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The enzymatic hydrolysis of milk proteins yield final products with improved properties and reduced allergenicity. The degree of hydrolysis (DH) influences both technological (e.g., solubility, water binding capacity) and biological (e.g., angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition, antioxidation) properties of the resulting hydrolysate. Phenomenological models are unable to reproduce the complexity of enzymatic reactions in dairy systems. However, empirical approaches offer high predictability and can be easily transposed to different substrates and enzymes. In this work, the DH of goat milk protein by subtilisin and trypsin was modelled by feedforward artificial neural networks (ANN). To this end, we produced a set of protein hydrolysates, employing various reaction temperatures and enzyme/substrate ratios, based on an experimental design. The time evolution of the DH was monitored and processed to generate the ANN models. Extensive hydrolysis is desirable because a high DH enhances some bioactivities in the final hydrolysate, such as antioxidant or antihypertensive. The optimization of both ANN models led to a maximal DH of 23·47% at 56·4 °C and enzyme–substrate ratio of 5% for subtilisin, while hydrolysis with trypsin reached a maximum of 21·3% at 35 °C and an enzyme–substrate ratio of 4%.
Plant–animal mutualistic interactions through ecological network systems and the environmental conditions in which they occur, allow us to understand patterns of species composition and the structure and dynamics of communities. We evaluated whether flower morphologies with different pollination syndromes (ornithophilous and non-ornithophilous) are used by hummingbirds and whether these characteristics affect the structure (core-peripheral species) of hummingbird networks. Observations were made in flowering patches, where plant–hummingbird interactions were recorded at three altitudes (300–2500 m) during three seasons (dry, rainy and post-rainy) from 2015 to 2016 at El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, Chiapas, Mexico. We recorded 15 hummingbird species interacting with 58 plant species, and the greatest number of interacting hummingbird species (11; 14) and plant species (28; 40) were found at middle altitudes and during the dry season, respectively. In all study sites, most of the plant species visited by hummingbirds had an ornithophilous syndrome (67%) at high altitudes (22 plant species) and during the dry season (26 plant species), but more individual hummingbirds visited non-ornithophilous plant species. The hummingbird species at high altitudes exhibited the greatest level of specialization towards plants (H2′ = 0.74), but the networks of plant-hummingbird interactions were generalist (H2′ = 0.25); i.e. visiting plants with both syndromes, at low altitudes. The core generalist hummingbird species remained constant with altitude and season, but the core generalist plant species varied between different altitudes and seasons according to the phenology of the species.
To analyze the impact of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) Multidimensional Approach (IMA) and the INICC Surveillance Online System (ISOS) on central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates in 14 intensive care units (ICUs) in Argentina from January 2014 to April 2017.
This prospective, pre–post surveillance study of 3,940 ICU patients was conducted in 11 hospitals in 5 cities in Argentina. During our baseline evaluation, we performed outcome and process surveillance of CLABSI applying Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Health Safety Network (CDC/NHSN) definitions. During the intervention, we implemented the IMA through ISOS: (1) a bundle of infection prevention practice interventions, (2) education, (3) outcome surveillance, (4) process surveillance, (5) feedback on CLABSI rates and consequences, and (6) performance feedback of process surveillance. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed using a logistic regression model to estimate the effect of the intervention on the CLABSI rate.
During the baseline period, 5,118 CL days and 49 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 9.6 CLABSIs per 1,000 central-line (CL) days. During the intervention, 15,659 CL days and 68 CLABSIs were recorded, for a rate of 4.1 CLABSIs per 1,000 CL days. The CLABSI rate was reduced by 57% (incidence density rate: 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.34–0.6; P<.001).
Implementing IMA through ISOS was associated with a significant reduction in the CLABSI rate in ICUs in Argentina.
Experimental research suggests that food timing is associated with weight regulation. However, the association between the distribution of energy intake (EI) throughout the day and weight gain in the population is uncertain. A cohort of 4243 individuals (49·9 % men, 50·1 % women) aged ≥18 years was selected in 2008–2010 and followed-up through 2012. At baseline, food consumption for a typical week in the previous year was collected with a validated dietary history, and EI was assessed at six eating occasions: breakfast, mid-morning meal, lunch, mid-afternoon meal, dinner and snacking (at any other moment). Individuals were classified into sex-specific quartiles of %EI for each eating occasion. The cut-off points for increasing quartiles of %EI at lunch were 34·4, 40·8 and 47·7 % in men and 33·2, 39·4 and 46·1 % in women. Weight was self-reported at baseline and at the end of follow-up. During a 3·5-year follow-up, 16·3 % of study participants gained >3 kg. Compared with those in the lowest quartile of %EI at lunch, the multivariate OR of gaining >3 kg was 0·79 (95 % CI 0·63, 0·99) in the second quartile, 0·82 (95 % CI 0·64, 1·04) in the third quartile and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·47, 0·80) in the highest quartile (Ptrend: 0·001). The association was stronger among women and those with overweight or obesity. No association was found between the %EI at the rest of the eating occasions and weight gain. In conclusion, a higher %EI at lunch was associated with a lower risk of weight gain; this may help weight control through the appropriate distribution of daily EI.
