Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil

The University of São Paulo is a public university in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is the largest Brazilian university and the country's most prestigious educational institution, the best university in Ibero-America, and one of the most prestigious universities in the world. According to reports by the Ministry of Science and Technology, more than 25% of scientific papers published by Brazilian researchers in high quality conferences and journals are produced at the University of São Paulo.USP is one of the largest institutions of higher education in Latin America, with approximately 90,000 enrolled students. It has eleven campuses, four of them in São Paulo . The other campuses are in the cities of Bauru, Lorena, Piracicaba, Pirassununga, Ribeirão Preto and two in São Carlos. USP is involved in teaching, research and university extension in all areas of knowledge. Wikipedia.

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CBJ Hong Kong Ocean Engineering Ltd and University of Sao Paulo | Date: 2017-01-18

Provided is a method of installing and constructing a hollow cylindrical pier for fixing an offshore platform structure to the bed, wherein a steel cylinder (101) with an inner diameter slightly greater than the hollow cylindrical pier is driven into the bed (2) until at least the bearing stratum is reached to ensure fixing, and part of the steel cylinder (101) is exposed above the water surface (1); draining ponding inside the steel cylinder (101), and excavating bed sediment inside the steel cylinder (101); cutting off the steel cylinder (101); hoisting a first hollow cylindrical pier section (1A) with a sealed bottom end vertically downwards from the water surface (1) towards the steel cylinder (101), pre-tensioning an overlapping hollow cylindrical pier section on the hollow cylindrical pier section via a shear key structure and then fixedly connecting same with the previous hollow cylindrical pier section, and hoisting same in turn such that after the sealed bottom end of the first hollow cylindrical pier section (1A) reaches near the bottom end of steel cylinder (101), at least part of the lastly hoisted overlapping hollow cylindrical pier section is exposed above the water surface (1); and pouring concrete (107) into a gap between the steel cylinder (101) and the hollow cylindrical piers. Further provided are a method of installing and constructing an offshore platform structure and a hollow cylindrical pier for fixing to the bed and an offshore platform structure.

Eckert H.,University of Sao Paulo | Martins Rodrigues A.C.,Federal University of São Carlos
MRS Bulletin | Year: 2017

Glass-ceramics have gained considerable importance for applications in high-energy technology. Li-and Na-superionic ion-conducting ceramics find widespread use in lithium-and sodium-ion batteries as separators, solid electrolytes, and cathode materials. The ionic conductivity of these materials is influenced by crystal chemical parameters and can be further optimized via microstructural control using glass-ceramic processing. This article summarizes the most promising glass-ceramic material systems currently in use, detailing recent progress in understanding their structure-property-performance relationships. We also highlight the power and potential of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance techniques for providing quantitative knowledge about structure, phase composition, and ion dynamics in these materials. © 2017 Materials Research Society.

Gomez-Marin A.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Ticianelli E.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2017

In this work, the effect of transition metals (TMs), such as Fe, Co, Ni and Cu, on the activity toward the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) of modified molybdenum carbide (TM-Mo2C) catalysts has been evaluated. Catalysts were prepared by a temperature programmed reduction method in both an inert and a reductive atmosphere, and characterized by different physicochemical techniques. A high activity toward the HER is measured for all TM-Mo2C catalysts, with onset potentials lower than −0.06 V, as detected by on-line differential electrochemical mass spectrometry, and mass activities between 29 and 50 mA mg−1, which suggest them as promising non-precious electrocatalysts for this reaction. However, a decrease in the HER activity upon metal doping is measured, following an activity trend of α-Mo2C > Fe-Mo2C > Co-Mo2C > Ni-Mo2C > Cu-Mo2C. In situ near-edge X-ray adsorption analysis reveals a positive charge of the TM in the materials in the electrochemical environment, at the origin of the deleterious effect of Fe, Co, Ni and Cu, in terms of an electronic effect that modifies the d-electron configuration of α-Mo2C particles. Additionally, results also suggest that TM-Mo2C is more stable (lower catalyst dissolution) in acid media than α-Mo2C. Finally, because there is a catalyst deactivation toward the HER after the α-Mo2C component of the catalysts is oxidized at E > 0.7 V, the oxidation process of α-Mo2C is employed for estimating, as a first approximation, the number of surface active sites for the HER. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Fernandes M.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2016

During a Brazilian multicentric antimicrobial resistance surveillance study, colistin resistance was investigated in 4,620 Enterobacteriaceae isolated from human, animal, food and environmental samples collected from 2000 to 2016. We present evidence that mcr-1-positive Escherichia coli has been emerging in South America since at least 2012, supporting a previous report on the possible acquisition of mcr-1-harbouring E. coli by European travellers visiting Latin American countries.

Piantini A.,University of Sao Paulo
2016 33rd International Conference on Lightning Protection, ICLP 2016 | Year: 2016

One of the methods that can be applied to improve the lightning performance of overhead power distribution lines is the use of shield wires. Although the effectiveness of this measure against direct strokes is quite limited unless the shield wire is grounded at every pole, the ground resistances are low, and the line has sufficient CFO between the ground lead and the phase conductors, the line performance against indirect strokes can be improved. In this paper an analysis is presented of the effectiveness of shield wires in reducing the magnitudes of lightning-induced voltages on medium-voltage distribution lines considering various realistic situations. © 2016 IEEE.

OBJECTIVE:: To assess whether a restrictive strategy of RBC transfusion reduces 28-day mortality when compared with a liberal strategy in cancer patients with septic shock. DESIGN:: Single center, randomized, double-blind controlled trial. SETTING:: Teaching hospital. PATIENTS:: Adult cancer patients with septic shock in the first 6 hours of ICU admission. INTERVENTIONS:: Patients were randomized to the liberal (hemoglobin threshold, < 9g/dL) or to the restrictive strategy (hemoglobin threshold, < 7g/dL) of RBC transfusion during ICU stay. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:: Patients were randomized to the liberal (n = 149) or to the restrictive transfusion strategy (n = 151) group. Patients in the liberal group received more RBC units than patients in the restrictive group (1 [0–3] vs 0 [0–2] unit; p < 0.001). At 28 days after randomization, mortality rate in the liberal group (primary endpoint of the study) was 45% (67 patients) versus 56% (84 patients) in the restrictive group (hazard ratio, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.53–1.04; p = 0.08) with no differences in ICU and hospital length of stay. At 90 days after randomization, mortality rate in the liberal group was lower (59% vs 70%) than in the restrictive group (hazard ratio, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53–0.97; p = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS:: We observed a survival trend favoring a liberal transfusion strategy in patients with septic shock when compared with the restrictive strategy. These results went in the opposite direction of the a priori hypothesis and of other trials in the field and need to be confirmed. Copyright © by 2017 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Acute GvHD (aGvHD) is a life-threatening complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Frontline therapy for aGvHD consists of corticosteroid administration. However, ∼25% of the patients have a steroid-refractory disease, a sign of poor prognosis. An alternative therapy for steroid-refractory aGvHD is infusion of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Herein, we report the results of 46 patients treated with MSC infusion as salvage therapy for steroid-refractory aGvHD III/IV (78% grade IV). Patients received a median cumulative dose of MSCs of 6.81 × 106/kg (range, 0.98–29.78 × 106/kg) in a median of 3 infusions (range, 1–7). Median time between the onset of aGvHD and the first MSC infusion was 25.5 days (range, 6–153). Of the patients, 50% (23/46) presented clinical improvement. Of these, 3 patients (13%) had complete response, 14 (61%) had partial response and 6 (26%) had transient partial response. The estimated probability of survival at 2s year was 17.4%. Only 2 patients (4.3%) presented acute transient side effects (nausea/vomiting and blurred vision) during cell infusion. No patient had late or severe side effects because of MSC infusion. These results suggest that this therapeutic modality is safe and should be considered for steroid-refractory aGvHD, especially in countries where other second-line agents are less available.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 13 March 2017; doi:10.1038/bmt.2017.35. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.

Pereira C.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: The mental health knowledge gap challenges public health. The Alcohol Abuse Management in Primary Care (AAMPC) is an e-learning course designed to cover alcohol-related problems from the primary care perspective. The goal of this study was to verify if the AAMPC was able to enhance healthcare professionals' alcohol-related problems knowledge.MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred subscriptions for the AAMPC were offered through the federal telehealth program. The course was instructor-led and had nine weekly classes, delivered synchronously or asynchronously, at the students' convenience, using a varied array of learning tools. At the beginning, students took a test that provided a positive score, related to critical knowledge for clinical management, and a negative score, related to misconceptions about alcohol-related problems. The test was repeated 2 months after course completion.RESULTS: Thirty-three students completed the course. The positive score improved significantly (p<0.001), but not the negative score. Students with previous experience with e-courses presented greater improvement on the positive score (p<0.036). Eighty-percent of the students thought the course excelled in meeting its objectives. Web conferences and video and audio recordings were the most appreciated learning tools. Course satisfaction was negatively related to frequency of Internet access (Spearman's rho=-0.455, p=0.022).CONCLUSIONS: E-learning was highly appreciated as a learning tool, especially by students with the least frequency of Internet use. Nonetheless, it worked better for those previously familiar with e-courses. The AAMPC e-course provided effective knowledge transmission and retention. Complementary strategies to reduce misconceptions about alcohol-related problems must be developed for the training of primary care staff.

Friaca A.C.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Barbuy B.,University of Sao Paulo
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2017

Context. Galactic bulge abundances can be best understood as indicators of bulge formation and nucleosynthesis processes by comparing them with chemo-dynamical evolution models. Aims. The aim of this work is to study the abundances of alpha-elements in the Galactic bulge, including a revision of the oxygen abundance in a sample of 56 bulge red giants. Methods. Literature abundances for O, Mg, Si, Ca and Ti in Galactic bulge stars are compared with chemical evolution models. For oxygen in particular, we reanalysed high-resolution spectra obtained using FLAMES+UVES on the Very Large Telescope, now taking each star's carbon abundances, derived from CI and C2 lines, into account simultaneously. Results. We present a chemical evolution model of alpha-element enrichment in a massive spheroid that represents a typical classical bulge evolution. The code includes multi-zone chemical evolution coupled with hydrodynamics of the gas. Comparisons between the model predictions and the abundance data suggest a typical bulge formation timescale of 1-2 Gyr. The main constraint on the bulge evolution is provided by the O data from analyses that have taken the C abundance and dissociative equilibrium into account. Mg, Si, Ca and Ti trends are well reproduced, whereas the level of overabundance critically depends on the adopted nucleosynthesis prescriptions. © ESO, 2017.

