Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Ana Blanco

23 Effect of Crude Flowers Extract of Citrus reticulata Blanco Flowers on Physicochemical and Nutritional Properties of Cheddar Cheese

Authors: Usman Mir Khan, Ishtiaque Ahmad, Saima Inayat, H. M. Arslan Amin, Muhammad Ayaz, Nisar Ahmad


Citrus reticulata Blanco crude flowers extract (CFE) at four different concentration (1, 2, 3 and 4%, v/v) were used as natural milk coagulant instead of rennet to apply for Cheddar cheese making from buffalo milk. The physicochemical properties and nutrition composition of Cheddar cheeses were compared with cheese made with 0.002% (v/v) rennet (control cheese). Physico-chemical of Cheddar cheese showed that cheese made with 1% and 2% of CFE had a crumbly and slightly softer texture of cheese. While, cheeses containing 3 and 4% CFE had semi-hard textural properties of curd similar to rennet added cheese. The CFE made cheese had moisture 37 %, fat 45 % on dry basis similar to rennet made Cheddar cheese. Protein analysis shows that CFE made cheese had significant higher protein content than control. The Cheddar cheese with 3% and 1% CFE were preferred by consumers instead of 2% and 4% CFE for their taste, texture/appearance and overall acceptability. Conclusively, CFE coagulated Cheddar cheese fulfills the nutritional requirement with acceptable organoleptic characteristics and at the same time provides nutritional health benefits.

Keywords: cheddar cheese, Citrus reticulata Blanco, buffalo milk, milk coagulant

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22 Prevalence and Determinants of Iron Deficiency Anaemia in Pregnant Xhosa Women

Authors: A. Abiodun, G. George, B. Longo-Mbenza, E. Blanco-Blanco


Objective: To determine the prevalence and determinants of iron-deficiency anaemia in pregnant Xhosa women practising geophagia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among pregnant Xhosa women from rural areas of Mthatha, South Africa, according to socio-demographic, geophagia, haematologic and iron metabolism profiles using univariate and multivariate analyses. Anaemia was defined by haemoglobin <11 g/dL and iron deficiency was defined by serum ferritin < 12 ug/L. Results: Out of 210 pregnant women (mean age =23±5.3 for geophagic and 25.6±5.3 for non-geophagic), 51.4% (n = 108) had iron deficiency anaemia (50.9% geophagic and 49.1% non-geophagic). After adjusting for confounders, only geophagia (OR=2.1 95% CI 1.1-4.2; P=0.029) and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration categories (< 30.5 g/dL with OR=16.6 95% CI 6.8-40.2; P < 0.0001; 30.5-31.5 g/dL with OR=2.9 95% CI 1.4-6.1; P=0.006; and ≥ 31.5 g/dL with OR=1) were identified as the most important significant and independent determinants of iron deficiency anaemia. Conclusion: The study results point to the potential harm geophagia can cause in pregnant women. The prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia is unacceptably high. Geophagic behaviour, low MCHC presented as particular risk factors of iron deficiency anaemia in this study. Education and counselling about appropriate diet during pregnancy and prevention of geophagic behaviour (and health consequences) are needed among pregnant Xhosa women.

Keywords: geophagia, pregnancy, iron deficiency anaemia, Xhosa

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21 Exploring the Effect of Cellulose Based Coating Incorporated with CaCl2 and MgSO4 on Shelf Life Extension of Kinnow (Citrus reticulata blanco) Cultivar

Authors: Muhammad Atif Randhawa, Muhammad Nadeem


Kinnow (Citrus reticulate Blanco) is nutritious and perishable fruit with high juice content, and also rich source of vitamin-C. In Pakistan, kinnow export is limited due to inadequate post-harvest handling and lack of satisfactory storage practices. Considering these issues, the present study was designed to evaluate the effect of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) coating in combination with CaCl2 and MgSO4 on shelf life extension of kinnow. Fruits were treated with different levels of CaCl2 and MgSO4 followed by HPMC coating (3 and 5%) and stored at 10°C with 80% relative humidity for 6 weeks. Fruits were analyzed for various physico-chemical parameters on weekly basis. During this study lower fruit firmness (0.24Nm-2), loss in weight (0.64%) and ethylene production (0.039 µL•kg-1•hr-1) was observed in fruits treated with 1% CaCl2 + 1% MgSO4 + 5% HPMC (T6) during storage of 42 days. Minimum chilling injury indexes 0.22% and 0.61% were recorded in treatments T4 and T6, respectively. T6 showed higher values of titerable acidity (0.29%) and ascorbic acid contents (39.82mg/100g). Minimum TSS (9.62°Brix) was found in fruits of T6. Overall T6 showed significantly better results for various parameters, as compared to all other treated and control fruits.

