantitative FFQ and matching food consumption data from the Phenol-Explorer database. Women with self-reported BC were asked to return a copy of their medical report for confirmation purposes; death certificates were used for fatal cases. Cox models were fitted to estimate multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the association between tertiles (T) of polyphenol intake and BC. After 10·3 years of median follow-up, 168 probable incident BC cases were identified, out of which 100 were confirmed. We found no association between polyphenol intake and the overall BC risk. Nevertheless, we observed a significant inverse association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk for postmenopausal women, either for probable or only for confirmed cases (HRT3 v. T1 0·31 (95 % CI 0·13, 0·77; Ptrend=0·010)). Also, phenolic acid intake was inversely associated with postmenopausal BC. In summary, we observed no significant association between total polyphenol intake and BC risk. Despite a low number of incident BC cases in our cohort, higher total polyphenol intake was associated with a lower risk of postmenopausal BC.
Recently the use of nanomaterials for the diagnosis and detection of malignant diseases has increased due to the versatility and properties of these nanostructures. For this work 60 nm commercial gold nanoparticles (TED PELLA inc.) and Nanostars manufactured by chemical synthesis (precursor reagent: HAuCl4, cationic surfactant: CTAB) of 117 nm were used for coating. Malachite green Isotyocianate (MGITC), mPEG-SH and ortho-pyridyldisulfide-polyethylene glycol-N-succinimidyl propionate (OPSS-PEG-NHS) was used. A SERS active nanoparticle complex was obtained by addition of a solution of MGITC to the gold nanoparticles colloidal solution in a 1:6 ratio. Later, an mPEG-SH solution was added to the mix. The nanoparticle-MGITC-mPEG-SH complex stability was revised using a UV-Vis spectrophotometer and a JEOL JEM 1000 transmission electron microscope. The SERS spectra were registered with a Raman Thermoscientific DXR microscopy system. Amplified bands associated with OPSS-PEG-NHS were identified in 389, 622, 859, 929, 1080, 1283, 1360, 1443, 1490 and 1450 cm-1. The results indicate that through this methodology it is possible to identify gold nanomaterials coated with polymer through the Raman technique. In addition, greater amplification is observed with the use of nanostars compared to gold spheres. Finally, these nanomaterials are available for the marking of specific membrane for the study of different types of cancer by the SERS technique.
Due to its excellent optical properties, gold nanomaterials with anisotropic morphology are playing an important role in biomedical applications, specifically in the use of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) technique for biological assays. In this work, we verified the behavior of the star shape nanoparticle peaks obtained by chemical synthesis (precursor reactant: HAuCl4, cationic surfactant: CTAB) and whose peaks were formed from the different concentrations of gold seeds (55, 65, 75 and 85 ul) which were added to the total solution (5.275 ml). The shape and size of the nanoparticles was verified with a Hitachi S-5500 microscope with a BF & DF SEM / STEM detector, and for the diameter distribution (hydrodynamic) was carried out by the dynamic light distribution technique with a Malvern DLS system Zetasizer Nano ZS. Particle sizes (peak-to-peak considering) were obtained with variations from 107 to 166 nm. The results suggest adding 75 ul of gold seeds to obtain uniform nanostars with well defined peaks. These gold nano-stars could be applied for identification of specific membrane markers for the study of different types of cancer by the SERS technique.
Nine species of the gall-associated doryctine genus Allorhogas Gahan (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) are described from Brazil (A. clidemiae Martínez and Zaldívar-Riverón new species, A. granivorus Zaldívar-Riverón and Martínez new species, A. mineiro Zaldívar-Riverón and Martínez new species, and A. vulgaris Zaldívar-Riverón and Martínez new species) and Costa Rica (A. brevithorax Zaldívar-Riverón and Martínez new species, A. pallidus Martínez and Zaldívar-Riverón new species, A. psychotria Zaldívar-Riverón and Martínez new species, A. punctatus Martínez and Zaldívar-Riverón new species, and A. tico Martínez and Zaldívar-Riverón new species). We provide host plant records for the described species, including information that reveals that at least three of them feed on seeds. Allorhogas granivorus had previously been confirmed to represent a natural enemy of the invasive weed Miconia calvescens de Candolle (Melastomataceae). Updated keys to the species of Allorhogas from Brazil and Costa Rica are provided.
A 1.1-m reflectarray antenna has been designed, manufactured, and tested to fulfill the requirements of a satellite antenna in Ku-band that provides South-American coverage in Tx and Rx. The reflectarray cells consist of four dipoles for each polarization in two dielectric layers, selected because of their simplicity and high performance. The dipole dimensions are optimized in all the reflectarray cells to accomplish the prescribed radiation patterns, by iteratively calling an analysis routine based on method of moments in spectral domain and local periodicity. The measured radiation patterns of the manufactured antenna have been satisfactorily compared with simulations and with a three-layer reflectarray previously designed, manufactured, and tested for the same mission.
Endemic insular species are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic threats. The fish-eating bat Myotis vivesi is restricted mainly to the islands of the Gulf of California in Mexico and although several aspects of its biology have been studied there are no recent accounts of its current distribution. We conducted several expeditions during 2001–2016 to verify the current geographical distribution of this bat, and to record the presence of introduced predators. We identified the localities in which maternity colonies occur, estimated the size of the bat population on Partida Norte Island in 2003, and monitored bat presence on this island during 2004–2016. We found fish-eating bats on 36 islands and maternity colonies on 19 islands. Introduced rats Rattus rattus or cats Felis catus were captured on seven islands where the bats were present, and on five islands where they were absent. We estimated a population of c. 30,000 fish-eating bats in May 2003 and we confirmed the species’ presence on Partida Norte Island during 2004–2016. Based on the information compiled from our surveys and previous studies, we discuss the adequacy of the species’ current categorization as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and its conservation status conferred by Mexican conservation authorities.
