Porto Alegre, Brazil

The Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul is one of the largest federal universities in Brazil. It is almost completely located in Porto Alegre, with four campuses , some isolated buildings and some isolated units in other cities. UFRGS is among the best Brazilian universities, and has one of the greatest numbers of scientific publications. UFRGS has over 27,000 undergraduate students and over 9,300 graduate students. The university has more than 2,500 professors. As a public federal institution, the students do not have to pay tuition fees to enroll in the courses offered by the university. To be admitted to one of the courses offered by UFRGS, a candidate must be approved in a yearly competitive exam, called the vestibular.The institute also has a profound political history. Between 1964 and 1969, during the worst years of the military dictatorship, 33 professors were eliminated, as well as a good number of students. The experience echoes a tradition of social commitment and combativeness.The institute has since been active not only in forming new generations of students, but also in the production of knowledge through high-quality research and consultancies. Today, many of the high-ranking officials in government as well as the majority of the history, philosophy and social science teachers in smaller universities throughout the state were educated in the institution.The climate of intellectual debate and analysis of public issues has also been important in training students to work for non-governmental and governmental organisations which contribute to the critical reflection and planning of development programs. Among the graduates of UFRGS, there are three Brazilian presidents: Getúlio Vargas, João Goulart, and Dilma Rousseff. Wikipedia.

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Kupper A.H.W.,Columbia University | Balbinot E.,University of Surrey | Bonaca A.,Yale University | Johnston K.V.,Columbia University | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

Using the example of the tidal stream of the Milky Way globular cluster Palomar 5 (Pal 5), we demonstrate how observational data on tidal streams can be efficiently reduced in dimensionality and modeled in a Bayesian framework. Our approach combines detection of stream overdensities by a Difference-of-Gaussians process with fast streakline models of globular cluster streams and a continuous likelihood function built from these models. Inference is performed with Markov chain Monte Carlo. By generating ≈107 model streams, we show that the unique geometry of the Pal 5 debris yields powerful constraints on the solar position and motion, the Milky Way and Pal 5 itself. All 10 model parameters were allowed to vary over large ranges without additional prior information. Using only readily available SDSS data and a few radial velocities from the literature, we find that the distance of the Sun from the Galactic Center is 8.30 ± 0.25 kpc, and the transverse velocity is 253 ± 16 km s-1. Both estimates are in excellent agreement with independent measurements of these two quantities. Assuming a standard disk and bulge model, we determine the Galactic mass within Pal 5s apogalactic radius of 19 kpc to be (2.1±0.4)× 1011M⊙. Moreover, we find the potential of the dark halo with a flattening of = - q 0.95+ z 0.12 0.16 to be essentially spherical-at least within the radial range that is effectively probed by Pal 5. We also determine Pal 5s mass, distance, and proper motion independently from other methods, which enables us to perform vital crosschecks. Our inferred heliocentric distance of Pal 5 is - 23.6+0.7 0.8 kpc, in perfect agreement with, and more precise than, estimates from isochrone fitting of deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging data. We conclude that finding and modeling more globular cluster streams is an efficient way to map out the structure of our Galaxy to high precision. With more observational data and by using additional prior information, the precision of this mapping can be significantly increased © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Rosa D.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
RSC Advances | Year: 2012

NCP pincer palladacycle 1 has been reported as an excellent catalyst precursor for the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction. Now, it's properties have been evaluated in the Heck reaction. 1 is highly active for the coupling of ArI, ArBr and electron-poor ArCl with n-butyl acrylate showing limitations in the reaction of deactivated ArCl and sterically hindered olefins. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ottoni G.L.,Federal University of Health Sciences, Porto Alegre | Antoniolli E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lara D.R.,Grande Rio University
Chronobiology International | Year: 2012

Chronotype has long been associated with mental disorders and temperamental features. This study aims to investigate the association of circadian preference with a new model for emotional and affective temperament. In this Web survey, 6436 subjects (27.2 males) answered the Affective and Emotional Composite Temperament Scale (AFECTS), the Circadian Energy Scale (CIRENS), and questions on subjective sleep parameters for a sleep-based chronotype measure. Temperament was more strongly correlated with daily energy score than with chronotype. For emotional dimensions, Volition, Coping, and Control positively correlated with high and stable daily energy, contrary to Sensitivity. Evening types showed a less adaptive emotional profile than morning and intermediate types, who showed a relatively similar emotional pattern. Focus and order (facets of Control), energy (facet of Volition), caution (facet of Inhibition), and problem facing (facet of Coping) were distinctive for the three circadian types, being particularly low in evening types and high in morning types. Differences between affective temperaments were more pronounced for morning and afternoon than for evening scores. Cyclothymic and euphoric temperaments, which relate to bipolar disorders, and apathetic, volatile, and disinhibited temperaments, which relate to attention-deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD), showed the latest chronotype (i.e., evening preference). In conclusion, temperament was more associated with absolute energy levels than with chronotype. Evening types had less emotional control, coping, volition, and caution, and more affective instability and externalization. The circadian daily energy profile can be very informative about human temperament and vice versa, and their combined assessment may be useful in the evaluation of psychiatric patients. © 2012 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

de Magalhaes A.M.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dall'Agnol C.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem | Year: 2013

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the potential association between nursing workload and patient safety in the medical and surgical inpatient units of a teaching hospital. Method: a mixed method strategy (sequential explanatory design). Results: the initial quantitative stage of the study suggest that increases in the number of patients assigned to each nursing team lead to increased rates of bed-related falls, central line-associated bloodstream infections, nursing staff turnover, and absenteeism. During the subsequent qualitative stage of the research, the nursing team stressed medication administration, bed baths, and patient transport as the aspects of care that have the greatest impact on workload and pose the greatest hazards to patient, provider, and environment safety. Conclusions: The findings demonstrated significant associations between nursing workload and patient safety. We observed that nursing staff with fewer patients presented best results of care-related and management-related patient safety indicators. In addition, the tenets of ecological and restorative thinking contributed to the understanding of some of the aspects in this intricate relationship from the standpoint of nursing providers. They also promoted a participatory approach in this study.

Ottoni G.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Antoniolli E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lara D.R.,Grande Rio University
Chronobiology International | Year: 2011

This study presents the Circadian Energy Scale (CIRENS), a very short and simple chronotype measurement tool based on energy. The CIRENS consists of two introspective questions about the usual energy level (very low, low, moderate, high, or very high, scored 1 to 5) in the morning and in the evening. The difference between energy level scores (-4 to 4) felt by respondents in the evening and morning defines the chronotype score and classification. A concurrent validity analysis of the CIRENS with the widely used Horne and östberg Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) was conducted using a sample of 225 college students, and with MSFsc, a sleep-based chronotype assessment tool based on the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire (MCTQ), using a sample of 34,530 subjects (18-83 yrs, 27% males). This large sample was collected in a Web survey for behavioral correlates of the CIRENS with variables previously associated with chronotype differences. The correlation of the CIRENS chronotype score was r =-.70 with the MEQ and r =.32 with the MSFsc. CIRENS chronotype scores declined with age and were not affected by sex. Both CIRENS and MSFsc chronotype scores were related to differences in tobacco, caffeine, and cola soft-drink consumption (all higher in evening types). The CIRENS provides a simple chronotype index and a measure of absolute energy throughout the day and seems to be a reliable chronotype assessment tool that may be useful both clinically and for large-scale studies. © 2011 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.

Saurin T.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Wachs P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Henriqson E.,Grande Rio University
Safety Science | Year: 2013

Training in non-technical skills (NTSs) does not usually question the design of the work system but focuses narrowly on workers as the unit of analysis. This study discusses how the identification of NTS, a major step for developing an NTS training program, might be re-interpreted from the perspective of resilience engineering (RE). This discussion is based on a case study of identifying NTS for electricians who perform emergency maintenance activities in an electricity distribution network. The case study showed that four data collection and analysis procedures might operationalize the RE perspective: (a) by identifying work constraints which create the need for NTS as a means to adjust performance; (b) by identifying recommendations for re-designing the system, which could either eliminate, or reduce the need for, or make it easier to use NTS; (c) by regarding the identification of NTS as an opportunity to give visibility to adaptations carried out by workers; and (d) by classifying the NTS into pragmatic categories, which are meaningful for workers. These procedures aim at emphasizing that the NTS are intertwined with the socio-technical system, and thus have little meaning unless there is a context. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Cavazzola L.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rosen M.J.,University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Surgical Clinics of North America | Year: 2013

The laparoscopic approach to inguinal hernia surgery is safe and reliable. It has a similar recurrence rate as open tension-free mesh repair. Because the laparoscopic approach has less chronic postoperative pain and numbness, fast return to normal activities, and decreased incidence of wound infection and hematoma, it should be considered an appropriate approach for inguinal hernia surgery. These results can be achieved if a surgeon is proficient in the technique, has a clear understanding of the anatomy, and performs it on a regular basis. This article focuses on questions related to laparoscopic inguinal hernia surgery and provides answers based on published literature. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Schnorr-Muller A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Storchi-Bergmann T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Nagar N.M.,University of Concepción | Ferrari F.,Grande Rio University
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We present two-dimensional stellar and gaseous kinematics of the inner 0.8 × 1.1 kpc2 of the LINER/Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 7213, from optical spectra obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph integral field spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope at a spatial resolution of ≈ 60 pc. The stellar kinematics shows an average velocity dispersion of 177 km s-1, circular rotation with a projected velocity amplitude of 50 km s-1 and a kinematic major axis at a position angle of ≈-4° (west of north). From the average velocity dispersion we estimate a black hole mass of MBH = 8-6 +16 × 107 M⊙. The gas kinematics is dominated by non-circular motions, mainly along two spiral arms extending from the nucleus out to ≈4 arcsec (280 pc) to the NW and SE, that are cospatial with a nuclear dusty spiral seen in a structure map of the nuclear region of the galaxy. The projected gas velocities along the spiral arms show blueshifts in the far side and redshifts in the near side, with values of up to 200 km s-1. This kinematics can be interpreted as gas inflows towards the nucleus along the spiral arms if the gas is in the plane of the galaxy. We estimate the mass inflow rate using two different methods. The first is based of the observed velocities and geometry of the flow, and gives a mass inflow rate in the ionized gas of ≈7 × 10-2 M⊙ yr-1. In the second method, we calculate the net ionized gas mass flow rate through concentric circles of decreasing radii around the nucleus resulting in mass inflow rates ranging from ≈0.4 M⊙ yr-1 at 300 pc down to ≈0.2 M⊙ yr-1 at 100 pc from the nucleus. These rates are larger than necessary to power the active nucleus. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Giehl E.L.H.,Federal University of São Carlos | Jarenkow J.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Ecography | Year: 2012

Although detected long ago, latitudinal disparity in species richness lacks a consensus regarding its underlying mechanisms. We evaluated whether the main predictions derived from the tropical niche conservatism hypothesis help to explain differences regarding species richness and turnover of species and lineages between forests located in tropical and subtropical climates. If tropical niches are retained, we predict that only a subset of tropical lineages disperses and establishes outside the tropics; tip-level phylogenetic clustering increases outside the tropics; and the climatic variation drives species richness indirectly via constraints to the distribution of lineages. We compiled 58 checklists along tropical and subtropical sites of riparian forests in southeastern South America. We tested the frequency of niches shifts for species and lineages and the abundance of taxa in each climate. Next, we checked the likelihood of pathways linking climatic and spatial predictors directly with species richness and via phylogenetic clustering estimates. Several lineages only occurred in the tropics, and the number of species and lineages that occurred in both climates was lower than expected by chance. Conversely, few lineages were exclusively subtropical and diversified in the subtropics. Phylogenetic clustering increased in subtropical sites and was correlated with decreasing species richness. An interaction between mean temperature of coldest quarter and precipitation seasonality explained most variation in species richness via increases in phylogenetic clustering. These results support an important contribution of climatic niche conservatism to explain richness disparities between tropics and subtropics, mainly because of the inability of most lineages to colonize the subtropics, which is very likely related to cold intolerance. Since niche conservatism likely drives most of the variation in tree species richness in the region, it provides a mechanistic interpretation of the observed patterns, thus fostering the understanding of richness disparities between these tropical and subtropical tree communities. © 2012 The Authors.

Merotto Jr. A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fischer A.J.,University of California at Davis
Weed Science | Year: 2010

Basic factors contributing to the rapid evolution and broad distribution of acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibiting herbicide resistance in smallflower umbrella sedge L. have not yet been investigated. The objectives of this study were to examine patterns of cross-resistance to ALS herbicides and genetic diversity within and among smallflower umbrella sedge populations in California rice fields to provide insight into the processes contributing to resistance spread. Twelve different patterns of herbicide cross-resistance were found across the 56 populations sampled. The frequency of populations with at least one resistant individual in the North, Central and South Sacramento Valley, and the San Joaquin Valley were 76, 86, 67, and 50, respectively. Analysis of the genetic diversity of 29 populations using 73 sequence-related amplified polymorphism molecular markers revealed little genetic diversity within populations, with estimates of Nei's gene diversity index, h, ranging from 0 to 0.049, and Shannon's information index (I) ranging from 0 to 0.079. Hierarchical analyses of molecular variance indicated that the majority of genetic variation was partitioned among populations, rather than within populations or among regional groups. No isolation by distance was evident. Unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages analysis indicated that population clustering was not region specific. The results suggest that resistance to ALS-inhibiting herbicides in smallflower umbrella sedge populations from California rice fields appears to have evolved independently multiple times rather than spread from a single population where resistance originated. Consequently, prevention and management of smallflower umbrella sedge in California rice fields should emphasize in-field strategies that focus on decreasing the selection pressure caused by ALS-inhibiting herbicides. © 2010 Weed Science Society of America.

Gomes H.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Awruch A.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lopes P.A.M.,Grande Rio University
Structural Safety | Year: 2011

The design of anisotropic laminated composite structures is very susceptible to changes in loading, angle of fiber orientation and ply thickness. Thus, optimization of such structures, using a reliability index as a constraint, is an important problem to be dealt. This paper addresses the problem of structural optimization of laminated composite materials with reliability constraint using a genetic algorithm and two types of neural networks. The reliability analysis is performed using one of the following methods: FORM, modified FORM (FORM with multiple checkpoints), the Standard or Direct Monte Carlo and Monte Carlo with Importance Sampling. The optimization process is performed using a genetic algorithm. To overcome high computational cost it is used Multilayer Perceptron or Radial Basis Artificial Neural Networks. It is shown, presenting two examples, that this methodology can be used without loss of accuracy and large computational time savings, even when dealing with non-linear behavior. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Pereira L.F.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Flores J.V.,Grande Rio University | Bonan G.,Schneider Electric | Coutinho D.F.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Gomes Da Silva J.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2014

This paper deals with the synthesis problem of multiple resonant controllers for uninterruptible-power-supply systems in a robust control framework. The controller parameters aiming the tracking of sinusoidal reference signals (with zero steady-state error) and the rejection of harmonic components of the output voltage (when supplying energy to time-varying nonlinear loads) are determined by means of a convex optimization problem subject to a set of linear-matrix-inequality constraints. Results from a 5.0-kVA experimental setup are considered to illustrate and validate the proposed approach. © 1982-2012 IEEE.

Rocha M.D.,Grande Rio University | Loiko M.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tondo E.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Prentice C.,Grande Rio University
Food Hydrocolloids | Year: 2014

Physical, mechanical and antimicrobial properties of protein films from Argentine anchovy (Engraulis anchoita) incorporated with 0, 0.50, 0.75 and 1.50% sorbic or benzoic acids were investigated against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Enteritidis and Staphylococcus aureus. The effects of films containing 1.50% sorbic or benzoic acids were tested on meat inoculated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes during storage at 5 °C. The increased concentration from 0.50 to 1.50% of sorbic and benzoic acids resulted in decreased tensile strength and increased elongation at break, color difference, opacity, water vapor permeability and solubility. Scanning electron microscopic images of the control film revealed a homogeneous and continuous structure and the presence of micropores on the film surface containing 1.50% of sorbic or benzoic acids, which contributed to the physical and mechanical properties of the resulting films. The control films did not inhibit many microorganisms tested in this study. Films with 1.50% sorbic or benzoic acids had the highest inhibition against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Enteritidis and Listeria monocytogenes, however they did not inhibit Staphylococcus aureus. Films with 1.50% sorbic or benzoic acids applied in meat showed the greatest inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7. These results suggest that the films containing antimicrobials can be used to promote safety and quality of packaged meat, though the physical and mechanical properties of the films could be modified. © 2013 .

Kvitko C.H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rigatto M.H.,Grande Rio University | Moro A.L.,Grande Rio University | Zavascki A.P.,Grande Rio University | Zavascki A.P.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre
Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy | Year: 2011

Objectives: To compare the efficacy of intravenous polymyxin B with other antimicrobials in the treatment of nosocomial Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteraemia, assessing many potential confounding factors, including optimal dosage regimens of drugs. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was performed. Patients ≥18 years of age and who received appropriate therapy for ≥48 h for P. aeruginosa bacteraemia were analysed. Clinical covariates were assessed and compared between patients treated with polymyxin B and other drugs (comparators). Data were retrieved from medical records. Renal toxicity was also assessed. A Cox regression model was performed including variables with a P≤0.20 in the comparison between both groups. Results: A total of 133 patients were included: 45 (33.8%) treated with polymyxin B and 88 (66.2%) with comparators. Most comparators (83.0%) were β-lactams. The overall in-hospital mortality was 41.4% (55/133): 66.7% (30/45) and 28.4% (25/88) in polymyxin B and comparator groups, respectively (P≤0.001). The final multivariate model showed that treatment with polymyxin B was independently associated with in-hospital mortality (adjusted hazard ratio 1.91, 95% confidence interval 1.05-3.45), after adjustment for Pitt bacteraemia score, and the presence of mechanical ventilation and primary bloodstream infection. Patients treated with polymyxin B presented a higher rate of ≥100% increase in creatinine level from baseline than comparators [11/45 (24.4%) versus 4/88 (4.5%); P=0.002], although this was not subjected to multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Intravenous polymyxin B therapy was inferior to other drugs in the treatment of P. aeruginosa bacteraemia, as indicated by the higher rate of in-hospital mortality. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Carini J.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Klamt F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Klamt F.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Translacional Em Medicina Inct Tm | Bassani V.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Cancer is the major public health problem worldwide; consequently, the search for new chemotherapeutic drugs is constant. Most of these agents are derived from natural sources, which are the major consistent basis for the search for modern anticancer medicines. In this context, numerous studies indicate flavonoids as a potential new class of secondary metabolites for anticancer therapy. In this review, special attention was addressed to flavonoids present in Achyrocline satureioides, a widely used medicinal plant with several and a well established range of biological properties. Two of these flavonoids are extensively studied for anticancer therapy, quercetin and luteolin, followed by 3-O-methylquercetin. Achyrobichalcone, recently isolated from A. satureioides by our group, can also represent a promising chemotherapeutic biomolecule due to its similarity with other cytotoxic bichalcones to cancer cell lines. The anticancer properties of these flavonoids, specially quercetin and luteolin, type of cell death, mechanisms and molecular targets involved were described. In general, these effects were observed due to the inhibition of cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, prevention of migration/metastasis and overcoming multidrug resistance, alone or in combination with commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs. All these successful findings in preclinical studies suggest that these flavonoids are promising biomolecules for the development of new anticancer drugs in the future.

Garcia-Santos D.,McGill University | Schranzhofer M.,McGill University | Horvathova M.,Palacky University | Jaberi M.M.,McGill University | And 3 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2014

Heme is essential for the functionof all aerobic cells.However, it canbetoxicwhen it occurs in a non-protein-bound form; cells maintain a fine balance between heme synthesis and catabolism. The only physiological mechanism of heme degradation is by heme oxygenases (HOs). The heme-inducible isoform, HO-1, has been extensively studied in numerous nonerythroid cells, but virtually nothing is known about the expression and potential significance of HO-1 in developing red blood cells. We have demonstrated that HO-1 is present in erythroid cells and that its expression is upregulated during erythroid differentiation. Overexpression of HO-1 in erythroid cells impairs hemoglobin synthesis, whereas HO-1 absence enhances hemoglobinization in cultured erythroid cells. Based on these results, we conclude that HO-1 controls the regulatory heme pool at appropriate levels for any given stage of erythroid differentiation. In summary, our study brings to light the importance of HO-1 expression for erythroid development and expands our knowledge about the fine regulation of hemoglobin synthesis in erythroid cells.Our results indicate that HO-1 plays an important role as a coregulator of the erythroid differentiation process. Moreover, HO-1 expression must be tightly regulated during red blood cell development. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.

Podgaiski L.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rodrigues G.G.,Federal University of Pernambuco
European Journal of Soil Biology | Year: 2010

We studied the leaf-litter decomposition of three pioneer plants (Cynodon dactylon - grass; Ricinus communis - shrub and Schinus terebinthifolius - tree), and the diversity of the associated detritivore macrofaunal assemblages in a system affected by two coal ash disposals (fly ash and boiler slag) in southern Brazil. We conducted a litter bag experiment in the area during a period of 140 days. We found that the decomposition rate of R. communis was more than 80% faster (k-value 20.7) than the other species. This result agrees with its low C:N ratio, high N (%), and increased abundance of detritivores in the first days of its decomposition. On the other hand, this leaf-litter supported the lowest invertebrate species richness. C. dactylon and S. terebinthifolius leaf-litters were similar in decomposition rates and macrofauna diversity. The type of ash disposal system did not affect leaf-litter decomposition and detritivore densities; on the other hand, the morphospecies composition was distinct in the different sites. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS.

Silva F.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Almeida J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Feoli A.M.,Grande Rio University
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2011

Dietary management has been considered an alternative means of modulating adiponectin levels. The purpose of this review is to examine the scientific evidence regarding the effect of diet on adiponectin levels in blood. Clinical trials were selected from Medline until April 2010 using the following MeSH terms: adipokines OR adiponectin AND diet OR lifestyle. A total of 220 articles were identified in the initial search, and 52 studies utilizing three different methods of dietary management were included in the present review: low-calorie diets (n=9 studies), modification of diet composition (n=33), and diet plus exercise (n=10). Daily intake of fish or omega-3 supplementation increased adiponectin levels by 14-60%. Weight loss achieved with a low-calorie diet plus exercise increased adiponectin levels in the range of 18-48%. A 60-115% increase in adiponectin levels was obtained with fiber supplementation. In conclusion, dietary management can be an effective therapeutic means of increasing adiponectin levels. Studies investigating different forms of adiponectin and changes in the types of adipose tissue are necessary in order to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the modulation of adiponectin levels. © 2011 International Life Sciences Institute.

Dotto G.L.,Grande Rio University | Lima E.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pinto L.A.A.,Grande Rio University
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

The biosorption of food dyes FD&C red no. 40 and acid blue 9 onto Spirulina platensis nanoparticles was studied at different conditions of pH and temperature. Four isotherm models were used to evaluate the biosorption equilibrium and the thermodynamic parameters were estimated. Infra red analysis (FT-IR) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) were used to verify the biosorption behavior. The maximum biosorption capacities of FD&C red no. 40 and acid blue 9 were found at pH4 and 298K, and the values were 468.7mgg -1 and 1619.4mgg -1, respectively. The Sips model was more adequate to fit the equilibrium experimental data (R 2>0.99 and ARE<5%). Thermodynamic study showed that the biosorption was exothermic, spontaneous and favorable. FT-IR and EDS analysis suggested that at pH4 and 298K, the biosorption of both dyes onto nanoparticles occurred by chemisorption. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Lorenzini G.,University of Parma | Garcia F.L.,Grande Rio University | Dos Santos E.D.,Grande Rio University | Biserni C.,University of Bologna | Rocha L.A.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2012

In this paper we consider the geometrical optimization of a complex cavity, namely a T-Y-shaped cavity with two additional lateral intrusions into a solid conducting wall. The assemblies of cavities were cooled by a steady convective stream while the solid generates heat uniformly and it is insulated on the external perimeter. Two sets of geometrical configurations, having different displacement of the lateral cavities, named "Design 1" and "Design 2", have been numerically investigated. The objective is to minimize the global thermal resistance between the solid and the complex assembly of cavities. The basic idea is to give the assembly more freedom to morph by increasing its degrees of freedom: it is expected, according to the constructal design, that an increase of the geometrical complexity will lead to an augmentation of the thermal performance. The analysis demonstrated that not all degrees of freedom play the same role in the performance of the complex cavity design: an improvement of approximately 45% has been observed after the optimization of the ratio H 3/L 3 while the optimization of the parameters H 1/L 1 and H 2/L 2 led to an additional gain of only 1%. Design 2's performance proofed to be superior to Design 1's performance, because its lateral cavities are able to penetrate more efficiently into the solid body. Furthermore, Design 2's maximal excess temperature is approximately half of the corresponding dimensionless maximal excess temperature of the basic T-Y assembly, i.e., a cavity shaped as T and Y without lateral intrusions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ames J.,Grande Rio University | Ames J.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Souza D.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista de Saude Publica | Year: 2012

Objective: To identify the main counterfeit drugs seized by the Brazilian Federal Police and the states where seizures have been made. Methods: A retrospective descriptive study on expert reports produced by criminal investigators of the Federal Police between January 2007 and September 2010, in relation to counterfeit drugs, was carried out. Results: The drugs with greatest numbers of seizures were selective phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors that are used for treating male erectile dysfunction (Cialis® and Viagra®, mean = 66%), followed by anabolic steroids (Durateston® and Hemogenin®: 8.9% and 5.7%, respectively). The greatest proportions of the counterfeit drugs were seized in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina (both Southeastern Brazil) and São Paulo (Southeastern), and the number of non-authentic drugs sent for investigation increased by more than 200% over the study period. There were increases in seizures of smuggled drugs found together with counterfeit drugs: 67% of the seizures included at least one smuggled drug. Conclusions: Counterfeiting of drugs is a severe public health problem. Identifi cation of the classes of counterfeit drugs present in Brazil and the main Brazilian states with this problem may facilitate future preventive and suppressive actions by the Brazilian bodies responsible for such actions.

Thomaz A.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Malabarba L.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bonatto S.L.,Grande Rio University
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2010

The phylogenetic relationships among characids are complex with many genera remaining of uncertain systematic position inside the family. The genus Hollandichthys is one of these problematic genera. It has been considered as incertae sedis inside this family until two recently published phylogenies, one morphological and one molecular, arrived at alternative hypothesizes as to the relationships of Hollandichthys with Pseudochalceus or Rachoviscus, respectively. In this paper, we infer the phylogenetic relations of these taxa based on five genes (three mitochondrial - COI, ND2 and 16S; and two nuclear - Sia and Trop), totaling up to 2719. bp. The 41 analyzed species in the Characidae include four incertae sedis characid taxa once hypothesized as related to Hollandichthys, but never analyzed in a single phylogeny (Rachoviscus, Pseudochalceus, Nematocharax and Hyphessobrycon uruguayensis). Here we propose Rachoviscus as the sister-group of Hollandichthys, grouped in the large clade C previously defined, along with the remaining incertae sedis taxa studied here. In addition, we support the evidence that insemination evolved independently at least three times in the Characidae. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Rubeni D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Foerster A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Roditi I.,Brazilian Center for Research in Physics (CBPF)
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2012

In this work, combining the Bethe ansatz approach with the variational principle, we calculate the ground-state energy of the relative motion of a system of two fermions with spin up and spin down interacting via a delta-function potential in a one-dimensional (1D) harmonic trap. Our results show good agreement with the analytical solution of the problem, and provide a starting point for the investigation of more complex few-body systems where no exact theoretical solution is available. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Schmidt M.I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Duncan B.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | E Silva G.A.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Menezes A.M.,Federal University of Pelotas | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a major health priority in Brazil - 72 of all deaths were attributable to NCDs in 2007. They are also the main source of disease burden, with neuropsychiatric disorders being the single largest contributor. Morbidity and mortality due to NCDs are greatest in the poor population. Although the crude NCD mortality increased 5 between 1996 and 2007, age-standardised mortality declined by 20. Declines were primarily for cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, in association with the successful implementation of health policies that lead to decreases in smoking and the expansion of access to primary health care. Of note, however, the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension is rising in parallel with that of excess weight; these increases are associated with unfavourable changes of diet and physical activity. Brazil has implemented major policies for the prevention of NCDs, and its age-adjusted NCD mortality is falling by 1·8 per year. However, the unfavourable trends for most major risk factors pose an enormous challenge and call for additional and timely action and policies, especially those of a legislative and regulatory nature and those providing cost-effective chronic care for individuals affected by NCDs. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Cambraia F.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Saurin T.A.,Grande Rio University | Formoso C.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Safety Science | Year: 2010

Near misses are well-known for providing a major source of useful information for safety management. They are more frequent events than accidents and their causes may potentially result in an accident under slightly different circumstances. Despite the importance of this type of feedback, there is little knowledge on the characteristics of near misses, and on the use of this information in safety management. This article proposes guidelines for identifying, analyzing and disseminating information on near misses in construction sites. In particular, it is proposed that near misses be analyzed based on four categories: (a) whether or not it was possible to track down the event; (b) the nature of each event, in terms of its physical features (e.g. falling objects); (c) whether they provided positive or negative feedback for the safety management system; and (d) risk, based on the probability and severity associated with each event. The guidelines were devised and tested while a safety management system was being developed in a healthcare building project. The monitoring of near misses was part of a safety performance measurement system. Among the main results, a dramatic increase in both the number and quality of reports stands out after the workforce was systematically encouraged to report. While in the first 4 months of the study - when the workforce was not encouraged to report - there were just 12 reports, during the subsequent 4 months - when the workforce was so encouraged - there were 110 reports, all of them being analyzed based on the four analytical categories proposed. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Riera J.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Structural Safety | Year: 2010

The authors recently proposed a model of the 3-D wind field in a thunderstorm event, which is characterized by a set of parameters that are defined as random variables with physical significance in meteorology. On the basis of the information available to the authors, tentative statistical models for these variables are suggested and adopted in a simulation study to obtain peak annual velocities at the locations of two meteorological stations where observational data is available. Comparison of probability density functions of the maximum annual TS wind velocities fitted to the simulated and recorded data led to encouraging results, suggesting that the approach may have extensive applications in wind engineering and reliability assessments. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Volpato G.,Quatro G Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento LTDA | Rodrigues R.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fernandez-Lafuente R.,Institute Catalisis CSIC
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

Semi-synthetic β-lactamic antibiotics are the most used anti-bacteria agents, produced in hundreds tons/year scale. It may be assumed that this situation will even increase during the next years, with new β-lactamic antibiotics under development. They are usually produced by the hydrolysis of natural antibiotics (penicillin G or cephalosporin C) and the further amidation of natural or modified antibiotic nuclei with different carboxylic acyl donor chains. Due to the contaminant reagents used in conventional chemical route, as well as the high energetic consumption, biocatalytic approaches have been studied for both steps in the production of these very interesting medicaments during the last decades. Recent successes in some of these methodologies may produce some significant advances in the antibiotics industry. In fact, the hydrolysis of penicillin G to produce 6-APA catalyzed by penicillin G acylase is one of the most successful historical examples of the enzymatic biocatalysis, and much effort has been devoted to find enzymatic routes to hydrolyze cephalosporin C. Initially this could be accomplished in a quite complex system, using a two enzyme system (D-amino acid oxidase plus glutaryl acylase), but very recently an efficient cephalosporin acylase has been designed by genetic tools. Other strategies, including metabolic engineering to produce other antibiotic nuclei, have been also reported. Regarding the amidation step, much effort has been devoted to the improvement of penicillin acylases for these reactions since 1960. New reaction strategies, continuous product extraction or new penicillin acylases with better properties have proven to be the key to have competitive biocatalytic processes. In this review, a critical discussion of these very interesting advances in the application of enzymes for the industrial synthesis of semi-synthetic antibiotics will be presented. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Objective: Verify if there is a relationship between crack craving increase and tobacco craving increase in patients hospitalized for detoxification. Method: Quasi-experimental clinical trial using a quantitative analysis. Sample comprised 32 crack-cocaine and tobacco-dependent males, in 2 to 3 weeks of abstinence. A group intervention was conducted to which initially Cocaine Craving Questionnaire-Brief (CCQB), QSUB (Questionnaire of Smoking Urges-Brief) and BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory) were applied. Next, crack related images were applied and CCQB, QSUB and BAI were re-applied. After that, an individual interview was conducted in which a form containing sociodemo-graphic information and data related to the pattern of consumption of psychoactive substances (FSD) and Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) were applied. Results: Following the crack related images exposure, there was a significant increase of crack craving, tobacco craving and anxiety symptoms, being them positively correlated. Conclusion: Results show a significant association between crack craving and tobacco craving, suggesting that tobacco abstinence can help on effectiveness of cocaine dependence treatment.

Lorenzini G.,University of Parma | Corra R.L.,Grande Rio University | Domingues Dos Santos E.,Grande Rio University | Rocha L.A.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Heat Transfer | Year: 2011

Constructal design is a method that conducts the designer toward flow (e.g., heat flux) architectures that have greater global performance. This numerical work uses this method to seek for the best geometry of a complex assembly of fins, i.e., an assembly where there is a cavity between the two branches of the T-Y-assembly of fins and two additional extended surfaces. The global thermal resistance of the assembly is minimized four times by geometric optimization subject to the following constraints: the total volume, the volume of fin material, the volume of the cavity, and the volume of the two additional extended surfaces. Larger amount of fin material improves the performance of the assembly of fins. The three times optimized global thermal resistance of the complex assembly of fins performs 32% better than the best T-Y-configuration under the same thermal and geometric conditions. The three times minimized global thermal resistance of the complex assembly of fins was correlated by power laws as a function of its corresponding optimal configurations. © 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mehta D.,Syracuse University | Stariolo D.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kastner M.,Stellenbosch University | Kastner M.,National Institute for Theoretical Physics NITheP
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2013

We study the three-spin spherical model with mean-field interactions and Gaussian random couplings. For moderate system sizes of up to 20 spins, we obtain all stationary points of the energy landscape by means of the numerical polynomial homotopy continuation method. On the basis of these stationary points, we analyze the complexity and other quantities related to the glass transition of the model and compare these finite-system quantities to their exact counterparts in the thermodynamic limit. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Lemaire G.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Franzluebbers A.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Carvalho P.C.D.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dedieu B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2014

A need to increase agricultural production across the world for food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce agriculture's negative environmental impacts. We suggest that a cause of this dichotomy is loss of diversity within agricultural systems at field, farm and landscape scales. To increase diversity, local integration of cropping with livestock systems is suggested, which would allow (i) better regulation of biogeochemical cycles and decreased environmental fluxes to the atmosphere and hydrosphere through spatial and temporal interactions among different land-use systems; (ii) a more diversified and structured landscape mosaic that would favor diverse habitats and trophic networks; and (iii) greater flexibility of the whole system to cope with potential socio-economic and climate change induced hazards and crises. The fundamental role of grasslands on the reduction of environmental fluxes to the atmosphere and hydrosphere operates through the coupling of C and N cycles within vegetation, soil organic matter and soil microbial biomass. Therefore, close association of grassland systems with cropping systems should help mitigate negative environmental impacts resulting from intensification of cropping systems and improve the quality of grasslands through periodic renovations. However, much research is needed on designing appropriate spatial and temporal interactions between these systems using contemporary technologies to achieve the greatest benefits in different agro-ecological regions. We postulate that development of modern integrated crop-livestock systems to increase food production at farm and regional levels could be achieved, while improving many ecosystem services. Integrated crop-livestock systems, therefore, could be a key form of ecological intensification needed for achieving future food security and environmental sustainability. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Bertaco V.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | de Lucena C.A.S.,Grande Rio University
Neotropical Ichthyology | Year: 2010

Astyanax obscurus and A. laticeps are redescribed. Both species were originally described from the laguna dos Patos system, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The deepest and most robust body area close to the middle of the pectoral fins length, robust head, snout short and abrupt, body depth smaller than 41% of SL, reduced number of branched anal-fin rays, presence of one or two humeral spots, and a dark midlateral body stripe extending to the tip of the middle caudal-fin rays include both in the A. scabripinnis species complex. The presence of two humeral spots (vs. one), external row of the premaxillary with pentacuspid teeth (vs. tricuspid), and absence of bony hooks in all fins in males (vs. presence in anal and ventral fins) distinguish A. obscurus from A. laticeps. These species distinguish from species of this complex by meristic and morphometric characters and color pattern. An identification key for the species of genus occurring in the laguna dos Patos system is presented. © 2010 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia.

Riegel M.,Hospital Of Clinicas | Riegel M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Genetics and Molecular Biology | Year: 2014

The field of cytogenetics has focused on studying the number, structure, function and origin of chromosomal abnormalities and the evolution of chromosomes. The development of fluorescent molecules that either directly or via an intermediate molecule bind to DNA has led to the development of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), a technology linking cytogenetics to molecular genetics. This technique has a wide range of applications that increased the dimension of chromosome analysis. The field of cytogenetics is particularly important for medical diagnostics and research as well as for gene ordering and mapping. Furthermore, the increased application of molecular biology techniques, such as array-based technologies, has led to improved resolution, extending the recognized range of microdeletion/microduplication syndromes and genomic disorders. In adopting these newly expanded methods, cytogeneticists have used a range of technologies to study the association between visible chromosome rearrangements and defects at the single nucleotide level. Overall, molecular cytogenetic techniques offer a remarkable number of potential applications, ranging from physical mapping to clinical and evolutionary studies, making a powerful and informative complement to other molecular and genomic approaches. This manuscript does not present a detailed history of the development of molecular cytogenetics; however, references to historical reviews and experiments have been provided whenever possible. Herein, the basic principles of molecular cytogenetics, the technologies used to identify chromosomal rearrangements and copy number changes, and the applications for cytogenetics in biomedical diagnosis and research are presented and discussed.

Jacques J.C.S.,Grande Rio University | Jung C.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IEEE Signal Processing Magazine | Year: 2010

This article presents a survey on crowd analysis using computer vision techniques, covering different aspects such as people tracking, crowd density estimation, event detection, validation, and simulation. It also reports how related the areas of computer vision and computer graphics should be to deal with current challenges in crowd analysis. © 2010 IEEE.

