Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Guadalupe Stefanny Aguilar-Moreno

11 Effect of the Magnetite Nanoparticles Concentration on Biogas and Methane Production from Chicken Litter

Authors: Guadalupe Stefanny Aguilar-Moreno, Miguel Angel Aguilar-Mendez, Teodoro Espinosa-Solares

Abstract:

In the agricultural sector, one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases is manure management, which has been increased considerably in recent years. Biogas is an energy source that can be produced from different organic materials through anaerobic digestion (AD); however, production efficiency is still low. Several techniques have been studied to increase its performance, such as co-digestion, the variation of digestion conditions, and nanomaterials used. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to evaluate the effect of magnetite nanoparticles (NPs) concentration, synthesized by co-precipitation, on the biogas and methane production in AD using chicken litter as a substrate. Synthesis of NPs was performed according to the co-precipitation method, for which a fractional factorial experimental design 25⁻² with two replications was used. The study factors were concentrations (precursors and passivating), time of sonication and dissolution temperatures, and the response variables were size, hydrodynamic diameter (HD) and zeta potential. Subsequently, the treatment that presented the smallest NPs was chosen for their use on AD. The AD was established in serological bottles with a working volume of 250 mL, incubated at 36 ± 1 °C for 80 days. The treatments consisted of the addition of different concentrations of NPs in the microcosms: chicken litter only (control), 20 mg∙L⁻¹ of NPs + chicken litter, 40 mg∙L⁻¹ of NPs + chicken litter and 60 mg∙L⁻¹ of NPs + chicken litter, all by triplicate. Methane and biogas production were evaluated daily. The smallest HD (49.5 nm) and the most stable NPs (21.22 mV) were obtained with the highest passivating concentration and the lower precursors dissolution temperature, which were the only factors that had a significant effect on the HD. In the transmission electron microscopy performed to these NPs, an average size of 4.2 ± 0.73 nm was observed. The highest biogas and methane production was obtained with the treatment that had 20 mg∙L⁻¹ of NPs, being 29.5 and 73.9%, respectively, higher than the control, while the treatment with the highest concentration of NPs was not statistically different from the control. From the above, it can be concluded that the magnetite NPs promote the biogas and methane production in AD; however, high concentrations may cause inhibitory effects among methanogenic microorganisms.

Keywords: agricultural sector, anaerobic digestion, nanotechnology, waste management

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10 Calculated Structural and Electronic Properties of Mg and Bi

Authors: G. Patricia Abdel Rahim, Jairo Arbey Rodriguez M, María Guadalupe Moreno Armenta

Abstract:

The present study shows the structural, electronic and magnetic properties of magnesium (Mg) and bismuth (Bi) in a supercell (1X1X5). For both materials were studied in five crystalline structures: rock salt (NaCl), cesium chloride (CsCl), zinc-blende (ZB), wurtzite (WZ), and nickel arsenide (NiAs), using the Density Functional Theory (DFT), the Generalized Gradient Approximation (GGA), and the Full Potential Linear Augmented Plane Wave (FP-LAPW) method. By means of fitting the Murnaghan's state equation we determine the lattice constant, the bulk modulus and it's derived with the pressure. Also we calculated the density of states (DOS) and the band structure.

Keywords: bismuth, magnesium, pseudo-potential, supercell

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9 First-Principles Investigation of the Structural and Electronic Properties of Mg1-xBixO

Authors: G. P. Abdel Rahim, M. María Guadalupe Moreno Armenta, Jairo Arbey Rodriguez

Abstract:

We investigated the structure and electronic properties of the compound Mg1-xBixO with varying concentrations of 0, ¼, ½, and ¾ x bismuth in the the NaCl (rock-salt) and WZ (wurtzite) phases. The calculations were performed using the first-principles pseudo-potential method within the framework of spin density functional theory (DFT). Our calculations predict that for Bi concentrations greater than ~70%, the WZ structure is more favorable than the NaCl one and that for x = 0 (pure MgO), x = 0.25 and x = 0.50 of Bi concentration the NaCl structure is more favorable than the WZ one. For x = 0.75 of Bi, a transition from wurtzite towards NaCl is possible, when the pressure is about 22 GPa. Also It has been observed the crystal lattice constant closely follows Vegard’s law, that the bulk modulus and the cohesion energy decrease with the concentration x of Bi.

