Instituto Tecnológico de Informática Valencia
Recent publications
The human microbiome is an integral component of the human body and a co-determinant of several health conditions 1,2 . However, the extent to which interpersonal relations shape the individual genetic makeup of the microbiome and its transmission within and across populations remains largely unknown 3,4 . Here, capitalizing on more than 9,700 human metagenomes and computational strain-level profiling, we detected extensive bacterial strain sharing across individuals (more than 10 million instances) with distinct mother-to-infant, intra-household and intra-population transmission patterns. Mother-to-infant gut microbiome transmission was considerable and stable during infancy (around 50% of the same strains among shared species (strain-sharing rate)) and remained detectable at older ages. By contrast, the transmission of the oral microbiome occurred largely horizontally and was enhanced by the duration of cohabitation. There was substantial strain sharing among cohabiting individuals, with 12% and 32% median strain-sharing rates for the gut and oral microbiomes, and time since cohabitation affected strain sharing more than age or genetics did. Bacterial strain sharing additionally recapitulated host population structures better than species-level profiles did. Finally, distinct taxa appeared as efficient spreaders across transmission modes and were associated with different predicted bacterial phenotypes linked with out-of-host survival capabilities. The extent of microorganism transmission that we describe underscores its relevance in human microbiome studies ⁵ , especially those on non-infectious, microbiome-associated diseases.
Virtual and augmented reality have been used to diagnose and treat several mental health disorders for decades. Technological advances in these fields have facilitated the availability of commercial solutions for end customers and practitioners. However, there are still some barriers and limitations that prevent these technologies from being widely used by professionals on a daily basis. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a variety of new scenarios in which these technologies could play an essential role, like providing remote treatment. Disorders that traditionally had received less attention are also getting in the spotlight, such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Improvements in equipment and hardware, like Mixed Reality Head Mounted Displays, could help open new opportunities in the mental health field. Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term meant to comprise Virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR), and augmented reality (AR). While XR applications are eminently visual, other senses are being explored in literature around multisensory interactions, such as auditory, olfactory, or haptic feedback. Applying such stimuli within XR experiences around mental disorders is still under-explored and could greatly enrich the therapeutic experience. This manuscript reviews recent research regarding the use of XR for mental health scenarios, highlighting trends, and potential applications as well as areas for improvement. It also discusses future challenges and research areas in upcoming topics such as the use of wearables, multisensory, and multimodal interaction. The main goal of this paper is to unpack how these technologies could be applied to XR scenarios for mental health to exploit their full potential and follow the path of other health technologies by promoting personalized medicine.
The impact of pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) and DMSO concentration (0, 30, 50, 100%) on the yield of antioxidants and minerals from Chlorella were investigated. The results showed that PLE increased the antioxidant yield. Water extracted more proteins, while with 100% DMSO more polyphenols, chlorophylls, and carotenoids were obtained. The efficiency coefficient (KPLE) results showed that PLE+100% DMSO was more suitable for the recovery of antioxidants and pigments from Chlorella (polyphenols 10.465 mg/g, chlorophyll a 6.206 mg/g, chlorophyll b 3.003 mg/g, carotenoids 0.971 mg/g). Thus, PLE+100% DMSO was used for recovery studies on Spirulina, Chlorella, and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The carotenoid profile was clearly different, the total carotenoid content being considerably higher in the Spirulina extract (59.06 mg/L). Regarding the extraction of minerals, Relative Nutrient Values results were calculated based on Recommended Dietary Allowances. The results indicated that the extracts could be used as a mineral source for different populations.
Galectins (Gal) are a family of conserved soluble proteins with high affinity for β-galactoside structures. They have been recognized as important proteins for successful pregnancy. However, little is known about their presence in breast milk and their role in early infancy. Gal-1, -3 and -9 concentrations were evaluated by Multiplex immunoassays in mother–infant pairs from the MAMI cohort in maternal plasma (MP) (n = 15) and umbilical cord plasma (UCP) (n = 15) at birth and in breast milk samples (n = 23) at days 7 and 15 postpartum. Data regarding mother and infant characteristics were collected. Gal-9 was present in a lower concentration range than Gal-1 and Gal-3 in plasma, specifically in UCP. A major finding in the current study is that Gal-1, -3 and -9 were detected for the first time in all the transitional breast milk samples and no differences were found when comparing the two breastfeeding time points. Finally, Gal levels were associated with some maternal and infant characteristics, such as gestational age, pregnancy weight gain, maternal diet, the gender, infant growth and infant infections. In conclusion, Gal levels seem to be involved in certain developmental aspects of early life.