Rosa R.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Goldani L.Z.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | dos Santos R.P.,Infection Control Committee Of Hospital Of Clinicas
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Background: Initial management of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropaenia (FN) comprises empirical therapy with a broad-spectrum antimicrobial. Currently, there is sufficient evidence to indicate which antibiotic regimen should be administered initially. However, no randomized trial has evaluated whether adherence to an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) results in lower rates of mortality in this setting. The present study sought to assess the association between adherence to an ASP and mortality among hospitalised cancer patients with FN.Methods: We conducted a prospective cohort study in a single tertiary hospital from October 2009 to August 2011. All adult patients who were admitted to the haematology ward with cancer and FN were followed up for 28 days. ASP adherence to the initial antimicrobial prescription was determined. The mortality rates of patients who were treated with antibiotics according to the ASP protocol were compared with those of patients treated with other antibiotic regimens. The multivariate Cox proportional hazards model and propensity score were used to estimate 28-day mortality risk.Results: A total of 307 FN episodes in 169 subjects were evaluated. The rate of adherence to the ASP was 53%. In a Cox regression analysis, adjusted for propensity scores and other potential confounding factors, ASP adherence was independently associated with lower mortality (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.92).Conclusions: Antimicrobial selection is important for the initial management of patients with FN, and adherence to the ASP, which calls for the rational use of antibiotics, was associated with lower mortality rates in this setting. © 2014 Rosa et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rubeni D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Foerster A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Mattei E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Roditi I.,Brazilian Center for Research in Physics (CBPF)
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2012

We investigate two solvable models for Bose-Einstein condensates and extract physical information by studying the structure of the solutions of their Bethe ansatz equations. A careful observation of these solutions for the ground state of both models, as we vary some parameters of the Hamiltonian, suggests a connection between the behavior of the roots of the Bethe ansatz equations and the physical behavior of the models. Then, by the use of standard techniques for approaching quantum phase transition - gap, entanglement and fidelity - we find that the change in the scenery in the roots of the Bethe ansatz equations is directly related to a quantum phase transition, thus providing an alternative method for its detection. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Zhu T.,International Food Policy Research Institute | Marques G.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lund J.R.,University of California at Davis
Water Resources Research | Year: 2015

Efficient reallocation and conjunctive operation of existing water supplies is gaining importance as demands grow, competitions among users intensify, and new supplies become more costly. This paper analyzes the roles and benefits of conjunctive use of surface water and groundwater and market-based water transfers in an integrated regional water system where agricultural and urban water users coordinate supply and demand management based on supply reliability and economic values of water. Agricultural users optimize land and water use for annual and perennial crops to maximize farm income, while urban users choose short-term and long-term water conservation actions to maintain reliability and minimize costs. The temporal order of these decisions is represented in a two-stage optimization that maximizes the net expected benefits of crop production, urban conservation and water management including conjunctive use and water transfers. Long-term decisions are in the first stage and short-term decisions are in a second stage based on probabilities of water availability events. Analytical and numerical analyses are made. Results show that conjunctive use and water transfers can substantially stabilize farmer's income and reduce system costs by reducing expensive urban water conservation or construction. Water transfers can equalize marginal values of water across users, while conjunctive use minimizes water marginal value differences in time. Model results are useful for exploring the integration of different water demands and supplies through water transfers, conjunctive use, and conservation, providing valuable insights for improving system management. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Foppa L.,Grande Rio University | Dupont J.,Grande Rio University | Scheeren C.W.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Platinum nanoparticles (ca. 2.3 nm) dispersed in ionic liquids and functionalized ionic liquids were supported within a silica network by the sol-gel method. The effect of the sol-gel catalyst (acid or base) on the encapsulated ionic liquid and on the platinum content was studied, and the silica morphology, the texture of the support material, and the hydrogenation activity were investigated. The Pt(0) content in the resulting xerogels (ca. 0.2 wt% Pt/SiO2) was shown to be independent of the sol-gel process. The acidic conditions resulted in xerogels with larger pore diameters, which in turn might be responsible for the higher catalytic activity in hydrogenation of the alkenes and arenes obtained with the heterogeneous catalyst (Pt(0)/SiO 2). © 2014 the Partner Organisations.

Silva T.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tagliani P.R.A.,Grande Rio University
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2012

The Medium Littoral of the Rio Grande do Sul coastal plain comprises about 2.5 million inhabitants living in the 17 municipalities along the Patos Lagoon coast. The Patos Lagoon is the largest lagoon in Brazil and the second largest in South America, with an area of about 10,000km 2. It is connected to the Atlantic Ocean through a narrow canal and sustains artisanal fisheries, familiar agriculture and Indian activities in the vicinity, as well as high technology agriculture and industry. The National Coastal Management Plan founded the Brazilian coastal management policy, which explicitly depends on spatial tools. Thus, the present work aims to understand the spatial structure and dynamics of the medium littoral of Rio Grande do Sul State to support coastal management. An important basis for policy was developed analyzing the land use and cover changes occurred in the last decades and their historical, political, and socioeconomic context. We propose an environmental zoning scheme and build a prediction model of land change. The environmental zoning specifies three management classes - preservation, conservation, and development - covering 23.3%, 9.7% and 67.0% of the area, respectively. The land change prediction model points the areas most likely susceptible to change. These should be priority areas for planning. The results we present have been used in environmental regulation instruments at municipal level. This paper also discusses the potential to further integrate our results with other mechanisms and scales of coastal management. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Pol-Fachin L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rusu V.H.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Verli H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lins R.D.,Federal University of Pernambuco
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2012

An improved parameter set for explicit-solvent simulations of carbohydrates (referred to as GROMOS 53A6 GLYC) is presented, allowing proper description of the most stable conformation of all 16 possible aldohexopyranose-based monosaccharides. This set includes refinement of torsional potential parameters associated with the determination of hexopyranose rings conformation by fitting to their corresponding quantum-mechanical profiles. Other parameters, as the rules for third and excluded neighbors, are taken directly from the GROMOS 53A6 force field. Comparisons of the herein presented parameter set to our previous version (GROMOS 45A4), the GLYCAM06 force field, and available NMR data are presented in terms of ring puckering free energies, conformational distribution of the hydroxymethyl group, and glycosidic linkage geometries for 16 selected monosaccharides and eight disaccharides. The proposed parameter modifications have shown a significant improvement for the above-mentioned quantities over the two tested force fields, while retaining full compatibility with the GROMOS 53A6 and 54A7 parameter sets for other classes of biomolecules. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Weissa F.E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Malabarba L.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Malabarba M.C.,Grande Rio University
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology | Year: 2012

Paleotetra, a new characiform genus with two new species (P. entrecorregos and P. aiuruoca) from Palaeogene deposits of south-eastern Brazil is described. The fossil material is made up of two articulated specimens preserved as impressions in lateral view and including some bones and teeth. The new genus is hypothesized to be deeply inserted within the Characidae based on the apomorphic lack of a supraorbital bone, the low number of vertebrae (35), and the presence of four teeth in the inner series of the premaxilla; however, the new species cannot be assigned to any modern genus. Relationships of the two new species are further tested in a phylogenetic analysis along with 160 other characiform species using 360 morphological characters (150 coded for Paleotetra entrecorregos and 123 for P. aiuruoca), further supporting their recognition as characid characiforms. These results document the evolution of these characid lineages as early as the Eocene-Oligocene. © 2012 The Natural History Museum.

Menezes J.W.,University of Campinas | Ferreira J.,University of Victoria | Santos M.J.L.,University of Victoria | Santos M.J.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 2 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2010

Plasmonics is a fast developing research area with a great potential for practical applications. However, the implementation of plasmonic devices requires low cost methodologies for the fabrication of organized metallic nanostructures that covers a relative large area (∼1 cm2). Here the patterning of periodic arrays of nanoholes (PANHs) in gold films by using a combination of interference lithography, metal deposition, and lift off is reported. The setup allows the fabrication of periodic nanostructures with hole diameters ranging from 110 to 1000 nm, for 450 and 1800 nm of periodicity, respectively. The large areas plasmonic substrates consist of 2 cm ×2 cm gold films homogeneously covered by nanoholes and gold films patterned with a regular microarray of 200 μm diameter circular patches of PANHs. The microarray format is used for surface plasmon resonance (SPR) imaging and its potential for applications in multiplex biosensing is demonstrated. The gold films homogeneously covered by nanoholes are useful as electrodes in a thin layer organic photovoltaic. This is first example of a large area plasmonic solar cell with organized nanostructures. The fabrication approach reported here is a good candidate for the industrial-scale production of metallic substrates for plasmonic applications in photovoltaics and biosensing. Patterning of large areas of gold films with periodic arrays of nanoholes is achieved using interference lithography. The resulting structures are used as a surface plasmon resonance biosensor and to enhance the photoconversion efficiency in a thin layer organic solar cell. Copyright © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Fim F.D.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Guterres J.M.,Grande Rio University | Basso N.R.S.,Grande Rio University | Galland G.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2010

The synthesis of polyethylene/graphite nanocomposites by in situ polymerization was achieved using the catalytic system Cp 2ZrCl 2 (bis(cyclopentadienyl)zirconlum(IV) dichloride)/ methylaluminoxane (MAO). Graphite with nano dimensions, previously treated with MAO, was added into the reactor as filler at percentages of 1, 2, and 5% (w/w). XRD analysis showed that the chemical and thermal treatments employed preserve the structure of the graphite sheets. The formation of graphite nanosheets and nanocomposites was confirmed by TEM and AFM. TEM micrographics showed that the polyethylene grew between the graphene nanosheets, giving Intercalated and exfoliated graphite nanocomposites. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Giugliani R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Giugliani R.,National Institute of Medical Genetics Population INAGEMP | Hwu W.-L.,National Taiwan University Hospital | Tylki-Szymanska A.,Childrens Memorial Health Institute
Genetics in Medicine | Year: 2014

Purpose:The primary objective of this study was to determine the safety of idursulfase in Hunter syndrome patients aged 5 years or younger.Methods: Idursulfase (0.5 mg/kg) was administered intravenously on a weekly basis (52 infusions per patient) in an open-label study. Safety monitoring included adverse events, anti-idursulfase antibodies, vital signs, physical examination, 12-lead electrocardiogram, concomitant medications or procedures, and laboratory testing (clinical chemistry, hematology, and urinalysis). The following exploratory efficacy outcomes were assessed at baseline and at weeks 18 or 36 or 53: urinary glycosaminoglycan levels, liver or spleen size, developmental milestones, and growth indices. Pharmacokinetic parameters were assessed at week 27.Results:Twenty-eight boys aged 1.4-7.5 years were enrolled (one discontinued for noncompliance) in the study. All the patients reported adverse events (16 patients (57%) reported possibly or probably treatment-related adverse events). The only severe adverse event was sleep apnea (two patients); others were mild or moderate. Sixteen patients had infusion-related adverse events, a similar proportion as previously reported. Thirteen patients (46%) experienced at least one serious adverse event: pyrexia and bronchopneumonia were the most common (three patients each). No clinically important drug-related changes in laboratory parameters or vital signs or electrocardiograms were reported. Nineteen patients (68%) developed anti-idursulfase immunoglobulin G antibodies. Growth rates remained within normal age-related ranges. Developmental quotients were lower than normal but remained stable. By week 18, organ size and urinary glycosaminoglycan levels decreased as compared with baseline and remained stable throughout the study.Conclusion:Idursulfase safety, tolerability, and efficacy were similar to that previously reported in males ≥5 years. © 2014 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-21-2014 | Award Amount: 9.18M | Year: 2015

Currently there is a lack of methodologies for the conservation of modern and contemporary artworks, many of which will not be accessible in very short time due to extremely fast degradation processes. The challenge of NANORESTART (NANOmaterials for the REStoration of works of ART) will be to address this issue within a new framework with respect to the state of the art of conservation science. NANORESTART is devoted to the development of nanomaterials to ensure long term protection and security of modern/contemporary cultural heritage, taking into account environmental and human risks, feasibility and materials costs. The market for conservation of this heritage is estimated at some 5 billion per year, and could increase by a significant factor in the next years due to the wider use of nanomaterials. The new tools and materials developed will represent a breakthrough in cultural heritage and conservation science and will focus on: (i) tools for controlled cleaning, such as highly-retentive gels for the confinement of enzymes and nanostructured fluids based on green surfactants; (ii) the strengthening and protection of surfaces by using nanocontainers, nanoparticles and supramolecular systems/assemblies; (iii) nanostructured substrates and sensors for enhanced molecules detection; (iv) evaluation of the environmental impact and the development of security measures for long lasting conservation of cultural heritage. Within the project the industrial scalability of the developed materials will be demonstrated. NANORESTART gathers centres of excellence in the field of synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, world leading chemical Industries and SMEs operating in R&D, and International and European centres for conservation, education and museums. Such centres will assess the new materials on modern/contemporary artefacts in urgent need of conservation, and disseminate the knowledge and the new nanomaterials among conservators on a worldwide perspective.

The present invention aims to provide a pharmaceutical composition for the treatment of alopecia, said composition comprising polymeric nanoparticles, preferably nanocapsules, containing finasteride, additives and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier, as well as the use of the nanoparticles for preparing said composition for treating alopecia. The invention further includes an appropriate finasteride nanocapsule preparation process suitable for a composition for topical application for treating alopecia.

Del Ponte E.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Garda-Buffon J.,Grande Rio University | Badiale-Furlong E.,Grande Rio University
Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

A three-year (2006-2008) survey on commercial wheat grain was conducted aimed at quantifying the intensity of Fusarium head blight epidemics related to kernel quality and levels of deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV). Grain samples, obtained from 38 municipalities throughout the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, were assessed visually for Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) and chemically using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Overall FDK mean levels were 15.5%, not differing among the years. Co-contamination was predominant (59/66) across samples and overall mean levels of DON and NIV were 540 and 337 μg/kg, respectively. When the levels of both mycotoxins were added together (DON + NIV), a higher correlation with FDK was found (R = 0.36, P < 0.01), compared to single toxin data. For the first time, the presence of NIV in levels comparable to DON is reported from a multi-year regional epidemiological survey in the country which should be of concern to the small grains industry. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 2.89M | Year: 2010

Increasing urban food-related health and environmental problems are raising an urgent need for action. Current agrifood studies tend to neglect the broader societal and spatial impacts of food. PUREFOOD will reduce the high knowledge and skills deficit that negatively affects the capacity to deliver political and developmental solutions related to food security, public procurement, health and sustainable regional development. Through its innovative methodology, the interdisciplinary courses, private and public sector involvement, the holistic conceptualization of sustainable food and the formation of Communities of Practice (CoPs) that include actors at all stages of the food chain, PUREFOOD contributes to Commissions aim to deal with economic, social and environmental policies in mutually reinforcing ways. We study an alternative geography of food, based upon three emerging trends; sustainable food supply chains, public sector food procurement practices and (peri-)urban food strategies. Each is topic of a scientific WP with 4 ESRs in individual research projects using case study methodology. The related training aims to transfer disciplinary scientific knowledge and skills between complementary groups, leading to a coherent frame of basic and advanced scientific, professional and host institute training modules, and to interactively develop scientific and professional knowledge and skills through learning-by-doing in CoPs for each WP. PUREFOOD consists of 7 full academic partners and 8 associated partners (private sector and socio-economic partners). PUREFOODs coordinator has ample experience in managing international interdisciplinary research and training projects. The commitment of private and public organisations and NGOs as associated partners illustrate the timeliness of our proposal and impact to the career perspectives of the ESRs. Completed CDPs give access to a PhD degree at every partner university.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 12.67M | Year: 2011

ANIMALCHANGE will provide scientific guidance on the integration of adaptation and mitigation objectives and design sustainable development pathways for livestock production in Europe, in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. ANIMALCHANGE will inform public policy development in EU27 and propose cooperation programs addressing smallholder livestock farming in selected developing countries. The core analytical spine of the project is a series of coupled biophysical and socio-economic models combined with experimentation. This allows exploring future scenarios for the livestock sector under baseline and atmospheric CO2 stabilization scenarios. These scenarios are first constructed in Component (CP) 1. They are elaborated and enriched by breakthrough mitigation and adaptation options from CP 2 at field and animal scales, integrated and evaluated at farm scale in CP 3 and used to assess policy options and their socio-economic consequences in CP 4. ANIMALCHANGE will: - Quantify and reduce uncertainties in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and assess climate change impacts on livestock systems (including grasslands) - Revise estimates of the GHG balance of livestock systems and integrate soil carbon sequestration - Integrate climate variability and extremes into the assessment of impacts, adaptation and vulnerability of livestock systems to climate change - Develop breakthrough technologies for adaptation and mitigation to climate change for both ruminants and monogastrics - Study and quantify trade-offs and synergies between adaptation and mitigation options - Assess the potential societal and sectoral costs and benefits of these options for the livestock sector in Europe and in study regions of Africa and Latin America - Assess climate change vulnerability of animal production and of associated GHG emissions - Provide direct support through the design of an integrated and consistent mitigation and adaptation policy framework for the livestock sector

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-5-01 | Award Amount: 7.58M | Year: 2010

VEG-i-TRADE provides platforms to identify impacts of anticipated climate change and globalisation on food safety, microbiological and chemical hazards, of fresh produce and derived food products. Control measures of managerial and technological nature will be developed in the supply chain of crop production, post-harvest processing and logistics to minimize food safety risks. The assessment of the performance of horticultural safety management systems by a novel diagnostic instrument at EU level exemplified by several countries in Europe and tailored on a global level including major EU trade partners from various climate zones will lead to recommendations on European and global level on quality assurance and the setting of science-based performance objectives. VEG-i-TRADE will pro-actively invest in problem solving technologies for safe produce investigating aspects of water quality and water treatment, horticultural production practices, disinfection treatment and packaging technologies. These control measures will be exploited in collaboration with SMEs and industrial partners. Baseline studies on the hazards, intervention technologies and best practices in the fresh produce chain will provide input for both microbial and chemical risk assessment to elaborate support to risk-based sampling plans, evaluate the risks of newly identified threats as affected by the global trade system and anticipated climate change. The project output will craft a discussion forum for stakeholders in the global food chain reflecting on issues of acceptable risk, sustainability of fresh produce production and long term strategy of international food trade, while making no compromise in food safety for European consumers and in respectation of food sovereignty. Risk communication to increase awareness of trade partners production systems and the uneven consumer behaviour will provide key conditions for prioritisation of risk management strategies.

News Article | October 6, 2016
Site: news.yahoo.com

Two weird, mammal-like reptiles that sort of looked like scaly rats, each smaller than a loaf of bread, roamed ancient Brazil about 235 million years ago, likely dining on insects the predators snagged with their pointy teeth, a new study finds. The analysis of two newfound species of cynodont, a group that gave rise to all living mammals, sheds light on how mammals developed from these late Triassic creatures, the researchers said. "These new fossils help [us] understand in more detail the evolution of pre-mammalian forms that gave rise to the group of mammals, in which we humans (Homo sapiens) are included," the study's lead author, Agustín Martinelli, a paleontologist at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, told Live Science in an email. [In Photos: Mammals Through Time] Cynodonts predate dinosaurs, first appearing in the fossil record about 260 million years ago, during the Permian period. Their descendants include marsupial and placental mammals (the furry creatures usually thought of as mammals), as well as monotremes — mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young, such as the platypus and echidna, the researchers said. However, the early cynodonts that lived during the late Permian and the early Triassic periods weren't mammals, but rather reptiles with mammal-like skulls and jaws, the researchers said. The specimen of one of the newfound cynodont species has been resting in the collection department at the Museum of Earth Sciences in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil since 1946. That's when L.I. Price, a Brazilian paleontologist, found the two skulls and two jaws in rock dating to between 237 million and 235 million years ago in the Santa Cruz do Sul municipality of Brazil's southern state of Rio Grande do Sul. Those specimens belong to a small animal of about 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length, with unusually large, protruding upper-canine teeth suggesting it ate insects. The creature's anatomy indicates that it is part of an extinct family of carnivorous cynodonts called Probainognathidae. In fact, the newfound species is likely related to Probainognathus jenseni, a species discovered in Triassic-age rocks of the La Rioja province in western Argentina. But the researchers said the newly discovered creature is different enough to justify having its own genus and species: Bonacynodon schultzi. The name honors two eminent paleontologists, José Bonaparte from Argentina and Cesar Schultz from Brazil, both of whom spent their lives studying the Triassic fossils of South America. The other newfound cynodont species, also discovered in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, was identified from fewer remains — just a jaw with teeth, the researchers said. The scientists dubbed it Santacruzgnathus abdalai, in honor of Fernando Abdala, an Argentinian paleontologist who studies South American and African cynodonts, the researchers said. S. abdalai was about half the size of B. schultzi, measuring only 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The shape and dentition of S. abdalai's teeth are "reminiscent of those present in early mammals," Martinelli said. However, both cynodonts lived millions of years before the appearance of the first known mammal: a shrew-like creature that lived about 160 million years ago in what is now China, experts told Live Science in 2011. The new study was published online today (Oct. 5) in the journal PLOS ONE.

Kieling C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Baker-Henningham H.,University of the West Indies | Belfer M.,Harvard University | Conti G.,University of Chicago | And 6 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

Mental health problems affect 10-20 of children and adolescents worldwide. Despite their relevance as a leading cause of health-related disability in this age group and their longlasting effects throughout life, the mental health needs of children and adolescents are neglected, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. In this report we review the evidence and the gaps in the published work in terms of prevalence, risk and protective factors, and interventions to prevent and treat childhood and adolescent mental health problems. We also discuss barriers to, and approaches for, the implementation of such strategies in low-resource settings. Action is imperative to reduce the burden of mental health problems in future generations and to allow for the full development of vulnerable children and adolescents worldwide. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Schernthaner G.,Rudolfstiftung Hospital Vienna | Gross J.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rosenstock J.,Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center at Medical City | Guarisco M.,Stanocola Medical Clinic | And 5 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE-To evaluate the efficacy and safety of canagliflozin, a sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, compared with sitagliptin in subjects with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin plus sulfonylurea. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS-In this 52-week, randomized, double-blind, active-controlled, phase 3 study, subjects using stable metformin plus sulfonylurea (N = 755) received canagliflozin 300 mg or sitagliptin 100 mg daily. Primary end point was change from baseline in A1C at 52 weeks. Secondary end points included change in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and systolic blood pressure (BP), and percent change in body weight, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. Safety was assessed based on adverse event (AE) reports. RESULTS-At 52 weeks, canagliflozin 300mg demonstrated noninferiority and, in a subsequent assessment, showed superiority to sitagliptin 100 mgin reducing A1C(-1.03%[-11.3mmol/mol] and -0.66% [-7.2 mmol/mol], respectively; least squares mean difference between groups, -0.37% [95% CI, -0.50 to -0.25] or -4.0 mmol/mol [-5.5 to -2.7]). Greater reductions in FPG, body weight, and systolic BP were observed with canagliflozin versus sitagliptin (P < 0.001). Overall AE rates were similar with canagliflozin (76.7%) and sitagliptin (77.5%); incidence of serious AEs and AE-related discontinuations was low for both groups. Higher incidences of genital mycotic infections and osmotic diuresis-related AEs were observed with canagliflozin, which led to one discontinuation. Hypoglycemia rates were similar in both groups. CONCLUSIONS-Findings suggest that canagliflozinmay be a new therapeutic tool providing better improvement in glycemic control and body weight reduction than sitagliptin, but with increased genital infections in subjects with type 2 diabetes using metformin plus sulfonylurea. © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.

Umpierre A.P.,University of Brasilia | deJesus E.,University of Alcalá | Dupont J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
ChemCatChem | Year: 2011

The catalytic activity expressed by turnover number (TON) and turnover frequency (TOF) in different fields of catalysis (enzymatic, homogeneous (single-site), heterogeneous (multi-site), and nanocatalysis (oligo-site)) are usually estimated in slightly different ways and with slightly different, yet important meanings. For soluble metal nanoparticles, the ideal is to determine the TON by using the titrated number of active catalytic sites before the catalyst is inactivated. However, in the absence of reliable titration methods it is suggested that TON figures should always be reported as the number of moles of reactants consumed per mol of soluble metal catalyst, and that they should also be corrected by the number of exposed surface atoms by using the metal atom's magic number approach. Moreover, it is strongly recommended that the TOF should be determined from the slope of plots of turnover numbers versus time, because in various cases the size and shape of the soluble nanoparticles might change dramatically during the reaction. As in organometallic catalysis, in the absence of TON vs. time data, the TOF should be estimated for low substrate conversions. Defects beat faces: It is proposed that, for soluble metal nanoparticles, ideally the turnover number (TON) is determined by using the titrated number of active catalytic sites. However, in the absence of reliable titration methods, the TON figures should be reported as the number of moles of reactants consumed per mol of soluble metal nanoparticle and the figures should also be corrected by the number of exposed surface atoms by using the metal atom's magic number approach. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Barbosa O.,Industrial University of Santander | Ortiz C.,Industrial University of Santander | Berenguer-Murcia A.,University of Alicante | Torres R.,Industrial University of Santander | And 2 more authors.
RSC Advances | Year: 2014

Glutaraldehyde is one of the most widely used reagents in the design of biocatalysts. It is a powerful crosslinker, able to react with itself, with the advantages that this may bring forth. In this review, we intend to give a general vision of its potential and the precautions that must be taken when using this effective reagent. First, the chemistry of the glutaraldehyde/amino reaction will be commented upon. This reaction is still not fully clarified, but it seems to be based on the formation of 6-membered heterocycles formed by 5 C and one O. Then, we will discuss the production of intra- and inter-molecular enzyme crosslinks (increasing enzyme rigidity or preventing subunit dissociation in multimeric enzymes). Special emphasis will be placed on the preparation of cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs), mainly in enzymes that have low density of surface reactive groups and, therefore, may be problematic to obtain a final solid catalyst. Next, we will comment on the uses of glutaraldehyde in enzymes previously immobilized on supports. First, the treatment of enzymes immobilized on supports that cannot react with glutaraldehyde (only inter and intramolecular cross-linkings will be possible) to prevent enzyme leakage and obtain some enzyme stabilization via cross-linking. Second, the cross-linking of enzymes adsorbed on aminated supports, where together with other reactions enzyme/support crosslinking is also possible; the enzyme is incorporated into the support. Finally, we will present the use of aminated supports preactivated with glutaraldehyde. Optimal glutaraldehyde modifications will be discussed in each specific case (one or two glutaraldehyde molecules for amino group in the support and/or the protein). Using preactivated supports, the heterofunctional nature of the supports will be highlighted, with the drawbacks and advantages that the heterofunctionality may have. Particular attention will be paid to the control of the first event that causes the immobilization depending on the experimental conditions to alter the enzyme orientation regarding the support surface. Thus, glutaraldehyde, an apparently old fashioned reactive, remains the most widely used and with broadest application possibilities among the compounds used for the design of biocatalyst. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Baer M.D.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Stern A.C.,University of California at Irvine | Levin Y.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tobias D.J.,University of California at Irvine | Mundy C.J.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

We demonstrate that the driving forces for ion adsorption to the air-water interface for point charge models result from both cavitation and a term that is of the form of a negative electrochemical surface potential. We carefully characterize the role of the free energy due to the electrochemical surface potential computed from simple empirical models and its role in ionic adsorption within the context of dielectric continuum theory. Our research suggests that the electrochemical surface potential due to point charge models provides anions with a significant driving force for adsoprtion to the air-water interface. This is contrary to the results of ab initio simulations that indicate that the average electrostatic surface potential should favor the desorption of anions at the air-water interface. The results have profound implications for the studies of ionic distributions in the vicinity of hydrophobic surfaces and proteins. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Goldani A.A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Downs S.R.,University of California at San Francisco | Widjaja F.,University of California at San Francisco | Lawton B.,University of California at San Francisco | Hendren R.L.,University of California at San Francisco
Frontiers in Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are complex, heterogeneous disorders caused by an interaction between genetic vulnerability and environmental factors. In an effort to better target the underlying roots of ASD for diagnosis and treatment, efforts to identify reliable biomarkers in genetics, neuroimaging, gene expression, and measures of the body's metabolism are growing. For this article, we review the published studies of potential biomarkers in autism and conclude that while there is increasing promise of finding biomarkers that can help us target treatment, there are none with enough evidence to support routine clinical use unless medical illness is suspected. Promising biomarkers include those for mitochondrial function, oxidative stress, and immune function. Genetic clusters are also suggesting the potential for useful biomarkers. © 2014 Goldani, Downs, Widjaja, Lawton and Hendren.

Rackham C.L.,King's College London | Chagastelles P.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Nardi N.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Hauge-Evans A.C.,King's College London | And 2 more authors.
Diabetologia | Year: 2011

Aims/hypothesis: Recent studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) secrete several factors that improve survival and function of transplanted islets. Implantation of islets beneath the kidney capsule results in morphological changes, due to interactions of the graft with the host, thus impairing islet function. We co-transplanted MSCs with islets to determine their effects on the remodelling process and studied graft function in a mouse model of minimal islet mass. Methods: Islets were syngeneically transplanted, either alone or with kidney-derived MSCs, underneath the kidney capsule of streptozotocin-induced diabetic C57Bl/6 mice. Blood glucose levels were monitored and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests carried out. Hormone contents of grafts and pancreas were assessed by radioimmunoassay. Graft morphology and vascularisation were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Results: MSCs improved the capacity of islet grafts to reverse hyperglycaemia, with 92% of mice co-transplanted with MSCs reverting to normoglycaemia, compared with 42% of those transplanted with islets alone. Average blood glucose concentrations were lower throughout the 1 month monitoring period in MSC co-transplanted mice. MSCs did not alter graft hormone content. Islets co-transplanted with MSCs maintained a morphology that more closely resembled that of islets in the endogenous pancreas, both in terms of size, and of endocrine and endothelial cell distribution. Vascular engraftment was superior in MSC co-transplanted mice, as shown by increased endothelial cell numbers within the endocrine tissue. Conclusions/interpretation: Co-transplantation of islets with MSCs had a profound impact on the remodelling process, maintaining islet organisation and improving islet revascularisation. MSCs also improved the capacity of islets to reverse hyperglycaemia. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Bambini-Junior V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Della Flora Nunes G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Schneider T.,Durham University | Gottfried C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Science | Year: 2014

Tyzio et al. (Reports, 7 February 2014, p. 675) reported that bumetanide restored the impaired oxytocin-mediated g-aminobutyric acid (GABA) excitatory-inhibitory shift during delivery in animal models of autism, ameliorating some autistic-like characteristics in the offspring. However, standard practices in the study of these models, such as the use of sex-dimorphic or males-only analyses and implementation of tests measuring social behavior, are lacking to definitely associate their findings to autism. © 2014 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.

Poppe J.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fernandez-Lafuente R.,ICP CSIC | Rodrigues R.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ayub M.A.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2015

Lipases are being extensively researched for the production of biodiesel as a "silver bullet" in order to avoid the drawbacks of the traditional alkaline transesterification. In this review, we analyzed the main factors involved in the enzymatic synthesis of biodiesel, focusing in the choice of the immobilization protocol, and the parameters involved in the choice and configuration of the reactors. An extensive discussion is presented about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of reactor and their mode of operation. The current scenario of the market for enzymatic biodiesel and some future prospects and necessary developments are also briefly presented. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Barbosa O.,University of Tolima | Ortiz C.,Industrial University of Santander | Berenguer-Murcia A.,University of Alicante | Torres R.,Ecopetrol SA | And 2 more authors.
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2015

In this review, we detail the efforts performed to couple the purification and the immobilization of industrial enzymes in a single step. The use of antibodies, the development of specific domains with affinity for some specific supports will be revised. Moreover, we will discuss the use of domains that increase the affinity for standard matrices (ionic exchangers, silicates). We will show how the control of the immobilization conditions may convert some unspecific supports in largely specific ones. The development of tailor-made heterofunctional supports as a tool to immobilize-stabilize-purify some proteins will be discussed in deep, using low concentration of adsorbent groups and a dense layer of groups able to give an intense multipoint covalent attachment. The final coupling of mutagenesis and tailor made supports will be the last part of the review. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Basf, Federal Technological University of Paraná, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and Federal University of Santa Maria | Date: 2013-02-27

The present invention relates to the use of an agrochemical composition comprising at least one specific herbicide and at least one specific fungicide for controlling undesired vegetation in cereal cultures and for the desiccation and/or defoliation of cereals. The invention further relates to a method for controlling undesired vegetation in cereal cultures and to a method for the desiccation and/or defoliation of cereal plants.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.2 | Award Amount: 5.41M | Year: 2009

This proposal addresses Objective ICT-2009.3.2: Design of Semiconductor Components and Electronic Based Miniaturized Systems by development of methods and tools to cope with the design challenges in the next generations of technologies and focuses on the objective design for manufacturability taking into account increased variability of new processes. The project described in this proposal targets the optimization of manufacturability and the reduction of systematic variations in nanometer technologies through exploitation of regularity at the architectural, structural, and geometrical levels. We propose the creation of a methodology and associated suite of design tools which extract regularity at the architectural and structural level and automate the creation of regular compound cells which implement the functionality of the extracted templates. The cell creation will employ Restricted Design Rules (RDRs) and other regularity techniques at the geometrical level to maximize manufacturability and reduce systematic variations. Since the majority of designs in the nanometer regime employ some form of SRAM the project will include a study of the effects of RDRs on SRAM in terms of performance and manufacturability and the subsequent definition of a set of RDRs which allow manufacturability optimization for logic functions while remaining compatible with SRAM technologies. To this end we have assembled a consortium of European academic, research and industrial experts with world class experience in regularity approaches at the various levels. In order to ensure the successful commercialization and deployment of the resulting tool suite the consortium includes a European EDA vendor with significant expertise in the field of design optimization through automated cell creation. This project will enable European industry to play a leading role in the definition of next generation design methodologies and challenge the US domination in the area of design automation.

Tobias D.J.,University of California at Irvine | Stern A.C.,University of California at Irvine | Baer M.D.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Levin Y.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Mundy C.J.,Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Annual Review of Physical Chemistry | Year: 2013

Chemistry occurring at or near the surface of aqueous droplets and thin films in the atmosphere influences air quality and climate. Molecular dynamics simulations are becoming increasingly useful for gaining atomic-scale insight into the structure and reactivity of aqueous interfaces in the atmosphere. Here we review simulation studies of atmospherically relevant aqueous liquid-air interfaces, with an emphasis on ions that play important roles in the chemistry of atmospheric aerosols. In addition to surveying results from simulation studies, we discuss challenges to the refinement and experimental validation of the methodology for simulating ion adsorption to the air-water interface and recent advances in elucidating the driving forces for adsorption. We also review the recent development of a dielectric continuum theory capable of reproducing simulation and experimental data on ion behavior at aqueous interfaces. © 2013 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Basso E.A.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gay Ducati M.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Oliveira E.G.,Durham University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We show how the Santana Amaral-Gay Ducati-Betemps-Soyez (AGBS) model, originally developed for deep inelastic scattering applied to HERA data on the proton structure function, can also describe the RHIC data on single inclusive hadron yield for d+Au and p+p collisions through a new simultaneous fit. The single inclusive hadron production is modeled through the color glass condensate, which uses the quark (and gluon) condensate amplitudes in momentum space. The AGBS model is also a momentum space model based on the asymptotic solutions of the Balitsky-Kovchegov equation, although a different definition of the Fourier transform is used. This aspect is overcome, and a description entirely in transverse momentum of both processes arises for the first time. The small difference between the simultaneous fit and the one for HERA data alone suggests that the AGBS model describes very well both kinds of processes and thus emerges as a good tool to investigate the inclusive hadron production data. We use this model for predictions at LHC energies, which agrees very well with available experimental data. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Schneider T.,King's College London | Schneider T.,University of Oxford | Ilott N.,King's College London | Brolese G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 3 more authors.
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2011

Cigarette smoking is associated with a wide variety of adverse reproductive outcomes, including increased infant mortality and decreased birth weight. Prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke, of which nicotine is a major teratogenic component, has also been linked to the acceleration of the risk for different psychiatric disorders, including conduct disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Whether this increased risk is influenced by the direct effects of gestational nicotine exposure on the developing fetus remains uncertain. In this study we provide experimental evidence for the effects of prenatal nicotine exposure on measures of attention and impulsivity in adult male rats. Offspring of females exposed during pregnancy to 0.06 mg/ml nicotine solution as the only source of water (daily consumption: 69.6±1.4 ml/kg; nicotine blood level: 96.0±31.9 ng/ml) had lower birth weight and delayed sensorimotor development measured by negative geotaxis, righting reflex, and grip strength. In the 5-choice serial reaction time test, adult rats showed increased numbers of anticipatory responses and omissions errors, more variable response times, and lower accuracy with evidence of delayed learning of the task demands when the 1 s stimulus duration was introduced. In contrast, prenatal nicotine exposure had no effect on exploratory locomotion or delay-discounting test. Prenatal nicotine exposure increased expression of the D5 dopamine receptor gene in the striatum, but did not change expression of other dopamine-related genes (DRD4, DAT1, NR4A2, and TH) in either the striatum or the prefrontal cortex. These data suggest a direct effect of prenatal nicotine exposure on important aspects of attention, inhibitory control, or learning later in life. © 2011 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. All rights reserved.

Basf, Federal Technological University of Paraná, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and Federal University of Santa Maria | Date: 2013-02-27

The present invention relates to the use of an agrochemical composition comprising at least one specific herbicide and at least one specific fungicide for controlling undesired vegetation in soybean cultures and for the desiccation and/or defoliation of soybeans. The invention further relates to a method for controlling undesired vegetation in soybean cultures and to a method for the desiccation and/or defoliation of soybean plants.

Basf, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Federal University of Santa Maria, Federal Technological University of Paraná and Federal University of Mato Grosso | Date: 2013-02-27

The present invention relates to the use of an agrochemical composition comprising at least one specific herbicide and at least one specific fungicide for controlling undesired vegetation in corn (maize) cultures. The invention further relates to a method for controlling undesired vegetation in corn cultures.

News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: phys.org

Two specimens of the catfish were caught in its namesake river, the Orinoco, near Ciudad Guyana in Venezuela during the US-Venezuelan Orinoco Delta Expeditions of 1978-79. But this isn't Pokemon: You don't suddenly identify a new animal once it's in hand—even if you already have a pretty good idea what it is. "We knew what these fish were upon capture," said John Lundberg, PhD, emeritus professor in Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences and emeritus curator of the Academy, who was a part of the expedition. "But the devil is in the details." Careful examination and comparison of existing species must be done to properly identify a new animal species, and that's something that can take some time. Being that there are only two known specimens collected, both held in the Ichthyology Collection of the Academy, there wasn't going to be much outside help coming to Lundberg or the lead author of the paper identifying M. orinoco, Tiago Carvalho, an Academy researcher who is also a faculty member at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Carvalho and Lundberg were able to describe the fish with help from ichthyological collaborators based in California, Alabama and Brazil One of the main reasons why there are only two specimens of the catfish is its miniature size and preferred habitat. First, the M. orinoco doesn't even measure an inch long. The larger specimen was about 15.6 millimeters long, the smaller measures just under 15. At that size, the nets used to trawl for aquatic specimens most often are not meshed thinly enough to trap them. Second, these fish live at the remote bottom of South America's deep, big rivers. That's an environment that makes finding any kind of life difficult, whether that specimen is big or small. "There is no way to encounter these fish other than by trawling with fine, mesh netting," Lundberg explained. "They are out of reach in lightless, swift-flowing river channels—where current speeds approach two meters per second—although speeds are a little slower right at the bottom. They probably bury themselves in sand much of the time." Living in these dark waters, the M. orinoco, which belong to the family Aspredinidae (banjo catfishes), are uniquely developed for their environment. Almost pigmentless, they also don't have eyes. "Two ideas float about," Lundberg explained. "First, true eyes are expensive to make and maintain, in terms of energy. And these animals are not in a highly productive habitat with unlimited food resources." "Second, eyes without eyelids are potentially a liability in a world of shifting sand where there is no light anyway," he finished. Although it took some time for the fish to get their name, the formal (or official) taxonomic description of M. orinoco is important not only for adding their species to the book of life on Earth, but in that they help establish the guidelines for identifying catfishes in their genus, especially since M. orinoco is only the second known species of Micromyzon. The first, named M. akamai by Lundberg and collaborator John Friel, was discovered in 1993 in the deep channels of the Amazon river in Brazil. "This closely related species pair provides an important example, among others, of the evolutionary and biotic link between fishes inhabiting the largest rivers in South America," Lundberg explained.

