Universidad de Sevilla
Recent publications
Objectives To investigate the perceptions and attitudes of health professionals working in emergency services and critical care units in Spain about spiritual care provided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods A qualitative investigation was carried out using in-depth interviews with 48 emergency and emergency and ICU health professionals from different regions of Spain concerning their perceptions and opinions of spiritual needs and spiritual care during COVID-19 pandemic were done and thematic analysis were used. Findings The sample consisted of 48 health professionals. The qualitative analysis yielded four main themes that reflect the following categories: “the experience with spirituality in clinical practice”; “resources and barriers to provide spiritual care”; “the COVID pandemic and spiritual care” and “training in spiritual care”. In addition, two subdeliveries were also obtained: “ethical dilemma” and “rituals of death”. Conclusions The most emergency and critical care nurses believe spiritual care is important to their clinical practice, but there are still several barriers to address patients’ spiritual needs. During the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, nurses felt that spiritual beliefs have emerged as important needs of patients and the restrictions imposed by the pandemic made health professionals more exposed to ethical dilemmas and end-of-life religious issues. The general impression of nurses is that more training and resources are needed on this topic.
We investigate the dynamics and deposits of granular flows and the amplitude of landslide-generated water waves using the HySEA depth-averaged shallow-water numerical model, both at laboratory and field scales. We evaluate the different sources of error by quantitatively comparing the simulations with (i) new laboratory experiments of granular collapses in different conditions (dry, immersed, dry flow entering water) and slope angles and (ii) numerical simulations made with the SHALTOP code that describes topography effects better than most depth-averaged landslide-tsunami models. For laboratory configurations, representing the limits of the shallow-water approximation in such models, we show that topography and non-hydrostatic effects are crucial. When topography effects are accounted for empirically—by artificially increasing the friction coefficient and performing non-hydrostatic simulations—the model is able to reproduce the granular mass deposit and the waves recorded at gauges located at a distance of more than 2–3 times the characteristic dimension of the slide with an error ranging from 1 per cent to 25 per cent depending on the scenario, without any further calibration. Taking into account this error estimate, we simulate landslides that occurred on Montagne Pelée volcano, Martinique, Lesser Antilles as well as the generated waves. Multiple collapse simulations support the assumption that large flank collapses on Montagne Pelée likely occurred in several successive sub-events. This result has a strong impact on the amplitude of the generated waves and thus on the associated hazards. In the context of the ongoing seismic volcanic unrest at Montagne Pelée volcano, we calculate the debris avalanche and associated tsunamis for two potential flank-collapse scenarios.
The Easy-to-Read guidelines recommend visual support and lexical simplification to facilitate text processing, but few studies have empirically verified the efficacy of these guidelines. This study examined the influence of these recommendations on sentence processing by examining eye movements at the text- and word-level in adult readers. We tested 30 non-university adults (low education level) and 30 university adults (high education level). The experimental task consisted of 60 sentences. Half were accompanied by an image and half were not, and half contained a low-frequency word and half a high-frequency word. Results showed that visual support and lexical simplification facilitated processing in both groups of adults, and non-university adults were significantly slower than university adults at sentence processing. However, lexical simplification resulted in faster processing in the non-university adults’ group. Conclusions focus on the mechanisms in which both adaptations benefit readers, and practical implications for reading comprehension.
In this paper, we tailor optimal randomized regression trees to handle multivariate functional data. A compromise between prediction accuracy and sparsity is sought. Whilst fitting the tree model, the detection of a reduced number of intervals that are critical for prediction, as well as the control of their length, is performed. Local and global sparsities can be modeled through the inclusion of LASSO-type regularization terms over the coefficients associated to functional predictor variables. The resulting optimization problem is formulated as a nonlinear continuous and smooth model with linear constraints. The numerical experience reported shows that our approach is competitive against benchmark procedures, being also able to trade off prediction accuracy and sparsity.