This study investigated the effects of pulsed electric field (PEF) (3 kV/cm, 44 pulses, 99 kJ/kg), solvent (H2O or 50 % DMSO) and time (0, 10, 20, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min) on the extraction of Chlorella antioxidant biomolecules and minerals. The results showed that PEF treatment increased the biomolecules recovery. For the extraction time of 120 min, more proteins and polyphenols were obtained using water, while more chlorophyll a and b, and carotenoids were obtained using 50 % DMSO as the extraction solvent. The extracts mineral concentration (PEF vs control) were analysed including Mg, P, Ca, Fe and Zn, and the Relative Nutrient Values results indicated that Chlorella H2O-extracts could be used as a mineral source for different populations. Finally, the fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy revealed the electroporation effect of PEF.
Maternal obesity causes metabolic dysfunction in the offspring, including dysbiosis, overeating, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Early-life phases are fundamental for developing subcutaneous (SAT) and brown adipose tissues (BAT), handling energy excesses. Imaging of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose by positron emission tomography (PET) and radiodensity by computerized tomography (CT) allows assessing adipose tissue (AT) whitening and browning in vivo and the underlying metabolic efficiency. Our aim was to examine these in vivo traits in SAT and BAT concerning gut microbiota composition in 1- and 6-month-old mice born to normal (NDoff) and high-fat diet-fed dams (HFDoff), accounting for body weight responses. We found low radiodensity (high lipids) in HFDoff SAT at 1 month, relating to an increased abundance of Dorea genus in the caecum and activation of the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway. Instead, low BAT radiodensity and glucose uptake were seen in adult HFDoff. Glucose was shifted in favor of BAT at 1 month and SAT at 6 months. In adults, unclassified Enterococcaceae and Rikenellaceae, and Bacillus genera were negatively related to BAT, whereas unclassified Clostridiales genera were related to SAT metabolism. Stratification of HFDoff based on weight-response, namely maternal induced obesity (MIO-HFDoff) or obesity-resistant (MIOR-HFDoff), showed sex dimorphism. Both subgroups were hyperphagic, but only obese mice had hyper-leptinemia and hyper-resistinemia, together with BAT dysfunction, whereas non-obese HFDoff had hyperglycemia and SAT hypermetabolism. In the caecum, unclassified Rikenellaceae (10-fold enrichment in MIO-HFDoff) and Clostridiales genera (4-fold deficiency in MIOR-HFDoff) were important discriminators of these two phenotypes. In conclusion, SAT whitening is an early abnormality in the offspring of HFD dams. In adult life, maternal HFD and the induced excessive food intake translates into a dimorphic phenotype involving SAT, BAT, and microbiota distinctively, reflecting maternal diet*sex interaction. This helps explain inter-individual variability in fetal programming and the higher rates of type 2 diabetes observed in adult women born to obese mothers, supporting personalized risk assessment, prevention, and treatment.
Besides shear viscosity, other texture parameters (adhesiveness or cohesiveness) might be relevant for safe swallowing in people suffering from oropharyngeal dysphagia. Shear viscosity is assessed through protocols developed using a viscometer or a rheometer. In contrast, protocols and instruments (capillary break-up rheometer) to assess adhesiveness and cohesiveness are less common and much less developed. Other equipment such as texture analyzers can provide useful information on food properties. Here, we aimed to explore different texture analyzer settings (type of test, probe, and protocol) to characterize four commercial dysphagia thickeners at the shear viscosity levels recommended by manufacturers. Among the tests used (extrusion or penetration) with the different probes (disc, cone and shape holder, sphere, or cylinder), cone extrusion provided information about adhesivity, disc extrusion about sample cohesiveness, and sphere about penetration and sample elasticity. The test speeds used influenced the results, but only one speed is needed as the different speeds provided the same fluid information; for easiness, it is proposed to use 1 mm/s. Comparing the texture analyzer results with viscosity values obtained at different shears, the texture analyzer parameters reflected information that differ from shear viscosity. This information could be relevant for the therapeutic effect of thickening products and food characterization.
