Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

Search results for: Ruben Santamaria

29 Replica-Exchange Metadynamics Simulations of G-Quadruplex DNA Structures Under Substitution of K+ by Na+ Ions

Authors: Juan Antonio Mondragon Sanchez, Ruben Santamaria

Abstract:

The DNA G-quadruplex is a four-stranded DNA structure conformed by stacked planes of four base paired guanines (G-quartet). The guanine rich DNA sequences are present in many sites of genomic DNA and can potentially lead to the formation of G-quadruplexes, especially at the 3'-terminus of the human telomeric DNA with many TTAGGG repeats. The formation and stabilization of a G-quadruplex by small ligands at the telomeric region can inhibit the telomerase activity. In turn, the ligands can be used to regulate oncogene expression making the G-quadruplex an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Clearly, the G-quadruplex structured in the telomeric DNA is of fundamental importance for rational drug design. In this context, we investigate two G-quadruplex structures, the first follows from the sequence TTAGGG(TTAGGG)3TT (HUT1), and the second from AAAGGG(TTAGGG)3AA (HUT2), both in a K+ solution. We determine the free energy surfaces of the HUT1 and HUT2 structures and investigate their conformations using replica-exchange metadynamics simulations. The carbonyl-carbonyl distances belonging to different guanines residues are selected as the main collective variables to determine the free energy surfaces. The surfaces exhibit two main local minima, compatible with experiments on the conformational transformations of HUT1 and HUT2 under substitution of the K+ ions by the Na+ ions. The conformational transitions are not observed in short MD simulations without the use of the metadynamics approach. The results of this work should be of help to understand the formation and stability of human telomeric G-quadruplex in environments including the presence of K+ and Na+ ions.

Keywords: Molecular Dynamics, G-Quadruplex, metadynamics, replica-exchange

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28 Free Energy Computation of A G-Quadruplex-Ligand Structure: A Classical Molecular Dynamics and Metadynamics Simulation Study

Authors: Juan Antonio Mondragon Sanchez, Ruben Santamaria

Abstract:

The DNA G-quadruplex is a four-stranded DNA structure formed by stacked planes of four base paired guanines (G-quartet). Guanine rich DNA sequences appear in many sites of genomic DNA and can potential form G-quadruplexes, such as those occurring at 3'-terminus of the human telomeric DNA. The formation and stabilization of a G-quadruplex by small ligands at the telomeric region can inhibit the telomerase activity. In turn, the ligands can be used to down regulate oncogene expression making G-quadruplex an attractive target for anticancer therapy. Many G-quadruplex ligands have been proposed with a planar core to facilitate the pi–pi stacking and electrostatic interactions with the G-quartets. However, many drug candidates are impossibilitated to discriminate a G-quadruplex from a double helix DNA structure. In this context, it is important to investigate the site topology for the interaction of a G-quadruplex with a ligand. In this work, we determine the free energy surface of a G-quadruplex-ligand to study the binding modes of the G-quadruplex (TG4T) with the daunomycin (DM) drug. The complex TG4T-DM is studied using classical molecular dynamics in combination with metadynamics simulations. The metadynamics simulations permit an enhanced sampling of the conformational space with a modest computational cost and obtain free energy surfaces in terms of the collective variables (CV). The free energy surfaces of TG4T-DM exhibit other local minima, indicating the presence of additional binding modes of daunomycin that are not observed in short MD simulations without the metadynamics approach. The results are compared with similar calculations on a different structure (the mutated mu-G4T-DM where the 5' thymines on TG4T-DM have been deleted). The results should be of help to design new G-quadruplex drugs, and understand the differences in the recognition topology sites of the duplex and quadruplex DNA structures in their interaction with ligands.

Keywords: Cancer, Molecular Dynamics, G-Quadruplex, metadynamics

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27 Envy and Schadenfreude Domains in a Model of Neurodegeneration

Authors: Sandra Baez, Hernando Santamaria-Garcia, Adolfo Garcia, Agustin Ibanez, Diana Matallana, José Santamaría-García, Pablo Reyes

Abstract:

The study of moral emotions (i.e., Schadenfreude and envy) is critical to understand the ecological complexity of everyday interactions between cognitive, affective, and social cognition processes. Most previous studies in this area have used correlational imaging techniques and framed Schadenfreude and envy as monolithic domains. Here, we profit from a relevant neurodegeneration model to disentangle the brain regions engaged in three dimensions of Schadenfreude and envy: deservingness, morality, and legality. We tested 20 patients with behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), 24 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as a contrastive neurodegeneration model, and 20 healthy controls on a novel task highlighting each of these dimensions in scenarios eliciting Schadenfreude and envy. Compared with the AD and control groups, bvFTD patients obtained significantly higher scores on all dimensions for both emotions. Interestingly, the legal dimension for both envy and Schadenfreude elicited higher emotional scores than the deservingness and moral dimensions. Furthermore, correlational analyses in bvFTD showed that higher envy and Schadenfreude scores were associated with greater deficits in social cognition, inhibitory control, and behavior. Brain anatomy findings (restricted to bvFTD and controls) confirmed differences in how these groups process each dimension. Schadenfreude was associated with the ventral striatum in all subjects. Also, in bvFTD patients, increased Schadenfreude across dimensions was negatively correlated with regions supporting social-value rewards, mentalizing, and social cognition (frontal pole, temporal pole, angular gyrus and precuneus). In all subjects, all dimensions of envy positively correlated with the volume of the anterior cingulate cortex, a region involved in processing unfair social comparisons. By contrast, in bvFTD patients, the intensified experience of envy across all dimensions was negatively correlated with a set of areas subserving social cognition, including the prefrontal cortex, the parahippocampus, and the amygdala. Together, the present results provide the first lesion-based evidence for the multidimensional nature of the emotional experiences of envy and Schadenfreude. Moreover, this is the first demonstration of a selective exacerbation of envy and Schadenfreude in bvFTD patients, probably triggered by atrophy to social cognition networks. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms subserving complex emotions and moral cognition in neurodegeneration, paving the way for groundbreaking research on their interaction with other cognitive, social, and emotional processes.

