Universidad de Cádiz
  • Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain
Recent publications
Background Exercise training can positively impact the immune system and particularly natural killer (NK) cells, at least in healthy people. This effect would be of relevance in the context of cancer given the prominent role of these cells in antitumor immunity. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we aimed to summarize current evidence on the effects of exercise training on the levels and function of NK cells in cancer survivors (i.e., from the time of diagnosis until the end of life). Methods Relevant articles were searched in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (until January 11, 2022). Randomized controlled trials (RCT) of exercise training (i.e., non-acute) interventions vs usual care conducted in cancer survivors and assessing NK number and/or cytotoxic activity (NKCA) before and upon completion of the intervention were included. Methodological quality of the studies was assessed with the PEDro scale, and results were meta-analyzed using a random effects (Dersimoian and Laird) model. Results Thirteen RCT including 459 participants (mean age ranging 11–63 years) met the inclusion criteria. Methodological quality of the studies was overall fair (median PEDro score = 5 out of 10). There was heterogeneity across studies regarding cancer types (breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors), treatment (e.g . , receiving vs having received chemotherapy), exercise modes (aerobic or resistance exercise, Tai Chi, Yoga) and duration (2–24 weeks). No consistent effects were observed for NK number in blood (mean difference [MD]: 1.47, 95% confidence interval [CI] − 0.35 to 3.29, p = 0.113) or NKCA as assessed in vitro (MD: − 0.02, 95%CI − 0.17 to 0.14, p = 0.834). However, mixed results existed across studies, and some could not be meta-analyzed due to lack of information or methodological heterogeneity. Conclusions Current evidence does not support a significant effect of exercise training intervention on NK cells in blood or on their ‘static response’ (as assessed in vitro) in cancer survivors. Several methodological issues and research gaps are highlighted in this review, which should be considered in future studies to draw definite conclusions on this topic.
Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already caused 6 million deaths worldwide. While asymptomatic individuals are responsible of many potential transmissions, the difficulty to identify and isolate them at the high peak of infection constitutes still a real challenge. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 provokes severe vascular damage and thromboembolic events in critical COVID-19 patients, deriving in many related deaths and long-hauler symptoms. Understanding how these processes are triggered as well as the potential long-term sequelae, even in asymptomatic individuals, becomes essential. Methods We have evaluated, by application of a proteomics-based quantitative approach, the effect of serum from COVID-19 asymptomatic individuals over circulating angiogenic cells (CACs) . Healthy CACs were incubated ex-vivo with the serum of either COVID-19 negative (PCR −/IgG −, n:8) or COVID-19 positive asymptomatic donors, at different infective stages: PCR +/IgG − (n:8) and PCR −/IgG + (n:8). Also, a label free quantitative approach was applied to identify and quantify protein differences between these serums. Finally, machine learning algorithms were applied to validate the differential protein patterns in CACs. Results Our results confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 promotes changes at the protein level in the serum of infected asymptomatic individuals, mainly correlated with altered coagulation and inflammatory processes (Fibrinogen, Von Willebrand Factor, Thrombospondin-1). At the cellular level, proteins like ICAM-1, TLR2 or Ezrin/Radixin were only up-regulated in CACs treated with the serum of asymptomatic patients at the highest peak of infection (PCR + /IgG −), but not with the serum of PCR −/IgG + individuals. Several proteins stood out as significantly discriminating markers in CACs in response to PCR or IgG + serums. Many of these proteins particiArticle title: Kindly check and confirm the edit made in the article title.pate in the initial endothelial response against the virus. Conclusions The ex vivo incubation of CACs with the serum of asymptomatic COVID-19 donors at different stages of infection promoted protein changes representative of the endothelial dysfunction and inflammatory response after viral infection, together with activation of the coagulation process. The current approach constitutes an optimal model to study the response of vascular cells to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and an alternative platform to test potential inhibitors targeting either the virus entry pathway or the immune responses following SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Buildings are a major contributor to climate change, accounting for one third of global energy consumption and one quarter of CO2 emissions. However, comprehensive information is lacking for the development, evaluation and monitoring of mitigation policies. This paper discusses the remaining challenges in terms of reliability and consistency of the available data. A review of energy use in buildings is presented to analyse its evolution by building types, energy services and fuel sources. Residential buildings are the most consuming, although tertiary expansion requires further analysis to develop sound specific indicators. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems concentrate 38% of buildings consumption, calling for strengthened standards and incentives for retrofitting. Electrification is rapidly increasing, representing a potential tool for climate change mitigation, if renewable power was promoted. However, energy use in buildings will only curb if global cooperation enables developing nations to break the link between economic growth, urbanisation and consumption. To this aim, efficiency gains both in construction and equipment, decarbonisation of the energy mix and a global awareness on energy conservation are all needed.
