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News Article | December 12, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Dec. 12, 2016) -- Physical inactivity is a global health problem that leads to approximately 3.2 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found that a government-sponsored community activity program in Brazil is improving activity levels of women. The researchers believe the program could be scaled up and adapted to other communities around the world. "To combat rising obesity rates, the Brazilian government created the Academia das Cidades program, or City Academies, to give residents free access to fitness facilities and instructors," said Eduardo Simoes, M.D., chair of the MU Department of Health Management and Informatics and lead author of the study. "The program is aimed at adults, but has historically attracted middle-aged and older women who may not frequently exercise. Our research team studied the effectiveness of this program; we found that City Academies do meet their goal of increasing physical activity rates for adult women in these communities." A lack of physical activity has been associated with several health conditions, such as hypertension, high blood pressure and diabetes. Increased activity levels can help prevent these and other diseases, which can lead to better overall health. City Academies consist of free physical activity classes offered by trained physical educators every weekday morning and late afternoon in a community setting. The classes are held in renovated and beautified public spaces such as parks and plazas. Participants are screened for hypertension and obesity, and are referred to local public health programs if needed. Additionally, participants are provided free dietary guidance. The program, which began in 2002 in Recife, the capital of the Brazilian state Pernambuco, has expanded to 184 cities in that state. In 2011, the Brazilian Ministry of Health adopted a modified version of the program known as Health Academies, and has since expanded the program to thousands of cities nationwide. Researchers interviewed household members sampled through a series of three random surveys, with each survey occurring one year after the previous one. The researchers found that adult women's rates of recommended leisure-time physical activity -- at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity per week -- were significantly higher in these cities. For women who lived in these cities for three or more years, their odds of reaching recommended levels of leisure-time physical activity increased almost 50 percent. The odds of reaching recommended levels of leisure-time physical activity increased from 60 to 900 percent, depending on whether adult residents were former or current members of the program, and if the duration of their participation lasted for less than six months or for six or more months. "With the program, we found a large increase in the population's activity levels, especially for women," Simoes said. "Worldwide and in Brazil, multiple surveys show that men are more active than women, education is directly related to leisure-time physical activity, and individuals of low socioeconomic status are less likely to engage in physical activity. Our study shows that these exercise programs help reduce those inequalities in physical activity. They may serve as a model for other communities and countries around the world to tackle the pandemic of physical inactivity." The study, "Effectiveness of a Scaled Up Physical Activity Intervention in Brazil: A Natural Experiment," recently was published in Preventive Medicine, an international journal devoted to the science and practice of disease prevention, health promotion and public health policymaking. Research reported in this publication was supported by CNPq, the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (552752/2011-8). The researchers have no conflicts of interest to declare related to this study.


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

You've seen sauce or mayonnaise that separates, or a slippery layer of oil that forms on top of skin cream. Oil and water generally stay separate. It is actually hard work to keep water droplets or oil droplets stable in a substance called an emulsion. Materials, called emulsifiers, can aid in keeping an emulsion stable and are used in processed food, medicine and enhanced oil recovery from oil reservoirs to address this challenge. But many industries also have the opposite challenge--keeping oil separated from water. Jon Otto Fossum, a physicist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), has previously worked with controlling the behavior of clay and oil drops using electricity, a find that was published in Nature Communications in 2013. In this latest effort, Fossum led an international group that created two different types of clay-based nanostructures on an oil droplet in water simply by fine-tuning the salinity of the water around the drop. The find was published in the open-access online journal published by Nature called Scientific Reports. The find builds on two well-known properties of clay in water. Clay particles repel one another in water that does not contain salt. In this case, the clays form the same kinds of nanostructures that are found in glass materials. In contrast, clay particles in saline water tend to aggregate and form a kind of gel consisting of a nano-network of clay particles. "It is possible to design small particles of clay with a micrometer thin gel on an oil droplet in water by fine tuning the salinity of the water around the oil drop," said Fossum. Fossum said the find shows that there are micrometer-thick gel structures formed at specific salt concentrations in water with sufficient mechanical strength to prevent oil droplets in emulsions from merging with one another. Until the team's research, no one had observed glass or gel nanostructures in nanofluids at fluid-fluid interfaces. The ability to create micrometer-thick gel structures by controlling salt concentrations could be used to improve the amount of oil recovered from oil reservoirs, Fossum said, or might be able to improve the lifetime of specific food products. The structures might also find a use in medicines or cosmetics, he said. The international team behind the research is drawn from NTNU, Norway's largest university, and from Pontifica Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), and Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), two of Latin America's top universities. The interdisciplinary network was composed of physicists from NTNU, led by Fossum, mechanical engineers from PUC-Rio, led by Marcio S. Carvalho and chemists from USP, led by Koiti Araki. Funding for the effort came from the Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education, the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development and CAPES. Reference: Gholamipour-Shirazi, A. et al. Transition from glass- to gel-like states in clay at a liquid interface. Sci. Rep. 6, 37239; doi: 10.1038/srep37239 (2016). http://www.