Keywords: firmness, kinnow coating, physicochemical, storage

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20 The Effect of Outliers on the Economic and Social Survey on Income and Living Conditions

Authors: Encarnación Álvarez, Rosa M. García-Fernández, Francisco J. Blanco-Encomienda, Juan F. Muñoz


The European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) is a popular survey which provides information on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions of households and individuals in the European Union. The EUSILC contains variables which may contain outliers. The presence of outliers can have an impact on the measures and indicators used by the EU-SILC. In this paper, we used data sets from various countries to analyze the presence of outliers. In addition, we obtain some indicators after removing these outliers, and a comparison between both situations can be observed. Finally, some conclusions are obtained.

Keywords: poverty line, headcount index, risk of poverty, skewness coefficient

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19 On Estimating the Headcount Index by Using the Logistic Regression Estimator

Authors: Encarnación Álvarez, Rosa M. García-Fernández, Juan F. Muñoz, Francisco J. Blanco-Encomienda


The problem of estimating a proportion has important applications in the field of economics, and in general, in many areas such as social sciences. A common application in economics is the estimation of the headcount index. In this paper, we define the general headcount index as a proportion. Furthermore, we introduce a new quantitative method for estimating the headcount index. In particular, we suggest to use the logistic regression estimator for the problem of estimating the headcount index. Assuming a real data set, results derived from Monte Carlo simulation studies indicate that the logistic regression estimator can be more accurate than the traditional estimator of the headcount index.

Keywords: poverty line, poor, risk of poverty, Monte Carlo simulations, sample

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18 A Comparison between Empirical and Theoretical OC Curves Related to Acceptance Sampling for Attributes

Authors: Encarnacion Alvarez, Noemı Hidalgo-Rebollo, Juan F. Munoz, Francisco J. Blanco-Encomienda


Many companies use the technique named as acceptance sampling which consists on the inspection and decision making regarding products. According to the results derived from this method, the company takes the decision of acceptance or rejection of a product. The acceptance sampling can be applied to the technology management, since the acceptance sampling can be seen as a tool to improve the design planning, operation and control of technological products. The theoretical operating characteristic (OC) curves are widely used when dealing with acceptance sampling. In this paper, we carry out Monte Carlo simulation studies to compare numerically the empirical OC curves derived from the empirical results to the customary theoretical OC curves. We analyze various possible scenarios in such a way that the differences between the empirical and theoretical curves can be observed under different situations.

Keywords: single-sampling plan, lot, Monte Carlo simulation, quality control

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17 Economic Design of a Quality Control Chart for the Proportion of Defective Items

Authors: Encarnación Álvarez-Verdejo, Raúl Amor-Pulido, Pablo J. Moya-Fernández, Juan F. Muñoz-Rosas, Francisco J. Blanco-Encomienda


Many companies use the statistical tool named as statistical quality control, and which can have a high cost for the companies interested on these statistical tools. The evaluation of the quality of products and services is an important topic, but the reduction of the cost of the implantation of the statistical quality control also has important benefits for the companies. For this reason, it is important to implement a economic design for the various steps included into the statistical quality control. In this paper, we describe some relevant aspects related to the economic design of a quality control chart for the proportion of defective items. They are very important because the suggested issues can reduce the cost of implementing a quality control chart for the proportion of defective items. Note that the main purpose of this chart is to evaluate and control the proportion of defective items of a production process.

Keywords: proportion, type I error, economic plan, distribution function

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16 Project Management at University: Towards an Evaluation Process around Cooperative Learning

Authors: J. L. Andrade-Pineda, J.M. León-Blanco, M. Calle, P. L. González-R


The enrollment in current Master's degree programs usually pursues gaining the expertise required in real-life workplaces. The experience we present here concerns the learning process of "Project Management Methodology (PMM)", around a cooperative/collaborative mechanism aimed at affording students measurable learning goals and providing the teacher with the ability of focusing on the weaknesses detected. We have designed a mixed summative/formative evaluation, which assures curriculum engage while enriches the comprehension of PMM key concepts. In this experience we converted the students into active actors in the evaluation process itself and we endowed ourselves as teachers with a flexible process in which along with qualifications (score), other attitudinal feedback arises. Despite the high level of self-affirmation on their discussion within the interactive assessment sessions, they ultimately have exhibited a great ability to review and correct the wrong reasoning when that was the case.

Keywords: cooperative-collaborative learning, educational management, formative-summative assessment, leadership training

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15 Small Traditional Retailers in Emerging Markets

Authors: Y. Boulaksil, J. C. Fransoo, E.E. Blanco, S. Koubida


In this paper, we study the small traditional retailers that are located in the neighborhoods of big cities in emerging markets. Although modern retailing has grown in the last two decades in these markets, the number of small retailers is still increasing and serving a substantial part of the daily demand for many basic products, such as bread, milk, and cooking oil. We conduct an empirical study to understand the business environment of these small traditional retailers in emerging markets by collecting data from 333 small retailers, spread over 8 large cities in Morocco. We analyze the data and describe their business environment with a focus on the informal credits they offer to their customers. We find that smaller small retailers that are funded from personal savings and managed by the owner himself offer relatively the most credits. Our study also provides interesting insights about these small retailers that will help FMCG manufacturers that are (planning to be) active in Morocco and other emerging markets. We also discuss a number opportunities to improve the efficiency of the supply chains that serve them.