The combination of alternate fuels, such as biodiesel, and low-temperature combustion (LTC) constitutes a promising solution to reduce pollutant emission and to avoid dependence on fossil fuels. However, this concept requires additional research to optimise LTC of biodiesel over wider operating ranges, specifically including the implementation of numerical models to assist in the development of these engines. In this work, an experimental analysis was carried out assessing both thermal performance and emissions derived from the LTC of diesel/biodiesel blends with late direct injection. Furthermore, this analysis allowed implementing a predictive tool to characterise in-cylinder pressure trace under this operation strategy. This model was coupled with an empirical law to simulate heat release during the combustion process. Least squares method was applied to fit this empirical law to experimental data involving different conditions in terms of percentages of rapeseed biodiesel in the fuel blend, rotational speed, fuel/air equivalence ratio and percentages of external exhaust gas recirculation. To build the predictive model, a multiple regression methodology was used to correlate the law parameters with the operating conditions. Finally, a validation process based on the simulation of in-cylinder pressure trace was developed, revealing that the predictions agreed well with the experimental data. This suggests that the proposed model is able to satisfactorily predict the LTC of diesel/biodiesel blends within the test range.
Mutation testing exploits artificial faults to measure the adequacy of test suites and guide their improvement. It has become an extremely popular testing technique as evidenced by the vast literature, numerous tools, and research events on the topic. Previous survey papers have successfully compiled the state of research, its evolution, problems, and challenges. However, the use of mutation testing in practice is still largely unexplored. In this paper, we report the results of a thorough study on the use of mutation testing in GitHub projects. Specifically, we first performed a search for mutation testing tools, 127 in total, and we automatically searched the GitHub repositories including evidence of their use. Then, we focused on the top ten most widely used tools, based on the previous results, and manually revised and classified over 3.5K GitHub active repositories importing them. Among other findings, we observed a recent upturn in interest and activity, with Infection (PHP), PIT (Java) and Humbug (PHP) being the most widely used mutation tools in recent years. The predominant use of mutation testing is development, followed by teaching and learning, and research projects, although with significant differences among mutation tools found in the literature—less adopted and largely used in teaching and research—and those found in GitHub only—more popular and more widely used in development. Our work provides a new and encouraging perspective on the state of practice of mutation testing.
Anaerobic co-digestion of organic wastes is an effective technology for the management of two or more substrates with different characteristics. In this context, the main objective of this work was the optimization of biogas production for the treatment of a mixture of two-phase olive-mill waste (2POMW) and cattle manure (CM) (60:40 w/w) at mesophilic temperature range (35 °C). The effect of hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the performance and stability of the digestion process was studied. A decreasing series of HRTs in the range of 40–12 days was analyzed. The corresponding organic loading rates (OLR) were in the range 2.01–6.07 gVS/LR·d. Pseudo steady-state operation of the reactor was established for HRTs between 40 and 15 days. For 15-days HRT, the maximum values of methane productivity (0.94 LCH4/LR·d) and specific methane yield (0.52 LCH4/gVSremoved) were obtained while total acidity (measured as acetic acid) in the effluent were<150 mg/L, verifying process stability. In addition, the removal efficiencies of volatile solids (VS) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) were 38 and 67 %, respectively. At 12-days HRT, decreases in methane production and organic matter removal efficiencies were observed, with values of 27 and 47 % for VS and DOC removal, respectively. Therefore, 12-days HRT was considered as inadequate for the anaerobic co-digestion of 2POMW and CM because a clear increase in volatile fatty acids was observed at the end of this period, leading to process destabilization and a decrease in biogas production.
