Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 25

Search results for: H. Cervantes-de Ávila

25 Using Textual Pre-Processing and Text Mining to Create Semantic Links

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo


This article offers a approach to the automatic discovery of semantic concepts and links in the domain of Oil Exploration and Production (E&P). Machine learning methods combined with textual pre-processing techniques were used to detect local patterns in texts and, thus, generate new concepts and new semantic links. Even using more specific vocabularies within the oil domain, our approach has achieved satisfactory results, suggesting that the proposal can be applied in other domains and languages, requiring only minor adjustments.

Keywords: semantic links, data mining, linked data, SKOS

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24 Synchronization of Semiconductor Laser Networks

Authors: R. M. López-Gutiérrez, L. Cardoza-Avendaño, H. Cervantes-de Ávila, J. A. Michel-Macarty, C. Cruz-Hernández, A. Arellano-Delgado, R. Carmona-Rodríguez


In this paper, synchronization of multiple chaotic semiconductor lasers is achieved by appealing to complex system theory. In particular, we consider dynamical networks composed by semiconductor laser, as interconnected nodes, where the interaction in the networks are defined by coupling the first state of each node. An interesting case is synchronized with master-slave configuration in star topology. Nodes of these networks are modeled for the laser and simulated by Matlab. These results are applicable to private communication.

Keywords: chaotic laser, network, star topology, synchronization

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23 Optimization Model for Support Decision for Maximizing Production of Mixed Fruit Tree Farms

Authors: Andrés I. Ávila, Patricia Aros, César San Martín, Elizabeth Kehr, Yovana Leal


We consider a linear programming model to help farmers to decide if it is convinient to choose among three kinds of export fruits for their future investment. We consider area, investment, water, productivitiy minimal unit, and harvest restrictions and a monthly based model to compute the average income in five years. Also, conditions on the field as area, water availability and initia investment are required. Using the Chilean costs and dollar-peso exchange rate, we can simulate several scenarios to understand the possible risks associated to this market.

Keywords: mixed integer problem, fruit production, support decision model, fruit tree farms

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22 Discovering Semantic Links Between Synonyms, Hyponyms and Hypernyms

Authors: Ricardo Avila, Gabriel Lopes, Vania Vidal, Jose Macedo


This proposal aims for semantic enrichment between glossaries using the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) vocabulary to discover synonyms, hyponyms and hyperonyms semiautomatically, in Brazilian Portuguese, generating new semantic relationships based on WordNet. To evaluate the quality of this proposed model, experiments were performed by the use of two sets containing new relations, being one generated automatically and the other manually mapped by the domain expert. The applied evaluation metrics were precision, recall, f-score, and confidence interval. The results obtained demonstrate that the applied method in the field of Oil Production and Extraction (E&P) is effective, which suggests that it can be used to improve the quality of terminological mappings. The procedure, although adding complexity in its elaboration, can be reproduced in others domains.

Keywords: ontology matching, mapping enrichment, semantic web, linked data, SKOS

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21 The Aspect of the Human Bias in Decision Making within Quality Management Systems and LEAN Theory

Authors: Adriana Avila Zuniga Nordfjeld


This paper provides a literature review to document the state of the art with respect to handling 'human bias' in decision making within the established quality management systems (QMS) and LEAN theory, in the context of shipbuilding. Previous research shows that in shipbuilding there is a huge deviation from the planned man-hours under the project management to the actual man-hours used because of errors in planning and reworks caused by human bias in the information flows among others. This reduces the efficiency and increases operational costs. Thus, the research question is how QMS and LEAN handle biases. The findings show the gap in studying the integration of methods to handle human bias in decision making into QMS and lean, not only within shipbuilding but also in general. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed for researchers and practitioners in the areas of decision making QMS, LEAN, and future research is suggested.

Keywords: human bias, decision making, LEAN shipbuilding, quality management systems

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20 Towards a Security Model against Denial of Service Attacks for SIP Traffic

Authors: Arellano Karina, Diego Avila-Pesántez, Leticia Vaca-Cárdenas, Alberto Arellano, Carmen Mantilla


Nowadays, security threats in Voice over IP (VoIP) systems are an essential and latent concern for people in charge of security in a corporate network, because, every day, new Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks are developed. These affect the business continuity of an organization, regarding confidentiality, availability, and integrity of services, causing frequent losses of both information and money. The purpose of this study is to establish the necessary measures to mitigate DoS threats, which affect the availability of VoIP systems, based on the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). A Security Model called MS-DoS-SIP is proposed, which is based on two approaches. The first one analyzes the recommendations of international security standards. The second approach takes into account weaknesses and threats. The implementation of this model in a VoIP simulated system allowed to minimize the present vulnerabilities in 92% and increase the availability time of the VoIP service into an organization.