Keywords: Neuroimaging, Social Cognition, moral emotions, frontotemporal dementia

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26 Microfluidic Continuous Approaches to Produce Magnetic Nanoparticles with Homogeneous Size Distribution

Authors: Victor Sebastian, Ane Larrea, Manuel Arruebo, Jesus Santamaria

Abstract:

We present a gas-liquid microfluidic system as a reactor to obtain magnetite nanoparticles with an excellent degree of control regarding their crystalline phase, shape and size. Several types of microflow approaches were selected to prevent nanomaterial aggregation and to promote homogenous size distribution. The selected reactor consists of a mixer stage aided by ultrasound waves and a reaction stage using a N2-liquid segmented flow to prevent magnetite oxidation to non-magnetic phases. A milli-fluidic reactor was developed to increase the production rate where a magnetite throughput close to 450 mg/h in a continuous fashion was obtained.

Keywords: Nanomaterials, Microfluidics, magnetic nanoparticles, continuous production

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25 Increased Envy and Schadenfreude in Parents of Newborns

Authors: Sandra Baez, Hernando Santamaria-Garcia, Ana-María Gómez-Carvajal, Mateo Bernal, Mario Valderrama, Daniela Lizarazo, Juliana Restrepo, María Fernanda Barreto, Angélica Parra, Paula Torres, Diana Matallana, Jaime Silva, José Santamaría-García

Abstract:

Higher levels of oxytocin are associated with better performance on social cognition tasks. However, higher levels of oxytocin have also been associated with increased levels of envy and schadenfreude. Considering these antecedents, this study aims to explore social emotions (i.e., envy and schadenfreude) and other components of social cognition (i.e. ToM and empathy), in women in the puerperal period and their respective partners, compared to a control group of men and women without children or partners. Control women should be in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle or taking oral contraceptives as they allow oxytocin levels to remain stable. We selected this population since increased levels of oxytocin are present in both mothers and fathers of newborn babies. Both groups were matched by age, sex, and education level. Twenty-two parents of newborns (11 women, 11 men) and 15 controls (8 women, 7 men) performed an experimental task designed to trigger schadenfreude and envy. In this task, each participant was shown a real-life photograph and a description of two target characters matched in age and gender with the participant. The task comprised two experimental blocks. In the first block, participants read 15 sentences describing fortunate events involving either character. After reading each sentence, participants rated the event in terms of how much envy they felt for the character (1=no envy, 9=extreme envy). In the second block, participants read and reported the intensity of their pleasure (schadenfreude, 1=no pleasure, 9=extreme pleasure) in response to 15 unfortunate events happening to the characters. Five neutral events were included in each block. Moreover, participants were assessed with ToM and empathy tests. Potential confounding variables such as general cognitive functioning, stress levels, hours of sleep and depression symptoms were also measured. Results showed that parents of newborns showed increased levels of envy and schadenfreude. These effects are not explained by any confounding factor. Moreover, no significant differences were found in ToM or empathy tests. Our results offer unprecedented evidence of specific differences in envy and schadenfreude levels in parents of newborns. Our findings support previous studies showing a negative relationship between oxytocin levels and negative social emotions. Further studies should assess the direct relationship between oxytocin levels in parents of newborns and the performance in social emotions tasks.

Keywords: Theory of Mind, Empathy, oxytocin, envy, Schadenfreude, social emotions

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24 Instructional Design Strategy Based on Stories with Interactive Resources for Learning English in Preschool

Authors: Vicario Marina, Ruiz Elena, Peredo Ruben, Bustos Eduardo

Abstract:

the development group of Educational Computing of the National Polytechnic (IPN) in Mexico has been developing interactive resources at preschool level in an effort to improve learning in the Child Development Centers (CENDI). This work describes both a didactic architecture and a strategy for teaching English with digital stories using interactive resources available through a Web repository designed to be used in mobile platforms. It will be accessible initially to 500 children and worldwide by the end of 2015.

Keywords: Instructional Design, Preschool Education, interactive resources, digital educational resources, story based English teaching

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23 The Regional Center for Business Quality of the University Center of the Valleys: Transiting to an Entrepreneurial University

Authors: Carlos Alberto Santamaria Velasco

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The study object of this chapter analyzes the case of the Centro Regional para la Calidad Empresarial (CreCE) starting from an analysis of the theoretical discussion about the universities as actors of the development and generation of enterprises. As well as the promotion of the entrepreneurial culture that they carry out in their environment of influence as part of the linkage and extension actions that have as one of their substantive functions, in addition to teaching and research. The objective is to know the theoretical discussion and the state of art about the entrepreneurial universities from the institutional theory of Douglas North, carrying out a theoretical analysis of the formal and informal factors from the universities linking the specific case of the CReCE. A literature review was carried out in the main journals in the topic of entrepreneurship, about the factors that influence the creation and development of entrepreneurial universities, complementing research in the study of a particular case, CreCE, and how this affects in the transformation of the CUVALLES(Centro Universitario de los Valles) in its way towards an entrepreneurial university.