Keywords: small retailers, big cities, emerging markets, empirical study, supply chain management, Morocco

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14 A Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Approach for Assessing the Sustainability Index of Building Façades

Authors: Golshid Gilani, Albert De La Fuente, Ana Blanco


Sustainability assessment of new and existing buildings has generated a growing interest due to the evident environmental, social and economic impacts during their construction and service life. Façades, as one of the most important exterior elements of a building, may contribute to the building sustainability by reducing the amount of energy consumption and providing thermal comfort for the inhabitants, thus minimizing the environmental impact on both the building and on the environment. Various methods have been used for the sustainability assessment of buildings due to the importance of this issue. However, most of the existing methods mainly concentrate on environmental and economic aspects, disregarding the third pillar of sustainability, which is the social aspect. Besides, there is a little focus on comprehensive sustainability assessment of facades, as an important element of a building. This confirms the need of developing methods for assessing the sustainable performance of building façades as an important step in achieving building sustainability. In this respect, this paper aims at presenting a model for assessing the global sustainability of façade systems. for that purpose, the Integrated Value Model for Sustainable Assessment (MIVES), a Multi-Criteria Decision Making model that integrates the main sustainability requirements (economic, environmental and social) and includes the concept of value functions, used as an assessment tool.

Keywords: façade, MCDM, MIVES, sustainability

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13 Assessing Suitability of Earthbag Technology for Temporary Housing: Sustainability Challenge

Authors: S. M. Amin Hosseini, Ana Blanco, Albert De La Fuente, Sergio Cavalaro


In emergency situations, it is fundamental to provide with a safe shelter to the population affected. However, the lack of resources and short time often represent a barrier difficult to overcome. A sustainable, rapid and low-cost construction technique is earthbag construction. This technique has spread as an alternative to the construction of emergency shelter, social housing, and even ecovillages. The earthbag construction consists of introducing soil in degradable bags that are stacked to form adobe structures. The present study aims to assess characteristics of the earthbag construction technique based on sustainability requirements and features of other methods used for temporary housing. In this case, after defining the sustainability criteria and emergency situation necessities, this study compares earthbag construction with other types of prefabricated temporary housing. Finally, the most suitable conditions for applying this technique based on the particular local properties and second life scenarios of superadobe temporary housing. The results of the study contribute to promote the earthbag and superadobe techniques as sustainable alternatives for temporary housing. However, the sustainability index of this technology highly depends on affected local conditions and characteristics. Consequently, in order to achieve a high sustainability index, emergency managers need to decide about this technology based on the highlighted results of this study, attention to the importance of specific local conditions and next functions of temporary housing.

Keywords: temporary housing, temporary shelter, earthbag, superadobe, sustainability, emergency

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12 Mitigation of Interference in Satellite Communications Systems via a Cross-Layer Coding Technique

Authors: Mario A. Blanco, Nicholas Burkhardt


An important problem in satellite communication systems which operate in the Ka and EHF frequency bands consists of the overall degradation in link performance of mobile terminals due to various types of degradations in the link/channel, such as fading, blockage of the link to the satellite (especially in urban environments), intentional as well as other types of interference, etc. In this paper, we focus primarily on the interference problem, and we develop a very efficient and cost-effective solution based on the use of fountain codes. We first introduce a satellite communications (SATCOM) terminal uplink interference channel model that is classically used against communication systems that use spread-spectrum waveforms. We then consider the use of fountain codes, with focus on Raptor codes, as our main mitigation technique to combat the degradation in link/receiver performance due to the interference signal. The performance of the receiver is obtained in terms of average probability of bit and message error rate as a function of bit energy-to-noise density ratio, Eb/N0, and other parameters of interest, via a combination of analysis and computer simulations, and we show that the use of fountain codes is extremely effective in overcoming the effects of intentional interference on the performance of the receiver and associated communication links. We then show this technique can be extended to mitigate other types of SATCOM channel degradations, such as those caused by channel fading, shadowing, and hard-blockage of the uplink signal.

Keywords: SATCOM, interference mitigation, fountain codes, turbo codes, cross-layer

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11 Stressful Life Events and Their Influence on Childhood Obesity and Emotional Well-Being: Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: M. Rojo, M. Blanco, T. Lacruz, S. Solano, L. Beltran, M. Graell, A. R. Sepulveda.