Los estudios de género que han tratado las palabras que sirven para referirnos a la profesión de hombres y mujeres han ocupado, en mayor medida, el espacio de la actualidad. En cambio, en este trabajo se pretende un análisis sociolingüístico histórico a través de textos de la prensa en los siglos XVIII y XIX, con el fin de encontrar innovaciones léxicas y actitudes con referencia al sexo de las mujeres en el campo de las profesiones en el pasado. Para ello, habrá que tomar en consideración la conciencia lingüística de los hablantes, así como sus creencias e ideas en torno al género gramatical. Se tratará de demostrar, pues, a través de una serie de testimonios, cómo los hablantes del pasado ya tenían conciencia sobre su instrumento lingüístico cuando este servía para la denominación de sujetos sexuados de la realidad y, sobre todo, cuándo y cómo lo hacían en relación con las mujeres.
Billions of microplastics (MPs) eliminated during wastewater treatment are prone to be found in sewage sludge, which would lead to dynamic redistribution of these particles in agricultural soils and consequently to the uptake and remobilization of various pollutants. As far as we know, there is limited information on MPs in sludge from Spanish wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In this study, their abundance during primary and secondary treatments in four WWTPs was investigated in two samplings, in a southern nationwide area. Combining shape, size, and chemical composition, we discussed the reasons for the existence of MP sizes (> 100 μm), as well as an estimate of the annual emission of each polymer from land application. MP concentrations in sludge samples ranged from 96 to 769 particles/g dry sludge, with an average of 392.4 ± 72.01 particles/g dry sludge. Microparticles in the shape of fibres are the most common type ranged between 100 and 355 μm. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) showed that most MPs belonged to thermoplastics, ethylene derivatives, polyethylene terephthalate and polyamide. Based on the total sewage sludge production in Spain, the average amount of MPs derived from sewage sludge that could enter the soil was estimated to be 2.80 × 10¹⁴ MPs/year. The results confirmed that dry sludge is one of the potential sources of MPs contamination in the terrestrial environment.
We have in depth analyzed the refractive-index behavior and optical absorption of below-band-gap light, in order to calculate the basic parameters of the energy-band structure of thin layers of non-crystalline semiconductors. By carrying out a semi-empirical determination of the influence of the finite (non-zero) width of the valence and conduction electronic bands, we find the dependence of the index of refraction upon the photon energy, n(E), which goes just one order beyond the Wemple–DiDomenico two-level single-oscillator expression, and we simultaneously obtain the spectral dependence of the absorption coefficient, α(E). By model fitting the measured normal-incidence transmittance spectrum, we demonstrate that with a highly-sensitive double-beam spectrophotometer, it can be accurately determined the energy distance, EM,Sol, between the corresponding ‘centers of mass’ of the bonding and anti-bonding electronic bands, and also a reasonable estimate of the so-called effective width, Δeff, of both valence and conduction bands. We have used this devised optical approach with a series of uniform and non-uniform thin layers of unhydrogenated fully a-Si, grown by RF-magnetron-sputtering deposition, onto room-temperature transparent glass substrates. The advantages of our novel approach are mainly due to the additional attention paid to the roles of the weak-absorption Urbach tail and the thickness non-uniformity of the studied a-Si films. We have also used a universal normal-incidence transmission expression reported by the authors in an earlier paper, which can be applied even to strongly-wedge-shaped semiconductor layers. Together with the use of the improved Solomon formula for the normal optical dispersion of the refractive index, the complete approach with all its elements constitutes the main novelty of the present paper, in comparison with other existing works.