Keywords: Denial-of-Service SIP attacks, MS-DoS-SIP, security model, VoIP-SIP vulnerabilities

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19 Optimization Model for Support Decision for Maximizing Production of Mixed Fresh Fruit Farms

Authors: Andrés I. Ávila, Patricia Aros, César San Martín, Elizabeth Kehr, Yovana Leal


Planning models for fresh products is a very useful tool for improving the net profits. To get an efficient supply chain model, several functions should be considered to get a complete simulation of several operational units. We consider a linear programming model to help farmers to decide if it is convenient to choose what area should be planted for three kinds of export fruits considering their future investment. We consider area, investment, water, productivity minimal unit, and harvest restrictions to develop a monthly based model to compute the average income in five years. Also, conditions on the field as area, water availability, and initial investment are required. Using the Chilean costs and dollar-peso exchange rate, we can simulate several scenarios to understand the possible risks associated to this market. Also, this tool help to support decisions for government and individual farmers.

Keywords: mixed integer problem, fresh fruit production, support decision model, agricultural and biosystems engineering

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18 Television Global Market: International Success of Spanish Show Elite

Authors: Ana Avila Bohorquez


Elite (Netflix, 2018-) is the second original series produced by Netflix in Spain. Premiered in 2018, it became an international success, both critically and among audiences. Reviewers praised its use of teen drama tropes with a more progressive twist. Netflix announced that the first season had been streamed by over 20 million accounts within its first month of release. This paper aims to determine what characteristics led to Elite’s international success, finding the elements of its narrative and visual design that resonate with global audiences. After reviewing the bibliography about transnational fiction, questionnaires sent to international audience members through social media shed light on what these characteristics are. Additionally, interviews with the creative team were performed in order to compare their point of view with the audiences’ perception. Even though Elite can be considered a Spanish show from its inception, it's setting in the “fantasy” world of the rich and its lack of social realism so common among Spanish productions managed to attract global audiences, to whom it has appealed on a more emotional level.

Keywords: elite, global television, Netflix, teen drama, transnational fiction

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17 A Proposal of Ontology about Brazilian Government Transparency Portal

Authors: Estela Mayra de Moura Vianna, Thiago José Tavares Ávila, Bruno Morais Silva, Diego Henrique Bezerra, Paulo Henrique Gomes Silva, Alan Pedro da Silva


The Brazilian Federal Constitution defines the access to information as a crucial right of the citizen and the Law on Access to Public Information, which regulates this right. Accordingly, the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2000, amended in 2009 by the “Law of Transparency”, began demanding a wider disclosure of public accounts for the society, including electronic media for public access. Thus, public entities began to create "Transparency Portals," which aim to gather a diversity of data and information. However, this information, in general, is still published in formats that do not simplify understanding of the data by citizens and that could be better especially available for audit purposes. In this context, a proposal of ontology about Brazilian Transparency Portal can play a key role in how these data will be better available. This study aims to identify and implement in ontology, the data model about Transparency Portal ecosystem, with emphasis in activities that use these data for some applications, like audits, press activities, social government control, and others.

Keywords: audit, government transparency, ontology, public sector

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16 Understanding of the Impact of Technology in Collaborative Programming for Children

Authors: Nadia Selene Molina-Moreno, Maria Susana Avila-Garcia, Marco Bianchetti, Marcelina Pantoja-Flores


Visual Programming Tools available are a great tool for introducing children to programming and to develop a skill set for algorithmic thinking. On the other hand, collaborative learning and pair programming within the context of programming activities, has demonstrated to have social and learning benefits. However, some of the online tools available for programming for children are not designed to allow simultaneous and equitable participation of the team members since they allow only for a single control point. In this paper, a report the work conducted with children playing a user role is presented. A preliminary study to cull ideas, insights, and design considerations for a formal programming course for children aged 8-10 using collaborative learning as a pedagogical approach was conducted. Three setups were provided: 1) lo-fi prototype, 2) PC, 3) a 46' multi-touch single display groupware limited by the application to a single touch entry. Children were interviewed at the end of the sessions in order to know their opinions about teamwork and the different setups defined. Results are mixed regarding the setup, but they agree to like teamwork.

Keywords: children, collaborative programming, visual programming, multi-touch tabletop, lo-fi prototype

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15 Synchronization of Two Mobile Robots

Authors: R. M. López-Gutiérrez, J. A. Michel-Macarty, H. Cervantes-De Avila, J. I. Nieto-Hipólito, C. Cruz-Hernández, L. Cardoza-Avendaño, S. Cortiant-Velez


It is well know that mankind benefits from the application of robot control by virtual handlers in industrial environments. In recent years, great interest has emerged in the control of multiple robots in order to carry out collective tasks. One main trend is to copy the natural organization that some organisms have, such as, ants, bees, school of fish, birds’ migration, etc. Surely, this collaborative work, results in better outcomes than those obtain in an isolated or individual effort. This topic has a great drive because collaboration between several robots has the potential capability of carrying out more complicated tasks, doing so, with better efficiency, resiliency and fault tolerance, in cases such as: coordinate navigation towards a target, terrain exploration, and search-rescue operations. In this work, synchronization of multiple autonomous robots is shown over a variety of coupling topologies: star, ring, chain, and global. In all cases, collective synchronous behavior is achieved, in the complex networks formed with mobile robots. Nodes of these networks are modeled by a mass using Matlab to simulate them.