Haddad A.E.,University of Sao Paulo
Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization's World Health Assembly WHA58.28/2005 Resolution recommends the adoption of e-health by health systems of State Members. The Brazilian Telehealth Program integrates the national policy of education for health that combines many strategies with complementary foci, including technical-level workers, undergraduate students of the 14 health professions, residency, postgraduate courses, support, and continuing health education at work. The Brazilian Unified Health System has approximately 1.5 million workers. The objectives of this work areas are as follows: to define a new concept, the so-called "formative second opinion" (FSO); to describe the methodology for its construction; and to show its structure as well as the number of FSOs already available, classified according to the field of knowledge.MATERIALS AND METHODS: The Brazilian Telehealth Program was created in 2007 and has already offered around 41,000 teleconsultations. Based on their relevance and pertinence, 710 questions asked through teleconsulting by health professionals were selected. The questions were handled so that each question should not contain any specific information about patients, preserving professional confidentiality. For each question, a bibliographic review was performed and used to build a structured and standardized answer, based on the best available scientific and clinical evidence.RESULTS: This question-and-answer combination, originated thru teleconsulting, created by the Brazilian Telehealth Program, was termed the FSO and has been made available, with open access for all health professionals, at the Web site of the Program. Among the total number of 710 FSOs, diagnosis and treatment support corresponded to 238 questions (33.5%), followed by primary healthcare (90 questions) and then by subjects concerning oral health (68 questions) and nursery (39 questions). The structure and design of the FSO are also shown.CONCLUSIONS: The FSO helps professionals and health workers to use the already produced best evidence and scientific knowledge to solve their daily practice questions, improving, qualifying, and increasing the resolution of primary healthcare by the Unified Health System in Brazil. Oral health is frequently asked about by professionals, matching the high prevalence of oral disease in primary healthcare.

Electron and nuclear spins are extremely sensitive probes of their local structural and dynamic surroundings. Their Zeeman energy levels are modified by different types of local magnetic and electric fields created by their structural environment, which influence their magnetic resonance condition. For this reason, electron spin resonance (ESR) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies have become extremely powerful tools of structural analysis, which are being widely used for the structural characterization of complex solids. Following a brief introduction into the basic theoretical foundations the most commonly used techniques and their application towards the structural characterization of paramagnetic solids based on aminoxyl radicals and their inorganic-organic nanocomposites will be described. Both ESR and NMR observables are useful for monitoring intermolecular interactions between unpaired electron spins, which are particularly important for the design of organically based ferromagnetic systems. ESR and NMR methods based on this effect can be used for monitoring the synthesis of polynitroxides and for evaluating the catalytic function of aminoxyl intercalation compounds. Finally, the sensitivity of ESR signals to motional dynamics can be exploited for characterizing molecule-surface interactions in nanocomposite systems. In the context of the latter work recently developed signal enhancement strategies are described, using polarization transfer from electron spins to nuclear spins for NMR spectroscopic detection. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Franco V.R.,Federal University of São Carlos | Varoto P.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing | Year: 2017

A crucial issue in piezoelectric energy harvesting is the efficiency of the mechanical to electrical conversion process. Several techniques have been investigated in order to obtain a set of optimum design parameters that will lead to the best performance of the harvester in terms of electrical power generation. Once an optimum design is reached it is also important to consider uncertainties in the selected parameters that in turn can lead to loss of performance in the energy conversion process. The main goal of this paper is to perform a comprehensive discussion of the effects of multi-parameter aleatory uncertainties on the performance and design optimization of a given energy harvesting system. For that, a typical energy harvester consisting of a cantilever beam carrying a tip mass and partially covered by piezoelectric layers on top and bottom surfaces is considered. A distributed parameter electromechanical modal of the harvesting system is formulated and validated through experimental tests. First, the SQP (Sequential Quadratic Planning) optimization is employed to obtain an optimum set of parameters that will lead to best performance of the harvester. Second, once the optimum harvester configuration is found random perturbations are introduced in the key parameters and Monte Carlo simulations are performed to investigate how these uncertainties propagate and affect the performance of the device studied. Numerically simulated results indicate that small variations in some design parameters can cause a significant variation in the output electrical power, what strongly suggests that uncertainties must be accounted for in the design of beam energy harvesting systems. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

GAO W.,Auburn University | HAN J.,University of Sao Paulo
Combinatorics Probability and Computing | Year: 2017

Let C 6 3 be the 3-uniform hypergraph on {1, . . ., 6} with edges 123,345,561, which can be seen as the analogue of the triangle in 3-uniform hypergraphs. For sufficiently large n divisible by 6, we show that every n-vertex 3-uniform hypergraph H with minimum codegree at least n/3 contains a C 6 3-factor, that is, a spanning subhypergraph consisting of vertex-disjoint copies of C 6 3. The minimum codegree condition is best possible. This improves the asymptotic result obtained by Mycroft and answers a question of Rödl and Ruciński exactly. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017

Deo L.P.,Federal University of Lavras | de Oliveira M.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Materials Characterization | Year: 2017

The development of metastable phases in the microstructures from rapid solidification techniques could significantly improve the properties of metallic alloys, thus it is extremely important the characterization of these unusual structures. In this research, the microstructure of a rapidly-quenched alloy, namely Ni61.6Nb33.1Zr5.3 (at.%) was investigated in greater detail in order to determine the structures and compositions of their crystalline phases. These crystalline phases were characterized using a combination of the following techniques: scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. The phases were compared to the crystalline structures reported in the literature. Our results indicate a high solubility of niobium into Ni10Zr7 and Ni21Zr8 crystalline structures and consequently suggest the formation of two metastable phases in the Ni-Nb-Zr system. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

Piantini A.,University of Sao Paulo
ICHVE 2016 - 2016 IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application | Year: 2016

Lightning is one of the most important causes of failures of overhead power distribution networks. Overvoltages can be caused by both direct and indirect strokes, and the main protective measures consist of the increase of the line insulation level, the application of line arresters, and the use of a shield wire. The overvoltages associated with nearby strokes have usually a significant impact on the lightning performance of overhead distribution lines, especially of those with rated voltage lower than 36 kV. These overvoltages depend on several line and lightning parameters, as well as on the characteristics of the soil. Based on calculations performed using the Extended Rusck Model - ERM, this paper discusses the effects of various parameters on the amplitudes and waveshapes of lightning-induced voltages on overhead medium-voltage distribution lines. © 2016 IEEE.

Silva G.A.L.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Nicoletti R.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Sound and Vibration | Year: 2017

This work focuses on the placement of natural frequencies of beams to desired frequency regions. More specifically, we investigate the effects of combining mode shapes to shape a beam to change its natural frequencies, both numerically and experimentally. First, we present a parametric analysis of a shaped beam and we analyze the resultant effects for different boundary conditions and mode shapes. Second, we present an optimization procedure to find the optimum shape of the beam for desired natural frequencies. In this case, we adopt the Nelder-Mead simplex search method, which allows a broad search of the optimum shape in the solution domain. Finally, the obtained results are verified experimentally for a clamped-clamped beam in three different optimization runs. Results show that the method is effective in placing natural frequencies at desired values (experimental results lie within a 10% error to the expected theoretical ones). However, the beam must be axially constrained to have the natural frequencies changed. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Marmol G.,University of Sao Paulo | Savastano H.,University of Sao Paulo
Cement and Concrete Composites | Year: 2017

This paper assesses the use of low alkaline composites based on magnesium oxide and silica (MgO-SiO2) cement and reinforced with cellulose fibers for the production of thin elements to resist bending loads. The strategy adopted was to study the durability of lignocellulosic fibers in a lower pH environment than the ordinary Portland cement (OPC), by comparing the flexural performance of samples at 28 days and after 200 accelerated ageing cycles. Two types of vegetable fibers were usedeucalyptus and pine pulps. For both types of fibers, composites made out of MgO-SiO2 cement after ageing treatment show a better mechanical performance than OPC samples (modulus of rupture of ∼10.5 and 9 MPa respectively). When used in MgO-SiO2 cement matrices, eucalyptus fibers offer excellent specific energy (SE) values (∼5 kJ/m2) compared to OPC samples in which SE drastically decreases after ageing from 4.97 kJ/m2 to 0.14 kJ/m2. The preservation of the reinforcing capacity of the composite materials after ageing was also proved by SEM techniques. In the light of the results, the use of MgO-SiO2 cements is an effective way to apply cellulosic fibers as reinforcement in fiber-cement products since no signs of degradation were found, even improving flexural properties over time. © 2017

Monteiro H.L.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Trindade M.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Sound and Vibration | Year: 2017

The stick-slip phenomenon, in the process of drilling oil wells, can lead to large fluctuations in drill-bit angular velocity, due to the interaction between drill-bit and rock formation, and, thus, cause irreparable damage to the process. In this work, the performance of control laws applied to the rotary table (responsible for moving the drillstring) is analyzed, in order to reduce stick-slip and drill-bit angular velocity oscillations. The control laws implemented are based on a PI (Proportional-Integral) controller, for which the torque applied to the rotating table has components proportional and integral to the table angular velocity with constant or variable WOB (Weight-On-Bit). For the drillstring, a finite element model with a linear interpolation for the torsional motion was proposed. The torque at drill-bit was modeled considering a non-regularized dry friction model, with parameters that were adjusted using empirical data proposed in literature. Several performance criteria were analyzed and it was observed that a minimization of the mean deviation of the drill-bit angular velocity relative to the target one would provide the best operating condition. Parametric analyses of proportional and integral control gains were performed, yielding level curves for the mean deviation of drill-bit angular velocity. From these curves, stability regions were defined in which the deviation is acceptable. These regions were observed to be wider for smaller values of WOB and higher values of target angular velocity and vice-versa. In addition, the inclusion of a controlled dynamic WOB was proposed leading to reduced levels of mean deviation of angular velocity and, thus, improving stability regions for the drilling process. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Coutinho A.S.,Federal University of Lavras | Pereira A.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications | Year: 2017

In this work we study the bifurcations from the trivial equilibrium of the equation (x,t)=−u(x,t)+tanh(β(J∗u)(x,t)), in the space of 2τ periodic functions. This is accomplished with the help of the equivariant branching lemma, which allows us to take into account the symmetries present in the model. We show that the phenomenon of ‘spontaneous symmetry-breaking’ occurs here, that is, the bifurcating solutions are less symmetric than the trivial one. We also prove that, under certain conditions, these equilibria can be globally continued. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Correa M.R.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Brick and Block Masonry: Trends, Innovations and Challenges - Proceedings of the 16th International Brick and Block Masonry Conference, IBMAC 2016 | Year: 2016

This paper presents the challenges faced during the structural design of a 20-storey high masonry building, constructed in an area subjected to high speed winds in Brazil. Changes in the original design were made to maintain the viability of the masonry building structural performance, such as: analyzing the wind speed records, updating the time span and the statistical distribution; improving the stiffness of the facade shear walls to stiffen the bracing system and redistribute the horizontal loads, considering both double walls and the coupling effect of material over the openings, etc. The author supervised the control tests of the materials during building time, carried out in laboratories at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) and also the structural design choices, executed by a specialized design office. The paper shows the most important decisions and compares the initial and final solutions, pointing out the differences considering both the service and the ultimate limit states. © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, London.