News Article | February 3, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Researchers at the body responsible for monitoring birth defects in Latin America are questioning the size of an apparent surge in the number of Brazilian children born with 'microcephaly' — abnormally small heads and brains. Alarm is growing about a reported rise in suspected cases of the rare condition, which has been tentatively linked to the rapid spread of the Zika virus through the Americas. But Jorge Lopez-Camelo and Ieda Maria Orioli, from the Latin American Collaborative Study of Congenital Malformations (ECLAMC), say that the surge might largely be attributed to the intense search for cases of the birth defect, and misdiagnoses, because of heightened awareness in the wake of the possible link with Zika. This ‘awareness’ effect is well known and inevitable, they say, and must be revealing cases that would have gone unnoticed under normal circumstances. They also say that a high rate of misdiagnoses among reported cases is likely because the diagnostic criteria being used for microcephaly are broad. Lopez-Camelo and Orioli presented their analysis in Portuguese-language reports, and, after Nature’s enquiries, provided an English version of the summary (ECLAMC Report). They say that from the epidemiological data available, it is impossible to establish the true size of the surge in microcephaly, and whether there is any link with the Zika virus. In particular, large 'prospective' studies, in which pregnant women in areas of Brazil experiencing Zika outbreaks are monitored to see how many of their children develop microcephaly are needed, they say. Several research groups in and outside Brazil are already planning such studies, and some have begun. Specialists contacted by Nature emphasize that it is prudent for pregnant women to be cautious — for example, by protecting themselves against mosquito bites — until more is known. The experts agree that the reported size of the microcephaly increase so far is probably inflated — and this chimes with the latest figures from the Brazilian government. On 27 January, it said that of 4,180 suspected cases of microcephaly recorded since October, it has so far confirmed 270 and rejected 462 as false diagnoses. But some disagree with the ECLAMC team's conclusion that the reported surge in recent months can mostly be attributed to an increase in the intensity of the search for cases and misdiagnosis. Thomas Jaenisch, a tropical medicine specialist at the Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany, calls this an “extreme” position and says that it “might also create uncertainty in the media and public discussion in Brazil”. Previously confined to Africa and Asia, Zika virus reached the Americas in 2015, where it is currently causing an unprecedented epidemic in Brazil (see 'Zika in the Americas'). Most people infected with the virus — after being bitten by a mosquito — have no symptoms; the remainder have mild symptoms such as fever, skin rash and headache. But in October, Brazil's health ministry reported an unusual spike in reported cases of microcephaly in the northeastern state of Pernambuco, where the affected children's mothers had been in early pregnancy at around the same time as large Zika outbreaks occurred. The ministry subsequently raised the alarm of a possible link to Zika. This led the World Health Organization and its regional office, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), to issue an epidemiological alert on 17 November last year, which called on member states to look out for any similar increase in microcephaly among their populations. Earlier this month, the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention issued a travel notice, “out of an abundance of caution”, that advised pregnant women to consider postponing travel to places that have ongoing Zika outbreaks. To investigate the situation, the researchers at ECLAMC turned to its own databases dating back to 1967, as well as the country's Live Birth Information System (SINASC). According to ECLAMC, the average historical prevalence of microcephaly in Brazil is around 2 cases per 10,000 births, although rates in the country's north have typically been higher. The researchers calculate that the maximum number of cases that would have been expected in the northern state of Pernambuco in 2015 is around 45. Yet Pernambuco reported 26 times that number last year. Even if Zika is causing microcephaly, these huge numbers are simply too high to be credible, says the report. As well as the increased diagnoses owing to heightened awareness from the media and governments, Lopez-Camelo also highlights that the diagnostic criteria for microcephaly are relatively unspecific and are casting too wide a net. Brazilian health authorities are treating all fetuses with head circumferences that are more than two standard deviations below the average, and newborns with a head circumference of less than 32 centimetres, as suspected cases. But these criteria will inevitably capture many healthy children within the normal growth range who do not have microcephaly. But head circumference is only a proxy measure, note Lopez-Camelo and Orioli: confirming microcephaly requires a diagnosis of small brain size, and a decreased rate of brain growth. The pair are not alone in drawing attention to the broad diagnostic criteria — a risk assessment published on 21 January by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also noted this and said: “It is expected that many of the suspected cases will be reclassified and discarded.” Helen Dolk, an epidemiologist at the University of Ulster near Belfast, UK, who works on the surveillance of congenital abnormalities, says that the ECLAMC’s conclusion — that the apparent surge could be largely an artefact — is possible in principle. But she stresses that it is impossible to confirm until more data becomes available — and that she is reserving judgement on the portion of the apparent increase that can be attributed to confounding factors. Lavinia Schüler-Faccini, a researcher at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and president of the Brazilian Society of Genetic Medicine, says that she is certain that there has been a substantial increase in microcephaly cases. She notes that physicians began reporting a rise before the increased attention by health authorities, and the media began reporting a spike last November. “My personal impression is that there is an augmentation of cases of microcephaly in Brazil,” she says. “However it is not as huge as the suspected cases referred to the Ministry of Health.” Prospective studies have started and others are planned, she says. And she adds: “All our efforts now are to establish the real level of increase.” Establishing whether there is a link between microcephaly and Zika is particularly important because people living in the Americas lack immunity to the virus. This, combined with the fact that the Aedes mosquitoes that transmit the virus are widespread in the Americas, means that many people will be infected in future, including pregnant women. Zika virus has been found in amniotic fluid, placental or fetal tissues in several cases of nervous system malformations, including microcephaly, in Brazil. Following a World Health Organization press conference on Zika virus on 28 January, the agency said in a statement: “A causal relationship between Zika virus infection and birth defects and neurological syndromes has not been established, but is strongly suspected.” It also said: “The Organization is supporting the scaling up and strengthening of surveillance systems in countries that have reported cases of Zika and of microcephaly and other neurological conditions that may be associated with the virus.”

News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

After almost four decades, an elusive, eyeless catfish measuring less than an inch now has a name and a detailed description, thanks to two scientists from the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University: Micromyzon orinoco. Two specimens of the catfish were caught in its namesake river, the Orinoco, near Ciudad Guyana in Venezuela during the US-Venezuelan Orinoco Delta Expeditions of 1978-79. But this isn't Pokemon: You don't suddenly identify a new animal once it's in hand -- even if you already have a pretty good idea what it is. "We knew what these fish were upon capture," said John Lundberg, PhD, emeritus professor in Drexel's College of Arts and Sciences and emeritus curator of the Academy, who was a part of the expedition. "But the devil is in the details." Careful examination and comparison of existing species must be done to properly identify a new animal species, and that's something that can take some time. Being that there are only two known specimens collected, both held in the Ichthyology Collection of the Academy, there wasn't going to be much outside help coming to Lundberg or the lead author of the paper identifying M. orinoco, Tiago Carvalho, an Academy researcher who is also a faculty member at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. Carvalho and Lundberg were able to describe the fish with help from ichthyological collaborators based in California, Alabama and Brazil One of the main reasons why there are only two specimens of the catfish is its miniature size and preferred habitat. First, the M. orinoco doesn't even measure an inch long. The larger specimen was about 15.6 millimeters long, the smaller measures just under 15. At that size, the nets used to trawl for aquatic specimens most often are not meshed thinly enough to trap them. Second, these fish live at the remote bottom of South America's deep, big rivers. That's an environment that makes finding any kind of life difficult, whether that specimen is big or small. "There is no way to encounter these fish other than by trawling with fine, mesh netting," Lundberg explained. "They are out of reach in lightless, swift-flowing river channels -- where current speeds approach two meters per second -- although speeds are a little slower right at the bottom. They probably bury themselves in sand much of the time." Living in these dark waters, the M. orinoco, which belong to the family Aspredinidae (banjo catfishes), are uniquely developed for their environment. Almost pigmentless, they also don't have eyes. "Two ideas float about," Lundberg explained. "First, true eyes are expensive to make and maintain, in terms of energy. And these animals are not in a highly productive habitat with unlimited food resources." "Second, eyes without eyelids are potentially a liability in a world of shifting sand where there is no light anyway," he finished. Although it took some time for the fish to get their name, the formal (or official) taxonomic description of M. orinoco is important not only for adding their species to the book of life on Earth, but in that they help establish the guidelines for identifying catfishes in their genus, especially since M. orinoco is only the second known species of Micromyzon. The first, named M. akamai by Lundberg and collaborator John Friel, was discovered in 1993 in the deep channels of the Amazon river in Brazil. "This closely related species pair provides an important example, among others, of the evolutionary and biotic link between fishes inhabiting the largest rivers in South America," Lundberg explained.

News Article | April 1, 2016
Site: phys.org

Image of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA A trio of researchers, two with the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the other with Universität Kiel has discovered something very unique—a white dwarf with an atmosphere that is made almost completely of oxygen. In their paper published in the journal Science, Kepler de Souza Oliveira, Detlev Koester and Gustavo Ourique describe how they came to discover the oddity and offer some ideas on how it might have come to exist. Boris Gänsicke with the University of Warwick offers an essay on the work by the team in the same journal issue. White dwarfs come about, scientists believe, when a relatively 'small' star runs out of fuel, losing its outer layer as the star shrinks down due to gravity—the stronger gravitational force then usually causes the heaviest elements to be drawn towards the core pushing the lighter ones, such as helium and hydrogen to the surface. But this new white dwarf is different, the researchers report, instead of the usual mix of light elements at the surface, there is almost nothing but pure oxygen. Nicknamed Dox, the star is the first ever of any kind to be observed to have a nearly pure oxygen outer layer. Such a phenomenon has been predicted before, but most in the field never believed that such a star would ever be observed, thus it came as quite a surprise to team member Gustavo Ourique as he poured over thousands of simple graphs made from data generated by the New Mexico observatory. It was not until further tests were run that it was confirmed that the unique graph he had found turned out to represent data from the strange white dwarf. Though it is impossible at this point to say with any certainty what caused the unique star formation, the researchers believe it is likely tied to an earlier event—they believe that Dox may once have been one of a pair of stars forming a binary system, and as the other star ran out of fuel it would have become a red giant, which would perhaps have been able to interact with its partner directly. The outcome, the researchers suggest could have laid the groundwork for a later explosion that caused Dox to lose its other lighter elements, leaving mostly pure oxygen in its outer layer. More information: S. O. Kepler et al, A white dwarf with an oxygen atmosphere, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aad6705 Researchers have discovered a white dwarf star with an atmosphere dominated by oxygen, a type of white dwarf that has been theorized to exist but not identified to date. The finding could challenge the textbook wisdom of single stellar evolution, and provide a critical link to some types of supernovae discovered over the past decade. As relatively small stars (those less than ten times the mass of our sun) near the end of their lives, they throw off their outer layers and become white dwarf stars, which are very dense. The high gravity that occurs under such density causes the lighter elements, such as hydrogen or helium, to float to the surface of the star, masking the heavier elements below. While combing through data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), Souza Oliveira Kepler et al. identified SDSS J124043.01+671034.68, a white dwarf with its outer layer of light elements stripped away, revealing a nearly pure layer of oxygen. Several different theories have predicted that the outer layer of a white dwarf can be stripped, but identification of SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 provides the first evidence of this phenomenon. One possibility is that interactions with a nearby companion in a binary star caused SDSS J124043.01+671034.68 to bare its oxygen envelope. Another possibility is that a massive pulse of burning carbon from the center of the star, emulating outwards, eliminated the lighter elements. A Perspective by Boris Gänsicke provides further context.

van der Ploeg J.D.,China Agricultural University | Jingzhong Y.,China Agricultural University | Schneider S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Peasant Studies | Year: 2012

This article discusses and compares the rural development processes and practices currently occurring in China, Brazil and the European Union. Although these are strongly rooted in the specificities of time and space, they also share important commonalities. We argue that rural development can be viewed as an evolving set of responses to market failures. A key element of these responses is that they are unfolding through the construction of new markets: a seemingly contradictory phenomenon that has, as yet, hardly been scrutinized or theoretically elaborated. We describe these newly emerging markets as 'nested markets' and support our argument with a careful reconsideration of the dynamics of long-established nested markets. We then extend this analysis, firstly, by arguing that the construction of such new markets occurs through a process of social struggle and, secondly, by exploring the strength of these newly emerging constellations in relation to the hegemony exerted by food empires. Our analysis puts common-pool resources, which underlie these new, nested markets, centre stage. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Blaser R.E.,University of San Diego | Rosemberg D.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rosemberg D.B.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Em Excitotoxicidade E Neuroprotecao Inct En
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The effects of wall color stimuli on diving, and the effects of depth stimuli on scototaxis, were assessed in zebrafish. Three groups of fish were confined to a black, a white, or a transparent tank, and tested for depth preference. Two groups of fish were confined to a deep or a shallow tank, and tested for black-white preference. As predicted, fish preferred the deep half of a split-tank over the shallow half, and preferred the black half of a black/white tank over the white half. Results indicated that the tank wall color significantly affected depth preference, with the transparent tank producing the strongest depth preference and the black tank producing the weakest preference. Tank depth, however, did not significantly affect color preference. Additionally, wall color significantly affected shuttling and immobility, while depth significantly affected shuttling and thigmotaxis. These results are consistent with previous indications that the diving response and scototaxis may reflect dissociable mechanisms of behavior. We conclude that the two tests are complementary rather than interchangeable, and that further research on the motivational systems underlying behavior in each of the two tests is needed. © 2012 Blaser, Rosemberg.

Patel V.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Kieling C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maulik P.K.,George Institute for Global Health | Maulik P.K.,University of Oxford | Divan G.,Sangath
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2013

Developmental disabilities, emotional disorders and disruptive behaviour disorders are the leading mental health-related causes of the global burden of disease in children aged below 10 years. This article aims to address the treatment gap for child mental disorders through synthesising three bodies of evidence: the global evidence base on the treatment of these priority disorders; the barriers to implementation of this knowledge; and the innovative approaches taken to address these barriers and improve access to care. Our focus is on low-resource settings, which are mostly found in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Despite the evidence base on the burden of child mental disorders and their long-term consequences, and the recent mental health Gap Action Programme guidelines which testify to the effectiveness of a range of pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for these disorders, the vast majority of children in LMIC do not have access to these interventions. We identify three major barriers for the implementation of efficacious treatments: the lack of evidence on delivery of the treatments, the low levels of detection of child mental disorders and the shortage of skilled child mental health professionals. The evidence based on implementation, although weak, supports the use of screening measures for detection of probable disorders, coupled with a second-stage diagnostic assessment and the use of nonspecialist workers in community and school settings for the delivery of psychosocial interventions. The most viable strategy to address the treatment gap is through the empowerment of existing human resources who are most intimately concerned with child care, including parents, through innovative technologies, such as mobile health, with the necessary skills for the detection and treatment of child mental disorders.

Hoppen C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Wormald N.,Monash University
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series B | Year: 2016

The average-case analysis of probabilistic algorithms has proved to be very successful for finding asymptotic bounds on parameters of random regular graphs. Recently, the authors obtained a general transfer result which translates such bounds into (deterministic) results about all regular graphs with sufficiently large girth. In this paper, we apply this methodology to obtain new upper or lower bounds on the size of maximum independent sets and power dominating sets in cubic graphs with large girth, and maximum cuts, maximum and minimum bisections, and minimum connected and weakly-connected dominating sets in r-regular graphs with large girth. All the new bounds improve upon the best previous bounds. For independent sets in cubic graphs, this also improves on the best “almost sure” bounds for random cubic graphs. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Krause M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bock P.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Takahashi H.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Bittencourt P.I.H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Science | Year: 2015

The 70 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP70) family is important for a dynamic range of cellular processes that include protection against cell stress, modulation of cell signalling, gene expression, protein synthesis, protein folding and inflammation. Within this family, the inducible 72 kDa and the cognate 73 kDa forms are found at the highest level. HSP70 has dual functions depending on location. For example, intracellular HSP70 (iHSP70) is anti-inflammatory whereas extracellular HSP70 (eHSP70) has a pro-inflammatory function, resulting in local and systemic inflammation. We have recently identified a divergence in the levels of eHSP70 and iHSP70 in subjects with diabetes compared with healthy subjects and also reported that eHSP70 was correlated with insulin resistance and pancreatic β-cell dysfunction/death. In the present review, we describe possible mechanisms by which HSP70 participates in cell function/dysfunction, including the activation of NADPH oxidase isoforms leading to oxidative stress, focusing on the possible role of HSPs and signalling in pancreatic islet a- and β-cell physiological function in health and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2015 Biochemical Society.

Stassen H.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ludwig R.,University of Rostock | Ludwig R.,Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock | Wulf A.,University of Rostock | And 2 more authors.
Chemistry - A European Journal | Year: 2015

The formation, stabilisation and reactivity of contact ion pairs of non-protic imidazolium ionic liquids (ILs) in solution are conceptualized in light of selected experimental evidence as well theoretical calculations reported mainly in the last ten years. Electric conductivity, NMR, ESI-MS and IR data as well as theoretical calculations support not only the formation of contact ion pairs in solution, but also the presence of larger ionic and neutral aggregates even when dissolved in solvents with relatively high dielectric constants, such as acetonitrile and DMSO. The presence of larger imidazolium supramolecular aggregates is favoured at higher salt concentrations in solvents of low dielectric constant for ILs that contain shorter N-alkyl side chains associated with anions of low coordination ability. The stability and reactivity of neutral contact species are also dependent on the nature of the anion, imidazolium substituents, and are more abundant in ILs containing strong coordinating anions, in particular those that can form charge transfer complexes with the imidazolium cation. Finally, some ILs display reactivities as contact ion pairs rather than solvent-separated ions. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Ollgaard B.,University of Aarhus | Windisch P.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Rodriguesia | Year: 2014

A conspectus of the Lycopodiaceae in Brazil is presented, following a generic classification based on anatomy, chromosome numbers, spores and gametophytes, as well as recent molecular studies. The species of Lycopodiaceae occurring in Brazil, traditionally treated conservatively, were grouped in three genera: Lycopodium, Lycopodiella, and Huperzia. Within each genus, the diversity (treated under various subgenera, sections, and subsections) has been discussed. In our new approach, these three genera are treated as subfamilies Lycopodiodeae (four genera in Brazil), Lycopodielloideae (three genera in Brazil), and Huperzioideae (two genera in Brazil). Branching patterns and morphological diversity of vegetative leaves and sporophylls, as well as morphology of sporangia and spores in the different groups, are discussed in a brief review. We provide keys to identification of subfamilies and genera represented in Brazil. The species of Lycopodioideae, genera Lycopodium (s.str.), Austrolycopodium, Diphasium, and Diphasiastrum (one species in the first three genera, two in Diphasiastrum - one of them new) are treated in detail, with descriptions, illustrations (or references to illustrations), and comments on habitat and distribution.

Pfefferkorn H.W.,University of Pennsylvania | Alleman V.,Ricardo Palma University | Iannuzzi R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Gondwana Research | Year: 2014

The late Paleozoic ice age (LPIA) is the closest example that can be compared with current climate conditions. Near the beginning of the LPIA fossil plants of Mississippian (late Visean to earliest Serpukhovian) age indicate a widespread frost-free climate in a wide belt on Gondwana indicating an interval of greenhouse conditions between the earlier Visean and later Serpukhovian icehouse times. This warm-temperate floral belt has been named the Paraca floral belt after the locality on the Peruvian coast where it was first recognized. The origin of this particular zono-biome was due to the interplay of (1) climate oscillations, (2) several kinds of long-distance plant dispersal within, between or through zono-biomes, and (3) plate motion. The Carboniferous age strata on the Paracas Peninsula in Peru serve as an example for an analysis of these large scale patterns through the analysis of local geology, paleobotany, and paleoecology. The processes observed during this time interval can serve as a model for long-distance plant dispersal at other times. © 2013 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Javonillo R.,George Washington University | Malabarba L.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Weitzman S.H.,National Museum of Natural History | Burns J.R.,George Washington University
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2010

The family Characidae is a group of freshwater bony fishes that exhibits high species-level diversity and whose members inhabit parts of Texas, Mexico, and Central and South America. Thus far, morphological data have been of limited use in discerning relationships among subfamilies and incertae sedis genera of the family Characidae. In this study, DNA sequence data from GenBank were combined with new sequences for analyses under Bayesian and parsimony schemes. Sequences fell into four gene partitions, with three genes in the mitochondrial subset (12S, 16S, COI genes) and one gene in the nuclear subset (RAG2 gene). Inferred Bayesian and parsimony-based phylogenies reject the monophyly of certain groups (e.g., Astyanax, Hyphessobrycon, and Bryconamericus), do not reject the monophyly of others (e.g., Cheirodontinae and "clade A" of previous authors), and present new sister-group hypotheses (e.g., Brittanichthys sister to Paracheirodon). Sister to clade A is a lineage referred to herein as "clade B" which includes Exodon and exemplars from Cheirodontinae (the most basal lineage within clade B), Aphyocharacinae, Tetragonopterinae, and Characinae (excluding Gnathocharax). "Clade C" is sister to A + B and contains representatives of large incertae sedis genera (e.g., Hyphessobrycon, Hemigrammus), as well as members of Stethaprioninae. Unless certain other subfamilial names are to be disregarded, the use of Tetragonopterinae should continue to be restricted to species of Tetragonopterus because other genera previously referred to this subfamily grouped in clades A or C, quite distant from Tetragonopterus. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Bini R.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Hume P.A.,Auckland University of Technology
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2014

The accuracy of commercial instrumented crank systems for symmetry assessment in cycling has not been fully explored. Therefore, the authors' aims were to compare peak crank torque between a commercial instrumented crank system and instrumented pedals and to assess the effect of power output on bilateral asymmetries during cycling. Ten competitive cyclists performed an incremental cycling test to exhaustion. Forces and pedal angles were recorded using right and left instrumented pedals synchronized with crank-torque measurements using an instrumented crank system. Differences in right (dominant) and left (nondominant) peak torque and asymmetry index were assessed using effect sizes. In the 100- to 250-W power-output range, the instrumented pedal system recorded larger peak torque (dominant 55-122%, nondominant 23-99%) than the instrumented crank system. There was an increase in differences between dominant and nondominant crank torque as power output increased using the instrumented crank system (7% to 33%) and the instrumented pedals (9% to 66%). Lower-limb asymmetries in peak torque increased at higher power-output levels in favor of the dominant leg. Limitations in design of the instrumented crank system may preclude the use of this system to assess peak crank-torque symmetry. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Suarez-Kurtz G.,Instituto Nacional Of Cncer | Botton M.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Warfarin is the most commonly prescribed oral anticoagulant worldwide despite its narrow therapeutic index and the notorious inter- and intra-individual variability in dose required for the target clinical effect. Pharmacogenetic polymorphisms are major determinants of warfarin pharmacokinetic and dynamics and included in several warfarin dosing algorithms. This review focuses on warfarin pharmacogenomics in sub-Saharan peoples, African Americans and admixed Brazilians. These 'Black' populations differ in several aspects, notably their extent of recent admixture with Europeans, a factor which impacts on the frequency distribution of pharmacogenomic polymorphisms relevant to warfarin dose requirement for the target clinical effect. Whereas a small number of polymorphisms in VKORC1 (3673G>A, rs9923231), CYP2C9 (alleles *2 and *3, rs1799853 and rs1057910, respectively) and arguably CYP4F2 (rs2108622), may capture most of the pharmacogenomic influence on warfarin dose variance in White populations, additional polymorphisms in these, and in other, genes (e.g. CALU rs339097) increase the predictive power of pharmacogenetic warfarin dosing algorithms in the Black populations examined. A personalized strategy for initiation of warfarin therapy, allowing for improved safety and cost-effectiveness for populations of African descent must take into account their pharmacogenomic diversity, as well as socio-economical, cultural and medical factors. Accounting for this heterogeneity in algorithms that are 'friendly' enough to be adopted by warfarin prescribers worldwide requires gathering information from trials at different population levels, but demands also a critical appraisal of racial/ethnic labels that are commonly used in the clinical pharmacology literature but do not accurately reflect genetic ancestry and population diversity. © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

The natural biodiversity in Latin America has made it a hotspot for research and applications of biosurfactants, with Brazil leading the way in intellectual property and patents for novel processes and sustainable production methods to manufacture biosurfactants at low cost from agro-industrial waste. A review of bioprospecting studies to identify biosurfactant-producing microorganisms, the renewable substrates used in fermentation processes, and the range of biosurfactant applications being developed across Latin America is presented in an article in Industrial Biotechnology. Larissa Pereira Brumano, Matheus Francisco Soler, and Silvio Silvério da Silva, University of São Paulo, Lorena, Brazil, describe the growing interest in and applications for replacing synthetic surfactants with biosurfactants synthesized by microorganisms. In the article "Recent Advances in Sustainable Production and Application of Biosurfactants in Brazil and Latin America," the authors describe the advantages of biosurfactants compared to their chemical counterparts, including their higher biodegradability and lower toxicity. They note, however, that new strategies and technologies are needed to reduce the cost of large-scale biosurfactant production to make it economically competitive, and they review some of the key advances being achieved by scientists in Latin America, including in green chemistry and genetic engineering of microorganisms. The article is part of an IB IN DEPTH special issue on "Industrial Biotechnology in Brazil: Innovation, Opportunities, and Challenges," led by Guest Editor Pabulo Henrique Rampelotto, PhD, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil, and member of the Industrial Biotechnology Editorial Board. Other articles in the issue include: "Second-Generation Ethanol: The Need Is Becoming a Reality"; "The Virtual Sugarcane Biorefinery—A Simulation Tool to Support Public Policies Formulation in Bioenergy"; "Brazilian Biofuels Policies, Production Trends, and Challenges"; "The Brazilian Life Sciences Industry: Advances and Challenges"; and "Patent Policies and Intellectual Property Challenges in Brazil." "Bioprospecting for new industrial microorganisms with unique metabolic pathways that can be driven to produce novel biochemicals is an important element of Industrial Biotechnology," says Co-Editor-in-Chief Larry Walker, PhD. "We thank our Brazilian colleagues for providing us with this insightful study." More information: Larissa Pereira Brumano et al. Recent Advances in Sustainable Production and Application of Biosurfactants in Brazil and Latin America, Industrial Biotechnology (2016). DOI: 10.1089/ind.2015.0027

News Article | March 9, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

Researchers have found Colombia's first cases of birth defects linked to the Zika virus, Nature has learned — which are likely forerunners of a widely anticipated wave of Zika-related birth defects in the country. The discovery is perhaps no surprise: the virus arrived in Colombia last September, and the country is second only to Brazil in terms of the number of people infected with Zika. But Colombian researchers hope that plans put in place to closely monitor pregnant women can help to better establish the magnitude of the threat posed to fetuses by Zika. That is a crucial question that scientists have not so far been able to answer with the data from Brazil. Researchers have diagnosed one newborn with microcephaly — an abnormally small head — and two others with congenital brain abnormalities, says Alfonso Rodriguez-Morales, who chairs the Colombian Collaborative Network on Zika (RECOLZIKA), which made the diagnoses. All three tested positive for the presence of Zika virus. The researchers have submitted a report of their detections to a scientific journal. Rodriguez-Morales, an infectious-diseases epidemiologist at the Technological University of Pereira in western Colombia, says that he expects to see a rise in cases of Zika-linked birth defects starting in two or three months' time. The RECOLZIKA group — a network of researchers and public-health institutions across Colombia — are already investigating a handful of other suspected cases of microcephaly, which have a possible link to Zika. Brazil is the only country so far to report a large surge in newborns with microcephaly that coincides with outbreaks of Zika virus. By the time the alarm over a possible microcephaly link was raised there (in October 2015), Zika infections had already peaked in many parts of the country, because the virus first reached Brazil at the beginning of last year. In Colombia, by contrast, researchers detected the first Zika cases in September, and by December had set up national tracking programmes to monitor pregnant women for signs of infection, and to spot early signs of birth defects in fetuses. Since then, researchers have been waiting attentively to see whether their country might experience a similar rise in birth defects. The true size of Brazil's surge in microcephaly cases is unknown. The country's health ministry says that 5,909 suspected microcephaly cases have been registered since early November, but only 1,687 of them have been investigated so far. Of those, 1,046 have been discarded as false positives, and 641 have been confirmed. (A link with the Zika virus has been confirmed by molecular-lab tests in 82 cases.) Given that Brazil reported only 147 cases of microcephaly in 2014, the reported increase in cases since November suggests a marked rise in the number of babies born with the condition. But the 2014 figure is a “huge underestimate”, says Lavinia Schüler-Faccini, a geneticist who specialises in birth defects at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and president of the Brazilian Society of Genetic Medicine. She says that according to the frequency of microcephaly typically observed in regions around the world, one would expect to see 300–600 cases of severe microcephaly in any given year in Brazil, and around 1,500 less-severe ones. The search for cases of microcephaly in Brazil since October is probably turning up many mild cases that previously went unnoticed — so that the reported surge looks higher than it really is. Still, Schüler-Faccini and other clinicians say there is a real problem. They have observed first-hand a marked increase in the number of unusually severe cases of microcephaly, they say. To be prepared to better interpret any imminent peak in birth defects in Colombia, RECOLZIKA plans to look at historical cases to establish a baseline for the annual numbers of birth defects in different regions. It is also setting up a study to analyse patterns in the distribution of head-circumference measurements recorded in obstetrics units regionally throughout the country, to get a better idea of the local range of normal values. It has also not been possible so far from Brazilian data to quantify the extent to which Zika virus is linked to the rise in microcephaly. The latest data from Brazil's ministry of health show that increased cases of microcephaly and/or congenital malformations of the central nervous system are still concentrated in the northeast — raising questions as to whether other factors, perhaps specific to this region, might also be in play. Clinical evidence leaves little doubt that a link between Zika and microcephaly exists: the virus has been detected in amniotic fluid, in the cerebrospinal fluid of affected babies and in the brains of stillborn fetuses and those aborted after the detection of severe malformations during pregnancy. But there are also many other possible causes of microcephaly, including a group of infections that are collectively called STORCH (syphilis, toxoplasmosis, other infections, rubella, cytomegalovirus infection and herpes simplex), which are known to cause birth defects. Exposure to toxic chemicals and the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can also cause the condition. “There is a clear need for a full assessment of other detailed causes of microcephaly, such as STORCH, and even non-infectious causes,” says Rodriguez-Morales. Brazil’s health ministry has stated that it is carrying out tests for such causes, but it has not made public how many of the confirmed microcephaly cases are attributable to these. A key question in assessing the scale of the threat that Zika may pose to fetuses is how many pregnant women infected with Zika — in particular during the first trimester, when the fetus is most vulnerable — nonetheless give birth to healthy babies. RECOLZIKA researchers hope to help to answer this through their monitoring programme. The risk posed by Zika may well be lower than that of other diseases that are known to cause microcephaly such as toxoplasmosis and rubella, says Rodriguez-Morales. That is a preliminary estimate, he says, based on back-of-the-envelope calculations of the reported numbers of confirmed cases of microcephaly and congenital disorders, compared to the number of pregnant women in regions experiencing Zika epidemics. But even if its risk does turn out to be low, Zika could still lead to many cases because a large number of pregnant women in the Americas are likely to become infected with the virus. The biggest risk to pregnant women is right now, rather than in the long term. The epidemic is sweeping so quickly through the Americas that much of the population, including young women, will become naturally vaccinated by their exposure to the virus. As population immunity increases, the Zika epidemic is likely to fade quickly, and it will become endemic with only occasional flare ups. In a modelling study posted to the preprint server bioRxiv1 on 29 February, US researchers noted that the risk of prenatal Zika virus exposure “should decrease dramatically following the initial wave of disease, reaching almost undetectable levels”.

Lopes C.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ximenes S.S.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gava A.,Federal Foundation University of Rio Grande | De Freitas T.R.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Heredity | Year: 2013

Identifying factors and the extent of their roles in the differentiation of populations is of great importance for understanding the evolutionary process in which a species is involved. Ctenomys minutus is a highly karyotype-polymorphic subterranean rodent, with diploid numbers ranging from 42 to 50 and autosomal arm numbers (ANs) ranging from 68 to 80, comprising a total of 45 karyotypes described so far. This species inhabits the southern Brazilian coastal plain, which has a complex geological history, with several potential geographical barriers acting on different time scales. We assessed the geographical genetic structure of C. minutus, examining 340 individuals over the entire distributional range and using information from chromosomal rearrangements, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and 14 microsatellite loci. The mtDNA results revealed seven main haplogroups, with the most recent common ancestors dating from the Pleistocene, whereas clustering methods defined 12 populations. Some boundaries of mtDNA haplogroups and population clusters can be associated with potential geographical barriers to gene flow. The isolation-by-distance pattern also has an important role in fine-scale genetic differentiation, which is strengthened by the narrowness of the coastal plain and by common features of subterranean rodents (that is, small fragmented populations and low dispersal rates), which limit gene flow among populations. A step-by-step mechanism of chromosomal evolution can be suggested for this species, mainly associated with the metapopulation structure, genetic drift and the geographical features of the southern Brazilian coastal plain. However, chromosomal variations have no or very little role in the diversification of C. minutus populations. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Salim R.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Salim K.C.O.,University of Sao Paulo | Bretas A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution | Year: 2011

In this study, further improvements regarding the fault location problem for power distribution systems are presented. The proposed improvements relate to the capacitive effect consideration on impedance-based fault location methods, by considering an exact line segment model for the distribution line. The proposed developments, which consist of a new formulation for the fault location problem and a new algorithm that considers the line shunt admittance matrix, are presented. The proposed equations are developed for any fault type and result in one single equation for all ground fault types, and another equation for line-to-line faults. Results obtained with the proposed improvements are presented. Also, in order to compare the improvements performance and demonstrate how the line shunt admittance affects the state-of-the-art impedance-based fault location methodologies for distribution systems, the results obtained with two other existing methods are presented. Comparative results show that, in overhead distribution systems with laterals and intermediate loads, the line shunt admittance can significantly affect the state-of-the-art methodologies response, whereas in this case the proposed developments present great improvements by considering this effect. © 2011 The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

Agostini G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Echeverrigaray S.,University of Caxias do Sul | Souza-Chies T.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2012

Cunila species are aromatic and medicinal plants commonly employed in folk medicine. This genus is distributed in North America and in southern South America. The species that occur in southern South America are classified into three botanical sections: Incanae, Incisae and Spicatae. The present study uses a phylogenetic approach to study the genetic relationship among the South and North American Cunila species, aiming to test the monophyly of the genus in its traditional circumscription. The results based on sequencing from nuclear (ITS rDNA) and chloroplast (trnL-F) sets did not agree with the traditional circumscription of the genus. These data, based on maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses, point to the non-monophyletic status of Cunila, since the genus was separated into three segregated clades: (1) A South American subshrub clade formed by the species of the botanical section Spicatae, (2) a South American shrub clade that includes the species of the botanical sections Incanae and Incisae, and (3) a North American Cunila clade. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Scott J.,Northumbria University | Scott J.,University Paris Est Creteil | Leboyer M.,University Paris Est Creteil | Hickie I.,University of Sydney | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Psychiatry | Year: 2013

Staging models are used routinely in general medicine for potentially serious or chronic physical disorders such as diabetes, arthritis and cancers, describing the links between biomarkers, clinical phenotypes and disease extension, and promoting a personalised or stratified medicine approach to treatment planning. Clinical staging involves a detailed description of where an individual exists on a continuum of disorder progression from stage 0 (an at-risk or latency stage) through to stage IV (late or end-stage disease). The approach is popular owing to its clinical utility and is increasingly being applied in psychiatry. The concept offers an informed approach to research and the active promotion of indicated prevention and early intervention strategies. We suggest that for young persons with emerging bipolar disorder, such transdiagnostic staging models could provide a framework that better reflects the developmental psychopathology and matches the complex longitudinal interrelationships between subsyndromal and syndromal mood, psychotic and other disorders.

Bretas N.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Bretas A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Piereti S.A.,University of Sao Paulo
IET Generation, Transmission and Distribution | Year: 2011

In this study, the innovation approach is used to estimate the measurement total error associated with power system state estimation. This is required because the power system equations are very much correlated with each other and as a consequence part of the measurements errors is masked. For that purpose an index, innovation index (II), which provides the quantity of new information a measurement contains is proposed. A critical measurement is the limit case of a measurement with low II, it has a zero II index and its error is totally masked. In other words, that measurement does not bring any innovation for the gross error test. Using the II of a measurement, the masked gross error by the state estimation is recovered; then the total gross error of that measurement is composed. Instead of the classical normalised measurement residual amplitude, the corresponding normalised composed measurement residual amplitude is used in the gross error detection and identification test, but with m degrees of freedom. The gross error processing turns out to be very simple to implement, requiring only few adaptations to the existing state estimation software. The IEEE-14 bus system is used to validate the proposed gross error detection and identification test. © The Institution of Engineering and Technology 2011.