Keywords: robots, synchronization, bidirectional, coordinate navigation

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14 Disaster Mitigation from an Analysis of a Condemned Building Erected over Collapsible Clay Soil in Brazil

Authors: Marcelo Jesus Kato Avila, Joao Da Costa Pantoja


Differential settlement of foundations is a serious pathology in buildings that put at risk lives and property. A common reason for the occurrence of this specific pathology in central Brazil is the presence of collapsible clay, a typical soil in the region. In this study, the foundation of a condemned building erected above this soil is analyzed. The aim is to prevent problems in new constructions, to predict which buildings may be subjected to damages, and to make possible a more precise treatment in less advanced differential settlements observed in the buildings of the vicinity, which includes a hospital, a Military School, an indoor sporting arena, the Police Academy, and the Military Police Headquarters. The methodology consists of visual inspection, photographic report of the main pathologies, analysis of the existing foundations, determination of the soil properties, the study of the cracking level and assessment of structural failure risk of the building. The findings show that the presence of water weaken the soil structure on which the foundation rest, being the main cause of the pathologic settlement, indicating that even in a one store building it was necessary to consider deeper digging, other categories of foundations, and more elaborated and detailed foundation plans when the soil presents this behavior.

Keywords: building cracks, collapsible clay, differential settlement, structural failure risk

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13 The Analysis of Secondary Case Studies as a Starting Point for Grounded Theory Studies: An Example from the Enterprise Software Industry

Authors: Abilio Avila, Orestis Terzidis


A fundamental principle of Grounded Theory (GT) is to prevent the formation of preconceived theories. This implies the need to start a research study with an open mind and to avoid being absorbed by the existing literature. However, to start a new study without an understanding of the research domain and its context can be extremely challenging. This paper presents a research approach that simultaneously supports a researcher to identify and to focus on critical areas of a research project and prevent the formation of prejudiced concepts by the current body of literature. This approach comprises of four stages: Selection of secondary case studies, analysis of secondary case studies, development of an initial conceptual framework, development of an initial interview guide. The analysis of secondary case studies as a starting point for a research project allows a researcher to create a first understanding of a research area based on real-world cases without being influenced by the existing body of theory. It enables a researcher to develop through a structured course of actions a firm guide that establishes a solid starting point for further investigations. Thus, the described approach may have significant implications for GT researchers who aim to start a study within a given research area.

Keywords: grounded theory, interview guide, qualitative research, secondary case studies, secondary data analysis

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12 Computational Approach for Grp78–Nf-ΚB Binding Interactions in the Context of Neuroprotective Pathway in Brain Injuries

Authors: Janneth Gonzalez, Marco Avila, George Barreto


GRP78 participates in multiple functions in the cell during normal and pathological conditions, controlling calcium homeostasis, protein folding and unfolded protein response. GRP78 is located in the endoplasmic reticulum, but it can change its location under stress, hypoxic and apoptotic conditions. NF-κB represents the keystone of the inflammatory process and regulates the transcription of several genes related with apoptosis, differentiation, and cell growth. The possible relationship between GRP78-NF-κB could support and explain several mechanisms that may regulate a variety of cell functions, especially following brain injuries. Although several reports show interactions between NF-κB and heat shock proteins family members, there is a lack of information on how GRP78 may be interacting with NF-κB, and possibly regulating its downstream activation. Therefore, we assessed the computational predictions of the GRP78 (Chain A) and NF-κB complex (IkB alpha and p65) protein-protein interactions. The interaction interface of the docking model showed that the amino acids ASN 47, GLU 215, GLY 403 of GRP78 and THR 54, ASN 182 and HIS 184 of NF-κB are key residues involved in the docking. The electrostatic field between GRP78-NF-κB interfaces and molecular dynamic simulations support the possible interaction between the proteins. In conclusion, this work shed some light in the possible GRP78-NF-κB complex indicating key residues in this crosstalk, which may be used as an input for better drug design strategy targeting NF-κB downstream signaling as a new therapeutic approach following brain injuries.