Keywords: DFT, Mg1-xBixO, pseudo-potential, rock-salt, wurtzite

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8 Microstructure Analysis of Biopolymer Mixture (Chia-Gelatin) by Laser Confocal Microscopy

Authors: Emmanuel Flores Huicochea, Guadalupe Borja Mendiola, Jacqueline Flores Lopez, Rodolfo Rendon Villalobos

Abstract:

The usual procedure to investigate the properties of biodegradable films has been to prepare the film, measure the mechanical or transport properties and then decide whether the mixture has better properties than the individual components, instead of investigating whether the mixture has biopolymer-biopolymer interaction, then prepare the film and finally measure the properties of the film. The work investigates the presence of interaction biopolymer-biopolymer in a mixture of chia biopolymer and gelatin using Laser Confocal Microscopy (LCM). Previously, the chia biopolymer was obtained from chia seed. CML analysis of mixtures of chia biopolymer-gelatin without Na⁺ ions exhibited aggregates of different size, in the range of 100-400 μm, of defined color, for the two colors, but no mixing of color was observed. The increased of gelatin in the mixture decreases the size and number of aggregates. The tridimensional microstructure reveled that there are two layers of biopolymers, chia and gelatin well defined. The mixture chia biopolymer-gelatin with 10 mM Na⁺ and with a ratio 75:25 (chia-gelatin) showed lower aggregated size than others mixture with and without ions. This result could be explained because the chia biopolymer is a polyelectrolyte and the added sodium ions reduce the molecular rigidity by neutralizing the negative charges that the chia biopolymer possesses and therefore a better biopolymer-biopolymer interaction is allowed between the biopolymer of chia and gelatin.

Keywords: biopolymer-biopolymer interaction, confocal laser microscopy, CLM, microstructure, mixture chia-gelatin

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7 The Role of Digital Text in School and Vernacular Literacies: Students Digital Practices at Cybercafés in Mexico

Authors: Guadalupe López-Bonilla

Abstract:

Students of all educational levels participate in literacy practices that may involve print or digital media. Scholars from the New Literacy Studies distinguish practices that fulfill institutional purposes such as those established at schools from literate practices aimed at doing other kinds of activities, such as reading instructions in order to play a video game; the first are known as institutional practices while the latter are considered vernacular literacies. When students perform these kinds of activities they engage with print and digital media according to the demands of the task. In this paper, it is aimed to discuss the results of a research project focusing on literacy practices of high school students at 10 urban cybercafés in Mexico. The main objective was to analyze the literacy practices of students performing both school tasks and vernacular literacies. The methodology included a focused ethnography with online and face to face observations of 10 high school students (5 male and 5 female) and interviews after performing each task. In the results, it is presented how students treat texts as open, dynamic and relational artifacts when engaging in vernacular literacies; while texts are conceived as closed, authoritarian and fixed documents when performing school activities. Samples of each type of activity are shown followed by a discussion of the pedagogical implications for improving school literacy.

Keywords: digital literacy, text, school literacy, vernacular practices

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6 Cognitive Effects of Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

Authors: Ana Munguia, Gerardo Ortiz, Guadalupe Gonzalez, Fiacro Jimenez

Abstract:

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes motor and cognitive symptoms. The first-choice treatment for these patients is pharmacological, but this generates several side effects. Because of that new treatments were introduced such as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in order to improve the life quality of the patients. Several studies suggest significant changes in motor symptoms. However, there is a great diversity in the number of pulses, amplitude, frequency and stimulation targets, which results in inconsistent data. In addition, these studies do not have an analysis of the neuropsychological effects of the treatment. The main purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of rTMS on the cognitive performance of 6 patients with H&Y III and IV (45-65 years, 3 men and 3 women). An initial neuropsychological and neurological evaluation was performed. Patients were randomized into two groups; in the first phase one received rTMS in the supplementary motor area, the other group in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex contralateral to the most affected hemibody. In the second phase, each group received the stimulation in the area that he had not been stimulated previously. Reassessments were carried out at the beginning, at the end of each phase and a follow-up was carried out 6 months after the conclusion of the stimulation. In these preliminary results, it is reported that there's no statistically significant difference before and after receiving rTMS in the neuropsychological test scores of the patients, which suggests that the cognitive performance of patients is not detrimental. There are even tendencies towards an improvement in executive functioning after the treatment. What added to motor improvement, showed positive effects in the activities of the patients' daily life. In a later and more detailed analysis, will be evaluated the effects in each of the patients separately in relation to the functionality of the patients in their daily lives.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease, rTMS, cognitive, treatment

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5 Experimental Evaluation of 10 Ecotypes of Toxic and Non-Toxic Jatropha curcas as Raw Material to Produce Biodiesel in Morelos State, Mexico

