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In this work, the synthesis of starch-clay nanocomposites was carried out. For this purpose, natural starch was extracted from rice grains and it was characterized by structural and spectrophotometric techniques. Afterwards, it was used as the polymer matrix for the synthesis of nanocomposites crosslinked with different agents: glycerol, citric acid (CA) and sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP). As a reinforcement phase, a natural Mexican clay from the Montmorillonite-type (Mt), was employed, which was modified with a cationic surfactant, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HDTMA-Br), in order to exchange cations, present in the interlaminar spaces of the raw clay mineral with those of the cationic surfactant; thus, changing its nature from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Characterization, of both natural and organo-modified clays, was carried out by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), to determine the change in morphology between these two minerals; X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), to obtain the crystalline structure of the organo-modified clay and that of the raw clay mineral (Mt). Also, the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was employed to determine materials spectra, and their thermal stability was evaluated by means of the thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). On the other hand, the synthesis of these nanocomposites was performed using different crosslinking agents, glycerol, CA or STMP, in order to identify the effect of them into the final properties of these materials.
The aim of this piece of research was to study the existence of clusters based on anger, empathy and cortisol and testosterone measures associated with aggressive behavior in school-aged children. The sample group comprised 139 eight-year-old children (80 boys and 59 girls). Aggressive behavior was measured using the Direct and Indirect Aggression Scale. Both psychological and biological variables were used to determine psychobiological profiles. The psychological variables considered were trait anger, measured using the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory for Children and Adolescents, and empathy, measured using the Empathy Quotient-Child Version. Testosterone and cortisol concentrations were measured through saliva samples and analyzed using an ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). A Cluster Analysis revealed three clusters which were clearly different as regards their psychological and biological characteristics. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that the cluster characterized by having higher anger levels, lower empathy levels and higher testosterone and cortisol levels was more aggressive than the other two (p < .0001, η2 = .19). The results indicate that studying psychological and biological variables together may help establish differentiated aggression patterns among children.
Since ancient times, lubricants have been used to reduce friction and wear problems of mechanical systems. However, nowadays, there is a constant effort to improve their performance through additives so that they can accomplish properly in this modern world. In that sense, in this study, it was proposed the use of Poly(ε-Caprolactone) (PCL) as a biodegradable additive in Castor oil. The effect that this additive has on the tribological properties of AISI 4140 steel/Al2O3 tribosystem was analyzed. For this purpose, PCL was dissolved in Castor oil at 65 °C for 15 minutes. Later, once the lubricant formulations got into room temperature, friction tests were conducted with a ball-on-disk configuration. Several experiments were systematically carried out in order to study the factors that could influence the performance of the tribological system, for instance: additive concentration, velocity, temperature, and wear track radius. The kinetic friction coefficient was used to analyze the results as an output variable. The parameters in which the best friction behavior was observed were employed again to compare the efficiency of the polymeric additive by profoundly analyzing and comparing the wear response of the system. The PCL additive showed great results by decreasing friction up to 30% compared to the neat Castor oil. Nevertheless, as the opposite effect, this additive increased the steel wear to almost half an order of magnitude. Given the above, this investigation showed that, with further studies, Poly(ε-Caprolactone) could be used as an additive in vegetable oil-based lubricants for the improvement of friction performance.
Fibropapillomatosis (FP) can be an important conservation threat to green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) due to its widespread distribution and complex aetiology. Thus, understanding the impacts of FP in sea turtle populations is a research priority towards conservation efforts. The body condition index (BCI), based on straight carapace length (SCL) and body mass (BM), is an accurate indicator of body-nutritional condition that can be used in routine green turtle health evaluations. This study aimed to compare BCI in FP-free (N = 369) and FP-affected (N = 518) green turtles from Brazilian feeding areas. Body condition indices were evaluated in terms of the South-west Atlantic Fibropapillomatosis Score – FPSSWA (mild, moderate and severe), study sites (five Brazilian states), origin (intentional capture, fishery, stranding and afloat) and sex (when known). Curved and straight carapace lengths, and body mass were recorded in order to calculate BCI. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences in BCI among green turtles from different study areas (P = 0.02), and lower BCI values in FP-free than in FP-positive individuals (P < 0.0001). With regards to origin, the highest BCI was found in the intentional capture group (N = 245; 1.47 ± 0.16), followed by fishery (N = 180; 1.46 ± 0.20). Analysis according to sex revealed a higher mean BCI among females than males (P < 0.017). This study provides relevant data on the health and nutritional status of green turtles along the Brazilian coast, in important feeding areas for this species.