Oliveira C.P.M.S.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Stefano J.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Alvares-Da-Silva M.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2013

Liver transplantation is the standard of care for acute and chronic end-stage liver disease. Advances in medical therapy and surgical techniques have transformed the long-term survival of liver-transplant (LT) recipients. The prevalence of post-transplant cardiovascular complications has been rising with increased life expectancy after liver transplantation. Currently, deaths related to cardiovascular complications are one of the main causes of long-term mortality in LT recipients, as cardiovascular disease is the reason of 19-42% of non-liver-related mortality after transplant. On the other hand, metabolic syndrome is common among LT recipients before and after transplantation. In fact, their components (abdominal obesity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension and dyslipidemia) are often exacerbated by transplant-specific factors, such as immunosuppression, inappropriate diet, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle, and add a significant risk of developing atherosclerosis. These aspects are discussed in this article. © 2013 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Nitschke W.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Vequi-Suplicy C.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Coutinho K.,University of Sao Paulo | Stassen H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2012

Molecular dynamics computer simulations have been performed to identify preferred positions of the fluorescent probe PRODAN in a fully hydrated DLPC bilayer in the fluid phase. In addition to the intramolecular charge-transfer first vertical excited state, we considered different charge distributions for the electronic ground state of the PRODAN molecule by distinct atomic charge models corresponding to the probe molecule in vacuum as well as polarized in a weak and a strong dielectric solvent (cyclohexane and water). Independent on the charge distribution model of PRODAN, we observed a preferential orientation of this molecule in the bilayer with the dimethylamino group pointing toward the membrane's center and the carbonyl oxygen toward the membrane's interface. However, changing the charge distribution model of PRODAN, independent of its initial position in the equilibrated DLPC membrane, we observed different preferential positions. For the ground state representation without polarization and the in-cyclohexane polarization, the probe maintains its position close to the membrane's center. Considering the in-water polarization model, the probe approaches more of the polar headgroup region of the bilayer, with a strong structural correlation with the choline group, exposing its oxygen atom to water molecules. PRODAN's representation of the first vertical excited state with the in-water polarization also approaches the polar region of the membrane with the oxygen atom exposed to the bilayer's hydration shell. However, this model presents a stronger structural correlation with the phosphate groups than the ground state. Therefore, we conclude that the orientation of the PRODAN molecule inside the DLPC membrane is well-defined, but its position is very sensitive to the effect of the medium polarization included here by different models for the atomic charge distribution of the probe. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Goldberg K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Humayun M.,Florida State University
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2010

The Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) was expressed as CIA (molar) to become a more sensitive measure of the degree of chemical weathering. The CIA (molar) has the value of 1 for fresh feldspars and for unweathered, non-peraluminous igneous rocks, but increases towards infinity as chemical weathering progresses. The utility of this index as a humidity indicator for both modern and ancient muds was tested. A database comprising 281 entries with chemical data for modern and ancient sediments deposited under arid, semi-arid, semi-humid and humid climate was assembled from the literature, and used to calibrate the relationship between humidity and CIA (molar) values. For both modern and ancient sediments, the histograms display a shift towards higher values with increasing geological indicators of humidity, whereas sediments deposited under conditions inferred to be arid from other geological indicators show values tightly clustered around 1. The Permian of the Paraná Basin was then used as an example of the applicability of the CIA (molar) for paleoclimatic studies. Major element analyses (Al2O3, K2O, Na2O, CaO) were performed on 55 claystones and shales from three drill cores in a stratigraphic succession spanning the Early to Late Permian. The CIA (molar) for these rocks accorded with expectations based on sedimentologic and paleontologic evidence, discriminating well between arid and humid conditions in the basin independently determined from sedimentological and paleontological indicators. The use of the CIA (molar) as a paleo-humidity indicator, however, can be limited by the presence of carbonate-rich sediments, the occurrence of post-depositional K+ addition (metasomatism, metamorphism, diagenetic illitization), as well as by inheritance of clays from sedimentary rocks in the source area. Nevertheless, with appropriate caution, the CIA (molar) is a useful tool for the assessment of the humidity conditions in the rock record. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Nascimento M.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Gallas J.A.C.,Federal University of Paraiba | Gallas J.A.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Varela H.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011

We report a detailed numerical investigation of a prototype electrochemical oscillator, in terms of high-resolution phase diagrams for an experimentally relevant section of the control (parameter) space. The prototype model consists of a set of three autonomous ordinary differential equations which captures the general features of electrochemical oscillators characterized by a partially hidden negative differential resistance in an N-shaped current-voltage stationary curve. By computing Lyapunov exponents, we provide a detailed discrimination between chaotic and periodic phases of the electrochemical oscillator. Such phases reveal the existence of an intricate structure of domains of periodicity self-organized into a chaotic background. Shrimp-like periodic regions previously observed in other discrete and continuous systems were also observed here, which corroborate the universal nature of the occurrence of such structures. In addition, we have also found a structured period distribution within the order region. Finally we discuss the possible experimental realization of comparable phase diagrams.

Cisneros J.C.,Federal University of Piauí | Cisneros J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Abdala F.,University of Witwatersrand | Rubidge B.S.,University of Witwatersrand | And 2 more authors.
Science | Year: 2011

Anomodonts, a group of herbivorous therapsid "mammal-like reptiles," were the most abundant tetrapods of the Permian. We present a basal anomodont from South America, a new taxon that has transversally expanded palatal teeth and long saber canines. The function of the saber teeth is unknown, but probable uses include deterring attack from predators and intraspecific display or combat. The complex palatal teeth were used to process high-fiber food and represent early evidence of dental occlusion in a therapsid. This discovery provides new insight into the evolution of heterogeneous dentition in therapsids and broadens our understanding of ecological interactions at the end of the Paleozoic.

Poletto M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Poletto M.,University of Caxias do Sul | Zattera A.J.,University of Caxias do Sul | Santana R.M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

The influence of wood components and cellulose crystallinity on the kinetic degradation of different wood species has been investigated using thermogravimetry. Four wood species were studied: Pinus elliottii (PIE), Eucalyptus grandis (EUG), Mezilaurus itauba (ITA) and Dipteryx odorata (DIP). Thermogravimetric results showed that higher extractive contents in the wood accelerate the degradation process and promote an increase in the conversion values at low temperatures. Alternatively, the results indicated that the cellulose crystallinity inhibits wood degradation; organized cellulose regions slow the degradation process because the well-packed cellulose chains impede heat diffusion, which improves the wood's thermal stability. The wood degradation mechanism occurs by diffusion processes when the conversion values are below 0.4. When the conversion values are above 0.5, the degradation is a result of random nucleation with one nucleus in each particle.

Romanzini D.,University of Caxias do Sul | Lavoratti A.,University of Caxias do Sul | Ornaghi H.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Amico S.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Zattera A.J.,University of Caxias do Sul
Materials and Design | Year: 2013

The combination of glass and ramie fibers with a polyester matrix can produce a hybrid material that is competitive to all glass composites (e.g. those used in the automobile industry). In this work, glass and ramie fibers cut to 45. mm in length were used to produce hybrid polymer composites by resin transfer molding (RTM), aiming to evaluate their physical, mechanical and dynamic mechanical properties as a function of the relative glass-ramie volume fractions and the overall fiber content (10, 21 and 31. vol.%). Higher fiber content and higher ramie fiber fraction in the hybrid composites yielded lower weight composites, but higher water absorption in the composite. The mechanical properties (impact and interlaminar shear strength) of the composites were improved by using higher fiber content, and the composite with 31. vol.% of reinforcement yielded the lowest value for the reinforcement effectiveness coefficient C, as expected. Although the mechanical properties were improved for higher fiber content, the glass transition temperature did not vary significantly. Additionally, as found by analyzing the adhesion factor A, improved adhesion tended to occur for the composites with lower fiber content (10%) and higher ramie fiber fraction (0:100) and the results for the adhesion factor A did not correspond to those found by the analysis of the tan delta peak height. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Wouters A.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Ludtke D.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Ludtke D.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Organic Letters | Year: 2012

The diastereoselective arylation of sugar-derived aldehydes is described. The arylating reagents are generated in situ by a boron-to-zinc exchange reaction of arylboronic acids with Et2Zn to generate arylethylzinc reagents. The exquisite reactivity of the arylzinc reagents allowed for an efficient and mild arylation, delivering the corresponding products in diastereoisomeric ratios of up to >20:1. The utility of the methodology is highlighted with an efficient formal synthesis of (+)-7-epi-goniofufurone, a member of the styryllactone family of natural products. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Dutra C.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ribeiro J.L.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Carvalho M.M.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Project Management | Year: 2014

This paper presents an economic-probabilistic model for project selection and prioritization that enables necessary investments and potential benefits and their inherent variability to be quantified, thus providing a stochastic analysis of expected returns for projects. The model was developed in three steps: definition of criteria; definition of the most appropriate method to be used; and model building. A practical test to evaluate the applicability and usefulness of the model comprising a portfolio of investment projects at a power distribution company was conducted. The results show three major contributions of the proposed model: i) a set of sufficiently complete criteria, ii) the combined use of economic and probabilistic approaches which qualifies the information available to decision makers, and iii) the use of financial language, which is more easily understood and has a concrete meaning for both management and technical staff. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

Camargo K.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Michels A.F.,University of Caxias do Sul | Rodembusch F.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Horowitz F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

Superhydrophobic self-cleaning surfaces were produced with simultaneous wide-angle optical transmittance in the near-infrared region and antireflection properties from combination of multi-scale surface topology based on silica nanoparticles, index grading and interference. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

Goncalves M.S.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Silveira A.F.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Teixeira A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Hyppolito M.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Laryngology and Otology | Year: 2013

Introduction: Cisplatin is an effective chemotherapeutic agent commonly used in the treatment of malignant tumours, but ototoxicity is a significant side effect. Objectives: To discuss the mechanisms of cisplatin ototoxicity and subsequent cell death, and to present the results of experimental studies. Material and methods: We conducted a systematic search for data published in national and international journals and books, using the Medline, SciELO, Bireme, LILACS and PubMed databases. Results: The nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase 3 isoform (also termed NOX3) seems to be the main source of reactive oxygen species in the cochlea. These reactive oxygen species react with other molecules and trigger processes such as lipid peroxidation of the plasma membrane and increases in expression of the transient vanilloid receptor potential 1 ion channel. Conclusion: Cisplatin ototoxicity proceeds via the formation of reactive oxygen species in cochlear tissue, with apoptotic cell death as a consequence. Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2013Â.

de Almeida L.,Cornell University | Idiart M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Linster C.,Cornell University
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2013

In this work we investigate in a computational model how cholinergic inputs to the olfactory bulb (OB) and piriform cortex (PC) modulate odor representations. We use experimental data derived from different physiological studies of ACh modulation of the bulbar and cortical circuitry and the interaction between these two areas. The results presented here indicate that cholinergic modulation in the OB significantly increases contrast and synchronization in mitral cell output. Each of these effects is derived from distinct neuronal interactions, with different groups of interneurons playing different roles. Both bulbar modulation effects contribute to more stable learned representations in PC, with pyramidal networks trained with cholinergicmodulated inputs from the bulb exhibiting more robust learning than those trained with unmodulated bulbar inputs. This increased robustness is evidenced as better recovery of memories from corrupted patterns and lower-concentration inputs as well as increased memory capacity. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.

Martini P.,Ohio State University | Martini P.,University of Virginia | Dicken D.,Institute Of Astrophysique Spatiale | Storchi-Bergmann T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We have conducted an archival Spitzer study of 38 early-type galaxies in order to determine the origin of the dust in approximately half of this population. Our sample galaxies generally have good wavelength coverage from 3.6 μm to 160 μm, as well as visible-wavelength Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images. We use the Spitzer data to estimate dust masses, or establish upper limits, and find that all of the early-type galaxies with dust lanes in the HST data are detected in all of the Spitzer bands and have dust masses of 10 5-106.5 M⊙, while galaxies without dust lanes are not detected at 70 μm and 160 μm and typically have <10 5 M⊙ of dust. The apparently dust-free galaxies do have 24 μm emission that scales with the shorter-wavelength flux, yet substantially exceeds the expectations of photospheric emission by approximately a factor of three. We conclude this emission is dominated by hot, circumstellar dust around evolved stars that does not survive to form a substantial interstellar component. The order-of-magnitude variations in dust masses between galaxies with similar stellar populations rule out a substantial contribution from continual, internal production in spite of the clear evidence for circumstellar dust. We demonstrate that the interstellar dust is not due to purely external accretion, unless the product of the merger rate of dusty satellites and the dust lifetime is at least an order of magnitude higher than expected. We propose that dust in early-type galaxies is seeded by external accretion, yet the accreted dust is maintained by continued growth in externally accreted cold gas beyond the nominal lifetime of individual grains. The several Gyr depletion time of the cold gas is long enough to reconcile the fraction of dusty early-type galaxies with the merger rate of gas-rich satellites. As the majority of dusty early-type galaxies are also low-luminosity active galactic nuclei and likely fueled by this cold gas, their lifetime should similarly be several Gyr. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Conceicao P.C.,Federal Technological University of Paraná | Dieckow J.,Federal University of Paraná | Bayer C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Soil and Tillage Research | Year: 2013

Increases in carbon (C) input and stabilization are key processes to turn soils into sinks of atmospheric CO2-C and help mitigating global warming. We hypothesized (i) that C sequestration in no-tillage soil is further enhanced by high input cropping systems and (ii) that the sequestered C is stored mainly in the mineral associated fraction. The objective of this study was to assess, in 2003, the C sequestration and stabilization in a subtropical Acrisol (Eldorado do Sul, Brazil) subjected to 18-year conventional tillage [CT] and no-tillage [NT] combined with two cropping systems: black oat (Avena strigosa Schreb) as winter cover crop - maize (Zea mays L.) as summer grain crop [Ot/M]; and black oat plus vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) as winter cover crops - maize in summer intercropped with cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp) cover crop [Ot+V/M+C]. Soil C stock in the 0-20cm layer was higher in NT than in CT, either in Ot/M (31.1 vs. 27.8Mgha-1, P<0.05) or Ot+V/M+C (37.3 vs. 32.8Mgha-1, P<0.05). Annual C sequestration rate in NT relative to CT was 0.25Mgha-1 in Ot+V/M+C and 0.18Mgha-1 in Ot/M, in agreement to the higher biomass-C addition and legume cover crops inclusion in Ot+V/M+C (7.6 vs 4.0Mgha-1 year-1) and to our first hypothesis. Increase in the proportion of large macroaggregates (9.51-4.76mm) and of mean weight diameter occurred in NT soil up to 10cm depth, both in Ot/M and Ot+V/M+C. In NT, most of the C accumulation relative to CT occurred in the mineral-associated fraction, showing the importance of organo-mineral interaction in C stabilization and supporting our second hypothesis. However, the physical protection by aggregates played equally important role by stabilizing the occluded particulate organic matter (occluded-POM) before it was further stabilized by organo-mineral interaction. No-tillage is recommended as a sustainable soil management, but to increase soil C accumulation, the potential of cropping systems such those based on legume cover crops must be concurrently explored. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Poletto M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Poletto M.,University of Caxias do Sul | Zattera A.J.,University of Caxias do Sul | Forte M.M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Santana R.M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

The influence of wood components and cellulose crystallinity on the thermal degradation behavior of different wood species has been investigated using thermogravimetry, chemical analysis and X-ray diffraction. Four wood samples, Pinus elliottii (PIE), Eucalyptus grandis (EUG), Mezilaurus itauba (ITA) and Dipteryx odorata (DIP) were used in this study. The results showed that higher extractives contents associated with lower crystallinity and lower cellulose crystallite size can accelerate the degradation process and reduce the wood thermal stability. On the other hand, the thermal decomposition of wood shifted to higher temperatures with increasing wood cellulose crystallinity and crystallite size. These results indicated that the cellulose crystallite size affects the thermal degradation temperature of wood species. © 2012.

Feltes B.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Poloni J.F.,University of Caxias do Sul | Notari D.L.,University of Caxias do Sul | Bonatto D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The physiological and molecular effects of tobacco smoke in adult humans and the development of cancer have been well described. In contrast, how tobacco smoke affects embryonic development remains poorly understood. Morphological studies of the fetuses of smoking pregnant women have shown various physical deformities induced by constant fetal exposure to tobacco components, especially nicotine. In addition, nicotine exposure decreases fetal body weight and bone/cartilage growth in addition to decreasing cranial diameter and tibia length. Unfortunately, the molecular pathways leading to these morphological anomalies are not completely understood. In this study, we applied interactome data mining tools and small compound interaction networks to elucidate possible molecular pathways associated with the effects of tobacco smoke components during embryonic development in pregnant female smokers. Our analysis showed a relationship between nicotine and 50 additional harmful substances involved in a variety of biological process that can cause abnormal proliferation, impaired cell differentiation, and increased oxidative stress. We also describe how nicotine can negatively affect retinoic acid signaling and cell differentiation through inhibition of retinoic acid receptors. In addition, nicotine causes a stress reaction and/or a pro-inflammatory response that inhibits the agonistic action of retinoic acid. Moreover, we show that the effect of cigarette smoke on the developing fetus could represent systemic and aggressive impacts in the short term, causing malformations during certain stages of development. Our work provides the first approach describing how different tobacco constituents affect a broad range of biological process in human embryonic development. © 2013 Feltes et al.

Wender H.,Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS) | Migowski P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Feil A.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Feil A.F.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Coordination Chemistry Reviews | Year: 2013

Nanoparticles (NPs) have recently attracted significant attention from the materials science community due to their promise to play an important role in developing new technologies. Indeed, NPs with small sizes, narrow size distributions and various shapes have been prepared via the reduction of organometallic compounds with molecular hydrogen, the decomposition of transition-metal complexes in the zero-valent state, metal bombardment or the simple transfer of previously prepared NPs from one liquid to another. This review paper will discuss the simple and quick method of sputtering deposition over liquid substrates to generate stable colloidal NPs. Initially, the sputtering phenomena will be presented in more detail, as well as the state-of-the-art in sputter deposition over both solid and liquid substrates. Then, special attention will be paid to sputtering onto ionic liquids (ILs), silicon oil and vegetable oils, and some selected results and the current mechanisms of NP formation will be discussed. Finally, applications of this new approach to synthesizing colloidal NPs will be shown. © 2013 Elsevier B.V..

Hoppen C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kohayakawa Y.,University of Sao Paulo | Lefmann H.,TU Chemnitz
European Journal of Combinatorics | Year: 2012

For fixed positive integers r, k and ℓ with 1 ≤ ℓ < r and an r-uniform hypergraph H, let κ (H, k, ℓ) denote the number of k-colorings of the set of hyperedges of H for which any two hyperedges in the same color class intersect in at least ℓ elements. Consider the function KC(n,r,k,ℓ)=maxH∈Hnκ(H,k,ℓ), where the maximum runs over the family Hn of all r-uniform hypergraphs on n vertices. In this paper, we determine the asymptotic behavior of the function KC. (n, r, k, ℓ) for every fixed r, k and ℓ and describe the extremal hypergraphs. This variant of a problem of Erdo s and Rothschild, who considered edge colorings of graphs without a monochromatic triangle, is related to the Erdo s-Ko-Rado Theorem (Erdo s etal., 1961. [8]) on intersecting systems of sets. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Pistor V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Zattera A.J.,University of Caxias do Sul
Journal of Elastomers and Plastics | Year: 2014

The reclaiming of elastomer residues is one of the main problems of recycling materials. In this work, the efficiency of devulcanization of recycled ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) was determined by subjecting the elastomer samples to 2, 3 and 4 min of microwaves exposure. Scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis using different heating rates to determine the kinetic degradation parameters according to the Flynn-Wall-Ozawa and Criado methods were studied. The results obtained showed that up to 4 min devulcanization exposure period, the degradation temperature of EPDM did not exceed. Microwaves exposure caused modifications in the morphology and reduction in activation energy values upon increased samples exposure period. Degradation mechanisms were altered, mainly for the 4-min exposure period, where the nucleation mechanism shifts to diffusion, suggesting that the microwave method was able to promote the breakage of the elastomeric three-dimensional network. © The Author(s) 2012.

De Faria Poloni J.,University of Caxias do Sul | Feltes B.C.,University of Caxias do Sul | Bonatto D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Functional and Integrative Genomics | Year: 2011

Melatonin (MEL) is a neuroendocrine hormone secreted by the pineal gland in association with the suprachiasmatic nucleus and peripheral tissues. MEL has been observed to play a critical role in the reproductive process and in the fetomaternal interface. Extrapineal synthesis has been reported inmammalian models during pregnancy, especially by the placenta tissue. MEL can regulate intracellular processes (e.g., G-proteins) and the activity of second messengers (e.g., cAMP, IP 3, Ca 2+). During neurodevelopment, these activities regulated by melatonin have an important role as an intracellular signaling for gene expression regulation. To review the role of MEL in neurodevelopment, we built interactome networks of different proteins that act in these processes using systems biology tools. The analyses of interactome networks revealed that MEL could modulate neurodevelopment through the regulation of Ca 2+ intracellular levels and influencing BMP/SMAD signaling, thus affecting neural gene responses and neuronal differentiation. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

Gallon C.W.,University of Caxias do Sul | Wender M.C.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetricia | Year: 2012

PURPOSE: To associate the quality of life with the nutritional status of climacteric women. METHODS: This was a cross sectional study on a sample of 200 climacteric women aged 40 to 65 years who responded to a 24-hour food recall and to questions about socioeconomic factors and current, previous and family medical history. Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-hip ratio were used for anthropometric evaluation. To assess the quality of life, we applied the MRS-menopause rating scale. RESULTS: The average BMI and waist circumference were 30.1 kg/m 2 (obesity grade 1) and 99 cm (very increased risk for cardiovascular disease), respectively. Increased protein consumption and decreased fiber, calcium and vitamin D intake were detected. The most prevalent disease was hypertension, 48.5% of the women studied were taking medication for cardiovascular disease and 23% were taking antidepressant medications. Regarding quality of life, significant results related to BMI as well as blood pressure were found. CONCLUSIONS: A nutritional intervention aiming to correct or improve food consumption and anthropometric profile may result in health benefits for climacteric women. The prevalence of obesity, associated with a poorer quality of life, morbidity and mortality underscores the need for a feeding re-education program during the climacteric.

Martinho C.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Hesp P.A.,Louisiana State University | Dillenburg S.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Geomorphology | Year: 2010

Transgressive dunefields are present along the entire stretch of the Rio Grande do Sul (RS) coast, from Rondinha to Mostardas. These dunefields change their morphology and size along the coast and through time. The aim of this paper is to describe the spatial and temporal variations of the dunefields and analyze the main agents that control these variations. The dunefields at the northern littoral are narrow (1300 to 1400 m wide) due to the local higher precipitation, lower wind drift potential (DP) and smaller sand supply. Southwards, the dunefields increase their width (reaching 6900 m), as the precipitation decreases and the wind DP and the sand supply increase in the area. The RS dunefields have changed through time. Since 1948, the dunefields have experienced increases in the deflation area, in the vegetation cover and in the moist areas. These processes of dunefield stabilization are probably the result of the historical increase in precipitation and decrease in wind DP. As the northern dunefields are smaller, they have less sand, thus they were more susceptible to stabilization processes. In the southern dunefields, the larger amount of sand and the ongoing coastline erosion have retarded the stabilization processes. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Vessoni A.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Filippi-Chiela E.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Menck C.F.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Lenz G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2013

DNA lesions, constantly produced by endogenous and exogenous sources, activate the DNA damage response (DDR), which involves detection, signaling and repair of the damage. Autophagy, a lysosome-dependent degradation pathway that is activated by stressful situations such as starvation and oxidative stress, regulates cell fate after DNA damage and also has a pivotal role in the maintenance of nuclear and mitochondrial genomic integrity. Here, we review important evidence regarding the role played by autophagy in preventing genomic instability and tumorigenesis, as well as in micronuclei degradation. Several pathways governing autophagy activation after DNA injury and the influence of autophagy upon the processing of genomic lesions are also discussed herein. In this line, the mechanisms by which several proteins participate in both DDR and autophagy, and the importance of this crosstalk in cancer and neurodegeneration will be presented in an integrated fashion. At last, we present a hypothetical model of the role played by autophagy in dictating cell fate after genotoxic stress. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Becker C.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gabbardo A.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Wypych F.,Federal University of Paraná | Amico S.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing | Year: 2011

Layered double hydroxides (LDH) are a class of chemical compounds that can be used to modify or incorporate characteristics into a variety of thermoplastics or thermosets polymer matrices. The focus of the present work is to synthesize organo modified-LDH MgAl intercalated with glycinate, to use them to formulate epoxy composites with distinct LDH content, and to evaluate their mechanical, thermal and flame-retardant (horizontal and vertical burning) properties. The solvents used to aid LDH dispersion into the resin were acetone, chloroform and dimethylformamide. All samples containing 1%, 3% and 5% (w/w) of LDH showed self-extinguishing behavior in the vertical test and all samples containing LDH showed better performance in terms of burning rate than pristine epoxy. The mechanical properties of the composites varied based on the solvent used and the lowest concentration of LDH (1%) yielded the best performance, as expected for this kind of filler. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Wender H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Andreazza M.L.,University of Caxias do Sul | Correia R.R.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Teixeira S.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dupont J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Nanoscale | Year: 2011

Stable gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were prepared by simple laser ablation of an Au foil placed inside or outside four ionic liquids (ILs), without the addition of any external chemical reagent. Irregular spherical AuNPs with a diameter range of 5 to 20 nm were produced after laser ablation of an Au foil located inside or outside the ILs 1-n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate (BMI·BF4), 1-n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hexafluorophosphate (BMI·PF6) and 1-(3-cyanopropyl)-3- methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide ((BCN)MI·NTf 2). Additionally, whereas laser ablation inside the IL 1-n-butyl-3-methylimidazolium dicyanamide BMI·N(CN)2 produced flower-like shaped nanoparticles of about 50 nm in size, ablation outside this IL presented similar results to the others ILs studied, as determined by TEM and UV-Vis. The size and shape of the prepared NPs were related to where NP nucleation and growth occurred, i.e., at the IL surface or within the IL. Indeed, the chemical composition of the IL/air interface and surface ion orientation played important roles in the stabilization of the AuNPs formed by laser ablation outside the ILs. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Brunoni A.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Schestatsky P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Schestatsky P.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | Lotufo P.A.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2014

Objective: To compare blinding integrity and associated factors for transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) vs. placebo-pill, the gold standard blinding method. Methods: Parallel trial. Depressed participants were randomized to verum/placebo sertraline and active/sham tDCS (2. mA, 30-min 10-daily sessions and two additional, fortnight sessions) over 6. weeks. Blinding was assessed in completers (n=102) and in a random subgroup (n=35) of raters and participants, in which we also inquired to qualitatively describe their strongest guessing reason. Results: Participants and raters presented similar performance for predicting treatment assignment at endpoint, correctly guessing tDCS and sertraline beyond chance. Nevertheless, clinical response was associated with correct prediction and tDCS non-responders failed to predict the allocation group. For tDCS, ". trouble concentrating" was inversely associated with correct prediction. ". Skin redness" was more reported for active-tDCS, but did not predict the allocation group. The qualitative reasons for raters' guessing were not associated with correct prediction, whereas for participants clinical response and adverse effects were directly and inversely associated with correct prediction, respectively. Conclusion: Blinding integrity of tDCS and sertraline were comparable and mainly associated with efficacy rather than blinding failure. Significance: TDCS blinding can be improved by adopting parallel designs and avoiding subjects' awareness of skin redness. © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology.

Vezzani F.M.,Federal University of Paraná | Mielniczuk J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista Brasileira de Ciencia do Solo | Year: 2011

Soil functions and quality are closely linked to soil structure. The effect of management practices on the recovery of the aggregation of a physically degraded soil was studied based on the distribution of water-stable aggregates and single particles (diameter classes 9.51-4.76, 4.76-2.00, 2.00-0.25, 0.25-0.053, < 0.053 mm) and carbon stock (C) in the surface layer (0-7.5 cm) of a Paleudult in the Central Depression region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, under different management systems. The following systems were evaluated in experimental plots after 17 years: soil without plants and without tillage (fallow); no-till Lablab purpureus and maize (Zea mays) (Lablab/m); no-till Cajanus cajan (pea/m) and maize; perennial pasture of Digitaria decumbens (Pangola grass). The following systems were evaluated after 15 years: conventional tillage and no-till Avena strigosa and maize (CT a/m and NT a/m, respectively) Avena strigosa + Vicia sativa and maize + Vigna unguiculata (CT av/mu and NT av/mu, respectively). A conventionally tilled area was also evaluated after 30 years of grain cultivation (crop) and native grassland (NGr), representing the degraded state and the native ecosystem of this soil, respectively. Undisturbed soil samples collected in two seasons (September 1999 to September 2000) were evaluated in six replications per management system. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and Tukey ́s test (5 %) to detect differences between management systems. In the NGr, 76.4 % of the soil aggregates consisted of 63.8 % macroaggregates and of 23.6 % of single particles, and a C stock of 20.0 Mg ha-1. The agricultural use with intense soil tillage and low residue application (crop) reduced the proportion of soil aggregates to 49.9 % and raised single particles to 50.1 %, while the C stock decreased to 11.8 Mg ha-1. From this condition, 15 years of the untilled system with greater diversity of plant species and high residue application (NT av/mc) raised the proportion of soil aggregates to 70.7 % and of macroaggregates to 53.5 %. Perennial pasture (Pangola) increased the proportion of soil aggregates to 74.1 % and of macroaggregates to 61.8 %, equaling NGr. The systems NT av/mc, pea/m and Lablab/m recovered C stocks to the level of NGr. Although Pangola had the highest soil aggregation rates, the C stock was lower than in the said systems, emphasizing the positive action of a dense root system in the recovery of soil aggregation.

Flores J.V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gomes Da Silva J.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pereira L.F.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Sbarbaro D.G.,University of Chile
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2012

This paper addresses the problem of tracking and rejection of periodic signals for linear multi-input, multi-output systems subject to control saturation. To ensure the periodic tracking/rejection, a modified state-space repetitive control structure is considered. Conditions in a quasi linear matrix inequality form are proposed to simultaneously compute a stabilizing state feedback gain and an anti-windup gain. Provided that the references and disturbances belong to a certain admissible set, these gains guarantee that the trajectories of the closed-loop system starting in a certain ellipsoidal set contract to the linearity region of the closed-loop system, where the presence of the repetitive controller ensures the periodic tracking/rejection. © 2006 IEEE.

Paixao-Cortes V.R.,Federal University of Bahia | Salzano F.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bortolini M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2015

The paired box (PAX) family of transcription/developmental genes plays a key role in numerous stages of embryonic development, as well as in adult organogenesis. There is evidence linking the acquisition of a paired-like DNA binding domain (PD) to domestication of a Tc1/mariner transposon. Further duplication/deletion processes led to at least five paralogous metazoan protein groups, which can be classified into two supergroups, PAXB-like or PAXD-like, using ancestral defining structures; the PD plus an octapeptide motif (OP) and a paired-type homeobox DNA binding domain (PTHD), producing the PD-OP-PTHD structure characteristic of the PAXB-like group, whereas an additional domain, the paired-type homeodomain tail (PHT), is present in the PAXD-like group, producing a PD-OP-PTHD-PHT structure. We examined their patterns of distribution in various species, using both available data and new bioinformatic analyses, including vertebrate PAX genes and their shared and specific functions, as well as inter- and intraspecific variability of PAX in primates. These analyses revealed a relatively conserved PAX network, accompanied by specific changes that led to adaptive novelties. Therefore, both stability and evolvability shaped the molecular evolution of this key transcriptional network. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Brum P.E.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Costa-Schmidt L.E.,University of Sao Paulo | Araujo A.M.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2012

Nuptial gift offering is a courtship trait found among several insect orders and some spider families. Recent studies indicate that this gift-giving behavior in spiders represents the male mating effort acting on female receptivity through a mechanism of foraging motivation. However, little attention has been given to the sensory channels that are influencing female acceptance. To understand the role of these sensory channels in female perception of a nuptial gift, we focused on the nuptial gift of the neotropical spider Paratrechalea ornata (Araneae, Trechaleidae). The nuptial gift of this species is composed of a prey item wrapped in silk, and previous works suggest that visual and/or chemical cues may be involved in inducing female grasping behavior. We isolated sensory channels using mimetic nuptial gifts (artificial items) or by manipulating real nuptial gifts. Isolated visual signals were not responsible for female acceptance, whereas chemical signals found within the nuptial gift silk layer induced female acceptance. Our findings clearly indicate that a chemical signal located in the silk of the nuptial gift is the main attractant channel, and we formulated 2 hypotheses to explain the mechanisms of action in the female sensory system. We also discuss the consequences of such signaling over female acceptance. © The Author 2011.

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.

Gonzalez-Avella J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gonzalez-Avella J.C.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Of Sistemas Complexos | Cosenza M.G.,University of Los Andes, Venezuela | San Miguel M.,IFISC Institute Fisica Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos CSIC UIB
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2014

We investigate the emergence of localized coherent behavior in systems consisting of two populations of social agents possessing a condition for non-interacting states, mutually coupled through global interaction fields. We employ two examples of such dynamics: (i) Axelrod's model for social influence, and (ii) a discrete version of a bounded confidence model for opinion formation. In each case, the global interaction fields correspond to the statistical mode of the states of the agents in each population. In both systems we find localized coherent states for some values of parameters, consisting of one population in a homogeneous state and the other in a disordered state. This situation can be considered as a social analogue to a chimera state arising in two interacting populations of oscillators. In addition, other asymptotic collective behaviors appear in both systems depending on parameter values: a common homogeneous state, where both populations reach the same state; different homogeneous states, where both population reach homogeneous states different from each other; and a disordered state, where both populations reach inhomogeneous states. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Carli L.N.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Carli L.N.,University of Caxias do Sul | Crespo J.S.,University of Caxias do Sul | Mauler R.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing | Year: 2011

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the addition of two types of nanoparticles, organomodified montmorillonite Cloisite® 30B (C-30B), and a tubular like clay, halloysite (HNT), on the morphology and thermal and mechanical properties of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate) - PHBV nanocomposites. TEM and WAXD results showed a combination of a few tactoids and a partially exfoliated structure for PHBV/C-30B nanocomposites and a good dispersion of HNT in the PHBV matrix. DSC analysis indicated a lower nucleation density with the addition of nanoparticles. Furthermore, the presence of C-30B led to the formation of double melting peaks, related to different crystalline phases. However, a higher melting temperature was obtained for PHBV/HNT nanocomposites. A general increase in the Young's modulus was observed. However, for PHBV/C-30B nanocomposites, this enhancement was at the expense of the strain at break and impact strength, probably due to the degradation of the polymer during processing. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

da Silva S.W.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Klauck C.R.,University Feevale | Siqueira M.A.,University Feevale | Bernardes A.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Hazardous Materials | Year: 2015

Four different oxidation process, namely direct photolysis (DP) and three advanced oxidation processes (heterogeneous photocatalysis - HP, eletrochemical oxidation - EO and photo-assisted electrochemical oxidation - PEO) were applied in the treatment of wastewater containing nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPnEO). The objective of this work was to determine which treatment would be the best option in terms of degradation of NPnEO without the subsequent generation of toxic compounds. In order to investigate the degradation of the surfactant, the processes were compared in terms of UV/Vis spectrum, mineralization (total organic carbon), reaction kinetics, energy efficiency and phytotoxicity. A solution containing NPnEO was prepared as a surrogate of the degreasing wastewater, was used in the processes. The results showed that the photo-assisted processes degrade the surfactant, producing biodegradable intermediates in the reaction. On the other hand, the electrochemical process influences the mineralization of the surfactant. The process of PEO carried out with a 250W lamp and a current density of 10mA/cm2 showed the best results in terms of degradation, mineralization, reaction kinetics and energy consumption, in addition to not presenting phytotoxicity. Based on this information, this process can be a viable alternative for treating wastewater containing NPnEO, avoiding the contamination of water resources. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bretas N.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Piereti S.A.,Federal University of Mato Grosso | Bretas A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Martins A.C.P.,University of Sao Paulo
IEEE Transactions on Power Systems | Year: 2013

In this paper a geometrical approach is described to detect, identify, and recover multiple gross errors in power system state estimation. Using the classical WLS estimator, the measurement residuals is computed, and then the error is composed. For the detection and identification of the measurements with gross errors, the composed measurement error in the normalized form (CME N) is used. The measurement magnitude corrections otherwise are performed using the composed normalized measurement error (CNE). To give support to the detection and identification of the measurements containing gross errors, a generalization of the classical largest normalized residual test is provided. © 1969-2012 IEEE.

Monteiro S.,Instituto Oswaldo Cruz | Villela W.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Knauth D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Cadernos de Saude Publica | Year: 2012

Given the implications of stigma for HIV/AIDS prevention and control of the epidemic, as emphasized by UNAIDS, this study analyzes the Brazilian academic production on health, AIDS, stigma, and discrimination, available in the SciELO database from 2005 to 2010. Brazilian research on the theme is modest as compared to the international literature, but the studies follow the same trend of focusing on individual experiences of discrimination as opposed to analysis of stigma and discrimination as social processes associated with power relations and domination (macro-social structures) and the characteristics of individuals and social groups that shape social interactions. The current study seeks to analyze the reasons for the scarcity of studies on the social perspective towards stigma and discrimination in the field of public health and the implications for the development of proposals to deal with HIV/AIDS-related discrimination.

