University of Granada
  • Granada, Granada, Spain
Recent publications
Health indicators are indices that act as intermediary links between raw SHM data and prognostic models. An efficient HI should satisfy prognostic requirements such as monotonicity, trendability, and prognosability in such a way that it can be effectively used as an input in a prognostic model for remaining useful life estimation. However, discovering or designing a suitable HI for composite structures is a challenging task due to the inherent complexity of the evolution of damage events in such materials. Previous research has shown that data-driven models are efficient for accomplishing this goal. Large labeled datasets, however, are normally required, and the SHM data can only be labeled, respecting prognostic requirements, after a series of nominally identical structures are tested to failure. In this paper, a semi-supervised learning approach based on implicitly imposing prognostic criteria is adopted to design a novel HI suitable. To this end, single-stiffener composite panels were subjected to compression-compression fatigue loading and monitored using acoustic emission (AE). The AE data after signal processing and feature extraction were fused using a multi-layer LSTM neural network with criteria-based hypothetical targets to generate an intelligent HI. The results confirm the performance of the proposed scenario according to the prognostic criteria.
Background: Prior evidence suggests that capsinoids ingestion may increase resting energy expenditure (EE) and fat oxidation (FATox), yet whether they can modulate those parameters during exercise conditions remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that dihydrocapsiate (DHC) ingestion would increase EE and specifically FATox during an acute bout of aerobic exercise at FATmax intensity (the intensity that elicits maximal fat oxidation during exercise [MFO]) in men with overweight/obesity. Since FATmax and MFO during aerobic exercise appear to be indicators of metabolic flexibility, whether DHC has an impact on FATox in this type of population is of clinical interest. Methods: A total of 24 sedentary men (age = 40.2 ± 9.2 years-old; body mass index = 31.6 ± 4.5 kg/m2 [n = 11 overweight, n = 13 obese]) participated in this randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial (registered under Identifier no. NCT05156697). On the first day, participants underwent a submaximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer to determine their MFO and FATmax intensity during exercise. After 72 hours had elapsed, the participants returned on 2 further days (≥ 72 hours apart) and performed a 60 min steady-state exercise bout (i.e. cycling at their FATmax, constant intensity) after ingesting either 12 mg of DHC or placebo; these conditions were randomized. Respiratory gas exchange was monitored by indirect calorimetry. Serum marker concentrations (i.e. glucose, triglycerides, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs), skin temperature, thermal perception, heart rate, and perceived fatigue) were assessed. Results: There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between DHC and placebo conditions in the EE and FATox during exercise. Similarly, no significant changes were observed in glucose, triglycerides, or NEFAs serum levels, neither in the skin temperature nor thermal perception across conditions. Heart rate and perceived fatigue did not differ between conditions. Conclusions: DHC supplementation does not affect energy metabolism during exercise in men with overweight/obesity.
Background The popularity of consumer-wearable activity trackers has led the scientific community to conduct an increasing number of intervention studies integrating them to promote physical activity (PA) and to reduce sedentary behavior (SB) levels among school-aged children. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to estimate the effects of consumer-wearable activity tracker-based programs on daily objectively measured PA and SB among apparently healthy school-aged children, as well as to compare the influence of participants’ and programs’ characteristics. Methods Eligibility criteria were: (1) participants: apparently healthy school-aged children (< 18 years old); (2) intervention: aimed to promote PA and/or to reduce SB incorporating consumer-wearable activity trackers; (3) comparator: baseline measurements and/or a control/traditional group; (4) outcomes: objectively measured daily PA and/or SB levels; (5) study design: pre-experimental, quasi-experimental, and true-experimental trials. Relevant studies were searched from eight databases up to December 2020, as well as from four alternative modes of searching. Based on the Cochrane Risk-of-bias tool 2, the risk of bias was assessed following four domains: (1) randomization process; (2) missing outcome data; (3) measurement of the outcomes; and (4) selection of the reported results. Based on a comprehensive systematic review, meta-analyses of the Cohen’s standardized mean difference (d) and 95% confidence interval (CI) with a random-effects model were conducted to estimate the overall effects, as well as the within- and between-study subgroups analyses effects, of the programs on daily total steps, moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), total PA and SB. Results Forty-four publications (i.e., 45 studies) were included in the systematic review (5,620 unique participants; mean age = 12.85 ± 2.84 years) and 40 publications (i.e., 41 studies) in the meta-analysis. Programs had a mean length of 11.78 ± 13.17 weeks and most used a waist-worn consumer-wearable activity tracker (77.78% waist-worn; 22.22% wrist-worn). Programs characteristics were: goal-setting strategies (64.06%); participants’ logbooks (56.25%); counseling sessions (62.50%); reminders (28.13%); motivational strategies (42.19%); and exercise routine (17.19%). Results showed a statistically significant moderate favorable effect on daily total steps (d = 0.612, 95% CI 0.477–0.746), small favorable effect on daily MVPA (d = 0.220, 95% CI 0.134–0.307), trivial favorable effect on daily total PA (d = 0.151, 95% CI 0.038–0.264) and trivial unfavorable effect on daily SB (d = 0.172, 95% CI 0.039–0.305). Subgroups analyses showed a higher effect for daily total steps and daily MVPA levels in females and the physically inactive for daily total steps (p = 0.003–0.044). Programs with educational counseling and/or goal-setting strategies, as well as a greater number of strategies, were more effective for improving children’s daily total steps, and wrist-worn activity trackers were more effective than waist-worn trackers for improving their daily MVPA levels (p = 0.001–0.021). Conclusions Consumer-wearable activity tracker-based programs seem to be effective in promoting school-aged children’s daily total steps and MVPA levels, especially for females and those that are physically inactive. These programs should include specific goal-setting, educational counseling, and wrist-worn trackers as especially effective strategies. However, due to the certainty of evidence being from “low” to “moderate”, future well-designed primary research studies about the topic are needed. PROSPERO: CRD42020222363.
The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hard scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.
The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed to meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.
SWI/SNF complexes are major targets of mutations in cancer. Here, we combined multiple “-omics” methods to assess SWI/SNF composition and aberrations in LUAD. Mutations in lung SWI/SNF subunits were highly recurrent in our LUAD cohort (41.4%), and over 70% of the mutations were predicted to have functional impact. Furthermore, SWI/SNF expression in LUAD suffered an overall repression that could not be explained exclusively by genetic alterations. Finally, SWI/SNF mutations were associated with poorer overall survival in TCGA-LUAD. We propose SWI/SNF-mutant LUAD as a separate clinical subgroup with practical implications.
Purpose A tourniquet is routinely used during total knee arthroplasty (TKA) to reduce intra-operative hemorrhage, though surgery without a tourniquet is becoming popular. To address concerns about the effect of blood at cement interfaces on long-term implant stability, we conducted a systematic review among patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty to determine if TKA with a tourniquet, compared to TKA without a tourniquet or with reduced tourniquet duration, is associated with better mid-term and long-term implant stability. Methods A literature search was conducted without language restriction in PubMed, Cochrane database and Web of Science from conception to 17th March, 2021. Prospective cohorts, randomized and observational, that compared tourniquet use with a control group, followed patients for 3 months or more and reported outcomes concerning implant stability, limb function, pain and inflammation. Article selection, quality assessment according to the Revised Cochrane risk assessment scale and Newcastle Ottawa Scale, and data extraction were conducted in duplicate. PROSPERO: CRD42020179020. Results The search yielded 4868 articles, from which 16 randomized controlled trials (RCT) and four prospective cohort studies, evaluating outcomes of 1884 knees, were included. Eleven RCTs were evaluated to be low overall risk of bias, five RCTs had some concerns and four cohort studies were good quality. Few studies showed benefits of tourniquet use in mid-term implant stability (1/6), pain (1/11) and limb inflammation (1/5), and long-term implant stability (1/1). One study reported a significantly improved range of motion (1/14) while another reported significantly reduced quadriceps strength (1/6) in the tourniquet group. The remaining studies reported non-significant effect of tourniquet use. Conclusion Although few studies indicated benefits of tourniquet use in mid-term pain, limb inflammation, implant loosening and function, and long-term implant loosening, the majority of studies report no significant advantage of tourniquet use in total knee arthroplasty.
Background Sustainable production and consumption are two important issues, which mutually interact. Whereas individuals have little direct influence on the former, they can play a key role on the latter. This paper describes the subject matter of sustainable consumption and outlines its key features. It also describes some international initiatives in this field. Results By means of an international survey, the study explores the emphasis given to sustainable consumption during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the degree of preparedness in individuals to engage in the purchase of green and sustainably manufactured products. The main results indicate that the pandemic offered an opportunity to promote sustainable consumption; nevertheless, the pandemic alone cannot be regarded as a ‘game changer’ in this topic. Conclusions Apart from an online survey with responses from 31 countries, which makes it one of the most representative studies on the topic, a logit model was used to analyse the main variables that affect the probability of pro-environmental consumption behaviour because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper lists some of the technological and social innovations that may be needed, so as to guide more sustainable consumption patterns in a post-pandemic world.