Distribution companies have the responsibility to provide a quality service to their customers, according to the existing regulation. Reliability issues, such as power outages, are registered in databases for a quantitative evaluation of this quality. This paper uses one of these historical records to make a statistical analysis of service restoration times, applied to the particular case of underground cables in medium voltage networks. An algorithm is proposed to fit the raw data to the probability density functions typically used in reliability analysis. The best-fitted distribution is determined in each case according to the information provided by a set of goodness-of-fit tests. Different groups are considered for the elements of the systems, concerning their functionality and voltage level. The presented procedure is applied to an electrical network with more than 350 feeders. Results have been obtained globally, showing that the observed service restoration time is lower than the estimated maximum limit in 98.00% of cases. The probability functions provided by the proposed algorithm can be used to improve the accuracy of the reliability models for the electric power system.
As the number of introduced species keeps increasing unabatedly, identifying and prioritising current and potential Invasive Alien Species (IAS) has become essential to manage them. Horizon Scanning (HS), defined as an exploration of potential threats, is considered a fundamental component of IAS management. By combining scientific knowledge on taxa with expert opinion, we identified the most relevant aquatic IAS in the Iberian Peninsula, i.e., those with the greatest geographic extent (or probability of introduction), severe ecological, economic and human health impacts, greatest difficulty and acceptability of management. We highlighted the 126 most relevant IAS already present in Iberian inland waters (i.e., Concern list) and 89 with a high probability of being introduced in the near future (i.e., Alert list), of which 24 and 10 IAS, respectively, were considered as a management priority after receiving the highest scores in the expert assessment (i.e., top-ranked IAS). In both lists, aquatic IAS belonging to the four thematic groups (plants, freshwater invertebrates, estuarine invertebrates, and vertebrates) were identified as having been introduced through various pathways from different regions of the world and classified according to their main functional feeding groups. Also, the latest update of the list of IAS of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 includes only 12 top-ranked IAS identified for the Iberian Peninsula, while the national lists incorporate the vast majority of them. This fact underlines the great importance of taxa prioritisation exercises at biogeographical scales as a step prior to risk analyses and their inclusion in national lists. This HS provides a robust assessment and a cost-effective strategy for decisionmakers and stakeholders to prioritise the use of limited resources for IAS prevention and management. Although applied at a transnational level in a European biodiversity hotspot, this approach is designed for potential application at any geographical or administrative scale, including the continental one.
There is growing interest in the consumption of halophytes due to their excellent nutritional profile and antioxidant properties, and their cultivation offers viable alternatives in the face of irreversible global salinization of soils. Nevertheless, abiotic factors strongly influence their phytochemical composition, and little is known about how growing conditions can produce plants with the best nutritional and functional properties. Crithmum maritimum is an edible halophyte with antioxidant properties and considerable potential for sustainable agriculture in marginal environments. However, it is found naturally in contrasting habitats with variable soil physicochemical properties and the extent to which edaphic factors can influence plant performance, accumulation of phytochemicals and their quality remains unknown. We investigated the influence of soil physicochemical properties (texture, pH, electrical conductivity, organic matter content and mineral element concentrations) on growth and reproductive performance, nutritional traits, and the accumulation of specific metabolites in C. maritimum. Soil, leaf and seed samples were taken from eight C. maritimum populations located on the southern coasts of Spain and Portugal. We found greater vegetative growth and seed production in coarser, sandier soils with lower microelement concentrations. The nutritional traits of leaves varied, with soil organic matter and macronutrient content associated with reduced leaf Na, protein and phenolic (mainly flavonoid) concentrations, whereas soils with lower pH and Fe concentrations, and higher clay content yielded plants with lower leaf Zn concentration and greater accumulation of hydroxycinnamic acids. The nutritional value of the seed oil composition appeared to be enhanced in soils with coarser texture and lower microelement concentrations. The accumulation of specific phenolic compounds in the seed was influenced by a wide range of soil properties including texture, pH and some microelements. These findings will inform the commercial cultivation of C. maritimum, particularly in the economic exploitation of poorly utilized, saline soils.
