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To explore whether the improvement in self-awareness induced by a structured intervention programme in patients suffering a brain injury is associated with an enhancement in their functional outcomes.
This study uses a pre- and post-test control group design with a sample of 56 patients with acquired brain injury randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. Pre- and post-intervention measurements were self-awareness (using a previously developed scale) and functional outcome (using the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale).
Patients who received the intervention programme showed a greater improvement in their self-awareness level and functional outcome than patients in the control group. Additionally, the correlation analyses between improvements at both measures showed a relation between improvement in self-awareness and improvement in functional outcome, especially when the pre-treatment self-awareness level was considered.
Implementing an intervention programme in self-awareness, in the context of a global rehabilitation process of patients with acquired brain injury, is useful for improving their self-awareness level and the functionality in their daily activities.
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.
We studied the role played by temperature and rennet concentration in the coagulation process for cheese manufacture and the evaluation of their kinetics. We concluded that temperature is the main factor that determines the kinetics. The rennet concentration was unimportant probably due to the fast action of the enzyme chymosin. The Dynamic light scattering technique allowed measuring the aggregate's size and their formation kinetics. The volume fraction of solids was determined from viscosity measurements, showing profiles that are in agreement with the size profiles. The results indicate that the formation of the aggregates for rennet cheese is strongly dependent on temperature and rennet concentration. The results revealed that at 35·5 °C the volume fraction of solids has the maximum slope, indicating that at this temperature the curd is formed rapidly. The optimal temperature throughout the process was established. Second-order kinetics were obtained for the process. We observed a quadratic dependence between the rennet volume and the volume fraction of solids (curd), thereby indicating that the kinetics of the curd production should be of order two.
Probiotic-based starter cultures are generally used to produce fermented milks with improved characteristics in the final product. In this study, Lactobacillus casei and Streptococcus thermophilus (Lc1-St) were used as the starter inoculum. The transformation kinetics and properties of the final product were compared with systems produced with other inocula. The Lc1-St inoculum delayed the production of lactic acid from 40 to 70 min (depending on temperature and concentration) when compared to Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus (Lb-St) and Lactobacillus johnsonii and Streptococcus thermophilus (La1-St). The Lc1-St inoculum reached the aggregation system faster (30–80 min) than Lb-St (120–210 min) and La1-St (160–220 min), however, the production of exopolysaccharides and organic phosphates was delayed as a consequence of the lack of synergy between Lc1 and St.
This book gathers together the lectures and practical sessions imparted during the XXIVth Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics, held at Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife (4–16 November 2012).
The basic phenomena of gravitational lenses, light deflection and time dilation by gravitational fields, are two essential predictions of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Both effects played a prominent role in the classical tests of General Relativity through famous experiments such as the deflection of light by the Sun measured by Eddington during the 1919 solar eclipse and the radar time delays first measured by Shapiro from the echoes of planets and space probes in the Solar System. Owing to rapid developments in technology, these once exotic and difficult-to-measure effects can nowadays be tested millions of times per second with a very popular device, the GPS (gravitational lensing in everyday life). The present and future importance of gravitational lenses is therefore no longer related exclusively to fundamental General Relativity but also (this is our motivation) to its use in probing the properties of astrophysical objects and of the Universe itself.
The optical bench is one of the most common pieces of laboratory apparatus in modern physics. A source emits photons, alpha particles, neutrons or some other kind of ‘bullets’ that interact with a test object (the target) and are subsequently detected by the observer. This set-up enables the researcher to change and move at will any of the components of the experiment to check hypotheses being tested. Astrophysical sources and targets (planets, stars, galaxies, etc.) are too big and distant for the astronomer to be able to manipulate them. Nevertheless, in certain rare cases a distant source (a star, galaxy, or quasar) appears to be almost aligned with an intervening target (a planet, star, galaxy, or galaxy cluster), thus allowing the observer to measure the deflection of the light rays caused by the gravitational field of the target. This is a gravitational lens system (or simply ‘gravitational lens’), an astronomical optical bench that can be used as a tool to study both the source and the deflecting target.
Gravitational lenses offer the best, and sometimes the only, means of tackling key problems in many fields of astrophysics and cosmology. According to Einstein's theory, the curvature of light-rays increases with mass; gravitational lenses can be used to map the distribution of mass in a Universe in which virtually all matter is dark matter of an unknown nature. Gravitational lensing has significantly improved our knowledge of many astrophysical phenomena, such as exoplanets, galaxies, active galactic nuclei, quasars, clusters, large-scale structure and the Universe itself. All these topics are covered fully in this book, together with two tutorials on lens and microlensing modelling. The future of lensing in relation to large surveys and the anticipated discoveries of thousands more gravitational lenses is also discussed, making this volume an ideal guide for postgraduate students and practising researchers in the use of gravitational lenses as a tool in their investigations.