Background: Following cessation interventions, self-reported smoking abstinence with biochemical verification is the “gold standard” for defining outcomes. Because obtaining biochemical verification is challenging in community studies, we compared self-reported cessation among smokers completing treatment to the smoking status reported by each participant's spouse or proxy.
Method: Participants were smokers who had reported quitting 12 months after a cessation intervention. Participants had either attended a smoking cessation clinic or they were patients seen by physicians who had recently participated in a cessation-training program. Proxies living with these participants were interviewed by telephone to ask about their partner's smoking status. We compared the participants' responses to those from their spouses.
Results: At 12 months, 346 of 1423 baseline smokers had quit; 161/346 reported non-smokers were called and 140 proxies were interviewed. The participants averaged 51 years of age, 69% were women. At baseline, the mean number of cigarettes smoked per day was 20.1 (SD = 9.9) and the average number of quit attempts was 2.4 (SD = 1.2). Cessation methods used were medical advice (21%) and/or pharmacotherapy (79%). Of the 140 spouses interviewed, only 10 (7.1%) reported that their partners were currently smoking.
Conclusions: Proxy-reported data on smoking status could be used to validate self-report.
Our goal was to improve spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) cognitive profile characterization by testing the hypothesis that strategy, planning and rule acquisition capacities are affected in SCA2. Forty one patients with SCA2 were evaluated with the Spatial Working Memory (SWM), the Stockings of Cambridge (SOC), and the Intra-Extra Dimensional Shift (IED) tests of the Executive module of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Testing Automated Battery (CANTAB). Paired Associates Learning (PAL) and Delayed Matching to Sample (DMS) from the CANTAB memory module were also assessed to corroborate previous findings. Motor deterioration was measured using the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). We found significant SCA2 related deficits in strategy, planning, and rule acquisition. Our results also corroborated significant memory deficits in these patients with SCA2. Further analysis also showed that patients with large motor deterioration had poorer associative learning and spatial planning scores. Patients with SCA2 show strategy, planning, and rule acquisition deficits as revealed with the CANTAB battery. These deficits should be noted when planning an effective therapy for these patients. (JINS, 2015, 21, 1–7)
In this paper the effect of hybrid laser arc welding on longitudinal joints for pipes of 1.27cm thick is investigated. For the investigation, an API X70 steel was welded with the HLAW process and then subjected to tensile, bending and micro hardness tests under standards for pipe manufacturing. Images of the weld seams were taken to observe the structure and size of the weld zones. Analysis was made by light microscopy to determine the phases present in the weld zones and to observe if there is a variation of grain size in the weld zones that adversely affects the mechanical properties of the API X70 steel. Results show that the mechanical properties of the joints meet the requirements for their use in pipe manufacturing; one reason is the low thickness of the weld zone that barely affects the original properties of API X70 steel. Also the presence of bainite in the microstructure of weld zones provides resistance to the joints.
Background: Physician-implemented interventions for smoking cessation are effective but infrequently used. We evaluated smoking cessation practices among physicians in Argentina.
Methods: A self-administered survey of physicians from six clinical systems asked about smoking cessation counselling practices, barriers to tobacco use counselling and perceived quality of training received in smoking cessation practices.
Results: Of 254 physicians, 52.3% were women, 11.8% were current smokers and 52% never smoked. Perceived quality of training in tobacco cessation counselling was rated as very good or good by 41.8% and as poor/very poor by 58.2%. Most physicians (90%) reported asking and recording smoking status, 89% advised patients to quit smoking but only 37% asked them to set a quit date and 44% prescribed medications. Multivariate analyses showed that Physicians' perceived quality of their training in smoking cessation methods was associated with greater use of evidence-based cessation interventions. (OR = 6.5; 95% CI = 2.2–19.1); motivating patients to quit (OR: 7.9 CI 3.44–18.5), assisting patients to quit (OR = 9.9; 95% CI = 4.0–24.2) prescribing medications (OR = 9.6; 95% CI = 3.5–26.7), and setting up follow-up (OR = 13.0; 95% CI = 4.4–38.5).
Conclusions: Perceived quality of training in smoking cessation was associated with using evidence-based interventions and among physicians from Argentina. Medical training programs should enhance the quality of this curriculum.
A global process for the production of goat milk hydrolysates enriched in angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory peptides was proposed. Firstly, the protein fractions (caseins and whey proteins) were separated by ultrafiltration through a 0·14 μm ceramic membrane. The casein fraction obtained in the retentate stream of the above filtration step was subsequently hydrolysed with a combination of subtilisin and trypsin. After 3 h of reaction, the hydrolysate produced presented an IC50 of 218·50 μg/ml, which represent a relatively high ACE inhibitory activity. Finally, this hydrolysate was filtered through a 50 kDa ceramic membrane until reaching a volume reduction factor of 3. The permeate produced presented an improvement of more than 30% in the ACE inhibitory activity. In contrast, the retentate was concentrated in larger and inactive peptides which led to a decrease of more than 80% in its inhibitory activity. The process suggested in this work was suitable to obtain a potent ACE inhibitory activity product able to be incorporated into food formulas intended to control or lower blood pressure. Moreover, the liquid product could be easily stabilised by spray dried if it would be necessary.