There is an association between an early accumulation of Stressful Life Events (SLE) during childhood and various physical and psychological health complications. However, there are only a few studies on this topic in children and adolescents with overweight or obesity. The general aim of the study was to evaluate the accumulation and type of SLE in 200 children from 8 to 12 years old and analyze the relationship with their emotional well-being and weight status (obesity, overweight and normal weight). The children and their families completed an interview. The evaluated variables that are included in this study are sociodemographic measures, medical/psychological history, anthropometric measures (BMI, z-BMI), and psychological variables (children's clinical interview K-SADS-PL(Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age Children Present and Lifetime Version) and battery of questionnaires). Results: Children with overweight and obesity accumulate more stressful events from an early age and have a significantly higher percentage of psychiatric diagnoses, compared to their peers with normal weight. Presenting a child psychiatric disorder is related to greater z-BMI and the total number of SLE (p < 0.001). A higher z-BMI is also related to a greater number of stressful events during childhood. There is also a positive and significant relationship between the total number of SLE and worse emotional well-being (higher levels of anxious and depressive symptoms and low self-esteem of children) (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Children with overweight and obesity grow up in a family, school, and social context where more stressors are accumulated. This is also directly associated with worse emotional well-being. It is necessary to implement multidisciplinary prevention and intervention strategies in different changes (school, family, and health). This study is included in a project funded by the Ministry of Innovation and Science (PSI2011-23127).

Keywords: childhood obesity, emotional well-being, psychopathology, stressful life events

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10 Improving Count Rate Capability of Timing RPCs by Increasing the Detector Working Temperature

Authors: A. Blanco, L. Lopes, J. Saraiva


Timing Resistive Plate Chambers (tRPC) is a mature and widely used gaseous detector (ALICEA at sign CERN, START at sign RHIC, or HADES at sign GSI) for the precise timing tag of charged particles exhibiting an excellent timing precision, down to 50 ps, together with high efficiency, larger than 98%, for minimum ionizing particles. Characteristics that can be implemented in large areas. tRPC has traditionally been used with relatively low particle loads (a few kHz/cm2) due to the inherent limitation to the counting rate imposed by the resistive electrodes. Since tRPCs are one of the main large-area timing detectors, the extension of its counting rate capability is of great interest for future HEP experiments, where the luminosity is expected to increase considerably. Attempts have already been made to increase the count rate capability by using materials with lower electrical resistivity compared to the commonly used float glass, such as ceramics, special glasses, or some technical plastics have already been done. As a result, the operation of small area detectors was successfully achieved, but the implementation of the medium/large area detectors failed due to the lack of homogeneity of the materials, which present low electrical resistivity paths, resulting in an unstable behavior of the detector. Another possibility, still very little explored, is to decrease the resistivity of standard float glass by increasing the operating temperature of the detectors, providing a ten-fold decrease in resistivity every 25ºC. In this communication, test beam results of common float glass RPCs operated up to 40 ºC are presented. The results suggest an improvement of the count rate capability by a factor of four compared with room temperature while keeping the timing precision and efficiency unchanged.

Keywords: gas detectors, RPCs, high counting rate, working temperature

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9 Data Projects for “Social Good”: Challenges and Opportunities

Authors: Mikel Niño, Roberto V. Zicari, Todor Ivanov, Kim Hee, Naveed Mushtaq, Marten Rosselli, Concha Sánchez-Ocaña, Karsten Tolle, José Miguel Blanco, Arantza Illarramendi, Jörg Besier, Harry Underwood


One of the application fields for data analysis techniques and technologies gaining momentum is the area of social good or “common good”, covering cases related to humanitarian crises, global health care, or ecology and environmental issues, among others. The promotion of data-driven projects in this field aims at increasing the efficacy and efficiency of social initiatives, improving the way these actions help humanity in general and people in need in particular. This application field, however, poses its own barriers and challenges when developing data-driven projects, lagging behind in comparison with other scenarios. These challenges derive from aspects such as the scope and scale of the social issue to solve, cultural and political barriers, the skills of main stakeholders and the technological resources available, the motivation to be engaged in such projects, or the ethical and legal issues related to sensitive data. This paper analyzes the application of data projects in the field of social good, reviewing its current state and noteworthy initiatives, and presenting a framework covering the key aspects to analyze in such projects. The goal is to provide guidelines to understand the main challenges and opportunities for this type of data project, as well as identifying the main differential issues compared to “classical” data projects in general. A case study is presented on the initial steps and stakeholder analysis of a data project for the inclusion of refugees in the city of Frankfurt, Germany, in order to empirically confront the framework with a real example.

Keywords: data-driven projects, humanitarian operations, personal and sensitive data, social good, stakeholders analysis

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8 Searching SNPs Variants in Myod-1 and Myod-2 Genes Linked to Body Weight in Gilthead Seabream, Sparus aurata L.

