Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Barcelona, Spain
Recent publications
Many aspects of the spatial ecology of the cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) are still unknown. The Iberian population is thought to be predominantly sedentary, but the spatial patterns of young individuals have been barely studied. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive understanding of the juvenile dispersal of the Iberian cinereous vultures. To this end, we GPS-tagged 41 Cinereous Vultures and tracked their movements during the period 2002–2021, from the end of parental care to the beginning of reproductive age. We examined the influence of age, season and sex on movement metrics (accumulated distances, distances to nest and home range sizes). During the juvenile dispersal period, cinereous vultures travelled over large areas of the Iberian Peninsula and southern Europe. Despite the high individual variability, we found a negative age-related trend in all movement metrics: the younger individuals (<1 year old) often performed farther movements and occupied larger areas, stabilising their movements during immature (1–3 years) and subadult (4 years) phases. On the other hand, season influenced the accumulated distance within all age classes; warm months positively influenced flight effort. Finally, females flew farther and occupied larger areas than males, consistently within age classes. This study did not take into account many factors which may explain part of the high variability observed: landscape, supplementary feeding sites, dumps, colony size, interspecific interactions, stochastic events, etc. Further studies are needed to investigate the influence of these factors on the dispersal of the species in more detail, but this work provides the first approach to the juvenile dispersal of the cinereous vulture in Iberia.
As in our everyday lives, we use digital elements as part of formal and informal education. To serve their educational purpose well, systematic research is desirable to identify and measure their characteristics. This study focuses on science practicals, which are complex and vary in organizational settings and specific arrangements, including usage of digital elements. We describe the digital resources on which the online instruction of science practicals during the COVID-19 forced lockdowns was built, and their key characteristics were identified. Data were collected from science teachers in Slovakia, Czechia, Slovenia, France, and Spain. The teachers shared the web resources they used and that they would recommend, together with a description of the resources. We recorded 89 inputs representing 50 unique resources. Teachers preferred free resources, mostly for knowledge revision, and newly discovered 36% of them due to forced distant teaching. The best evaluated resources were those supporting interaction (especially among peers), focused on teaching subjects and/or ICT, ready to use, and with a clear structure. The resource most frequently mentioned and used in more than half of the countries was PhET (Interactive Simulations for Science and Math) which provides free simulations of scientific principles. Other characteristics mentioned in the literature (e.g., supporting creativity and independent solving, connecting different levels of organization, authenticity, flexibility) were not that important for the overall rating.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on societies, with possible consequences for their fundamental values. Inglehart’s revised modernization theory links societal values to the underlying subjective sense of existential security in a given society (scarcity hypothesis), while also claiming that influences on values diminish once individuals reach adulthood (socialization hypothesis). An acute existential crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic offers a rare opportunity to test these assumptions. We analyze data from representative surveys conducted in Japan shortly before and after the onset of the pandemic. Remaining survey sample differences are statistically controlled via propensity score weighting and regression adjustment, while post-stratification weights allow conclusions about the Japanese population. In three sets of analyses, we reveal that the pandemic and the experienced psychological distress are negatively associated with emancipative and secular values, entailing a reversal to traditionalism, intolerance, and religiosity. First, we document a substantial decline in both emancipative and secular values in the first months of the pandemic compared to five months earlier. This decline remained stable a year later. Second, we find that value change was stronger in prefectures more severely affected by the pandemic. Third, individuals who experienced higher psychological distress emphasized the same values more strongly, as evident in two surveys from May 2020 and April 2021. In contrast to the socialization hypothesis, our study provides evidence that, under extraordinary environmental conditions, values can shift even within a negligibly short time period.
Previous studies have reported that adolescents were at higher risk for mental health disorders during and after the COVID-19 pandemic due to the characteristics of their developmental period and to the impact of social and mobility restrictions on their daily routines. In response to these reports, we designed, implemented, and evaluated the impact of a brief positive psychological intervention in a high school setting to increase adolescents’ psychological well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. A pre-post experimental study was conducted to compare the levels of anxiety, academic motivation, and performance changes in an experimental and control group. A final sample of 148 students from two Spanish high schools of the Catalan region participated in the study ( M ag e = 12.45; 48% female). Results showed that participants in the experimental group reported a reduction in anxiety and an increase in global motivation levels compared to the control group. Regression analyses also revealed that the intervention was a significant predictor of reduced anxiety, increased motivation, and fewer failed subjects, while high anxiety predicted decreased performance and reduced motivation. These findings suggest that brief positive psychological interventions implemented in high school classrooms could be a cost-effective and systemic preventive measure for increasing adolescents’ psychological well-being and strengthening their general mental health both during and after periods of pandemic restrictions.