Florisbal L.M.,University of Sao Paulo | de Assis Janasi V.,University of Sao Paulo | de Fatima Bitencourt M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Heaman L.M.,University of Alberta
Precambrian Research | Year: 2012

LA-MC-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating was performed on syntectonic, early post-collisional granitic and associated mafic rocks that are intrusive in the Brusque Metamorphic Complex and in the Florianópolis Batholith, major tectonic domains separated by the Neoproterozoic Major Gercino Shear Zone (MGSZ) in south Brazil. The inferred ages of magmatic crystallization are consistent with field relationships, and show that the syntectonic granites from both domains are similar, with ages around 630-620 Ma for high-K calc-alkaline metaluminous granites and ca. 610 Ma for slightly peraluminous granites. Although ca. 650 Ma inherited zircon components are identified in granites from both domains, important contrasts on the crustal architecture in each domain are revealed by the patterns of zircon inheritance, indicating different crustal sources for the granites in each domain. The granites from the southern domain (Florianópolis Batholith) have essentially Neoproterozoic (650-700 Ma and 900-950 Ma) inheritance; with a single 2.0-2.2 Ga inherited age obtained in the peraluminous Mariscal Granite. In the northern Brusque Metamorphic Complex, the metaluminous Rio Pequeno Granite and associated mafic rocks have scarce inherited cores with ages around 1.65 Ga, whereas the slightly peraluminous Serra dos Macacos Granite has abundant Paleoproterozoic (1.8-2.2 Ga) and Archean (2.9-3.4 Ga) inherited zircons. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the MGSZ separates domains with distinct geologic evolution; however, the contemporaneity of 630-610 Ma granitic magmatism with similar structural and geochemical patterns on both sides of this major shear zone indicates that these domains were already part of a single continental mass at 630 Ma, reinforcing the post-collisional character of these granites. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Chemale F.,University of Brasilia | Dussin I.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Alkmim F.F.,DEGEO EM UFOP | Martins M.S.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | And 3 more authors.
Gondwana Research | Year: 2012

New U-Pb in situ zircon dating provides a new approach for the study of the Espinhaço Supergroup units exposed in the São Francisco Craton and Araçuaí Orogen. Located in Southern Espinhaço, Minas Gerais, the following two basins were formed in intraplate conditions: (i) the Lower Espinhaço Basin is marked by a volcano-sedimentary sequence with alluvial, fluvial and eolian deposits that were formed from 1.68. Ga to 1.80. Ga; (ii) the overlying sequence, called the Upper Espinhaço Basin, is a rift-sag basin that presents basal diamond-bearing continental deposits (the Sopa-Brumadinho Formation) with a younger zircon peak at 1192. Ma, which is the maximum age for deposition of the upper units. The obtained U-Pb detrital zircon data of the studied units show age groupings related to the orogenic cycles of Jequié (Neoarchean) and Transamazonian (Paleoproterozoic), which are associated with the stability period from 1.8. Ga to 0.91. Ga in the São Franscico Craton, and record deposition during at least the three basinal cycles. The Stenian-Tonian ages of the Upper Espinhaço Basin units (906. Ma to 1192. Ma) suggest a direct link with the evolution of the Rodinia Supercontinent and represent a marker for Mesoproterozoic to Early Neoproterozoic evolution in the São Franscico Craton and adjacent areas. © 2011 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Chemale F.,University of Brasilia | Mallmann G.,University of Sao Paulo | Mallmann G.,Australian National University | Bitencourt M.D.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kawashita K.,University of Sao Paulo
Gondwana Research | Year: 2012

The Dom Feliciano Belt, situated in southernmost Brazil and Uruguay, contains a large mass of granite-gneissic rocks (also known as Florianópolis/Pelotas Batholith) formed during the pre-, syn- and post-orogenic phases of the Brasiliano/Pan-African cycle. In the NE extreme of this granitic mass, pre-, syn- and post-tectonic granites associated with the Major Gercino Shear Zone (MGSZ) are exposed. The granitic manifestation along the MGSZ can be divided into pre-kinematic tonalitic gneisses, peraluminous high-K calc-alkaline early kinematic shoshonitic, and metaluminous post-kinematic granites. U-Pb zircon data suggest an age of 649. ±. 10. Ma for the pre-tectonic gneisses, and a time span from 623. ±. 6. Ma to 588. ±. 3. Ma for the early to post-tectonic magmatism. Negative . εHf (. t) values ranging from -. 4.6 to -. 14.6 and Hf model ages ranging from 1.64 to 2.39. Ga for magmatic zircons coupled with whole rock Nd model ages ranging from 1.24 to 2.05. Ga and εNd (. t) values ranging from -. 3.84 to -. 7.50, point to a crustal derivation for the granitic magmatism. The geochemical and isotope data support a continental magmatic arc generated from melting of dominant Paleoproterozoic crust, and a similar evolution for the granitic batholiths of the eastern Dom Feliciano Belt and western Kaoko Belt. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Zabini C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bosetti E.P.,State University of Ponta Grossa | Holz M.,Federal University of Bahia
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2010

The extreme abundance of lingulid valves in some outcrops of the Devonian sequences of the Paraná Basin, and their absence in others, where other benthic taxa dominate, was the starting point to the present research. Twenty-one outcrops were sampled and characterized taphonomically. These outcrops record an epeiric muddy sea, influenced by episodic storms. In twelve out of the 21 outcrops (the Devonian sequences B, C, D and E), massive occurrences of complete and fragmented valves of lingulids, oriented parallel to the bedding plane, were documented. The occurrence of fragments together with complete, but disarticulated valves, suggests that the post-mortem sorting and transport is unlikely to have been notable. This claim is also supported by the fact that in situ preserved lingulid valves were always recorded, even if in low numbers. However, some time averaging may have occurred. This is because entire valves (presumably removed from their burrows just prior to burial) and fragmented ones (probably reworked or exposed on sediment-water interface for some days or a few weeks) were found together. Rosette and stringer arrangements of the lingulid pavements represent the first record of distal reworking of this kind of bioclastic material. The Devonian "lingulid outcrops" studied here represent fossil accumulations that likely formed with contributions from multiple factors. However, the extrinsic physico-chemical factors are difficult to infer by analogy with modern environments because of the unique setting that typified Palaeozoic epeiric seas. On the other hand, an actualistic approach can be used to assess some of the taphonomic controls exerted by intrinsic characteristics of lingulid brachiopods, including shell thickness and life habit. The lingulid-rich units, with their distinct taphonomical signatures, represent a clearly definable taphofacies (" lingulid taphofacies") characterized by abundant (often complete) occurrence of lingulid valves parallel to the bedding plane in light grey and dark grey siltstones and rare occurrences of lingulid valves in black shales. The lingulid taphofacies is associated with a range of proximal marine settings, ranging from the lower shoreface (lowermost intertidal) to the distal transitional offshore (shallow subtidal) zones. The pattern of patchy distribution of lingulids, observed in some present-day environments, was rarely seen in the studied sequences. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Goldani H.A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bettiol H.,University of Sao Paulo | Barbieri M.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Silva A.A.M.,Federal University of Maranhão | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2011

Background: Obesity is epidemic worldwide, and increases in cesarean delivery rates have occurred in parallel. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether cesarean delivery is a risk factor for obesity in adulthood in a birth cohort of Brazilian subjects. Design: We initiated a birth cohort study in Ribeirão Preto, southeastern Brazil, in 1978. A randomly selected sample of 2057 subjects from the original cohort was reassessed in 2002-2004. Type of delivery, birth weight, maternal smoking, and schooling were obtained after birth. The following data from subjects were collected at 23-25 y of age: body mass index (BMI; in kg/m 2), physical activity, smoking, and income. Obesity was defined as a BMI ≥30. A Poisson multivariable model was performed to determine the association between cesarean delivery and BMI. Results: The obesity rate in adults born by cesarean delivery was 15.2% and in those born by vaginal delivery was 10.4% (P = 0.002). Adults born by cesarean delivery had an increased risk (prevalence ratio: 1.58; 95% CI: 1.23, 2.02) of obesity at adulthood after adjustments. Conclusion: We hypothesize that increasing rates of cesarean delivery may play a role in the obesity epidemic worldwide. © 2011 American Society for Nutrition.

Ribeiro A.L.P.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Duncan B.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Brant L.C.C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Lotufo P.A.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
Circulation | Year: 2016

Brazil is a large country, with an evolving economy, but marked social inequalities. The population is formed by an admixture of native Brazilians, Europeans, and Africans; is predominantly urban; and faces rapid aging. Time trends related to health behaviors show a substantial reduction in smoking rates, but a rising prevalence of overweight and obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and insufficient physical activity. The high prevalence of hypertension and the increasing prevalence of diabetes mellitus are also causes for concern. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the leading cause of mortality since the 1960s and has accounted for a substantial percentage of all hospitalizations. In 2011, CVD was responsible for 31% of all deaths, with ischemic heart disease (31%) and cerebrovascular diseases (30%) being the leading CVD causes. Despite an increase in the overall number of CVD deaths, the age-adjusted mortality rates for CVD declined 24% between 2000 and 2011. Health care delivered by Brazil's universal public health system, which focuses on primary prevention, has contributed to this achievement. However, the decline in age-adjusted mortality differs according to race, sex, and socioeconomic status with black individuals and lower-income populations sustaining the greatest impact of CVD, especially at younger ages. With one of the world's largest public health systems in terms of population coverage, Brazil has the means to implement actions to confront the high burden of CVD, focusing on health promotion and comprehensive care. Insufficient funding, low education levels, and social inequalities remain as the main barriers to be overcome. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

Desojo J.B.,Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia | Desojo J.B.,CONICET | Ezcurra M.D.,Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia | Schultz C.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2011

Until now the Doswelliidae was considered a monospecific family including Doswellia kaltenbachi from the Late Triassic of North America. The phylogenetic position of this taxon remained enigmatic until recently, when a sister-group relationship with the Proterochampsidae was suggested. In the present contribution we describe the new doswelliid species Archeopelta arborensis gen. et sp. nov. from the Middle-Late Triassic of Brazil. A cladistic analysis recovered Archeopelta, Doswellia, and Tarjadia within a monophyletic group of basal archosauriforms, the Doswelliidae. The monophyly of this family is supported by the presence of osteoderm ornamentation that is coarse, incised, and composed of regular pits and the presence of an unornamented anterior articular lamina. Archeopelta is more closely related to Doswellia than to other archosauriforms by the presence of basipterygoid processes anterolaterally orientated, dorsal centra with a convex surface, width of the neural arch plus ribs of the first primordial sacral that are three times the length of the neural arch, and iliac blade laterally deflected, with strongly convex dorsal margin, and a length less than three times its height. The phylogenetic analysis indicates that Doswellidae is the closest large monophyletic entity to Archosauria, which achieved a wide palaeolatitudinal distribution during the late Middle and Late Triassic time span. © 2011 The Linnean Society of London.

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.

Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz, Federal University of Paraná, Institute Biologia Molecular Do Parana Ibmp and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Date: 2012-10-10

The present invention relates to a process for producing polymeric structures that have activated surfaces. The process proved to be simple, quick, with high production capacity and low operating costs. The process occurs by depositing a polymer solution, which is assisted by a high electric field, on a conductive liquid surface to produce particles and/or filaments that have an activated surface. More particularly, the process of the present invention has the ability to produce particles and/or filaments that have chemically activated surfaces, in a single process.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Sao Paulo and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Date: 2014-01-08

The present invention relates to fluorine substituted CBD compounds, compositions thereof and uses thereof for the preparation of medicaments.

Yarmolinsky J.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Yarmolinsky J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gon G.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Edwards P.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2015

Context: Tea has been proposed as an antihypertensive agent for individuals with elevated blood pressure, yet the evidence for this has not been systematically reviewed to date. Objective: The aim of this review was to evaluate the effects of tea on blood pressure in individuals within the prehypertensive and hypertensive blood pressure ranges. Data Sources: The CENTRAL, PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases were searched for all relevant studies published from 1946 to September 27, 2013. Study Selection: The selection criteria included randomized controlled trials of adults whose blood pressure was within hypertensive or prehypertensive ranges and in which the applied intervention was green or black tea; controls consisting of placebo, minimal tea intervention, or no intervention; and a follow-up period of at least 2 months. Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently extracted data on participants, interventions, comparators, outcomes, and study design. Mean differences (MDs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were pooled to generate summary effect estimates. Results: Meta-analyses of 10 trials (834 participants) showed statistically significant reductions in systolic blood pressure (MD -2.36mmHg, 95%CI -4.20 to -0.52) and diastolic blood pressure (MD -1.77mmHg, 95%CI -3.03 to -0.52) with tea consumption. Conclusions: Consumption of green or black tea can reduce blood pressure in individuals within prehypertensive and hypertensive ranges, although further investigation with studies of longer duration and stronger methodological quality is warranted to confirm these findings. © The Author(s) 2015.

Bailey C.J.,Aston University | Gross J.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Hennicken D.,Bristol Myers Squibb | Iqbal N.,Bristol Myers Squibb | And 2 more authors.
BMC Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Management of type 2 diabetes with metformin often does not provide adequate glycemic control, thereby necessitating add-on treatment. In a 24-week clinical trial, dapagliflozin, an investigational sodium glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitor, improved glycemic control in patients inadequately controlled with metformin. The present study is an extension that was undertaken to evaluate dapagliflozin as long-term therapy in this population.Methods: This was a long-term extension (total 102 weeks) of a 24-week phase 3, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trial. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1:1:1) to blinded daily treatment (placebo, or dapagliflozin 2.5 to 5, or 10 mg) plus open-label metformin (≥1,500 mg). The previously published primary endpoint was change from baseline in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) at 24 weeks. This paper reports the follow-up to week 102, with analysis of covariance model performed at 24 weeks with last observation carried forward; a repeated measures analysis was utilized to evaluate changes from baseline in HbA1c, fasting plasma glucose (FPG), and weight.Results: A total of 546 patients were randomized to 1 of the 4 treatments. The completion rate for the 78-week double-blind extension period was lower for the placebo group (63.5%) than for the dapagliflozin groups (68.3% to 79.8%). At week 102, mean changes from baseline HbA1c (8.06%) were +0.02% for placebo compared with -0.48% (P = 0.0008), -0.58% (P <0.0001), and -0.78% (P <0.0001) for dapagliflozin 2.5 to 5, and 10 mg, respectively. In addition, all dapagliflozin groups had sustained reductions from baseline in FPG (-1.07 to -1.47 mmol/l) and body weight (-1.10 to -1.74 kg) at 102 weeks, whereas increases were noted in placebo-treated patients for both of these outcomes. Events of hypoglycemia were rare and were not severe. Evidence suggestive of genital infection was reported in 11.7% to 14.6% of dapagliflozin patients and 5.1% of placebo patients, with one related discontinuation (dapagliflozin 5 mg). Evidence suggestive of urinary tract infection was reported in 8.0% to 13.3% of dapagliflozin patients and 8.0% of placebo patients, with one related discontinuation (dapagliflozin 2.5 mg).Conclusions: Dapagliflozin added to metformin for 102 weeks enabled sustained reductions in HbA1c, FPG, and weight without increased risk of hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes who were inadequately controlled on metformin alone.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00528879. © 2013 Bailey et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Canuto R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Garcez A.S.,University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley | Olinto M.T.A.,University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley | Olinto M.T.A.,Federal University of Health Sciences, Porto Alegre
Sleep Medicine Reviews | Year: 2013

The aim of this systematic review was to examine the association between shift work and metabolic syndrome (MetS) as well as the potential confounders investigated. A systematic search was conducted with the aim of finding original articles on the association between shift work and MetS. The included articles were chosen based on established inclusion criteria; their methodological quality was assessed using a validated quality checklist. A total of 10 articles were included in this review. The majority of the studies were classified as having a low risk of bias. The definitions of MetS and shift work varied between studies. Among the ten studies, eight found a positive association between shift work and MetS after controlling for socio-demographic and behavioral factors. Only three studies included sleep duration as a confounder, and these studies presented discordant results. We conclude that there was insufficient evidence regarding the association between shift work and prevalent MetS when the confounders are taken into account. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Senaha M.L.H.,University of Montesquieu | De Mattos Pimenta Parente M.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Behavioural Neurology | Year: 2012

The Japanese language is represented by two different codes: syllabic and logographic while Portuguese employs an alphabetic writing system. Studies on bilingual Portuguese-Japanese individuals with acquired dyslexia therefore allow an investigation of the interaction between reading strategies and characteristics of three different writing codes. The aim of this study was to examine the differential impact of an acquired brain lesion on the reading of the logographic, syllabic and alphabetic writing systems of a bilingual Portuguese-Japanese aphasic patient (PF). Results showed impaired reading in the logographic system and when reading irregularly spelled Portuguese words but no effects on reading regular words and nonwords in syllabic and alphabetic writing systems. These dissociations are interpreted according to a multi-route cognitive model of reading assuming selective damage in the lexical route can result in acquired dyslexia across at least three different writing codes. © 2012 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Reiss M.L.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tommaselli .A.M.G.,Paulista University
Photogrammetric Record | Year: 2011

The purpose of this work is to present the main features of a structured light system and some experimental results. The system, named SingleShot3DSL, is based on a single off-the-shelf digital camera and a pattern projector. The mathematical model for 3D reconstruction is based on the collinearity equations. A pattern codification strategy was developed to allow fully automatic pattern recognition. A calibration methodology enables the determination of the direction vector of each pattern and the coordinates of the perspective centre of the pattern projector. The calibration processes are carried out with the acquisition of several images of a plane taken from different distances and orientations. Several processes were combined to provide a reliable solution for pattern location. In order to assess the accuracy and potential of the methodology a prototype was built, integrating a pattern projector and a digital camera in a single mount. Experiments using reconstructed surfaces with real data indicated that a relative accuracy of 0·2mm in depth could be achieved. © 2011 The Authors. The Photogrammetric Record © 2011 The Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Barci D.G.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Stariolo D.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

We develop a fully microscopic, statistical mechanics approach to study phase transitions in Ising systems with competing interactions at different scales. Our aim is to consider orientational and positional order parameters in a unified framework. In this paper, we consider two-dimensional stripe-forming systems, where nematic, smectic, and crystal phases are possible. We introduce a nematic order parameter in a lattice, which measures orientational order of interfaces. We develop a mean-field approach that leads to a free energy, which is a function of both the magnetization (density) and the orientational (nematic) order parameters. Self-consistent equations for the order parameters are obtained and the solutions are described for a particular system, the dipolar frustrated Ising ferromagnet. We show that this system has an Ising-nematic phase at low temperatures in the square lattice, where positional order (staggered magnetization) is zero. At lower temperatures, a crystal-stripe phase may appear. In the continuum limit, the present approach connects to a Ginsburg-Landau theory, which has an isotropic-nematic phase transition with breaking of a continuous symmetry. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Hurtado F.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Weber B.,University of Florida | Derendorf H.,University of Florida | Hochhaus G.,University of Florida | Costa T.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2014

Levofloxacin is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone used in the treatment of both acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis. Currently, the treatment of bacterial prostatitis is still difficult, especially due to the poor distribution of many antimicrobials into the prostate, thus preventing the drug to reach effective interstitial concentrations at the infection site. Newer fluoroquinolones show a greater penetration into the prostate. In the present study, we compared the unbound levofloxacin prostate concentrations measured by microdialysis to those in plasma after a 7-mg/kg intravenous bolus dose to Wistar rats. Plasma and dialysate samples were analyzed using a validated high-pressure liquid chromatography-fluorescence method. Both noncompartmental analysis (NCA) and population-based compartmental modeling (NONMEM 6) were performed. Unbound prostate tissue concentrations represented 78% of unbound plasma levels over a period of 12 h by comparing the extent of exposure (unbound AUC0-∞) of 6.4 and 4.8 h·μg/ml in plasma and tissue, respectively. A three-compartment model with simultaneous passive diffusion and saturable distribution kinetics from the prostate to the central compartment gave the best results in terms of curve fitting, precision of parameter estimates, and model stability. The following parameter values were estimated by the population model: V1 (0.38 liter; where V1 represents the volume of the central compartment), CL (0.22 liter/h), k12 (2.27 h-1), k21 (1.44 h-1), k13 (0.69 h-1), Vmax (7.19 ∞g/h), kM (0.35 μg/ml), V3/fuprostate (0.05 liter; where fuprostate represents the fraction unbound in the prostate), and k31 (3.67 h-1). The interindividual variability values for V1, CL, Vmax, and kM were 21, 37, 42, and 76%, respectively. Our results suggest that levofloxacin is likely to be substrate for efflux transporters in the prostate. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Padilha D.L.,Federal University of Goais | Loregian A.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Budke J.C.,URI Integrated Regional University Brazil
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2015

Testing whether biological invasions can be facilitated by habitat fragmentation can provide important insights for the study of invasion ecology. Hovenia dulcis is considered an aggressive non-native species in subtropical Atlantic forest ecosystems and following the assumptions of invasion ecology we hypothesized it would occur mainly in smaller forest remnants, which are more susceptible to edge effects compared to larger ones. In this study, we verified the relationships between H. dulcis invasion on forest remnants and the current habitat fragmentation and tested whether both occurrence and abundance of this species are driven by landscape and habitat variables. We selected 30 forest fragments in initial, middle or late successional stages and verified the occurrence and abundance of trees and saplings of H. dulcis. We evaluated spatial autocorrelation and the influence of landscape and habitat metrics on occurrence and abundance of such species and the influence of fruiting trees (adults) on the abundance of non-adult individuals. We found that H. dulcis distribution was not related to geographic distance among remnants. The occurrence of adult H. dulcis was directly associated to closed-canopy areas and remnant shape and, contrary our initial hypothesis, not related to remnant size. The occurrence of adult trees increased H. dulcis regeneration leading to higher sapling abundance. High abundance of H. dulcis saplings close to adult trees pointed out the successful colonization of recently invaded Atlantic forest remnants. We showed that this invasive tree species successfully invades closed-canopy forest fragments, which highlight undisturbed subtropical Atlantic forest habitats are as susceptible to biological invasions as disturbed ones. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Babujian H.M.,Yerevan Physics Institute | Foerster A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Karowski M.,Institute For Theoretische Physik
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2013

A general form factor formula for the O(N) σ-model is constructed and applied to several operators. The large N limits of these form factors are computed and compared with the 1/N expansion of the O(N) σ-model in terms of Feynman graphs and full agreement is found. In particular, O(3) and O(4) form factors are discussed. For the O(3) σ-model several low particle form factors are calculated explicitly. © SISSA 2013.

Centeno F.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Da Silva C.V.,URI Integrated Regional University Brazil | Franca F.H.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Energy Conversion and Management | Year: 2014

This paper presents a study of the effect of thermal radiation in the simulation of a turbulent, non-premixed methane-air flame. In such a problem, two aspects need to be considered for a precise evaluation of the thermal radiation: the turbulence-radiation interactions (TRI), and the local variation of the radiative properties of the participating species, which are treated here with the weighted-sum-of-gray-gases (WSGG) model based on newly obtained correlations from HITEMP2010 database. The chemical reactions rates were considered as the minimum values between the Arrhenius and Eddy Break-Up rates. A two-step global reaction mechanism was used, while the turbulence modeling was considered via standard k-É model. The source terms of the energy equation consisted of the heat generated in the chemical reaction rates as well as in the radiation exchanges. The discrete ordinates method (DOM) was employed to solve the radiative transfer equation (RTE), including the TRI. Comparisons of simulations with/without radiation (which in turn was solved with/without TRI) demonstrated that the temperature, the radiative heat source, and the wall heat flux were importantly affected by thermal radiation, while the influence on species concentrations proved to be negligible. Inclusion of thermal radiation led to results that were closer to experimental data available in the literature for the same test case considered in this paper. Inclusion of TRI improved the agreement, although in a smaller degree. The main influence of TRI was mainly on global results, such as the peak temperature and the radiant fraction. The results show the importance of thermal radiation for an accurate prediction of the thermal behavior of a combustion chamber. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Seuret A.,Roche Holding AG | Seuret A.,Toulouse 1 University Capitole | Seuret A.,CNRS GIPSA Laboratory | Gomes Da Silva Jr. J.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2012

This paper deals with the problem of stability and stabilization of sampled-data systems under asynchronous samplings and actuator saturation. The method is based, on the one hand, on the use of a novel class of Lyapunov functionals whose derivative is negative along the trajectories of the continuous-time model of the sampled data system. It is shown that this fact guarantees that a quadratic Lyapunov function is strictly decreasing for the discrete-time asynchronous system. On the other hand, the control saturation is taken into account from the use of a generalized sector condition. These ingredients lead to the formulation of improved LMI conditions that can be cast in optimization problems aiming at enlarging estimates of the region of attraction of the closed-loop system or maximizing the bounds on the sampling period jitter for which stability and stabilization are ensured. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abramson G.,Bariloche Atomic Center | Semeshenko V.,University of Buenos Aires | Iglesias J.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

We study a simple traffic model with a non-signalized road intersection. In this model the car arriving from the right has precedence. The vehicle dynamics far from the crossing are governed by the rules introduced by Nagel and Paczuski, which define how drivers behave when braking or accelerating. We measure the average velocity of the ensemble of cars and its flow as a function of the density of cars on the roadway. An additional set of rules is defined to describe the dynamics at the intersection assuming a fraction of drivers that do not obey the rule of precedence. This problem is treated within a game-theory framework, where the drivers that obey the rule are cooperators and those who ignore it are defectors. We study the consequences of these behaviors as a function of the fraction of cooperators and defectors. The results show that cooperation is the best strategy because it maximizes the flow of vehicles and minimizes the number of accidents. A rather paradoxical effect is observed: for any percentage of defectors the number of accidents is larger when the density of cars is low because of the higher average velocity. © 2013 Abramson et al.

Giugliani R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Giugliani R.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | Giugliani R.,Instituto Nacional Of Genetica Medica Populacional Inagemp
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease | Year: 2012

The aim of newborn screening (NBS) programs is to detect a condition in a presymptomatic baby and provide management measures which could significantly improve the natural history of the disease. NBS programs for metabolic diseases were first introduced in North America and Europe and in the 1960s for phenylketonuria, expanded a few years later to include congenital hypothyroidism, and have been growing steadily in terms of number of conditions tested for and number of countries and births covered. Lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) are a group of around 50 genetic conditions in which a defect in a lysosomal function occurs. LSDs are progressive conditions, being usually asymptomatic at birth, but with clinical features becoming apparent in childhood, with severe manifestations in most instances, high morbidity and shortened life span. Although individually rare, the prevalence of LSDs is significant when the group is considered as a whole (around 1:4,000-1:9,000 live births). Several management techniques, including bone marrow transplantation, enzyme replacement therapy, substrate inhibition therapy, pharmacological chaperones and many other approaches are transforming the LSDs into treatable conditions. However, lack of awareness and lack of access to tests cause a significant delay between onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Several lines of evidence showing that the earlier introduction of therapy may provide a better outcome, are bringing support to the idea of including LSDs in NBS programs. Due to advances in technology, high-throughput multiplex methods are now available for mass screening of several LSDs. Pilot projects were already developed in many countries for some LSDs, with interesting results. Although some NBS in Latin America has been carried out since the 1970s, it has so far been incorporated as a public health program in only a few countries in the region. It will probably take many years before NBS is implemented in most Latin American countries with a comprehensive coverage in terms of number of diseases and number of births. Population medical genetics is the area of medical genetics that aims at the study and medical care of the population, and not of the family, which is the case for clinical or medical genetics itself. It combines different aspects of genetics: clinical genetics; human population genetics, which investigates populations according to micro-evolutionary parameters; epidemiological genetics, traditionally involved in the study of common chronic diseases of polygenic etiology, except for Mendelian diseases; and sanitary or community genetics, which stands at the interface with public health, giving support to preventive health measures. Taking into account that several LSDs were identified in a higher frequency in selected areas and/or populations, the population medical genetics approach could help to introduce the NBS for LSDs in the region, with identification of areas with higher risk for selected diseases and design of customized screening program to address specific needs. As an example of the potential of this approach, a pilot program of NBS for MPS VI was implemented in a community from North East Brazil where 13 cases of MPS VI were identified in an area with 50,000 inhabitants. This program, which will enable not only identification and early treatment of affected newborns but also carrier detection, and which would allow genetic counseling for at-risk couples, could be an alternative model for a customized NBS of LSDs to be carried out in selected regions. © SSIEM and Springer 2011.

Portella A.K.,Hospital da Crianca Santo Antonio | Silveira P.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014

Fetal growth restriction results from a failure to achieve a higher growth potential and has been associated with many maternal conditions, such as chronic diseases (infections, hypertension, and some cases of diabetes and obesity), exposures (tobacco smoke, drugs), and malnutrition. This early adversity induces a series of adaptive physiological responses aimed at improving survival, but imposing increased risk for developing chronic nontransmittable diseases (obesity, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease) in the long term. Recently, mounting evidence has shown that fetal growth impairment is related to altered feeding behavior and preferences through the life course. When living in countries undergoing nutritional transition, in which individuals experience the coexistence of underweight and overweight problems (the "double burden of malnutrition"), fetal growth-restricted children can be simultaneously growth restricted and overweight-a double burden of malnutrition at the individual level. Considering food preferences as an important aspect of nutrition security, we will summarize the putative neurobiological mechanisms at the core of the relationship between fetal growth and nutrition security over the life course and the evidence linking early life adversity to later food preferences. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

Bailey C.J.,Aston University | Gross J.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pieters A.,Bristol Myers Squibb | Bastien A.,Bristol Myers Squibb | List J.F.,Bristol Myers Squibb
The Lancet | Year: 2010

Background: Correction of hyperglycaemia and prevention of glucotoxicity are important objectives in the management of type 2 diabetes. Dapagliflozin, a selective sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitor, reduces renal glucose reabsorption in an insulin-independent manner. We assessed the efficacy and safety of dapagliflozin in patients who have inadequate glycaemic control with metformin. Methods: In this phase 3, multicentre, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled trial, 546 adults with type 2 diabetes who were receiving daily metformin (≥1500 mg per day) and had inadequate glycaemic control were randomly assigned to receive one of three doses of dapagliflozin (2·5 mg, n=137; 5 mg, n=137; or 10 mg, n=135) or placebo (n=137) orally once daily. Randomisation was computer generated and stratified by site, implemented with a central, telephone-based interactive voice response system. Patients continued to receive their pre-study metformin dosing. The primary outcome was change from baseline in haemoglobin A1c(HbA1c) at 24 weeks. All randomised patients who received at least one dose of double-blind study medication and who had both a baseline and at least one post-baseline measurement (last observation carried forward) were included in the analysis. Data were analysed by use of ANCOVA models. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00528879. Findings: 534 patients were included in analysis of the primary endpoint (dapagliflozin 2·5 mg, n=135; dapagliflozin 5 mg, n=133; dapagliflozin 10 mg, n=132; placebo, n=134). At week 24, mean HbA1c had decreased by -0·30% (95% CI -0·44 to -0·16) in the placebo group, compared with -0·67% (-0·81 to -0·53, p=0·0002) in the dapagliflozin 2·5 mg group, -0·70% (-0·85 to -0·56, p<0·0001) in the dapagliflozin 5 mg group, and -0·84% (-0·98 to -0·70, p<0·0001) in the dapagliflozin 10 mg group. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia occurred in similar proportions of patients in the dapagliflozin (2-4%) and placebo groups (3%). Signs, symptoms, and other reports suggestive of genital infections were more frequent in the dapagliflozin groups (2·5 mg, 11 patients [8%]; 5 mg, 18 [13%]; 10 mg, 12 [9%]) than in the placebo group (seven [5%]). 17 patients had serious adverse events (four in each of the dapagliflozin groups and five in the placebo group). Interpretation: Addition of dapagliflozin to metformin provides a new therapeutic option for treatment of type 2 diabetes in patients who have inadequate glycaemic control with metformin alone. Funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Consoli N.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Thome A.,University Of Passo Fundo | Girardello V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ruver C.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Geotextiles and Geomembranes | Year: 2012

A series of pullout tests is presented in this manuscript and is used to identify the uplift response and the kinematics of failure of circular plates embedded in fiber-reinforced cement stabilized backfill layers at distinct normalized embedment depths (H/. D), where H is the thickness of the treated layer and D is the diameter of the plates. Experimental results show that the uplift capacity of plates embedded in cement stabilizes backfill layers increases after the insertion of 0.5% fibers on the backfilled material. The addition of fibers to the cement stabilized backfill leads to an increase in uplift capacity of 43.5% for an H/. D ratio of 1.0 and of about 20% for an H/. D ratio of 2.0. Distinct load-displacement behavior were observed for plates embedded in both cement stabilized backfills and fiber-reinforced cement stabilized backfills: (a) pullout of plates in cement stabilized backfills at H/. D ratios ranging from 1.0 to 2.0 exhibit a stiff elastic response until about 90% of the final uplift failure load, yielding just prior to brittle failure (which occurred at displacements smaller than 1 mm), after which, the pullout capacity dropped; (b) pullout of plates in fiber-reinforced cement stabilized backfills at H/. D ratios ranging from 1.0 to 2.0 reveal a stiff elastic behavior until about 50% of the maximum uplift load, when fiber-reinforced cement stabilized backfill layers demonstrated the ability to continue to increase strength with ongoing deformation, suggesting the behavior of a ductile material until the end of testing at displacements of about 10 mm. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Azeredo F.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dalla Costa T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Derendorf H.,University of Florida
Clinical Pharmacokinetics | Year: 2014

Diagnostic and therapeutic decisions in medical practice are still generally based on blood concentrations of drugs and/or biomolecules despite the knowledge that biochemical events and pharmacological effects usually take place in tissue rather than in the bloodstream. Microdialysis is a semi-invasive technique that is able to measure concentrations of the free, active drug or endogenous compounds in almost all human tissues and organs. It is currently being used to monitor brain metabolic processes and quantify tissue biomarkers, and determine transdermal drug distribution and tissue pharmacokinetics, confirming its importance as a widely used sampling technique in clinical drug monitoring and drug development as well as therapy and disease follow-up, contributing to rationalizing drug dosing regimens and influencing the clinical decision-making process. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

Marczak R.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Denda M.,Rutgers University
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2011

This work presents two new methods to derive the fundamental solution for three-dimensional heat transfer problems in the general anisotropic media. Initially, the basic integral equations used in the definition of the general anisotropic fundamental solution are revisited. We show the relationship between three, two and one-dimensional integral definitions, either by purely algebraic manipulation as well as through Fourier and Radon transforms. Two of these forms are used to derive the fundamental solutions for the general anisotropic media. The first method gives the solution analytically for which the solution for the orthotropic case agrees with the well known result obtained by the domain mapping, while the fundamental solution for the general anisotropic media is new. The second method expresses the solution by a line integral over a semi-circle. The advantages and disadvantages of the two methods are discussed with numerical examples. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

De Francesco Daher E.,Federal University of Ceará | Da Silva Jr. G.B.,Federal University of Ceará | Da Silva Jr. G.B.,University of Fortaleza | Guardao Barros E.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene | Year: 2013

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The disease remains as an important public health problem in developing countries. Extrapulmonary TB became more common with the advent of infection with human immunodeficiency virus and by the increase in the number of organ transplantation, which also leads to immunosuppression of thousand of persons. Urogenital TB represents 27% of extrapulmonary cases. Renal involvement in TB can be part of a disseminated infection or a localized genitourinary disease. Renal involvement by TB infection is underdiagnosed in most health care centers. Most patients with renal TB have sterile pyuria, which can be accompanied by microscopic hematuria. The diagnosis of urinary tract TB is based on the finding of pyuria in the absence of common bacterial infection. The first choice drugs include isoniazide, rifampicin, pirazinamide, ethambutol, and streptomycin. Awareness of renal TB is urgently needed by physicians for suspecting this disease in patients with unexplained urinary tract abnormalities, mainly in those with any immunosuppression and those coming from TB-endemic areas. Copyright © 2013 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Zhalnina K.,University of Florida | Dorr de Quadros P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Camargo F.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Triplett E.W.,University of Florida
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2012

Soil ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) are highly abundant and play an important role in the nitrogen cycle. In addition, AOA have a significant impact on soil quality. Nitrite produced by AOA and further oxidized to nitrate can cause nitrogen loss from soils, surface and groundwater contamination, and water eutrophication. The AOA discovered to date are classified in the phylum Thaumarchaeota. Only a few archaeal genomes are available in databases. As a result, AOA genes are not well annotated, and it is difficult to mine and identify archaeal genes within metagenomic libraries. Nevertheless, 16S rRNA and comparative analysis of ammonia monooxygenase sequences show that soils can vary greatly in the relative abundance of AOA. In some soils, AOA can comprise more than 10% of the total prokaryotic community. In other soils, AOA comprise less than 0.5% of the community. Many approaches have been used to measure the abundance and diversity of this group including DGGE, T-RFLP, q-PCR, and DNA sequencing. AOA have been studied across different soil types and various ecosystems from the Antarctic dry valleys to the tropical forests of South America to the soils near Mount Everest. Different studies have identified multiple soil factors that trigger the abundance of AOA. These factors include pH, concentration of available ammonia, organic matter content, moisture content, nitrogen content, clay content, as well as other triggers. Land use management appears to have a major effect on the abundance of AOA in soil, which may be the result of nitrogen fertilizer used in agricultural soils. This review summarizes the published results on this topic and suggests future work that will increase our understanding of how soil management and edaphoclimatic factors influence AOA. © 2012 Zhalnina, Dörr de Quadros, Camargo and Triplett.

Anzanello M.J.,Rutgers University | Fogliatto F.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Production Research | Year: 2010

The large variety of product models required by customised markets implies lot size reduction. This strongly affects manual-based production activities, since workers need to promptly adapt to the specifications of the next model to be produced. Completion times of manual-based activities tend to be highly variable among workers, and are difficult to estimate. This affects the scheduling of those activities since scheduling precision depends on reliable estimates of job completion times. This paper presents a method that combines learning curves and job scheduling heuristics aimed at minimising the total weighted earliness and tardiness. Workers performance data is collected and modelled using learning curves, enabling a better estimation of the completion time of jobs with different size and complexity. Estimated completion times are then inputted in new scheduling heuristics for unrelated parallel workers, equivalent to machines in this study, created by modifying heuristics available in the literature. Performance of the proposed heuristics is assessed analysing the difference between the optimal schedule objective function value and that obtained using the heuristics, as well as the workload imbalance among workers. Some contributions in this paper are: (i) use of learning curves to estimate completion times of jobs with different sizes and complexities from different teams of workers; and (ii) use of a more complex scheduling objective function, namely the total weighted earliness and tardiness, as opposed to most of the developments in the current scheduling literature. A shoe manufacturing application illustrates the developments in the paper. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Celeste R.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fritzell J.,Karolinska Institutet | Nadanovsky P.,State University of Rio de Janeiro
Cadernos de Saude Publica | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between income inequality at a lagged time of 2 and 11 years with two short latency outcomes (untreated dental caries and gingivitis) and two long latency outcomes (edentulism and periodontal attachment loss > 8mm). We used data from the Brazilian oral health survey in 2002-2003. Our analysis included 13,405 subjects aged 35-44 years. Different lagged Gini at municipal level were fitted using logistic and negative binomial multilevel analyses. Covariates included municipal per capita income, equivalized income, age, sex, time since last dental visit and place of residence (rural versus urban). Crude estimates showed that only untreated dental caries was associated with current and lagged Gini, but in adjusted models only current Gini remained significant with a ratio of 1.19 (95%CI: 1.09-1.30) for every ten-point increase in the Gini coefficient. We conclude that lagged Gini showed no association with oral health; and current income Gini was associated with current dental caries but not with periodontal disease.