Authors: G. Blanco-Lizana, C. García-Fernández, J. A. Sánchez


Growth is a productive trait regulated by a large and complex gene network with very different effect. Some of they (candidate genes) have a higher effect and are excellent resources to search in them polymorphisms correlated with differences in growth rates. This study was focused on the identification of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in MyoD-1 and MyoD-2 genes, members of the family of myogenic regulatory genes with a key role in the differentiation and development of muscular tissue.(MFRs), and its evaluation as potential markers in genetic selection programs for growth in gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata). Through a sequencing in 30 seabream (classified as unrelated by microsatellite markers) of 1.968bp in MyoD-1 gene [AF478568 .1] and 1.963bp in MyoD-2 gene [AF478569.1], three SNPs were identified in each gene (SaMyoD-1 D2100A (D indicate a deletion) SaMyoD-1 A2143G and SaMyoD-1 A2404G and SaMyoD-2_A785C, SaMyoD-2_C1982T and SaMyoD-2_A2031T). The relationships between SNPs and body weight were evaluated by SNP genotyping of 53 breeders from two broodstocks (A:18♀-9♂; B:16♀-10♂) and 389 offspring divided into two groups (slow- and fast-growth) with significant differences in growth at 18 months of development (A18Slow: N=107, A18Fast: N=103, B18Slow: N=92 and B18Fast: N=87) (Borrell et al., 2011). Haplotype and diplotype were reconstructed from genotype data by Phase 2.1 software. Differences among means of different diplotypes were calculated by one-way ANOVA followed by post-hoc Tukey test. Association analysis indicated that single SNP did not show significant effect on body weight. However, when the analysis is carried out considering haplotype data it was observed that the DGG haplotipe of MyoD-1 gen and CCA haplotipe of MyoD- 2gen were associated to with lower body weight. This haplotype combination always showed the lowest mean body weight (P<0.05) in three (A18Slow, A18Fast & B18Slow) of the four groups tested. Individuals with DGG haplotipe of MyoD-1 gen have a 25,5% and those with CCA haplotipe of MyoD- 2gen showed 14-18% less on mean body weight. Although further studies are need to validate the role of these 3 SNPs as marker for body weight, the polymorphism-trait association established in this work create promising expectations on the use of these variants as genetic tool for future giltead seabream breeding programs.

Keywords: growth, MyoD-1 and MyoD-2 genes, selective breeding, SNP-haplotype

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7 Loss of Control Eating as a Key Factor of the Psychological Symptomatology Related to Childhood Obesity

Authors: L. Beltran, S. Solano, T. Lacruz, M. Blanco, M. Rojo, M. Graell, A. R. Sepulveda


Introduction and Objective: Given the difficulties of assessing Binge Eating Disorder during childhood, episodes of Loss of Control (LOC) eating can be a key symptom. The objective is to know the prevalence of food psychopathology depending on the type of evaluation and find out which psychological characteristics differentiate overweight or obese children who present LOC from those who do not. Material and Methods: 170 children from 8 to 12 years of age with overweight or obesity (P > 85) were evaluated through the Primary Care Centers of Madrid. Sociodemographic data and psychological measures were collected through the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders & Schizophrenia, Present & Lifetime Version (K-SADS-PL) diagnostic interview and self-applied questionnaires: Children's eating attitudes (ChEAT), depressive symptomatology (CDI), anxiety (STAIC), general self-esteem (LAWSEQ), body self-esteem (BES), perceived teasing (POTS) and perfectionism (CAPS). Results: 15.2% of the sample exceeded the ChEAT cut-off point, presenting a risk of pathological eating; 5.88% presented an Eating Disorder through the diagnostic interview (2.35% Binge Eating disorder), and 33.53% had LOC episodes. No relationship was found between the presence of LOC and clinical diagnosis of eating disorders according to DSM-V; however, the group with LOC presented a higher risk of eating psychopathology using the ChEAT (p < .02). Significant differences were found in the group with LOC (p < .02): higher z-BMI, lower body self-esteem, greater anxious symptomatology, greater frequency of teasing towards weight, and greater effect of teasing both towards weight and competitions; compared to their peers without LOC. Conclusion: According to previous studies in samples with overweight children, in this Spanish sample of children with obesity, we found a prevalence of moderate eating disorder and a high presence of LOC episodes, which is related to both eating and general psychopathology. These findings confirm that the exclusion of LOC episodes as a diagnostic criterion can underestimate the presence of eating psychopathology during this developmental stage. According to these results, it is highly recommended to promote school context programs that approach LOC episodes in order to reduce associated symptoms. This study is included in a Project funded by the Ministry of Innovation and Science (PSI2011-23127).

Keywords: childhood obesity, eating psychopathology, loss-of-control eating, psychological symptomatology

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6 Changes in Amino Acids Content in Muscle of European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) in Relation to Body Size