Authors: Guadalupe Pérez, Jorge Islas, Mirna Guevara, Raúl Suárez

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Jatropha curcas is a perennial oleaginous plant that is currently considered an energy crop with high potential as an environmentally sustainable biofuel. During the last decades, research in biofuels has grown in tropical and subtropical regions in Latin America. However, as far we know, there are no reports on the growth and yield patterns of Jatropha curcas under the specific agro climatic scenarios of the State of Morelos, Mexico. This study presents the results of 52 months monitoring of 10 toxic and non-toxic ecotypes of Jatropha curcas (E1M, E2M, E3M, E4M, E5M, E6O, E7O, E8O, E9C, E10C) in an experimental plantation with minimum watering and fertilization resources. The main objective is to identify the ecotypes with the highest potential as biodiesel raw material in the select region, by developing experimental information. Specifically, we monitored biophysical and growth parameters, including plant survival and seed production (at the end of month 52), to study the performance of each ecotype and to establish differences among the variables of morphological growth, net seed oil content, and toxicity. To analyze the morphological growth, a statistical approach to the biophysical parameters was used; the net seed oil content -80 to 192 kg/ha- was estimated with the first harvest; and the toxicity was evaluated by examining the phorbol ester concentration (µg/L) in the oil extracted from the seeds. The comparison and selection of ecotypes was performed through a methodology developed based on the normalization of results. We identified four outstanding ecotypes (E1M, E2M, E3M, and E4M) that can be used to establish Jatropha curcas as energy crops in the state of Morelos for feasible agro-industrial production of biodiesel and other products related to the use of biomass.

Keywords: biodiesel production, Jatropha curcas, seed oil content, toxic and non-toxic ecotypes

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4 Use of Smartwatches for the Emotional Self-Regulation of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Authors: Juan C. Torrado, Javier Gomez, Guadalupe Montero, German Montoro, M. Dolores Villalba

Abstract:

One of the most challenging aspects of the executive dysfunction of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders is the behavior control. This is related to a deficit in their ability to regulate, recognize and manage their own emotions. Some researchers have developed applications for tablets and smartphones to practice strategies of relaxation and emotion recognition. However, they cannot be applied to the very moment of temper outbursts, anger episodes or anxiety, since they require to carry the device, start the application and be helped by caretakers. Also, some of these systems are developed for either obsolete technologies (old versions of tablet devices, PDAs, outdated operative systems of smartphones) or specific devices (self-developed or proprietary ones) that create differentiation between the users and the rest of the individuals in their context. For this project we selected smartwatches. Focusing on emergent technologies ensures a wide lifespan of the developed products, because the derived products are intended to be available in the same moment the very technology gets popularized, not later. We also focused our research in commercial versions of smartwatches, since this way differentiation is easily avoided, so the users’ abandonment rate lowers. We have developed a smartwatch system along with a smartphone authoring tool to display self-regulation strategies. These micro-prompting strategies are conformed of pictograms, animations and temporizers, and they are designed by means of the authoring tool: When both devices synchronize their data, the smartwatch holds the self-regulation strategies, which are triggered when the smartwatch sensors detect a remarkable rise of heart rate and movement. The system is being currently tested in an educational center of people with ASD of Madrid, Spain.

Keywords: assistive technologies, emotion regulation, human-computer interaction, smartwatches

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3 Inter-Generational Benefits of Improving Access to Justice for Women: Evidence from Peru

Authors: Iva Trako, Maris Micaela Sviatschi, Guadalupe Kavanaugh

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Domestic violence is a major concern in developing countries, with important social, economic and health consequences. However, institutions do not usually address the problems facing women or ethnic and religious minorities. For example, the police do very little to stop domestic violence in rural areas of developing countries. This paper exploits the introduction of women’s justice centers (WJCs) in Peru to provide causal estimates on the effects of improving access to justice for women and children. These centers offer a new integrated public service model for women by including medical, psychological and legal support in cases of violence against women. Our empirical approach uses a difference in difference estimation exploiting variation over time and space in the opening of WJC together with province-by-year fixed effects. Exploiting administrative data from health providers and district attorney offices, we find that after the opening of these centers, there are important improvements on women's welfare: a large reduction in femicides and female hospitalizations for assault. Moreover, using geo-coded household surveys we find evidence that the existence of these services reduces domestic violence, improves women's health, increases women's threat points and, therefore, lead to household decisions that are more aligned with their interests. Using administrative data on the universe of schools, we find large gains on human capital for their children: affected children are more likely to enroll, attend school and have better grades in national exams, instead of working for the family. In sum, the evidence in this paper shows that providing access to justice for women can be a powerful tool to reduce domestic violence and increase education of children, suggesting a positive inter-generational benefit.