Figueiredo G.M.,Federal University of Pará | Siciliano G.,University of Sao Paulo
Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications | Year: 2017

We prove existence of multiple positive solutions for a fractional scalar field equation in a bounded domain, whenever p tends to the critical Sobolev exponent. By means of the “photography method”, we prove that the topology of the domain furnishes a lower bound on the number of positive solutions. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Benites-Lazaro L.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Mello-Thery N.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2017

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has incorporated sustainable development as one of their objectives. This objective gives companies an increasing motivation to contribute to sustainable development through their corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, perceived profitability of companies with carbon commodification were negatively associated with CDM projects. This paper aims to identify CSR activities in CDM in three Latin American countries, namely, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru and understand the drivers behind of these CSR initiatives. The study is based on the evaluation of 593 projects registered and Polanyi's theory. We identified some CSR activities corresponding to the social, environmental and economic indicators in the three countries. This is not to say that all CDM developers are acting in a socially responsible manner. Certain CSR activities in most of the cases were implemented as a way to legitimize and as a means to achieve social acceptance. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Dias,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology | Year: 2016

The engineering achievements and milestones in the application, repair, design and manufacture of electric motors in São Paulo from 1900 until 1950 are described in the economic and technological contexts of the time. The application of electric motors in the State of São Paulo began at the same time as its industrialization, which was driven by the reinvestment of capital accumulated from coffee exports and manufacturing activities, most notably in the textile industry. Both railways and electricity utilities were a source of training for skilled labour, and an outstanding school of engineering was founded to support industrialization. Immigrants established the first motor repair shops. With the import restrictions imposed by WWII some of them became manufacturers, often in association with either equipment manufacturers or importers seeking local suppliers. A lack of materials and parts, which were previously imported, demanded ingenuity from the new manufacturers in order to develop viable alternatives and modify design criteria. These processes were supported by the Polytechnic School and its associated Institute of Electrotechnics. © The Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering & Technology 2016.

Silva-Ortega M.,University of Sao Paulo | Assi G.R.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science | Year: 2017

The present work investigates the use of a polar array of 2, 4 and 8 wake-control cylinders as a means to suppress the vortex-induced vibration (VIV) of a larger circular cylinder. The diameter of the control cylinders and the gap between their walls have been varied in 27 different configurations. Experiments have been performed in water at Reynolds numbers between 5000 and 50,000. Cross-flow amplitude of displacement, frequency of vibration, mean drag and fluctuating lift coefficients are presented. While some configurations of control cylinders suppressed VIV, others produced a galloping-like response. The best VIV suppressor was composed of 8 control cylinders and mitigated 99% of the peak amplitude of vibration when compared to that of a plain cylinder; mean drag was increased by 12%. A polar array of 4 control cylinders was the most efficient configuration to minimize the mean drag, but the system developed severe vibrations combining VIV and a galloping-like response. The system appeared to be very sensitive to the parameters investigated; small variations in the size and position of the control cylinders produced unexpected responses. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

Donate P.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Adhesion Science | Year: 2015

This review describes how to apply green chemistry principles to transform biomass into several types of molecules. On the basis of selected papers published over the last three to four years, it includes the main reactions used to convert renewable feedstocks into chemical products that are potentially applicable as raw materials or synthetic intermediates in fine chemical industries with emphasis on preparative organic synthesis. © 2014, Donate. All Right Reserved.

Some Antarctic littorinoideans have a remarkable convergence with Naticoidea in shell and operculum features. Two naticid-like species of that group are studied in their phenotypic features in order to improve their taxonomy and to discuss the meaning of that convergence, as the former are herbivore-detritivore and the latter active predatory organisms. One of the studied species is the littorinid Laevilacunaria antarctica (Martens, 1885). The other belongs to a new genus – Pseudonatica, with the type species also newly described: P. antarctica, the genus is tentatively placed in Zerotulidae. Another Pseudonatica is also described, P. ampullarica, based only on shells collected by Marion-Dufresne French expedition off Brazilian coast, this finding expands the occurrence of zerotulids northwards. Besides the similarities of shell and operculum, other structures of these Antarctic species also show singular similarities with naticoideans, such as the wide foot, the complexity of opercular attachment in pedal opercular pad, the wide oesophageal gland, and the coiled arrangement of the pallial oviduct. The phenotypic characters were coded and inserted in a previous large phylogenetic analysis on Caenogastropoda (Simone, 2011), furnishing a wide basis for discussion on the characters, taxonomic position, evolution and adaptations of these organisms. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2017

This text is addressed to medical undergraduate students with aim to characterize Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) with emphasis on diagnosis and treatment. GAD is one of the most psychiatric disorders under-diagnosed. The main characteristic of GAD is persistent and excessive worry accompanied by physical symptoms related to autonomic hyperactivity and muscle tension. The comorbidity with depression and other anxiety disorders is frequently. The psychotherapeutic approach, in a wide sense, must be a priority in the treatment of this disease and, when indicated, the pharmacological treatment should not be the only therapeutic option.

Zuardi A.W.,University of Sao Paulo
Medicina (Brazil) | Year: 2017

The aim of this paper is to characterize the Panic Disorder (PD) with an emphasis on diagnosis and treatment. PD is one of the anxiety disorders, characterized by recurrent panic attacks accompanied by a persistent preoccupation with additional attacks and maladaptive behavioral changes (American Psychiatric Association DSM-V). Its etiology is not known, but should involve an interaction of genetic, developmental and environmental factors that result in changes in the functioning of some brain areas. The pharmacological treatment of choice is with the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which has a latency of 20 for 30 days for the beginning of the therapeutic effect.

Festuccia W.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Clinical Science | Year: 2017

Brown adipose tissue (BAT), an organ specialized in the conversion of chemical energy from nutrients into heatthrough a process denominated as nonshivering thermogenesis, plays an important role in defence of body weightand homoeothermy in mammals. BAT nonshivering thermogenesis relies on the activity of the uncoupling protein 1(UCP-1), a mitochondrial protein that, on demand, deviates proton gradient from ATP synthesis to heat generation.Energetically, this process is supported by BAT-elevated mitochondrial density and outstanding capacity to oxidizefatty acids and glucose. These unique features place BAT as an important determinant of whole-body energy, lipidand glucose homoeostases. In the present issue of Clinical Science, Poekes et al. have gathered supportingevidence indicating that, along with hyperphagia, impaired BAT diet-induced thermogenesis is an important factordriving the exacerbated diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and hepatic steatosis featured by foz/foz, amouse strain that carries mutations in Alström syndrome protein 1 (ALMS1) gene mimicking human Alströmsyndrome. They also show that restoration of BAT nonshivering thermogenesis by intermittent cold exposureattenuated foz/foz mice obesity, glucose intolerance and liver steatosis. Altogether, these findings highlight theimportant contribution of BAT nonshivering thermogenesis to whole-body energy expenditure, lipid and glucosehomoeostases and further support its potential utilization as a therapeutic strategy to treat metabolic diseases. © 2017 The Author(s).

Rios V.P.,University of Sao Paulo | Kraenkel R.A.,São Paulo State University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Groups in nature can be formed by interactions between individuals, or by external pressures like predation. It is reasonable to assume that groups formed by internal and external conditions have different dynamics and structures. We propose a computational model to investigate the effects of individual recognition on the formation and structure of animal groups. Our model is composed of agents that can recognize each other and remember previous interactions, without any external pressures, in order to isolate the effects of individual recognition. We show that individual recognition affects the number and size of groups, and the modularity of the social networks. This model can be used as a null model to investigate the effects of external factors on group formation and persistence. © 2017 Rios, Kraenkel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Goncalves V.P.,Federal University of Pelotas | Navarra F.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Spiering D.,University of Sao Paulo
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2017

The exclusive vector meson production cross section is one of the most promising observables to probe the high energy regime of the QCD dynamics. In particular, the squared momentum transfer (t) distributions are an important source of information about the spatial distribution of the gluons in the hadron and about fluctuations of the color fields. In this paper we complement previous studies on exclusive vector meson photoproduction in hadronic collisions presenting a comprehensive analysis of the t-spectrum measured in exclusive ρ, ϕ and J/Ψ photoproduction in pp and PbPb collisions at the LHC. We compute the differential cross sections taking into account gluon saturation effects and compare the predictions with those obtained in the linear regime of the QCD dynamics. Our results show that gluon saturation suppresses the magnitude of the cross sections and shifts the position of the dips towards smaller values of t. © 2017 The Authors

Andrade M.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Lancas F.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2017

Ochratoxin A (OTA), a widely studied mycotoxin, can be found in a variety of food matrices. As its concentration in food is generally low (in the order of μg kg−1), sample preparation techniques are necessary for the analyte purification and pre-concentration in order to achieve the required low detection limits. The separation and detection methods used for OTA analysis should also offer proper sensitivity in order to allow the adequate quantification of the analyte. This manuscript addresses the development of a methodology aiming the analysis of OTA in wine samples by packed in-tube SPME in flow through extraction mode coupled to HPLC–MS/MS. The in-tube SPME set up utilized a PEEK tube packed with C18 particles as the extraction column. The method was optimized by a central composite design 22 + 3 extra central points, having as factors the percentage of ACN and time in the sample load step. The functionalities of the method were attested and its analytical conditions, enhanced by using 22% of ACN and 6 min in the sample load step. Validation of the method was also accomplished prior to analyses of both dry red wine and dry white wine samples. The method demonstrated proper sensitivity, with detection and quantification limits equal to 0.02 and 0.05 μg L−1, respectively. Linearity and precision exhibited a 0.996 correlation coefficient and RSD under 6%, respectively. The method proved to be accurate at medium and higher concentration levels with a maximum recovery of 73% at higher concentration levels. OTA was not detected in either dry red and dry white wine samples evaluated in this work. If present, it would be at concentrations lower than the detection and quantification limits established for the proposed method, and considered not a potential danger to human health according to our present knowledge. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

