Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche
Recent publications
Abstract The species composition of cyanobacteria assemblages was studied in six thermo-mineral springs of spas in Atlantic environments of Galicia (NW Spain). Two are considered hot (Ta ≥ 40 °C), two intermediate (Ta 20–40 °C) and two cold (Ta ≤ 20 °C), and four contain hydrogen sulphide. A total of 21 taxa (14 genera) have been recorded. Two diversity indices, Shannon index and Evenness were determined. The Shannon–Wiener index ranged between 0.31 and 0.73 and the Evenness index between 0.44 and 0.88. nMDS ordination showed that cyanobacteria assemblage composition was influenced mostly by temperature. Of the species identified, the most diverse genus is Leptolyngbya with four species, followed by Chroococcus with three species and Aphanocapsa, Phormidium and Lyngbya with two species. The most abundant species was Jaaginema angustissimum, followed by Leptolyngbya laminosa and Symploca thermalis. In the two cold springs, seven different species were found, and only Aphanocapsa conferta was common to both springs. Cyanobacterial species were more numerous in the four hot springs, with 15 different species and only Calothrix thermalis common to these hot springs. It is difficult to establish characteristic cyanobacterial flora for the thermo-mineral waters of the Galician springs since there are significant differences in the communities from the six sites studied.
Broccoli heads are typically packaged and marketed in petroleum-based heat-shrinkable or stretch-cling films that are not biodegradables. These types of films are not compatible with global strategies to reduce plastics waste. One of these strategies is development of biodegradable packaging materials that can be used as an alternative food package. Therefore, a biodegradable stretch-cling film, based on poly(butylene-adipate-co-terephthalate) and poly(lactide) blend (Nature Fresh®), for its application in broccoli head packaging has been studied. To determine suitability of Nature Fresh® film for broccoli packaging, broccoli heads were wrapped in this film and stored at 2°C for 35 d. Broccolis without packaging and wrapped in linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were used as controls. Physicochemical and sensory evaluation were determined during storage to study the effect of films on quality and shelf life of broccoli. On the one hand, broccolis packaged in Nature Fresh® and LLDPE presented similar evolution in internal atmosphere composition, color, hydroxycinnamic acids and carotenoids content and overall appearance. On the other hand, weight loss and decrease in firmness were significantly higher in broccoli wrapped in Nature Fresh® compared to LLDPE, but this had no impact on overall appearance. Nature Fresh® extended postharvest storage of broccoli heads at least 21 d at 2ºC, which is an adequate time to market. In conclusion, Nature Fresh® film was a viable packaging alternative to LLDPE to preserve broccoli quality during postharvest storage, while fulfilling global strategies to reduce plastics waste.
Vaccinium floribundum Kunth (Ericaceae) is a native Andean species with shrubby habit and edible fruits. It is mostly distributed in the paramos of the Andes, from Venezuela to Bolivia, where it is commonly known as "mortiño". In this study, we describe the reproductive phenological growth stages of V. floribundum in the paramo of the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador, using an adaptation of the BBCH scale system, and according to semi-monthly observations conducted in three localities from January 2017 to June 2018 (18 months). In addition, a linear regression analysis was performed to detect any potential influence of climatic parameters on the reproductive phenology of “mortiño”. Throughout the monitoring period, different stages of reproductive growth such as bud, flower and fruit were simultaneously found among individuals and, sometimes, even in the same plant. The reproductive phenology of sampled individuals from sites 1 and 2 (Mindala Loma and Polylepis, respectively) were relatively synchronized, whereas individuals from site 3 (Mechahuasca) showed a different phenological pattern. A significant, apparently quick, loss of flowers was evident in all localities during the study period. The patterns observed could reflect physiological constraints imposed by the extreme weather conditions of the paramo.
In this paper, the asymptotic behavior of a semilinear heat equation with long time memory and non-local diffusion is analyzed in the usual set-up for dynamical systems generated by differential equations with delay terms. This approach is different from ones used in the previous published literature on the long time behavior of heat equations with memory, which is carried out by the Dafermos transformation. As a consequence, the obtained results provide complete information about the attracting sets for the original problem, instead of the transformed one. In particular, the proved results also generalize and complete previous literature in the local case.