Keywords: computational biology, protein interactions, Grp78, bioinformatics, molecular dynamics

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11 A Multi-Layer Based Architecture for the Development of an Open Source CAD/CAM Integration Virtual Platform

Authors: Alvaro Aguinaga, Carlos Avila, Edgar Cando


This article proposes a n-layer architecture, with a web client as a front-end, for the development of a virtual platform for process simulation on CNC machines. This Open-Source platform includes a CAD-CAM interface drawing primitives, and then used to furnish a CNC program that triggers a touch-screen virtual simulator. The objectives of this project are twofold. First one is an educational component that fosters new alternatives for the CAD-CAM/CNC learning process in undergrad and grade schools and technical and technological institutes emphasizing in the development of critical skills, discussion and collaborative work. The second objective puts together a research and technological component that will take the state of the art in CAD-CAM integration to a new level with the development of optimal algorithms and virtual platforms, on-line availability, that will pave the way for the long-term goal of this project, that is, to have a visible and active graduate school in Ecuador and a world wide Open-Innovation community in the area of CAD-CAM integration and operation of CNC machinery. The virtual platform, developed as a part of this study: (1) delivers improved training process of students, (2) creates a multidisciplinary team and a collaborative work space that will push the new generation of students to face future technological challenges, (3) implements industry standards for CAD/CAM, (4) presents a platform for the development of industrial applications. A protoype of this system was developed and implemented in a network of universities and technological institutes in Ecuador.

Keywords: CAD-CAM integration, virtual platforms, CNC machines, multi-layer based architecture

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10 Development of Hybrid Materials Combining Biomass as Fique Fibers with Metal-Organic Frameworks, and Their Potential as Mercury Adsorbents

Authors: Karen G. Bastidas Gomez, Hugo R. Zea Ramirez, Manuel F. Ribeiro Pereira, Cesar A. Sierra Avila, Juan A. Clavijo Morales


The contamination of water sources with heavy metals such as mercury has been an environmental problem; it has generated a high impact on the environment and human health. In countries such as Colombia, mercury contamination due to mining has reached levels much higher than the world average. This work proposes the use of fique fibers as adsorbent in mercury removal. The evaluation of the material was carried out under five different conditions (raw, pretreated by organosolv, functionalized by TEMPO oxidation, fiber functionalized plus MOF-199 and fiber functionalized plus MOF-199-SH). All the materials were characterized using FTIR, SEM, EDX, XRD, and TGA. Regarding the mercury removal, it was done under room pressure and temperature, also pH = 7 for all materials presentations, followed by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. The high cellulose content in fique is the main particularity of this lignocellulosic biomass since the degree of oxidation depends on the number of hydroxyl groups on the surface capable of oxidizing into carboxylic acids, a functional group capable of increasing ion exchange with mercury in solution. It was also expected that the impregnation of the MOF would increase the mercury removal; however, it was found that the functionalized fique achieved a greater percentage of removal, resulting in 81.33% of removal, 44% for the fique with the MOF-199 and 72% for the MOF-199-SH with. The pretreated fiber and raw also showed 74% and 56%, respectively, which indicates that fique does not require considerable modifications in its structure to achieve good performances. Even so, the functionalized fiber increases the percentage of removal considerably compared to the pretreated fique, which suggests that the functionalization process is a feasible procedure to apply with the purpose of improving the removal percentage. In addition, this is a procedure that follows a green approach since the reagents involved have low environmental impact, and the contribution to the remediation of natural resources is high.

Keywords: biomass, nanotechnology, science materials, wastewater treatment

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9 First Approximation to Congenital Anomalies in Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii) in Veracruz, Mexico

Authors: Judith Correa-Gomez, Cristina Garcia-De la Pena, Veronica Avila-Rodriguez, David R. Aguillon-Gutierrez


Kemp's ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) is the smallest species of sea turtle. It nests on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico during summer. To date, there is no information about congenital anomalies in this species, which could be an important factor to be considered as a survival threat. The aim of this study was to determine congenital anomalies in dead embryos and hatchlings of Kemp's ridley sea turtle during 2020 nesting season. Fieldwork was conducted at the 'Campamento Tortugero Barra Norte', on the shores of Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico. A total of 95 nests were evaluated, from which 223 dead embryos and hatchlings were collected. Anomalies were detected by detailed physical examinations. Photographs of each anomaly were taken. From the 223 dead turtles, 213 (95%) showed a congenital anomaly. A total of 53 types of congenital anomalies were found: 22 types on the head region, 21 on the carapace region, 6 on the flipper region, and 4 regarding the entire body. The most prevalent anomaly in the head region was the presence of prefrontal supernumerary scales (42%, 93 occurrences). On the carapace region, the most common anomaly was the presence of supernumerary gular scales (59%, 131 occurrences). The two most common anomalies on the flipper region were amelia in fore flippers and rear bifurcation of flippers (0.9%, 2 occurrences each). The most common anomaly involving the entire body was hypomelanism (35%, 79 occurrences). These results agree with the recent studies on congenital malformations on sea turtles, being the head and the carapace regions the ones with the highest number of congenital anomalies. It is unknown whether the reported anomalies can be related to the death of these individuals. However, it is necessary to develop embryological studies in this species. To our best knowledge, this is the first worldwide report on Kemp’s ridley sea turtle anomalies.