The aim of this study was to characterise the simplest compound models with a selenium–oxygen, selenium–sulphur and selenium–selenium bond as the SeXH and HSeXH isomers (X = O,S,Se). One of the main aspects of this investigation was to provide a description on the isomerisation pathways involving 2[H,Se,X] and 1[2H,Se,X] potential energy surfaces calculated at the CCSD(T)/CBS//MP2/cc-pVTZ level. The energy difference was 13 kcal mol−1 between hydroxyselenide (SeOH) and oxoselenium (HSeO), while a gap of 3 kcal mol−1 was predicted between thiol-selenide (SeSH) and selenol-sulphide (HSeS). The SeOH→HSeO unimolecular rearrangement showed a barrier energy of 44.6 kcal mol−1, decreasing almost two times in sulphur and selenium analogous reactions. In addition, hydroxyselenide (HSeOH), thioselenenic acid (HSeSH) and diselane (HSeSeH) were the global minimum configurations in the ground state, while the energy differences among the other isomers were close to 30 kcal mol−1. The HSeXH→H2SeX and HSeXH→SeXH2 isomerisations showed barrier energies ranging from 40 to 65 kcal mol−1, while these reverse routes presented heights that were three times smaller. The kinetic rate constant of each 1,2-H shift reaction was performed here as well as an analysis of the selenium-chalcogen bonds using natural bond orbital and bond order index methodologies. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Ivannikov V.,Swinburne University of Technology | Ivannikov V.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2017

We offer interferometry models for thermal ensembles with one-body losses and the phenomenological inclusion of perturbations covering most of the thermal atom experiments. A possible extension to the many-body case is briefly discussed. The Ramsey pulses are assumed to have variable durations and the detuning during the pulses is distinguished from the detuning during evolution. Consequently, the pulses are not restricted to resonant operation and give more flexibility to optimize the interferometer to particular experimental conditions. On this basis another model is devised in which the contrast loss due to the unequal one-body population decays is canceled by the application of a nonstandard splitting pulse. For the importance of its practical implications, an analogous spin-echo model is also provided. The developed models are suitable for the analysis of atomic clocks and a broad range of sensing applications; they are particularly useful for trapped-atom interferometers. © 2017 American Physical Society.

Brandt F.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Sanchez-Monroy J.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2017

We investigate the effective dynamics for spinless charged particles, in the presence of Abelian gauge field, constrained to an m-dimensional curved pseudo-Riemannian submanifold (brane) of an n-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold (bulk). We employ the confining potential approach and a perturbative expansion for the Klein-Gordon and Schrödinger equations is derived. This allows us to obtain the effective Klein-Gordon and Schrödinger equations on a brane, in terms of the extrinsic curvatures, the intrinsic curvature and the extrinsic torsion. We show that the presence of a bulk gauge field induces a Zeeman coupling whenever the codimension is greater than one, even if the brane and the bulk are flat. The effect of a non-minimal coupling with the Ricci scalar curvature of the bulk is also considered. The results presented here can be applied in at least two physical scenarios: brane gravity, when the brane is four-dimensional, and condensed matter, when the bulk is a four-dimensional flat manifold and the brane is three- or two-dimensional. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Duarte J.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Azevedo R.S.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Medical Informatics | Year: 2017

Purpose To evaluate the satisfaction and expectations of patients and physicians before and after the implementation of an electronic health record (EHR) in the outpatient clinic of a university hospital. Methods We conducted 389 interviews with patients and 151 with physicians before and after the implementation of a commercial EHR at the internal medicine clinic of Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (HC-FMUSP), Brazil. The physicians were identified by their connection to the outpatient clinic and categorized by their years since graduation: residents and preceptors (with 10 years or less of graduation) or assistants (with more than 10 years of graduation). The answers to the questionnaire given by the physicians were classified as favorable or against the use of EHR, before and after the implementation of this system in this clinic, receiving 1 or 0 points, respectively. The sum of these points generated a multiple regression score to determine which factors contribute to the acceptance of EHR by physicians. We also did a third survey, after the EHR was routinely established in the outpatient clinic. Results The degree of patient satisfaction was the same before and after implementation, with more than 90% positive evaluations. They noted the use of the computer during the consultation and valued such use. Resident (younger) physicians had more positive expectations than assistants (older physicians) before EHR implementation. This optimism was reduced after implementation. In the third evaluation the use of EHR was higher among resident physicians. Resident physicians perceived and valued the EHR more and used it more. In 28 of the 57 questions on performance of clinical tasks, resident physicians found it easier to use EHR than assistant physicians with significant differences (p < 0.05). When questioned specifically about EHR satisfaction, resident physicians responded “good” and “excellent” to a greater extent than assistant physicians (p = 0.002). Conclusions Our results reinforce the idea that the EHR introduction in a clinical setting should be preceded by careful planning to improve physician's adherence to the use of EHR. Patients do not seem to notice much difference to the quality of the consultation done using paper or EHR. It became clear after the third evaluation with the physicians that the younger (residents and some preceptors) perceived the advantages of the EHR more than the older physicians. Resident physicians use the EHR more and are more satisfied with it. © 2017

Fumes B.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Lancas F.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2017

This paper describes the synthesis, characterization and use of graphene supported on aminopropyl silica through covalent bonds (Si-G) as a sorbent for microextraction by packed sorbent (MEPS). Five parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl and benzyl) present in water matrices were used as model compounds for this evaluation. The Si-G phase was compared to other sorbents used in MEPS (C18 and Strata™-X) and also with graphene supported on primary-secondary amine (PSA) silica, where Si-G showed better results. After this, the MEPS experimental parameters were optimized using the Si-G sorbent. The following variables were optimized through univariate experiments: pH (4,7 and 10), desorption solvent (ACN:MeOH (50:50), ACN:H2O (40:60), MeOH and ACN) and ionic strength (0, 10 and 20% of NaCl). A factorial design 26-2 was then employed to evaluate other variables, such as the sample volume, desorption volume, sampling cycles, wash cycles and desorption cycles, as well as the influence of NaCl% on the extraction performance. The optimized method achieved a linear range of 0.2-20μg/L for most parabens; weighted calibration models were employed during the linearity evaluation to reduce the absolute sum of the residue values and improve R2, which ranged from 0.9753 to 0.9849. The method's accuracy was 82.3-119.2%; precision, evaluated as the coefficient of variance for intraday and interday analysis, ranged from 1.5 to 19.2%. After evaluation of the figures of merit, the method was applied to the determination of parabens in water samples. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Masini J.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Svec F.,Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2017

This review aims at presenting the state of the art concerning monolithic materials for on-line sample preparation emphasizing solid-phase extraction, matrix exchange, and analyte conversion. Emphasis was given to organic and silica-based, as well as hybrid monoliths reported in the literature mostly after 2010. The first part of this review presents materials and strategies for enrichment of inorganic species in environmental and biological samples using mostly ICP-MS detectors. In the second part we focus on organic analytes, discussing the role of surface area of the polymer monoliths and density of adsorption sites for specific interactions, including incorporation of nanoparticles, metal organic frameworks, as well as the preparation of hybrid organic-silica monoliths to increase the surface area. Incorporation of ionic liquids to increase the number of types of interaction mechanisms available for retention is also discussed. Monoliths affording molecular recognition properties achieved by including boronate moieties for cis-diol recognition, as well as antibodies and aptamers for specific molecular recognition are also reviewed. The largest number of applications of molecular recognition mechanisms was observed for molecularly imprinted polymer monoliths as a consequence of the simplicity of this approach when compared to the use of immunosorbents or aptamers. The final part examines the on-line applications of immobilized enzyme reactors used for protein digestion in proteomic analysis and for kinetic studies in drug discovery and clinical assays usually coupling the reactors to mass spectrometers. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Ricardo-da-Silva F.Y.,University of Sao Paulo
Shock | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: Intestinal ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) triggers a systemic inflammatory response characterized by leukocyte mobilization from the bone marrow, release of cytokines to the circulation, and increased microvascular permeability, leading to high mortality. Females have shown attenuated inflammatory response to trauma when compared to males, indicating a role for female sex hormones in this process. Here we have evaluated the effect of estradiol on the local gut injury induced by I/R in male rats. I/R was induced by the clamping of the superior mesenteric artery for 45?min, followed by 2?h of reperfusion. A group received 17β-estradiol (280?μg/kg, i.v., single dose) at 30?min of ischemia. Morphometric analysis of the gut showed I/R induced a reduction of villous height that was prevented by estradiol. White blood cells, notably granulocytes, were mobilized from the circulation to the intestine by I/R, which was also prevented by estradiol treatment. Groups had the intestine wrapped in a plastic bag to collect intestinal fluid, where leukocytes count, TNF-α and IL-10 levels were increased by I/R. Serum chemokines (CINC-1, MIP-1α, MIP-2), ICAM-1 expression in the mesenteric tissue and neutrophils spontaneous migration measured in vitro were also increased after I/R. Estradiol treatment reduced leukocytes numbers and TNF-α on intestinal fluid, serum chemokine release and also downregulated MIP-1α, MIP-2 gene expression and spontaneous in vitro neutrophil migration. In conclusion, estradiol blunts intestinal injury induced by I/R by modulating chemokines release and leukocyte trafficking. © 2017 by the Shock Society

de Sousa Malafaia A.M.,Federal University of Säo João del Rei | de Oliveira M.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Corrosion Science | Year: 2017

Fe-Mn-Si-Cr-Ni alloys are known by their shape memory properties, however, oxidation studies are still incipient. This study evaluated an Fe-17Mn-5Si-10Cr-4Ni-VC alloy on cyclic oxidation tests at 800, 900 and 1000. °C. Mass variation was evaluated and oxide layers were examined by SEM, EDS and XRD. An anomalous mass variation was observed: after initial spallation, the material restarted mass gain. The formed Mn-depleted zone changed the austenite microstructure to ferrite on the metal/oxide interface and better oxide anchoring was promoted through the roughness generated. The result makes this alloy an interesting candidate for applications where cyclic oxidation is an important issue. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

Because the ability to hide in plain sight provides a major selective advantage to both prey and predator species, the emergence of the striking colouration of some animal species (such as many coral reef fish) represents an evolutionary conundrum that remains unsolved to date. Here I propose a framework by which conspicuous colours can emerge when the selective pressures for camouflage are relaxed (1) because camouflage is not essential under specific prey/predator conditions or (2) due to the impossibility of reducing the signal-to-background noise in the environment. The first case is found among non-predator-species that possess effective defences against predators (hence a "Carefree World"), such as the strong macaws' beaks and the flight abilities of hummingbirds. The second case is found in diurnal mobile fish of coral reef communities, which swim in clear waters against highly contrasting and unpredictable background (hence an "Hyper-Visible World"). In those contexts the selective pressures that usually come secondary to camouflage (such as sexual, warning, species recognition or territorial display) are free to drive the evolution of brilliant and diverse colouration. This theoretical framework can also be useful for studying the conditions that allow for conspicuousness in other sensory contexts (acoustic, chemical, electrical, etc.). © 2016 Alonso WJ.