The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) has excellent psychometric properties and is one of the most commonly used instruments throughout the world. The present study aimed to analyze the psychometric properties of the RCADS-30 in a non-clinical sample of Chilean children and adolescents using confirmatory factor analysis and multidimensional Rasch analysis. A community sample of 1034 Chilean adolescents completed the RCADS-30. Different reliability and consistency measures, confirmatory factor analysis and multidimensional Rasch analysis were employed. The results confirmed the 6-factor model, high internal consistency values, and moderate-to-high test-retest reliability of the RCADS-30 in Chilean adolescents. A low Average Variance Extracted (AVE) value was detected in one factor. With respect to multidimensional Rasch analysis, the correlation of residuals were appropriate to indicate the local independence, 6 items showed slight misfit values in a rating scale structure, and no Differential Item Functioning (DIF) was detected by gender. The RCADS-30 is an appropriate instrument to measure emotional disorders in Chilean adolescents, and it can be used for early detection of emotional symptoms in the adolescent’s population. Future studies will have to study the convergent validity and analyze the psychometric properties of RCADS-30 in adolescent clinical population, in order to address measurement precision.
This study evaluated the efficacy of the COMPAS program in the short term and 6 months after its application. For the initial sample, 2047 teenagers aged 14–19 years from 14 schools in 11 Colombian cities participated; eight schools were randomly assigned to the experimental condition and six to the control group. The participants completed self-report assessments that evaluated several variables theoretically associated with protective sexual behaviors. In the short term, the experimental group showed increased knowledge about HIV and other STIs, sexual assertiveness, self-efficacy, greater behavioral intention toward condom use, and more favorable attitudes toward HIV and condom use than the control group. After 6 months, most psychological and health variables also showed a significant positive change. In conclusion, the COMPAS program is the first school-based sexuality education program that has been shown to be effective in reducing mediating and behavioral variables associated with sexual risk reduction in Colombia.
Nasonovia ribisnigri Mosley (Hemiptera: Aphididae) is the most damaging aphid species of lettuce grown in open fields. Populations of N. ribisnigri are developing resistance to insecticides, making their control difficult. Botanicals are an alternative for pest control. Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum L.) is a relevant crop in the production of essential oils. The effect of aqueous nano-formulations of this oil and its main compound (E)-anethole were tested against N. ribisnigri in a growth chamber, a greenhouse (in spring for two years, 2019 and 2020) and in the open field in a plot in the Southeast of Spain (Torrepacheco, Murcia) in May 2019. Aniseed essential oil nanoemulsions were prepared using a laboratory dispersing machine at a high-speed regime (10 min, 7940 revs/min, 15 °C) using Tween80 as a surfactant at a 1:2 ratio. Foliar applications of aniseed essential oil at concentrations of 0.2% and 0.4% (0.1 and 0.2 mL respectively) to lettuce plants infested with homogeneous populations of N. ribisnigri reduced the number of insects compared with the control in the laboratory (efficacies > 50%) and greenhouse (efficacies > 25%, 48 h after treatment) experiments. During the field trial, a reduction in the aphid populations was also produced after the application of the products, without any phytotoxic effects observed on the crop. Likewise, (E)-anethole gave similar results as aniseed essential oil (with efficiencies of up to 47% with respect to the control) without damaging the plant.
Some weeks after the first CoVID-19 outbreak, the World Health Organization published some real-time PCR (qPCR) protocols developed by different health reference centers. These qPCR designs are being used worldwide to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the population, to monitor the prevalence of the virus during the pandemic. Moreover, some of these protocols to detect SARS-CoV-2 have widely been applied to environmental samples for epidemiological surveillance purposes. In the present work, the specificity of these currently used RT-qPCR designs was validated in vitro using SARS-CoV-2 and highly related coronaviral genomic sequences and compared to performance of the commercially available GPS™ CoVID-19 dtec-RT-qPCR Test. Assays performed with SARS-CoV-2-related genomes showed positive amplification when using some of these qPCR methods, indicating they may give SARS-CoV-2 false positives. This finding may be particularly relevant for SARS-CoV-2 monitoring of environmental samples, where an unknown pool of phylogenetically close-related viruses may exist.