Keywords: Amelia, hypomelanism, morphology, supernumerary scales

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8 Biochemical Characterization and Structure Elucidation of a New Cytochrome P450 Decarboxylase

Authors: Leticia Leandro Rade, Amanda Silva de Sousa, Suman Das, Wesley Generoso, Mayara Chagas Ávila, Plinio Salmazo Vieira, Antonio Bonomi, Gabriela Persinoti, Mario Tyago Murakami, Thomas Michael Makris, Leticia Maria Zanphorlin


Alkenes have an economic appeal, especially in the biofuels field, since they are precursors for drop-in biofuels production, which have similar chemical and physical properties to the conventional fossil fuels, with no oxygen in their composition. After the discovery of the first P450 CYP152 OleTJE in 2011, reported with its unique property of decarboxylating fatty acids (FA), by using hydrogen peroxide as a cofactor and producing 1-alkenes as the main product, the scientific and technological interest in this family of enzymes vastly increased. In this context, the present work presents a new decarboxylase (OleTRN) with low similarity with OleTJE (32%), its biochemical characterization, and structure elucidation. As main results, OleTRN presented a high yield of expression and purity, optimum reaction conditions at 35 °C and pH from 6.5 to 8.0, and higher specificity for oleic acid. Besides that, structure-guided mutations were performed and according to the functional characterizations, it was observed that some mutations presented different specificity and chemoselectivity by varying the chain-length of FA substrates from 12 to 20 carbons. These results are extremely interesting from a biotechnological perspective as those characteristics could diversify the applications and contribute to designing better cytochrome P450 decarboxylases. Considering that peroxygenases have the potential activity of decarboxylating and hydroxylating fatty acids and that the elucidation of the intriguing mechanistic involved in the decarboxylation preferential from OleTJE is still a challenge, the elucidation of OleTRN structure and the functional characterizations of OleTRN and its mutants contribute to new information about CYP152. Besides that, the work also contributed to the discovery of a new decarboxylase with a different selectivity profile from OleTJE, which allows a wide range of applications.

Keywords: P450, decarboxylases, alkenes, biofuels

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7 Co-Synthesis of Exopolysaccharides and Polyhydroxyalkanoates Using Waste Streams: Solid-State Fermentation as an Alternative Approach

Authors: Laura Mejias, Sandra Monteagudo, Oscar Martinez-Avila, Sergio Ponsa


Bioplastics are gaining attention as potential substitutes of conventional fossil-derived plastics and new components of specialized applications in different industries. Besides, these constitute a sustainable alternative since they are biodegradable and can be obtained starting from renewable sources. Thus, agro-industrial wastes appear as potential substrates for bioplastics production using microorganisms, considering they are a suitable source for nutrients, low-cost, and available worldwide. Therefore, this approach contributes to the biorefinery and circular economy paradigm. The present study assesses the solid-state fermentation (SSF) technology for the co-synthesis of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), two attractive biodegradable bioplastics, using the leftover of the brewery industry brewer's spent grain (BSG). After an initial screening of diverse PHA-producer bacteria, it was found that Burkholderia cepacia presented the highest EPS and PHA production potential via SSF of BSG. Thus, B. cepacia served to identify the most relevant aspects affecting the EPS+PHA co-synthesis at a lab-scale (100g). Since these are growth-dependent processes, they were monitored online through oxygen consumption using a dynamic respirometric system, but also quantifying the biomass production (gravimetric) and the obtained products (EtOH precipitation for EPS and solid-liquid extraction coupled with GC-FID for PHA). Results showed that B. cepacia has grown up to 81 mg per gram of dry BSG (gDM) at 30°C after 96 h, representing up to 618 times higher than the other tested strains' findings. Hence, the crude EPS production was 53 mg g-1DM (2% carbohydrates), but purity reached 98% after a dialysis purification step. Simultaneously, B. cepacia accumulated up to 36% (dry basis) of the produced biomass as PHA, mainly composed of polyhydroxybutyrate (P3HB). The maximum PHA production was reached after 48 h with 12.1 mg g⁻¹DM, representing threefold the levels previously reported using SSF. Moisture content and aeration strategy resulted in the most significant variables affecting the simultaneous production. Results show the potential of co-synthesis via SSF as an attractive alternative to enhance bioprocess feasibility for obtaining these bioplastics in residue-based systems.