Nitrification–denitrification is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to treat landfill leachates. Special attention has been given to the nitrification step, usually the limiting one due to its special sensitivity to environmental factors. Here, the effect of the acclimatization of the nitrifying biomass to two different intermediate landfill leachates with different salt concentrations, COD and BOD 5 has been studied. Despite the complete nitrification being successfully performed, the specific nitritation rates were reduced after the biomass adaptation to both landfill leachates caused by the presence of heavy metals and the high salt concentration. NGS analysis of the biomass samples revealed that Proteobacteria (48.5%), Actinobacteriota (14.4%) and Chloroflexi (9.5%) were the dominant phyla in the non-adapted biomass. The leachate feeding led to a decrease in OTU diversity and favored the growth of the phyla Bacteroidetes (27.2%), Euryarchaeota (26.6%) and Proteobacteria (20.0%) accounting for more than 70% of relative abundance. Several OTUs capable of performing the nitritation belong to the Xanthobacteraceae and the Xanthomonadaceae families, the Saccharimonadales order, and the genus Nitrosomonas , Nitrosospira and Paracoccus . In the nitratation process, the Xanthobacteraceae family and Lautropia and Nitrolancea genera were found. Graphical Abstract
Elemental sulfur is an interesting byproduct obtained in the anoxic biodesulfurization of biogas. However, the colloidal properties of this biogenic elemental sulfur (S⁰) make its efficient recovery difficult. The present study investigated the flocculation of S⁰ produced in an anoxic bioreactor for biogas desulfurization using cationic (Sedifloc 40L4 C, Lizaflock 853 M), anionic (Innoflock 201) and non-ionic flocculants (NI-1009) and a coagulant (polyaluminum chloride). Cationic-type flocculants showed the highest flocculation efficiency, which led to its selection for further evaluation using the response surface methodology of the effects and interactions of its dose, stirring speed and pH on the biogenic sulfur flocculation rate. Optimum S⁰ flocculation conditions were observed using Lizaflock 853 M at a dose of 0.82 mg L⁻¹, a stirring speed of 30 rpm and a pH of 8.0. A S⁰ flocculation rate of 97.05% was achieved for an initial concentration of 1730 mg S⁰ L⁻¹. The Zeta potential of the settled sulfur particles increased after the flocculation process.
Radar data from the Mars Express spacecraft show bright subsurface reflections in the Planum Australe area that could be due to liquid water located at a depth of 1.5 km (Orosei et al., 2018). If this interpretation of the data is correct, the presence of such water would have important implications for the present-day thermal state of the region. In this article, we recalculate the depth of the liquid water and we analyze the influence of the regional thermal properties in the surface heat flow and the subsurface temperatures. We have obtained a new depth to the bright reflector between 1.3 and 1.5 km by using a temperature dependent relative permittivity for the water ice and taking into account the dust content in the area. We show that regional properties in the SPLD moderately influence the thermal state of the area where the liquid water is located. A better knowledge of the porosity profile in the studied area is necessary to constrain surface heat flow and subsurface temperatures accurately. Our findings are in agreement with previous work that shows anomalously high local heat flows would be required to sustain liquid water at this location.
We combined geoelectric and seismic ambient noise methods to image the shallow depth (<30 m) distribution of thermal waters in two fault-controlled hydrothermal systems located in southern Chile. The bedrock depth was constrained with seismics, while hotsprings and mapped faults were imaged by low-electrical-resistivity domains (<160 Ωm) defined with electrical resistivity tomographies (ERT). The distribution and shape of low-resistivity-domains suggest that thermal fluids follow complex pathways, including deep vertical conduits hosted in fractured rock and shallow horizontal bodies hosted in sediments. These results indicate that the studied hydrothermal systems are at least twice longer within the sediments than the superficial area covered by hotsprings.