Importance: Adequate reporting in the abstracts of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is essential to enable occupational therapy practitioners to critically appraise the validity of findings. Objective: To evaluate the reporting quality and characteristics of RCT abstracts published between 2008 and 2018 in the occupational therapy journals with the five highest impact factors in 2018. Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study. Data Sources: The American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT), Australian Occupational Therapy Journal (AOTJ), Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy (CJOT), Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy (SJOT), and Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics (POTP) were identified using a Web of Science search. Study Selection and Data Collection: We searched Scopus for abstracts in the five included journals. We used a 17-point scale based on the CONSORT for Abstracts (CONSORT-A) checklist to assess reporting quality. We also identified characteristics of the abstracts. Findings: Seventy-eight RCT abstracts were assessed and showed moderate to low adherence to the CONSORT-A checklist (Mdn = 8, interquartile range = 7–9). Abstracts of articles with authors from a higher number of institutions, European first authors, and >200 words had higher CONSORT-A scores. The most underreported CONSORT-A items were trial design, blinding, numbers analyzed, outcome (results), harms, trial registration, and funding. Conclusions and Relevance: Between 2008 and 2018, the reporting quality in RCT abstracts from the five highest impact occupational therapy journals was moderate to low. Inadequate reporting in RCT abstracts raises the risk that occupational therapy practitioners will make ineffective clinical decisions based on misinterpretation of findings. What This Article Adds: Reporting quality in RCT abstracts in occupational therapy journals is moderate to low. Journal editors should require authors of RCTs to use the CONSORT-A checklist to promote optimal reporting and transparency in abstracts.
Abstract Background Old age is one of the most important risk factors for severe COVID-19. Few studies have analyzed changes in the clinical characteristics and prognosis of COVID-19 among older adults before the availability of vaccines. This work analyzes differences in clinical features and mortality in unvaccinated very old adults during the first and successive COVID-19 waves in Spain. Methods This nationwide, multicenter, retrospective cohort study analyzes unvaccinated patients ≥ 80 years hospitalized for COVID-19 in 150 Spanish hospitals (SEMI-COVID-19 Registry). Patients were classified according to whether they were admitted in the first wave (March 1-June 30, 2020) or successive waves (July 1-December 31, 2020). The endpoint was all-cause in-hospital mortality, expressed as the case fatality rate (CFR). Results Of the 21,461 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, 5,953 (27.7%) were ≥ 80 years (mean age [IQR]: 85.6 [82.3–89.2] years). Of them, 4,545 (76.3%) were admitted during the first wave and 1,408 (23.7%) during successive waves. Patients hospitalized in successive waves were older, had a greater Charlson Comorbidity Index and dependency, less cough and fever, and met fewer severity criteria at admission (qSOFA index, PO2/FiO2 ratio, inflammatory parameters). Significant differences were observed in treatments used in the first (greater use of antimalarials, lopinavir, and macrolides) and successive waves (greater use of corticosteroids, tocilizumab and remdesivir). In-hospital complications, especially acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia, were less frequent in patients hospitalized in successive waves, except for heart failure. The CFR was significantly higher in the first wave (44.1% vs. 33.3%; -10.8%; p
Although mitochondria are widely studied organelles, the recent interest in the role of mitochondrial small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs), miRNAs, and more recently, piRNAs, is providing new functional perspectives in germ cell development and differentiation. piRNAs (PIWI-interacting RNAs) are single-stranded sncRNAs of mostly about 20–35 nucleotides, generated from the processing of pre-piRNAs. We leverage next-generation sequencing data obtained from mouse primordial germ cells and somatic cells purified from early-differentiating embryonic ovaries and testis from 11.5 to 13.5 days postcoitum. Using bioinformatic tools, we elucidate (i) the origins of piRNAs as transcribed from mitochondrial DNA fragments inserted in the nucleus or from the mitochondrial genome; (ii) their levels of expression; and (iii) their potential roles, as well as their association with genomic regions encoding other sncRNAs (such as tRNAs and rRNAs) and the mitochondrial regulatory region (D-loop). Finally, our results suggest how nucleo-mitochondrial communication, both anterograde and retrograde signaling, may be mediated by mitochondria-associated piRNAs.