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.
Earlier activities on health technology assessment (HTA) started in Spain around 1984, with the creation of a National Advisory Board on HTA, and the development of national and regional HTA organizations in the early 1990s. In 2012, the Spanish Health Ministry established the Spanish Network for Health Technology Assessment of the National Health System (RedETS); funded at national level and including all public HTA organizations at national and regional levels. RedETSis focused on the assessment of nondrug health technologies to inform the revision (approval and funding or disinvestment) of the Benefit Portfolio of the Spanish NHS. In parallel with European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA), RedETS has been setting-up and sharing common procedures and methodological guidelines to ensure effective cooperation and mutual recognition of the scientific and technical production in HTA. The output of RedETS is fifty to sixty annual reports, including the production of full HTA reports, Clinical Practice Guidelines, methodological guidance reports, relative effectiveness assessments, tools to support shared decision making between patients and healthcare professionals, and monitoring studies. The HTA assessments requested by the Regional Health Authorities are the biggest component of the annual RedETS working plan. These assessment needs are identified according to a yearly process and prioritized by a Commission composed of representatives from all Spanish regions with the aid of the PRITEC tool. The objectives of this study are to report and update the normative and organizational state of HTA in Spain; describing noteworthy advances witnessed over the past 10 years, as well as discussing existing challenges.
This study examined (1) the association of dietary energy density from solid (EDS) and solid plus liquids (EDSL) with adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (CRF) in children with overweight and obesity, (2) the effect of under-reporting on the mentioned associations and (3) whether the association between ED and body composition and CRF is influenced by levels of physical activity. In a cross-sectional design, 208 overweight and obese children (8–12-year-old; 111 boys) completed two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. ED was calculated using two different approaches: EDS and EDSL. Under-reporters were determined with the Goldberg method. Body composition, anthropometry and fasting blood sample measurements were performed. Moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was registered with accelerometers (7-d-register). Linear regressions were performed to evaluate the association of ED with the previously mentioned variables. Neither EDS nor EDSL were associated with body composition or CRF. However, when under-reporters were excluded, EDS was positively associated with BMI (P=0·019), body fat percentage (P=0·005), abdominal fat (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·018), while EDSL was positively associated with body fat percentage (P=0·008) and fat mass index (P=0·026). When stratifying the group according to physical activity recommendations, the aforementioned associations were only maintained for non-compliers. Cluster analysis showed that the low-ED and high-MVPA group presented the healthiest profile for all adiposity and CRF. These findings could partly explain inconsistencies in literature, as we found that different ED calculations entail distinct results. Physical activity levels and excluding under-reporters greatly influence the associations between ED and adiposity in children with overweight and obesity.
Leishmaniasis is considered a parasitic disease that still causes serious consequences for mankind, because it presents a high mortality rate worldwide. Considered multi-hosts, the parasites of the genus Leishmania are able of infecting a wide variety of animal species. The dog was considered the main source of infection of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), in the urban area. However, the role of other animal species in the epidemiological cycle of the disease, such as cattle, remains unclear. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the occurrence of Leishmania spp. in 100 bovines (Bos taurus) from an area endemic for canine VL, using blood culture and molecular analysis. By the sequencing analysis, one sample showed 100% similarity with Leishmania infantum. The results provide the first case of L. infantum isolation in one bovine from the periurban areas of Bauru, state of São Paulo, Brazil.
PA6 and PMMA polymers with different MWCNTs addition (5, 7 and 9 wt %) were synthetized through casting solution, resulting in improvement properties in contrast to pristine polymers. SEM images showed the MWCNTs embedded into polymeric matrices. D, G and G´ bands of MWCNTs were confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and functional groups observed in both nanocomposites by FTIR demonstrated a strong interaction. A significant increasing in electrical conductivity and microhardness was observed in all the nanocomposites. Major microhardness values were obtained in MWCNTs/PA6 (50 HV) however the MWCNTs/PMMA nanocomposites showed the highest electrical conductivity value (6.4×10-4 S/cm).