Keywords: Institutional Theory, Entrepreneurial Universities, University, entrepreneurial university

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22 Batteryless DCM Boost Converter for Kinetic Energy Harvesting Applications

Authors: Andrés Gomez-Casseres, Rubén Contreras

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In this paper, a bidirectional boost converter operated in Discontinuous Conduction Mode (DCM) is presented as a suitable power conditioning circuit for tuning of kinetic energy harvesters without the need of a battery. A nonlinear control scheme, composed by two linear controllers, is used to control the average value of the input current, enabling the synthesization of complex loads. The converter, along with the control system, is validated through SPICE simulations using the LTspice tool. The converter model and the controller transfer functions are derived. From the simulation results, it was found that the input current distortion increases with the introduced phase shift and that, such distortion, is almost entirely present at the zero-crossing point of the input voltage.

Keywords: Energy harvesting, boost converter, average current control, electrical tuning

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21 Heavy Metals Estimation in Coastal Areas Using Remote Sensing, Field Sampling and Classical and Robust Statistic

Authors: Elena Castillo-López, Raúl Pereda, Julio Manuel de Luis, Rubén Pérez, Felipe Piña

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Sediments are an important source of accumulation of toxic contaminants within the aquatic environment. Bioassays are a powerful tool for the study of sediments in relation to their toxicity, but they can be expensive. This article presents a methodology to estimate the main physical property of intertidal sediments in coastal zones: heavy metals concentration. This study, which was developed in the Bay of Santander (Spain), applies classical and robust statistic to CASI-2 hyperspectral images to estimate heavy metals presence and ecotoxicity (TOC). Simultaneous fieldwork (radiometric and chemical sampling) allowed an appropriate atmospheric correction to CASI-2 images.

Keywords: Remote Sensing, Heavy Metals, estimation, intertidal sediment, airborne sensors, eTOCoxicity, robust statistic

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20 Using the M-Learning to Support Learning of the Concept of the Derivative

Authors: Elena F. Ruiz, Marina Vicario, Chadwick Carreto, Rubén Peredo

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One of the main obstacles in Mexico’s engineering programs is math comprehension, especially in the Derivative concept. Due to this, we present a study case that relates Mobile Computing and Classroom Learning in the “Escuela Superior de Cómputo”, based on the Educational model of the Instituto Politécnico Nacional (competence based work and problem solutions) in which we propose apps and activities to teach the concept of the Derivative. M- Learning is emphasized as one of its lines, as the objective is the use of mobile devices running an app that uses its components such as sensors, screen, camera and processing power in classroom work. In this paper, we employed Augmented Reality (ARRoC), based on the good results this technology has had in the field of learning. This proposal was developed using a qualitative research methodology supported by quantitative research. The methodological instruments used on this proposal are: observation, questionnaires, interviews and evaluations. We obtained positive results with a 40% increase using M-Learning, from the 20% increase using traditional means.

Keywords: Mobile Computing, Augmented Reality, Educational Research, Classroom Learning

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19 Technology in the Calculation of People Health Level: Design of a Computational Tool

Authors: Sara Herrero Jaén, José María Santamaría García, María Lourdes Jiménez Rodríguez, Jorge Luis Gómez González, Adriana Cercas Duque, Alexandra González Aguna

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Background: Health concept has evolved throughout history. The health level is determined by the own individual perception. It is a dynamic process over time so that you can see variations from one moment to the next. In this way, knowing the health of the patients you care for, will facilitate decision making in the treatment of care. Objective: To design a technological tool that calculates the people health level in a sequential way over time. Material and Methods: Deductive methodology through text analysis, extraction and logical knowledge formalization and education with expert group. Studying time: September 2015- actually. Results: A computational tool for the use of health personnel has been designed. It has 11 variables. Each variable can be given a value from 1 to 5, with 1 being the minimum value and 5 being the maximum value. By adding the result of the 11 variables we obtain a magnitude in a certain time, the health level of the person. The health calculator allows to represent people health level at a time, establishing temporal cuts being useful to determine the evolution of the individual over time. Conclusion: The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) allow training and help in various disciplinary areas. It is important to highlight their relevance in the field of health. Based on the health formalization, care acts can be directed towards some of the propositional elements of the concept above. The care acts will modify the people health level. The health calculator allows the prioritization and prediction of different strategies of health care in hospital units.

Keywords: Health, Care, eHealth, calculator

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18 Student Performance and Confidence Analysis on Education Virtual Environments through Different Assessment Strategies

Authors: Rubén Manrique, Delio Balcázar, José Parrado, Sebastián Rodríguez

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Hand in hand with the evolution of technology, education systems have moved to virtual environments to provide increased coverage and facilitate the access to education. However, measuring student performance in virtual environments presents significant challenges to ensure students are acquiring the expected skills. In this study, the confidence and performance of engineering students in virtual environments is analyzed through different evaluation strategies. The effect of the assessment strategy in student confidence is identified using educational data mining techniques. Four assessment strategies were used. First, a conventional multiple choice test; second, a multiple choice test with feedback; third, a multiple choice test with a second chance; and fourth; a multiple choice test with feedback and second chance. Our results show that applying testing with online feedback strategies can influence positively student confidence.

Keywords: Educational Data Mining, Student Performance, assessment strategies, student confidence

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17 Analysis of the Accuracy of Earth Movement with Drone Surveys

Authors: Raúl Pereda García, Julio Manuel de Luis Ruiz, Elena Castillo López, Rubén Pérez Álvarez, Felipe Piña García

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New technologies for the capture of point clouds have experienced a great advance in recent years. In this way, its use has been extended in geomatics, providing measurement solutions that have been popularized without there being, many times, a detailed study of its accuracy. This research focuses on the study of the viability of topographic works with drones incorporating different sensors sensitive to the visible spectrum. The fundamentals have been applied to a road, located in Cantabria (Spain), where a platform extension and the reform of a riprap were being constructed. A total of six flights were made during two months, all of them with GPS as part of the photogrammetric process, and the results were contrasted with those measured with total station. The obtained results show that the choice of the camera and the planning of the flight have an important impact on the accuracy. In fact, the representations with a level of detail corresponding to 1/1000 scale are admissible, depending on the existing vegetation, and obtaining better results in the area of the riprap. This set of techniques is, therefore, suitable for the control of earthworks in road works but with certain limitations which are exposed in this paper.