Keywords: bioplastics, brewer’s spent grain, circular economy, solid-state fermentation, waste to product

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6 The Sustainable Development for Coastal Tourist Building

Authors: D. Avila


The tourism industry is a phenomenon that has become a growing presence in international socio-economic dynamics, which in most cases exceeds the control parameters in the various environmental regulations and sustainability of existing resources. Because of this, the effects on the natural environment at the regional and national levels represent a challenge, for which a number of strategies are necessary to minimize the environmental impact generated by the occupation of the territory. The hotel tourist building and sustainable development in the coastal zone, have an important impact on the environment and on the physical and psychological health of the inhabitants. Environmental quality associated with the comfort of humans to the sustainable development of natural resources; applied to the hotel architecture this concept involves the incorporation of new demands on all of the constructive process of a building, changing customs of developers and users. The methodology developed provides an initial analysis to determine and rank the different tourist buildings, with the above it will be feasible to establish methods of study and environmental impact assessment. Finally, it is necessary to establish an overview regarding the best way to implement tourism development on the coast, containing guidelines to improve and protect the natural environment. This paper analyzes the parameters and strategies to reduce environmental impacts derived from deployments tourism on the coast, through a series of recommendations towards sustainability, in the context of the Bahia de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. The environmental impact caused by the implementation of tourism development, perceived in a coastal environment, forcing a series of processes, ranging from the identification of impacts, prediction and evaluation of them. For this purpose are described below, different techniques and valuation procedures: Identification of impacts. Methods for the identification of damage caused to the environment pursue general purpose to obtain a group of negative indicators that are subsequently used in the study of environmental impact. There are several systematic methods to identify the impacts caused by human activities. In the present work, develops a procedure based and adapted from the Ministry of works public urban reference in studies of environmental impacts, the representative methods are: list of contrast, arrays, and networks, method of transparencies and superposition of maps.

Keywords: environmental impact, physical health, sustainability, tourist building

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5 Development of Tutorial Courseware on Selected Topics in Mathematics, Science and the English Language

Authors: Alice D. Dioquino, Olivia N. Buzon, Emilio F. Aguinaldo, Ruel Avila, Erwin R. Callo, Cristy Ocampo, Malvin R. Tabajen, Marla C. Papango, Marilou M. Ubina, Josephine Tondo, Cromwell L. Valeriano


The main purpose of this study was to develop, evaluate and validate courseware on Selected Topics in Mathematics, Science, and the English Language. Specifically, it aimed to: 1. Identify the appropriate Instructional Systems Design (ISD) model in the development of the courseware material; 2. Assess the courseware material according to its: a. Content Characteristics; b. Instructional Characteristics; and c. Technical Characteristics 3. Find out if there is a significant difference in the performance of students before and after using the tutorial CAI. This research is developmental as well as a one group pretest-posttest design. The study had two phases. Phase I includes the needs analysis, writing of lessons and storyboard by the respective experts in each field. Phase II includes the digitization or the actual development of the courseware by the faculty of the ICT department. In this phase it adapted an instructional systems design (ISD) model which is the ADDIE model. ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Formative evaluation was conducted simultaneously with the different phases to detect and remedy any bugs in the courseware along the areas of content, instructional and technical characteristics. The expected output are the digitized lessons in Algebra, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Communication Arts in English. Students and some IT experts validated the CAI material using the Evaluation Form by Wong & Wong. They validated the CAI materials as Highly Acceptable with an overall mean rating of 4.527and standard deviation of 0 which means that they were one in the ratings they have given the CAI materials. A mean gain was recorded and computing the t-test for dependent samples it showed that there were significant differences in the mean achievement of the students before and after the treatment (using CAI). The identified ISD model used in the development of the tutorial courseware was the ADDIE model. The quantitative analyses of data based on ratings given by the respondents’ shows that the tutorial courseware possess the characteristics and or qualities of a very good computer-based courseware. The ratings given by the different evaluators with regard to content, instructional, and technical aspects of the Tutorial Courseware are in conformity towards being excellent. Students performed better in mathematics, biology chemistry, physics and the English Communication Arts after they were exposed to the tutorial courseware.

Keywords: CAI, tutorial courseware, Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Model, education

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4 Microbiological Analysis on Anatomical Specimens of Cats for Use in Veterinary Surgery

Authors: Raphael C. Zero, Marita V. Cardozo, Thiago A. S. S. Rocha, Mariana T. Kihara, Fernando A. Ávila, Fabrício S. Oliveira