This study aims to assess the energy poverty risk in the municipalities in Andalusia (Spain) to know their existing differences to prioritise the aids in the municipalities with greater needs. For this purpose, a composed indicator is developed. This new indicator is based on the so-called High Energy Requirements (HER) index, where proxy indicators related to the building energy efficiency are joint and where climate severity indicators, together with the income conditions and the gender gap of the population, are included. This new indicator assesses energy poverty globally, joining the indicators related to the characteristics of the dwelling stock with other factors related to energy poverty, such as monetary poverty or gender gap. The results are analysed at a municipal level, so the cases with greater problems both in general terms and those particularly from partial aspects (such as the conservation state or the type of climate) are identified. This characterisation of the phenomenon allows the most appropriate policies to be identified according to the indicators presenting the most unfavourable values, thus constituting a useful tool to prioritise and to implement measures adapted to each municipality’s needs.
After centuries of deforestation, many, mostly industrialized countries have recently been experiencing net increases in forest area and biomass stocks, a phenomenon described as ‘Forest Transition’. In this article, we analyse the Spanish forest transition over the last 150 years from a socio-metabolic perspective. We provide the first estimation on forest surface, wood production and biomass stocks and we relate these changes to the socio-metabolic transformations of Spain's economy. Between 1860 and 1950, within a context of organic metabolism and growing population pressure, the stock of forest biomass decreased by 25.3%, falling to its lowest level in c. 1950. By conducting a decomposition analysis, we show that deforestation (i.e., declining forest area) explains 33.7% of the decrease in stock, while the reduction of biomass density accounts for 66.3%. Since 1950, and coinciding with the industrial socio-metabolic transition, forest biomass stocks multiplied by a factor of 2.5. Cropland intensification, the outsourcing of land use to third countries and agricultural policy encouraged the expansion of forest areas. Nevertheless, the substitution of firewood with fossil fuels was the main explanatory factor of the stock increase, since it enabled a dramatic decline in wood appropriation and the consequent increase in biomass density.
Recent literature in experimental philosophy has postulated the existence of the abstract/concrete paradox (ACP): the tendency to activate inconsistent intuitions (and generate inconsistent judgment) depending on whether a problem to be analyzed is framed in abstract terms or is described as a concrete case. One recent study supports the thesis that this effect influences judicial decision-making, including decision-making by professional judges, in areas such as interpretation of constitutional principles and application of clear-cut rules. Here, following the existing literature in legal theory, we argue that the susceptibility to such an effect might depend on whether decision-makers operate in a legal system characterized by the formalist or particularist approach to legal interpretation, with formalist systems being less susceptible to the effect. To test this hypothesis, we compare the results of experimental studies on ACP run on samples from two countries differing in legal culture: Poland and Brazil. The lack of significant differences between those results (also for professional legal decision-makers) suggests that ACP is a robust effect in the legal context.
Species richness is a widely used proxy for patterns of biodiversity variation in metacommunities. However, deeper analyses require additional metrics, such as the occupancy-frequency distributions (SOFD) of different local communities. The SOFD patterns indicate the number of shared species between study sites; therefore, they can provide new insights into the current debate on how to create more biodiversity-friendly cities. Breeding birds were counted from 593 point-count stations located in five 500 m × 500 m squares in land-sharing (LSH; low-density built areas interspersed with green spaces) and five similar nearby squares in land-sparing (LSP; densely built-up with set-aside, large-sized, continuous green spaces) landscapes in nine cities across Europe. High beta-diversity (with over 42% of the 103 species detected being restricted to a single city and only 7% found in all studied cities) showed the uniqueness of cities at the continental scale. Urban bird metacommunities followed the unimodal-satellite SOFD pattern at the European continental scale but a bimodal symmetric or asymmetric distribution at the city-level scale, suggesting that many common species occur in cities on a smaller scale. The LSP urban areas followed a unimodal satellite SOFD pattern with numerous rare species. In contrast, the LSH areas fit several types of bimodal SOFD patterns equally well, where communities share several common species. The findings also highlight the need to use multi-scale approaches to analyze the effects of LSH-LSP urban designs on urban bird diversity.
