Xunta de Galicia
  • Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Recent publications
The effects of fire on soil hydraulic conductivity (K) and soil water repellency (SWR) have been mainly studied by field experiments in forest areas burned by wildfires with a given severity, while the variability of K and SWR with the fire severities has been less investigated. To fill this gap, the changes in the K and SWR with fire severity (adapted from Vega et al., 2013) and soil depth (1 and 5 cm below the ground surface) have been evaluated in two forest ecosystems (natural stand of pine and reforested areas) of Central Eastern Spain. A significant influence of the fire severity on the infiltration rates was found, and this influence was different between the natural stand of pine and the reforested areas. Compared to the unburnt soils, the highest reduction of the K (80-90%) and SWR levels were found for the fires with low and intermediate severities at the soil surface, At the lower soil depth, the reduction of K and the SWR level due to fire were proportional to its severity. Moreover, the K of the soil surface layer was often higher compared to the water infiltration in the deeper layer. In the reforested areas, also low fire severities can noticeably reduce the surface K, despite the limited SWR, while the natural forests are less exposed to hydrophobicity in their surface soil layer. This study indicates the need to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion linked to a reduction in water infiltration and increase of soil repellency. Keywords: pine natural stand; reforestation; water infiltration; hydrophobicity; soil organic carbon; post-fire management.
Throughout this study, we continue the analysis of a recently found out Gibbs–Wilbraham phenomenon, being related to the behavior of the Lagrange interpolation polynomials of the continuous absolute value function. Our study establishes the error of the Lagrange polynomial interpolants of the function |x| on [−1,1], using Chebyshev and Chebyshev–Lobatto nodal systems with an even number of points. Moreover, with respect to the odd cases, relevant changes in the shape and the extrema of the error are given.
Ultraviolet radiation exerts differential effects in men and women. Parikh et al. reveal that solar exposure on the skin triggers food-seeking behaviour in males, but not females, through a mechanism dependent on ghrelin secretion from skin adipocytes.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has reached 5.5 million deaths worldwide, generating a huge impact globally. This highly contagious viral infection produces a severe acute respiratory syndrome that includes cough, mucus, fever and pneumonia. Likewise, many hospitalized patients develop severe pneumonia associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), along an exacerbated and uncontrolled systemic inflammation that in some cases induces a fatal cytokine storm. Although vaccines clearly have had a beneficial effect, there is still a high percentage of unprotected patients that develop the pathology, due to an ineffective immune response. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the modulatory mechanisms that regulate the response to SARS-CoV-2 is crucial to find effective therapeutic alternatives. Previous studies describe the relevance of Neddylation in the activation of the immune system and its implications in viral infection. In this context, the present study postulates Neddylation, a reversible ubiquitin-like post-translational modification of proteins that control their stability, localization and activity, as a key regulator in the immune response against SARS-CoV-2. For the first time, we describe an increase in global neddylation levels in COVID-19 in the serum of patients, which is particularly associated with the early response to infection. In addition, the results showed that overactivation of neddylation controls activation, proliferation, and response of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from COVID-19 patients. Inhibition of neddylation, and the subsequent avoidance of activated PBMCs, reduces cytokine production, mainly IL-6 and MCP-1 and induce proteome modulation, being a critical mechanism and a potential approach to immunomodulate COVID-19 patients.
Early-life determinants are thought to be a major factor in the rapid increase of obesity. However, while maternal nutrition has been extensively studied, the effects of breastfeeding by the infant on the reprogramming of energy balance in childhood and throughout adulthood remain largely unknown. Here we show that delayed weaning in rat pups protects them against diet-induced obesity in adulthood, through enhanced brown adipose tissue thermogenesis and energy expenditure. In-depth metabolic phenotyping in this rat model as well as in transgenic mice reveals that the effects of prolonged suckling are mediated by increased hepatic fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) production and tanycyte-controlled access to the hypothalamus in adulthood. Specifically, FGF21 activates GABA-containing neurons expressing dopamine receptor 2 in the lateral hypothalamic area and zona incerta. Prolonged breastfeeding thus constitutes a protective mechanism against obesity by affecting long-lasting physiological changes in liver-to-hypothalamus communication and hypothalamic metabolic regulation.