The control of the pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is a challenge for governments all around the globe. To manage this situation, countries have adopted a bundle of measures, including restrictions to population mobility. As a consequence, drivers face with the problem of obtaining fast routes to reach their destinations. In this context, some recent works combine Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) with big data processing technologies taking the traffic information into account. However, there are no proposals able to gather the COVID-19 health information, assist in the decision-making process, and compute fast routes in an all-in-one solution. In this paper, we propose a Pandemic Intelligent Transportation System (PITS) based on Complex Event Processing (CEP), Fuzzy Logic (FL) and Colored Petri Nets (CPN). CEP is used to process the COVID-19 health indicators and FL to provide recommendations about city areas that should not be crossed. CPNs are then used to create map models of health areas with the mobility restriction information and obtain fast routes for drivers to reach their destinations. The application of PITS to Madrid region (Spain) demonstrates that this system provides support for authorities in the decision-making process about mobility restrictions and obtain fast routes for drivers. PITS is a versatile proposal which can easily be adapted to other scenarios in order to tackle different emergency situations.
  • Sebastian J. SchreiberSebastian J. Schreiber
  • Jonathan M. LevineJonathan M. Levine
  • Oscar GodoyOscar Godoy
  • [...]
  • Simon P. HartSimon P. Hart
Contemporary studies of species coexistence are underpinned by deterministic models that assume that competing species have continuous (i.e. non‐integer) densities, live in infinitely large landscapes, and coexist over infinite time horizons. By contrast, in nature species are composed of discrete individuals subject to demographic stochasticity, and occur in habitats of finite size where extinctions occur in finite time. One consequence of these discrepancies is that metrics of species coexistence derived from deterministic theory may be unreliable predictors of the duration of species coexistence in nature. These coexistence metrics include invasion growth rates and niche and fitness differences, which are now commonly applied in theoretical and empirical studies of species coexistence. Here we test the efficacy of deterministic coexistence metrics on the duration of species coexistence in a finite world. We introduce new theoretical and computational methods to estimate coexistence times in stochastic counterparts of classic deterministic models of competition. Importantly, we parameterized this model using experimental field data for 90 pairwise combinations of 18 species of annual plants, allowing us to derive biologically‐informed estimates of coexistence times for a natural system. Strikingly, we find that for species expected to deterministically coexist, community sizes containing only tens of individuals have predicted coexistence times of greater than 1,000 years. We also find that invasion growth rates explain 60% of the variation in intrinsic coexistence times, reinforcing their general usefulness in studies of coexistence. However, only by integrating information on both invasion growth rates and species’ equilibrium population sizes could most (>99%) of the variation in species coexistence times be explained. This integration is achieved with demographically uncoupled single species models solely determined by the invasion growth rates and equilibrium population sizes. Moreover, because of a complex relationship between niche overlap/fitness differences and equilibrium population sizes, increasing niche overlap and increasing fitness differences did not always result in decreasing coexistence times as deterministic theory would predict. Nevertheless, our results tend to support the informed use of deterministic theory for understanding the duration of species coexistence, while highlighting the need to incorporate information on species' equilibrium population sizes in addition to invasion growth rates. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The aim of this study was to examine cross-cultural differences, as operationalized by Schwartz's refined theory of basic values, in burnout levels among psychotherapists from 12 European countries during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We focused on the multilevel approach to investigate if individual- and country-aggregated level values could explain differences in burnout intensity after controlling for sociodemographic, work-related characteristics and COVID-19-related distress among participants. 2915 psychotherapists from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Great Britain, Serbia, Spain, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this study. The participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey, the revised version of the Portrait Values Questionnaire, and a survey questionnaire on sociodemographic, work-related factors and the COVID-19 related distress. In general, the lowest mean level of burnout was noted for Romania, whereas the highest mean burnout intensity was reported for Cyprus. Multilevel analysis revealed that burnout at the individual level was negatively related to self-transcendence and openness-to-change but positively related to self-enhancement and conservation values. However, no significant effects on any values were observed at the country level. Male sex, younger age, being single, and reporting higher COVID-19-related distress were significant burnout correlates. Burnout among psychotherapists may be a transcultural phenomenon, where individual differences among psychotherapists are likely to be more important than differences between the countries of their practice. This finding enriches the discussion on training in psychotherapy in an international context and draws attention to the neglected issue of mental health among psychotherapists in the context of their professional functioning.