News Article | November 25, 2016
Site: phys.org

You've seen sauce or mayonnaise that separates, or a slippery layer of oil that forms on top of skin cream. Oil and water generally stay separate. It is actually hard work to keep water droplets or oil droplets stable in a substance called an emulsion. Materials, called emulsifiers, can aid in keeping an emulsion stable and are used in processed food, medicine and enhanced oil recovery from oil reservoirs to address this challenge. But many industries also have the opposite challenge keeping oil separated from water. Jon Otto Fossum, a physicist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), has previously worked with controlling the behavior of clay and oil drops using electricity, a find that was published in Nature Communications in 2013. In this latest effort, Fossum led an international group that created two different types of clay-based nanostructures on an oil droplet in water simply by fine-tuning the salinity of the water around the drop. The findings were published in the open-access online journal Scientific Reports. The find builds on two well-known properties of clay in water. Clay particles repel one another in water that does not contain salt. In this case, the clays form the same kinds of nanostructures that are found in glass materials. In contrast, clay particles in saline water tend to aggregate and form a kind of gel consisting of a nano-network of clay particles. "It is possible to design small particles of clay with a micrometer thin gel on an oil droplet in water by fine tuning the salinity of the water around the oil drop," said Fossum. Fossum said the find shows that there are micrometer-thick gel structures formed at specific salt concentrations in water with sufficient mechanical strength to prevent oil droplets in emulsions from merging with one another. Until the team's research, no one had observed glass or gel nanostructures in nanofluids at fluid-fluid interfaces. The ability to create micrometer-thick gel structures by controlling salt concentrations could be used to improve the amount of oil recovered from oil reservoirs, Fossum said, or might be able to improve the lifetime of specific food products. The structures might also find a use in medicines or cosmetics, he said. The international team behind the research is drawn from NTNU, Norway's largest university, and from Pontifica Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), and Universidade de Sao Paulo (USP), two of Latin America's top universities. The interdisciplinary network was composed of physicists from NTNU, led by Fossum, mechanical engineers from PUC-Rio, led by Marcio S. Carvalho and chemists from USP, led by Koiti Araki. Funding for the effort came from the Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education, the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development and CAPES. Explore further: Designer droplets with 'pupils' open a world of possibilities More information: A. Gholamipour-Shirazi et al. Transition from glass- to gel-like states in clay at a liquid interface, Scientific Reports (2016). DOI: 10.1038/srep37239


Fragoso M.D.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Costa O.L.V.,University of Sao Paulo
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2010

