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    ABSTRACT: Biomarkers are an important tool in laboratory assays that link exposure or effect of specific toxicants to key molecular and cellular events, but they have not been widely used in invertebrate populations exposed to complex mixtures of environmental contaminants in their natural habitats. The present study focused on a battery of biomarkers and their comparative analysis in natural populations of the benthic larvae of Chironomus riparius (Diptera), sampled in three differentially polluted rivers (the Con, Sar, and Louro in Galicia, Spain). In our study, some parameters were identified, such as hsp70 gene activity, GST enzymatic activity, total glycogen content and mouthpart deformities, which showed significant differences among populations from the three rivers that differed in the levels and types of sedimentary contaminants analyzed (metals, organic-chlorine pesticides, alkylphenols, pharmaceutical, and personal care products). In contrast to these sensitive biomarkers, other parameters showed no significant differences (hsc70 gene, EcR gene, P450 gene, RNA:DNA ratio, total protein content), and were stable even when comparing field and nonexposed laboratory populations. The hsp70 gene seems to be particularly sensitive to conditions of pollutant exposure, while its constitutive counterpart hsc70 showed invariable expression, suggesting that the hsc70/hsp70 ratio may be a potential indicator of polluted environments. Although further studies are required to understand the correlation between molecular responses and the ecological effects of pollutants on natural populations, the results provide new data about the biological responses to multiple-stressor environments. This field study adds new molecular endpoints, including gene expression, as suitable tools that, complementing other ecotoxicological parameters, may help to improve the methodologies of freshwater monitoring under the increasing burden of xenobiotics.
    Environmental Toxicology 04/2015; DOI:10.1002/tox.21893
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we investigated the effects of selective attention at encoding on conceptual object priming (Experiment 1) and old–new recognition memory (Experiment 2) tasks in young and older adults. The procedures of both experiments included encoding and memory test phases separated by a short delay. At encoding, the picture outlines of two familiar objects, one in blue and the other in green, were presented to the left and to the right of fixation. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed to attend to the picture outline of a certain color and to classify the object as natural or artificial. After a short delay, participants performed a natural/artificial speeded conceptual classification task with repeated attended, repeated unattended, and new pictures. In Experiment 2, participants at encoding memorized the attended pictures and classify them as natural or artificial. After the encoding phase, they performed an old–new recognition memory task. Consistent with previous findings with perceptual priming tasks, we found that conceptual object priming, like explicit memory, required attention at encoding. Significant priming was obtained in both age groups, but only for those pictures that were attended at encoding. Although older adults were slower than young adults, both groups showed facilitation for attended pictures. In line with previous studies, young adults had better recognition memory than older adults.
    Frontiers in Psychology 01/2015; 5(1567). DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01567
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    ABSTRACT: Under the Spanish Breeding Blanket Technology Programme TECNO_FUS a conceptual design of a DCLL (Dual-Coolant Lithium–Lead) blanket-based reactor is being revised. The dually cooled breeding zone is composed of He/LiPb and SiC as material of the liquid metal flow channel inserts. Structural materials are ferritic-martensitic steel (Eurofer) for the blanket and austenitic steel (SS316LN) for the vacuum vessel (VV) and the cryostat. In this work, radioactive wastes are assessed in order to determine if they can be disposed as low and intermediate level radioactive waste (LILW) in the Spanish near surface disposal facility of El Cabril. Also, unconditional clearance and recycling waste management options are studied. The neutron transport calculations have been performed with MCNPX code, while the ACAB code is used for calculations of the inventory of activation products and for activation analysis, in terms of waste management ratings for the options considered. Results show that the total amount of the cryostat can be disposed in El Cabril joined to the outer layer of both VV and channel inserts, whereas only concrete-made biological shield can be managed through clearance and none of the steels can be recycled. Those results are compared with those corresponding to French regulation, showing similar conclusions.
    Fusion Engineering and Design 10/2014; 89(9-10). DOI:10.1016/j.fusengdes.2014.04.024


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UNED 01/1994; ISBN: 84-362-3129-5
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