Keywords: access to justice, domestic violence, education, household bargaining

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2 Internationalization Using Strategic Alliances: A Comparative Study between Family and Non-Family Businesses

Authors: Guadalupe Fuentes-Lombardo, Manuel Carlos Vallejo-Martos, Rubén Fernández-Ortiz, Miriam Cano-Rubio

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The different ways in which companies enter foreign markets, exporting their products and direct investment and using strategic alliances or not, are influenced by a series of peculiarities specific to family businesses. In these companies, different systems, such as the family, property, and business overlap; giving them unique and specific characteristics which on occasions can enhance the development of cooperation agreements and in other situations can hinder them. Previous research has shown that these companies are more likely to enter into strategic alliances with certain specific features, and are more reluctant to take part in others in which some of the advantages of the family business are put at risk, such as control of ownership and decision-making over the company by the family, among others. These arguments show that there is a wide range of interesting aspects and peculiarities in the process of internationalization of the family business, although the research objectives of this paper focus on three in particular. Our first objective will be to discover why family businesses decide to establish or not strategic alliances in their internationalization processes in comparison with other companies that are not family owned. Secondly we will be identifying the idiosyncratic aspects of family businesses that favor or hinder the use of strategic alliances as a means of entering foreign markets. Our third and final objective will be to define the types of strategic alliance most commonly used by family businesses and the reasons why they choose these particular forms of alliance rather than others. We chose these research objectives for three main reasons. Firstly because research on this subject shows that alliances are the best way to begin the international expansion process, among other reasons because they provide the partners with different kinds of resources and capacity, so increasing the probability of successful internationalization. Secondly, because family and non-family businesses are often equipped with different types of resources and strategic alliances, offer them the chance to acquire resources less frequently found in family businesses. Thirdly, because the strengths and weaknesses of these companies could affect their decisions whether or not to use strategic alliances in their international expansion process and the success achieved in these alliances. As a result, these companies prefer to enter into cooperation agreements with conditions that do not put their specific status as family companies at risk.

Keywords: family business, internationalization, strategic alliances, olive-oil and wine industry

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1 Extracellular Hydrolase-Producing Bacteria Isolated from Chilca Salterns in Peru

Authors: Carol N. Flores-Fernández, Guadalupe Espilco, Cynthia Esquerre, Amparo I. Zavaleta

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Saline environments represent a valuable source of enzymes with novel properties and particular features for application in food, pharmaceutical and chemical industry. This study focuses on the isolation and screening of hydrolase-producing bacteria from Chilca salterns and the evaluation of their biotechnological potential. Soil samples were collected from Chilca salterns in Peru. For the isolation, medium containing 0.2 % of yeast extract, 5 % of NaCl and 10 % of the soil sample was used. After 72 h of incubation at 37 °C, serial dilutions were made up to 10−12 dilutions, spread on agar plates with 0.5 % of yeast extract and 5 % of NaCl, and incubated at 37 °C for 48 h. Screening of hydrolase-producing bacteria was carried out for cellulases, amylases, lipases, DNase, and proteases on specific media. Moreover, protease-producing bacteria were tested using protein extracted from the following legumes as substrate: Glycine max, Lupinus mutabilis, Pisum sativum, Erythrina edulis, Cicer arietinum, Phaseolus vulgaris and Vicia faba. A total of 16 strains were isolated from soil samples. On the screening media; 75, 44, 81 and 50 % were cellulase, amylase, DNase and protease producers, respectively. Also, 19 % of the isolates produced all the hydrolytic enzymes above mentioned. Lipase producers were not found. The 37 % and 12 % of the strains grew at 20 % and 30 % of salt concentration, respectively. In addition, 75 % of the strains grew at pH range between 5 and 10. From the total of protease-producing bacteria, 100 % hydrolyzed Glycine max, Lupinus mutabilis, and Pisum sativum protein, while 87 % hydrolyzed Erythrina edulis and Cicer arietinum protein. Finally, 75 % and 50 % of the strains hydrolyzed Phaseolus vulgaris and Vicia faba protein, respectively. Hydrolase-producing bacteria isolated from Chilca salterns in Peru grew at high salt concentrations and wide range of pH. In addition, protease-producing bacteria hydrolyzed protein from different sources such as leguminous. These enzymes have great biotechnological potential and could be used for different industrial processes and applications.

Keywords: bacteria, extracellular, hydrolases, Peru, salterns

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