Pimenoff V.N.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Pimenoff V.N.,Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research IDIBELL | De Oliveira C.M.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | De Oliveira C.M.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2017

Every human suffers through life a number of papillomaviruses (PVs) infections, most of them asymptomatic. A notable exception are persistent infections by Human papillomavirus 16 (HPV16), the most oncogenic infectious agent for humans and responsible for most infection-driven anogenital cancers. Oncogenic potential is not homogeneous among HPV16 lineages, and genetic variation within HPV16 exhibits some geographic structure. However, an in-depth analysis of the HPV16 evolutionary history was still wanting. We have analyzed extant HPV16 diversity and compared the evolutionary and phylogeographical patterns of humans and of HPV16. We show that codivergence with modern humans explains at most 30% of the present viral geographical distribution. The most explanatory scenario suggests that ancestral HPV16 already infected ancestral human populations and that viral lineages co-diverged with the hosts in parallel with the split between archaic Neanderthal-Denisovans and ancestral modern human populations, generating the ancestral HPV16A and HPV16BCD viral lineages, respectively. We propose that after out-of-Africa migration of modern human ancestors, sexual transmission between human populations introduced HPV16A into modern human ancestor populations. We hypothesize that differential coevolution of HPV16 lineages with different but closely related ancestral human populations and subsequent host-switch events in parallel with introgression of archaic alleles into the genomes of modern human ancestors may be largely responsible for the present-day differential prevalence and association with cancers for HPV16 variants. © 2016 The Author.

Muniz H.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Nascimento A.S.,University of Sao Paulo
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Molecular docking is an important tool for the discovery of new biologically active molecules given that the receptor structure is known. An excellent environment for the development of new methods and improvement of the current methods is being provided by the rapid growth in the number of proteins with known structure. The evaluation of the solvation energies outstands among the challenges for the modeling of the receptor-ligand interactions, especially in the context of molecular docking where a fast, though accurate, evaluation is ought to be achieved. Here we evaluated a variation of the desolvation energy model proposed by Stouten (Stouten P.F.W. et al, Molecular Simulation, 1993, 10: 97-120), or SV model. The SV model showed a linear correlation with experimentally determined solvation energies, as available in the database FreeSolv. However, when used in retrospective docking simulations using the benchmarks DUD, charged-matched DUD and DUD-Enhanced, the SV model resulted in poorer enrichments when compared to a pure force field model with no correction for solvation effects. The data provided here is consistent with other empirical solvation models employed in the context of molecular docking and indicates that a good model to account for solvent effects is still a goal to achieve. On the other hand, despite the inability to improve the enrichment of retrospective simulations, the SV solvation model showed an interesting ability to reduce the number of molecules with net charge -2 and -3 e among the top-scored molecules in a prospective test. Copyright © 2017 Muniz, Nascimento. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Mortoza L.P.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Piqueira J.R.C.,University of Sao Paulo
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Capital flows are responsible for a strong influence on the foreign exchange rates and stock prices macroeconomic parameters. In volatile economies, capital flows can change due to several types of social, political and economic events, provoking oscillations on these parameters, which are recognized as economic crises. This work aims to investigate how these two macroeconomic variables are related with crisis events by using the traditional complex measures due to Lopez-Mancini-Calbet (LMC) and to Shiner-Davison-Landsberg (SDL), that can be applied to any temporal series. Here, Ibovespa (Bovespa Stock Exchange main Index) and the "dollar-real" parity are the background for calculating the LMC and SDL complexity measures. By analyzing the temporal evolution of these measures, it is shown that they might be related to important events that occurred in the Brazilian economy. © 2017 Mortoza, Piqueira. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Low pH is an important environmental stressor of plant root cells. Understanding the mechanisms of stress and tolerance to acidity is critical; however, there is no widely accepted pH buffer for studies of plant cells at low pH. Such a buffer might also benefit studies of Al toxicity, in which buffering at low pH is also important. The challenge is to find a buffer with minimal cellular effects. We examined the cytotoxicity and possible metabolic disturbances of four buffers that have adequate pKa values and potential use for studies in the pH range of 4.0–5.0. These were homopipes (homopiperazine-1,4-bis (2-ethanesulfonic acid); pKa1 4.4), 3,3-dimethylglutaric acid (pKa1 3.73), β-alanine (pKa1 3.70) and potassium biphthalate (pKa1 2.95; pKa2 5.41). First, tobacco BY-2 cells were grown in a rich medium containing 10 mM of each buffer or MES (2-(N-morpholino) ethanesulfonic acid) as a control, with the pH initially adjusted to 5.7. β-alanine was clearly toxic and dimethylgluturate and biphthalate were found to be cytostatic, in which no culture growth occurred but cell viability was either unaffected or decreased only after 5 days. Only homopipes allowed normal culture growth and cell viability. Homopipes (10 mM) was then tested in cell cultures with an initial pH of 4.3 ± 0.17 in minimal medium to examine whether its undissociated species (H2A) displayed any cellular effects and no cytotoxic effects were observed. It is possible to conclude that among tested buffers, homopipes is the most suitable for studies at low pH, and may be especially useful for aluminum toxicity experiments. © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS

This article ofers a panorama of the cultural phenomena of obituary publishing and reading, both on newspapers in English, their original locus, and anthologies. It relates the appearance of this speciic genre and its hegemonic lasting in contemporary American and British newspapers to the biographical, instantaneous and literary aspects of its narrative. he reasons for the extemporaneous interest of the reader in a genre that oten migrates from the ephemerality of newspapers to long-lasting print anthologies is searched for in its romanesque coniguration, itself originated from other genres and formed by discourses of life and death, ultimately legitimized by the truth discourse of the Press. Hence, the obituary would be consumed, esthetically, both as an ethically profound true story and as easy literature.

Martinez Steele E.,University of Sao Paulo | Popkin B.M.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Swinburn B.,University of Auckland | Monteiro C.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Population Health Metrics | Year: 2017

Background: Recent population dietary studies indicate that diets rich in ultra-processed foods, increasingly frequent worldwide, are grossly nutritionally unbalanced, suggesting that the dietary contribution of these foods largely determines the overall nutritional quality of contemporaneous diets. Yet, these studies have focused on individual nutrients (one at a time) rather than the overall nutritional quality of the diets. Here we investigate the relationship between the energy contribution of ultra-processed foods in the US diet and its content of critical nutrients, individually and overall. Methods: We evaluated dietary intakes of 9,317 participants from 2009 to 2010 NHANES aged 1+ years. Food items were classified into unprocessed or minimally processed foods, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods, and ultra-processed foods. First, we examined the average dietary content of macronutrients, micronutrients, and fiber across quintiles of the energy contribution of ultra-processed foods. Then, we used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to identify a nutrient-balanced dietary pattern to enable the assessment of the overall nutritional quality of the diet. Linear regression was used to explore the association between the dietary share of ultra-processed foods and the balanced-pattern PCA factor score. The scores were thereafter categorized into tertiles, and their distribution was examined across ultra-processed food quintiles. All models incorporated survey sample weights and were adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, and educational attainment. Results: The average content of protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, D, and E, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the US diet decreased significantly across quintiles of the energy contribution of ultra-processed foods, while carbohydrate, added sugar, and saturated fat contents increased. An inverse dose-response association was found between ultra-processed food quintiles and overall dietary quality measured through a nutrient-balanced-pattern PCA-derived factor score characterized by being richer in fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, and having less saturated fat and added sugars. Conclusions: This study suggests that decreasing the dietary share of ultra-processed foods is a rational and effective way to improve the nutritional quality of US diets. © 2017 The Author(s).

The text presents some considerations on orality disorders in autism, from the point of view of psychoanalysis, intertwining issues of the constitution of the infant psyche and orality. To approach these theoretical and clinical issues two clinical cases are presented. The portrayed children present autistic functioning, characterized by oral primacy, and the enigmatic appears in the way orality is revealed, either in voracity or oral indiscrimination, installing the mouth exclusively in place of a, hole that encompasses everything and is never satisfied. © 2009 Associação Universitária de Pesquisa em Psicopatologia Fundamental/University Association for Research in Fundamental Psychopathology.

Atencio D.,University of Sao Paulo
Mineralogical Magazine | Year: 2016

Proposal 16-C was accepted by the Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association, and parabariomicrolite is discredited as identical to hydrokenomicrolite-3R. There are now two type localities: Alto do Giz pegmatite, Equador Co., Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil and Volta Grande pegmatite, Nazareno, Minas Gerais, Brazil. © 2016 The Mineralogical Society.

Pessoa R.,University of Sao Paulo
Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2016

Advantages of testing for Zika virus (ZIKV) in urine have been reported, such as the persistence of ZIKV in this type of specimen for up to 20 days after ZIKV disease onset. We investigate 61 patients in the first 5 days post-symptom onset and find more patients testing positive for ZIKV in plasma samples (n=46), than in corresponding urine samples (n=37). For patients respectively testing positive in both plasma and urine (n=28), respective viral loads appeared similar. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2016.