Previous research shows that dynamic stimuli, on the one hand, and emotional stimuli, on the other, capture exogenous attention due to their biological relevance. Through neural (ERPs) and behavioral measures (reaction times and errors), the present study explored the combined effect of looming motion and emotional content on attentional capture. To this end, 3D-recreated static and dynamic animals assessed as emotional (positive or negative) or neutral were presented as distractors while 71 volunteers performed a line orientation task. We observed a two-phase effect: firstly (before 300 ms), early components of ERPs (P1p and N2po) showed enhanced exogenous attentional capture by looming positive distractors and static threatening animals. Thereafter, dynamic and static threatening distractors received enhanced endogenous attention as revealed by both late ERP activity (LPC) and behavioral (errors) responses. These effects are likely explained by both the emotional valence and the distance of the stimulus at each moment.
Nero’s Temple at El-Ashmonein archaeological site, in Minia (middle of Egypt), is considered one of the most impor‑ tant of all temples of Nero. This temple dates back to 1520 BC–1075 BC in the New Kingdom and was reused in the era of Nero (the Fifth Emperor of Rome). The temple construction materials are severely decayed from surrounding environmental impacts, especially contaminated water sources. The main objective of this paper is to identify the con‑ struction materials of Nero’s Temple and their decay by-products. To achieve them, X-ray difraction, micro X-ray fuo‑ rescence spectrometry, and portable Raman spectroscopy were utilized to identify the compositions and alteration by-products/degradation compounds (mainly saline eforescence and crusts) from the construction materials, such as limestone walls, and structural mortars of the temple. In addition, a polarizing microscope was used to identify the minerals inside the construction materials and reveal the alteration of the minerals because of decay. Digital micros‑ copy and scanning electron microscopy with EDS were used to detect decayed materials’ morphological features. Finally, results showed that the main decay factor is salt attack (chlorides, sulfates, phosphates, nitrates, carbonates, and bicarbonates) for all architectural and structural elements of the temple, which have been carried to the construc‑ tion materials from various sources of contaminated water (canal, sewage, and agricultural water).
Este trabajo es una investigación sobre la herramienta publicitaria de emplazamiento inverso del producto (reverse product placement). Se trata de una técnica muy poco explorada en el ámbito académico y que necesita de ordenación. Para ello, el estudio se realiza a través del caso de la marca de ficción Duff, original de la serie televisiva Los Simpson (1989-). Se contempla un análisis cualitativo a través de una metodología exploratoria-descriptiva dividida en fases. La primera se basó en un estudio bibliográfico de la técnica. Seguidamente, se realizó una entrevista al licenciatario de la marca: Andrés Nassar. Sus declaraciones fundamentan el estudio desde una perspectiva empírica. En último lugar, se realizó una tercera fase donde los resultados previos fueron abordados para construir un análisis que identifica los rasgos comunicativos de este tipo de acciones. Finalmente, las conclusiones ilustran la capacidad comunicativa de las marcas de ficción gracias a su personalidad transmedia en el panorama publicitario actual.
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Irene Laiz
  • Department of Applied Physics
Manuel Berrocoso
  • Department of Mathematics
Jose Sueiro-Fernández
  • Department of Surgery
José Luis Berbeira Gardón
  • Department of French and English Philology
Juan Carlos Hernandez-Garrido
  • Department of Material Science and Metallurgy Engineering and Inorganic Chemistry
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