Keywords: drone, global position system, earth movement control, surveying technology

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16 Evaluation of the Discoloration of Methyl Orange Using Black Sand as Semiconductor through Photocatalytic Oxidation and Reduction

Authors: P. Acosta-Santamaría, A. Ibatá-Soto, A. López-Vásquez

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Organic compounds in wastewaters coming from textile and pharmaceutical industry generated multiple harmful effects on the environment and the human health. One of them is the methyl orange (MeO), an azoic dye considered to be a recalcitrant compound. The heterogeneous photocatalysis emerges as an alternative for treating this type of hazardous compounds, through the generation of OH radicals using radiation and a semiconductor oxide. According to the author’s knowledge, catalysts such as TiO2 doped with metals show high efficiency in degrading MeO; however, this presents economic limitations on industrial scale. Black sand can be considered as a naturally doped catalyst because in its structure is common to find compounds such as titanium, iron and aluminum oxides, also elements such as zircon, cadmium, manganese, etc. This study reports the photocatalytic activity of the mineral black sand used as semiconductor in the discoloration of MeO by oxidation and reduction photocatalytic techniques. For this, magnetic composites from the mineral were prepared (RM, M1, M2 and NM) and their activity were tested through MeO discoloration while TiO2 was used as reference. For the fractions, chemical, morphological and structural characterizations were performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. M2 fraction showed higher MeO discoloration (93%) in oxidation conditions at pH 2 and it could be due to the presence of ferric oxides. However, the best result to reduction process was using M1 fraction (20%) at pH 2, which contains a higher titanium percentage. In the first process, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was used as electron donor agent. According to the results, black sand mineral can be used as natural semiconductor in photocatalytic process. It could be considered as a photocatalyst precursor in such processes, due to its low cost and easy access.

Keywords: photocatalysis, Reduction, Oxidation, methyl orange, black sand mineral

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15 Oscillatory Electroosmotic Flow of Power-Law Fluids in a Microchannel

Authors: Rubén Bãnos, José Arcos, Oscar Bautista, Federico Méndez

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The Oscillatory electroosmotic flow (OEOF) in power law fluids through a microchannel is studied numerically. A time-dependent external electric field (AC) is suddenly imposed at the ends of the microchannel which induces the fluid motion. The continuity and momentum equations in the x and y direction for the flow field were simplified in the limit of the lubrication approximation theory (LAT), and then solved using a numerical scheme. The solution of the electric potential is based on the Debye-H¨uckel approximation which suggest that the surface potential is small,say, smaller than 0.025V and for a symmetric (z : z) electrolyte. Our results suggest that the velocity profiles across the channel-width are controlled by the following dimensionless parameters: the angular Reynolds number, Reω, the electrokinetic parameter, ¯κ, defined as the ratio of the characteristic length scale to the Debye length, the parameter λ which represents the ratio of the Helmholtz-Smoluchowski velocity to the characteristic length scale and the flow behavior index, n. Also, the results reveal that the velocity profiles become more and more non-uniform across the channel-width as the Reω and ¯κ are increased, so oscillatory OEOF can be really useful in micro-fluidic devices such as micro-mixers.

Keywords: non-Newtonian, low zeta potentials, oscillatory electroosmotic flow, power-law model

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14 Integration of Technology for Enhanced Learning among Generation Y and Z Nursing Students

Authors: Tarandeep Kaur

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Generation Y and Z nursing students have a much higher need for technology-based stimulation than previous generations, as they may find traditional methods of education boring and disinterested. These generations prefer experiential learning and the use of advanced technology for enhanced learning. Therefore, nursing educators must acquire knowledge to make better use of technology and technological tools for instruction. Millennials and generation are digital natives, optimistic, assertive, want engagement, instant feedback, and collaborative approach. The integration of technology and the efficacy of its use can be challenging for nursing educators. The SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition) model designed and developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura can help nursing educators to engage their students in different levels of technology integration for effective learning. Nursing educators should understand that technology use in the classroom must be purposeful. The influx of technology in nursing education is ever-changing; therefore, nursing educators have to constantly enhance and develop technical skills to keep up with the emerging technology in the schools as well as hospitals. In the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Nursing (SCBSCN) program at Saskatchewan polytechnic, we use technology at various levels using the SAMR model in our program, including low and high-fidelity simulation labs. We are also exploring futuristic options of using virtual reality and gaming in our classrooms as an innovative way to motivate, increase critical thinking, create active learning, provide immediate feedback, improve student retention and create collaboration.

Keywords: Nursing, Technology, generations, SAMR

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13 An Experimental Study of the Influence of Particle Breakage on the Interface Friction Angle and Shear Strength of Carbonate Sands

Authors: Ruben Dario Tovar-Valencia, Eshan Ganju, Fei Han, Monica Prezzi, Rodrigo Salgado

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Particle breakage occurs even in strong silica sand particles. There is compelling evidence that suggests that particle breakage causes changes in several properties such as permeability, peak strength, dilatancy and critical state friction angle. Current pile design methods that are based on soil properties do not account for particle breakage that occurs during driving or jacking of displacement piles. This may lead to significant overestimation of pile capacity in sands dominated by particles susceptible to breakage, such as carbonate sands. The objective of this paper is to study the influence of shear displacement on particle breakage and friction angle of carbonate sands, and to furthermore quantify the change in friction angle observed with different levels of particle breakage. To study the phenomenon of particle breakage, multiple ring shear tests have been performed at different levels of vertical confinement on a thoroughly characterized carbonate sand to find i) the shear displacement necessary to reach stable friction angles and ii) the effect of particle breakage on the mobilized friction angle of the tested sand. The findings of this study can potentially be used to update the current pile design methods by developing a friction angle which is a function of shear displacement and breakage characteristics of the sand instead of being a constant value.

