Sao Pedro de, Portugal

Superior Institute of Maia
Sao Pedro de, Portugal
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Santos A.,Superior Institute of Maia | Goncalves M.M.,University of Minho | Matos M.,University of Minho
Counselling and Psychotherapy Research | Year: 2011

Aims: To analyse a poor outcome case of narrative therapy with a woman victim of intimate violence. Method: The Innovative Moments Coding System: version 1 was applied to all sessions to track the innovative moments (i-moments) in the therapeutic process. Imoments are the narrative details that occur in psychotherapeutic conversations that are outside the influence of the problematic narrative. This research aims to describe the processes involved in the stability of meanings in psychotherapy through a dialogical approach to meaning making. Findings: Contrarily to what usually occurs in good outcome cases, re-conceptualization i-moments are absent. Moreover, two specific types of i-moments emerged with higher duration: reflection and protest. Qualitative analysis showed that the potential meanings of these i-moments were surpassed by a return to the problematic narrative. Conclusion: The therapeutic stability seems to be maintained by a systematic return to the problematic narrative after the emergence of novelties. This process was referred from a dialogical perspective as a mutual in-feeding of voices, one that emerges in the i-moment and another one that supports the problematic narrative, which is maintained by an oscillation between these two types of voices during therapy. © 2011 British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Guedes A.C.,Catholic University of Portugal | Amaro H.M.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Malcata F.X.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Malcata F.X.,Superior Institute of Maia
Biotechnology Progress | Year: 2011

Microalgae have found commercial applications as natural sources of valuable macromolecules, including carotenoids, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and phycocolloids. As photoautotrophs, their simple growth requirements make them attractive for bioprocesses aimed at producing high added-value compounds that are in large demand by the pharmaceutical market. A few compounds synthesized by microalgae have indeed proven to possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, and antitumoral features; astaxanthin, a known antioxidant produced by Haematococcus pluvialis, is an illustrative example with important anti-inflammatory and antitumoral roles. From a chemical standpoint, several such compounds are polysaccharides or long chain fatty acids, where the latter can be either saturated or unsaturated. Additionally, their chemical structures are often atypical, whereas their concentrations can exceed those found in many other natural sources. The productivity and biochemical composition of microalgae depend strongly on the mode of cultivation, medium composition, and nutrient profile. Consequently, numerous efforts aimed at elucidating the practical impacts of the aforementioned parameters have been developed. This review accordingly covers the knowledge produced in the last two decades on the uses of microalgae to obtain physiologically active compounds, and on the optimization of the underlying production and purification processes. It also identifies major gaps and opportunities in this field that should be addressed or exploited in the near future. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Madureira A.R.,Catholic University of Portugal | Amorim M.,Catholic University of Portugal | Gomes A.M.,Catholic University of Portugal | Pintado M.E.,Catholic University of Portugal | And 2 more authors.
Food Research International | Year: 2011

A probiotic whey cheese added with Lactobacillus casei LAFTI®L26, Lactobacillus acidophilus LAFTI®L10 or Bifidobacterium animalis Bo was subject in vitro to sequential conditions that parallel the four major steps of digestion: mouth (artificial saliva), oesophagus-stomach (artificial gastric juice), duodenum (artificial intestinal juice) and ileum; its manufacture followed the traditional cheesemaking protocol of Portuguese Requeijão. MRS broth was inoculated in parallel as reference medium, to ascertain the protective effect of the whey cheese matrix itself upon those strains in every digestion step. Mouth conditions had an almost negligible effect upon all three strains, whereas oesophagus-stomach, duodenum and ileum conditions decreased the viable numbers of L. casei and L. acidophilus; in both systems, B. animalis suffered only slight decreases in viable numbers; and L. casei and L. acidophilus behaved likewise in MRS exposed to duodenum and ileum conditions. Whey cheese matrices thus appeared to protect the aforementioned three strains during transit throughout the simulated gastrointestinal system, so they are promising carriers of those probiotic bacteria. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Malcata F.X.,Superior Institute of Maia | Malcata F.X.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Malcata F.X.,New University of Lisbon
Trends in Biotechnology | Year: 2011