Here we present a new site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain): Galería de las Estatuas (GE), which provides new information about Mousterian occupations in the Iberian Plateau. The GE was an ancient entrance to the cave system, which is currently closed and sealed by a stalagmitic crust, below which a detritic sedimentary sequence of more than 2 m is found. This has been divided into five litostratigraphic units with a rich assemblage of faunal and lithic remains of clear Mousterian affinity. Radiocarbon dates provide minimum ages and suggest occupations older than 45 14C ka BP. The palynological analysis detected a landscape change to increased tree coverage, which suggests that the sequence recorded a warming episode. The macromammal assemblage is composed of both ungulates (mainly red deer and equids) and carnivores. Taphonomic analysis reveals both anthropic, and to a lesser extent, carnivore activities. The GE was occupied by Neanderthals and also sporadically by carnivores. This new site broadens the information available regarding different human occupations at the Sierra de Atapuerca, which emphasizes the importance of this site-complex for understanding human evolution in Western Europe.
The Endangered Cuvier's gazelle Gazella cuvieri is an endemic ungulate of north-western Africa. Information on the species has been based primarily on non-systematic surveys, and the corresponding status estimates are of unknown quality. We evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of two field methods for systematic surveys of populations of Cuvier's gazelle in arid environments: distance sampling (based on sightings) and sampling indirect sign (tracks and scats). The work was carried out in the north-western Sahara Desert, in Morocco, where what is possibly the largest population of Cuvier's gazelle persists. A logistically viable survey was conducted over a total area of c. 20.000 km2 in 10 expeditions during 2011–2014. A total of 67 sites were surveyed, with 194 walking surveys (2,169 km in total). Gazelle signs were detected at 50 sites, and gazelles were sighted at 21 sites (61 individuals). We found a relationship between sightings and abundance indices based on indirect sign, which could be useful for population monitoring or ecological studies. Additionally, the data could be used in occupancy modelling. Density estimates based on distance sampling required considerable effort; however, it is possible to survey large areas during relatively short campaigns, and this proved to be the most useful approach to obtain data on the demographic structure of the population.
Emotional states, attitudes and intentions are often conveyed by modulations in the tone of voice. Impaired recognition of emotions from a tone of voice (receptive prosody) has been described as characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia. However, the ability to express non-verbal information in speech (expressive prosody) has been understudied. This paper describes a useful technique for quantifying the degree of expressive prosody deficits in schizophrenia, using a semi-automatic method, and evaluates this method’s ability to discriminate between patient and control groups. Forty-five medicated patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were matched with thirty-five healthy comparison subjects. Production of expressive prosodic speech was analyzed using variation in fundamental frequency (F0) measures on an emotionally neutral reading task. Results revealed that patients with schizophrenia exhibited significantly more pauses (p < .001), were slower (p < .001), and showed less pitch variability in speech (p < .05) and fewer variations in syllable timing (p < .001) than control subjects. These features have been associated with «flat» speech prosody. Signal processing algorithms applied to speech were shown to be capable of discriminating between patients and controls with an accuracy of 93.8%. These speech parameters may have a diagnostic and prognosis value and therefore could be used as a dependent measure in clinical trials.
Individuals with cocaine and gambling addictions exhibit cognitive flexibility deficits that may underlie persistence of harmful behaviours.
We investigated the neural substrates of cognitive inflexibility in cocaine users v. pathological gamblers, aiming to disambiguate common mechanisms v. cocaine effects.
Eighteen cocaine users, 18 pathological gamblers and 18 controls performed a probabilistic reversal learning task during functional magnetic resonance imaging, and were genotyped for the DRD2/ANKK Taq1A polymorphism.
Cocaine users and pathological gamblers exhibited reduced ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) signal during reversal shifting. Cocaine users further showed increased dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) activation relative to pathological gamblers during perseveration, and decreased dorsolateral PFC activation relative to pathological gamblers and controls during shifting. Preliminary genetic findings indicated that cocaine users carrying the DRD2/ANKK Taq1A1+ genotype may derive unique stimulatory effects on shifting-related ventrolateral PFC signal.
Reduced ventrolateral PFC activation during shifting may constitute a common neural marker across gambling and cocaine addictions. Additional cocaine-related effects relate to a wider pattern of task-related dysregulation, reflected in signal abnormalities in dorsolateral and dmPFC.
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.
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.
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.
Networks of protected areas are one of the main strategies used to address the biodiversity crisis. These should encompass as many species and ecosystems as possible, particularly in territories with high biological diversity, such as the Spanish arid zones. We produce a priority ranking of the arid zones of south-east Spain according to the rarity and richness of their characteristic flora and the level of endangerment. The resulting hierarchy shows that optimal zones for the preservation of the flora are located outside the network of protected areas. In particular, it is important to extend the network and encourage the creation of microreserves in the depression of the River Guadiana Menor (Granada), where there is least protection. This river valley is a particularly important arid site because of its unique flora and fauna, and palaeontological and archaeological findings.