In this paper, we devise a separation principle for the finite horizon quadratic optimal control problem of continuous-time Markovian jump linear systems driven by a Wiener process and with partial observations. We assume that the output variable and the jump parameters are available to the controller. It is desired to design a dynamic Markovian jump controller such that the closed loop system minimizes the quadratic functional cost of the system over a finite horizon period of time. As in the case with no jumps, we show that an optimal controller can be obtained from two coupled Riccati differential equations, one associated to the optimal control problem when the state variable is available, and the other one associated to the optimal filtering problem. This is a separation principle for the finite horizon quadratic optimal control problem for continuous-time Markovian jump linear systems. For the case in which the matrices are all time-invariant we analyze the asymptotic behavior of the solution of the derived interconnected Riccati differential equations to the solution of the associated set of coupled algebraic Riccati equations as well as the mean square stabilizing property of this limiting solution. When there is only one mode of operation our results coincide with the traditional ones for the LQG control of continuous-time linear systems. © 2006 IEEE.


Polanczyk G.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Polanczyk G.V.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Willcutt E.G.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Salum G.A.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2014

Background: Previous studies have identified significant variability in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prevalence estimates worldwide, largely explained by methodological procedures. However, increasing rates of ADHD diagnosis and treatment throughout the past few decades have fuelled concerns about whether the true prevalence of the disorder has increased over time. Methods: We updated the two most comprehensive systematic reviews on ADHD prevalence available in the literature. Meta-regression analyses were conducted to test the effect of year of study in the context of both methodological variables that determined variability in ADHD prevalence (diagnostic criteria, impairment criterion and source of information), and the geographical location of studies. Results: We identified 154 original studies and included 135 in the multivariate analysis. Methodological procedures investigated were significantly associated with heterogeneity of studies. Geographical location and year of study were not associated with variability in ADHD prevalence estimates. Conclusions: Confirming previous findings, variability in ADHD prevalence estimates is mostly explained by methodological characteristics of the studies. In the past three decades, there has been no evidence to suggest an increase in the number of children in the community who meet criteria for ADHD when standardized diagnostic procedures are followed. © The Author 2014; All rights reserved.


Polanczyk G.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Polanczyk G.V.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Salum G.A.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Salum G.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines | Year: 2015

Background: The literature on the prevalence of mental disorders affecting children and adolescents has expanded significantly over the last three decades around the world. Despite the field having matured significantly, there has been no meta-analysis to calculate a worldwide-pooled prevalence and to empirically assess the sources of heterogeneity of estimates. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of the literature searching in PubMed, PsycINFO, and EMBASE for prevalence studies of mental disorders investigating probabilistic community samples of children and adolescents with standardized assessments methods that derive diagnoses according to the DSM or ICD. Meta-analytical techniques were used to estimate the prevalence rates of any mental disorder and individual diagnostic groups. A meta-regression analysis was performed to estimate the effect of population and sample characteristics, study methods, assessment procedures, and case definition in determining the heterogeneity of estimates. Results: We included 41 studies conducted in 27 countries from every world region. The worldwide-pooled prevalence of mental disorders was 13.4% (CI 95% 11.3-15.9). The worldwide prevalence of any anxiety disorder was 6.5% (CI 95% 4.7-9.1), any depressive disorder was 2.6% (CI 95% 1.7-3.9), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder was 3.4% (CI 95% 2.6-4.5), and any disruptive disorder was 5.7% (CI 95% 4.0-8.1). Significant heterogeneity was detected for all pooled estimates. The multivariate metaregression analyses indicated that sample representativeness, sample frame, and diagnostic interview were significant moderators of prevalence estimates. Estimates did not vary as a function of geographic location of studies and year of data collection. The multivariate model explained 88.89% of prevalence heterogeneity, but residual heterogeneity was still significant. Additional meta-analysis detected significant pooled difference in prevalence rates according to requirement of funcional impairment for the diagnosis of mental disorders. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that mental disorders affect a significant number of children and adolescents worldwide. The pooled prevalence estimates and the identification of sources of heterogeneity have important implications to service, training, and research planning around the world. © 2015 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.