El objetivo de este artículo es analizar, desde un planteamiento teórico, las características de la gestión del conocimiento y de la gestión de la calidad en los centros de formación profesional en Europa. Para ello se ha realizado una revisión de literatura que incluye informes, tesis doctorales, libros y capítulos de libros, así como artículos publicados en revistas científicas, tanto en lengua inglesa como castellana, sin establecimiento de límite temporal. Los resultados muestran una armonización del concepto de formación profesional a nivel de Europa, si bien existen diferencias en las formas en las que cada estado concibe la calidad del sistema educativo. Fruto de esta discrepancia, aparecen diferentes propuestas, muchas de ellas derivadas de modelos empresariales, para gestionar la calidad de los centros de formación profesional. Como consecuencia del uso de modelos empresariales basados, principalmente, en procesos, se presenta la necesidad de incluir modelos de gestión del conocimiento enfocados a crear, transferir, almacenar y aplicar el conocimiento disponible en los centros de formación profesional, si bien no hay acuerdo a la hora de definir cómo deben ser estos modelos, ni la relación que deben establecer con los sistemas de garantía de calidad. La revisión realizada permite concluir que, si bien se está consolidando un mismo concepto para la formación profesional, queda todavía un largo recorrido para harmonizar los sistemas de garantía de calidad y su vinculación con los sistemas de gestión del conocimiento organizativo de los centros de formación profesional.
We evaluated the response rate, acceptability, and effectiveness of a preventive programme offering rapid HIV and other STI testing, as well as sexual counselling to gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) via dating apps over a 4-year period. The programme was carried out in 9 out of the 10 districts in the city of Barcelona, Spain. The response rate was defined as the proportion of people responding to the message sent, acceptability as the proportion of those responding favourably, and effectiveness as the proportion of users requesting a test. We performed uni-variate analysis and multivariate logistic regression in relation with the response rate, acceptability and effectiveness. A total of 5,254 messages were send to different users. The response rate was 33.1% (n = 1,741), acceptability was 86.2% (n = 1,500), and effectiveness was 10.1% (n = 532). The factors associated with user response were recent connection to the app (aOR = 1.85; CI:1.39-2.46) and the presence of a profile photograph (aOR = 1.34; CI:1.11-1.64). Acceptability was associated with recent connection to the app (aOR = 1.98; CI:1.09-3.58). Effectiveness was associated with lower reported age (aOR = 0.98; CI:0.97-0.99), contact before 14:00 (aOR = 2.47; CI: 1.77-3.46), and recent connection to the app (aOR = 4.89; CI:1.98-12.08). Effectiveness was also greater in districts that were more disadvantaged or had fewer sexual health services. This study demonstrates that the use of these apps is an acceptable and effective method of prevention and sexual health promotion in GBMSM in this setting and identifies the associated factors that could guide such interventions.
Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson is a dioecious broad-leaved species characterized by rapid growth, high seed production, efficient resource use, and adaptability to diverse environments and cropping systems. A. palmeri populations are spreading beyond their native range in South western US, into the Mediterranean region and have been reported in several European and Mediterranean countries. First stands were located along roadsides, and later in nearby agricultural fields. Possible routes of introduction include contaminated animal feed and grain shipments for industrial processing. Some European A. palmeri populations appear to be already resistant to 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) and acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors when imported. This resistanceRecent studies suggest that this trait may have evolved in the origin country prior tobefore the introduction into southern Europe and the wider Mediterranean region. Effective, transboundary networks have to be established between farmers and researchers to raise the agricultural community awareness and continuously monitor the invasiveness of A. palmeri in Europe. In this review, we first propose highlight botanical characteristics that allow accurate identification of A. palmeri from closely related Amaranthus species. Then, we summarize recent reports on the occurrence of A. palmeri in Europe and the Mediterranean region. We proceed to predict assess future invasion and spread across Europe according to climate and agricultural practices. In addition, we review measures to early detect A. palmeri and we put emphasised on feasible, chemical and non-chemical weed control methods as components of integrated weed management (IWM) to mitigate the impact of A. palmeri invasion on European agriculture.