There are several fixative and preservative solutions for use on cadavers, many of them using formaldehyde as the fixative or anatomical part preservative. In some countries, such as Brazil, this toxic agent has been increasingly restricted. The objective of this study was to microbiologically identify and quantify the key agents in tanks containing 96GL ethanol or sodium chloride solutions, used respectively as fixatives and preservatives of cat cadavers. Eight adult cat corpses, three females and five males, with an average weight of 4.3 kg, were used. After injection via the external common carotid artery (120 ml/kg, 95% 96GL ethyl alcohol and 5% pure glycerin), the cadavers were fixed in a plastic tank with 96GL ethanol for 60 days. After fixing, they were stored in a 30% sodium chloride aqueous solution for 120 days in a similar tank. Samples were collected at the start of the experiment - before the animals were placed in the ethanol tanks, and monthly thereafter. The bacterial count was performed by Pour Plate Method in BHI agar (Brain Heart Infusion) and the plates were incubated aerobically and anaerobically for 24h at 37ºC. MacConkey agar, SPS agar (Sulfite Polymyxin Sulfadizine) and MYP Agar Base were used to isolate the microorganisms. There was no microbial growth in the samples prior to alcohol fixation. After 30 days of fixation in the alcohol solution, total aerobic and anaerobic (<1.0 x 10 CFU/ml) were found and Pseudomonas sp., Staphylococcus sp., Clostridium sp. were the identified agents. After 60 days in the alcohol fixation solution, total aerobes (<1.0 x 10 CFU/ml) and total anaerobes (<2.2 x 10 CFU/mL) were found, and the identified agents were the same. After 30 days of storage in the aqueous solution of 30% sodium chloride, total aerobic (<5.2 x 10 CFU/ml) and total anaerobes (<3.7 x 10 CFU/mL) were found and the agents identified were Staphylococcus sp., Clostridium sp., and fungi. After 60 days of sodium chloride storage, total aerobic (<3.0 x 10 CFU / ml) and total anaerobes (<7.0 x 10 CFU/mL) were found and the identified agents remained the same: Staphylococcus sp., Clostridium sp., and fungi. The microbiological count was low and visual inspection did not reveal signs of contamination in the tanks. There was no strong odor or purification, which proved the technique to be microbiologically effective in fixing and preserving the cat cadavers for the four-month period in which they are provided to undergraduate students of University of Veterinary Medicine for surgery practice. All experimental procedures were approved by the Municipal Legal Department (protocol 02.2014.000027-1). The project was funded by FAPESP (protocol 2015-08259-9).

Keywords: anatomy, fixation, microbiology, small animal, surgery

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3 Resilience-Vulnerability Interaction in the Context of Disasters and Complexity: Study Case in the Coastal Plain of Gulf of Mexico

Authors: Cesar Vazquez-Gonzalez, Sophie Avila-Foucat, Leonardo Ortiz-Lozano, Patricia Moreno-Casasola, Alejandro Granados-Barba


In the last twenty years, academic and scientific literature has been focused on understanding the processes and factors of coastal social-ecological systems vulnerability and resilience. Some scholars argue that resilience and vulnerability are isolated concepts due to their epistemological origin, while others note the existence of a strong resilience-vulnerability relationship. Here we present an ordinal logistic regression model based on the analytical framework about dynamic resilience-vulnerability interaction along adaptive cycle of complex systems and disasters process phases (during, recovery and learning). In this way, we demonstrate that 1) during the disturbance, absorptive capacity (resilience as a core of attributes) and external response capacity explain the probability of households capitals to diminish the damage, and exposure sets the thresholds about the amount of disturbance that households can absorb, 2) at recovery, absorptive capacity and external response capacity explain the probability of households capitals to recovery faster (resilience as an outcome) from damage, and 3) at learning, adaptive capacity (resilience as a core of attributes) explains the probability of households adaptation measures based on the enhancement of physical capital. As a result, during the disturbance phase, exposure has the greatest weight in the probability of capital’s damage, and households with absorptive and external response capacity elements absorbed the impact of floods in comparison with households without these elements. At the recovery phase, households with absorptive and external response capacity showed a faster recovery on their capital; however, the damage sets the thresholds of recovery time. More importantly, diversity in financial capital increases the probability of recovering other capital, but it becomes a liability so that the probability of recovering the household finances in a longer time increases. At learning-reorganizing phase, adaptation (modifications to the house) increases the probability of having less damage on physical capital; however, it is not very relevant. As conclusion, resilience is an outcome but also core of attributes that interacts with vulnerability along the adaptive cycle and disaster process phases. Absorptive capacity can diminish the damage experienced by floods; however, when exposure overcomes thresholds, both absorptive and external response capacity are not enough. In the same way, absorptive and external response capacity diminish the recovery time of capital, but the damage sets the thresholds in where households are not capable of recovering their capital.

Keywords: absorptive capacity, adaptive capacity, capital, floods, recovery-learning, social-ecological systems

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2 Relationships of Plasma Lipids, Lipoproteins and Cardiovascular Outcomes with Climatic Variations: A Large 8-Year Period Brazilian Study

Authors: Vanessa H. S. Zago, Ana Maria H. de Avila, Paula P. Costa, Welington Corozolla, Liriam S. Teixeira, Eliana C. de Faria