Keywords: Pile Design, friction angle, breakage, carbonate sand, ring shear test

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12 Effects of Palm Waste Ash Residues on Acidic Soil in Relation to Physiological Responses of Habanero Chili Pepper (Capsicum chinense jacq.)

Authors: Kalu Samuel Ukanwa, Kumar Patchigolla, Ruben Sakrabani

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The use of biosolids from thermal conversion of palm waste for soil fertility enhancement was tested in acidic soil of Southern Nigeria for the growing of Habanero chili pepper (Capsicum chinense jacq.). Soil samples from the two sites, showed pH 4.8 and 4.8 for site A and B respectively, below 5.6-6.8 optimum range and other fertility parameters indicating a low threshold for pepper growth. Nursery planting was done at different weeks to determine the optimum planting period. Ash analysis showed that it contains 26% of total K, 20% of total Ca, 0.27% of total P, and pH 11. The two sites were laid for an experiment in randomized complete block design and setup with three replications side by side. Each plot measured 3 x 2 m and a total of 15 plots for each site, four treatments, and one control. Outlined as control, 2, 4, 6 and 8 tonnes/hectare of palm waste ash, the combined average for both sites with correspondent yield after six harvests in one season are; 0, 5.8, 6, 6, 14.5 tonnes/hectare respectively to treatments. Optimum nursery survival rate was high in July; the crop yield was linear to the ash application. Site A had 6% yield higher than site B. Fruit development, weight, and total yield in relation to the control plot showed that palm waste ash is effective for soil amendment, nutrient delivery, and exchange.

Keywords: Soil Amendment, ash, pepper, palm waste

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11 Cultural Tourism in Mexico as a Strategy to Attract Chinese Tourists

Authors: Ruben Molina, Melissa Ochoa

Abstract:

The rapid expansion and facilities that the Chinese government has granted to its inhabitants to travel abroad has brought benefits to the economies of the countries where these tourists travel. Due to the great economic spill that these tourists make in their travels and the great potential they possess, they become one of the most attractive segments in the world, causing countries to seek to attract them for the profits. The Chinese tourist is a tourist who seeks to know the culture, culinary experiences, traditions and folklore of the place where they travel, more than seeking sun and beach. Mexico is a country that has a great mix of tourist products and services, which favors that the tourism offer focuses on the satisfaction of the needs and preferences of the different segments of international tourists who arrive in Mexico: sun and beach tourism and also cultural tourism. Mexico has 51 sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, of which 12 are natural, 37 are cultural and 2 are mixed. Despite the great tourist attraction of the country and the strategic importance of the sector for the economy, Mexico has not managed to have a large number of tourists or income from international tourism for 15 years. One way to increase the travel industry is to attract the Chinese tourist to Mexico, which is considered a priority by countries like the United States, France and Spain due to the advantages they entail. Therefore, this article will describe the tastes, preferences and habits of Chinese tourists coming to the most popular destinations in Mexico through a Likert scale and it will be described which are the most attractive cultural factors in Mexico for the Chinese tourists and will be proposing strategies of attraction for Mexico and its destinations.

Keywords: Strategic, Cultural tourism, Mexico, attraction, Chinese tourist

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10 Structural Correlates of Reduced Malicious Pleasure in Huntington's Disease

Authors: Sandra Baez, Mariana Pino, Mildred Berrio, Hernando Santamaria-Garcia, Lucas Sedeno, Adolfo Garcia, Sol Fittipaldi, Agustin Ibanez

Abstract:

Schadenfreude refers to the perceiver’s experience of pleasure at another’s misfortune. This is a multidetermined emotion which can be evoked by hostile feelings and envy. The experience of Schadenfreude engages mechanisms implicated in diverse social cognitive processes. For instance, Schadenfreude involves heightened reward processing, accompanied by increased striatal engagement and it interacts with mentalizing and perspective-taking abilities. Patients with Huntington's disease (HD) exhibit reductions of Schadenfreude experience, suggesting a role of striatal degeneration in such an impairment. However, no study has directly assessed the relationship between regional brain atrophy in HD and reduced Schadenfreude. This study investigated whether gray matter (GM) atrophy in HD patients correlates with ratings of Schadenfreude. First, we compared the performance of 20 HD patients and 23 controls on an experimental task designed to trigger Schadenfreude and envy (another social emotion acting as a control condition). Second, we compared GM volume between groups. Third, we examined brain regions where atrophy might be associated with specific impairments in the patients. Results showed that while both groups showed similar ratings of envy, HD patients reported lower Schadenfreude. The latter pattern was related to atrophy in regions of the reward system (ventral striatum) and the mentalizing network (precuneus and superior parietal lobule). Our results shed light on the intertwining of reward and socioemotional processes in Schadenfreude, while offering novel evidence about their neural correlates. In addition, our results open the door to future studies investigating social emotion processing in other clinical populations characterized by striatal or mentalizing network impairments (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders).