The objective of this work was to determine the spatial distribution and temporal trend (2010-2019) of organochlorine compounds (OCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), in wild mussels from several Galician Rías (estuaries). Some of them, like the northernmost estuaries, were studied for the first time. OCs were determined by GC-ECD and confirmed by GC-MS/MS. ΣPCB levels (sum of PCBs 31, 28, 52, 101, 118, 153, 105, 138, 156, 180) were found in the range 7.2-263.1 ng/g dw (dry weight) and ΣDDt levels (sum of pp´- DDT, op´-DDT, pp´-DDE and pp´-DDD) in the range 2.5-18.8 ng/g dw. PCB levels were below European limits. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed some relationship between of OC levels and biological parameters (lipid content and condition index). Principal component analysis (PCA) reported a geographical characterization of Rías Altas and Rías Baixas and relationships between PCB congeners that revealed a similar pattern of entry. Legal restrictions on the production and use of PCBs and OCPs have led to a steady decline in OCs over the period under study (2010-2019).
Background: To plan end-of-life care it is essential to ascertain where patients die. There is very little information on the place of death of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Accordingly, this study set out to describe the place of death of all COPD-related deaths in a Spanish region across the period 2009-2017, taking into account the sex and age of the deceased. Methods: We analyzed COPD deaths, codes J41-44 of the International Classification of Diseases-10th revision, in the Galician Autonomous Region from 2009 to 2017. Using death certificate data furnished by the Galician Mortality Registry, information was extracted on place of death, categorized as "hospital", "nursing home", "patient's home", "other" or "not shown". Results: There were 10,274 deaths, with a male:female ratio of 2.52; 39.0% of deaths occurred in hospital and 41.4% at home, with these data varying according to sex and age. Across the study period, no reduction was observed in the number of deaths that occurred in hospital. For all the period analyzed, deaths among women occurred mostly at home, with an increase being seen in the number of deaths in nursing homes over the course of the study. Patients aged under 70 years tended to die more frequently in hospital, and those over this age died more frequently at home or in nursing homes. Conclusion: A very high percentage of COPD patients still die in hospital, a trend that has shown no decline in recent years. Even so, there are important variations by sex and age on the place of death of these patients.
Droughts affect the environment, the economy, and society causing socioeconomic problems derived from water scarcity, and actions are therefore required to mitigate them. To efficiently manage water resources, and prevent and mitigate the consequences of water scarcity, it is important to identify and characterize drought events. A study of the evolution of drought episodes over Galicia (NW Iberian Peninsula) from 1960 to 2020 was conducted based on data from several rain gauges in the region. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) at different time scales was used to characterize drought conditions. The results revealed an increase in the number of periods under drought conditions and the intensity of drought events towards the end of the period analyzed. The events tended to become longer over time, with a clear increase in the worst drought conditions.
Many cases of violence against children occur in homes and other close environments. Machine leaning is a novel approach that addresses important gaps in ways of examining this socially significant issue, illustrating innovative and emerging approaches for the use of computers from a psychological perspective. In this paper, we aim to use machine learning techniques to predict adolescents’ involvement in family conflict in a sample of adolescents living with their families (community adolescents) and adolescents living in residential care centers, who are temporarily separated from their families because of adverse family conditions. Participants were 251 Spanish adolescents (M age = 15.59), of whom 167 lived in residential care and 84 lived with their families. We measured perceived interparental and family conflict, adolescents’ emotional security, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral immediate responses to analog interparental conflict (IPC), and adolescents’ sociodemographic variables (i.e., age, gender). With a prediction accuracy of 65%, our results show that adolescents in residential care are not at greater risk for involvement in family conflict compared to adolescents living with their families. Age and gender are not salient predictive variables. We could identify that responses to analog IPC, adolescents’ emotional security, triangulation in IPC, and the presence of insults or blame during family disputes predict adolescents’ involvement in family conflict. These results point to variables with a potential predictive capacity, which is relevant for research and intervention.
Asthma and rhinitis often co-exist in the same patient. Although some authors observed a higher prevalence and/or greater severity of asthma in patients with rhinitis, this view is not homogeneous and the debate continues. The aim of our study is to describe the prevalence of rhinitis in children and adolescents and to analyse their relationship with the prevalence of asthma. A multicentre study was conducted using the methodology of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC). The target population of the study was all those school children aged 6–7 and 13–14 years from 6 of the main health catchment areas of Galicia (1.9 million inhabitants). The schools required were randomly selected, and all children in the targeted age ranges were included. Multiple logistic regression was used to obtain adjusted prevalence odds ratios (OR) between asthma symptoms of the schoolchildren and rhinitis prevalence. The results were adjusted for parental smoking habits, maternal education level, cat and dog exposure, and obesity. A total of 21,420 valid questionnaires were finally obtained. Rhinitis was associated with a significant increase in the prevalence of asthma in both age groups. The highest OR were 11.375 for exercise induced asthma (EIA) for children with recent rhinoconjunctivitis and 9.807 for children with recent rhinitis in 6–7 years old group. The prevalence OR’s are higher in EIA and severe asthmatics. Rhinitis in children and adolescents is associated with a higher prevalence and severity of asthma.