In this paper we study the existence, multiplicity and the stability properties of lateral (positive) periodic oscillations in a class of simple parallel-plate MEM devices based on graphene and graphene-like materials with a non-constant 𝑇-periodic input voltage, which are modeled by Duffing equations. We also complete some partial results previously obtained in Kadyrov et al., (2021) for this kind of models and show analytically the existence of a positive asymptotically locally stable 𝑇-periodic oscillation, in particular for the graphene-based model. These results could be an approach to a design principle for stabilizing the device without an external controller by means of a tuning of the input voltage. Numerical continuation and simulations are also provided in order to illustrate theoretical results and to reveal the robustness of the graphene-based MEMS compared to the traditional ones.
Based on a sample of 4,089 multinational companies over the period 2015–2018, this study analyses the role that women leaders play in relation to the implementation of sustainability strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and whether this role depends on the proportion of female presence in management teams. The results show that the commitment to the 2030 Agenda is higher in companies with a woman as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and/or chairperson of the board of directors, as well as greater gender diversity in both, management teams and the monitoring body. However, the incongruity in the phenomenon of female leadership stereotypes hinders the existence of a complementary relationship that reinforces it. We showed that, consistent with the social role theory, prejudices act as barriers to achieve synergic effects among women in different management positions.
The increase in the widespread use of e-commerce reveals a greater tendency towards online shopping. The objective of this research is to analyze the drivers and barriers of online channel usage intention and their implications for physical channels, based on a modification of the UTAUT2 model, as well as to identify the relevant segments of e-commerce consumers versus physical shoppers in the post-COVID-19 era, using Hierarchical Tree Regression applying the CHAID method through an online questionnaire on a final sample of 491 Portuguese and 345 Spanish users. The results confirm the differences in the adoption of the use of electronic channels between the two countries, the absence of influence of most socio-demographic variables on intention, and the importance of behavioral variables in the definition of segments in both populations. Finally, strategic recommendations are made for each of the identified groups to improve the intention to use e-commerce platforms.
This study aims to analyze the opinion of the main agents involved in non-university public education - institutions and citizens - about a particular online educational application used as a way of communication between the aforementioned agents. To do this, we analyze the main topics, emotions and feelings reflected by the agents of the messages published on the social network Twitter to assess the effect of this educational application. We collected 7598 tweets (all of them in Spain between 2018-10-29 and 2021-10-29) using as the word of the query “iPasen” app used in Andalusia (Spanish region) to improve communication between teachers, parents, and students in the public education system. Then, all the tweets were classified between institutions or individuals. The proposed methodology allows us to obtain the main feelings of a very large group of people in a relatively easy way. And it allows managers of public or private educational organizations to track how those feelings evolve.
Carex camposii Boiss. & Reut., endemic to high mountain ranges in Southern Iberian Peninsula (Sierra Nevada, Sierra de los Filabres and Sierra de Baza), is a morphologically and molecularly well-defined species included in Carex gr. laevigata (subg. Carex, sect. Spirostachyae). We have discovered a population of a morphologically similar species to C. camposii in a different mountain range (Sierra de Tejeda), that displayed some deviant morphological characters and was found in a different habitat from that typical of the species. In order to disentangle the taxonomic status of this population, we have conducted a phylogenetic analysis using five nuclear (ITS, ETS, G3PDH, CATP and GZF) and three plastid (matK, rpS16 and 5'trnK intron) DNA regions. In addition, a morphological analysis including the population from Sierra de Tejeda was carried out. The resulting phylogenetic trees show that the samples of the problematic population are closely related to C. camposii, while the morphological study revealed that a total of nine morphological features did not match those of typical C. camposii. Even though the samples from Sierra de Tejeda are genetically not well differentiated from C. camposii, the morphological and ecological differentiation supports its recognition as a new subspecies, C. camposii subsp. tejedensis. An assessment of its conservation status using IUCN categories and criteria suggests that it could be critically endangered (CR).