Background In a previous study, the authors found that at 6 months after treatment with a 20 × 10 ⁶ dose of bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs), patients showed improved tendon structure and regeneration of the gap area when compared with treatment using leukocyte-poor platelet-rich plasma (Lp-PRP). The Lp-PRP group (n = 10), which had not seen tendon regeneration at the 6-month follow-up, was subsequently offered treatment with BM-MSCs to see if structural changes would occur. In addition, the 12-month follow-up outcomes of the original BM-MSC group (n = 10) were evaluated. Purpose To evaluate the outcomes of all patients (n = 20) at 12 months after BM-MSC treatment and observe if the Lp-PRP pretreated group experienced any type of advantage. Study Design Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2. Methods Both the BM-MSC and original Lp-PRP groups were assessed at 12 months after BM-MSC treatment with clinical examination, the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain during daily activities and sports activities, the Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment–Patella score for patellar tendinopathy, dynamometry, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Differences between the 2 groups were compared with the Student t test. Results The 10 patients originally treated with BM-MSCs continued to show improvement in tendon structure in their MRI scans ( P < .0001), as well as in the clinical assessment of their pain by means of scales ( P < .05). Ten patients who were originally treated with Lp-PRP and then with BM-MSCs exhibited an improvement in tendon structure in their MRI scans, as well as a clinical pain improvement, but this was not significant on the VAS for sports ( P = .139). Thus, applying Lp-PRP before BM-MScs did not yield any type of advantage. Conclusion The 12-month follow-up outcomes after both groups of patients (n = 20) received BM-MSC treatment indicated that biological treatment was safe, there were no adverse effects, and the participants showed a highly statistically significant clinical improvement ( P < .0002), as well as an improvement in tendon structure on MRI ( P < .0001). Preinjection of Lp-PRP yielded no advantages.
The lack of topsoil is frequently a limiting factor in limestone quarry restoration. This implies that new technosols for maintaining target habitats must be created using mining wastes as the main components. We designed three different technosols using different combinations of mineral materials (mining wastes, excavated soils and topsoil), organic amendment types (compost and digestate) and doses for the restoration of target habitats. Moreover, we monitored the main physicochemical indicators of the quality of the technosols. We observed not only an increase in soil organic carbon and plant nutrients related to the application of any type of organic amendment, but that the digestate mostly increased the soil resistance to erosion by improving soil aggregation even before the emergence of vegetation. Soil-water-retention capacity only improved in technosols built with organic amendments and topsoil. The combination of mining wastes, organic amendments and a superficial horizon of topsoil resulted in the most optimal technosol for the restoration of limestone quarries in the Mediterranean climate.
Introduction: Small-area estimation methods are an alternative to direct survey-based estimates in cases where a survey's sample size does not suffice to ensure representativeness. Nevertheless, the information yielded by small-area estimation methods must be validated. The objective of this study was thus to validate a small-area model. Methods: The prevalence of smokers, ex-smokers, and never smokers by sex and age group (15-34, 35-54, 55-64, 65-74, ≥75 years) was calculated in two Spanish Autonomous Regions (ARs) by applying a weighted ratio estimator (direct estimator) to data from representative surveys. These estimates were compared against those obtained with a small-area model applied to another survey, specifically the Spanish National Health Survey, which did not guarantee representativeness for these two ARs by sex and age. To evaluate the concordance of the estimates, we calculated the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the 95% confidence intervals of the differences between estimates. To assess the precision of the estimates, the coefficients of variation were obtained. Results: In all cases, the ICC was ≥0.87, indicating good concordance between the direct and small-area model estimates. Slightly more than eight in ten 95% confidence intervals for the differences between estimates included zero. In all cases, the coefficient of variation of the small-area model was <30%, indicating a good degree of precision in the estimates. Conclusions: The small-area model applied to national survey data yields valid estimates of smoking prevalence by sex and age group at the AR level. These models could thus be applied to a single year's data from a national survey, which does not guarantee regional representativeness, to characterize various risk factors in a population at a subnational level.