Blanco V.M.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Fuess L.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Zaiat M.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2017

Biohydrogen (bioH2) production via dark fermentation is an attractive approach to overcome the drawbacks of conventional hydrogen production methods and represents a preliminary alternative for the management of organic wastes. Fundamental studies are still required to enhance the performance of bioH2 production systems, with emphasis on the development of novel reactor configurations. The anaerobic structured-bed reactor (ASTBR) is a recently developed configuration with great potential for bioH2 production, although operating strategies are still required to minimize biomass washout in such systems. In this context, calcium dosing has been investigated as a strategy to enhance both biomass retention and bioH2 production rates in the ASTBR. The present study employed varying COD/calcium ratios (4423, 2079, 1357, 1012, 884, and 632) in continuous experiments under mesophilic conditions (25 °C). Calcium dosing effectively enhanced biomass retention within the ASTBR, directly increasing the availability of metabolic energy for different metabolic pathways rather than cell synthesis. An optimal COD/calcium ratio of 1360 was mathematically estimated for bioH2 production, which is consistent with the results obtained experimentally. The specific organic loading rate (SOLR) was better controlled at this ratio, indicating the establishment of balanced conditions in terms of substrate availability and biomass concentration. Conversely, bioH2 production was severely impaired at COD/calcium values below and above the optimal range, most likely due to enhancement of the homoacetogenic pathway as a result of unbalanced conditions in the SOLR. Furthermore, biomass accumulation did not strongly affect the mean residence time of the ASTBR, facilitating its robust and enhanced solid retention. © 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC.

Tengan C.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Moraes C.T.,University of Miami
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2017

Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule with multiple facets and involved in numerous pathological process, including cancer. Among the different pathways where NO has a functionally relevant participation, is the control of mitochondrial respiration and biogenesis. NO is able to inhibit the electron transport chain, mainly at Complex IV, regulating oxygen consumption and ATP generation, but at the same time, can also induce increase in reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. The presence of reactive species can induce oxidative damage or participate in redox signaling. In this review, we discuss how NO affects mitochondrial respiration and mitochondrial biogenesis, and how it influences the development of mitochondrial deficiency and cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Mitochondria in Cancer, edited by Giuseppe Gasparre, Rodrigue Rossignol and Pierre Sonveaux. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Viana R.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Spectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy | Year: 2017

The aim of this investigation was to perform a characterization of the spectroscopic and thermodynamic properties of methylarsine (CH3AsH2). Post-Hartree-Fock, 29 DFT methods and eight different composite methodologies were employed in these analyses. A comparison between harmonic and anharmonic frequency accuracies in reproducing the observable frequencies was performed here. In addition, the CH3AsH2 → CH2AsH3 isomerization barrier energy was estimated in 100 kcal mol− 1, whereas the H2-release routes barrier heights were in the 45–107 kcal mol− 1 range. A rate constant of 10− 66 s− 1 was predicted regarding the isomerization route, while the CH2AsH3 hydrogen elimination mechanism is faster than the methylarsine one. The transition state structure of the CH3AsH2 internal rotational barrier energy varied between 1.0 and 1.4 kcal mol− 1. For the CH2AsH3 internal rotation the estimated barrier heights varied 0.6–2.5 kcal mol− 1. The adiabatic ionization energy and the heat of formation each structure was also calculated here. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Mendes L.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology | Year: 2016

This paper gives a summary of the activities of Watson Davis (1896–1967) during the first half of the 20th century in the area of information organisation and dissemination. Starting from Davis's views on the purpose of information, the paper subsequently describes his projects for the establishment of “one big library”, the Auxiliary Publication Service, “one big journal”, and the “world brain”. Considering Davis as a member of the Special Libraries and Documentation Movement, his connections with its other members are explored. Subsequently, Davis's ideas are analysed and his legacy to Information Science investigated. The paper argues that Davis is an important link between Information Science and its predecessor Documentation, and therefore that he deserves to be subject of deeper research. Copyright © 2016 by Association for Information Science and Technology

Freire V.,University of Sao Paulo
Proceedings - 2016 5th Brazilian Conference on Intelligent Systems, BRACIS 2016 | Year: 2016

Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) have long been the framework for modeling optimal decisions in stochastic environments. Although less known, Risk Sensitive Markov Decision Processes (RSMDP) extend MDPs by allowing arbitrary risk attitude. However, not every environment is well-defined in MDPs and RSMDPs and both versions make use of discount in costs to turn every problem well-defined, because of the exponential grow in RSMDPs, the problem of a well-defined problem is even harder. Here, we show that the use of discount in costs: (i) in MDPs induces a risk-prone attitude in MDPs, and (ii) in MDPs, hinders risk-averse attitude for some scenarios. © 2016 IEEE.

Pontillo A.,University of Sao Paulo | Crovella S.,Federal University of Pernambuco
Current Protein and Peptide Science | Year: 2017

NOD Like Receptors (NLRs) are the most abundant cytoplasmic immune receptors in plants and animals and they similarly act sensing pathogen invasion and activating immune response. Despite the fact that plant and mammals NLRs share homology.; with some protein structure differences.; for signalling pathway.; divergent evolution of the receptors has been hypothesized. Next generation genome sequencing has contributed to the description of NLRs in phyla others than plants and mammals and leads to new knowledge about NLRs evolution along phylogeny. Full comprehension of NLR-mediated immune response in plant could contribute to the understanding of animal NLRs physiology and/or pathology. © 2017 Bentham Science Publishers.

This exploratory study was carried out to determine the expression levels of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), insulin-like growth factor 1, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and leptin in serum and tumor samples from patients with uveal melanoma and to investigate the potential association of these expression levels with disease progression and patient survival. Seventeen patients, including nine nonmetastatic and eight metastatic, were included in the study. Eighteen healthy individuals served as controls. The levels of these four proteins in serum and tissue samples were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and immunohistochemical staining, respectively. Associations between protein levels and survival, disease progression, and other clinicopathological factors were analyzed statistically. Serum levels of HGF were significantly higher and TSH levels were lower in uveal melanoma patients than in healthy individuals, but the level of neither protein differed significantly between metastatic and nonmetastatic groups. Of the four proteins tested, only serum TSH was significantly associated with patient survival. No correlation was observed between the tissue and serum levels of each protein. The levels of HGF in serum may be markers of uveal melanoma development. The prognostic and predictive values of these potential markers need to be determined in a larger cohort. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Garcia N.G.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the second most common neoplasm of the head and neck after squamous cell carcinoma. However, it accounts for only 3.5% of all malignancies of the oral cavity. Oral lesions are often a component of disseminated disease process that may involve regional lymph nodes or may at times represent the primary extra nodal form of the disease. Although, isolated oral lymphoma in adults is extremely rare, this paper presents a patient with Burkitt lymphoma in an adult male with atypical clinical presentation primarily involving the oral soft tissue. It is believed that the prognosis of Burkitt lymphoma depends on the extent of the disease, the patientʼs age, and the timing of diagnosis. Therefore, the role of the dentist in the early diagnosis and prompt referral of patients with Burkitt lymphoma cannot be overemphasized. © 2017 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.

Three new species of Microglanis are described from Central Brazil: M. sparsns from the upper rio Xingu basin, Mato Grosso state; M. xerenle from the middle rio Tocantins basin, Tocantins state; and M. reikoae from the middle rio Sao Francisco basin, Bahia state. Microglanis sparsus is distinguished from all congeners by the combination of: mottled coloration, pectoral-fin spine mostly with only retrorse serrae, axis of gill filaments with a dark stripe, short lateral line with only 5-7 pores, and anal fin with 9-11 rays. Microglanis xerente belongs to a species-group characterized mainly by having black dots aligned in rows on the head, nape and side of the trunk, but it is distinguished by the presence of a wide brown stripe on the dorsal and caudal fins (inconspicuous in juvenile specimens). Microglanis reikoae is identified by the presence of large nostrils (with the posterior nostril almost eye- sized), three dark brown saddles diffuse on the trunk, and a narrow interorbital width (38-40 % of head length). In addition, the occurrence of M. poecilus in the rio Tocantins basin is recorded for the first time. Discussions about the intrageneric features of Microglanis are provided. © 2016 by Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, München, Germany.

Ueno-Pardi L.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2017

PURPOSE: Previous studies report abnormal muscle metaboreflex control of muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) in obesity, hypertension, and heart failure. We hypothesized that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with augmented metaboreflex control of MSNA. METHODS: Thirty-one sedentary individuals with no comorbidities (age = 52±1 y, body mass index = 28±1 kg/m) without (control, n = 14) and with OSA (n = 17) defined by polysomnography, underwent echocardiography. Heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), MSNA (microneurography), and forearm blood flow measured by venous occlusion plethysmography were continuously measured 4 min at baseline, during 3 min of 30% handgrip static exercise, and during 2 min of post-handgrip muscle ischemia (PHMI). RESULTS: Control and OSA groups were similar in age, body mass index, and ejection fraction. Baseline HR, BP, and forearm blood flow increased similarly during handgrip exercise. BP remained significantly elevated in relation to baseline during PHMI, but HR and forearm blood flow returned toward baseline during PHMI in both groups. Baseline MSNA was significantly higher in the OSA group than in controls (P<0.05). During peak 30% static handgrip exercise, MSNA increased significantly in both control and OSA groups, but MSNA responses were higher in patients with OSA. During PHMI, MSNA in control subjects remained significantly elevated compared with that at baseline. In contrast, in patients with OSA, MSNA decreased to baseline values. A significant correlation was found between changes in MSNA due to PHMI and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) (r= -0.61, P<0.001), and with minimum O2 saturation (r=0.70, P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest an association between OSA and decreased metaboreflex control of MSNA. Muscle vasodilation during handgrip static exercise is preserved in patients with OSA. © 2017 American College of Sports Medicine

Cruz A.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The prevalence of asthma was thought to be low in most low-income countries, but several reports have indicated this is not always true. This is a narrative review of recent publications on the burden of asthma in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) and underprivileged communities from developed countries. RECENT FINDINGS: Several studies have reported a low prevalence of asthma is LMIC, but indicate it is increasing. In the last few years, however, many surveys demonstrated this may not always be true. An analysis of the International Study for Asthma and Allergy in Childhood phase III database indicated although the prevalence of asthma among children and adolescents is higher in the developed countries, symptoms of asthma are often more severe in less affluent nations. The rate of uncontrolled asthma is also higher among underprivileged communities of developed countries. Secondary analysis of data generated by the WHOʼs world health survey performed among adults of 70 countries indicate symptoms of asthma are less frequent in middle-income countries and more frequent in the extremes, low income and high income. This sort of U shaped distribution suggests the disease (or syndrome) comprise more than one major phenotype related to diverse underlying mechanisms. In fact, recent reports show symptoms of asthma among the poor are associated with unhygienic living conditions, which may reduce the risk of atopy but increase the risk of nonatopic wheezing. Urbanization and exposure to air pollution also seem to contribute to an increasing prevalence severity of asthma in LMIC. Access to proper diagnosis and treatment with controller medications for asthma, specially with inhaled corticosteroids is feasible and cost-effective, reduce symptoms, health resource utilization, improves quality of life, and reduce mortality in low-resource settings. SUMMARY: Prevalence of asthma was thought to be low in low-income countries, but several reports have indicated this is not always true. Under diagnosis, under treatment, exposure to air pollution, and unhygienic living conditions may contribute to a higher frequency and severity of symptoms of asthma among the poor. Proper diagnosis and treatment with controller medications for asthma is feasible and cost-effective in low-resource settings. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