The freshwater hydrozoan Craspedacusta sowerbii was introduced to habitats around the world and they spread into the surrounding water bodiest hereafter. Despite an increase in reported observations, little is known about its genetics, physiology and ecology. The present study examined the organic content, elemental composition and energy content of jellyfish collected in Canada and the USA and compared these metrics with their marine counterparts and other co-occurring zooplankton. Specimens from the sampled lakes were sexed and molecularly characterized. Molecular, stoichiometric and energetic information is critical in determining distribution pathways and trophic connections. Molecular analyses showed two closely related sequences in North America, one shared by the Canadian and Japanese specimens, while another one is widely present across the Americas. Organic and all elemental contents were higher compared to marine jellyfish species. Estimated energy content of C. sowerbii was 20–27 kJg DW−1, which is 2-fold higher than for marine hydrozoans and compared well with cladocerans, copepods and rotifers. Estimated C/P values indicated that cladocerans and copepods are suitable prey for C. sowerbii and that jellyfish may compete with juvenile fish to fulfill similar nutrient demands. Freshwater jellyfish were stoichiometrically and energetically different from marine hydrozoans, indicating higher importance in freshwater food webs than previously thought.
The penetrability of the Coulomb barrier of ⁶Li by a proton is studied using a quantum cluster model. We focus on the role of quadrupole deformations in the nucleus ground-state, in terms of which a ⁶Li–p form factor with tensor components is computed. We find that the diagonal part of the tensor term reduces the average barrier penetrability of the system. However, the tensor interaction due only to the mechanism studied at present is very small, regardless of the specific adopted construction, and yields negligible effects.
Our work investigated how six primary school students used a nontraditional method for adding and subtracting: the ABN method, a Spanish acronym for Open (method) Based on Numbers. Commognitive theory [Sfard, A. 2008. Thinking as Communicating: Human Development, the Growth of Discourses, and Mathematizing. New York: Cambridge University Press] was employed to study the students’ mathematical routines. In particular, we studied whether their routines were exploratory or ritualised and found that four students had a ritualised use of the ABN method, while two others showed some signs of incipient exploratory use (manifested as an increase in flexibility, applicability, performer’s agentivity, and substantiability). The results show some of the problems that students have when applying this method.
Poincaré’s conventionalism has been interpreted in many writings as a philosophical position emerged by reflection on certain scientific problems, such as the applicability of geometry to physical space or the status of certain scientific principles. In this paper I would like to consider conventionalism as a philosophical position that emerged from Poincaré’s scientific practice. But not so much from dealing with scientific problems, as from the use of two specific methodologies proper to modern mathematics and the modern natural sciences: methodological structuralism and the hypothetical-deductive method—thus, as a philosophical position which emerged from a way (or rather, two ways) of doing science. With this approach, I try to deepen the analysis of connections between Poincaré’s scientific practice and his philosophy.
Background In frontotemporal dementia (FTD) spectrum, younger patients may correspond to fusopathy cases, and cognitive decline could be rapidly progressive. We present a clinical and neuropathological description of a patient. Case presentation A 37-year-old man, without a family history of neurodegenerative diseases, was brought by his family to consult for dysarthria and behavioural change. Initial exploration showed spastic dysarthria and disinhibition. He progressively worsened with a pseudobulbar syndrome, right-lateralized pyramidal signs, left hemispheric corticobasal syndrome and, finally, lower motor neuron signs in his right arm. He died four years after the initiation of the syndrome from bronchopneumonia. Laboratory tests (including blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)) were normal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose-containing positron emission tomography (PET-¹⁸F-FDG) showed left fronto-insular atrophy and hypometabolism. Subsequently, 123I-ioflupane (DaT-SCAN®) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) was pathologic, manifesting bilaterally decreased activity with greater affection on the left side. Only a third electromyogram (EMG) detected denervation in the last year of evolution. No mutations were found in genes such as Tau, progranulin, C9orf72, FUS, TDP-43, CHMP2B, or VCP. In necropsy, severe frontotemporal atrophy with basophilic neuronal cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions, negative for tau and TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43), but positive for fused in sarcoma (FUS) consistent with specifically basophilic inclusions body disease (BIBD) type was found. Conclusions In patients affected by FTD, particularly the youngest, with rapidly progressive decline and early motor affection, fusopathy must be suspected. These cases can include motor signs described in the FTD spectrum. Lower motor neuron affection in EMG could be detected late.