Barci D.G.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Ribeiro L.,State University of Rio de Janeiro | Stariolo D.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2013

We address the problem of orientational order in frustrated interaction systems as a function of the relative range of the competing interactions. We study a spin model Hamiltonian with short-range ferromagnetic interaction competing with an antiferromagnetic component that decays as a power law of the distance between spins, 1/rα. These systems may develop a nematic phase between the isotropic disordered and stripe phases. We evaluate the nematic order parameter using a self-consistent mean-field calculation. Our main result indicates that the nematic phase exists, at mean-field level, provided 0<α<4. We analytically compute the nematic critical temperature and show that it increases with the range of the interaction, reaching its maximum near α∼0.5. We also compute a coarse-grained effective Hamiltonian for long wavelength fluctuations. For 0<α<4 the inverse susceptibility develops a set of continuous minima at wave vectors |kâ- |=k 0(α) which dictate the long-distance physics of the system. For α→4, k0→0, making the competition between interactions ineffective for greater values of α. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Mori A.L.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | de Souza P.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Marques J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Lopes R.D.C.,University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley
Gondwana Research | Year: 2012

Index species useful for correlations with the International Stratigraphical Column are rare or absent in the Pennsylvanian-Permian strata of the Paraná Basin in Brazil, preventing accuracy in geochronologic assignments. Besides, absolute datings are very scarce in comparison with other Gondwana basins. This paper presents palynological data from an outcrop on the surroundings of the Candiota coal mine, southmost Brazil, from several levels of the Rio Bonito and Palermo formations. The presence of certain index species of spore-pollen allowed the recognition of two Permian palynozones: the Vittatina costabilis and the Lueckisporites virkkiae zones. Furthermore, U-Pb in zircons from a volcaniclastic level interbedded in the coal strata of the former unit was analyzed through LA-MC-ICP-MS method, providing a new absolute age dating of 281.4 ± 3.4. Ma (Cisuralian, Early Permian). This dating is assumed as the oldest occurrence of the L. virkkiae Zone in Paraná Basin, which contains index species that are widespread in other Gondwana basins. A well distributed surface boundary occurs in this section also, allowing local and regional correlations. These new biostratigraphical and geochronological data are integrated, in order to offer a deep analysis on the stratigraphical significance for correlations across the Occidental Gondwana. © 2011 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Gavronski I.,University of the Rio dos Sinos Valley | Klassen R.D.,University of Western Ontario | Vachon S.,University of Western Ontario | Nascimento L.F.M.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2012

Manufacturings choice of environmental technologies is expected to be partly driven by the organizational context and receptivity to new ideas and innovation. More specifically, we hypothesize that the organizational learning and knowledge system of a manufacturing plant tends to favor the adoption of pollution prevention technologies and environmental management systems over pollution control technologies of that plant. The organizational learning and knowledge system is hypothesized to be split in two different stages, organizational learning antecedents and organizational learning processes. The choice of environmental technologies is hypothesized to be partially related to the organizational learning antecedents, and mediated by the organizational learning processes. Survey data exploring these relationships are presented from a sample of manufacturing plants in Canada. We found that the actual trade-off is not only between pollution prevention and pollution control, but also between pollution prevention and environmental management systems. The plants social climate and external knowledge exchange are positively related to pollution control, while the stock of knowledge of managers, stock of knowledge of workers, and internal knowledge exchange are negatively related to pollution control. Environmental management systems had the opposite results. These results are counterintuitive, since we expected that all constructs from organizational learning culture would contribute to the choice of pollution prevention and environmental management systems. We found, however, no empirical support for the mediated model, and the organizational learning and knowledge system explained very little variance in the choice for pollution control. Our study makes three significant contributions. First, it explains, at least in part, the linkages between the stock of employee knowledge, knowledge exchange and managerial choices of environmental technologies in manufacturing. Second, it refined and validated scales that capture organizational knowledge within operations. Finally, this research highlighted the important role that plant-level social climate has on fostering a greater emphasis on pollution prevention. The managerial implications of this research are twofold. Managers, in order to promote pollution prevention and creating long term value with this kind of technology, should promote both the social climate and the external knowledge exchange in the plant. Managers also should craft their environmental management systems not as a bureaucratic process of documentation and regulatory compliance, or just to fulfill clients' or parent company requirements, but as a source of process improvement and innovation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and University of Rouen | Date: 2010-02-12

The present invention belongs to the field of plant extracts with activity on the central nervous system. Specifically, the plant extract of the present invention is an extract obtained from Hypericum polyanthemum and comprising the compound uliginosin B and/or compounds from the class of benzopyrans such as. The present invention also relates to a pharmaceutical composition comprising such an extract which has pharmacological action in psychiatric disorders, such as mood disorders, specifically, anti-depressant activity. Such as HP1 (6-isobutyryl-5,7-dimethoxy-2,2-dimethyl-benzopyran), HP2 (7-hydroxy-6-isobutyryl-5-methoxy-2,2-dimethyl-benzopyran) and HP3 (5-hydroxy-6-isobutyryl-7-methoxy-2,2-dimethyl-benzopyran)).

Haag K.L.,University of Basel | Haag K.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | James T.Y.,University of Michigan | Pombert J.-F.,Illinois Institute of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Intracellular parasitism results in extreme adaptations, whose evolutionary history is difficult to understand, because the parasites and their known free-living relatives are so divergent from one another. Microsporidia are intracellular parasites of humans and other animals, which evolved highly specialized morphological structures, but also extreme physiologic and genomic simplification. They are suggested to be an early-diverging branch on the fungal tree, but comparisons to other species are difficult because their rates of molecular evolution are exceptionally high. Mitochondria in microsporidia have degenerated into organelles called mitosomes, which have lost a genome and the ability to produce ATP. Here we describe a gut parasite of the crustacean Daphnia that despite having remarkable morphological similarity to the microsporidia, has retained genomic features of its fungal ancestors. This parasite, which we name Mitosporidium daphniae gen. et sp. nov., possesses a mitochondrial genome including genes for oxidative phosphorylation, yet a spore stage with a highly specialized infection apparatus - the polar tube - uniquely known only from microsporidia. Phylogenomics places M. daphniae at the root of the microsporidia. A comparative genomic analysis suggests that the reduction in energy metabolism, a prominent feature of microsporidian evolution, was preceded by a reduction in the machinery controlling cell cycle, DNA recombination, repair, and gene expression. These data show that the morphological features unique to M. daphniae and other microsporidia were already present before the lineage evolved the extreme host metabolic dependence and loss of mitochondrial respiration for which microsporidia are well known. © 2014, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Reboh S.,CNRS Toulouse Center for Materials Elaboration and Structural Studies | Barbot J.F.,University of Poitiers | Beaufort M.F.,University of Poitiers | Fichtner P.F.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2010

H and He ion implantations allow the formation of nanocracks within controlled subsurface depths in semiconducting materials. Upon annealing, crack propagation and coalescence provides a way of cutting monocrystalline thin films. Here, the mechanisms of coalescence by crack-tip interactions are depicted in (001) Si wafers. Starting from overpressurized He-cracks, subcritical propagation was activated by diffusional H. Nanocrack interaction can occur by elastic forces, causing tip folding, or by plastic deformation forming extended defects. These observations are discussed and modeled using elasticity and fracture mechanics. The model suggests that kinetic effects in the cutting process depend on the crack interplanar separations. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Fortuna I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Thomas G.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Almeida R.M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Almeida R.M.C.,Instituto Nacional Of Ciencia E Tecnologia Sistemas Complexos | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We study the topology and geometry of two-dimensional coarsening foam with an arbitrary liquid fraction. To interpolate between the dry limit described by von Neumann's law and the wet limit described by Marqusee's equation, the relevant bubble characteristics are the Plateau border radius and a new variable: the effective number of sides. We propose an equation for the individual bubble growth rate as the weighted sum of the growth through bubble-bubble interfaces and through bubble-Plateau border interfaces. The resulting prediction is successfully tested, without an adjustable parameter, using extensive bidimensional Potts model simulations. The simulations also show that a self-similar growth regime is observed at any liquid fraction, and they also determine how the average size growth exponent, side number distribution, and relative size distribution interpolate between the extreme limits. Applications include concentrated emulsions, grains in polycrystals, and other domains with coarsening that is driven by curvature. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Adams B.D.,University of Waterloo | Radtke C.,University of Waterloo | Radtke C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Black R.,University of Waterloo | And 3 more authors.
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2013

We report a significant difference in the growth mechanism of Li 2O2 in Li-O2 batteries for toroidal and thin-film morphologies which is dependent on the current rate that governs the electrochemical pathway. Evidence from diffraction, electrochemical, FESEM and STEM measurements shows that slower current densities favor aggregation of lithium peroxide nanocrystallites nucleated via solution dismutase on the surface of the electrode; whereas fast rates deposit quasi-amorphous thin films. The latter provide a lower overpotential on charge due to their nature and close contact with the conductive electrode surface, albeit at the expense of lower discharge capacity. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Lutz A.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Risau-Gusman S.,CONICET | Arenzon J.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Arenzon J.J.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Journal of Theoretical Biology | Year: 2013

Intransitivity is a property of connected, oriented graphs representing species interactions that may drive their coexistence even in the presence of competition, the standard example being the three species Rock-Paper-Scissors game. We consider here a generalization with four species, the minimum number of species allowing other interactions beyond the single loop (one predator, one prey). We show that, contrary to the mean field prediction, on a square lattice the model presents a transition, as the parameter setting the rate at which one species invades another changes, from a coexistence to a state in which one species gets extinct. Such a dependence on the invasion rates shows that the interaction graph structure alone is not enough to predict the outcome of such models. In addition, different invasion rates permit to tune the level of transitiveness, indicating that for the coexistence of all species to persist, there must be a minimum amount of intransitivity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Farias M.,Instituto Federal Of Educacao | Martinelli M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rolim G.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Applied Catalysis A: General | Year: 2011

Heterogeneous catalyst was obtained by the direct immobilization of molybdenum compound on montmorillonite K10 clay. The resultant solid was characterized by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), scanning electron microscopy coupled in a energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Brunauer-Emmett-Teller and Barret-Joyner-Halenda isotherms (BET/BJH), ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV-vis-DRS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR). The catalyst was tested for the epoxidation of both soybean and castor oils, using tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) as oxidizing agent. After the first use, the immobilized catalyst showed an enhanced activity and also catalytic stability in recycling experiments. The best results for epoxidation reactions concerning castor oil were observed under conditions of 80 °C for 24 h (100% conversion and 75% selectivity) and catalytic reuse. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Wong A.,University of Waterloo | Scharcanski J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Digital Signal Processing: A Review Journal | Year: 2012

In this paper, a novel stochastic method is developed for despeckling transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) images of the prostate. By incorporating the circular probe acquisition particularities and speckle noise statistics of TRUS images of the prostate into a likelihood-weighted Monte Carlo estimation scheme, the proposed method can better remove speckle noise while preserving image structures and details that are relevant for image screening, allowing for a better delineation of the lesion contour. Our in silico and in vivo experimental results are promising, which was confirmed by a clinical evaluation of the in vivo test cases by experienced clinicians, and indicate that our method potentially can perform better than other previously proposed methods. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Henkes S.,Syracuse University | Brito C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dauchot O.,CNRS Gulliver Laboratory
Soft Matter | Year: 2012

The study of the jamming transition of granular and colloidal systems, has lead to a proliferation of theoretical and numerical results formulated in the language of the eigenspectrum of the dynamical matrix for these disordered systems. Only recently however, have these modes been accessed experimentally in colloidal and granular media, by computing the eigenmodes of the covariance matrix of the particle positions. At the same time, new conceptual and methodological questions regarding the interpretation of these results have appeared. In the present paper, we first give an overview of the theoretical framework which is appropriate to interpret the eigenmodes and eigenvalues of the correlation matrix in terms of the vibrational properties of these systems. We then illustrate several aspects of the statistical and data analysis techniques necessary to extract reliable results from experimental data. Concentrating on the cases of hard sphere simulations, colloidal and granular experiments, we discuss how to test, in turn, for the existence of a metastable state and the statistical independence of the sampling, the effect of experimental resolution, and the harmonic hypothesis underlying the approach; highlighting both the promises and limitations of this approach. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Esteves R.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Granville L.Z.,University of Waterloo | Boutaba R.,University of Waterloo
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2013

Network virtualization is a feasible solution to tackle so-called Internet ossification by enabling the deployment of novel network architectures in a flexible and controlled way. With network virtualization, it is possible to have multiple virtual networks running simultaneously on top of a shared physical infrastructure. Network management with virtualization support, however, poses challenges that need to be addressed in order to fully achieve an effective and reliable networking environment. These challenges have motivated the investigation of novel management solutions in recent years. This article surveys some of the prominent solutions for network virtualization management and identifies research opportunities in the area. © 1979-2012 IEEE.

Cavalcanti P.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Scharcanski J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Baranoski G.V.G.,University of Waterloo
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2013

In this paper, we propose a novel approach to discriminate malignant melanomas and benign atypical nevi, since both types of melanocytic skin lesions have very similar characteristics. Recent studies involving the non-invasive diagnosis of melanoma indicate that the concentrations of the two main classes of melanin present in the human skin, eumelanin and pheomelanin, can potentially be used in the computation of relevant features to differentiate these lesions. So, we describe how these features can be estimated using only standard camera images. Moreover, we demonstrate that using these features in conjunction with features based on the well known ABCD rule, it is possible to achieve 100% of sensitivity and more than 99% accuracy in melanocytic skin lesion discrimination, which is a highly desirable characteristic in a prescreening system. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Mistry P.K.,Yale University | Belmatoug N.,Beaujon Hospital | vom Dahl S.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Giugliani R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
American Journal of Hematology | Year: 2015

Gaucher disease is a rare and extraordinarily heterogeneous inborn error of metabolism that exhibits diverse manifestations, a broad range of age of onset of symptoms, and a wide clinical spectrum of disease severity, from lethal disease during infancy to first age of onset of symptoms in octogenarians. Before the advent of the International Collaborative Gaucher Group (ICGG) Gaucher Registry, the understanding of the natural history and phenotypic range of Gaucher disease was based on isolated case reports and small case series. Limited data hindered understanding of the full spectrum of the disease leading to some early misconceptions about Gaucher disease, notably, that nonneuronopathic (type 1) disease was a disease of adults only. The global scope of the ICGG Gaucher Registry, with its vast body of longitudinal data, has enabled a real appreciation of both the phenotypic spectrum of Gaucher disease and its natural history. This body of evidence represents the foundation for accurate assessment of the response to specific therapies for Gaucher disease and to the development of standard-of-care to monitor disease activity. Here, we outline the key developments in delineating the natural history of this highly complex disease and role of the ICGG Gaucher Registry in this effort. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Gallas J.A.C.,ETH Zurich | Gallas J.A.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos | Year: 2010

This manuscript reports numerical investigations about the relative abundance and structure of chaotic phases in autonomous dissipative flows, i.e. in continuous-time dynamical systems described by sets of ordinary differential equations. In the first half, we consider flows containing 'periodicity hubs', which are remarkable points responsible for organizing the dynamics regularly over wide parameter regions around them. We describe isolated hubs found in two forms of Rössler's equations and in Chua's circuit, as well as surprising infinite hub cascades that we found in a polynomial chemical flow with a cubic nonlinearity. Hub cascades converge orderly to accumulation points lying on specific parameter paths. In sharp contrast with familiar phenomena associated with unstable orbits, hubs and infinite hub cascades always involve stable periodic and chaotic orbits which are, therefore, directly measurable in experiments. In the last part, we consider flows having no hubs but unusual phase diagrams: a cubic polynomial model containing T-points and wide regions of dense chaos, a nonpolynomial model of the BelousovZhabotinsky reaction and the HindmarshRose model of neuronal bursting, both having chaotic phases with 'fountains of chaos'. The chaotic regions for the flows discussed here are different from what is known for discrete-time maps. This forcefully shows that knowledge about phase diagrams is quite fragmentary and that much work is still needed to classify and to understand them. © 2010 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Vieira S.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Angel C.R.,University of Maryland University College
Journal of Applied Poultry Research | Year: 2012

Broiler responses of economic interest, such as BW gain, FCR, and breast meat yield (BMY), can be optimized by increasing amino acid (AA) concentrations, improving the AA balance, or both. The AA requirements to maximize a response are lowest for BW gain, increased for FCR, and highest for BMY. A maximum performance response is reached when the response plateaus, whereas an optimal response is the one providing the highest return per input. These are usually not the same. Strategies used in linear feed formulation differ in how dietary AA are included in the diet; therefore, understanding how these strategies affect broiler responses is necessary to compare ultimate potential benefits. Minimum CP restrictions are still used even when TSAA, Lys, and Thr restrictions are set simultaneously, and AA requirements are presently expressed as either total or digestible. The use of ratios of essential AA to Lys is more popular now that synthetic Thr has become commercially available, and it will likely have an increase in use when L-valine and L-isoleucine have competitive prices. The presentday high-yield broiler has an increased responsiveness to AA density, especially for Lys, which contrasts with published requirements still in use. Increasing Lys and other AA at the beginning of the bird's life has been shown to have some positive carryover effects on performance in later periods; however, increasing the Lys and essential AA in broiler diets in the last phases of production allows compensation for BMY because of the continuous high allometric growth rate of breast muscle. Gains in performance are expected to result from increases in dietary AA density; however, the decision regarding what AA density to use will depend on the cost of feed relative to the market price of meat. © 2012 Poultry Science Association, Inc.

Wang Z.,Nankai University | Wang Z.,Hong Kong Baptist University | Weng Z.,Dalian University of Technology | Zhu X.,Dalian University of Technology | Arenzon J.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

We study the evolution of cooperation in evolutionary spatial games when the payoff correlates with the increasing age of players (the level of correlation is set through a single parameter, α). The demographic heterogeneous age distribution, directly affecting the outcome of the game, is thus shown to be responsible for enhancing the cooperative behavior in the population. In particular, moderate values of α allow cooperators not only to survive but to outcompete defectors, even when the temptation to defect is large and the ageless, standard α=0 model does not sustain cooperation. The interplay between age structure and noise is also considered, and we obtain the conditions for optimal levels of cooperation. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Loureiro M.P.O.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Arenzon J.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Cugliandolo L.F.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

We study the dynamic evolution of geometric structures in a polydegenerate system represented by a q-state Potts model with nonconserved order parameter that is quenched from its disordered into its ordered phase. The numerical results obtained with Monte Carlo simulations show a strong relation between the statistical properties of hull perimeters in the initial state and during coarsening: The statistics and morphology of the structures that are larger than the averaged ones are those of the initial state, while the ones of small structures are determined by the curvature-driven dynamic process. We link the hull properties to the ones of the areas they enclose. We analyze the linear von Neumann-Mullins law, both for individual domains and on the average, concluding that its validity, for the later case, is limited to domains with number of sides around 6, while presenting stronger violations in the former case. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Farias M.,Instituto Federal Of Educacao | Martinelli M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bottega D.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Applied Catalysis A: General | Year: 2010

The ability of bis(acetyl-acetonato)dioxo-molybdenum (VI) [MoO 2(acac) 2] to catalyse the epoxidation of soybean oil in the presence of tert-butyl hydroperoxide as oxidizing agent has been investigated. The influence of reaction time and temperature in the course of the epoxidation reaction was evaluated by quantitative 1H NMR. When epoxidation was carried out in refluxing toluene at 110 °C for 2 h, a 70.1% conversion of substrate was obtained, producing 54.1% epoxidation with a selectivity of 77.2%. The 1H NMR spectroscopic method selected for the purpose of this work allowed a simple and rapid evaluation of the mono- and diepoxides obtained following the epoxidation of soybean oil. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bari M.F.,University of Waterloo | Boutaba R.,University of Waterloo | Esteves R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Granville L.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 4 more authors.
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials | Year: 2013

With the growth of data volumes and variety of Internet applications, data centers (DCs) have become an efficient and promising infrastructure for supporting data storage, and providing the platform for the deployment of diversified network services and applications (e.g., video streaming, cloud computing). These applications and services often impose multifarious resource demands (storage, compute power, bandwidth, latency) on the underlying infrastructure. Existing data center architectures lack the flexibility to effectively support these applications, which results in poor support of QoS, deployability, manageability, and defence against security attacks. Data center network virtualization is a promising solution to address these problems. Virtualized data centers are envisioned to provide better management flexibility, lower cost, scalability, better resources utilization, and energy efficiency. In this paper, we present a survey of the current state-of-the-art in data center networks virtualization, and provide a detailed comparison of the surveyed proposals. We discuss the key research challenges for future research and point out some potential directions for tackling the problems related to data center design. © 2013 IEEE.

Holanda E.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rincon A.D.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2012

The living tapir Tapirus terrestris is widely distributed in Venezuela, occurring mainly south of the Orinoco, while being absent from arid, high Andean and insular areas. Here, we describe new material of fossil tapirs from two Pleistocene lo- calities of Venezuela: Zumbador Cave and El Breal de Orocual. Based on its size and morphology, the material from Zumbador Cave (skull, mandible and postcrania) is assigned to the extant T. terrestris, and represents the most northwest- ern fossil record of this species in South America. By contrast, the remains from the tar seep of El Breal de Orocual are more gracile, and differ from T. terrestris and other fossil and living species from South America in the presence of a metastylid on the lower cheek teeth. We tentatively assign the latter remains to Tapirus sp., based on juvenile and isolated dentary material. However, the possibility that these specimens may represent a new species or an immigrant from North America cannot be completely excluded.

Fawal N.,CNRS Plant Research Laboratory | Li Q.,CNRS Plant Research Laboratory | Savelli B.,CNRS Plant Research Laboratory | Brette M.,CNRS Plant Research Laboratory | And 4 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

The PeroxiBase (http://peroxibase.toulouse.inra.fr/) is a specialized database devoted to peroxidases' families, which are major actors of stress responses. In addition to the increasing number of sequences and the complete modification of the Web interface, new analysis tools and functionalities have been developed since the previous publication in the NAR database issue. Nucleotide sequences and graphical representation of the gene structure can now be included for entries containing genomic cross-references. An expert semi-automatic annotation strategy is being developed to generate new entries from genomic sequences and from EST libraries. Plus, new internal and automatic controls have been included to improve the quality of the entries. To compare gene structure organization among families' members, two new tools are available, CIWOG to detect common introns and GECA to visualize gene structure overlaid with sequence conservation. The multicriteria search tool was greatly improved to allow simple and combined queries. After such requests or a BLAST search, different analysis processes are suggested, such as multiple alignments with ClustalW or MAFFT, a platform for phylogenetic analysis and GECA's display in association with a phylogenetic tree. Finally, we updated our family specific profiles implemented in the PeroxiScan tool and made new profiles to consider new sub-families. © The Author(s) 2012.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.4 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2010

In a scenario where the complexity and diversity of embedded systems is rising and causing extra pressure in the demand for performance at the lowest possible power budget, designers face the challenge brought by the power and memory walls in the production of embedded platforms. The focus of the ERA project is to investigate and propose new methodologies in both tools and hardware design to break through these walls and help design next-generation embedded systems platforms. The proposed strategy is to utilize adaptive hardware to provide the highest possible performance with limited power budgets. The envisioned adaptive platform employs a structured design approach that allows integration of varying computing elements, networking elements, and memory elements. For computing elements, we will utilize a mixture of commercially available off-the-shelf processor cores, industry-owned IP cores, and application-specific/dedicated cores, and we will dynamically adapt their composition, organization, and even instruction-set architectures to provide the best possible performance/power trade-offs. Similarly, the choice of the most-suited network elements and topology and the adaptation of the hierarchy and organization of the memory elements can be determined at design-time or at run-time. Furthermore, the envisioned adaptive platform must be supported by and/or made visible to the application(s), run-time system, operating system, and compiler exploiting the synchronicities between software and hardware. We strongly believe that having the complete freedom to flexibly tune the hardware elements will allow for a much higher level of efficiency (e.g., riding the trade-off curve between performance and power) compared to the state of the art. Finally, an additional goal of the adaptive platform is to serve as a quick prototyping platform in embedded systems design.

The present invention relates to a pharmaceutical composition for topical application for the treatment of alopecia, said composition comprising polymeric nanoparticles, preferably nanocapsules containing two active ingredients, finasteride and minoxidil, additives and a pharmaceutically acceptable carrier. The invention further includes a process for the preparation of polymeric nanoparticles, preferably nanocapsules of finasteride and minoxidil, a composition suitable for topical application for the treatment of alopecia, as well as the use of said nanocapsules for the preparation of a pharmaceutical composition.

Rodnight R.B.,Hunter Medical Research Institute | Gottfried C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2013

In the past two decades, there has been an explosion of research on the role of neuroglial interactions in the control of brain homeostasis in both physiological and pathological conditions. Astrocytes, a subtype of glia in the central nervous system, are dynamic signaling elements that regulate neurogenesis and development of brain circuits, displaying intimate dynamic relationships with neurons, especially at synaptic sites where they functionally integrate the tripartite synapse. When astrocytes are isolated from the brain and maintained in culture, they exhibit a polygonal shape unlike their precursors in vivo. However, cultured astrocytes can be induced to undergo morphological plasticity leading to process formation, either by interaction with neurons or by the influence of pharmacological agents. This review highlights studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying morphological plasticity in astrocyte cultures and intact brain tissue, both in situ and in vivo. © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

Babujian H.M.,Alikhanian Brothers 2 | Foerster A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Karowski M.,Free University of Berlin
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2010

The general SU (N) form factor formula is constructed. Exact form factors for the field, the energy-momentum and the current operators are derived and compared with the 1 / N-expansion of the chiral Gross-Neveu model and full agreement is found. As an application of the form factor approach the equal time commutation rules of arbitrary local fields are derived and in general anyonic behavior is found. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

MacHado M.V.T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Da Silva M.L.L.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2011

The cross sections for the glueball candidates in quasireal photon-photon collisions and on central diffraction processes (i.e., double Pomeron exchange) in heavy-ion interactions at the Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are computed. The rates for these distinct production channels are compared, and they may be a fruitful approach to the investigation of glueballs. © 2011 The American Physical Society.

Souza J.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Souza J.D.,Federal University of Pampa | Gottfried C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology | Year: 2013

Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in the human body. Its main characteristic is the capacity to regenerate after injury independent of the cause of injury through a process called inflammatory response. Mechanical injuries are the most common type of the skeletal muscle injuries and are classified into one of three areas strain, contusion, and laceration. First, this review aims to describe and compare the main experimental methods that replicate the mechanical muscle injuries. There are several ways to replicate each kind of mechanical injury; there are, however, specific characteristics that must be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate model for the experiment. Finally, this review discusses the context of mechanical injury considering types, variability of methods, and the ability to reproduce injury models. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Lazzaretti R.K.,Hospital Of Clnicas Of Porto Alegre | Kuhmmer R.,Hospital Of Clnicas Of Porto Alegre | Sprinz E.,Hospital Of Clnicas Of Porto Alegre | Sprinz E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2012

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of dietary intervention on blood lipids of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1infected patients who are started on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Background: Current guidelines recommend diet as first-step intervention for HIV-1infected individuals with HAART-related dyslipidemia, but there is no evidence from randomized trials to support this recommendation. Methods: Eighty-three HIV-1infected patients, naive from HAART, were randomly assigned to HAART with dietary intervention (diet group, n = 43) or HAART without dietary intervention (control group, n = 40) for 12 months. Diet, according to the National Cholesterol Education Program, was given every 3 months. Before and after intervention, 24-h food records and lipid profile were obtained. Data were analyzed by intention to treat, using mixed-effects models. Results: Diet resulted in reduction of percentage of fat intake (from 31 ± 7% to 21 ± 3% of calories), while controls presented no change in percentage of fat intake. Plasma cholesterol (from 151 ± 29 mg/dl to 190 ± 33 mg/dl) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 85 ± 24 mg/dl to 106 ± 31 mg/dl) increased in the control group and were unchanged in the diet group. Plasma triglycerides were reduced by diet (from 135 ± 67 mg/dl to 101 ± 42 mg/dl) and increased in the control group (from 134 ± 70 mg/dl to 160 ± 76 mg/dl). After 1-year follow-up, 21% of patients who received diet had lipid profile compatible with dyslipidemia compared with 68% (p < 0.001) of controls. Conclusions: Among HIV-1positive individuals naive of previous treatment, diet prevents dyslipidemia associated with HAART. (Effect of Nutritional Intervention on the Lipid Profile of HIV-Positive Patients Who Start HAART: a Randomized Trial; NCT00429845) © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Sellitto M.,United World College in Mostar | De Martino D.,International School for Advanced Studies | Caccioli F.,International School for Advanced Studies | Arenzon J.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We show that facilitated spin mixtures with a tunable facilitation reproduce, on a Bethe lattice, the simplest higher-order singularity scenario predicted by the mode-coupling theory (MCT) of liquid-glass transition. Depending on the facilitation strength, they yield either a discontinuous glass transition or a continuous one, with no underlying thermodynamic singularity. Similar results are obtained for facilitated spin models on a diluted Bethe lattice. The mechanism of dynamical arrest in these systems can be interpreted in terms of bootstrap and standard percolation and corresponds to a crossover from a compact to a fractal structure of the incipient spanning cluster of frozen spins. Theoretical and numerical simulation results are fully consistent with MCT predictions. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Miguel L.F.F.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Lopez R.H.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Miguel L.F.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Advances in Engineering Software | Year: 2013

This paper presents an efficient single-stage Firefly-based algorithm (FA) to simultaneously optimise the size, shape and topology of truss structures. The optimisation problem uses the minimisation of structural weight as its objective function and imposes displacement, stress and kinematic stability constraints. Unstable and singular topologies are disregarded as possible solutions by checking the positive definiteness of the stiffness matrix. Because cross-sectional areas are usually defined by discrete values in practice due to manufacturing limitations, the optimisation algorithm must assess a mixed-variable optimisation problem that includes both discrete and continuous variables at the same time. The effectiveness of the FA at solving this type of optimisation problem is demonstrated with benchmark problems, the results for which are better than those reported in the literature and obtained with lower computational costs, emphasising the capabilities of the proposed methodology. In addition, the procedure is capable of providing multiple optima and near-optimal solutions in each run, providing a set of possible designs at the end of the optimisation process. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Levin Y.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dos Santos A.P.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2014

We review the present understanding of the behavior of ions at the air-water and oil-water interfaces. We argue that while the alkali metal cations remain strongly hydrated and are repelled from the hydrophobic surfaces, the anions must be classified into kosmotropes and chaotropes. The kosmotropes remain strongly hydrated in the vicinity of a hydrophobic surface, while the chaotropes lose their hydration shell and can become adsorbed to the interface. The mechanism of adsorption is still a subject of debate. Here, we argue that there are two driving forces for anionic adsorption: the hydrophobic cavitational energy and the interfacial electrostatic surface potential of water. While the cavitational contribution to ionic adsorption is now well accepted, the role of the electrostatic surface potential is much less clear. The difficulty is that even the sign of this potential is a subject of debate, with the ab initio and the classical force field simulations predicting electrostatic surface potentials of opposite sign. In this paper, we will argue that the strong anionic adsorption found in the polarizable force field simulations is the result of the artificial electrostatic surface potential present in the classical water models. We will show that if the adsorption of anions were as large as predicted by the polarizable force field simulations, the excess surface tension of the NaI solution would be strongly negative, contrary to the experimental measurements. While the large polarizability of heavy halides is a fundamental property and must be included in realistic modeling of the electrolyte solutions, we argue that the point charge water models, studied so far, are incompatible with the polarizable ionic force fields when the translational symmetry is broken. The goal for the future should be the development of water models with very low electrostatic surface potential. We believe that such water models will be compatible with the polarizable force fields, which can then be used to study the interaction of ions with hydrophobic surfaces and proteins. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Zamoner A.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Pessoa-Pureur R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Silva F.R.M.B.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Life Sciences | Year: 2011

The presence of specific nuclear receptors to thyroid hormones, described in prepubertal Sertoli cells, implies the existence of an early and critical influence of these hormones on testis development. Although the mechanism of action thyroid hormones has been classically established as a genomic action regulating testis development, our research group has demonstrated that these hormones exert several effects in Sertoli cells lacking nuclear receptor activation. These findings led to the identification of non-classical thyroid hormone binding elements in the plasma membrane of testicular cells. Through binding to these sites, thyroid hormones could exert nongenomic effects, including those on ion fluxes at the plasma membrane, on signal transduction via kinase pathways, on amino acid accumulation, on modulation of extracellular nucleotide levels and on vimentin cytoskeleton. The evidence of the participation of different K+, Ca2+ and Cl- channels in the mechanism of action of thyroid hormones, characterizes the plasma membrane as an important microenvironment able to coordinate strategic signal transduction pathways in rat testis. The physiological responses of the Sertoli cells to hormones are dependent on continuous cross-talking of different signal transduction pathways. Apparently, the choice of the signaling pathways to be activated after the interaction of the hormone with cell surface binding sites is directly related to the physiological action to be accomplished. Yet, the enormous complexity of the nongenomic actions of thyroid hormones implies that different specific binding sites located on the plasma membrane or in the cytosol are believed to initiate specific cell responses. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Muniz A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maroudas D.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

We report results of first-principles density functional theory calculations, which introduce a new class of carbon nanostructures formed due to creation of covalent interlayer C-C bonds in twisted bilayer graphene (TBG). This interlayer bonding becomes possible by hydrogenation of the graphene layers according to certain hydrogenation patterns. The resulting relaxed configurations consist of two-dimensional (2D) superlattices of diamondlike nanocrystals embedded within the graphene layers, with the same periodicity as that of the Moiré pattern corresponding to the rotational layer stacking in TBG. The 2D diamond nanodomains resemble the cubic or the hexagonal diamond phase. The detailed structure of these superlattice configurations is determined by parameters that include the twist angle, ranging from 0° to ∼15°, and the number of interlayer C-C bonds formed per unit cell of the superlattice. We demonstrate that formation of such interlayer-bonded finite domains causes the opening of a band gap in the electronic band structure of TBG, which depends on the density and spatial distribution of interlayer C-C bonds. We have predicted band gaps as wide as 1.2 eV and found that the band gap increases monotonically with increasing size of the embedded diamond nanodomain in the unit cell of the superlattice. Such nanostructure formation constitutes a promising approach for opening a precisely tunable band gap in bilayer graphene. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Muniz A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maroudas D.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2013

We report results based on first-principles density functional theory calculations for the structural and electronic properties of fluorinated carbon nanostructures formed by interlayer covalent C.C bonding in twisted bilayer graphene (TBG). These hybrid sp2/sp3 carbon nanostructures consist of superlattices of diamond-like or fullerene-like nanodomains embedded within the graphene layers of TBG. The symmetry and periodicity of these superstructures are determined by the Moiré pattern formed by the twisting of the graphene planes of the bilayer and is responsible for the character of the superstructures, which may range from semimetallic to semiconducting or insulating depending on the tuning of specific parameters, such as the twist angle and the density of interlayer C. C bonds. We demonstrate that fluorine chemisorption generates more stable structures than those formed by hydrogen chemisorption, suggesting that functionalizing TBG by controlled patterned fluorination is a better strategy than hydrogenation for synthesis of nanostructures that are stable over a broader temperature range consistently with what has been observed for single-layer graphene. Significant differences found between fluorinated and hydrogenated configurations in their structural parameters, surface properties, and electronic structures suggest that the choice of functionalizing agent can be used for precise tuning of the properties of the resulting nanostructures. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Yeh H.-C.,Johns Hopkins University | Duncan B.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Schmidt M.I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Wang N.-Y.,Johns Hopkins University | Brancati F.L.,Johns Hopkins University
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2010

Background: Cigarette smoking is an established predictor of incident type 2 diabetes mellitus, but the effects of smoking cessation on diabetes risk are unknown. Objective: To test the hypothesis that smoking cessation increases diabetes risk in the short term, possibly owing to cessation-related weight gain. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: The ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) Study. Patients: 10 892 middle-aged adults who initially did not have diabetes in 1987 to 1989. Measurements: Smoking was assessed by interview at baseline and at subsequent follow-up. Incident diabetes was ascertained by fasting glucose assays through 1998 and self-report of physician diagnosis or use of diabetes medications through 2004. Results: During 9 years of follow-up, 1254 adults developed type 2 diabetes. Compared with adults who never smoked, the adjusted hazard ratio of incident diabetes in the highest tertile of pack-years was 1.42 (95% CI, 1.20 to 1.67). In the first 3 years of follow-up, 380 adults quit smoking. After adjustment for age, race, sex, education, adiposity, physical activity, lipid levels, blood pressure, and ARIC Study center, compared with adults who never smoked, the hazard ratios of diabetes among former smokers, new quitters, and continuing smokers were 1.22 (CI, 0.99 to 1.50), 1.73 (CI, 1.19 to 2.53), and 1.31 (CI, 1.04 to 1.65), respectively. Further adjustment for weight change and leukocyte count attenuated these risks substantially. In an analysis of long-term risk after quitting, the highest risk occurred in the first 3 years (hazard ratio, 1.91 [CI, 1.19 to 3.05]), then gradually decreased to 0 at 12 years. Limitation: Residual confounding is possible even with meticulous adjustment for established diabetes risk factors. Conclusion: Cigarette smoking predicts incident type 2 diabetes, but smoking cessation leads to higher short-term risk. For smokers at risk for diabetes, smoking cessation should be coupled with strategies for diabetes prevention and early detection. © 2010 American College of Physicians.