Authors: L. Gómez-Limia, I. Franco, T. Blanco, S. Martínez


European eels (Anguilla anguilla) belong to Anguilliformes order and Anguillidae family. They are generally classified as warm-water fish. Eels have a great commercial value in Europe and Asian countries. Eels can reach high weights, although their commercial size is relatively low in some countries. The capture of larger eels would facilitate the recovery of the species, as well as having a greater number of either glass eels or elvers for aquaculture. In the last years, the demand and the price of eels have increased significantly. However, European eel is considered critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. The biochemical composition of fishes is an important aspect of quality and affects the nutritional value and consumption quality of fish. In addition, knowing this composition can help predict an individual’s condition for their recovery. Fish is known to be important source of protein rich in essential amino acids. However, there is very little information about changes in amino acids composition of European eels with increase in size. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of two different weight categories on the amino acids content in muscle tissue of wild European eels. European eels were caught in River Ulla (Galicia, NW Spain), during winter. The eels were slaughtered in ice water immersion. Then, they were purchased and transferred to the laboratory. The eels were subdivided into two groups, according to the weight. The samples were kept frozen (-20 °C) until their analysis. Frozen eels were defrosted and the white muscle between the head and the anal hole. was extracted, in order to obtain amino acids composition. Thirty eels for each group were used. Liquid chromatography was used for separation and quantification of amino a cids. The results conclude that the eels are rich in glutamic acid, leucine, lysine, threonine, valine, isoleucine and phenylalanine. The analysis showed that there are significant differences (p < 0.05) among the eels with different sizes. Histidine, threonine, lysine, hydroxyproline, serine, glycine, arginine, alanine and proline were higher in small eels. European eels muscle presents between 45 and 46% of essential amino acids in the total amino acids. European eels have a well-balanced and high quality protein source in the respect of E/NE ratio. However, eels with higher weight showed a better ratio of essential and non-essential amino acid.

Keywords: European eels, amino acids, HPLC, body size

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5 Displaying Compostela: Literature, Tourism and Cultural Representation, a Cartographic Approach

Authors: Fernando Cabo Aseguinolaza, Víctor Bouzas Blanco, Alberto Martí Ezpeleta


Santiago de Compostela became a stable object of literary representation during the period between 1840 and 1915, approximately. This study offers a partial cartographical look at this process, suggesting that a cultural space like Compostela’s becoming an object of literary representation paralleled the first stages of its becoming a tourist destination. We use maps as a method of analysis to show the interaction between a corpus of novels and the emerging tradition of tourist guides on Compostela during the selected period. Often, the novels constitute ways to present a city to the outside, marking it for the gaze of others, as guidebooks do. That leads us to examine the ways of constructing and rendering communicable the local in other contexts. For that matter, we should also acknowledge the fact that a good number of the narratives in the corpus evoke the representation of the city through the figure of one who comes from elsewhere: a traveler, a student or a professor. The guidebooks coincide in this with the emerging fiction, of which the mimesis of a city is a key characteristic. The local cannot define itself except through a process of symbolic negotiation, in which recognition and self-recognition play important roles. Cartography shows some of the forms that these processes of symbolic representation take through the treatment of space. The research uses GIS to find significant models of representation. We used the program ArcGIS for the mapping, defining the databases starting from an adapted version of the methodology applied by Barbara Piatti and Lorenz Hurni’s team at the University of Zurich. First, we designed maps that emphasize the peripheral position of Compostela from a historical and institutional perspective using elements found in the texts of our corpus (novels and tourist guides). Second, other maps delve into the parallels between recurring techniques in the fictional texts and characteristic devices of the guidebooks (sketching itineraries and the selection of zones and indexicalization), like a foreigner’s visit guided by someone who knows the city or the description of one’s first entrance into the city’s premises. Last, we offer a cartography that demonstrates the connection between the best known of the novels in our corpus (Alejandro Pérez Lugín’s 1915 novel La casa de la Troya) and the first attempt to create package tourist tours with Galicia as a destination, in a joint venture of Galician and British business owners, in the years immediately preceding the Great War. Literary cartography becomes a crucial instrument for digging deeply into the methods of cultural production of places. Through maps, the interaction between discursive forms seemingly so far removed from each other as novels and tourist guides becomes obvious and suggests the need to go deeper into a complex process through which a city like Compostela becomes visible on the contemporary cultural horizon.

Keywords: compostela, literary geography, literary cartography, tourism

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4 Hydrographic Mapping Based on the Concept of Fluvial-Geomorphological Auto-Classification

Authors: Jesús Horacio, Alfredo Ollero, Víctor Bouzas-Blanco, Augusto Pérez-Alberti


Rivers have traditionally been classified, assessed and managed in terms of hydrological, chemical and / or biological criteria. Geomorphological classifications had in the past a secondary role, although proposals like River Styles Framework, Catchment Baseline Survey or Stroud Rural Sustainable Drainage Project did incorporate geomorphology for management decision-making. In recent years many studies have been attracted to the geomorphological component. The geomorphological processes and their associated forms determine the structure of a river system. Understanding these processes and forms is a critical component of the sustainable rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystems. The fluvial auto-classification approach suggests that a river is a self-built natural system, with processes and forms designed to effectively preserve their ecological function (hydrologic, sedimentological and biological regime). Fluvial systems are formed by a wide range of elements with multiple non-linear interactions on different spatial and temporal scales. Besides, the fluvial auto-classification concept is built using data from the river itself, so that each classification developed is peculiar to the river studied. The variables used in the classification are specific stream power and mean grain size. A discriminant analysis showed that these variables are the best characterized processes and forms. The statistical technique applied allows to get an individual discriminant equation for each geomorphological type. The geomorphological classification was developed using sites with high naturalness. Each site is a control point of high ecological and geomorphological quality. The changes in the conditions of the control points will be quickly recognizable, and easy to apply a right management measures to recover the geomorphological type. The study focused on Galicia (NW Spain) and the mapping was made analyzing 122 control points (sites) distributed over eight river basins. In sum, this study provides a method for fluvial geomorphological classification that works as an open and flexible tool underlying the fluvial auto-classification concept. The hydrographic mapping is the visual expression of the results, such that each river has a particular map according to its geomorphological characteristics. Each geomorphological type is represented by a particular type of hydraulic geometry (channel width, width-depth ratio, hydraulic radius, etc.). An alteration of this geometry is indicative of a geomorphological disturbance (whether natural or anthropogenic). Hydrographic mapping is also dynamic because its meaning changes if there is a modification in the specific stream power and/or the mean grain size, that is, in the value of their equations. The researcher has to check annually some of the control points. This procedure allows to monitor the geomorphology quality of the rivers and to see if there are any alterations. The maps are useful to researchers and managers, especially for conservation work and river restoration.