This paper aims to study the evolution of CO2 concentrations and emissions on a conventional farm with weaned piglets between 6.9 and 17.0 kg live weight based on setpoint temperature, outdoor temperature, and ventilation flow. The experimental trial was conducted during one transition cycle. Generally, the ventilation flow increased with the reduction in setpoint temperature throughout the cycle, which caused a reduction in CO2 concentration and an increase in emissions. The mean CO2 concentration was 3.12 g m–3. Emissions of CO2 had a mean value of 2.21 mg s−1 per animal, which is equivalent to 0.195 mg s−1 kg−1. A potential function was used to describe the interaction between 10 min values of ventilation flow and CO2 concentrations, whereas a linear function was used to describe the interaction between 10 min values of ventilation flow and CO2 emissions, with r values of 0.82 and 0.85, respectively. Using such equations allowed for simple and direct quantification of emissions. Furthermore, two prediction models for CO2 emissions were developed using two neural networks (for 10 min and 60 min predictions), which reached r values of 0.63 and 0.56. These results are limited mainly by the size of the training period, as well as by the differences between the behavior of the series in the training stage and the testing stage.
Alexandrium minutum blooms generally occur in semi-enclosed sites such as estuaries, harbours and lagoons, where enhanced stratification, restricted circulation and accumulation of resting cysts in the sediment set suitable habitat conditions for the proliferation of this paralytic shellfish poisoning toxigenic species. In the Galician Rías Baixas (NW Iberian Peninsula), according to weekly time-series between 1994 and 2020, blooms of A. minutum were recurrent in small, shallow estuarine bays inside the Rías de Vigo and Pontevedra, but rarely detected, and if so at low concentrations, out of these environments. However, from May to July 2018 it developed as usual in the small inner bays but then spread over both Rías (Vigo and Pontevedra) causing discoloured waters during one month and prolonged harvesting closures. Meteorological conditions during that period (rains / runoff higher than climatological averages, sustained temperature increment and oscillating wind pattern –i.e., series of upwelling-relaxation cycles), fostered optimal circumstances for the development of that extensive and massive proliferation: strong vertical stratification and the alternation of retention and dispersion processes. Simulations from a particle tracking model portrayed the observed bloom development phases: onset and development inside a small inner bay; transport within the surface layer, from these sites towards the interior parts of the Ría; and dispersion all over the embayment. Seedbeds with high concentrations of resting cysts were detected several months after the bloom, which may have favoured flourishment of A. minutum in the following two years, markedly in 2020. The present work contributes to the general understanding of the dynamics of harmful algal blooms (HABs), from which surveillance indicators of the state of marine ecosystems and their evolution can be derived. We hypothesize that the intensity and frequency of A. minutum proliferations in the Galician Rías could increase under projected climate trends.
Gaidropsarus Rafinesque, 1810 is a genus of marine teleost characterized by a high ecological diversity and by species inhabiting from the intertidal zone to the deep-sea. Several taxonomic conundrums have been historically present in this taxon due to its conservative morphology and the lack of available specimens. Species delimitation analyses were carried out in multiple datasets combining both mitochondrial ( COI , CytB , ND2 ) and nuclear ( Rho , ZIC1 ) genetic markers. Despite some incongruence between mitochondrial and nuclear data, the analyses supported the synonymy between Gaidropsarus biscayensis – Gaidropsarus macrophthalmus and the existence of a putative undescribed deep-sea Gaidropsarus species in the North Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, recent speciation events can explain the close relationships among several Gaidropsarus species, including Gaidropsarus granti – Gaidropsarus vulgaris and Gaidropsarus argentatus – Gaidropsarus ensis . These results support previous findings highlighted through DNA Barcoding analyses. The first evidence of a complex evolutionary scenario has arisen between Gaidropsarus guttatus and Gaidropsarus mediterraneus , but further analyses will be necessary to unravel the phenomena related to it.