Bordin J.R.,Federal University of Pampa | Bordin J.R.,Federal University of Pelotas | Krott L.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Barbosa M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2014

We explore by molecular dynamic simulations the thermodynamical behavior of an anomalous fluid confined inside rigid and flexible nanopores. The fluid is modeled by a two length scale potential. In the bulk, this system exhibits the density and diffusion anomalous behavior observed in liquid water. We show that the anomalous fluid confined inside rigid and flexible nanopores forms layers. As the volume of the nanopore is decreased the rigid surface exhibits three consecutive first-order phase transitions associated with the change in the number of layers. These phase transitions are not present for flexible confinement. Our results indicate that the nature of confinement is relevant for the properties of the confined liquid, which suggests that confinement in carbon nanotubes should be quite different from confinement in biological channels. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Machado A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maroudas D.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Muniz A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2013

Using molecular-dynamics simulations of tensile deformation and shear loading tests, we determine the mechanical properties of superlattices of diamond-like nanocrystals embedded in twisted bilayer graphene (TBG) generated by covalent interlayer bonding through patterned hydrogenation. We find that the mechanical properties of these superstructures can be precisely tuned by controlling the fraction of sp3-hybridized C-C bonds in the material, fsp3, through the extent of chemical functionalization. The Young modulus and ultimate tensile strength weaken compared with pristine TBG with increasing fsp3, but they remain superior to those of most conventional materials. The interlayer shear modulus increases monotonically with fsp3. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Bueno L.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Dias A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Steele J.,University College London
Quaternary International | Year: 2013

Between 13,000 and 8000 14C BP, eastern South America was settled by a stable and diversified population of hunter-gatherers. Archaeological excavation in the past twenty years has yielded increasingly consistent evidence of occupation in different regions of Brazil since the end of the Pleistocene, with dates at least contemporary to the Clovis Horizon in North America. This is addressed by documenting and analysing the quantity, quality and distribution of archaeological 14C dates from Brazil during this period. A total of 277 dates from 90 sites are tabulated, mapped, and included in the analysis. During the Late Pleistocene there was a pioneer phase of human colonization, with dispersal inland through the major river systems. Subsequently, the Early Holocene saw the first phase of established settlement of Brazil's interior. There seems to be an archaeological threshold reached at ca. 10,500 years 14C BP: numbers of sites increase, there is evidence of settlement of all major biomes, and there is clear evidence of inter-regional cultural diversity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

Miguel L.F.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fadel Miguel L.F.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2012

Mass optimization on shape and sizing with multiple natural frequency constraints are highly nonlinear dynamic optimization problems. Multiple natural frequency constraints normally cause difficult dynamic sensitivity analysis and, in addition, two different types of design variables, nodal coordinates and cross-sectional areas, often lead to divergence. Thus, the choice of the appropriated method to solve this kind of problem is of paramount importance. Within this context, in this paper two of the most recent metaheuristic algorithms developed in the last decade, Harmony Search (HS) and Firefly Algorithm (FA), are used, for the first time here, to solve truss shape and sizing optimization with multiple natural frequency constraints. Since these metaheuristic algorithms are not a gradient-based search, they avoid most of the pitfalls of any gradient-based search algorithms. The effectiveness of Harmony Search and Firefly Algorithm is demonstrated through four benchmark structural optimization problems for solving shape and sizing optimization of trusses with multiple frequency constraints. The results showed that both metaheuristic algorithms reached, in a relatively low computational time, better results than the literature in three of the four examples considered, and in the other example the structure is approximately equal to the best one found, emphasizing the excellent capacity of both methods. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pampanelli A.B.,GKN Driveline Americas | Found P.,University of Cardiff | Bernardes A.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The purpose of lean thinking is to promote continuous improvement culture within a business. Specifically, lean thinking describes a work philosophy already used by many manufacturers. Lean thinking considers the expenditure of resources, for any goal other than the creation of value for the end customer to be wasteful. There has been much anecdotal evidence suggesting that a lean approach can help make the case for environmental impact reduction to businesses. We present an integrated lean and green approach that results in (i) a reduction in production waste and (ii) a reduction in environmental impact. Evidence-based results are first reviewed here. We show that previous findings identify a specific level of lean and manufacturing stability as a prerequisite for integrating lean and green at the manufacturing cell level. The main objective of this paper is to propose a new model, which we call the Lean & Green Model. In this model, we integrate environmental sustainability into pure lean thinking. The model presented in this paper adopts a Kaizen approach to improve mass and energy flows in manufacturing environments that already possess the necessary deployment level to apply lean thinking. The model was designed for, and is limited to, the cell level, which is the first stream level of a manufacturing business that supports the principles of lean thinking. The paper then presents findings from an application of the model in a major international engineering corporation, including the results of model deployment at the cell level. Such findings confirm that the Lean & Green Model can reduce resource use from 30 to 50% on average and has the potential to reduce the total cost of mass and energy flows in a cell by 5-10%. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Margis R.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | Margis R.,vitatec Cons. Des. Biotecnologia Ltda | Margis R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rieder C.R.M.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2011

The present study demonstrates that blood samples can be used as a source of miRNA identification associated to Parkinson's disease (PD). A set of six differentially expressed microRNAs were identified. They form two groups according to their expression profile in control, non-treated, early-onset and treated Parkinson's disease subjects. While miR-1, miR-22 and miR-29 expression levels allowed to distinguish non-treated PD from healthy subjects, miR-16-2, miR-26a2 and miR30a differentiated treated from untreated patients. This study is innovative in contributing to the development of effective PD biomarkers. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Simoes Pires E.N.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Frozza R.L.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Hoppe J.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Menezes B.D.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Salbego C.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Brain Research | Year: 2014

Berberine is an alkaloid derived from herb the Berberis sp. and has long-term use in Oriental medicine. Studies along the years have demonstrated its beneficial effect in various neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. The subject of this study was to evaluate whether berberine protects against delayed neuronal cell death in organotypic hippocampal culture (OHC) exposed to oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD) and the cell signaling mechanism related to its effect. Hippocampal slices were obtained from 6 to 8-days-old male Wistar rat and cultured for 14 days. Following, the cultures were exposed for 1 h to OGD and then treated with Berberine (10 and 20 μM). After 24 h recovery, propidium iodide (PI) uptake was analyzed and a decrease was observed in PI uptake on OGD Ber-treated culture, which means a decrease in cellular death. Western blot analysis showed that proteins Akt, GSK3β, ERK and JNK appear to play a role in berberine-mediated neuroprotection. Furthermore, capase-3 activity of OGD Ber-treated culture was diminished by control level in a fluorimetry assay. These findings suggest that berberine-mediated neuroprotection after ischemia involves Akt/GSK3β/ERK 1/2 survival/apoptotic signaling pathway as well as JNK and caspase-3 activity inhibition. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ramos-e-Silva M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Boza J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Cestari T.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Clinics in Dermatology | Year: 2012

Skin, together with its appendages, forms an organ with several defensive roles; among them it acts as a barrier, which is one of its very important protective functions. There has been increased interest in studying the effects of age on these functions. There are different intensities and timing involved in this process and also differences between men and women, all relating to skin structure.We review the current knowledge of the skin as a barrier in neonates and in the elderly in an attempt to explain the changes that occur with aging. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Souza S.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Souza S.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tsang M.B.,Michigan State University
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2012

The properties of isobaric ratios, between nuclei produced in the same reaction, are investigated using the canonical and grand-canonical statistical ensembles. Although the grand-canonical formulas furnish a means to correlate the ratios with the liquid drop parameters, finite size effects make it difficult to obtain their actual values from fitting nuclear collision data. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Drehmer M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Duncan B.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kac G.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Schmidt M.I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Objective: To investigate the association between weekly weight gain, during the second and third trimesters, classified according to the 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM/NRC) recommendations, and maternal and fetal outcomes. Methods: Gestational weight gain was evaluated in 2,244 pregnant women of the Brazilian Study of Gestational Diabetes (Estudo Brasileiro do Diabetes Gestacional - EBDG). Outcomes were cesarean delivery, preterm birth and small or large for gestational age birth (SGA, LGA). Associations between inadequate weight gain and outcomes were estimated using robust Poisson regression adjusting for pre-pregnancy body mass index, trimester-specific weight gain, age, height, skin color, parity, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, gestational diabetes and hypertensive disorders in pregnancy. Results: In fully adjusted models, in the second trimester, insufficient weight gain was associated with SGA (relative risk [RR] 1.72, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-2.33), and excessive weight gain with LGA (RR 1.64, 95% CI 1.16-2.31); in third trimester, excessive weight gain with preterm birth (RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.08-2.70) and cesarean delivery (RR 1.21, 95% CI 1.03-1.44). Women with less than recommended gestational weight gain in the 2nd trimester had a lesser risk of cesarean deliveries (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.71-0.96) than women with adequate gestational weight gain in this trimester. Conclusion: Though insufficient weight gain in the 3rd trimester was not associated with adverse outcomes, other deviations from recommended weight gain during second and third trimester were associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. These findings support, in part, the 2009 IOM/NRC recommendations for nutritional monitoring during pregnancy. © 2013 Drehmer et al.

Marin S.M.,Santa Catarina State University | Witt R.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Prehospital and Disaster Medicine | Year: 2015

Introduction Hospital nurses play a key role in the aftermath of the occurrence of disasters and need specific competencies to work in these situations. From a global perspective, few models exist that focus on disaster nursing. Problem This study aimed to identify hospital nurses' competencies in disaster situations. Method A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory study was developed using focus groups as a method of data collection. Three meetings were held from June through September 2012 with nurses who worked at a hospital used as reference for disaster situations in the South of Brazil. Thematic analysis of collected data generated the competencies. For statement standardization, a format consistent with a verb, a noun, and a complement was adopted. Results The group validated 17 competencies, which were organized according to the phases of emergency management described by the World Health Organization (WHO) and classified in domain areas of management, health care, communication, and education. Conclusions The competencies identified in this study can contribute to the education and practice of nurses in the hospital ambience, strengthening its capacity to face disaster situations. Marin SM, Witt RR. © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2015.

Rech P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Aguiar C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Frost C.,RutherfordAppleton Laboratories | Carro L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science | Year: 2013

Neutron radiation experiment results on matrix multiplication on graphic processing units (GPUs) show that multiple errors are detected at the output in more than 50% of the cases. In the presence of multiple errors, the available hardening strategies may become ineffective or inefficient. Analyzing radiation-induced error distributions, we developed an optimized and experimentally tuned software-based hardening strategy for GPUs. With fault-injection simulations, we compare the performance and correcting capabilities of the proposed technique with the available ones. © 2013 IEEE.

Stein R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Malhotra A.,St George's, University of London
Journal of Electrocardiology | Year: 2015

Athletic intensive exercise is associated with repolarization changes affecting the ST-segment and T-wave morphology. The prevalence and distribution of these alterations are influenced by several demographic factors. One of the most challenging conundrums for both the cardiologist and the sports medicine physician is the correct interpretation of these repolarization changes to prevent an erroneous diagnosis with potentially serious consequences. A 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) demonstrating inverted T-waves may represent the first and only sign of such inherited heart muscle diseases, and may precede the detection of any structural changes in the heart, however, T-wave inversion in leads V1-V4 in black athletes may represent ethnic variation which is exaggerated by exercise. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Mendoza-Coto A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Stariolo D.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Nicolao L.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We study two dimensional stripe forming systems with competing repulsive interactions decaying as r-α. We derive an effective Hamiltonian with a short-range part and a generalized dipolar interaction which depends on the exponent α. An approximate map of this model to a known XY model with dipolar interactions allows us to conclude that, for α<2 long-range orientational order of stripes can exist in two dimensions, and establish the universality class of the models. When α≥2 no long-range order is possible, but a phase transition in the Kosterlitz-Thouless universality class is still present. These two different critical scenarios should be observed in experimentally relevant two dimensional systems like electronic liquids (α=1) and dipolar magnetic films (α=3). Results from Langevin simulations of Coulomb and dipolar systems give support to the theoretical results. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Souza S.R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Souza S.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Goncalves S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

We propose an opinion model based on agents located at the vertices of a regular lattice. Each agent has an independent opinion (among an arbitrary, but fixed, number of choices) and its own degree of conviction. The latter changes every time two agents which have different opinions interact with each other. The dynamics leads to size distributions of clusters (made up of agents which have the same opinion and are located at contiguous spatial positions) which follow a power law, as long as the range of the interaction between the agents is not too short; i.e., the system self-organizes into a critical state. Short range interactions lead to an exponential cutoff in the size distribution and to spatial correlations which cause agents which have the same opinion to be closely grouped. When the diversity of opinions is restricted to two, a nonconsensus dynamic is observed, with unequal population fractions, whereas consensus is reached if the agents are also allowed to interact with those located far from them. The individual agents' convictions, the preestablished interaction range, and the locality of the interaction between a pair of agents (their neighborhood has no effect on the interaction) are the main characteristics which distinguish our model from previous ones. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Wehrmeister M.A.,Santa Catarina State University | Pereira C.E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rammig F.J.,University of Paderborn
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics | Year: 2013

Automation and control systems include many 'intelligent' automation devices, which are usually implemented as complex embedded systems. New methods and tools are demanded to cope with the increasing design complexity, while keeping the project on schedule. Proper handling of nonfunctional system requirements is a key factor during the design of industrial automation systems, since in some application domains they are as important as (sometimes, more important than) functional requirements. This paper presents a model-driven engineering approach, which combines Unified Modeling Language (UML) and aspect-oriented software development (AOSD) to design real-time and embedded automation systems. The proposed approach allows a smooth transition from the initial phases to implementation by using software tools, comprising the system specification and the automatic generation of source code. By combining UML with model-level aspects and a script-base code generation tool, it enables the use of AOSD during system design and implementation, even though the target platform does not natively support such concepts. Experimental results on using this approach to design real-world examples of automation systems are presented. The results indicate a positive impact on the design of automation systems. The encapsulation of nonfunctional requirements was improved, increasing the reuse of developed artifacts. Generated source code statistics indicate that the proposed approach can generated a fair amount of code per model element. © 2013 IEEE.

Blonde L.,Ochsner Medical Center | Jendle J.,Örebro University | Gross J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Woo V.,University of Manitoba | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Background For patients with type 2 diabetes who do not achieve target glycaemic control with conventional insulin treatment, advancing to a basal-bolus insulin regimen is often recommended. We aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of long-acting glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist dulaglutide with that of insulin glargine, both combined with prandial insulin lispro, in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods We did this 52 week, randomised, open-label, phase 3, non-inferiority trial at 105 study sites in 15 countries. Patients (aged ≥18 years) with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with conventional insulin treatment were randomly assigned (1:1:1), via a computer-generated randomisation sequence with an interactive voice-response system, to receive once-weekly dulaglutide 1·5 mg, dulaglutide 0·75 mg, or daily bedtime glargine. Randomisation was stratified by country and metformin use. Participants and study investigators were not masked to treatment allocation, but were unaware of dulaglutide dose assignment. The primary outcome was a change in glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) from baseline to week 26, with a 0·4% non-inferiority margin. Analysis was by intention to treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01191268. Findings Between Dec 9, 2010, and Sept 21, 2012, we randomly assigned 884 patients to receive dulaglutide 1·5 mg (n=295), dulaglutide 0·75 mg (n=293), or glargine (n=296). At 26 weeks, the adjusted mean change in HbA1c was greater in patients receiving dulaglutide 1·5 mg (-1·64% [95% CI -1·78 to -1·50], -17·93 mmol/mol [-19·44 to -16·42]) and dulaglutide 0·75 mg (-1·59% [-1·73 to -1·45], -17·38 mmol/mol [-18·89 to -15·87]) than in those receiving glargine (-1·41% [-1·55 to -1·27], -15·41 mmol/mol [-16·92 to -13·90]). The adjusted mean difference versus glargine was -0·22% (95% CI -0·38 to -0·07, -2·40 mmol/mol [-4·15 to -0·77]; p=0·005) for dulaglutide 1·5 mg and -0·17% (-0·33 to -0·02, -1·86 mmol/mol [-3·61 to -0·22]; p=0·015) for dulaglutide 0·75 mg. Five (<1%) patients died after randomisation because of septicaemia (n=1 in the dulaglutide 1·5 mg group); pneumonia (n=1 in the dulaglutide 0·75 mg group); cardiogenic shock; ventricular fibrillation; and an unknown cause (n=3 in the glargine group). We recorded serious adverse events in 27 (9%) patients in the dulaglutide 1·5 mg group, 44 (15%) patients in the dulaglutide 0·75 mg group, and 54 (18%) patients in the glargine group. The most frequent adverse events, arising more often with dulaglutide than glargine, were nausea, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Interpretation Dulaglutide in combination with lispro resulted in a significantly greater improvement in glycaemic control than did glargine and represents a new treatment option for patients unable to achieve glycaemic targets with conventional insulin treatment. Funding Eli Lilly and Company. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Layton W.,University of Pittsburgh | Manica C.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Neda M.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Rebholz L.G.,Clemson University
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2010

We study stability, accuracy and efficiency of algorithms for a new regularization of the NSE, the NS-over(ω, ̄) model (in which the vorticity term, over(ω, ̄) = ∇ × over(u, ̄), is averaged) given by. ut - u × (∇ × over(u, ̄)) + ∇ q - ν Δ u = f, ∇ · u = 0 . This is similar to the NS-α model (in which the nonlinear term is over(u, ̄) × (∇ × u)), but the small difference opens attractive algorithmic possibilities. We give tests both confirming the predicted rates of convergence and exhibiting some shared limitations of both models. The experiments also show the discrete NS-over(ω, ̄) simulation has greater accuracy (Tables 3 and 4) at less cost (Table 2) and requires significantly fewer degrees of freedom (Section 1.1) than a comparable NS-α simulation. The experiments suggest consideration of adding grad-div stabilization and higher accuracy NS-over(ω, ̄)-deconvolution models as a next logical step. In fact, this combination produced accurate results (see Figs. 10 and 11) on the coarsest mesh (mesh 1) upon which all other methods, models and variants tested failed. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bazzan A.L.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | de Oliveira D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | da Silva B.C.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence | Year: 2010

Computer science in general, and artificial intelligence and multiagent systems in particular, are part of an effort to build intelligent transportation systems. An efficient use of the existing infrastructure relates closely to multiagent systems as many problems in traffic management and control are inherently distributed. In particular, traffic signal controllers located at intersections can be seen as autonomous agents. However, challenging issues are involved in this kind of modeling: the number of agents is high; in general agents must be highly adaptive; they must react to changes in the environment at individual level while also causing an unpredictable collective pattern, as they act in a highly coupled environment. Therefore, traffic signal control poses many challenges for standard techniques from multiagent systems such as learning. Despite the progress in multiagent reinforcement learning via formalisms based on stochastic games, these cannot cope with a high number of agents due to the combinatorial explosion in the number of joint actions. One possible way to reduce the complexity of the problem is to have agents organized in groups of limited size so that the number of joint actions is reduced. These groups are then coordinated by another agent, a tutor or supervisor. Thus, this paper investigates the task of multiagent reinforcement learning for control of traffic signals in two situations: agents act individually (individual learners) and agents can be "tutored", meaning that another agent with a broader sight will recommend a joint action. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Muniz A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Machado A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Maroudas D.,University of Massachusetts Amherst
Carbon | Year: 2015

We report a comprehensive computational study of the mechanical behavior of twodimensional carbon-based nanostructures generated from C-C interlayer bonding through chemical functionalization in bilayer graphene, based on molecular-dynamics simulations of uniaxial tensile deformation according to a reliable interatomic bond-order potential. These nanostructures range from superlattices of two-dimensional diamond-like nanodomains embedded in twisted bilayer graphene to fully interlayer-bonded graphene bilayers that constitute two-dimensional diamond-like films. We have analyzed in detail the fracture mechanisms of the nanostructures under tension as a function of the extent of interlayer bonding through chemical functionalization. In most cases, fracture is initiated at the interface between pristine graphene and interlayer-bonded two-dimensional diamond like domains in the composite structure and subsequently propagates across the material leading to failure through brittle cleavage. However, beyond a certain density of interlayer bonds with specific spatial distribution, there is a transition to ductile failure with a structural response that is characterized by void formation and coalescence. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Klitzke J.S.,CNRS Chemistry Institute of Rennes | Klitzke J.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Roisnel T.,CNRS Chemistry Institute of Rennes | Kirillov E.,CNRS Chemistry Institute of Rennes | And 2 more authors.
Organometallics | Year: 2014

Yttrium and aluminum complexes of an original pyridine-bis(phenolate) ligand have been prepared. Reactions of {ONOMe,Cumyl}Y[N(SiHMe 2)2](THF)(Et2O) (1) with 1 equiv of methyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate and methyl (S,S)-lactyllactate afforded respectively {ONOMe,Cumyl}Y((R)-OCH(CH3)CH2COOMe) (2) and {ONOMe,Cumyl}Y((S,S)-OCH(CH3)CO2CH(CH 3)CO2Me) (3), which are rare models of the active species in the ring-opening polymerization (ROP) of β-butyrolactone (BBL) and lactide (LA), respectively. 13C NMR data for 2 and 3 indicate that, in solution, the carbonyl groups coordinate onto the yttrium centers, forming mononuclear species with six- and five-membered cycles, respectively. The aluminum compounds {ONOMe,Cumyl}Al(iPr (S)-lactate) (5), {ONO Me,Cumyl}Al((R)-OCH(CH3)CH2COOCH3) (6), and {ONOMe,Cumyl}Al((rac)-OCH(CF3)CH 2CO2C2H5) (7) were prepared analogously from the parent methyl complex {ONOMe,Cumyl}AlMe (4). NMR data and the solid-state structure of 6 confirm the coordination of the carbonyl group. Yttrium compounds 1 and 2 are active initiators for the ROP of racemic LA and BBL. Their performances (activity, control of the molecular weights, tacticity) are much affected by the nature of the solvent or by the addition of just a few equivalents of pyridine. Optimal conditions are quite contrasted for the ROP of rac-LA and rac-BBL, highlighting fundamental differences between these two monomers. In the best cases, highly heterotactic PLAs (Pr up to 0.96) and syndiotactic-enriched PHB (Pr up to 0.86), with good control over the molecular weights, were obtained. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Rodrigues C.D.S.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Witt R.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing | Year: 2013

Background: Preceptorship is an emerging component of the Brazilian health care system for human resources education. This study attempted to identify competencies for preceptorship in this system. Methods: An exploratory descriptive study was conducted with the Delphi technique. The participants were primary health care professionals from the South of Brazil who were working in nine professional areas, including nursing. The participants had served as preceptors in an educational program promoted by the Ministries of Education and Health. Results: Forty-three competencies were identified and classified into nine domains: education, professional values, basic public health sciences, management, health care, teamwork, communication, community orientation, and professional development. Conclusion: The findings showed that preceptors were committed to the education of future health care professionals. The development of pedagogical skills was emphasized, as was the necessity of education before preceptorship. These competencies constitute a useful reference for continuing professional education. © SLACK Incorporated.

De Souza L.E.,Federal University of Pampa | Costa J.F.C.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Coal Geology | Year: 2013

The variogram is an important function in geostatistical applications such as kriging and various conditional simulation methods. In general, the actual variogram function is unknown for a particular application, and inferred from the experimental data. In the same way as first order statistics, the experimental variogram is also affected by preferentially clustered data. The irregularity of sampling has a well-known destructuring effect on the sample variograms, but it is rarely considered in their experimental calculation and modeling. This paper presents a study where a declustering method based on the data polygon of influence was applied in order to weight data pairs in experimental variogram calculations. The sample weighted variograms were appropriately modeled and used in sequential indicator simulations of coal thickness in a large Brazilian deposit. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Krott L.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bordin J.R.,Federal University of Pampa | Barbosa M.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2015

We explore the structural properties of anomalous fluids confined in a nanopore using molecular dynamics simulations. The fluid is modeled by core-softened (CS) potentials that have a repulsive shoulder and an attractive well at a further distance. Changing the attractive well depth of the fluid-fluid interaction potential, we studied the behavior of the anomalies in the translational order parameter t and excess entropy s2 for the particles near to the nanopore wall (contact layer) for systems with two or three layers of particles. When the attractive well of the CS potential is shallow, the systems present a three to two layers transition and, additionally to the usual structural anomaly, a new anomalous region in t and s2. For attractive well deep enough, the systems change from three layers to a bulk-like profile and just one region of anomaly in t and s2 is observed. Our results are discussed on the basis of the fluid-fluid and fluid-surface interactions. (Graph Presented). © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Gay Ducati M.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | MacHado M.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | MacHado M.V.T.,Federal University of Pampa
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2010

The single diffractive cross section for heavy quarks production is calculated at next-to-leading order (for nucleus-nucleus collisions. Such processes are expected to occur at the LHC, where the nuclei involved are lead at √s=5.5TeV and calcium at √s=6.3TeV. We start using the hard diffractive factorization formalism, taking into account a recent experimental parametrization for the Pomeron structure function (DPDF). Absorptive corrections are accounted for by the multiple Pomeron contributions considering a gap survival probability, where its theoretical uncertainty for nuclear collisions is discussed. We estimate the diffractive ratios for the single diffraction process in nuclear coherent/incoherent collisions at the LHC. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Dos Santos A.P.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Levin Y.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Soft Matter | Year: 2013

We study, using extensive Monte Carlo simulations, the behavior of cationic polyelectrolytes near hydrophobic surfaces in solutions containing Hofmeister salts. The Hofmeister anions are divided into kosmotropes and chaotropes. Near a hydrophobic surface, the chaotropes lose their solvation sheath and become partially adsorbed to the interface, while the kosmotropes remain strongly hydrated and are repelled from the interface. If the polyelectrolyte solution contains chaotropic anions, a significant adsorption of polyions onto the surface is also observed. On the other hand, the kosmotropic anions have only a small influence on polyion adsorption. These findings can have important implications for exploring the antibacterial properties of cationic polyelectrolytes. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Souza B.S.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Leopoldino E.C.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Tondo D.W.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Dupont J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Nome F.,Federal University of Santa Catarina
Langmuir | Year: 2012

Palladium nanoparticles (NPs) with an average size of 3.4 nm were prepared in water using imidazolium-based surfactant 3-(1-dodecyl-3-imidazolio) propanesulfonate (ImS3-12) as a stabilizer. The Pd NPs are highly dispersible in water and chloroform and were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and dynamic light scattering. The results indicate that in water the NP surface is covered with a double layer of ImS3-12 molecules. The NPs were effective in the aqueous biphasic hydrogenation of cyclohexene, with easy recycling and no loss of catalytic activity after four successive runs. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Pechansky F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Chandran A.,Johns Hopkins University
Addiction | Year: 2012

While individual studies from several South American countries have shown driving while intoxicated to be a problem, there are no objective systematically collected alcohol-associated driving data obtained in most South American countries. This limits their ability to implement and enforce targeted prevention strategies, evaluate whether proven prevention efforts from North America (particularly the United States and Canada) can be transferred to the South, and to sustain momentum for the improvement of road safety by demonstrating that previously implemented legal and policy changes are effective. The aim of this paper is to discuss the abysmal differences that exist between northern and southern American countries regarding the current status of driving while intoxicated prevention strategies-their implementation, impacts and effects-using Brazil as a case example. We propose a three-pronged approach to close this northern-southern American gap in driving while intoxicated prevention and intervention: (a) systematic collection on road traffic crash/injury/death as well as risk factor data, (b) passage of laws without loopholes requiring compliance with blood alcohol concentration testing and (c) provision of appropriate training and equipment to the police in concomitance with vigilant enforcement. Resources and energies must be put towards data collection, implementation of prevention strategies and enforcement in order to decrease the unacceptably high rates of these preventable driving while intoxicated deaths. © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction.

Pereira L.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Scharlau C.C.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Pereira L.F.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Haffner S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion | Year: 2012

The third harmonic of the airgap induction plays a more important role in high-phase machines than in conventional three-phase machines, because it can be used to optimize the airgap waveform and produce useful torque. The paper assesses the influence of saturation on the production of an optimized induction waveform in the airgap of five-phase induction machines through the third harmonic induction component. It is shown that teeth and core saturation have opposite effects in what concerns the production of optimized airgap induction. The paper also shows that, different from three-phase machines, a third harmonic airgap field can exist even when the five-phase machine is connected in delta or connected in star with neutral conductor. Analytical expressions to approximate the airgap induction including saturation effects are presented and the joint effect of stator current and saturation is discussed. Experimental results obtained from a prototype machine are presented and compared to theoretical values. © 2011 IEEE.

Rampinelli G.A.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Krenzinger A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Chenlo Romero F.,CIEMAT
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

In order to perform a reliable simulation of a photovoltaic system is crucial to know the electrical and thermal characteristics of each component that will be modeled by mathematical models that describe the system operation. This paper presents the development of mathematical models that characterize the inverter used in grid-connected photovoltaic systems. The mathematical models were fitted from experimental tests and they are suitable to be used in computer simulation software. The tests were performed on a set of inverters commercially available at Solar Energy Laboratory at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS, Brazil) and at Photovoltaic Solar Energy Laboratory at Research Centre for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT, Spain). From the measured data it was calculated fitting coefficients to the efficiency curve of several inverters. In order to use these mathematical models for simulating other inverters, their own coefficients have to be experimentally determined and entered into the data base of the software in order to provide a full detailed computer simulation.

Pasini E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Ritter M.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

A new species of Trichocline from southern Brazil and Uruguay is described as T. cisplatina. The new species is similar to the allopatric species T. catharinensis in involucre features and phyllary shape. Trichocline cisplatina can be distinguished by its procumbent scape, pinatifid leaves with up to ten pairs of rounded and flexuose lobes that occasionally form secondary lobes, ray florets with a yellow-orange corolla, wider involucre and phyllaries, and an ovary with whitish 2-seriate trichomes that are inflated at the apex and densely distributed. The new species occurs in the southeastern region of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil and southeastern Uruguay, on grasslands with sandy or rocky soils or dunes, and is endemic to the region. Here we provide a description of T. cisplatina, information about its conservation status and ecology, a distribution map, illustrations, and a key for identification of the native species of Trichocline from southern Brazil and Uruguay. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Schneider A.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Boldrini I.I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

A new species endemic to rocky cliffs in southern Brazil, Hysterionica matzenbacherii, is described. This species is characterized by leaves that are distally irregularly incised to parted. It is morphologically similar to the Brazilian H. pinnatiloba and H. pinnatisecta in its habit, capitula and florets, but differs from them by its leaf features. A description of H. matzenbacherii, together with illustrations, a distribution map, habitat description, conservation assessment and diagnostic comparison with the other Brazilian species of Hysterionica is presented. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Grings M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Boldrini I.I.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

Two new species of Pavonia section Lebretonia from the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina are described, Pavonia salmonea and Pavonia exasperata. The first inhabits highland grasslands and scrub, and edges of Araucaria forest in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest biome, being distinguished from similar species by its salmon pink corollas, leaves with large stellate trichomes and features of its mericarps. The second species inhabits dry and rocky grasslands and forest edges in the Pampa biome, being distinguished from similar species by its larger apiculate mericarps with lateral acute tubercles, and by the presence of lobate basal leaves. Descriptions, illustrations, images and a distribution map for the two new species, as well as a diagnostic key, are presented. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Schneck F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Melo A.S.,Federal University of Goais
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2012

Habitat heterogeneity in lotic systems is usually associated with the availability of refuges. Heterogeneous habitats (here, rough substrata) should mediate the effect of high-flow disturbances by protecting benthic algae, thus increasing the resistance and resilience of the system. Additionally, the ability of algae to resist a disturbance and recover after it should be dependent on biological traits that confer resistance and resilience. We designed a field experiment, simulating a high-flow event with bed movement, to test the effect of substratum roughness on the resistance (assessed as the similarity between samples collected before and immediately after disturbance) and resilience (the similarity between samples collected before and 7 and 15days after disturbance) of five algal life forms. We evaluated whether algal resistance and resilience were higher on rough than on smooth substrata, and whether the life forms differed in their ability to resist and recover from a disturbance. Rough substrata had higher species richness than smooth substrata at all sampling periods, even immediately after the disturbance. There was no significant effect of substratum roughness on algal resistance and resilience, for both species richness and density of the total assemblage. Neither did roughness affect the resistance and resilience of the total algal assemblage or of the algal life forms separately, when evaluated using multivariate data sets (presence-absence and quantitative). Algal life forms differed in resistance and resilience; adnate/prostrate and erect/stalked species were more resistant and resilient than the other life forms (filamentous, motile and metaphytic). Additionally, motile species resisted and recovered better than did species that are only loosely associated with the substratum (metaphytic species). Substratum roughness had no pronounced effect on benthic algal resistance and resilience. The results of this and some other studies suggest that the intensity of disturbance determines the importance of habitat heterogeneity and flow refuges for benthic algae in streams. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Longhi-Wagner H.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Welker C.A.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Phytotaxa | Year: 2012

A survey of the Poaceae species that occur in Serra do Ouro Branco based on fieldwork and herbaria collections as well as bibliographical data is presented. Eighty-four species were found and are presented in a checklist. Five of these species were introduced to the area from Africa. Isachne (Micrairoideae) is a new record in the Espinhaço Range and Dichanthelium stipiflorum is a new record in the State of Minas Gerais. An analysis of the geographic distribution patterns of native species is presented together with a comparison with the Poaceae diversity on other mountains of the Espinhaço Range. © 2012 Magnolia Press.

Correa L.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Stein R.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Fett-Neto A.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Biologia Plantarum | Year: 2012

Arabidopsis thaliana Heyhn is a model species in biochemical, physiological and molecular studies for which a plethora of mutants is available. This work aimed at developing a system for rooting of detached leaves, and evaluating time course of several relevant biochemical parameters during rooting assays with and without auxins. The rooting pattern was of the direct type (without callus formation) in all of the treatments and ecotypes analyzed and was rather stable. Considering the different parameters examined, peroxidase activity and contents of phenolic compounds and soluble sugars appeared as the most distinct biochemical markers of the rooting process in this system. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Ferro V.G.,Federal University of Goais | Romanowski H.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Zoologia | Year: 2012

The Atlantic Forest is considered a biodiversity hotspot for conservation, because its fauna and flora are highly endemic and suffer from loss of natural habitats. This study assessed the composition and diversity of tiger moths (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) in two floristic formations of the southern Atlantic Forest (grassland and Araucaria forest) and in a transition zone (forest edge). The moths were attracted to UV light reflected onto a white sheet. A total of 3,574 tiger moths were collected, representing 121 species. The rarefaction curves showed that the tiger-moth assemblage collected in the grassland was more diverse than the assemblages from the Araucaria forest and the transition zone. The assemblages in the forest and forest edge resembled each other, whereas the grassland assemblage was distinct. The composition of the tiger-moth assemblages was related to the environmental characteristics [habitat type (grassland, edge, or forest), altitude, temperature, air relative humidity] and the location of the sites. The faunal similarity decreased in response to increasing environmental and geographical distances between the sites. The responsiveness of tiger moths to small-scale variation in environmental and geographical parameters indicates their good potential as environmental indicators. © 2012 Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia. All rights reserved.

When 'fingerprinting' is used to identify what proportions Ps (s=1,..., g) of suspended sediment come from g different source areas, measures of the uncertainties in estimates of the Ps are also required. These uncertainties are influenced by two kinds of correlation whose effects are rarely recognized in the literature. These are (i) correlation between the estimated Ps because they must add to 1 and (ii) correlation between the geochemical tracers measured in sediment samples. This paper uses bootstrap procedures to identify joint confidence regions for the estimated proportions [responding to correlation of type (i)] and to explore alternatives to the 'standard' least-squares criterion used to estimate the proportions when tracer measurements are correlated [correlation of type (ii)]. Using a limited dataset with three sediment source areas for illustration (g=3), results were obtained from 5000 bootstrap samples, using two criteria (standard and generalized least squares, GLS) with two inequality constraints: (a) 0≤Ps≤1, where Ps is the fraction of suspended sediment contributed by the s-th source area (s=1, 2, 3) and (b) 0s<1, which, the paper argues, better represents reality. Approximate 95% confidence regions for the Ps, given by the two criteria and two inequality constraints, were compared. Using inequality constraint (a), the confidence region given by the GLS criterion was slightly smaller than that given by the standard; using constraint (b), the two confidence regions' boundaries were almost identical, suggesting that the effects of correlations between tracers were not large for the dataset used. For both criteria, the scatter amongst estimated proportions Ps obtained by bootstrapping was large, raising issues concerning the efficiency of sampling and the allocation of sampling effort, both in source areas and in transported suspended sediment. The results suggest that apparently small differences in the constraints applied to the proportions Ps can give quite different numerical results. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Bernaud F.S.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rodrigues T.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia e Metabologia | Year: 2013

The positive effects of dietary fiber are related, in part, to the fact that a portion of the fermentation of components takes place in the large intestine, which has an impact on the speed of digestion, pH of the colon, and production of by-products with important physiological functions. Individuals with high fiber intake seem to have lower risk of developing coronary artery disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and colon cancer.The increase in fiber intake reduces serum cholesterol, improves blood glucose in patients with diabetes, reduces body weight, and is associated with lower serum ultrasensitive C-reactive protein. Increased fiber intake and intake of more fiber than the currently recommended level (14 g/1,000 kcal) may provide greater health benefits, including reducing low-grade inflammation. © ABE&M todos os direitos reservados.

Salum G.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista brasileira de psiquiatria (São Paulo, Brazil : 1999) | Year: 2013

The objective of this narrative review of the literature is to describe the epidemiology, etiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of pediatric anxiety disorders. We aim to guide clinicians in understanding the biology of anxiety disorders and to provide general guidelines for the proper diagnoses and treatment of these conditions early in life. Anxiety disorders are prevalent, associated with a number of negative life outcomes, and currently under-recognized and under-treated. The etiology involves both genes and environmental influences modifying the neural substrate in a complex interplay. Research on pathophysiology is still in its infancy, but some brain regions, such as the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, have been implicated in fear and anxiety. Current practice is to establish diagnosis based purely on clinical features, derived from clinical interviews with the child, parents, and teachers. Treatment is effective using medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a combination of both. An introduction to the neuroscience behind anxiety disorders combined with an evidence-based approach may help clinicians to understand these disorders and treat them properly in childhood.

