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Multifunctional nanoparticles are an emerging area of research, impacting numerous fields ranging from biomedical applications to energy. While initial core–shell structures consisted of similar materials, such as Au–Ag or CdTe–CdSe nanoparticles, recent work has expanded this line of investigation to include particles of dissimilar materials. However, there are several challenges when synthesizing dissimilar material systems. In this work, a method for doping the shell of an Au–ZnO nanosphere is demonstrated. Several metal dopants are investigated, including Cu, Ce, Er, Nd, Tm, and Yb. The ZnO shell is nucleated on the gold nanosphere core via an ascorbic acid–assisted growth, and the dopant is intercalated uniformly into the shell during the self-assembly phase of the shell formation. The doping and polycrystalline shell are confirmed using a series of qualitative and quantitative methods. This multi-material nanoparticle synthesis strategy opens the door for future applications in sensing, photocatalysis, and bioimaging.
Studies on the nutritional status of vegetarians in Spain are lacking. Prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency is the main concern, as dietary sources are of animal origin. The present study aimed to evaluate vitamin B12 and folate status of Spanish vegetarians using classical markers and functional markers. Participants were adult and healthy lacto-ovo vegetarians (forty-nine subjects) and vegans (fifty-four subjects) who underwent blood analyses and completed a FFQ. Serum vitamin B12, homocysteine (Hcy), methylmalonic acid (MMA), erythrocyte folate and haematological parameters were determined. The effects of the type of plant-based diet, and the intake of supplements and foods were studied by a FFQ. Mean erythrocyte folate was 1704 (sd 609) nmol/l. Clinical or subclinical vitamin B12 deficiency was detected in 11 % of the subjects (MMA>271 nmol/l) and 33 % of the participants showed hyperhomocysteinaemia (Hcy>15 µmol/l). Regarding plant-based diet type, significantly higher Hcy was observed in lacto-ovo vegetarians compared with vegans (P = 0·019). Moreover, use of vitamin B12 supplements involved an improvement of vitamin B12 status but further increase in erythrocyte folate (P = 0·024). Consumption of yoghurts was weakly associated with serum vitamin B12 adequacy (P = 0·049) and that of eggs with lower Hcy (P = 0·030). In conclusion, Spanish vegetarians present high folate status but vitamin B12 subclinical deficiency was demonstrated using functional markers. The lack of influence of dietary sources on functional markers and the strong effect of vitamin B12 supplement intake emphasise the need of cobalamin supplementation in both lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans.
Supplementation with copper (Cu) improves deer antler characteristics, but it could modify meat quality and increase its Cu content to levels potentially harmful for humans. Here, we studied the effects of Cu bolus supplementation by means on quality and composition of sternocephalicus (ST) and rectus abdominis (RA) muscles (n=13 for each one) from yearling male red deer fed with a balanced diet. Each intraruminal bolus, containing 3.4 g of Cu, was administered orally in the treatment group to compare with the control group. Meat traits studied were pH at 24 h postmortem (pH24), colour, chemical composition, cholesterol content, fatty acid (FA) composition, amino acid (AA) profile and mineral content. In addition, the effect of Cu supplementation on mineral composition of liver and serum (at 0 and 90 days of treatment) was analysed. No interactions between Cu supplementation and muscle were observed for any trait. Supplementation with Cu increased the protein content of meat (P<0.01). However, Cu content of meat, liver and serum was not modified by supplementation. In fact, Cu content of meat (1.20 and 1.34 mg/kg for Cu supplemented and control deer, respectively) was much lower in both groups than 5 mg/kg of fresh weight allowed legally for food of animal origin. However, bolus of Cu tended to increase the meat content of zinc and significantly increased (P<0.05) the hepatic contents of sodium and lead. Muscles studied had different composition and characteristics. The RA muscle had significantly higher protein content (P<0.001), monounsaturated FA content (P<0.05) and essential/non-essential AA ratio (P<0.01) but lower pH24 (P<0.01) and polyunsaturated FA content (P=0.001) than the ST muscle. In addition, RA muscle had 14.4% less cholesterol (P=0.001) than ST muscle. Also, mineral profile differed between muscles with higher content of iron, significantly higher (P<0.001) content of zinc and lower content of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus (P<0.05) for ST muscle compared with RA. Therefore, supplementation with Cu modified deer meat characteristics, but it did not increase its concentration to toxic levels, making it a safe practice from this perspective. Despite the lower content of polyunsaturated FA, quality was better for RA than for ST muscle based on its higher content of protein with more essential/non-essential AA ratio and lower pH24 and cholesterol content.