The neurocognitive trajectory in bipolar disorder (BD) is variable, with controversial findings, and most evidence come from cross-sectional studies. We aimed to examine the course of neurocognitive functioning in a sample of euthymic BD patients in comparison with a control group during a 5-year follow-up.
Ninety-nine euthymic bipolar patients and 40 healthy controls were assessed using a comprehensive neurocognitive battery (six neurocognitive domains) at baseline (T1) and then at 5-year follow-up (T2) in a longitudinal study.
No evidence of a progression in neurocognitive dysfunction was found either in cognitive composite index or in any of the neurocognitive domains for the whole cohort. However, there was a negative correlation between number of manic episodes and hospitalisations due to manic episodes and change in neurocognitive composite index (NCI) during the follow-up. Moreover, patients with higher number of manic and hypomanic episodes have a greater decrease in NCI, working memory and visual memory. History of psychotic symptoms was not related to the trajectory of neurocognitive impairment.
Our results suggest that, although the progression of cognitive decline is not a general rule in BD, BD patients who have a greater number of manic or hypomanic episodes may constitute a subgroup characterised by the progression of neurocognitive impairment. Prevention of manic and hypomanic episodes could have a positive impact on the trajectory of cognitive function.
The Padua Inventory (PI) of obsessions and compulsions is one of the most usually applied tests to assess obsessive-compulsive symptomatology in research contexts as well as for clinical and screening purposes. A reliability generalization meta-analysis was accomplished to estimate the average reliability of the PI scores and to search for characteristics of the samples and studies that can explain the variability among reliability estimates. An exhaustive literature search enabled us to select 39 studies (53 independent samples) that reported alpha and/or test-retest coefficients with the data at hand for the PI total score and subscales. An excellent average coefficient alpha was found for the PI total score (M = .935; 95%CI = .922–.949) and for Impaired Mental Control subscale (M = .911; 95%CI = .897–.924), being good for Contamination (M = .861; 95%CI = .841–.882) and Checking (M = .880; 95%CI = .856–.903), and fair for Urges and Worries (M = .783; 95%CI = .745–.822). The average test-retest reliability for PI total score was also satisfactory (M = .835; 95%CI = .782–.877). Moderator analyses showed larger coefficients alpha for larger standard deviation of the PI total scores (p = .0005; R2 = .46), for adapted versions of the test (p = .002; R2 = .32), and for samples composed of clinical participants (p = .066; R2 = .10). The practical implications of these results are discussed as well as the need for researchers to report reliability estimates with the data at hand.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
A high incidence of burnout has been reported in health professionals working in palliative care units. Our present study aims to determine whether there are differences in the secretion of salivary cortisol between palliative care unit health professionals with and without burnout, and to elucidate whether there is a relationship between burnout syndrome and perceived stress and psychopathological status in this population.
A total of 69 health professionals who met the inclusion criteria participated in our study, including physicians, nurses, and nursing assistants. Some 58 were women (M = 29.65 years, SD = 8.64) and 11 men (M = 35.67 years, SD = 11.90). The level of daily cortisol was registered in six measurements taken over the course of a workday. Burnout syndrome was evaluated with the Maslach Burnout Inventory–Human Services Survey (MBI–HSS), the level of perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Scale, and psychopathological status was gauged using the SCL–90–R Symptoms Inventory.
There were statistically significant differences in secretion of cortisol in professionals with high scores on a single subscale of the MBI–HSS [F(3.5) = 2.48, p < 0.03]. This effect was observed 15–30 minutes after waking up (p < 0.01) and at bedtime (p < 0.06). Moreover, the professionals with burnout showed higher scores on the psychopathology and stress subscales than professionals without it.
Significance of results:
A higher score in any dimension of the burnout syndrome in palliative care unit health professionals seems to be related to several physiological and psychological parameters. These findings may be relevant for further development of our understanding of the relationship between levels of burnout and cortisol secretion in the health workers in these units.
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.
Non-planar iodinated pyrrole structures were found through DFT calculations of geometry optimization, when doping one pyrrole molecule with iodine atoms. This take us to a new mono-iodinated pyrrole structure in which one pyrrole molecule is attacked with one iodine atom in a pyramidal configuration. Then, the pyrrole molecule was attacked with two and until four optimized linear iodine atoms in a pyramidal structure configuration. The corresponding potential energy curves were also constructed in order to know what kind of adsorption (physisorption or chemisorption) is obtained, considering physisorption as lower than ten kcal/mol, and chemisorption greater than twenty kcal/mol according to the literature. Finally, it is known that halogenated pyrrole is a highly conductive material required in several fields.