Keywords: envy, Gray matter atrophy, Huntigton's disease, Schadenfreude, social emotions

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9 Multimodal Optimization of Density-Based Clustering Using Collective Animal Behavior Algorithm

Authors: Kristian Bautista, Ruben A. Idoy

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A bio-inspired metaheuristic algorithm inspired by the theory of collective animal behavior (CAB) was integrated to density-based clustering modeled as multimodal optimization problem. The algorithm was tested on synthetic, Iris, Glass, Pima and Thyroid data sets in order to measure its effectiveness relative to CDE-based Clustering algorithm. Upon preliminary testing, it was found out that one of the parameter settings used was ineffective in performing clustering when applied to the algorithm prompting the researcher to do an investigation. It was revealed that fine tuning distance δ3 that determines the extent to which a given data point will be clustered helped improve the quality of cluster output. Even though the modification of distance δ3 significantly improved the solution quality and cluster output of the algorithm, results suggest that there is no difference between the population mean of the solutions obtained using the original and modified parameter setting for all data sets. This implies that using either the original or modified parameter setting will not have any effect towards obtaining the best global and local animal positions. Results also suggest that CDE-based clustering algorithm is better than CAB-density clustering algorithm for all data sets. Nevertheless, CAB-density clustering algorithm is still a good clustering algorithm because it has correctly identified the number of classes of some data sets more frequently in a thirty trial run with a much smaller standard deviation, a potential in clustering high dimensional data sets. Thus, the researcher recommends further investigation in the post-processing stage of the algorithm.

Keywords: Metaheuristics, Clustering, collective animal behavior algorithm, density-based clustering, multimodal optimization

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8 An Integrated Experimental and Numerical Approach to Develop an Electronic Instrument to Study Apple Bruise Damage

Authors: Paula Pascoal-Faria, Ines Sousa, Rúben Pereira, Elodie Pinto, Miguel Belbut, Ana Rosa, Nuno Alves

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Apple bruise damage from harvesting, handling, transporting and sorting is considered to be the major source of reduced fruit quality, resulting in loss of profits for the entire fruit industry. The three factors which can physically cause fruit bruising are vibration, compression load and impact, the latter being the most common source of bruise damage. Therefore, prediction of the level of damage, stress distribution and deformation of the fruits under external force has become a very important challenge. In this study, experimental and numerical methods were used to better understand the impact caused when an apple is dropped from different heights onto a plastic surface and a conveyor belt. Results showed that the extent of fruit damage is significantly higher for plastic surface, being dependent on the height. In order to support the development of a biomimetic electronic device for the determination of fruit damage, the mechanical properties of the apple fruit were determined using mechanical tests. Preliminary results showed different values for the Young’s modulus according to the zone of the apple tested. Along with the mechanical characterization of the apple fruit, the development of the first two prototypes is discussed and the integration of the results obtained to construct the final element model of the apple is presented. This work will help to reduce significantly the bruise damage of fruits or vegetables during the entire processing which will allow the introduction of exportation destines and consequently an increase in the economic profits in this sector.

Keywords: Apple, fruit damage, impact during crop and post-crop, mechanical characterization of the apple, numerical evaluation of fruit damage, electronic device

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7 Development of Technologies for the Treatment of Nutritional Problems in Primary Care

Authors: José María Santamaría García, María Lourdes Jiménez Rodríguez, Adriana Cercas Duque, Marta Fernández Batalla, Roberto Barchino Plata, Enrique Monsalvo San Macario

Abstract:

Background: Primary Care Nursing is taking more autonomy in clinical decisions. One of the most frequent therapies to solve is related to the problems of maintaining a sufficient supply of food. Nursing diagnoses related to food are addressed by the nurse-family and community as the first responsible. Objectives and interventions are set according to each patient. To improve the goal setting and the treatment of these care problems, a technological tool is developed to help nurses. Objective: To evaluate the computational tool developed to support the clinical decision in feeding problems. Material and methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at the Meco Health Center, Madrid, Spain. The study population consisted of four specialist nurses in primary care. These nurses tested the tool on 30 people with ‘need for nutritional therapy’. Subsequently, the usability of the tool and the satisfaction of the professional were sought. Results: A simple and convenient computational tool is designed for use. It has 3 main entrance fields: age, size, sex. The tool returns the following information: BMI (Body Mass Index) and caloric consumed by the person. The next step is the caloric calculation depending on the activity. It is possible to propose a goal of BMI or weight to achieve. With this, the amount of calories to be consumed is proposed. After using the tool, it was determined that the tool calculated the BMI and calories correctly (in 100% of clinical cases). satisfaction on nutritional assessment was ‘satisfactory’ or ‘very satisfactory’, linked to the speed of operations. As a point of improvement, the options of ‘stress factor’ linked to weekly physical activity. Conclusion: Based on the results, it is clear that the computational tools of decision support are useful in the clinic. Nurses are not only consumers of computational tools, but can develop their own tools. These technological solutions improve the effectiveness of nutrition assessment and intervention. We are currently working on improvements such as the calculation of protein percentages as a function of protein percentages as a function of stress parameters.

Keywords: Nutrition therapy, Primary Care Nursing, technology assessment, feeding behavior health

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6 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

Abstract:

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, strategic alliances, Internationalization, olive-oil and wine industry

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5 Predictors of Recent Work-Related Injury in a Rapidly Developing Country: Results from a Worker Survey in Qatar

Authors: Ruben Peralta, Sam Thomas, Nazia Hirani, Ayman El-Menyar, Hassan Al-Thani, Mohammed Al-Thani, Mohammed Al-Hajjaj, Rafael Consunji

Abstract:

Moderate to severe work-related injuries [WRI's] are a leading cause of trauma admission in Qatar but information on risk factors for their incidence are lacking. This study aims to document and analyze the predictive characteristics for WRI to inform the creation of targeted interventions to improve worker safety in Qatar. This study was conducted as part of the NPRP grant # 7 - 1120 - 3 - 288, titled "A Unified Registry for Occupational Injury Prevention in Qatar”. 266 workers were interviewed using a standard questionnaire, during ‘World Day for Safety and Health at Work’, a Ministry of Public Health event, none refused interview. Nurses and doctors from the Hamad Trauma Center conducted the interviews. Questions were translated into the worker’s native language when it was deemed necessary. Standard information on epidemiologic characteristics and incidence of work-related injury were collected and compared between nationalities and those injured versus those not injured. 262 males and 4 females were interviewed. 17 [6.4%] reported a WRI in the last 24 months. More than half of the injured worked in construction [59%] followed by water supply [11.8%]. Factors significantly associated with recent injury were: Working for a company with > 500 employees and speaking Hindi. Protective characteristics included: Being from the Philippines or Sri Lanka, speaking Arabic, working in healthcare, an office or trading and company size between 100-500 employees. Years of schooling and working in Qatar were not predictive factor for WRI. The findings from this survey should guide future research that will better define worker populations at an increased risk for WRI and inform recruiters and sending countries. A focus on worker language skills, interventions in the construction industry and occupational safety in large companies is needed.

Keywords: Trauma, Safety, Prevention, occupational injury, work related injury

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4 Parents' Motivating Factors for Their Deaf and Mute Children to Participate in Physical and Recreational Activities

Authors: Ruben L. Tagare

Abstract:

This study was conducted to determine the parents’ motivating factors for their deaf and mute children to participate in physical and recreational activities. Data were collected from the 17 parents of the deaf and mute children using a specifically designed survey questionnaire as the primary instrument used in the study. Data analysis and interpretation were done with the aid of descriptive statistics, such as frequency, percentage, weighted mean and multiple responses. Most of the respondents were female with a mean average age of 38 years old. The average age of their children was 10 years old. In terms of monthly income, the respondents had an average monthly income of PhP 13,945. Furthermore, most of the respondents lived in the urban area and were all Catholic by faith or religion. As to the factors that parents used to motivate their deaf and mute children to engage in physical and recreational activities, these included the followings: First; to make my child experience and explore more meaningful things through physical and recreational activities; second; to gain other’s respect; third; to build friendship and interact with his peers; fourth; to experience the feeling of belongingness; and fifth: to learn and discover new things. On the other hand, the least chosen factors were: first; to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight; second; to reduce fats and lowering blood pressure; third; to improve balance, coordination and strength; fourth; to improve posture; and fifth; to assist the child in the development of gross motor and fine motor skills. Based on the findings of the study, it is hereby recommended that since the first factor is 'to make my child experience and explore more meaningful things through physical and recreational activities' and the other top factors are more on social aspect, the school should design extra-curricular activities such as theatrical play and other similar activities that the students will find interesting while the parents will be more motivated to engage their children into physical and recreational activities. Also, since the least chosen factors are more on physical aspect, the school should organize or conduct a seminar for the parents to be aware of the benefits of participating in physical and recreational activities for their deaf and mute children. They can also conduct an information campaign to encourage the other parents of deaf and mute children, whom they keep only inside their home to enroll in the school and let their children be exposed to the natural world. Considering that parents are the primary motivators that can best help their children become more interested in physical and recreational activities for their own development, the school should always remain motivated by creating activities for the deaf and mute children with their parents. The study also recommends conducting further study on the level of knowledge/understanding of the parents on the benefits that can be derived from participating in physical and recreational activities.

Keywords: Participation, deaf and mute, physical and recreational activities, adaptive PE

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3 Moral Decision-Making in the Criminal Justice System: The Influence of Gruesome Descriptions

Authors: Daniel Pastor, Sandra Baez, Hernando Santamaria-Garcia, Agustin Ibanez, Michel Patiño-Sáenz, Martín Haissiner, Jorge Martínez-Cotrina, Maria-Alejandra Tangarife

Abstract:

It has been shown that gruesome descriptions of harm can increase the punishment given to a transgressor. This biasing effect is mediated by negative emotions, which are elicited upon the presentation of gruesome descriptions. However, there is a lack of studies inquiring the influence of such descriptions on moral decision-making in people involved in the criminal justice system. Such populations are of special interest since they have experience dealing with gruesome evidence, but also formal education on how to assess evidence and gauge the appropriate punishment according to the law. Likewise, they are expected to be objective and rational when performing their duty, because their decisions can impact profoundly people`s lives. Considering these antecedents, the objective of this study was to explore the influence gruesome written descriptions on moral decision-making in this group of people. To that end, we recruited attorneys, judges and public prosecutors (Criminal justice group, CJ, n=30) whose field of specialty is criminal law. In addition, we included a control group of people who did not have a formal education in law (n=30), but who were paired in age and years of education with the CJ group. All participants completed an online, Spanish-adapted version of a moral decision-making task, which was previously reported in the literature and also standardized and validated in the Latin-American context. A series of text-based stories describing two characters, one inflicting harm on the other, were presented to participants. Transgressor's intentionality (accidental vs. intentional harm) and language (gruesome vs. plain) used to describe harm were manipulated employing a within-subjects and a between-subjects design, respectively. After reading each story, participants were asked to rate (a) the harmful action's moral adequacy, (b) the amount of punishment deserving the transgressor and (c) how damaging was his behavior. Results showed main effects of group, intentionality and type of language on all dependent measures. In both groups, intentional harmful actions were rated as significantly less morally adequate, were punished more severely and were deemed as more damaging. Moreover, control subjects deemed more damaging and punished more severely any type of action than the CJ group. In addition, there was an interaction between intentionality and group. People in the control group rated harmful actions as less morally adequate than the CJ group, but only when the action was accidental. Also, there was an interaction between intentionality and language on punishment ratings. Controls punished more when harm was described using gruesome language. However, that was not the case of people in the CJ group, who assigned the same amount of punishment in both conditions. In conclusion, participants with job experience in the criminal justice system or criminal law differ in the way they make moral decisions. Particularly, it seems that they are less sensitive to the biasing effect of gruesome evidence, which is probably explained by their formal education or their experience in dealing with such evidence. Nonetheless, more studies are needed to determine the impact this phenomenon has on the fulfillment of their duty.