Background The aim of this study was to analyze the shoulder functional profile (rotation range of motion [ROM] and strength), upper and lower body performance, and throwing speed of U13 versus U15 male handball players, and to establish the relationship between these measures of physical fitness and throwing speed. Methods One-hundred and nineteen young male handball players (under (U)-13 (U13) [n = 85]) and U15 [n = 34]) volunteered to participate in this study. The participating athletes had a mean background of sytematic handball training of 5.5 ± 2.8 years and they exercised on average 540 ± 10.1 min per week including sport-specific team handball training and strength and conditioning programs. Players were tested for passive shoulder range-of-motion (ROM) for both internal (IR) and external rotation (ER) and isometric strength (i.e., IR and ER) of the dominant/non-dominant shoulders, overhead medicine ball throw (OMB), hip isometric abductor (ABD) and adductor (ADD) strength, hip ROM, jumps (countermovement jump [CMJ] and triple leg-hop [3H] for distance), linear sprint test, modified 505 change-of-direction (COD) test and handball throwing speed (7 m [HT7] and 9 m [HT9]). Results U15 players outperformed U13 in upper (i.e., HT7 and HT9 speed, OMB, absolute IR and ER strength of the dominant and non-dominant sides; Cohen’s d: 0.76–2.13) and lower body (i.e., CMJ, 3H, 20-m sprint and COD, hip ABD and ADD; d: 0.70–2.33) performance measures. Regarding shoulder ROM outcomes, a lower IR ROM was found of the dominant side in the U15 group compared to the U13 and a higher ER ROM on both sides in U15 (d: 0.76–1.04). It seems that primarily anthropometric characteristics (i.e., body height, body mass) and upper body strength/power (OMB distance) are the most important factors that explain the throw speed variance in male handball players, particularly in U13. Conclusions Findings from this study imply that regular performance monitoring is important for performance development and for minimizing injury risk of the shoulder in both age categories of young male handball players. Besides measures of physical fitness, anthropometric data should be recorded because handball throwing performance is related to these measures.
Background Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is considered an effective treatment for enhancing endothelial function in patients with heart failure (HF). Nonetheless, recent studies have been published and the optimal “dose” of exercise required to increase the benefits of exercise-based CR programmes on endothelial function is still not well-known. Objectives (a) To estimate the effect of exercise-based CR on endothelial function, assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD); (b) to determine whether high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is better than moderate intensity training (MIT) for improving FMD; and (c) to investigate whether there are differences between resistance exercise (alone or combined with aerobic exercise) and aerobic exercise for enhancing endothelial function. Methods Electronic searchers were carried out in PubMed, Embase, and Scopus up to February 2022. Random-effects models of between-group mean differences were estimated. Heterogeneity analyses were performed by means of the chi-square test and I 2 index. Subgroup analyses and meta-regressions were used to test the influence of potential moderator variables on the effect of exercise. Results Most of the included studies performed an aerobic-based CR programme in patients with HF and reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). We found a FMD increase of 2.74% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.69, 3.79%) in favour of CR programmes compared with control groups. Nonetheless, the results of included studies were inconsistent ( p < .001; I 2 = 94.8%). Higher FMD improvement was found in studies performed with patients with HFrEF compared to patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction, reported radial FMD, or performed higher training frequency. Moreover, HIIT enhanced FMD to a greater extent than MIT (2.65% [95% CI = 0.98, 4.33%]), while no differences were found based on the exercise modality (1.97% [95% CI = − 0.64, 4.58%]). Conclusion Aerobic-based CR is a non-pharmacological treatment for enhancing endothelial function in patients with HFrEF. Nonetheless, training variables such as the aerobic training method (i.e., HIIT and MIT) and training frequency should be considered to properly design exercise-based CR programmes. Registration: The protocol was prospectively registered on the PROSPERO database (CRD42022304687).
The aim of this study was to describe individual training strategies in preparation to Giro d’Italia of three world class road cyclists who achieved a top 5 in the general classification. Day‐to‐day power meter training and racing data of three road cyclists (age: 26, 27, 25 years; relative maximum oxygen consumption: 81, 82, 80 mL·min‐1·kg‐1; relative 20‐min record power output: 6.6, 6.6, 6.4 W·kg‐1) of the 22 weeks (December‐May) leading up to the top 5 in Giro d’Italia general classification were retrospectively analyzed. Weekly volume and intensity distribution were considered. Cyclists completed 17, 22, 29 races, trained averagely for 19.7 (7.9), 16.2 (7.0), 14.7 (6.2) hours per week, with a training intensity distribution of 91.3‐6.5‐2.2, 83.6‐10.6‐5.8, 86.7‐8.9‐4.4 in zone 1‐zone 2‐zone 3 before the Giro d’Italia. Two cyclists spent 55 and 39 days at altitude, one did not attend any altitude camp. Cyclists adopted an overall pyramidal intensity distribution with a relevant increase in high‐intensity volume and polarization index in races weeks. Tapering phases seem to be dictated by race schedule instead of literature prescription, with no strength training performed by the three cyclists throughout the entire periodization.