In relevance-theoretic pragmatics the lower-level or first-order explicature is a propositional form resulting from a series of inferential developments of the logical form. It amounts to the message the speaker communicates explicitly. The higher-level or second-order explicature is a description of the speech act that the speaker performs, her affective attitude towards what she says or her epistemic stance to the communicated information. Information about the speaker’s affective attitude or epistemic stance need not solely be represented in the latter, though. It could be included as beliefs in the mental files of pragmatically adjusted conceptual representations featuring in lower-level explicatures. Those beliefs would originate as lexical pragmatic processes operate and their representation would be triggered by elements like evaluative morphemes, expressive expletives, insulting terms and evidential participles. Although they may be true or false in their own right, such beliefs would not affect the truth-conditional content of the expressed proposition.
This review aims to provide an overview of the sources and reactions of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and surfactants in soil and sediments, the surfactant-enhanced solubilisation of POPs, and the unintended consequences of surfactant-induced remediation of soil and sediments contaminated with POPs. POPs include chemical compounds that are recalcitrant to natural degradation through photolytic, chemical, and biological processes in the environment. POPs are potentially toxic compounds mainly used in pesticides, solvents, pharmaceuticals, or industrial applications and pose a significant and persistent risk to the ecosystem and human health. Surfactants can serve as detergents, wetting and foaming compounds, emulsifiers, or dispersants, and have been used extensively to promote the solubilization of POPs and their subsequent removal from environmental matrices, including solid wastes, soil, and sediments. However, improper use of surfactants for remediation of POPs may lead to unintended consequences that include toxicity of surfactants to soil microorganisms and plants, and leaching of POPs, thereby resulting in groundwater contamination.
Coastal dunes are complex landforms whose morphology results from various interactions between biotic and abiotic factors. Here, we explore the longshore variability of the morphological features, plant community distribution and accumulation patterns of a dune segment (1.4 km-long) located at the downdrift end of a sandy peninsula in the Ria Formosa, Portugal. To understand the main drivers of the observed variability and the implications for dune morphological response, this information was combined with recent multidecadal shoreline evolution data. The integrated results document significant differences in dune morphology, sedimentation patterns and plant zonation, with two distinct dune configurations or states identified in close proximity. One (western sector) shows a narrower dune system, vegetation cover characterised by pioneer species with low densities, and squeezed plant zonation. Conversely, the other (eastern sector) presents a wider dune system with a new foredune, a more developed plant zonation and relatively high vegetation density. Both states could be partially explained by the recent shoreline trends and inlet shifts, with stable to retreating trends in the western sector and shoreline progradation in the eastern one. Plant zonation and accumulation patterns suggest that the dune along the retreating sector is in a cycle of inland migration, encouraged by the reduced accommodation space and the low retention capacity of the vegetation across the dune stoss. Alternatively, observations along the prograding sector suggest that the greater accommodation space and the stabilising feedback between vegetation and topography promoted the seaward progradation of the system and the development of an incipient foredune. Outcomes support the importance of biogeomorphic feedbacks for the dune configuration, but they also evidence that the role of vegetation within the feedback is primarily regulated by physical factors that ultimately promote or inhibit vegetation effects on dune topography.
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David Leon
  • Plant Biology and Ecology
Manuel Pérez-Ruiz
  • Aerospace Engineering and Fluid Mechanics
Isidoro Caraballo
  • Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology
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C/ San Fernando, 4, 41004, Sevilla, Spain
Head of institution
Miguel Ángel Castro Arroyo
Website
http://www.us.es
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