Guayas, Ecuador

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Perez Neira D.,Pablo De Olavide University | Perez Neira D.,State University of Milagro | Simon Fernandez X.,University of Vigo | Copena Rodriguez D.,University of Vigo | And 2 more authors.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems | Year: 2016

Through the process of globalization, food has experienced an intense territorial restructuring process. Local agric-food links have weakened at the same time as daily products arrived from distant lands. There is presently a wide international debate on the importance of transport in the configuration of the agric-food system and its contribution in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG). The direct environmental costs of the transport of imported food, that is the 'external food miles', have been estimated in kilometer (km), ton (t), ton-kilometer (t-km) and GHG in Spain between 1995 and 2011. The analysis is made by ten food groups including 136 products, with special attention to the most important ones (cereals and animal feed), as well as by means of transport (air, rail, road and water) and from 113 different countries belonging to six geographical areas. Two phases are identified during this period: an expansive phase (1995-2007), in which the t-km of imported food increased from 81.8 to 147.8 million t-km and environmental pressure rose from 3.1 to 5.4 million CO2-eq t, and a recession phase (2007-2011), in which environmental pressure subsided as a consequence of the reduction of imports, even though it still remained above the 1995 level. The article reveals a clear interrelation between amounts, distances and modal distribution when it comes to determining the environmental cost of transporting food imports in the two periods studied. It also reflects on the role of the external food miles in the Spanish agri-food system from a sustainability perspective. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014.


Gonzalez M.,State University of Milagro | Dominguez D.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul | Rodriguez F.B.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Sanchez A.,Rey Juan Carlos University
International Journal of Neural Systems | Year: 2014

This work experimentally analyzes the learning and retrieval capabilities of the diluted metric attractor neural network when applied to collections of fingerprint images. The computational cost of the network decreases with the dilution, so we can increase the region of interest to cover almost the complete fingerprint. The network retrieval was successfully tested for different noisy configurations of the fingerprints, and proved to be robust with a large basin of attraction. We showed that network topologies with a 2D-Grid arrangement adapt better to the fingerprints spatial structure, outperforming the typical 1D-Ring configuration. An optimal ratio of local connections to random shortcuts that better represent the intrinsic spatial structure of the fingerprints was found, and its influence on the retrieval quality was characterized in a phase diagram. Since the present model is a set of nonlinear equations, it is possible to go beyond the naïve static solution (consisting in matching two fingerprints using a fixed distance threshold value), and a crossing evolution of similarities was shown, leading to the retrieval of the right fingerprint from an apparently more distant candidate. This feature could be very useful for fingerprint verification to discriminate between fingerprints pairs. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.


Barrere A.,University of Washington | Stern J.E.,University of Washington | Feng Q.,FIDALAB | Feng Q.,State University of Milagro | And 2 more authors.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases | Year: 2015

Background Although risk factors for HPV infections in young women are well defined, the risk associated with meeting male sex partners via the Internet is unclear. Methods We analyzed cross-sectional data from 282 women aged 18 to 24 years who reported using Internet dating Web sites in the past year. Women were mailed vaginal self-sampling kits for polymerase chain reaction-based HPV genotyping (including 19 oncogenic types) and sexual behavior and health history questionnaires. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate risk factors for prevalent oncogenic HPV infections. Results Thirty-five percent of women reported having met a male sex partner via the Internet in the past 6 months, and 42% reported a history of HPV vaccination. The prevalence of oncogenic HPV infection was 37%, and 9% of women tested positive for HPV-16 or HPV-18. Having met a male sex partner via the Internet in the past 6 months was not significantly associated with oncogenic HPV infection. In multivariate analyses, variables associated with an increased likelihood of oncogenic HPV infection included male partners in the past 6 months who were reported to have at least 1 concurrent partnership (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 1.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-2.06) and not always using condoms with male partners in the past 6 months (aPR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.05-3.30). Self-reporting a history of receiving at least 1 dose of HPV vaccine was inversely associated with testing positive for HPV-16 or HPV-18 (aPR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.16-0.97). Conclusions Although measures of recent sexual behavior were associated with prevalent oncogenic HPV infection, male partners met online were not associated with an increased likelihood of infection in this cohort of young women. © 2015 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.