Objectives The fatty acid (FA) composition of breast milk is a relevant aspect related to the development of the lactating infant. The present study aimed at exploring correlations between dietary intake of macro- and micronutrients with the FA profile in breast milk, and the possible implication for infants' growth. Study Design Breast milk samples from a cohort of lactating women were collected 7–15 days postpartum. The FA profiles in triacylglycerol (TAG) and phospholipid (PL)-rich fractions were analyzed by gas chromatography. Diet was registered during the third trimester of pregnancy by means of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). In addition, anthropometric measurements of infants were collected from gestation and up to 12 months postpartum. Results The FA profile in breast milk was characterized by a median of 37.4, 41.3 and 16.8% of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated FAs, respectively. From the dietary components, zinc, iron, and B group vitamins were correlated positively with the proportion of total n-3 FAs in TAG and C20:5 n-3 in PL. Lycopene, vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin B2 showed a similar correlation with total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), total n-6 FAs, C20:4 n-6, and C18:2 n-6 in TAG. Regarding food groups, nuts showed the strongest association with several PUFA both in TAG and PL, while the vegetable group was also positively associated with C18:3 n-3. Furthermore, the concentration of linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3) and palmitic acid (C16:0) were positively associated with increased length for age (LFA) and weight for age (WFA) at 12 months compared with birth [ΔLFA −0.16 (−0.85, 0.37); ΔWFA −0.26 (−0.77, 0.21)]. Conclusions Mothers' intake of nuts, dietary sources of zinc, iron, and B group vitamins were identified as potential predictors of a high-unsaturated FA profile in breast milk. In addition, linolenic and palmitic acids in breast milk were positively associated with infants' growth in the first year of life.
In this special issue, 23 research papers are published focusing on COVID-19 and operational research solution techniques. First, we detail the process from advertising the call for papers to the point where the best papers are accepted. Then, we provide a summary of each paper focusing on applications, solution techniques and insights for practitioners and policy makers. To provide a holistic view for readers, we have clustered the papers into different groups: transmission, propagation and forecasting, non-pharmaceutical intervention, healthcare network configuration, healthcare resource allocation, hospital operations, vaccine and testing kits, and production and manufacturing. Then, we introduce other possible subjects that can be considered for future research.
The enormous amount of containers handled at ports hampers the efficiency of terminal operations. The optimization of crane movements is crucial for speeding up the loading and unloading of vessels. To this end, the premarshalling problem aims to reorder a set of containers placed in adjacent stacks with a minimum number of crane movements, so that a container with an earlier retrieval time is not below one with a later retrieval time. In this study, we present a series of constraint programming models to optimally solve the premarshalling problem. Extensive computational comparisons show that the best proposed constraint programming formulation yields better results than the state-of-the-art integer programming approach. A salient finding in this paper is that the logic behind the model construction in constraint programming is radically different from that of more traditional mixed integer linear programming models.
The use, production, and disposal of engineering nanomaterials (ENMs), including graphene-related materials (GRMs), raise concerns and questions about possible adverse effects on human health and the environment, considering the lack of harmonized toxicological data on ENMs and the ability of these materials to be released into the air, soil, or water during common industrial processes and/or accidental events. Within this context, the potential release of graphene particles, their agglomerates, and aggregates (NOAA) as a result of sanding of a battery of graphene-based polyester resin composite samples intended to be used in a building was examined. The analyzed samples were exposed to different weathering conditions to evaluate the influence of the weathering process on the morphology and size distribution of the particles released. Sanding studies were conducted in a tailored designed sanding bench connected to time and size resolving measurement devices. Particle size distributions and particle number concentration were assessed using an optical particle counter (OPC) and a condensation particle counter (CPC), respectively, during the sanding operation. A scanning electron microscope/energy dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) analysis was performed to adequately characterize the morphology, size, and chemical composition of the released particles. A toxicity screening study of pristine and graphene-based nanocomposites released using the aquatic macroinvertebrate Daphnia magna and relevant human cell lines was conducted to support risk assessment and decision making. The results show a significant release of nanoscale materials during machining operations, including differences attributed to the % of graphene and weathering conditions. The cell line tests demonstrated a higher effect in the human colon carcinoma cell line Caco2 than in the human fibroblasts (A549 cell line), which means that composites released to the environment could have an impact on human health and biota.
Scope: Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are complex glycans that are abundant in human milk. The potential impact of a maternal diet on individual HMOs and the association with secretor status is unknown. Thus, this study is aimed to examine the association between maternal diet and HMO profiles. Methods and results: This is a cross-sectional study of the MAMI cohort with 101 human milk samples from healthy mothers. HMO profiling is assessed by quantitative HPLC. Maternal dietary information is recorded through an FFQ, and perinatal factors including the mode of delivery, antibiotic exposure, and breastfeeding practices, are collected. A more significant effect of diet on HMO profiles is observed in secretor mothers than in non-secretor mothers. (Poly)phenols and fibers, both soluble and insoluble, and several insoluble polysaccharides, pectin, and MUFA are associated with the secretor HMO profiles. Conclusions: Maternal diet is associated with the composition and diversity of HMO in a secretor status-dependent manner. The relationship between maternal diet and bioactive compounds, including HMOs, which are present in human milk, needs further research due its potential impact on infant development and health outcomes.