Bastos A.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bastos A.G.,Contemporary Institute of Psychoanalysis and Transdisciplinarity of Porto Alegre | Pinto Guimaraes L.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pinto Guimaraes L.S.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | Trentini C.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2013

Background Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the efficacy of different forms of therapy for depression are relatively common. However, there are not many RCTs comparing neurocognitive effects of these treatments. Neurocognitive changes across three types of treatment for depression were compared. Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) was compared with fluoxetine treatment, and their combination, in the treatment of moderate depression. Methods A 272 adult patients with beck depression inventory (BDI) scores 20-35 were randomized to receive LTPP, fluoxetine monotherapy or their combination for a 24 months period. The Wechsler adult intelligence scale version III (WAIS-III) was the primary neuropsychological measure. Result Multilevel mixed model analyses indicated that there were neurocognitive changes within and between treatments, with statistically significant differences over time (p>.01). LTPP and combined treatment seemed to be more efficacious in modifying specific areas of cognition than fluoxetine alone. Limitations Sample very homogenous, threatening external validity. Conclusions LTPP and its combination with fluoxetine demonstrated to be effective for specific neurocognitive increasing in patients with moderate depression. This study suggests marked differences over time in the neurocognitive effects between the three treatment forms compared. Results found here may be of clinical relevance for building bridges between pharmacotherapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Goncalves Ferrari G.,Leiden University | Goncalves Ferrari G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Boekholt T.,Leiden University | Portegies Zwart S.F.,Leiden University
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We developed a Keplerian-based Hamiltonian splitting for solving the gravitational N-body problem. This splitting allows us to approximate the solution of a general N-body problem by a composition of multiple, independently evolved two-body problems. While the Hamiltonian splitting is exact, we show that the composition of independent two-body problems results in a non-symplectic non-time-symmetric first-order map. A time-symmetric second-order map is then constructed by composing this basic first-order map with its self-adjoint. The resulting method is precise for each individual two-body solution and produces quick and accurate results for near-Keplerian N-body systems, like planetary systems or a cluster of stars that orbit a supermassive black hole. The method is also suitable for integration of N-body systems with intrinsic hierarchies, like a star cluster with primordial binaries. The superposition of Kepler solutions for each pair of particles makes the method excellently suited for parallel computing; we achieve ≥64 per cent efficiency for only eight particles per core, but close to perfect scaling for 16 384 particles on a 128 core distributed-memory computer. We present several implementations in SAKURA, one of which is publicly available via the AMUSE framework. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Sanmartim D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Storchi-Bergmann T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Brotherton M.S.,University of Wyoming
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We have used optical Integral Field Spectroscopy in order to map the star formation history of the inner kiloparsec of the post-starburst quasar (PSQ) J0330-0532 and to map its gas and stellar kinematics as well as the gas excitation. PSQs are hypothesized to represent a stage in the evolution of galaxies in which the star formation has been recently quenched due to the feedback of the nuclear activity, as suggested by the presence of the post-starburst population at the nucleus.We have found that the old stellar population (age ≥ 2.5 Gyr) dominates the flux at 5100Å in the inner 0.26 kpc, while both the post-starburst (100 Myr ≤ age <2.5 Gyr) and starburst (age <100 Myr) components dominate the flux in a circumnuclear ring at ≈0.5 kpc from the nucleus.With our spatially resolved study we have not found any post-starburst stellar population in the inner 0.26 kpc. On the other hand, we do see the signature ofAGNfeedback in this region, which does not reach the circumnuclear ring where the post-starburst population is observed. We thus do not support the quenching scenario for the PSQ J0330-0532. In addition, we have concluded that the strong signature of the post-starburst population in larger aperture spectra (e.g. from Sloan Digital Sky Survey) is partially due to the combination of the young and old age components. Based on the MBH - σstar relationship and the stellar kinematics we have estimated a mass for the supermassive black hole of 1.48 ± 0.66 × 107 M⊙. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Recamonde-Mendoza M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bazzan A.L.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Information Sciences | Year: 2016

In many situations, a centralized, conventional classification task can not be performed because the data is not available in a central facility. In such cases, we are dealing with distributed data mining problems, in which local models must be individually built and later combined into a consensus, global model. In this paper, we are particularly interested in distributed classification tasks with vertically partitioned data, i.e., when features are distributed among several sources. This restriction implies a challenging scenario given that the development of an accurate model usually requires access to all the features that are relevant for classification. To deal with such a situation, we propose an agent-based classification system, in which the preference orderings of each agent regarding the probability of an instance to belong to the target class are aggregated by means of social choice functions. We employ this method to classify microRNA target genes, an important bioinformatics problem, showing that the predictions derived from the social choice tend to outperform local models in this application. This performance gain is accompanied by other interesting advantages: the aggregation methods herein proposed are extremely simple, do not require transfer of large volumes of data, do not assume an offline training process or parameters setup, and preserve data privacy. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Riffel R.A.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Vale T.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Vale T.B.,Federal University of Fluminense | Storchi-Bergmann T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | McGregor P.J.,Australian National University
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We present emission-line flux distributions and ratios for the inner ≈200 pc of the narrowline region (NLR) of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068, using observations obtained with the Gemini Near-infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) in the J, H and K bands at a spatial resolution of ≈10 pc and spectral resolution of ≈5300. The molecular gas emission - traced by the K-band H2 emission lines - outlines an off-centred circumnuclear ring with a radius of ≈100 pc showing thermal excitation. The ionized gas emission lines show flux distributions mostly outlining the previously known [O III] λ5007 ionization bi-cone. But while the flux distributions in the HI and He II emission lines are very similar to that observed in [OIII], the flux distribution in the [Fe II] emission lines is more extended and broader than a cone close to the nucleus, showing a 'double bowl' or 'hourglass' structure. This difference is attributed to the fact that the [Fe II] emission, besides coming from the fully ionized region, comes also from the more extended partially ionized regions, in gas excited mainly by X-rays from the active galactic nucleus. A contribution to the [Fe II] emission from shocks along the bi-cone axis to north-east and south-west of the nucleus is also supported by the enhancement of the [Fe II](1.2570 μm)/[P II](1.1885 μm) and [Fe II](1.2570 μm)/Paβ emission-line ratios at these locations and is attributed to the interaction of the radio jet with the NLR. The mass of ionized gas in the inner 200 pc of NGC 1068 is MHII ≈ 2.2 × 104Mȯ, while the mass of the H2 emitting gas is onlyMH2 ≈ 29Mȯ. Taking into account the dominant contribution of the cold molecular gas, we obtain an estimate of the total molecular gas mass of Mcold ≈ 2× 107Mȯ. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Indrusiak M.L.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Moller S.V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science | Year: 2011

This paper presents experimental results of the accelerating and decelerating flow in the wake of a cylinder obtained by means of hot wire anemometry measurements in a wind tunnel with high blockage ratio. The analysis was done in Fourier and wavelet spaces. The Strouhal number for Reynolds numbers up to 3×104 was studied in a transient flow and compared with the results obtained from steady flows at several velocities uniformly distributed from Re=1.7×103 to 3×104. Results show that the wavelet analysis is a valuable tool to deal with both transient and stationary random phenomena and that is able to capture the characteristics of the transient flow as well as the Fourier analysis can do with the steady state acquisitions. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Rohde L.E.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bertoldi E.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Goldraich L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Polanczyk C.A.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre
Nature Reviews Cardiology | Year: 2013

Heart failure (HF) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Management of HF involves accurate diagnosis and implementation of evidence-based treatment strategies. Costs related to the care of patients with HF have increased substantially over the past 2 decades, partly owing to new medications and diagnostic tests, increased rates of hospitalization, implantation of costly novel devices and, as the disease progresses, consideration for heart transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and end-of-life care. Not surprisingly, HF places a huge burden on health-care systems, and widespread implementation of all potentially beneficial therapies for HF could prove unrealistic for many, if not all, nations. Cost-effectiveness analyses can help to quantify the relationship between clinical outcomes and the economic implications of available therapies. This Review is a critical overview of cost-effectiveness studies on key areas of HF management, involving pharmacological and nonpharmacological clinical therapies, including device-based and surgical therapeutic strategies. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Nemmen R.S.,NASA | Storchi-Bergmann T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Eracleous M.,Pennsylvania State University
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We perform an exploratory study of the physical properties of accretion flows and jets in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) by modelling the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 12 LLAGNs in low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs). These SEDs we constructed from high-resolution radio, X-ray and optical/ultraviolet (UV) observations of the immediate vicinity of the black hole. We adopt a coupled accretion-jet model comprising an inner advection-dominated accretion flow (ADAF) and an outer standard thin disc. We present best-fitting models in which either the ADAF or the jet dominates the X-ray emission.Six sources in our sample display an optical-UV excess with respect to ADAF and jet models; this excess can be explained as emission from the truncated disc with transition radii 30-225 RS in four of them. In almost all sources the optical emission can also be attributed to unresolved, old stellar clusters with masses ̃107-108 M⊙. We find evidence for a correlation between the accretion rate and jet power and an anticorrelation between the radio loudness and the accretion rate. We confirm previous findings that the radio emission is severely underpredicted by ADAF models and explained by the relativistic jet. We find evidence for a non-linear relation between the X-ray and bolometric luminosities and a slight IR excess in the average model SED compared to that of quasars. We suggest that the hardness of the X-ray spectrum can be used to identify the X-ray emission mechanism and discuss directions for progress in understanding the origin of the X-rays. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Dupont J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2011

Ionic liquids (ILs), a special group of classical molten salts, are widely used in various fields of science. Historically, researchers have tested ILs out of curiosity or to improve a specific property in a particular system in many areas of chemistry or materials science. However, today, ILs are far from being simple chemical curiosities and sit at the center of various green industrial innovation processes, where they play important roles in materials extraction, reactive catalytic supports, spatial devices, and biotransformations.In this Account, we describe a journey into a nanostructured universe to better understand the unique properties of ionic liquids and their modern applications. Because molten salts have been known for centuries and have found limited uses, we try to explain why modern nonaqueous ILs deserve increased interest and curiosity. We discuss the characteristics that distinguish modern nonaqueous ILs and compare them with classical molten salts.One of the main differences between room temperature ILs, especially those based on imidazolium cations, and simple molten salts, is the molecular asymmetry built into at least one of the ions. This asymmetry in modern, nonaqueous ILs opposes the strong charge ordering due to ionic interactions that normally would cause the system to crystallize. In addition, the presence of a cooperative network of hydrogen bonds between the cations and anions induces structural directionality (the entropic effect). Therefore, modern ILs form preorganized structures, mainly through hydrogen bonding, that induce structural directionality. In contrast, classical salts form aggregates only through ionic bonds. In other words, weak interactions order the structures in modern ILs while charges order the structure within classical salts.ILs cannot be regarded as merely homogeneous solvents. In fact, ILs form extended hydrogen-bond networks with polar and nonpolar nano domains and therefore are by definition "supramolecular" fluids. Thus, ILs are better described as hydrogen-bonded polymeric supramolecules of the type [(DAI)m(X)m-n)] n+[(DAI)m-n(X)x)]n-. This structural pattern is a general trend for both the solid and the liquid phase and is apparently maintained to a large extent even in the gas phase. This structural organization of ILs can be used as entropic drivers (the "IL effect") for the preparation of well-defined nanoscale structures with extended order, either in the bulk phase or at the gas/vacuum interface. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Toniolo J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Takimi A.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bergmann C.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Materials Research Bulletin | Year: 2010

The combustion synthesis technique using glycine and urea as fuels and cobalt nitrate as an oxidizer is capable of producing well-crystallized Co3O4, CoO, as well as metallic Co powders. An interpretation based on the thermodynamic viewpoint and the measurement of the combustion temperatures during the reactions occurring for various fuel-to-oxidant ratios was proposed for a study of the nature of combustion and its correlation with the characteristics of as-synthesized powders. The largest measured specific surface area of the powders was 36 m2/g at a 0.14 glycine-to-nitrate ratio. The crystallites were nano-sized ranging from approximately 23 to 90 nm. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Robison A.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Computing in Science and Engineering | Year: 2013

Intel Cilk Plus extends C and C++ to enable writing composable deterministic parallel software that can exploit both the thread and vector parallelism commonly available in modern hardware. A program that forgoes vector parallelism and thread parallelism might be giving up most of a modern microprocessor's capabilities. For example, recent processors have on the order of eight hardware threads that can each operate on vectors of eight floats. Hardware parallelism continues to grow. The recently introduced Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor has up to 240 hardware threads and vector registers of 16 floats. To get maximum performance, one needs to compose thread and vector parallelism. The middle level, thread parallelism, consists of multiple hardware threads sharing memory. Each thread can execute an independent stream of instructions. Although hardware threads can be programmed using low-level interfaces such as Posix threads, doing so is tedious, error prone, and can have composition problems.

Vignolo L.D.,CONICET | Milone D.H.,CONICET | Scharcanski J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2013

Feature selection is a key issue in pattern recognition, specially when prior knowledge of the most discriminant features is not available. Moreover, in order to perform the classification task with reduced complexity and acceptable performance, usually features that are irrelevant, redundant, or noisy are excluded from the problem representation. This work presents a multi-objective wrapper, based on genetic algorithms, to select the most relevant set of features for face recognition tasks. The proposed strategy explores the space of multiple feasible selections in order to minimize the cardinality of the feature subset, and at the same time to maximize its discriminative capacity. Experimental results show that, in comparison with other state-of-the-art approaches, the proposed approach allows to improve the classification performance, while reducing the representation dimensionality. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Guzatto R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Martini T.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Samios D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Fuel Processing Technology | Year: 2011

In this study, the Transesterification Double Step Process (TDSP) for the production of biodiesel from vegetable oil was modified to yield a shorter reaction time and products with improved quality. TDSP consists in a two step transesterification procedure which starts with a basic catalysis, followed by an acidic catalysis. The process modifications included a reduction in the concentration of catalysts, a reduction in the reaction time of the first step and the direct mixing of methanol/acid solution, without cooling the system between the first and second step. A comparison between washed and unwashed biodiesel demonstrates that the final washing and drying procedure is necessary for satisfactory results. The products were analyzed by 1H-NMR and nineteen different biodiesel analyses specific for international quality certification. The modified procedure resulted in a high conversion index (97% for waste cooking oil and soybean oil and 98% for linseed oil) and high yield (87 ± 5% for waste cooking oil, 92 ± 3% for soybean and 93 ± 3% for linseed oil). The biodiesel produced by the modified TDSP met ASTM, EN ISO and ABNT standards before the addition of stabilizer. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Weinert L.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Weinert L.S.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre | Silveiro S.P.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Silveiro S.P.,Hospital Of Clinicas Of Porto Alegre
Maternal and Child Health Journal | Year: 2014

Research into the extra-skeletal functions of vitamin D has been expanding in recent years. During pregnancy, maternal vitamin D status may be of concern because of the key role of this vitamin in fetal skeletal development and due to the association between hypovitaminosis D and adverse maternal–fetal outcomes. Therefore, the objective of this manuscript was to review the maternal–fetal impact of gestational vitamin D deficiency and the benefits of vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy. A literature search was performed in PubMed and Embase employing the following keywords: vitamin D deficiency, pregnancy, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and hypovitaminosis D. All relevant articles in English language published since 1980 were analysed by the two authors. Neonatal complications derived from vitamin D deficiency include low birth weight, growth restriction, and respiratory tract infection. In the mother, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with altered glucose homeostasis and increased incidence of gestational diabetes mellitus, pre-eclampsia, and bacterial vaginosis. However, the current state of the evidence is controversial for some other endpoints and the actual benefit of vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy remains unclear. Additional longitudinal studies may clarify the actual impact of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, and randomised trials are required to define the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the incidence of adverse outcomes in the mother and infant. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Radatz C.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Alves D.,Federal University of Pelotas | Schneider P.H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Tetrahedron | Year: 2013

We present here a general and easy method for the synthesis of several 2-aryl-1,3-benzoselenazoles from the reaction of bis(2-aminophenyl) diselenides with different aryl aldehydes, promoted by the non-toxic inorganic reducing agent sodium metabisulfite (Na2S2O5) in DMSO at 120 °C. This efficient method furnishes in high yields the corresponding 2-aryl substituted 1,3-benzoselenazoles and tolerates a range of substituents at the aryl ring of aldehydes. The use of focused microwave irradiation decreases drastically the reaction time from 48 to 2 h. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Behaine C.A.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Scharcanski J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement | Year: 2012

Biometric features in face recognition systems are one of the most reliable and least intrusive alternatives for personal identity authentication. Active shape model (ASM) is an adaptive shape matching technique that has been used often for locating facial features in face images. However, the performance of ASM can degrade substantially in the presence of noise or near the face frame contours. In this correspondence, we propose a new ASM landmark selection scheme to improve the ASM performance in face recognition applications. The proposed scheme selects robust landmark points where relevant facial features are found and assigns higher weights to their corresponding features in the face classification stage. The experimental results are promising and indicate that our approach tends to enhance the performance of ASM, leading to improvements in the final face classification results. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Manhabosco T.M.,Federal University of Ouro Preto | Tamborim S.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | dos Santos C.B.,Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation | Muller I.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Corrosion Science | Year: 2011

Tribological, electrochemical and tribo-electrochemical behaviour of bare and nitrided Ti6Al4V alloy was studied. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction and microhardness profile were used to characterize the nitrided Ti6Al4V. The anticorrosive properties of nitrided Ti6Al4V in phosphate buffer saline solution (PBS), simulating the body environment, were evaluated by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). Nitriding increased the alloy resistance to corrosion and to dry wear. Resistance to tribocorrosion in PBS at the open circuit potential (OCP) for the nitrided alloy was also significantly increased compared to the bare alloy; nevertheless at an anodic potential this influence became less important. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Sangoi M.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Todeschini V.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Steppe M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Talanta | Year: 2011

In the present study, a rapid validated stability-indicating LC method was established and comprehensive stress testing of fesoterodine was carried out according to ICH guidelines. Fesoterodine was subjected to stress conditions of acid and basic hydrolysis, oxidation, photolysis and thermal decomposition. The degradation products formed under stress conditions were investigated by LC-UV and LC-ESI-MS. Successful separation of the drug from its degradation products was achieved on a monolithic C18 column (100 mm × 4.6 mm i.d.) maintained at 45 °C using acetonitrile-methanol-0.03 mol L-1 ammonium acetate (pH 3.8) (30:15:55, v/v/v) as the mobile phase. The flow rate was 2.4 mL min-1 and the detection wavelength was 208 nm. Validation parameters such as specificity, linearity, precision, accuracy, and robustness were evaluated. Chromatographic separation was obtained within 2.5 min and it was suitable for high-throughput analysis. Fragmentation patterns of degradation products formed under different stress conditions were studied and characterized through LC-ESI-MS fragmentation. Based on the results, a drug degradation pathway was proposed, and the validated LC method was successfully applied to the quantitative analysis of fesoterodine in tablet dosage forms, helping to improve quality control and to assure therapeutic efficacy. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Claeyssen J.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tsukazan T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Coppeti R.D.,Federal University of Santa Maria
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing | Year: 2013

This paper studies forced responses of a nonlocal Euler-Bernoulli microcantilever for single carbon nanotubes which can also be employed as a tip attached to an AFM probe. Modal analysis can be used in terms of the normal mode property with single carbon nanotubes that share clamped, fixed or sliding end conditions. The modal analysis of the flexural vibrations with such boundary conditions is formulated in terms of a fundamental spatial amplitude response. Forced responses are determined through convolution with the impulse response of a beam subject to internal and external damping. This later response is systematically employed for identifying induced transients due to permanent responses. By approximating the impulse response with the Galerkin method, we have obtained closed-form forced responses due to concentrated harmonic loads and to modulated spatial finite span pulses. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Betti A.H.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Behavioural Pharmacology | Year: 2016

Aiming to identify new antipsychotic lead-compounds, our group has been working on the design and synthesis of new N-phenylpiperazine derivatives. Here, we characterized LASSBio-1422 as a pharmacological prototype of this chemical series. Adult male Wistar rats and CF1 mice were used for in-vitro and in-vivo assays, respectively. LASSBio-1422 [1 and 5 mg/kg, postoperatively (p.o.)] inhibited apomorphine-induced climbing as well as ketamine-induced hyperlocomotion (1 and 5 mg/kg, p.o.), animal models predictive of efficacy on positive symptoms. Furthermore, LASSBio-1422 (5 mg/kg, p.o.) prevented the prepulse impairment induced by apomorphine, (±)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine, and ketamine, as well as the memory impairment induced by ketamine in the novel object-recognition task at the acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval phases of memory formation. Potential extrapyramidal side-effects and sedation were assessed by catatonia, rota-rod, locomotion, and barbiturate sleeping time, and LASSBio-1422 (15 mg/kg, p.o.) did not affect any of the parameters observed. Binding assays showed that LASSBio-1422 has a binding profile different from the known atypical antipsychotic drugs: it does not bind to AMPA, kainate, N-methyl-D-aspartate, glicine, and mGluR2 receptors and has low or negligible affinity for D1, D2, and 5-HT2A/C receptors, but high affinity for D4 receptors (Ki=0.076 µmol/l) and, to a lesser extent, for 5-HT1A receptors (Ki=0.493 µmol/l). The antagonist action of LASSBio-1422 at D4 receptors was assessed through the classical GTP-shift assay. In conclusion, LASSBio-1422 is effective in rodent models of positive and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia and its ability to bind to D4 and 5-HT1A receptors may at least in part explain its effects in these animal models. Copyright © 2016 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Calegaro-Marques C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Amato S.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Parasitology | Year: 2013

Seasonality has strong effects on natural systems by influencing resource availability, thereby interfering in plant-herbivore, prey-predator, and host-parasite interactions. We compared the seasonal structure of the helminth community of rufous-bellied thrushes (Turdus rufiventris), assessed its correlation with environmental variables, and interpreted temporal patterns of parasite abundance in relation to their life cycles and likely changes in the availability of intermediate hosts and vectors. Fifteen helminth species were found in a sample of 151 thrushes collected on a seasonal basis over 3 yr. Infracommunity structure was affected by season and year. The ordination of component communities grouped fall and winter samples within a gradient of similarity that was correlated with average relative air humidity (RH) and average ambient temperature. RH (alone or in combination with temperature, rainfall, or both) was also found to be a good predictor of the abundance of 5 helminth species. © American Society of Parasitologists 2013.

Schulz S.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Gomes H.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Awruch A.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Computers and Structures | Year: 2013

The optimization of piezoelectric patches allocation in composite structures is analysed in this paper. The finite element method and a linear quadratic regulator are used to study the electro-mechanical behaviour and the gain calculation. Due to the discrete nature of the problem, a simple binary Genetic algorithm is used as an optimization tool. Three examples are presented related to the optimal allocation based on Lyapunov functional. The PSD (Power Spectral Density) of the state space variables as well as input voltages are presented in order to identify the controlled modes and to show the effective attenuation obtained due to control of specific modes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Teles T.N.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Benetti F.P.D.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pakter R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Levin Y.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We introduce a generalized Hamiltonian mean field model-an XY model with both linear and quadratic coupling between spins and explicit Hamiltonian dynamics. In addition to the usual paramagnetic and ferromagnetic phases, this model also possesses a nematic phase. The generalized Hamiltonian mean field model can be solved explicitly using Boltzmann-Gibbs statistical mechanics, in both canonical and microcanonical ensembles. However, when the resulting microcanonical phase diagram is compared with the one obtained using molecular dynamics simulations, it is found that the two are very different. We will present a dynamical theory which allows us to explicitly calculate the phase diagram obtained using molecular dynamics simulations without any adjustable parameters. The model illustrates the fundamental role played by dynamics as well the inadequacy of Boltzmann-Gibbs statistics for systems with long-range forces in the thermodynamic limit. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Stanculescu I.,Nova Southeastern University | Manica C.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Computers and Mathematics with Applications | Year: 2010

This report develops and studies a new family of Navier-Stokes equation regularizations: Leray-Tikhonov regularizations with time relaxation models. This new family of turbulence models is based on a modification (consistent with the large scales) of Tikhonov-Lavrentiev regularization. With this approach, we obtain an approximation of the unfiltered solution by one filtering step. We introduce the modified Tikhonov deconvolution operator and study its mathematical properties. We also perform rigorous numerical analysis of a computationally attractive algorithm for this family of models and present numerical experiments using it. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ben A.J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Neumann C.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Mengue S.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Revista de Saude Publica | Year: 2012

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the reliability and performance of the Portuguese version of questionnaires used to evaluate adherence to hypertensive treatment. METHODS: Hypertensive patients attending a primary healthcare unit in Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, from January to September 2010, were randomly selected (n = 206). To evaluate adherence, Portuguese versions of the Morisky-Green test (MGT) and the Brief Medication Questionnaire (BMQ) were used. The analysis considered internal consistency, temporal stability and performance compared to three gold standards, which are: inadequate control of blood pressure (BP ≥ 140/90mmHg); insufficient rate of medication acquisition at the institution's pharmacy (<80%) and a combination of both factors. RESULTS: Of the patients studied, 97 only used medications dispensed by the Basic Health Unit. The tests showed good internal consistency by Cronbach's α: BMQ 0.66 (95%CI 0.60 to 0.73) and the MGT 0.73 (95%CI 0.67 to 0.79). The BMQ Regimen Screen had a sensitivity of 77%, specificity of 58%, and an area under the ROC curve of 0.70 (95%CI 0.55 to 0.86); for MGT sensitivity was 61%, specificity 36% and area under the ROC curve 0.46 (95%CI 0.30 to 0.62). The correlation between the BMQ and the MGT was r=0.28, p> 0.001. Low adherence per the BMQ is associated with higher blood pressure levels when compared to adherent patients (148.4 [SD 20.1] vs 128.8 [SD 17.8]; p <0.001), but not for the MGT. CONCLUSIONS: The BMQ showed better performance than the MGT, with greater sensitivity and specificity. Evaluation of adherence may help clinicians discriminate between inadequate use of medication and insufficient treatment regimen.

Sonuga-Barke, Cortese, Fairchild, and Stringaris offer us new insights not only on the neuropsychological processes and neurobiological mechanisms involved in the decision-making process but also how some of the most relevant child mental disorders might impact this process through a very comprehensive review of the pertinent literature. Although it is difficult to select specific points for discussing in a so dense review, I would like to highlight some aspects for 'whetting readers appetite' and seduce them to be in contact with the fascinating neurobiology behind an essential aspect of our lives. Read the full article at doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12496 © 2016 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

Galiano D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bernardo-Silva J.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Freitas T.R.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Conservation of small mammals requires knowledge of the genetically and ecologically meaningful spatial scales at which species respond to habitat modifications. Conservation strategies can be improved through the use of ecological niche models and genetic data to classify areas of high environmental suitability. In this study, we applied a Maxent model integrated with genetic information (nucleotide diversity, haplotype diversity and Fu's Fs neutrality tests) to evaluate potential genetic pool populations with highly suitable areas for two parapatric endangered species of tuco-tucos (Ctenomys minutus and C. lami). Our results demonstrated that both species were largely influenced by vegetation and soil variables at a landscape scale and inhabit a highly specific niche. Ctenomys minutus was also influenced by the variable altitude; the species was associated with low altitudes (sea level). Our model of genetic data associated with environmental suitability indicate that the genetic pool data were associated with highly suitable areas for C. minutus. This pattern was not evident for C. lami, but this outcome could be a consequence of the restricted range of the species. The preservation of species requires not only detailed knowledge of their natural history and genetic structure but also information on the availability of suitable areas where species can survive, and such knowledge can aid significantly in conservation planning. This finding reinforces the use of these two techniques for planning conservation actions. © 2014 Galiano et al.

Rosa R.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Goldani L.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
PloS one | Year: 2014

PURPOSE: This study sought to evaluate factors associated with hospital length of stay in cancer patients with febrile neutropenia.METHODS: A prospective cohort study was performed at a single tertiary referral hospital in southern Brazil from October 2009 to August 2011. All adult cancer patients with febrile neutropenia admitted to the hematology ward were evaluated. Stepwise random-effects negative binomial regression was performed to identify risk factors for prolonged length of hospital stay.RESULTS: In total, 307 cases of febrile neutropenia were evaluated. The overall median length of hospital stay was 16 days (interquartile range 18 days). According to multiple negative binomial regression analysis, hematologic neoplasms (P = 0.003), high-dose chemotherapy regimens (P<0.001), duration of neutropenia (P<0.001), and bloodstream infection involving Gram-negative multi-drug-resistant bacteria (P = 0.003) were positively associated with prolonged hospital length of stay in patients with febrile neutropenia. The condition index showed no evidence of multi-collinearity effect among the independent variables.CONCLUSIONS: Hematologic neoplasms, high-dose chemotherapy regimens, prolonged periods of neutropenia, and bloodstream infection with Gram-negative multi-drug-resistant bacteria are predictors of prolonged length hospital of stay among adult cancer patients with febrile neutropenia.

Silva F.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kramer C.K.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | de Almeida J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Steemburgo T.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2013

This systematic review with meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCT) aimed to analyze the effect of fiber intake on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. Databases were searched up to November 2012 using the following medical subject headings: diabetes, fiber, and randomized controlled trial. Absolute changes in glycated hemoglobin and fasting plasma glucose were reported as differences between baseline and end-of-study measures. Pooled estimates were obtained using random-effects models. Of the 22,046 articles initially identified, 11 (13 comparisons; range of duration, 8-24 weeks) fulfilled the inclusion criteria, providing data from 605 patients. High-fiber diets, including diets with foods rich in fiber (up to 42.5g/day; four studies) or supplements containing soluble fiber (up to 15.0g/day; nine studies), reduced absolute values of glycated hemoglobin by 0.55% (95% CI -0.96 to -0.13) and fasting plasma glucose by 9.97mg/dL (95% CI -18.16 to -1.78). In conclusion, increased fiber intake improved glycemic control, indicating it should be considered as an adjunctive tool in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes. © 2013 International Life Sciences Institute.

Di Naso F.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Experimental diabetes research | Year: 2010

The present study was designed to evaluate the oxidative stress as well as the therapeutic effect of Agaricus blazei Muril (A. Blazei) in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes. We used 25 Wistar rats, and DM was induced by injecting streptozotocin (70 mg/Kg i.p.). Agaricus blazei Muril was administered daily starting 40 days after disease onset. A. Blazei was tested as an aqueous extract for its phytochemical composition, and its antioxidant activity in vitro was also evaluated. Lipoperoxidation (LPO), and superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase activities were measured in the pulmonary tissue, as well as the presence of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), through immunohistochemistry. An anatomopathologic study was also performed. Phytochemical screening of A. Blazei detected the presence of alkaloids and saponins. The extract exhibited a significant antioxidant activity in the DPPH-scavenging and the hipoxanthine/xanthine oxidase assays. Pulmonary LPO increased in diabetic animals (0.43 +/- 0.09; P < .001) as compared to the control group (0.18 +/- 0.02), followed by a reduction in the A. Blazei-treated group (0.33 +/- 0.04; P < .05). iNOS was found increased in the lung in diabetic rats and reduced in the A. Blazei-treated group. The pulmonary tissue in diabetic rats showed oxidative alterations related to the streptozotocin treatment. The A. Blazei treatment effectively reduced the oxidative stress and contributed to tissue recovery.

Rosa S.M.L.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rehman N.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | De Miranda M.I.G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Nachtigall S.M.B.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Bica C.I.D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2012

This work reports the isolation of cellulose whiskers from rice husk (RH) by means of an environmental friendly process for cellulose extraction and bleaching. The multistep process begins with the removal of pectin, cutin, waxes and other extractives from rice husk, then an alkaline treatment for the removal of hemicelluloses and lignin, and a two-step bleaching with hydrogen peroxide/tetra-acetylethylenediamine (TAED), followed by a mixture of acetic and nitric acids, for further delignification of the cellulose pulp. The techniques of infrared absorption spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that the overall process is adequate to obtain cellulose with high purity and crystallinity. This cellulose was submitted to sulfuric acid hydrolysis with the aim to isolate the whiskers. They showed the typical elongated rod-like aspect as revealed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.qq.

Behr G.A.,McMaster University | Behr G.A.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Moreira J.C.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Frey B.N.,McMaster University
Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity | Year: 2012

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental disorder associated with a significant negative impact on quality of life, morbidity/mortality, and cognitive function. Individuals who suffer with MDD display lower serum/plasmatic total antioxidant potentials and reduced brain GSH levels. Also, F2-isoprostanes circulatory levels are increased in MDD subjects and are correlated with the severity of depressive symptoms. Urinary excretion of 8-OHdG seems to be higher in patients with MDD compared to healthy controls. Despite the fact that antidepressant drugs have been used for more than 50 years, their mechanism of action is still not fully understood. This paper examines preclinical (in vitro and animal model) and clinical literature on oxidative/antioxidant effects associated with antidepressant agents and discusses their potential antioxidant-related effects in the treatment of MDD. Substantial data support that MDD seems to be accompanied by elevated levels of oxidative stress and that antidepressant treatments may reduce oxidative stress. These studies suggest that augmentation of antioxidant defences may be one of the mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of antidepressants in the treatment of MDD. © 2012 Guilherme A. Behr et al.

De Coelho Escobar C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Dos Santos J.H.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Separation Science | Year: 2014

A series of silica xerogels that support Rhodamine B as a template were synthesized using distinct sol-gel routes, namely, acid-catalyzed routes, a base-catalyzed route, acid-catalyzed with base-catalyzed (two steps) hydrolytic routes, and a FeCl3-catalyzed nonhydrolytic route. The extraction methods (thermal, Soxhlet, water washing, and ultrasound) were also evaluated. The resulting xerogels were characterized through porosimetry using nitrogen adsorption/desorption. The samples were further analyzed through small-angle X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and SEM. The preparation route affected the materials' textural properties. Extraction was optimized using acid and two-step routes. The acid route from Rhodamine B to Rhodamine 6G generated the highest selectivity factor (2.5). The nonhydrolytic route produced the best imprinting factor. Competitive adsorption was also used, from which the approximate imprinting factor was 2. The cavity shape generated during the production of the imprinted silica dictates the adsorption behavior, not the magnitude of the surface area. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Salzano F.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Genetics and Molecular Biology | Year: 2016

A brief introduction considering Darwin’s work, the evolutionary synthesis, and the scientific biological field around the 1970s and subsequently, with the molecular revolution, was followed by selected examples of recent investigations dealing with the selection-drift controversy. The studies surveyed included the comparison between essential genes in humans and mice, selection in Africa and Europe, and the possible reasons why females in humans remain healthy and productive after menopause, in contrast with what happens in the great apes. At the end, selected examples of investigations performed in Latin America, related to the action of selection for muscle performance, acetylation of xenobiotics, high altitude and tropical forest adaptations were considered. Despite dissenting views, the influence of positive selection in a considerable portion of the human genome cannot presently be dismissed. © 2016, Sociedade Brasileira de Genética. Printed in Brazil.

Magalhaes P.V.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kapczinski N.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Kapczinski F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Comprehensive Psychiatry | Year: 2010

Background: Anxiety morbidity in general is frequent and harmful in bipolar disorder. Little is known, however, whether obsessive-compulsive comorbidity entails particular effects. This report aims to evaluate the prevalence and impact of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) comorbidity in a relatively large clinical sample of bipolar disorder, with other lifetime anxiety comorbidities used as a more rigorous control group. Methods: A cross-sectional study in a consecutive clinical sample, with anxiety comorbidity derived from the intake Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, was conducted. Anxiety was assessed with the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. The Young Mania Rating Scale and the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale were used to assess (hypo)manic and depressive symptoms. The domains of the WHOQOL BREF were used to evaluate quality of life. Results: Lifetime prevalence of OCD comorbidity was 12.4%. No cases of OCD were detected during mania. Compared with subjects with no anxiety comorbidity, those with lifetime OCD were more likely to have a history of suicide attempts, rapid cycling, and alcohol dependence. Patients with OCD had a lower score on all domains of the WHOQOL. Compared with those with other lifetime anxiety disorders, those with OCD had more anxiety, which mediated a lower WHOQOL social domain. Conclusions: Bipolar disorder patients with obsessive-compulsive comorbidity have a number of indicators of an overall more severe illness. The presence of more anxiety symptoms and a lower social quality of life may be more specific features of the bipolar-OCD comorbidity. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Silveira R.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Filho J.B.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Procianoy R.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2011

PURPOSE. To prospectively study the association of high cytokine plasma levels with later development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants with early-onset sepsis to assess a laboratory test to detect ROP. METHODS. A prospective cohort study was conducted of preterm infants with clinical early-onset sepsis whose birth weight (BW) was≤1500 g and gestational age (GA) was ≤32 weeks. Plasma samples were assayed for cytokines IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-1β, and TNF-α. ROP was diagnosed in screening assessments. For the univariate analysis of the known risk factors for ROP, all infants without ROP were designated as the No ROP group, patients with any stage of ROP formed the ROP group, and all treated patients formed the Severe ROP group. The best cutoff points for all cytokine levels were determined by ROC curves. RESULTS. Seventy-four patients were enrolled. Mean GA and BW were 29.6± 2.1 weeks and 1110.3 ± 232.5 g, respectively; 49 patients (66.2%) had no ROP and 25 (33.8%) had any stage of ROP (17 had stage 1 or 2 ROP and 8 had stage 3 ROP). IL-6 >357 pg/mL, IL-8 >216 pg/mL, and TNF-α >245 pg/mL were significantly associated with treatable ROP. CONCLUSIONS. There is a relationship between high plasma levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α in the first days of life with the later development of ROP severe enough to treat in preterm infants with early-onset sepsis. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to explore other possible associations of high serum levels of cytokines with ROP in this population at high risk. © 2011 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

Spada J.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Norena C.P.Z.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Marczak L.D.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Tessaro I.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2012

Native and hydrolyzed pinhão starches were used as coating materials for β-carotene microencapsulation by freeze-drying. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the stability of β-carotene encapsulated under three different conditions: in the presence of ultraviolet light at 25 ± 2°C, in the dark at 25 ± 2°C and in the dark at 10.0 ± 0.2°C. The color of the samples was also analyzed. Microcapsules prepared with native starch showed the lowest stability during storage. In contrast, microcapsules encapsulated with 12 dextrose equivalent (DE) hydrolyzed starch exhibited the highest stability. First-order kinetic and Weibull models were applied to describe the degradation of β-carotene over time. The R 2 values of the Weibull model were greater than those of the first-order kinetic model. Moreover, multivariate analyses (principal component and cluster analyses) were also conducted. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ramirez M.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of medicinal food | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to carry out pharmacological screening in order to evaluate the potential effects of lyophilized fruits of different cultivars of Vaccinium ashei Reade (Family Ericaceae) berries, commonly known as rabbiteye blueberries, on nociception. This was achieved using the formalin, hot plate, tail-flick, and writhing tests in mice. During this experiment the mice consumed approximately 3.2-6.4 mg/kg/day (p.o.) of the anthocyanins. The extract was administered for 21 days or 60 minutes before test. Morphine and diclofenac (10 mg/kg, p.o.) as the standard drug (positive control) and water (via oral gavage) as the negative control were administered before all tests. The blueberry extract produced a significant decrease in constrictions induced by acetic acid and caused graded inhibition of the second phase of formalin-induced pain. Moreover, in both the hot plate and tail-flick tests, it significantly increased the threshold. These data suggest that the extract from V. ashei produced antinociceptive effects, as demonstrated in the experimental models of nociception in mice. Additional experiments are necessary in order to clarify the true target for the antinociceptive effects of rabbiteye blueberry extract.

Fuhr G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Jung C.R.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Pattern Recognition Letters | Year: 2014

This paper presents a new approach for tracking multiple people in monocular calibrated cameras combining patch matching and pedestrian detection. Initially, background removal and pedestrian detection are used in conjunction with the vertical standing hypothesis to initialize the targets with multiples patches. In the tracking step, each patch related to a given target is matched individually across frames, and their translation vectors are combined robustly with pedestrian detection results in the world coordinate frame using weighted vector median filters. Additionally, the algorithm uses the camera parameters to both estimate the person scale in a straightforward manner and to limit the search region used to track each fragment. Our experimental results indicate that our tracker can deal with occlusions and video sequences with strong appearance variations, presenting results comparable to or better than existing state-of-the-art algorithms. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Turchetto-Zolet A.C.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Pinheiro F.,Institute Botanica | Salgueiro F.,UNIRIO | Palma-Silva C.,Institute Botanica
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

The South American continent is composed of several biogeographical regions harbouring the highest biodiversity on the globe, encompassing five of the world's biodiversity 'hot spots'. Nonetheless, the patterns and processes responsible for shaping its astonishing species diversity are largely unknown. Here, we present a review of current South American phylogeographical knowledge based on published articles on this topic. An appraisal of the literature reveals emerging phylogeographical patterns in the biota of South America. The striking phylogeographical divergence observed among organism lineages in South American studies is suggestive of high levels of undocumented species diversity. The interplay between Pleistocene climatic oscillations and Pliocene/Miocene orogenic events has contributed to shaping the current diversity and distribution of modern lineages in both the tropical and temperate regions of South America. Although older divergence times were observed for a range of species, most herpetofauna underwent an intraspecific lineage split much earlier than other organisms. The geographical ranges of species associated with forest habitats were reduced mainly during glacial cycles, whereas species associated with open vegetation domains have shown variable responses to climatic oscillations. The results suggest a highly complex mosaic of phylogeographical patterns in South America. We suggest future research directions to promote a better understanding of the origin and maintenance of the South American biota. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Lenz G.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Frontiers in Bioscience - Scholar | Year: 2012

Cells capable of starting the track towards cancer are probably abundant in an organism, but the likelihood of any of these cells to evolve to a deadly disease is very low. This occurs in part due to several safekeeping mechanisms shaped by evolution to detect and eliminate potential cancer-forming cells, which will be defined here as endogenous anticancer mechanisms (EACMs). Virtually any cellular process has safekeeping mechanisms that detect and correct mishaps that could evolve into potentially harmful cellular behavior, but some aspects of these mechanisms seem to have been selected by evolution to protect organisms against cancer. The mechanisms that will be discussed here and in the reviews of this series are: cell senescence, DNA repair, cell cycle control, apoptosis, autophagy, block of the invasion and metastasis cascade, block of cell reprogramming and immune surveillance. Here I will present the basic features and the importance of each EACM and review the involvement of these processes in preventing cancer growth together with their importance in cancer prevention and therapeutics.

Stradioto D.A.,APS Engineering | Seelig M.F.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Schneider P.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering | Year: 2015

This paper examines the performance of a combined cycle gas turbine plant (CCGT) when integrated to the cold energy released during the regasification process of liquefied natural gas (LNG). A growing number of LNG import terminals supply regasified natural gas for power generation, with an adjacent CCGT plant providing an anchor market for the facility itself. Two integration alternatives with mutual energetic gains are proposed and simulated, and compared to a reference case without any use of the LNG cold potential. The first alternative consists on exchanging heat among LNG and the Brayton cycle air intake. The second alternative adds to the first one a novel recovery opportunity by exchanging heat with the Rankine cycle condenser. On both cases, heat from the CCGT is rejected to a lower temperature level than the one of the regular dead state. From the regasification side, the process is performed without any help of extra external energy. Both integration alternatives led to an electrical efficiency enhancement when comparing to the non-integrated cycle: 6.32% and 9.09%, respectively. The energy return on investment (EROI) of each alternative was also analyzed and gains of 12.92% and 18.57% are predicted by upon the simulation data. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Almeida F.S.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Awruch A.M.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
Finite Elements in Analysis and Design | Year: 2011

The formulation and application of an implicit time-stepping scheme based on the corotational formulation for nonlinear dynamic analysis of laminated composite shells is the main objective of this work. The time-integration algorithm use