The main factors affecting the mechanical (and other) properties of bone, including antler, are the proportions of ash (especially Ca and P) and collagen content. However, some trace minerals may also play more important roles than would be expected, given their low levels in bone and antler. One such trace mineral is Cu. Here, we studied the effects of Cu supplementation on the mechanical and structural characteristics, and mineral content of antlers from yearling and adult (4 years of age) red deer fed a balanced diet. Deer (n=35) of different ages (21 yearlings and 14 adults) were studied. A total of 18 stags (11 yearlings and 7 adults) were injected with Cu (0.83 mg Cu/kg BW) every 42 days, whereas the remaining 17 (10 yearlings and 7 adults) were injected with physiological saline solution (control group). The Cu content of serum was analysed at the beginning of the trial and 84 days after the first injection to assess whether the injected Cu was mobilized in blood. Also, the mechanical and structural properties of antlers and the mineral content in their cortical walls were examined at three (yearlings) or four (adults) points along the antler beam. The effect of Cu supplementation was different in yearlings and adults. In yearlings, supplementation increased the Cu content of serum by 28%, but did not affect antler properties. However, in adults, Cu supplementation increased the Cu content of serum by 38% and tended to increase the cortical thickness of antlers (P=0.06). Therefore, we conclude that, even in animals receiving balanced diets, supplementation with Cu could increase antler cortical thickness in adult deer, although not in yearlings. This may improve the trophy value of antlers, as well as having potential implications for bones in elderly humans, should Cu supplementation have similar effects on bones as those observed in antlers.
The most unambiguous way to discover new emission-line galaxies (ELGs) is directly by the presence of their lines, using objective-prism plates of adequate resolution. The first survey using this technique was developed by Smith in 1975 with the 0.6 m CTIO Curtis Schmidt Telescope. The Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) is carrying out a survey of ELGs with the Schmidt Telescope at Calar Alto (Almería, Spain) using the presence of Ha in emission in IIIa-F prism plates as selection criterion. The observational procedure and results are described in Rego et al. 1989; Zamorano et al. 1990; Zamorano et al. 1993.
Cosmic Microwave Observations at 1° scales are extremely important on the understanding of modern Cosmology. At those angular scales the CMB power spectrum presents the first Doppler Peak. The position and amplitude of this peak provide strong constraints on cosmological parameters as H0 and Ω0. The JBO-IAC interferometer has observed those angular scales as well as the BOOMERANG and MAXIMA teams. The results from these groups show the existence of the first Doppler Peak. We present a detailed estimate of the galactic contribution to the JBO-IAC interferometer data set using data from the Tenerife and COSMOSOMAS experiments.
The Universidad Complutense de Madrid survey is a long-term project with the aim of finding and analyzing star forming galaxies using the Hα line as the tracer for star formation processes. In order to obtain a representative and complete sample of the population detected, spectroscopic observations were carried out for the full sample of Hα emission-line galaxy (ELG) candidates of the UCM lists 1 and 2. The ELGs types most commonly found (47%) are intermediate to low-luminosity objects with a very intense star-formation region which dominates the optical energy output of the galaxy. This kind of ELGs is similar to the galaxy population detected in the blue objective-prism surveys. And what is more important, a second population (43%) of star-forming galaxies with low ionization or high extinction properties has been found. This ELGs group is detected neither in the blue (University of Michigan survey, Case survey) nor in other surveys (Kiso, IRAS, Markarian) using other selection techniques.