Metabolic impairments and liver and adipose depots alterations were reported in subjects with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), highlighting the role of the liver–adipose–tissue–brain axis in AD pathophysiology. The gut microbiota might play a modulating role. We investigated the alterations to the liver and white/brown adipose tissues (W/BAT) and their relationships with serum and gut metabolites and gut bacteria in a 3xTg mouse model during AD onset (adulthood) and progression (aging) and the impact of high-fat diet (HFD) and intranasal insulin (INI). Glucose metabolism (18FDG-PET), tissue radiodensity (CT), liver and W/BAT histology, BAT-thermogenic markers were analyzed. 16S-RNA sequencing and mass-spectrometry were performed in adult (8 months) and aged (14 months) 3xTg-AD mice with a high-fat or control diet. Generalized and HFD resistant deficiency of lipid accumulation in both liver and W/BAT, hypermetabolism in WAT (adulthood) and BAT (aging), abnormal cytokine–hormone profiles, and liver inflammation were observed in 3xTg mice; INI could antagonize all these alterations. Specific gut microbiota–metabolome profiles correlated with a significant disruption of the gut–microbiota–liver–adipose axis in AD mice. In conclusion, fat dystrophy in liver and adipose depots contributes to AD progression, and associates with altered profiles of the gut microbiota, which candidates as an appealing early target for preventive intervention.
p>In the original Supplementary Table associated with this Correspondence, the terms “postbiotic” and “ISAPP” were misspelled in the column heading and footnote, respectively. These errors have now been corrected and the Supplementary information updated online; for transparency, the updated Supplementary Table is available in the online version of this Correction.</p
This study aims at evaluating the impact of different processes-pulsed electric fields (PEF), pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) and a multistep process combining PEF + PLE on the yield of antioxidant compounds (protein, polyphenols, chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, and carotenoids) from Spirulina. Firstly, the effects of PEF or PLE treatment on the extraction yield of Spirulina biomolecules were evaluated. To further increase the extraction yield, PEF + PLE was used, as an innovative extraction approach. The results showed that PEF + PLE greatly improved the extraction yield compared with the PEF or PLE treatments alone. Compared with Folch extraction (conventional control technique), PEF + PLE significantly (P < 0.05) shortened the extraction time (−165 min) and increased the protein, polyphenol, chlorophyll a and antioxidant capacity values of Spirulina extracts by 1328%, 979%, 11% and 47% respectively. Furthermore, Triple TOF-LC-MS-MS results showed that PEF + PLE increased both the type and content of phenolic compounds. The above results were attributed to PEF-induced damage on Spirulina helical structure, which was verified by fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy.
Hybrid Flowshop Scheduling Problems (HFS) are among the most realistic machine sequencing models there are. These problems deal with the scheduling of a set of jobs through a set of stages where at each stage, multiple parallel machines exist. We consider a number of extensions to this problem. First of all, we take into account the existence of sequence dependent setup times which are prevalent in practice. Second, we optimize the total weighted earliness and tardiness, but not from a due date, rather a due date window. As of late, simple local search methods have been successfully employed in scheduling problems. Their simplicity and ease of extension is remarkable. Despite being simple, state-of-the-art results are often achieved. Among these methods, Iterated Greedy (IG) has shown great promise. We elaborate on these ideas and develop new local search procedures that are much faster than existing ones, allowing many more iterations per unit of time. A parameter-less IG, which does not require calibration, is presented. In order to test it, we carry out a comprehensive computational campaign. We test both the HFS without setup times and due date windows (HFSDDW), as well as the same problem with the additional consideration of setup times (HFSDDW-SDST). A total of 14 competing methods have been carefully reimplemented, adapted for these problems, calibrated and tested against the proposed IG. The complete experiments, with more than 12,000 instances, together with the statistical analyses, indicate that the proposed IG method produces state-of-the-art results for the problems considered.
In the last decade, there is growing evidence about the health effects derived from the adoption of fruits and vegetable rich diets. This has increased the interest towards the bioactive compounds that seem to play a crucial role in the biological systems. In consequence, even public entities have started to emanate recommendations for improving the population intake of fruits and vegetables. This chapter will be focused primarily on the main bioactive compounds present in the plant‐sourced products with emphasis on the scientifically reported biological activity. In addition, an evaluation of the impact on the bioactive molecules of the most used food technologies that allow to transform fruits and vegetables in ingredients is described. The analysis of the nutritional enrichment strategies with plant‐based ingredients reveals that efforts have been focused on four food‐stuffs categories: bakery products, pasta‐like products, snacks and beverages. In this section, main findings on the products nutritional profile as a result of the vegetable ingredients incorporation are compiled. Likewise, the use and the impact of the ingredients coming from food industrial processes, better known as by‐products, have been discussed looking forward a more sustainable future food industry.
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Antonio L. Lagarda
  • R&D Services
Cristóbal Costa-Soria
  • Strategic and Competitive Intelligence
Valencia, Spain