Tapentadol (TAP) and oxycodone/naloxone (OXN) potentially offer an improved opioid tolerability. However, real-world studies in chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) remain scarce. Our aim was to compare effectiveness and security in daily pain practice, together with the influence of pharmacogenetic markers. An observational study was developed with ambulatory test cases under TAP (n = 194) or OXN (n = 175) prescription with controls (prescribed with other opioids (control), n = 216) CNCP patients. Pain intensity and relief, quality of life, morphine equivalent daily doses (MEDD), concomitant analgesic drugs, adverse events (AEs), hospital frequentation and genetic variants of OPRM1 (rs1799971, A118G) and COMT (rs4680, G472A) genes, were analysed. Test CNCP cases evidenced a significantly higher pain relief predictable due to pain intensity and quality of life (R ² = 0.3), in front of controls. Here, OXN achieved the greatest pain relief under a 28% higher MEDD, 8–13% higher use of pregabalin and duloxetine, and 23% more prescription change due to pain, compared to TAP. Whilst, TAP yielded a better tolerability due the lower number of 4 [0–6] AEs/patient, in front of OXN. Furthermore, OXN COMT -AA homozygotes evidenced higher rates of erythema and vomiting, especially in females. CNCP real-world patients achieved higher pain relief than other traditional opioids with a better tolerability for TAP. Further research is necessary to clarify the potential influence of COMT and sex on OXN side-effects.
The habenula is a complex neuronal population integrated in a pivotal functional position into the vertebrate limbic system. Its main afference is the stria medullaris and its main efference the fasciculus retroflexus. This neuronal complex is composed by two main components, the medial and lateral habenula. Transcriptomic and single cell RNAseq studies have unveiled the morphological complexity of both components. The aim of our work was to analyze the relation between the origin of the axonal fibers and their final distribution in the habenula. We analyzed 754 tracing experiments from Mouse Brain Connectivity Atlas, Allen Brain Map databases, and selected 12 neuronal populations projecting into the habenular territory. Our analysis demonstrated that the projections into the medial habenula discriminate between the different subnuclei and are generally originated in the septal territory. The innervation of the lateral habenula displayed instead a less restricted distribution from preoptic, terminal hypothalamic and peduncular nuclei. Only the lateral oval subnucleus of the lateral habenula presented a specific innervation from the dorsal entopeduncular nucleus. Our results unveiled the necessity of novel sorts of behavioral experiments to dissect the different functions associated with the habenular complex and their correlation with the distinct neuronal populations that generate them.
Even the low levels of non-essential elements exposure common in the US may have health consequences especially early in life. However, little is known about the infant’s dynamic exposure to essential and non-essential elements. This study aims to evaluate exposure to essential and non-essential elements during infants’ first year of life and to explore the association between the exposure and rice consumption. Paired urine samples from infants enrolled in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study (NHBCS) were collected at approximately 6 weeks (exclusively breastfed) and at 1 year of age after weaning (n = 187). A further independent subgroup of NHBCS infants with details about rice consumption at 1 year of age also was included (n = 147). Urinary concentrations of 8 essential (Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, and Se) and 9 non-essential (Al, As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Sb, Sn, V, and U) elements were determined as a measure of exposure. Several essential (Co, Fe, Mo, Ni, and Se) and non-essential (Al, As, Cd, Hg, Pb, Sb, Sn, and V) elements had higher concentrations at 1 year than at 6 weeks of age. The highest increases were for urinary As and Mo with median concentrations of 0.20 and 1.02 µg/L at 6 weeks and 2.31 and 45.36 µg/L at 1 year of age, respectively. At 1 year of age, As and Mo urine concentrations were related to rice consumption. Further efforts are necessary to minimize exposure to non-essential elements while retaining essential elements to protect and promote children’s health.
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3,064 members
Álvaro García del Castillo-López
  • Department of Health Psychology
Jesús T. Pastor
  • Centro de Investigación Operativa
Xavier Barber
  • Centro de Investigación Operativa
Mireia Orgilés
  • Department of Health Psychology
Virtudes Pérez-Jover
  • Department of Health Psychology
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