We establish a uniqueness result for the [φ,e→3]-catenary cylinders by their asymptotic behaviour. Well known examples of such cylinders are the grim reaper translating solitons for the mean curvature flow. For such solitons, F. Martín, J. Pérez-García, A. Savas-Halilaj and K. Smoczyk proved that, if Σ is a properly embedded translating soliton with locally bounded genus and C1-asymptotic to two vertical planes, outside a cylinder, then Σ must coincide with some grim reaper translating soliton. In this paper, applying the moving plane method of Alexandrov together with a strong maximum principle for elliptic operators, we increase the family of [φ,e→3]-minimal graphs where these types of results hold under different assumption of asymptotic behaviour.
Resumen Objetivo Determinar si existe asociación entre la enfermedad periodontal en las gestantes y el desarrollo de diabetes mellitus gestacional durante su embarazo. Materiales y métodos La presente revisión se realizó en base a las directrices de la declaración Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA). Se realizó una búsqueda sistemática en cuatro bases de datos: MEDLINE (vía PubMed), Cochrane Library, Scopus y Web of Science. Se incluyeron todos los trabajos encontrados hasta marzo del 2021. Los estudios que resultaron elegibles fueron evaluados a través de la escala de Newcastle-Ottawa en cuanto a su calidad metodológica. Resultados De 161 estudios resultaron elegibles un total de 8 estudios, 3 de tipo caso-control, 2 de tipo transversal y 3 de tipo cohorte. En la mayoría de los estudios se verificó una asociación entre EP y DMG. Conclusión La enfermedad periodontal aumenta el riesgo de desarrollar diabetes mellitus gestacional. Es necesario realizar más estudios con diferentes diseños, enfoque multicéntrico y distintas poblaciones para profundizar esta asociación.
In this research, a long-term (2014–2020) approach to quantify surface runoff and soil loss generated by different land use and precipitation regimes on Pisha sandstone hillslopes from the Loess Plateau, China was carried out. Using the K-means clustering algorithm, 50 precipitation events were classified into three different regime types based on depth, duration, and maximum 30-minute intensity. Permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) and Principal component analysis (PCA) were used to test clustering rationality. Our results suggest that runoff coefficient (RC) and soil loss (SL) exhibited significant differences depending on precipitation regimes: heavy storms (precipitation regime II) were found to induce the largest surface runoff and soil loss, followed by precipitation regimes I and III. RC and SL were also found with significant differences (p < 0.05) related to different land-use types. Mean RC and erosion rates among the six land-use types analyzed varied as bare land > cropland > artificial grassland > native grassland > shrubland > forestland. Results of this study suggest more attention should be paid to vegetation selection and land-use type depending on precipitation regimes in Pisha sandstone morphologies. Accordingly, forestland and shrubland should be the first choices to control soil erosion when land-use conversion is implemented, whereas bare land, croplands, or artificial grassland (e.g., alfalfa) should be carefully considered and future vegetation restoration policies should assess the proper re-vegetation type before any action may be initiated.
With the aim to present an alternative material that can be used in adsorption/degradation processes to remove pharmaceutical pollutants present in water, a biocarbon was designed from Melia Azedarach stones. Material has a high surface area (1230 m² g⁻¹) with mainly oxygenated groups; these properties give it exceptional characteristics for removing Atenolol. To show the versatility of the material, the adsorption of Atenolol in different water matrices was tested: Ultrapure water (0 mg L⁻¹ CaCO3), solution model (200 mg L⁻¹ CaCO3), and tap water from Lisbon city (80 mg L⁻¹ CaCO3). The pseudo-second-order model can well describe the adsorption kinetics; kinetic constants obtained were: 75.70, 46.18, and 42.58 g mmol h⁻¹, respectively. The adsorption isotherms are correctly described by the Langmuir model, obtaining maximum adsorption capacities of 1.83, 2.00, and 1.81 mmol g⁻¹, respectively. Physisorption phenomena carry out the adsorption mechanism (E < 1 kJ mol⁻¹) between the atenolol molecule, positively charged, and the material's surface, negatively charged, forming a monolayer onto the material's surface. Once the material was saturated, its regeneration was studied by employing thermal treatment at 450 °C. Results show a decrease in the surface area after treatment, resulting in a loss of adsorption capacity (30 %). This procedure makes it possible to achieve repeat cycles of adsorption-degradation until the adsorbent is completely exhausted. The results obtained show this new material as a promising adsorbent for wastewater treatment contaminated with pharmaceutical pollutants since it has higher adsorption capacities than those reported in the literature in different water matrices.
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Fernando Blanco
  • Department of Social Psychology
Fernando Hernandez-Mateo
  • Department of Organic Chemistry
Salvador Gonzalez Garcia
  • Department of Electromagnetism and Matter Physics
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Head of institution
Pilar Aranda Ramírez
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