KHO R.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2017

Review of literature is conducted to determine the best minimally invasive hysterectomy (MIH) route for large uterus, identify preoperative considerations and describe alternative techniques to power morcellation. Studies after 2010 revealed multiple MIH approaches. Vaginal hysterectomy is preferred over laparoscopic and laparoscopic assistance with less operative time and hospital cost. In morbidly obese patients with large uteri, total laparoscopic hysterectomy is superior to vaginal hysterectomy with lesser odds of blood transfusion and lower length of hospital stay. Although MIH for the large uterus is feasible, many questions remain unanswered. Well-designed multicenter prospective trial incorporating clinical pathways to compare outcomes is needed. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jackowski A.,University of Sao Paulo
Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2017

Animal models of depression repeatedly showed stress-induced nucleus accumbens (NAc) hypertrophy. Recently, ketamine was found to normalize this stress-induced NAc structural growth. Here, we investigated NAc structural abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD) in two cohorts. Cohort A included a cross-sectional sample of 34 MDD and 26 healthy control (HC) subjects, with high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to estimate NAc volumes. Proton MR spectroscopy (1H MRS) was used to divide MDD subjects into two subgroups: glutamate-based depression (GBD) and non-GBD. A separate longitudinal sample (cohort B) included 16 MDD patients who underwent MRI at baseline then 24 h following intravenous infusion of ketamine (0.5 mg/kg). In cohort A, we found larger left NAc volume in MDD compared to controls (Cohen’s d=1.05), but no significant enlargement in the right NAc (d=0.44). Follow-up analyses revealed significant subgrouping effects on the left (d⩾1.48) and right NAc (d⩾0.95) with larger bilateral NAc in non-GBD compared to GBD and HC. NAc volumes were not different between GBD and HC. In cohort B, ketamine treatment reduced left NAc, but increased left hippocampal, volumes in patients achieving remission. The cross-sectional data provided the first evidence of enlarged NAc in patients with MDD. These NAc abnormalities were limited to patients with non-GBD. The pilot longitudinal data revealed a pattern of normalization of left NAc and hippocampal volumes particularly in patients who achieved remission following ketamine treatment, an intriguing preliminary finding that awaits replication.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 29 March 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.49. © 2017 American College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Victor J.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics | Year: 2017

Allergen-specific IgG produced by immune mothers is associated with less predisposition to allergy development in their children. This finding has been described by several groups over the last few decades, but the mechanisms by which maternal IgG can inhibit allergy development are still not fully understood. With the purpose of summarizing past investigations, we review the literature on murine models of maternal immunization with allergens and on immune regulation in humans after passive therapy with purified IgG. Based on our review, a new hypothesis about these mechanisms is presented, which may provide a foundation for the future development of therapies to inhibit allergy development. © 2017 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis © 2017 Jefferson Russo Victor.

Vartanian J.G.,University of Sao Paulo
Current Opinion in Oncology | Year: 2017

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Review quality of life (QOL) concepts and most common instruments to be used in patients with head and neck cancer, as well as the potential benefits and limitations of information derived from QOL studies. RECENT FINDINGS: Information from QOL studies can be clinical predictors of prognosis, serve as potential screening and planning tools for clinical care and rehabilitation efforts. Enhancements in computer technology and the advent of tools like head and neck cancer-specific item prompt list will allow for QOL data to be used more easily. SUMMARY: Patients with malignant head and neck neoplasms can present changes in important vital functions related to the disease and its treatment, usually resulting in a negative impact on their QOL. The application of specific questionnaires can be used to measure such impact and the information derived from QOL studies has the potential to be incorporated in the clinical practice to improve the quality of care. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

de Souza A.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Acta dermato-venereologica | Year: 2017

is missing (Quiz).

Gilbert syndrome (GS) is a frequent benign clinical condition, marked by intermittent unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia, mostly due to the polymorphism uridine diphosphate-glucuronosyltransferase 1A1*28 (UGT1A1*28). Hyperbilirubinemia has been reported in a GS patient undergoing hepatitis C treatment, and other UGT isoforms polymorphisms have been linked to worse outcomes in viral hepatitis. Yet, little is known to GS contributions' to the liver disease scenario. Our aim was to assess UGT1A1 genotypes' frequency in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients and correlate with total bilirubin (TB). This is a case-control study in a large tertiary medical center. Cases were CHC patients confirmed by hepatitis C virus (HCV)-polymerase chain reaction. Exclusion criteria were hepatitis B virus or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection. Control were healthy blood donors. UGT1A1 promoter region gene genotyping was performed, and bilirubin serum levels were available for HCV patients. Genotypes and alleles frequencies were similar in case (n = 585; P = 0.101) and control groups (n = 313; P = 0.795). Total bilirubin increase was noticed according to thymine-adenine repeats in genotypes (P < 0.001), and the TB greater than 1 mg/dL group had more UGT1A1*28 subjects than in the group with TB values <1 mg/dL (18.3 vs 5.3; P < 0.001). Bilirubin levels are linked to the studied polymorphisms, and this is the first time that these findings are reported in a chronic liver disease sample. Among patients with increased TB levels, the frequency of UGT1A1*28 is higher than those with normal TB. Personalized care should be considered to GS, regarding either abnormal bilirubin levels or drug metabolism.

Rodrigues L.,University of Sao Paulo | Bacchi M.R.P.,University of Sao Paulo
Energy Economics | Year: 2017

This study is intended to assess the sensitivity of demand for light fuels in Brazil to changes in prices and income, considering the unique characteristics of the Brazilian fleet, the lack of convergence across studies available for the domestic market and its importance in discussions on climate change and national security, among others. For this purpose, the short- and long-term price and income elasticities of light fuel demand were estimated using cointegration techniques, based on an empirical model that incorporates the unique features of the internal market. Despite the characteristics of the Brazilian fleet, the results showed that the elasticities found for the national market are similar to those seen in other countries. The conceptual framework and empirical analysis that were used also allowed for a better understanding of the differences between the results of studies on demand for gasoline, ethanol or natural gas in Brazil and those found in the international literature, providing key players in the sector with crucial information for designing public policies and business strategies. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

The contribution of biomass to world's energy production is presented as well as the current technologies in use 1st generation for the production of ethanol and biodiesel. Second generation technologies for the production of cellulosic ethanol as well as gasification are discussed as well as the scientific and technical challenges they are facing.

Dias de Oliveira M.E.,University of Sao Paulo | Moraes S.O.,University of Sao Paulo
Agricultural Systems | Year: 2017

Anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change are issues that currently receive a great deal of attention, both from society and the scientific community. Combustion of fossil fuels is considered the main reason for the increasing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere and therefore, the main cause of climate change. In such context, biofuels are usually presented as an energy source that considerably reduces GHG emissions when compared to the use of fossil fuels. However, some issues of biofuel production such as the emissions associated with both change in land use and the use of nitrogen fertilizers are still under scrutiny. The focus of this study is related to N2O soil emissions associated with sugarcane ethanol production in Brazil. Signatory countries of the United Nation's Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are required to prepare and periodically update an inventory of GHG emissions and sinks. The International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), through the Agriculture, Forest and Other Land Use (AFOLU), establishes guidelines to calculate N2O soil emissions on three different levels, or tiers. The simplest Tier 1 uses few equations and default emissions factors. The most elaborated, Tier 3, uses computation modeling, field measurements and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This study proposes using the limited data available, procedures for Tier 3 estimates of N2O soil emissions in sugarcane crops in the state of São Paulo - Brazil. It also compares N2O sugarcane emissions calculated by Tier 1 and Tier 3 methods. Results show that in most cases the difference in results from Tier 1 and Tier 3 methods are beyond the error margin of the Brazilian Inventory. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | April 13, 2017

Washington, DC, April 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- WASHINGTON, April 13 – The Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC), in conjunction with its international subsidiary AAHCI, is pleased to announce the next phase of its groundbreaking Aligned Institutional Mission (AIM) Program, a means for academic health centers around the world to optimize and measure the alignment of their education, research, and patient care missions. “AAHC/AAHCI successfully completed the Development Phase of this innovative program and is ready to move forward with the pivotal Pilot Phase that will test and refine program elements to prepare AIM for a full global launch,” said Steven A. Wartman, MD, PhD, AAHC president and CEO. “The feedback we have received from the Development Phase institutions has been outstanding. This pioneering program assists academic health centers on an individualized basis to optimally align their mission components to help create learning health systems for the 21st century.” The Pilot Phase of the program includes seven sites: East Tennessee State (USA), Florida International University (USA), Semmelweis University (Hungary), University of Kansas (USA), University of Malaya (Malaysia), University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), and University of Queensland-Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners (Australia). Following the completion of the Pilot Phase, the association plans a full-scale roll-out to all members in 2018. The AIM program works closely with a distinguished group of consultants, all of whom have had extensive experience in leadership positions with academic health centers: “The AIM Program offers participating institutions a program tool for internal assessment and goal setting; a peer consultant review period; and peer consultant recommendations and strategic improvement planning,” said Wartman. “Participating in the AIM program offered UAMS a valuable opportunity to assess its programs specifically within the framework of how they align our institution with our stated health improvement mission,” said Dan Rahn, MD, chancellor of the University of Arkansas Medical School (an institution that participated in the Development Phase of the program), adding “[u]sing the AIM assessment tool and then hosting a constructive site visit connected all of those changes into a coherent story that illustrates how we moved from our strategic vision to reengineering how we deliver care, manage data, ensure sustainability, align education, research and patient care, and ultimately impact population health.” AAHC is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing health and well-being through the vigorous leadership of academic health centers. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Viel T.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Current Alzheimer Research | Year: 2011