Objectives To assess excess mortality among older adults institutionalized in nursing homes within the successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in Catalonia (north-east Spain). Design Observational, retrospective analysis of population-based central healthcare registries. Setting and participants Individuals aged >65 years admitted in any nursing home in Catalonia between January 1, 2015, and April 1, 2022. Methods Deaths reported during the pre-pandemic period (2015–2019) were used to build a reference model for mortality trends (a Poisson model, due to the event counting nature of the variable “mortality”), adjusted by age, sex, and clinical complexity, defined according to the adjusted morbidity groups. Excess mortality was estimated by comparing the observed and model-based expected mortality during the pandemic period (2020–2022). Besides the crude excess mortality, we estimated the standardized mortality rate (SMR) as the ratio of weekly deaths’ number observed to the expected deaths’ number over the same period. Results The analysis included 175,497 older adults institutionalized (mean 262 days, SD 132), yielding a total of 394,134 person-years: 288,948 person-years within the reference period (2015–2019) and 105,186 within the COVID-19 period (2020–2022). Excess number of deaths in this population was 5,403 in the first wave and 1,313, 111, −182, 498, and 329 in the successive waves. The first wave on March 2020 showed the highest SMR (2.50; 95% CI 2.45–2.56). The corresponding SMR for the 2nd to 6th waves were 1.31 (1.27–1.34), 1.03 (1.00–1.07), 0.93 (0.89–0.97), 1.13 (1.10–1.17), and 1.07 (1.04–1.09). The number of excess deaths following the first wave ranged from 1,313 (2nd wave) to −182 (4th wave). Excess mortality showed similar trends for men and women. Older adults and those with higher comorbidity burden account for higher number of deaths, albeit lower SMRs. Conclusion Excess mortality analysis suggest a higher death toll of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes than in other settings. Although crude mortality rates were far higher among older adults and those at higher health risk, younger individuals showed persistently higher SMR, indicating an important death toll of the COVID-19 in these groups of people.
Cocoa and its derivative products, especially chocolate, are highly appreciated by consumers for their exceptional organoleptic qualities, thus being often considered delicacies. They are also regarded as superfoods due to their nutritional and health properties. Cocoa is susceptible to adulteration to obtain illicit economic benefits, so strategies capable of authenticating its attributes are needed. Features such as cocoa variety, origin, fair trade, and organic production are increasingly important in our society, so they need to be guaranteed. Most of the methods dealing with food authentication rely on profiling and fingerprinting approaches. The compositional profiles of natural components –such as polyphenols, biogenic amines, amino acids, volatile organic compounds, and fatty acids– are the source of information to address these issues. As for fingerprinting, analytical techniques, such as chromatography, infrared, Raman, and mass spectrometry, generate rich fingerprints containing dozens of features to be used for discrimination purposes. In the two cases, the data generated are complex, so chemometric methods are usually applied to extract the underlying information. In this review, we present the state of the art of cocoa and chocolate authentication, highlighting the pros and cons of the different approaches. Besides, the relevance of the proposed methods in quality control and the novel trends for sample analysis are also discussed.
In recent years, recurrent droughts have weakened the stone pine ( Pinus pinea) forests and favoured the emergence of harmful pests and diseases, including the Leptoglossus occidentalis. The stone pine’s nuts production has declined over the past five years. To control this hemipteran pest, a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide called deltamethrin is being tested. However, it is necessary to estimate the residue left by these treatments in forest stands. Therefore, a fast and robust analytical procedure was developed based on QuEChERS clean-up extraction, followed by gas chromatography coupled with an electron capture detector. This optimized method can detect residual concentrations of deltamethrin in pine needles and pine nuts up to a few µg kg − 1 . The results showed that two weeks after spraying, the deltamethrin content in the needles of stone pines decreased up to 75%, and after 9 months, its presence was like the nontreated trees.
Aim: To investigate the occurrence of traumatic stress symptoms (TSS) among healthcare workers active during the COVID-19 pandemic and to obtain insight as to which pandemic-related stressful experiences are associated with onset and persistence of traumatic stress. Methods: This is a multicenter prospective cohort study. Spanish healthcare workers (N = 4,809) participated at an initial assessment (i.e., just after the first wave of the Spain COVID-19 pandemic) and at a 4-month follow-up assessment using web-based surveys. Logistic regression investigated associations of 19 pandemic-related stressful experiences across four domains (infection-related, work-related, health-related and financial) with TSS prevalence, incidence and persistence, including simulations of population attributable risk proportions (PARP). Results: Thirty-day TSS prevalence at T1 was 22.1%. Four-month incidence and persistence were 11.6% and 54.2%, respectively. Auxiliary nurses had highest rates of TSS prevalence (35.1%) and incidence (16.1%). All 19 pandemic-related stressful experiences under study were associated with TSS prevalence or incidence, especially experiences from the domains of health-related (PARP range 88.4-95.6%) and work-related stressful experiences (PARP range 76.8-86.5%). Nine stressful experiences were also associated with TSS persistence, of which having patient(s) in care who died from COVID-19 had the strongest association. This association remained significant after adjusting for co-occurring depression and anxiety. Conclusions: TSSs among Spanish healthcare workers active during the COVID-19 pandemic are common and associated with various pandemic-related stressful experiences. Future research should investigate if these stressful experiences represent truly traumatic experiences and carry risk for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder.