Entrepreneurship is linked to the perception of opportunities, to orientation, to attitudes, to the fear of failure and to entrepreneurial motivations. Entrepreneurial orientation is a fundamental construct for understanding the phenomenon of entrepreneurship. What is more, it is multidimensional and has attracted considerable attention from researchers in recent years. The objective of this study was to adapt the original 12-item English scale to Spanish and to analyze its psychometric properties. The participants in the present study were 925 Spanish employees (48.2% men, 51.5% women, M age = 42.49 years, SD age = 11.25) from the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia and Castilla-León. After applying an ESEM (RMSEA = .06; CFI = .97 and TLI = .95) a structure was determined made up of four factors which corroborated the structure of the original scale: Autonomy (α = .71 and CI = .68 – .73), Innovativeness (α = .70 and CI = .67 – .73), Risk Taking (α = .72 and CI = .68 – .74) and Competitive Aggressiveness (α = .70 and CI = .67 – .73). The four factors displayed suitable reliability. The study also found evidences of validity in relation to a series of external correlates and various scales which refer to workaholism, irritation and burnout. The scale presented here may prove useful for satisfactorily identifying, in Spanish, the entrepreneurial orientation of the working population.
Polymer-clay nanocomposites are compounds in which nanoclay particles are distributed in a polymer matrix. Epoxy-clay nanocomposites have become a very interesting topic among researchers in the past two decades because nanoclays have a positive effect on the mechanical, thermal and especially barrier anticorrosive performance of the polymers. In this study, epoxy-montmorillonite organoclay (OMMT) nanocomposite coatings were prepared and deposited on carbon steel substrates. The coatings were prepared through in situ polymerization and by UV-curing technique. The OMMT was added to epoxy resin at loadings between 0 wt.% and 5 wt.%, the particles of OMMT were dispersed using forced agitation-sonication and deposited on carbon steel coupons. The nanocomposite coatings obtained have been characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), spectroscopy Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and evaluated their corrosion protection effect on cold rolled carbon steel coupons by performing visual analysis. The X-ray analysis showed that exfoliation occurred for the OMMT in the polymer matrix, the SEM analysis showed that OMMT was homogenous dispersed in the polymer matrix and the coatings were uniform. The FTIR analysis showed the characteristic bands of epoxy resin and OMMT in the composite. The results showed that 1 wt.% OMMT coating exhibit better anticorrosive properties than pure epoxy.
Activation of carbon using polypyrrole as activating agent is searched through Molecular Modeling. The Geometry Optimizations carried out helped to observe carbon effect when is attacked by a polymer in order to give an estimation of the pore size diameter of carbon. In this first approximation pore size diameters is about 30 % with respect to BET (Brunauer, P. Emmett y E. Teller) isotherms experimental data.
Improvements in colorectal cancer (CRC) detection and treatment have led to greater numbers of CRC survivors, for whom there is limited evidence on which to provide dietary guidelines to improve survival outcomes. Higher intake of red and processed meat and lower intake of fibre are associated with greater risk of developing CRC, but there is limited evidence regarding associations with survival after CRC diagnosis. Among 3789 CRC cases in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, pre-diagnostic consumption of red meat, processed meat, poultry and dietary fibre was examined in relation to CRC-specific mortality (n 1008) and all-cause mortality (n 1262) using multivariable Cox regression models, adjusted for CRC risk factors. Pre-diagnostic red meat, processed meat or fibre intakes (defined as quartiles and continuous grams per day) were not associated with CRC-specific or all-cause mortality among CRC survivors; however, a marginal trend across quartiles of processed meat in relation to CRC mortality was detected (P 0·053). Pre-diagnostic poultry intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality among women (hazard ratio (HR)/20 g/d 0·92; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·00), but not among men (HR 1·00; 95 % CI 0·91, 1·09) (Pfor heterogeneity=0·10). Pre-diagnostic intake of red meat or fibre is not associated with CRC survival in the EPIC cohort. There is suggestive evidence of an association between poultry intake and all-cause mortality among female CRC survivors and between processed meat intake and CRC-specific mortality; however, further research using post-diagnostic dietary data is required to confirm this relationship.
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.