Keywords: fluvial auto-classification concept, mapping, geomorphology, river

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3 Superparamagnetic Sensor with Lateral Flow Immunoassays as Platforms for Biomarker Quantification

Authors: M. Salvador, J. C. Martinez-Garcia, A. Moyano, M. C. Blanco-Lopez, M. Rivas


Biosensors play a crucial role in the detection of molecules nowadays due to their advantages of user-friendliness, high selectivity, the analysis in real time and in-situ applications. Among them, Lateral Flow Immunoassays (LFIAs) are presented among technologies for point-of-care bioassays with outstanding characteristics such as affordability, portability and low-cost. They have been widely used for the detection of a vast range of biomarkers, which do not only include proteins but also nucleic acids and even whole cells. Although the LFIA has traditionally been a positive/negative test, tremendous efforts are being done to add to the method the quantifying capability based on the combination of suitable labels and a proper sensor. One of the most successful approaches involves the use of magnetic sensors for detection of magnetic labels. Bringing together the required characteristics mentioned before, our research group has developed a biosensor to detect biomolecules. Superparamagnetic nanoparticles (SPNPs) together with LFIAs play the fundamental roles. SPMNPs are detected by their interaction with a high-frequency current flowing on a printed micro track. By means of the instant and proportional variation of the impedance of this track provoked by the presence of the SPNPs, quantitative and rapid measurement of the number of particles can be obtained. This way of detection requires no external magnetic field application, which reduces the device complexity. On the other hand, the major limitations of LFIAs are that they are only qualitative or semiquantitative when traditional gold or latex nanoparticles are used as color labels. Moreover, the necessity of always-constant ambient conditions to get reproducible results, the exclusive detection of the nanoparticles on the surface of the membrane, and the short durability of the signal are drawbacks that can be advantageously overcome with the design of magnetically labeled LFIAs. The approach followed was to coat the SPIONs with a specific monoclonal antibody which targets the protein under consideration by chemical bonds. Then, a sandwich-type immunoassay was prepared by printing onto the nitrocellulose membrane strip a second antibody against a different epitope of the protein (test line) and an IgG antibody (control line). When the sample flows along the strip, the SPION-labeled proteins are immobilized at the test line, which provides magnetic signal as described before. Preliminary results using this practical combination for the detection and quantification of the Prostatic-Specific Antigen (PSA) shows the validity and consistency of the technique in the clinical range, where a PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL is the established upper normal limit. Moreover, a LOD of 0.25 ng/mL was calculated with a confident level of 3 according to the IUPAC Gold Book definition. Its versatility has also been proved with the detection of other biomolecules such as troponin I (cardiac injury biomarker) or histamine.

Keywords: biosensor, lateral flow immunoassays, point-of-care devices, superparamagnetic nanoparticles

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2 Gut Microbial Dynamics in a Mouse Model of Inflammation-Linked Carcinogenesis as a Result of Diet Supplementation with Specific Mushroom Extracts

Authors: Alvarez M., Chapela M. J., Balboa E., Rubianes D., Sinde E., Fernandez de Ana C., Rodríguez-Blanco A.