Alvarez-Munoz P.,State University of Milagro | Perez-Montoro M.,University of Barcelona
Profesional de la Informacion | Year: 2016

National policies critically affect the results of scientific production and communication in Latin American countries. Currently, these countries are developing and adapting to the assessment and quality schemes that have existed for some time in other advanced countries in the field of science. Political and economic conditions in Latin America have been favorable in the last five years, although only a few Latin American countries have taken advantage of this situation. In this paper public policies in science in Ecuador and Colombia are analyzed. The objective is to stimulate scientific production and enhance the overall research ecosystem of these two countries. The findings focus primarily on the differences detected in their respective investment policies, their higher education systems, and the volume and quality of their scientific production.


Carranza K.,University of Guayaquil | Veron D.,National University of Cordoba | Cercado A.,State University of Milagro | Bautista N.,State University of Milagro | And 3 more authors.
Nefrologia | Year: 2015

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus increased during the last century and it is estimated that 45% of the patients are not diagnosed. In South America the prevalence of diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) increased, with a great disparity among the countries with respect to access to dialysis. In Ecuador it is one of the main causes of mortality, principally in the provinces located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The greatest single cause of beginning dialysis is diabetic nephropathy (DN). Even using the best therapeutic options for DN, the residual risk of proteinuria and of terminal CKD remains high. In this review we indicate the importance of the problem globally and in our region. We analyse relevant cellular and molecular studies that illustrate the crucial significance of glomerular events in DN development and evolution and in insulin resistance. We include basic anatomical, pathophysiological and clinical concepts, with special attention to the role of angiogenic factors such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) and their relationship to the insulin receptor, endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and angiopoietins. We also propose various pathways that have therapeutic potential in our opinion. Greater in-depth study of VEGF-A and angiopoietins, the state of glomerular VEGF resistance, the relationship of VEGF receptor 2/nephrin, VEGF/insulin receptors/nephrin and the relationship of VEGF/eNOS-NO at glomerular level could provide solutions to the pressing world problem of DN and generate new treatment alternatives. © 2015 Sociedad Española de Nefrología.


Perez Neira D.,University of León | Perez Neira D.,State University of Milagro
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2016

Cacao is one of the main cultivars in Ecuador, occupying 12% of the cultivated surface. Most of the cacao is destined for exports, most specifically to be used in chocolate elaboration. Ecuador is constitutionally committed with the sustainable production of food through its National Plan of Good Living. Energy usage and its consequences in terms of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) constitute two fundamental dimensions of agrarian sustainability, especially in the context of petroleum depletion and climate change. The objective of this work is to provide a comprehensive picture of the environmental impacts (energy and GHG) of the agrifood system associated to the cacao produced in Ecuador and exported to third countries for chocolate elaboration and consumption. To that end, a life cycle assessment methodology has been utilized. The functional unit used has been defined as the elaboration and distribution, until sales, of 1 kg of pure chocolate (100% cacao) obtained from cacao cultivated in Ecuador. In the farm production phase, a differentiation has been made between technified and traditional cacao management. The study results show how the unitary energy cost of the traditional and technified agrifood systems were estimated between 36.7 and 40.6 MJ kg-1, with GHG emissions of 2.49 and 2.82 CO2 -eq kg-1, respectively. Cacao production, transformation and transportation accumulated, in average, 66.5, 16.1 and 15.0% of GHG emissions. Irrigation and fertilization constituted the two most important items in terms of energy, especially in the case of technified management. Energy efficiency (ER and ERnr) for the overall agrifood system was estimated in average terms to be 1:0.68 and 1:0.86, respectively. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Perez Neira D.,University of León | Perez Neira D.,State University of Milagro
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2016