Effective control of gastrointestinal parasites is necessary in sheep production. The development of anthelmintics resistance is causing the available chemically based anthelmintics to become less effective. Biological control strategies present an alternative to this problem. In the current study, we tested the larvicidal effects of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis Cry11Aa toxin against Haemonchus contortus larvae. Bacterial suspensions [2 × 108 colony-forming units (CFU) g−1 of the feces] of B. thuringiensis var. israelensis and recombinant Escherichia coli expressing Cry11Aa toxin were added to naturally H. contortus egg-contaminated feces. The larvae were quantified, and significant reductions of 62 and 81% (P < 0·001) were, respectively observed, compared with the control group. A 30 mL bacterial suspension (1 × 108 CFU mL−1) of B. thuringiensis var. israelensis and recombinant E. coli expressing Cry11Aa toxin were then orally administered to lambs naturally infected with H. contortus. Twelve hours after administration, feces were collected and submitted to coprocultures. Significant larvae reductions (P < 0·001) of 79 and 90% were observed respectively compared with the control group. The results suggest that the Cry11Aa toxin of B. thuringiensis var. israelensis is a promising new class of biological anthelmintics for treating sheep against H. contortus.
The synthesis of alloys with nominal composition for Y1-xSmxCo5 by means of arc furnace and melt-spinning, is of critical scientific importance due that if replaced partially or completely the Samarium by the Yttrium is possible understand what contribution the earth element rare to the exchange interactions that guide to increased remnant magnetization in a nanocomposite. The alloys of Y1-xSmxCo5/Co obtained by melt-spun were characterized by x-ray diffraction with a compact hexagonal crystal structure the CaCu5 type. The alloys for nanocomposites of Y1-xSmxCo5/Co ribbons show ferromagnetic behavior with good magnetic properties, order to demonstrate this the magnetic properties were measured using a pulsed field magnetometer applying a high magnetic field in order to obtain a saturated magnetization curve and a high coercivity of 0.69 MA/m and an enhanced remanence of σr/σsat ratio equal to 0.57 were determined.
The characteristics of silicon films deposited by plasma depend strongly on the reactor parameters. In our experiments, the two-level factorial design was implemented. Pressure, silane and hydrogen flows were set at high and low values for the synthesis of silicon films. Results showed that the flows of silane and hydrogen played a key role, being the influence of pressure low. In particular, the samples at high level of hydrogen exhibited the lowest deposition rate and photosensitivity. On the other hand, the samples at low level of hydrogen showed crystalline regions and high deposition rate. For the lowest dilution ratio, nano/meso-structured silicon films were obtained, showing high photosensitivity and high roughness that increases the scattering of light. These characteristics of our films make them suitable to be used in photovoltaics.
Nowadays the aeronautical industry keeps strict quality standards in its dimensional specifications, mechanical properties and microstructural characteristics. Therefore, the involved manufacturing processes require keeping high standards. The nickel based superalloys are present in many components of the jet engines, being the Inconel 718MR superalloy the most common, making up to 50% of the jet engine. This is designed to resist high temperatures, corrosion and creep. The process of rotary forging is a manufacturing process that is currently under scientific and technological development in the aeronautical industry. An Avrami model coupled with a commercial FEM platform (DEFORMTM 3D) was developed to evaluate the average grain size, as a function of the working conditions at 980 °C and 1000 °C. The results provide a better understanding of the influence of temperature in the grain size evolution during the rotary forging process, compared with previous reports.
This study aimed to determine Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) Neuropsychological Assessment Battery total score diagnostic accuracy in the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia in familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD) with E280A mutation on presenilin-1 gene (PSEN1).
A cross-sectional study was conducted in a cohort of PSEN1 E280A carriers and non-carriers assessed between January 1995 and February 2013. During the first neuropsychological assessment, 76 were having dementia, 46 had MCI, and 1,576 were asymptomatic. CERAD cut-off points were established for MCI and dementia using a Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) analysis, and were further analyzed according to education level in two groups: low education level (eight years or less), and high education level (over eight years).
The area under curve–ROC CERAD total score for dementia was 0.994 (95% CI = 0.989–0.999), and that for MCI was 0.862 (95% CI = 0.816–0.908). The dementia diagnosis cut-off point for the low education group was 54, (98.4% sensitivity, 92.6% specificity), and that for the high education group was 67 (100% sensitivity, 94.1% specificity). The MCI diagnosis cut-off point for the low education group was 66 (91.2% sensitivity, 56.4% specificity), and that for the high education group was 72 (91.7% sensitivity, 76.3% specificity).