Keywords: Criminal Justice System, intentionality, Emotions, gruesome descriptions, moral decision-making

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2 Learning-Teaching Experience about the Design of Care Applications for Nursing Professionals

Authors: A. Gonzalez Aguna, J. M. Santamaria Garcia, J. L. Gomez Gonzalez, R. Barchino Plata, M. Fernandez Batalla, S. Herrero Jaen

Abstract:

Background: Computer Science is a field that transcends other disciplines of knowledge because it allows to support all kinds of physical and mental tasks. Health centres have a greater number and complexity of technological devices and the population consume and demand services derived from technology. Also, nursing education plans have included competencies related to and, even, courses about new technologies are offered to health professionals. However, nurses still limit their performance to the use and evaluation of products previously built. Objective: Develop a teaching-learning methodology for acquiring skills on designing applications for care. Methodology: Blended learning teaching with a group of graduate nurses through official training within a Master's Degree. The study sample was selected by intentional sampling without exclusion criteria. The study covers from 2015 to 2017. The teaching sessions included a four-hour face-to-face class and between one and three tutorials. The assessment was carried out by written test consisting of the preparation of an IEEE 830 Standard Specification document where the subject chosen by the student had to be a problem in the area of care. Results: The sample is made up of 30 students: 10 men and 20 women. Nine students had a degree in nursing, 20 diploma in nursing and one had a degree in Computer Engineering. Two students had a degree in nursing specialty through residence and two in equivalent recognition by exceptional way. Except for the engineer, no subject had previously received training in this regard. All the sample enrolled in the course received the classroom teaching session, had access to the teaching material through a virtual area and maintained at least one tutoring. The maximum of tutorials were three with an hour in total. Among the material available for consultation was an example of a document drawn up based on the IEEE Standard with an issue not related to care. The test to measure competence was completed by the whole group and evaluated by a multidisciplinary teaching team of two computer engineers and two nurses. Engineers evaluated the correctness of the characteristics of the document and the degree of comprehension in the elaboration of the problem and solution elaborated nurses assessed the relevance of the chosen problem statement, the foundation, originality and correctness of the proposed solution and the validity of the application for clinical practice in care. The results were of an average grade of 8.1 over 10 points, a range between 6 and 10. The selected topic barely coincided among the students. Examples of care areas selected are care plans, family and community health, delivery care, administration and even robotics for care. Conclusion: The applied methodology of learning-teaching for the design of technologies demonstrates the success in the training of nursing professionals. The role of expert is essential to create applications that satisfy the needs of end users. Nursing has the possibility, the competence and the duty to participate in the process of construction of technological tools that are going to impact in care of people, family and community.

Keywords: Learning, Nursing, Technology, Care

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1 Association between G2677T/A MDR1 Polymorphism with the Clinical Response to Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Authors: Alan Ruiz-Padilla, Brando Villalobos-Villalobos, Yeniley Ruiz-Noa, Claudia Mendoza-Macías, Claudia Palafox-Sánchez, Miguel Marín-Rosales, Álvaro Cruz, Rubén Rangel-Salazar

Abstract:

Introduction: In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, resistance or poor response to disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) may be a reflection of the increase in g-P. The expression of g-P may be important in mediating the effluence of DMARD from the cell. In addition, P-glycoprotein is involved in the transport of cytokines, IL-1, IL-2 and IL-4, from normal lymphocytes activated to the surrounding extracellular matrix, thus influencing the activity of RA. The involvement of P-glycoprotein in the transmembrane transport of cytokines can serve as a modulator of the efficacy of DMARD. It was shown that a number of lymphocytes with glycoprotein P activity is increased in patients with RA; therefore, P-glycoprotein expression could be related to the activity of RA and could be a predictor of poor response to therapy. Objective: To evaluate in RA patients, if the G2677T/A MDR1 polymorphisms is associated with differences in the rate of therapeutic response to disease-modifying antirheumatic agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Material and Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted. Fifty seven patients with RA were included. They had an active disease according to DAS-28 (score >3.2). We excluded patients receiving biological agents. All the patients were followed during 6 months in order to identify the rate of therapeutic response according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. At the baseline peripheral blood samples were taken in order to identify the G2677T/A MDR1 polymorphisms using PCR- Specific allele. The fragment was identified by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gels stained with ethidium bromide. For statistical analysis, the genotypic and allelic frequencies of MDR1 gene polymorphism between responders and non-responders were determined. Chi-square tests as well as, relative risks with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were computed to identify differences in the risk for achieving therapeutic response. Results: RA patients had a mean age of 47.33 ± 12.52 years, 87.7% were women with a mean for DAS-28 score of 6.45 ± 1.12. At the 6 months, the rate of therapeutic response was 68.7 %. The observed genotype frequencies were: for G/G 40%, T/T 32%, A/A 19%, G/T 7% and for A/A genotype 2%. Patients with G allele developed at 6 months of treatment, higher rate for therapeutic response assessed by ACR20 compared to patients with others alleles (p=0.039). Conclusions: Patients with G allele of the - G2677T/A MDR1 polymorphisms had a higher rate of therapeutic response at 6 months with DMARD. These preliminary data support the requirement for a deep evaluation of these and other genotypes as factors that may influence the therapeutic response in RA.

Keywords: Pharmacogenetics, Rheumatoid Arthritis, p-glycoprotein, MDR1, therapeutic response

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