The industrialization of agriculture has led to lower efficiency and greater dependence on non-renewable energy. Organic agriculture and traditional agriculture are thus potential alternatives. Cacao is a major crop in Ecuador. However, information on the energy efficiency and economic performance of Ecuadorian cacao in relation to the production management system is rare and basically inexistent in the case of organic management. Therefore, we studied here the energy and economic performance of the cacao production in the province of Guayas, Ecuador. Four types of management were identified in the province: traditional, semi-intensive, technified, and organic. On the basis of primary data, input-output and energy efficiency were estimated, with special attention given to the use of non-renewable energy and the monetary profitability of each management system. The total energy inputs of the different forms of management have been estimated at 3.04 for traditional, 12.47 for semi-intensive, 24.53 for technified, and 9.77 GJ ha−1 for organic. Irrigation, fertilization, and crop protection are the most important inputs for all four types of management, ranging between 85.7 and 97.7 %. The non-renewable external energy return on the investment (EROI) has been estimated at 1:2.93 for traditional, 1:1.85 for semi-intensive, 1:1.47 for technified, and 1:3.07 for organic. The different forms of management earned a net margin of 484 for traditional, 1051 for semi-intensive, 2323 for technified, and $1565 ha−1 for organic. Our findings show that the intensification of cacao production increases the net margin per hectare in relation to traditional cacao production, while it significantly reduces its non-renewable external EROI. Well-managed organic farms allow improving non-renewable external EROI by comparison with technified or semi-intensive management strategies, and it also improves the economic performance in relation to semi-intensive systems. © 2016, INRA and Springer-Verlag France.


A quantitative analysis of the scientific production of Ecuador in the Andean context is provided for 2000-2013, using data provided by the SCImago journal & country rank (SJR). We identified the indicators of absolute production and growth rate, and used three indicators to evaluate visibility: absolute citation, cites per document and international collaboration. We concluded that 1) Ecuador enjoyed positive growth in scientific production during the study period, except in 2010 and 2011; 2) it rebounded at the end of the period analyzed; 3) half of the production was in the areas of agriculture and medicine, which therefore appeared as the main areas of national scientific development; and 4) the most productive area, agriculture, was also the most cited.


PubMed | State University of Milagro
Type: Journal Article | Journal: International journal of neural systems | Year: 2014

This work experimentally analyzes the learning and retrieval capabilities of the diluted metric attractor neural network when applied to collections of fingerprint images. The computational cost of the network decreases with the dilution, so we can increase the region of interest to cover almost the complete fingerprint. The network retrieval was successfully tested for different noisy configurations of the fingerprints, and proved to be robust with a large basin of attraction. We showed that network topologies with a 2D-Grid arrangement adapt better to the fingerprints spatial structure, outperforming the typical 1D-Ring configuration. An optimal ratio of local connections to random shortcuts that better represent the intrinsic spatial structure of the fingerprints was found, and its influence on the retrieval quality was characterized in a phase diagram. Since the present model is a set of nonlinear equations, it is possible to go beyond the nave static solution (consisting in matching two fingerprints using a fixed distance threshold value), and a crossing evolution of similarities was shown, leading to the retrieval of the right fingerprint from an apparently more distant candidate. This feature could be very useful for fingerprint verification to discriminate between fingerprints pairs.


PubMed | State University of Milagro, Yale University, University of Guayaquil and National University of Cordoba
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nefrologia : publicacion oficial de la Sociedad Espanola Nefrologia | Year: 2015

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus increased during the last century and it is estimated that 45% of the patients are not diagnosed. In South America the prevalence of diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) increased, with a great disparity among the countries with respect to access to dialysis. In Ecuador it is one of the main causes of mortality, principally in the provinces located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The greatest single cause of beginning dialysis is diabetic nephropathy (DN). Even using the best therapeutic options for DN, the residual risk of proteinuria and of terminal CKD remains high. In this review we indicate the importance of the problem globally and in our region. We analyse relevant cellular and molecular studies that illustrate the crucial significance of glomerular events in DN development and evolution and in insulin resistance. We include basic anatomical, pathophysiological and clinical concepts, with special attention to the role of angiogenic factors such as the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) and their relationship to the insulin receptor, endothelial isoform of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and angiopoietins. We also propose various pathways that have therapeutic potential in our opinion. Greater in-depth study of VEGF-A and angiopoietins, the state of glomerular VEGF resistance, the relationship of VEGF receptor 2/nephrin, VEGF/insulin receptors/nephrin and the relationship of VEGF/eNOS-NO at glomerular level could provide solutions to the pressing world problem of DN and generate new treatment alternatives.

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