The gut microbiota plays an important role as gut inflammation could contribute to colorectal cancer development; however, this role is still not fully understood, and tools able to prevent this progression are yet to be developed. The main objective of this study was to monitor the effects of a mushroom extracts formulation in gut microbial community composition of an Azoxymethane (AOM)/Dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) mice model of inflammation-linked carcinogenesis. For the in vivo study, 41 adult male mice of the C57BL / 6 strain were obtained. 36 of them have been induced in a state of colon carcinogenesis by a single intraperitoneal administration of AOM at a dose of 12.5 mg/kg; the control group animals received instead of the same volume of 0.9% saline. DSS is an extremely toxic polysaccharide sulfate that causes chronic inflammation of the colon mucosa, favoring the appearance of severe colitis and the production of tumors induced by AOM. Induction by AOM/DSS is an interesting platform for chemopreventive intervention studies. This time the model was used to monitor gut microbiota changes as a result of supplementation with a specific mushroom extracts formulation previously shown to have prebiotic activity. The animals have been divided into three groups: (i) Cancer + mushroom extracts formulation experimental group: to which the MicoDigest2.0 mushroom extracts formulation developed by Hifas da Terra S.L has been administered dissolved in drinking water at an estimated concentration of 100 mg / ml. (ii) Control group of animals with Cancer: to which normal water has been administered without any type of treatment. (iii) Control group of healthy animals: these are the animals that have not been induced cancer or have not received any treatment in drinking water. This treatment has been maintained for a period of 3 months, after which the animals were sacrificed to obtain tissues that were subsequently analyzed to verify the effects of the mushroom extract formulation. A microbiological analysis has been carried out to compare the microbial communities present in the intestines of the mice belonging to each of the study groups. For this, the methodology of massive sequencing by molecular analysis of the 16S gene has been used (Ion Torrent technology). Initially, DNA extraction and metagenomics libraries were prepared using the 16S Metagenomics kit, always following the manufacturer's instructions. This kit amplifies 7 of the 9 hypervariable regions of the 16S gene that will then be sequenced. Finally, the data obtained will be compared with a database that makes it possible to determine the degree of similarity of the sequences obtained with a wide range of bacterial genomes. Results obtained showed that, similarly to certain natural compounds preventing colorectal tumorigenesis, a mushroom formulation enriched the Firmicutes and Proteobacteria phyla and depleted Bacteroidetes. Therefore, it was demonstrated that the consumption of the mushroom extracts’ formulation developed could promote the recovery of the microbial balance that is disrupted in the mice model of carcinogenesis. More preclinical and clinical studies are needed to validate this promising approach.

Keywords: carcinogenesis, microbiota, mushroom extracts, inflammation

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1 Anti-Infective Potential of Selected Philippine Medicinal Plant Extracts against Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

Authors: Demetrio L. Valle Jr., Juliana Janet M. Puzon, Windell L. Rivera


From the various medicinal plants available in the Philippines, crude ethanol extracts of twelve (12) Philippine medicinal plants, namely: Senna alata L. Roxb. (akapulko), Psidium guajava L. (bayabas), Piper betle L. (ikmo), Vitex negundo L. (lagundi), Mitrephora lanotan (Blanco) Merr. (Lanotan), Zingiber officinale Roscoe (luya), Curcuma longa L. (Luyang dilaw), Tinospora rumphii Boerl (Makabuhay), Moringga oleifera Lam. (malunggay), Phyllanthus niruri L. (sampa-sampalukan), Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (takip kuhol), and Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam (tsaang gubat) were studied. In vitro methods of evaluation against selected Gram-positive and Gram-negative multidrug-resistant (MDR), bacteria were performed on the plant extracts. Although five of the plants showed varying antagonistic activities against the test organisms, only Piper betle L. exhibited significant activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive multidrug-resistant bacteria, exhibiting wide zones of growth inhibition in the disk diffusion assay, and with the lowest concentrations of the extract required to inhibit the growth of the bacteria, as supported by the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) assays. Further antibacterial studies of the Piper betle L. leaf, obtained by three extraction methods (ethanol, methanol, supercritical CO2), revealed similar inhibitory activities against a multitude of Gram-positive and Gram-negative MDR bacteria. Thin layer chromatography (TLC) assay of the leaf extract revealed a maximum of eight compounds with Rf values of 0.92, 0.86, 0.76, 0.53, 0.40, 0.25, 0.13, and 0.013, best visualized when inspected under UV-366 nm. TLC- agar overlay bioautography of the isolated compounds showed the compounds with Rf values of 0.86 and 0.13 having inhibitory activities against Gram-positive MDR bacteria (MRSA and VRE). The compound with an Rf value of 0.86 also possesses inhibitory activity against Gram-negative MDR bacteria (CRE Klebsiella pneumoniae and MBL Acinetobacter baumannii). Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) was able to identify six volatile compounds, four of which are new compounds that have not been mentioned in the medical literature. The chemical compounds isolated include 4-(2-propenyl)phenol and eugenol; and the new four compounds were ethyl diazoacetate, tris(trifluoromethyl)phosphine, heptafluorobutyrate, and 3-fluoro-2-propynenitrite. Phytochemical screening and investigation of its antioxidant, cytotoxic, possible hemolytic activities, and mechanisms of antibacterial activity were also done. The results showed that the local variant of Piper betle leaf extract possesses significant antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties, attributed to the presence of bioactive compounds, particularly of flavonoids (condensed tannin, leucoanthocyanin, gamma benzopyrone), anthraquinones, steroids/triterpenes and 2-deoxysugars. Piper betle L. is also traditionally known to enhance wound healing, which could be primarily due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. In vivo studies on mice using 2.5% and 5% of the ethanol leaf extract cream formulations in the excised wound models significantly increased the process of wound healing in the mice subjects, the results and values of which are at par with the current antibacterial cream (Mupirocin). From the results of the series of studies, we have definitely proven the value of Piper betle L. as a source of bioactive compounds that could be developed into therapeutic agents against MDR bacteria.

Keywords: Philippine herbal medicine, multidrug-resistant bacteria, Piper betle, TLC-bioautography

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