BACKGROUND: Amaranthus palmeri is an aggressive annual weed native to the United States, which has become invasive in some European countries. Populations resistant to acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors have been recorded in Spain and Italy, but the evolutionary origin of the resistance traits remains unknown. Bioassays were conducted to identify cross-resistance to ALS inhibitors and a haplotype-based genetic approach was used to elucidate the origin and distribution of resistance in both countries. RESULTS: A. palmeri populations were resistant to thifensulfuron-methyl and imazamox, and the 574-Leu mutant ALS allele was found to be the main cause of resistance. In two Spanish populations, 376-Glu and 197-Thr mutant ALS alleles were also found. The haplotype analyses revealed the presence of two and four distinct 574Leu mutant haplotypes in the Italian and Spanish populations, respectively. None was common to both countries, but some mutant haplotypes were shared between geographically close populations or between populations more than 100 km apart. Wide genetic diversity was found in two very close Spanish populations. CONCLUSION: ALS-resistant A. palmeri populations were introduced to Italy and Spain from outside Europe. Populations from both countries have different evolutionary histories and originate from independent introduction events. ALS resistance then spread over short and long distances by seed dispersal. The higher number and genetic diversity among mutant haplotypes from the Spanish populations indicated recurrent invasions. The implementation of control tactics to limit seed dispersal and the establishment of A. palmeri is recommended in both countries.
Wild boar (WB, Sus scrofa) populations are increasing in urban areas, posing an epidemiological risk for zoonotic pathogens such as hepatitis E virus (HEV) and antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter (AMR-CAMP), as well as non-zoonotic pathogens such as African swine fever virus (ASFV). An epidemiological extension of a validated Agent-Based Model (ABM) was developed to assess the one-year epidemiological scenarios of HEV, AMR-CAMP, and ASFV in the synurbic WB-human interface in Barcelona, Spain. The predicted citizen exposure was similar for HEV and AMR-CAMP, at 0.79% and 0.80% of the human population in Barcelona, respectively, despite AMR-CAMP being more prevalent in the WB population than HEV. This suggests a major role of faeces in pathogen transmission to humans in urban areas, resulting in a non-negligible public health risk. The ASFV model predicted that the entire WB population would be exposed to the virus through carcasses (87.6%) or direct contact (12.6%) in 51-71 days after the first case, with an outbreak lasting 71-124 days and reducing the initial WB population by 95%. The ABM predictions are useful for animal and public health risk assessments and to support risk-based decision-making. The study underscores the need for interdisciplinary cooperation among animal, public, and environmental health managers, and the implementation of the One Health approach to address the epidemiological and public health risks posed by the synurbization of WB in urban areas. The spatially explicit epidemiological predictions of the ABM can be adapted to other diseases and scenarios at the wildlife-livestock-human interface.
Las metodologías activas han adquirido gran protagonismo en la actual educación escolar. La gamificación o el aprendizaje basado en juegos se han erigido como nuevos métodos para fomentar el aprendizaje significativo a partir del juego. A pesar de esto, parece que los juegos de mesa han quedado relegados al pasado, por obviar su posible relevancia en los procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje. Con el propósito de valorar su aplicación y el desarrollo de valores, este artículo presenta una propuesta de adaptación de La Oca, El Cluedo y El Party a la Educación Física escolar. Mediante la información obtenida de los estudiantes participantes y la docente del área, se presentan los resultados de este estudio de caso.
The expansion of Baltic amber through Europe has traditionally been associated to the spread of the Bell Beaker culture during the 3rd millennium BC. In Iberia, this phenomenon is particularly noticeable in the southern half. Here we present an amber bead recovered in a Late Neolithic funerary cave (3634 − 3363 2σ cal BC) from northeastern Iberia where more than 12 individuals had been buried. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) results of four samples revealed their complete resemblance with Baltic succinite reference spectra. Despite being a single bead, this finding provides the earliest evidence of the arrival of Baltic amber to the Mediterranean and Western Europe, before the Bell Beaker phenomenon and more than a millennium earlier than traditionally thought.
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719 members
Xavier Lasauca
  • Directorate-General for Research (Ministry of Research and Universities
Carlos Ferrándiz
  • Dermatology. Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol
Eva Martinez Caceres
  • Immunology. Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol
Felip Pi Siques
  • Institut catala de la salut
Barcelona, Spain