The CERAD total score is a useful screening tool for dementia and MCI in a population at risk of FAD.
Lithium thio-phosphorus oxynitride glasses, LiPOSN, have been prepared by mechanical milling process from the mixture of Li2S and LiPON glass. The anionic substitution of oxygen by sulphur and nitrogen in the phosphate glass structure has been confirmed by 1D 31P solid state nuclear magnetic resonance and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The study of thermal and electrical properties reveals a decrease in the glass transition temperature, likely due to the depolymerization of glass network by the decrease of bridging oxygens and sulphurs, along with a sharp increase in the ionic conductivity when lithium sulphide is incorporated into the oxynitride glasses. The improvement of chemical durability by the introduction of nitrogen, together with the increase in ionic conductivity up to values closed to the value of commercial LiPON thin film electrolyte, suggests that these LiPOSN glasses could be good candidates as solid electrolytes for lithium microbatteries.
Recently, the research team synthesized some scandium- and titanium-based oxide compounds, in order to analyze their thermoluminescent (TL) response [1-2]. The oxides mixture Sc2TiO5:Eu2Ti2O7:Sc2O3 was synthesized in equilibrium phase by solid state reaction at 1100 °C / 48 h. The structural characterization was performed by XRD and SEM. The TL properties of this oxide mixture were examined after exposing it to gamma radiation from a 60Co source. The glow curve showed two main glow peaks at 151 °C and 260 °C, yet the curve shape looks quite complex, revealing that it is composed by overlapped individual TL peaks, which was confirmed with the Tstop preheat method performed . The linear dose-response between 150 to 600 Gy was obtained, followed by a slow saturation stage. The intensity of the glow curves increases as the radiation dose increases, and their maxima remain at the same temperature values, which indicates that the TL phenomenon follows first-order kinetics . After ten irradiation-TL readout cycles at 500 Gy, good stability (SD 2.02 %) between TL integrated response and the exposure dose was found. It is concluded that Sc2TiO5:Eu2Ti2O7:Sc2O3 is a promising material to use as high-dose dosimeter.
The Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) produces a complex mixture of gases and aerosols from diverse sources, including burning of fossil fuels, biomass, and wastes, with a significant biogenic contribution. We present the first results of ongoing projects to study temporal and spatial variations of 14CO2 in the area. Temporal variations reconstructed from tree rings of Taxodium mucronatum indicate a considerable radiocarbon depletion, in accordance to the vast amount of fossil fuels burnt inside Mexico Valley, with values between 62 and 246‰ lower than background values for the 1962–1968 period, and lower by 51–88‰ for the 1983–2010 period. The lower dilution found for the last decades might indicate an increase in enriched 14CO2 sources. Results from the spatial distribution, as revealed from integrated CO2 samples and grasses from six points within the MCMA collected during the 2013 dry season, show variations between sites and sample types. For integrated CO2 samples, values range from 35.6‰ to 54.0‰, and for grasses between −86.8‰ and 40.7‰. For three of the sampling points, the grasses are significantly depleted, by up to ∼133‰, as compared to the corresponding integrated CO2 sample. This may result from differences in the carbon assimilation period and exposure to different CO2 sources. Higher-than-background Δ14C values were found for all integrated CO2 samples, presumably resulting from 14C-enriched CO2 derived from forest fires in the mountains during the sampling period. Results obtained so far confirm the complexity of the 14C cycle in the MCMA.
Currently, the research team is systematically studying the oxide compounds present in the ternary system In2O3-TiO2-MgO in order to analyze its thermoluminescent (TL) response. The oxide Mg1.5InTi0.5O4 present in this system was synthesized by a solid state reaction at 1350 °C in air. The X-ray powder diffraction pattern showed a spinel-type structure for this compound. In this work, this spinel, as well as its TL properties when exposed to beta particles, are being reported for the first time. The glow curve is simple and wide with a TL maximum located at 203 °C at 21.33 Gy. The peak shows a shift to lower temperatures and it increases its intensity, as the irradiation dose increases. The lineal behavior was observed between 10.66 to 341 Gy, and no saturation signs were observed. The relative sensitivity variation was 2.7% and standard deviation after ten consecutive irradiation - TL readout cycles was 1 %. The minimum detectable dose was 5.65 Gy for this spinel-type oxide . These results suggest the possible application of Mg1.5InTi0.5O4 in dosimetry.