Joventino E.S.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Revista gaúcha de enfermagem / EENFUFRGS | Year: 2011

This paper aims to accomplish an integrative literature review on the types of technologies that nurses have developed or that they could use to promote breasfeeding. The research was carried out in October 2009 using the descriptors: breasfeeding, nursing and technology, in the CINAHL, Scopus, PubMed and LILACS databases. 127 references were founda 10 of them participated in the analysis since they fit the study selection criteria. It was verified that most (6 - 60%) of the studies were found in Pubmed in English (8 - 80%) and didn't mention the study type (4 - 40%). Thirteen types of care technologies were identified classified as hard (8 - 61.5%) and soft (5 - 38.5%); the main target audience was formed by children's mothers (9 - 90%), and the video/footage was the most used technology (4 - 40%). The use of soft and sof-hard technologies should be stimulated,for they are considered practical and easy to be developed and applied.


De Oliveira R.P.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Scientia Agraria | Year: 2011

The aim of this work was to compare the agronomic performance of Ventana, Aromas and Camarosa strawberries cultivars. The experiment was carried out in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul state, using tunnel system and plants imported from Chile. In June 2007, the genetic material were transplanted at the distance of 35 cm between lines and between plants. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with split plot and four replications. The experimental units were composed by 20 plants. Weekly, from August to December, the variables fruit fresh weight and number of fruits produced in each experimental unit were studied. Aromas and Camarosa cultivars showed greater regularity of the fruit production, and Camarosa and Ventana cultivars greater precocity. Aromas, Camarosa and Ventana cultivars were similar about agronomic performance, with an average production of 709, 740 and 692 g of commercial fruits per plant. The average mass of de fruit of the cultivar Ventana is high (> 24,1 g) until the twelfth week of production, although not statistically different for this variable with the cultivar Ventana, the 5th to 8 weeks.


Todorov M.G.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Fragoso M.D.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Automatica | Year: 2013

This paper is concerned with the robust analysis and control of continuous-time Markov jump linear systems. The centerpiece of the paper is an alternative to the small-gain theorem, which hinges on the robustification of a certain adjoint Lyapunov operator. By means of this technique, it is proven that the small-gain theorem of Markov jump linear systems may sometimes be arbitrarily conservative, even when nonlinear Lipschitz disturbances are taken into account. The adjoint approach, on the other hand, provides the maximal degree of robustness for this particular setup. In addition, we prove that the adjoint design of controllers is solved more efficiently than the design based on small-gain analysis. Bearing these new facts in mind, we derive an iterative algorithm for the design of robust controllers, based on linear matrix inequalities. By means of numerical examples, regarding the robust control of an underactuated manipulator arm and of a simplified power systems model, it is shown that the adjoint design methodology can be much more advantageous than its small-gain counterpart. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Fuchs F.D.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development | Fuchs S.C.,Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development
Journal of Human Hypertension | Year: 2014

The risk that lowering blood pressure (BP) excessively increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease-the J-shaped phenomenon-has been a matter of concern endorsed by many experts, particularly in patients with coronary heart disease and diabetes. The results of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2 Diabetes (ACCORD) trial strengthened the idea that it may be futile to lower BP more intensively in patients with diabetes. Nevertheless, there seems to be no direct J-shaped relation between BP-lowering treatment and outcome. Patients with normal or low BP and high or very high cardiovascular risk could have their BP reduced further by treatment. Placebo-controlled clinical trials of BP-lowering agents in patients with BP within normal values and concomitant cardiovascular disease demonstrated consistent reduction of recurrent and newer cardiovascular events. The use of BP agents in such conditions, as in patients with coronary artery disease, heart failure, diabetes and in patients recovered from a stroke has been endorsed by guidelines. Although is likely that there is a J-shaped relationship of BP with outcomes in cohort studies, clinical trials that tested more intensive versus standard goals and clinical trials done with patients with low BP demonstrated that the J-shaped phenomenon should not be a concern in the treatment of high BP.

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