The Jenkinson-Collison weather typing scheme (JC-WT) is an automated method used to classify the regional atmospheric circulation into a reduced number of typical recurrent patterns, identified in the early 1970ies on the basis of expert knowledge. Originally developed for the British Isles, the method since then has seen many applications. Encouraged by the estimate that the JC-WT approach can in principle be applied to any mid-to-high latitude region(Jones et al, 2013), the present study explores whether it can be used anywhere in the extratropics, including the Southern Hemisphere. To this aim, JC-WT is applied at each grid-box of a global 2.5° regular grid excluding the inner tropics ( ± 5° band) where the method cannot be applied. Thereby, 6-hourly JC-WT catalogues are obtained for 5 distinct reanalyses, covering the period 1979-2005, which are then applied to explore 1) the method's limits of applicability and 2) observational uncertainties inherent to reanalysis datasets. Using evaluation criteria such as the diversity of occurring circulation types and the frequency of unclassified situations, we extract empirically derived applicability thresholds which suggest that JC-WT can be generally used anywhere polewards of 22.5°. Seasonal variations compromise this finding along the equatorward limits of the domain, and so does the effect of large orographic barriers such as the Tibetan Plateau, the Andes, Greenland and Antarctica. In some regions, the JC-WT classifications obtained from the distinct reanalyses substantially differ from each other and this should be taken into account by further applications of the method.
The effectiveness of mulching in reducing the risk of erosion has been evaluated in numerous studies. However, its effect on carbon loss has received less attention, despite the potentially negative effects on ecosystem recovery. In this study, the effects of straw helimulching on soil erosion and carbon loss in sediments were investigated after a severe wildfire in NW Spain during the first three years after fire. During the first year after the fire, the accumulated mean sediment yield was 12.4 Mg ha−1 in the control plots and 0.5 Mg ha−1 in the mulched plots. Soil erosion decreased sharply during the second year after the fire and was almost inexistent during the third year after the fire. No differences in carbon concentration were detected between treatments during the period of study. A significantly lower amount of carbon was lost after the mulching treatment due to its effectiveness in reducing sediment erosion. The mulching treatment did not significantly influence the amount of carbon sequestered in the vegetation. Although the application of mulch did not affect carbon fixation in vegetation, its application after fire can be considered a sustainable way of managing forest ecosystems to reduce the impact of fire on carbon emissions.
Altered methionine metabolism is associated with weight gain in obesity. The methionine adenosyltransferase (MAT), catalyzing the first reaction of the methionine cycle, plays an important role regulating lipid metabolism. However, its role in obesity, when a plethora of metabolic diseases occurs, is still unknown. By using antisense oligonucleotides (ASO) and genetic depletion of Mat1a, here, we demonstrate that Mat1a deficiency in diet-induce obese or genetically obese mice prevented and reversed obesity and obesity-associated insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis by increasing energy expenditure in a hepatocyte FGF21 dependent fashion. The increased NRF2-mediated FGF21 secretion induced by targeting Mat1a, mobilized plasma lipids towards the BAT to be catabolized, induced thermogenesis and reduced body weight, inhibiting hepatic de novo lipogenesis. The beneficial effects of Mat1a ASO were abolished following FGF21 depletion in hepatocytes. Thus, targeting Mat1a activates the liver-BAT axis by increasing NRF2-mediated FGF21 secretion, which prevents obesity, insulin resistance and hepatosteatosis. High methionine and S-adenosylmethionine serum levels are related with obesity. Here the authors show that knockdown of methionine adenosyltransferase by using antisense oligonucleotides provides beneficial effects in obesity and comorbidities.
Reciprocal interactions between endothelial cells (ECs) and adipocytes are fundamental to maintain white adipose tissue (WAT) homeostasis, as illustrated by the activation of angiogenesis upon WAT expansion, a process that is impaired in obesity. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the crosstalk between ECs and adipocytes remain poorly understood. Here, we show that local production of polyamines in ECs stimulates adipocyte lipolysis and regulates WAT homeostasis in mice. We promote enhanced cell-autonomous angiogenesis by deleting Pten in the murine endothelium. Endothelial Pten loss leads to a WAT-selective phenotype, characterized by reduced body weight and adiposity in pathophysiological conditions. This phenotype stems from enhanced fatty acid β-oxidation in ECs concomitant with a paracrine lipolytic action on adipocytes, accounting for reduced adiposity. Combined analysis of murine models, isolated ECs and human specimens reveals that WAT lipolysis is mediated by mTORC1-dependent production of polyamines by ECs. Our results indicate that angiocrine metabolic signals are important for WAT homeostasis and organismal metabolism.