Objectives: The outcome of cardiovascular disease is affected by environment and climate. This study evaluated the possible relationships between climatic and environmental changes and the occurrence of biological rhythms in serum lipids and lipoproteins in a large population sample in the city of Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In addition, it determined the temporal variations of death due to atherosclerotic events in Campinas during the time window examined. Methods: A large 8-year retrospective study was carried out to evaluate the lipid profiles of individuals attended at the University of Campinas (Unicamp). The study population comprised 27.543 individuals of both sexes and of all ages. Normolipidemic and dyslipidemic individuals classified according to Brazilian guidelines on dyslipidemias, participated in the study. For the same period, the temperature, relative humidity and daily brightness records were obtained from the Centro de Pesquisas Meteorologicas e Climaticas Aplicadas a Agricultura/Unicamp and frequencies of death due to atherosclerotic events in Campinas were acquired from the Brazilian official database DATASUS, according to the International Classification of Diseases. Statistical analyses were performed using both Cosinor and ARIMA temporal analysis methods. For cross-correlation analysis between climatic and lipid parameters, cross-correlation functions were used. Results: Preliminary results indicated that rhythmicity was significant for LDL-C and HDL-C in the cases of both normolipidemic and dyslipidemic subjects (n =respectively 11.892 and 15.651 both measures increasing in the winter and decreasing in the summer). On the other hand, for dyslipidemic subjects triglycerides increased in summer and decreased in winter, in contrast to normolipidemic ones, in which triglycerides did not show rhythmicity. The number of deaths due to atherosclerotic events showed significant rhythmicity, with maximum and minimum frequencies in winter and summer, respectively. Cross-correlation analyzes showed that low humidity and temperature, higher thermal amplitude and dark cycles are associated with increased levels of LDL-C and HDL-C during winter. In contrast, TG showed moderate cross-correlations with temperature and minimum humidity in an inverse way: maximum temperature and humidity increased TG during the summer. Conclusions: This study showed a coincident rhythmicity between low temperatures and high concentrations of LDL-C and HDL-C and the number of deaths due to atherosclerotic cardiovascular events in individuals from the city of Campinas. The opposite behavior of cholesterol and TG suggest different physiological mechanisms in their metabolic modulation by climate parameters change. Thus, new analyses are underway to better elucidate these mechanisms, as well as variations in lipid concentrations in relation to climatic variations and their associations with atherosclerotic disease and death outcomes in Campinas.

Keywords: atherosclerosis, climatic variations, lipids and lipoproteins, associations

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1 Anajaa-Visual Substitution System: A Navigation Assistive Device for the Visually Impaired

Authors: Juan Pablo Botero Torres, Alba Avila, Luis Felipe Giraldo


Independent navigation and mobility through unknown spaces pose a challenge for the autonomy of visually impaired people (VIP), who have relied on the use of traditional assistive tools like the white cane and trained dogs. However, emerging visually assistive technologies (VAT) have proposed several human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that could improve VIP’s ability for self-guidance. Hereby, we introduce the design and implementation of a visually assistive device, Anajaa – Visual Substitution System (AVSS). This system integrates ultrasonic sensors with custom electronics, and computer vision models (convolutional neural networks), in order to achieve a robust system that acquires information of the surrounding space and transmits it to the user in an intuitive and efficient manner. AVSS consists of two modules: the sensing and the actuation module, which are fitted to a chest mount and belt that communicate via Bluetooth. The sensing module was designed for the acquisition and processing of proximity signals provided by an array of ultrasonic sensors. The distribution of these within the chest mount allows an accurate representation of the surrounding space, discretized in three different levels of proximity, ranging from 0 to 6 meters. Additionally, this module is fitted with an RGB-D camera used to detect potentially threatening obstacles, like staircases, using a convolutional neural network specifically trained for this purpose. Posteriorly, the depth data is used to estimate the distance between the stairs and the user. The information gathered from this module is then sent to the actuation module that creates an HMI, by the means of a 3x2 array of vibration motors that make up the tactile display and allow the system to deliver haptic feedback. The actuation module uses vibrational messages (tactones); changing both in amplitude and frequency to deliver different awareness levels according to the proximity of the obstacle. This enables the system to deliver an intuitive interface. Both modules were tested under lab conditions, and the HMI was additionally tested with a focal group of VIP. The lab testing was conducted in order to establish the processing speed of the computer vision algorithms. This experimentation determined that the model can process 0.59 frames per second (FPS); this is considered as an adequate processing speed taking into account that the walking speed of VIP is 1.439 m/s. In order to test the HMI, we conducted a focal group composed of two females and two males between the ages of 35-65 years. The subject selection was aided by the Colombian Cooperative of Work and Services for the Sightless (COOTRASIN). We analyzed the learning process of the haptic messages throughout five experimentation sessions using two metrics: message discrimination and localization success. These correspond to the ability of the subjects to recognize different tactones and locate them within the tactile display. Both were calculated as the mean across all subjects. Results show that the focal group achieved message discrimination of 70% and a localization success of 80%, demonstrating how the proposed HMI leads to the appropriation and understanding of the feedback messages, enabling the user’s awareness of its surrounding space.

Keywords: computer vision on embedded systems, electronic trave aids, human-machine interface, haptic feedback, visual assistive technologies, vision substitution systems

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