The stopping power of warm dense matter (WDM) is estimated by means of the individual contributions of free electrons and bound electrons existing in this special kind of matter, located between classical and degenerate plasmas. For free electrons, the dielectric formalism, well described in our studies, is used to estimate the free electron stopping power. For bound electrons, the mean excitation energy of ions is used. Excitation energies are obtained through atomic calculations of the whole atom or, shell by shell in order to estimate their stopping power. Influence of temperature and density is analyzed in case of an impinging projectile. This influence becomes important for low projectile velocities and is negligible for high ones. Using free and bound electron analysis, the stopping power of an extended WDM is inferred from a dynamical calculation of energy transferred from the projectile to the plasma, where the stopping range is calculated. Finally, this theoretical framework is used to study a typical plasma density profile of a WDM heated by lasers.
Lenticular galaxies (S0s) represent the majority of early-type galaxies in the local Universe, but their formation channels are still poorly understood. While galaxy mergers are obvious pathways to suppress star formation and increase bulge sizes, the marked parallelism between spiral and lenticular galaxies (e.g. photometric bulge–disc coupling) seemed to rule out a potential merger origin. Here, we summarise our recent work in which we have shown, through N-body numerical simulations, that disc-dominated lenticulars can emerge from major mergers of spiral galaxies, in good agreement with observational photometric scaling relations. Moreover, we show that mergers simultaneously increase the light concentration and reduce the angular momentum relative to their spiral progenitors. This explains the mismatch in angular momentum and concentration between spirals and lenticulars recently revealed by CALIFA observations, which is hard to reconcile with simple fading mechanisms (e.g. ram-pressure stripping).
Two of the problems that currently affect a large proportion of university students are high levels of anxiety and stress experienced in different situations, which are particularly high during the first years of their degree and during exam periods. The present study aims to investigate whether mindfulness training can bring about significant changes in the manifestations of depression, anxiety, and stress of students when compared to another group undergoing a physical activity program and a control group. The sample consisted of 125 students from the Bachelor of Education Program. The measuring instrument used was the Abbreviated Scale of Depression, Anxiety and Stress (DASS-21). The results indicate that the effects of reducing the identified variables were higher for the mindfulness group than for the physical education group and for the control group F(2) = 5.91, p = .004, η2 = .106. The total scores for all variables related to the mindfulness group decreased significantly, including an important stress reduction t(29) = 2.95, p = .006, d = .667. Mindfulness exercises and some individual relaxing exercises involving Physical Education could help to reduce manifestations of stress and anxiety caused by exams in students.
Infant microbiota is influenced by numerous factors, such as delivery mode, environment, prematurity and diet (breast milk or formula). In addition to its nutritional value, breast milk contains bioactive substances that drive microbial colonisation and support immune system development, which are usually not present in infant formulas. Among these substances, polyamines have been described to be essential for intestinal and immune functions in newborns. However, their effect on the establishment of microbiota remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to ascertain whether an infant formula supplemented with polyamines has an impact on microbial colonisation by modifying it to resemble that in breast-fed neonatal BALB/c mice. In a 4 d intervention, a total of sixty pups (14 d old) were randomly assigned to the following groups: (1) breast-fed group; (2) non-enriched infant formula-fed group; (3) three different groups fed an infant formula enriched with increasing concentrations of polyamines (mixture of putrescine, spermidine and spermine), following the proportions found in human milk. Microbial composition in the contents of the oral cavity, stomach and small and large intestines was analysed by quantitative PCR targeted at fourteen bacterial genera and species. Significantly different (P< 0·05) microbial colonisation patterns were observed in the entire gastrointestinal tract of the breast-fed and formula-fed mice. In addition, our findings demonstrate that supplementation of polyamines regulates the amounts of total bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacteroides–Prevotella and Clostridium groups to levels found in the breast-fed group. Such an effect requires further investigation in human infants, as supplementation of an infant formula with polyamines might contribute to healthy gastrointestinal tract development.