Microalgae have much higher lipid yields than those of agricultural oleaginosous crops, and they do not compromise arable land. Despite this, current microalga-based processes suffer from several constraints pertaining to the biocatalyst and the bioreactor, which hamper technologically and economically feasible scale-up. Here, we briefly review recent active research and development efforts worldwide, and discuss the most relevant shortcomings of microalgal biofuels. This review goes one step further relative to related studies, because it tackles otherwise scarcely mentioned issues - for example, heterotrophic versus autotrophic metabolism, alkane versus glyceride synthesis, conduction versus bubbling of CO 2, and excretion versus accumulation of lipids. Besides promising solutions that have been hypothesized and arise from multidisciplinary approaches, we also consider less conventional ones. Microalgae and biofuels hold indeed a promising partnership, but a fully competitive technology is not expected to be available before the end of this decade, because the need for one order of magnitude increase in productivity requires development of novel apparatuses and transformed cells. © 2011.

Pinto A.M.,Superior Institute of Maia
Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE 13th International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration, IRI 2012 | Year: 2012

We do a survey of some of the most important principles of anonymization present in the literature. We identify different kinds of attacks that can be thrown against an anonymized dataset and give formulas for the maximum probability of success for each. For each principle, we identify whether it is monotonous, what attacks it is suited to counter, if any, and what principles imply other principles. We end by giving a classification of anonymization principles and giving guidelines to choosing the right principle for an application. Although we could not cover all principles in the literature, this is a first step to a systematization and simplification of proposals for anonymization principles. © 2012 IEEE.

Amaro H.M.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Guedes A.C.,Catholic University of Portugal | Malcata F.X.,Superior Institute of Maia | Malcata F.X.,New University of Lisbon
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

Carbon-neutral renewable liquid biofuels are needed to displace petroleum-derived transport fuels in the near future - which contribute to global warming and are of a limited availability. A promising alternative is conveyed by microalgae, the oil content of which may exceed 80% (w/wDW) - as compared with 5% of the best agricultural oil crops. However, current implementation of microalga-based systems has been economically constrained by their still poor volumetric efficiencies - which lead to excessively high costs, as compared with petrofuel prices. Technological improvements of such processes are thus critical - and this will require a multiple approach, both on the biocatalyst and bioreactor levels. Several bottlenecks indeed exist at present that preclude the full industrial exploitation of microalgal cells: the number of species that have been subjected to successful genetic transformation is scarce, which hampers a global understanding (and thus a rational design) of novel blue-biotechnological processes; the mechanisms that control regulation of gene expression are not fully elucidated, as required before effective bioprocesses based on microalgae can be scaled-up; and new molecular biology tools are needed to standardize genetic modifications in microalgae - including efficient nuclear transformation, availability of promoter or selectable marker genes, and stable expression of transgenes. On the other hand, a number of pending technological issues are also present: the relatively low microalga intrinsic lipid productivity; the maximum cell concentration attainable; the efficiency of harvest and sequential recovery of bulk lipids; and the possibility of by-product upgrade. This review briefly covers the state of the art regarding microalgae toward production of biofuels, both from the point of view of the microalgal cell itself and of the supporting bioreactor; and discusses, in a critical manner, current limitations and promising perspectives in this field. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Guedes A.C.,University of Porto | Amaro H.M.,University of Porto | Malcata F.X.,Superior Institute of Maia | Malcata F.X.,New University of Lisbon
Marine Drugs | Year: 2011

Marine microalgae constitute a natural source of a variety of drugs for pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic applications-which encompass carotenoids, among others. A growing body of experimental evidence has confirmed that these compounds can play important roles in prevention (and even treatment) of human diseases and health conditions, e.g., cancer, cardiovascular problems, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, cataracts and some neurological disorders. The underlying features that may account for such favorable biological activities are their intrinsic antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antitumoral features. In this invited review, the most important issues regarding synthesis of carotenoids by microalgae are described and discussed-from both physiological and processing points of view. Current gaps of knowledge, as well as technological opportunities in the near future relating to this growing field of interest, are also put forward in a critical manner. © 2011 by the authors; licensee MDPI.