Skeletal muscle exhibits a remarkable flexibility in the usage of fuel in response to the nutrient intake and energy demands of the organism. In fact, increased physical activity and fasting trigger a transcriptional programme in skeletal muscle cells leading to a switch from carbohydrate to lipid oxidation. Impaired metabolic flexibility has been reported to be associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes, but it is not known whether the disability to adapt to metabolic demands is a cause or a consequence of these pathological conditions. Inasmuch as a poor nutritional environment during early life is a predisposing factor for the development of metabolic diseases in adulthood, in the present study, we aimed to determine the long-term effects of maternal malnutrition on the metabolic flexibility of offspring skeletal muscle. To this end, the transcriptional responses of the soleus and extensor digitorum longus muscles to fasting were evaluated in adult rats born to dams fed a control (17 % protein) or a low-protein (8 % protein, protein restricted (PR)) diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. With the exception of reduced body weight and reduced plasma concentrations of TAG, PR rats exhibited a metabolic profile that was the same as that of the control rats. In the fed state, PR rats exhibited an enhanced expression of key regulatory genes of fatty acid oxidation including CPT1a, PGC-1α, UCP3 and PPARα and an impaired expression of genes that increase the capacity for fat oxidation in response to fasting. These results suggest that impaired metabolic inflexibility precedes and may contribute to the development of metabolic disorders associated with early malnutrition.
Goat milk protein was hydrolysed with subtilisin and trypsin. As input variables, temperature was assayed in the interval 45–70 °C for subtilisin and 30–55 °C for trypsin, while the enzyme-substrate ratio varied from 1 to 5%. The effect of the input variables on the degree of hydrolysis and ACE-inhibitory activity (output variables) was modelled by second order polynomials, which were able to fit the experimental data with deviations below 10%. The individual maximum values of the degree of hydrolysis and the ACE-inhibitory activity were found at conflicting conditions of temperature and enzyme-substrate ratio. Since such maximum values could not be reached simultaneously, a bi-objective optimisation procedure was undertaken, producing a set of non-inferior solutions that weighted both objectives.
In this work a survey of possible optical stimulation processes in irradiated KCl:Eu with a focusing on photo-transfer thermoluminescence (PTTL) effects are shown. For different wavelengths in the range from 180 to 800 nm a cycle of measurements was performed, each comprising of a TL measurement after light irradiation, a TL measurement after beta irradiation for reference purposes and a PTTL measurement. The latter was obtained by applying first a beta irradiation, then a partial readout up to a certain end temperature followed by a monochromatic light irradiation of a specific wavelength and finally a TL measurement. This procedure was repeated for different partial readout end temperatures. From the results the existence of at least four different photo-transfer processes, induced by 310, 245 and 550 nm light are deduced. The photo transfer process induced by an approximate value of 245 nm produced a TL glow peak not seen before in beta or light induced TL. Furthermore it was observed that some of the TL peaks created by light of 240 and 260 nm were strongly sensitized after a beta irradiation and a partial readout.
Zirconia nanopowders doped with different concentrations of Eu were prepared by the solgel method followed by a thermal treatment at 500°C. Morphological and crystallographic characteristics were studied by scanning electron microscopy, X-Ray diffraction and UV spectroscopoy. Results showed a modification of the size of nanopowder particles when the concentration of Eu is increased from 0.0 to 4.0 wt%. Also, at lower concentration of Eu the tetragonal ZrO2 is the most abundant phase while high concentrations of Eu lead to the formation of the monoclinic phase. The UV spectroscopy of ZrO2 samples shows two main absorption peaks at 228 and 214 nm. The novel characteristics of the ZrO2 nanopowders doped with Eu allow us to propose them for use as solar UV radiation detectors.
Aim – To assess the relationship between mental health and health-related quality of life (HRQL) in the general population, and to map GHQ-12 as a screening test for population psychological distress to a generic health state measure (EQ-5D) in order to estimate health state values and allow deriving quality-adjusted life years. Methods – Relationship between mental health and HRQL was examined from the 2004 Canary Islands’ Health Survey. Participants were classified as probable psychiatric cases according to GHQ-12. HRQL was measured by the EQ-5D index. Multivariate lineal regression analysis was used to examine the association between mental health and HRQL adjusting by socio-demographic variables and comorbidities. A multivariate regression model was built from EQ-5D to estimate health states values using GHQ-12 as exposure. Results – EQ-5D index scores decreased as the GHQ-12 scores increased. Clinical and socio-demographic factors influenced HRQL without changing the overall trend for this negative relationship. The regression equation explained 43% of the variance. For estimation of utility scores, the model showed a high predictive capacity, with a mean forecast errors of 16%. Conclusions – HRQL progressively decreased when the probability of being a psychiatric case increased. Findings enable health state values to be derived from GHQ-12 scores for populations where utilities has not or cannot be measured directly.
Declaration of Interest: Authors declare no conflicts of interest. This work was supported by the Quality Plan for the National Health Service (Spanish Ministry of Health and Social Policy).