Global climate models are a keystone of modern climate research. In most applications relevant for decision making, they are assumed to provide a plausible range of possible future climate states. However, these models have not been originally developed to reproduce the regional-scale climate, which is where information is needed in practice. To overcome this dilemma, two general efforts have been made since their introduction in the late 1960s. First, the models themselves have been steadily improved in terms of physi cal and chemical processes, parametrization schemes, resolution and implemented climate system components, giving rise to the term “Earth system model”. Second, the global models’ output has been refined at the regional scale using limited area models or statistical methods in what is known as dynamical or statistical downscaling. For both approaches, however, it is difficult to correct errors resulting from a wrong representation of the large-scale circulation in the global model. Dynamical downscaling also has a high computational demand and thus cannot be applied to all available global models in practice. On this background, there is an ongoing debate in the downscaling community on whether to thrive away from the “model democracy” paradigm towards a careful selection strategy based on the global models’ capacity to reproduce key aspects of the observed climate. The present study attempts to be useful for such a selection by providing a performance assessment of the historical global model experiments from CMIP5 and 6 based on recurring regional atmospheric circulation patterns, as defined by the Jenkinson–Collison approach. The latest model generation (CMIP6) is found to perform better on average, which can be partly explained by a moderately strong statistical relationship between performance and horizontal resolution in the atmosphere. A few models rank favourably over almost the entire Northern Hemisphere mid-to-high latitudes. Internal model variability only has a small influence on the model ranks. Reanalysis uncertainty is an issue in Greenland and the surrounding seas, the southwestern United States and the Gobi Desert but is otherwise generally negligible. Along the study, the prescribed and interactively simulated climate system components are identified for each applied coupled model configuration and a simple codification system is introduced to describe model complexity in this sense.
In this paper we present a model based on computational intelligence and natural language generation for the automatic generation of textual summaries from numerical data series, aiming to provide insights which help users to understand the relevant information hidden in the data. Our model includes a fuzzy temporal ontology with temporal references which addresses the problem of managing imprecise temporal knowledge, which is relevant in data series. We fully describe a real use case of application in the environmental information systems field, providing linguistic descriptions about the air quality index (AQI), which is a very well-known indicator provided by all meteorological agencies worldwide. We consider two different data sources of real AQI data provided by the official Galician (NW Spain) Meteorology Agency: (i) AQI distribution in the stations of the meteorological observation network and (ii) time series which describe the state and evolution of the AQI in each meteorological station. Both application models were evaluated following the current standards and good practices of manual human expert evaluation of the Natural Language Generation field. Assessment results by two experts meteorologists were very satisfactory, which empirically confirm that the proposed textual descriptions fit this type of data and service both in content and layout.
El presente textoaborda un asunto trascendente para la Inspección educativa, peroque, sin embargo, resulta olvidadocon mucha frecuenciaen la bibliografía especializaday en los encuentrosy congresos. El autor trata de establecer, por un lado, la necesidad de contar con una deontología práctica de la cotidianidad supervisora y, por otro, evidenciar y apuntar los deberes morales que deben constituir el ser supervisor en su quehacer diario.Ante gruesos interrogantes como ¿existe un código ético específico de la Inspección de educación? o ¿existen unas pautas deontológicas concretas para el desarrollo del trabajo del cuerpo de inspectores de educación?, el autor intenta amojonar con precisión un territorio bastante desconocidoy poco transitado. Así, el texto aborday desentraña, en primer lugar, las dificultades de establecer una deontología supervisora, radicadas, en esencia, en la pertinaz indefiniciónde la labor supervisora en símisma.En segundo lugar, el autor pretendeestablecer, dentrodel territorio deontológico de la Inspección educativa, lo que considera como valores específicos(prudencia, equidad, colegialidad, anticipación, etc.)que deben cultivarse con rigor para que el cuerpo avance desde una legitimación moral que desarrolle una auctoritasreconocida y apreciadapor la comunidad educativa y la sociedad en general.
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145 members
Rafael Bañón
  • Servizo de Planificación
Yolanda Pazos
  • Unit of Oceanography and Phytoplankton
Susana Darriba
  • Technological Institute for the Control of the Marine Environment of Galicia - INTECMAR-
Cristina Fernández Filgueira
  • Centro de Investigación Forestal Lourizán
J. Fernández López
  • Breeding and silviculture
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Santiago de Compostela, Spain