Esquivel M.G.,University of Lisbon | Amaro H.M.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Pinto T.S.,University of Lisbon | Fevereiro P.S.,New University of Lisbon | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Biotechnology | Year: 2011

Molecular hydrogen (H2) obtained from biological sources provides an alternative to bulk chemical processes that is moving towards large-scale, economical generation of clean fuel for automotive engines. This opinion article examines recent improvements in H2 production by wild and mutant strains of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii - the green microalga currently considered the best eukaryotic H2 producer. Here, we review various aspects of genetic and metabolic engineering of C. reinhardtii, as well as of process engineering. Additionally, we lay out possible scenarios that would lead to more efficient research approaches in the near future, as part of a consistent strategy for sustainable biohydrogen supply. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Amaro H.M.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Macedo A.C.,Superior Institute of Maia | Malcata F.X.,CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental | Malcata F.X.,University of Porto
Energy | Year: 2012

In recent decades, the world has been confronted with an energy crisis associated with irreversible depletion of traditional sources of fossil fuels, coupled with atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases that cause global warming. The urgent need to replace traditional fuels led to emergence of biodiesel and biohydrogen as interesting alternatives, both of which can be obtained via microalga-mediated routes.Microalgae are ubiquitous eukaryotic microorganisms, characterized by a remarkable metabolic plasticity. Their oil productivities are much higher than those of higher terrestrial plants, and they do not require high quality agricultural land. Microalgae may indeed be cultivated in brackish and wastewaters that provide suitable nutrients (e.g. NH4+,NO3-andPO43-), at the expense of only sunlight and atmospheric CO 2. On the other hand, metabolic engineering permits release of molecular hydrogen also via photosynthetic routes, which will easily be converted to electricity in fuel cells or mechanical power in explosion engines, with only water vapor as exhaust product in both cases.However, large-scale implementation of microalga-based systems to manufacture biodiesel and biohydrogen has been economically constrained by their still poor volumetric efficiencies, which imply excessively high costs when compared with current petrofuel prices. Technological improvements are accordingly critical, both on the biocatalyst and the bioreactor levels. The current bottlenecks that have apparently precluded full industrial exploitation of microalgae cells are critically discussed here, viz. those derived from the scarce knowledge on the mechanisms that control regulation of gene expression, the reduced number of species subjected to successful genetic transformation, the relatively low cell density attainable, the poor efficiency in harvesting, and the difficulties in light capture and use.Therefore, this paper provides an overview of the feasibility of microalgae for production of biofuels via synthesis of liquid endocellular metabolites (i.e. triglycerides) and gaseous extracellular ones (i.e. molecular hydrogen), and addresses technical and economic shortcomings and opportunities along the whole processing chain, at both microorganism and reactor levels. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Peres C.M.,New University of Lisbon | Peres C.M.,Institute Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica | Peres C.,Institute Biologia Experimental e Tecnologica | Hernandez-Mendoza A.,New University of Lisbon | And 3 more authors.
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Consumption of functional probiotic foods has increased over recent decades, alongside with increasing consumer and researcher awareness of their health-promoting effects. This has prompted an interest toward development of novel functional food formulations. Despite fermented dairy products still remaining the most common vectors for the delivery of probiotics to humans, such other food matrices as fruits and vegetables offer a promising performance as sources and carriers of probiotic strains. Hence, these types of matrices are thoroughly reviewed here - with table olives being subjected to comprehensive discussion as a case study, owing to their suitable microstructure and unique sensory and nutritional features. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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