The Kallikrein-Kinin System (KKS) has been associated to inflammatory and immunogenic responses in the peripheral and central nervous system by the activation of two receptors, namely B1 receptor and B2 receptor. The B1 receptor is absent or under-expressed in physiological conditions, being up-regulated during tissue injury or in the presence of cytokines. The B2 receptor is constitutive and mediates most of the biological effects of kinins. Some authors suggest a link between the KKS and the neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have recently described an increase in bradykinin (BK) in the cerebrospinal fluid and in densities of B1 and B2 receptors in brain areas related to memory, after chronic infusion of amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptide in rats, which was accompanied by memory disruption and neuronal loss. Mice lacking B1 or B2 receptors presented reduced cognitive deficits related to the learning process, after acute intracerebroventricular (i.c.v). administration of Aβ. Nevertheless, our group showed an early disruption of cognitive function by i.c.v. chronic infusion of Aβ after a learned task, in the knock-out B2 mice. This suggests a neuroprotective role for B2 receptors. In knock-out B1 mice the memory disruption was absent, implying the participation of this receptor in neurodegenerative processes. The acute or chronic infusion of Aβ can lead to different responses of the brain tissue. In this way, the proper involvement of KKS on neuroinflammation in AD probably depends on the amount of Aβ injected. Though, BK applied to neurons can exert inflammatory effects, whereas in glial cells, BK can have a potential protective role for neurons, by inhibiting proinflammatory cytokines. This review discusses this duality concerning the KKS and neuroinflammation in AD in vivo. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Goto H.,University of Sao Paulo | Lindoso J.A.L.,Hospital das Clnicas
Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy | Year: 2010

Tegumentary leishmaniasis, comprising the cutaneous and mucocutaneous forms, is caused by at least 13 dermotropic species of protozoa of the genus Leishmania, most of which are prevalent in the New World. Although diseases in the Old and New Worlds share similar characteristics, the ultimate manifestations and severity are quite different, with more severe forms associated with mucosal lesions observed in the New World. For the diagnosis and treatment of leishmaniasis, differences based on clinical features, usefulness/sensitivity of diagnostic methods and therapeutic responses are mainly emphasized. We present a critical review of the diagnostic methods, their contribution and the necessity for their improvement/development, particularly in molecular diagnosis aimed at detection and species identification, as well as serodiagnosis. In addition to a review of the drugs currently utilized, we describe differences in their effectiveness in Old and New World leishmaniasis. HIV/Leishmania coinfection is also presented in the context of diagnosis and treatment. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.

Lesellier E.,CNRS Institute of Organic and Analytical Chemistry | Latos A.,CNRS Institute of Organic and Analytical Chemistry | de Oliveira A.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2014

This paper reports the development of the separation of vegetable oil triglycerides (TG) in supercritical chromatography (SFC), using superficially porous particles (SPPs). The SPP, having a small diameter (2-3. μm), provide a higher theoretical plate number (N), which allows to improve separation of critical pairs of compounds. However, compared to fully porous particles of larger diameter (5. μm), the pressure drop is also increased. Fortunately, supercritical fluids have a low viscosity, which allows coupling several columns to achieve high N values, while maintaining flow rate above 1. ml/min, ensuring a ultra high efficiency (UHE) at low pressure (LP) (below 40. MPa), with regards to the one reached with liquid and sub-two micron particles (around 100. MPa). The use of two detector systems (UV and ELSD) connected in series to the UHE-LP-SFC system provides complementary responses, due to their specific detection principles. Working in a first part with three coupled Kinetex C18 columns (45. cm total length), the effect of modifier nature and percentage were studied with two reference oils, argan and rapeseed, chosen for their different and well-known TG composition. The analytical method was developed from previous studies performed with fully porous particles (FPP). Optimized conditions with three Kinetex were as follows: 17. °C, 12% of ACN/MeOH (90/10; v/v). With these conditions, and by using an increased length of Kinetex C18 column (60. cm), another additional column was selected from ten different commercial SPP C18 bonded phases, by applying a Derringer function on varied parameters: theoretical plate number (TPN), separation index (SI) for critical pairs of peaks (the peaks of compounds difficult to separate due to subtle structural differences), the analysis duration, and the total peak number. This function normalizes the values of any parameters, between 0 and 1, from the worst value to the better, allowing to take account of various parameters in the final choice. Finally, by using four Kinetex C18 plus one Accucore C18 (75. cm total column length), a high-performance separation of triglycerides was achieved, with reasonable analysis duration and isocratic conditions. These conditions can be applied to varied vegetable oils. Identification of the numerous separated peaks of rapeseed oil was achieved by using published data and chromatographic retention behaviour. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Franco F.F.,Federal University of São Carlos | Manfrin M.H.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2013

Aim: The aim of this paper is to investigate the influence and extent of past climatic changes on South American biota. To this end, we establish phylogeographical hypotheses for a monophyletic group of four cactophilic species of Drosophila (the Drosophila serido haplogroup) found in xeromorphic vegetation in Brazil. The effects of Quaternary palaeoclimatic oscillations on the demographic fluctuations of our biological model and its sister group Drosophila antonietae are investigated. Location: Areas of eastern Brazil with open vegetation, including seasonally dry tropical forest (SDTF) areas and montane savannas, which are disjunctly distributed in eastern Brazil. We also analysed populations of sand dune vegetation from littoral areas in Brazil. Methods: Nucleotide information from 630 bp of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene from 441 individuals was used to perform a series of statistical analyses to infer a phylogeographical hypothesis for each species and to date the divergence time between the D. serido and D. antonietae haplogroups. Results: All of the analysed species experienced population expansion during the Pleistocene, probably following the historical migratory routes that have been proposed for the expansion of SDTFs in Brazil. A bottleneck event in the Holocene was inferred for Drosophila seriema, probably due to ecological factors related to the geographical distribution of the host plant. The divergence time for the D. serido and D. antonietae haplogroups was calculated to have occurred during the early Pleistocene. Main conclusions: Geographical and chronological evidence suggests that the major vicariant events between the D. serido and D. antonietae haplogroups, as well as the demographic fluctuations in each of the species within these lineages, could be related to the causal effects of Quaternary palaeoclimatic changes on the spatial dynamics of the SDTFs in Brazil. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Antolini E.,Scuola di Science dei Materiali | Antolini E.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2010

Highly dispersed platinum or platinum-based catalysts on a conductive support are commonly used as electrode materials in low-temperature fuel cells. The performance and, in particular, the stability of these catalysts strongly depend on the characteristics of the support. Being the use of plain carbon, ceramic or polymer materials not completely satisfactory, in the last years hybrid polymer-carbon, ceramic-carbon and polymer-ceramic materials have been proposed as fuel cell catalyst supports. These hybrid materials, possessing the properties of each component, or even with a synergistic effect, would present improved characteristics with respect to the bare components.In this paper we present an overview of these hybrid materials as low-temperature fuel cell catalyst supports. The improved characteristics of the mixed supports with respect to the individual component and their effect on the electrochemical activity are highlighted. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Antolini E.,Scuola di Science dei Materiali | Antolini E.,University of Sao Paulo | Gonzalez E.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2010

Tungsten-based materials can play different roles in fuel cell systems. They are the only compounds which can be used as catalysts, co-catalysts, catalyst supports and electrolytes in different types of fuels cells. In particular, tungsten-based materials fulfill the requirements for their use as thermally stable carbon-alternative catalyst supports and Nafion®-alternative proton conducting electrolytes in fuel cells operating at intermediate temperature. In this work an overview of the use of tungsten-containing materials in fuel cells is presented. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Both C.,Grande Rio University | Grant T.,University of Sao Paulo
Biology Letters | Year: 2012

Invasive species are known to affect native species in a variety of ways, but the effect of acoustic invaders has not been examined previously. We simulated an invasion of the acoustic niche by exposing calling native male white-banded tree frogs (Hypsiboas albomarginatus) to recorded invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) calls. In response, tree frogs immediately shifted calls to significantly higher frequencies. In the poststimulus period, they continued to use higher frequencies while also decreasing signal duration. Acoustic signals are the primary basis ofmate selection in many anurans, suggesting that such changes could negatively affect the reproductive success of native species. The effects of bullfrog vocalizations on acoustic communities are expected to be especially severe due to their broad frequency band, which masks the calls of multiple species simultaneously. © 2011 The Royal Society.

Nazareth T.M.,Programa de Pos graduacao em Ecologia e Conservacao de Recursos Naturais | Machado G.,University of Sao Paulo
Animal Behaviour | Year: 2010

This study tests predictions of the hypothesis of evolution of paternal care via sexual selection by using the Neotropical harvestman Pseudopucrolia sp. as the model organism. Females use natural cavities in roadside banks as nesting sites, which are defended by males against other males. Females leave the nests after oviposition, and all postzygotic parental care is accomplished by males, which protect the eggs and nymphs from predators. We provided artificial mud nests to individuals in the laboratory and conducted observations on the reproduction of the species. Male reproductive success was directly related to nest ownership time: the longer a male held a nest, the higher his chances of obtaining copulations. All males that succeeded in mating and obtaining one clutch eventually mated with additional females that added eggs to the clutch. Thus, desirable males were not limited to monogamy by paternal care. Experimental manipulations demonstrated that guarding males were more attractive to females than were nonguarding males and also that males guarded unrelated eggs. Finally, we found that females and nonguarding males spent more time foraging than guarding males. We use our data to contrast hypotheses on the origin and maintenance of paternal care and to provide a critical assessment of the hypothesis of the evolution of paternal care via sexual selection. © 2009 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

Bachelard R.,University of Sao Paulo | Kastner M.,Stellenbosch University | Kastner M.,National Institute for Theoretical Physics NITheP
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Dynamical properties of lattice systems with long-range pair interactions, decaying like 1/rα with the distance r, are investigated, in particular the time scales governing the relaxation to equilibrium. Upon varying the interaction range α, we find evidence for the existence of a threshold at α=d/2, dependent on the spatial dimension d, at which the relaxation behavior changes qualitatively and the corresponding scaling exponents switch to a different regime. Based on analytical as well as numerical observations in systems of vastly differing nature, ranging from quantum to classical, from ferromagnetic to antiferromagnetic, and including a variety of lattice structures, we conjecture this threshold and some of its characteristic properties to be universal. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Silva C.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Avcin T.,University of Ljubljana | Brunner H.I.,University of Cincinnati
Arthritis Care and Research | Year: 2012

Objective To propose a common nomenclature to refer to individuals who fulfill the American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) during childhood or adolescence. Methods The medical literature was reviewed for studies conducted in the target population between 1960 and December 2011 to obtain information about the terms used to refer to such children and adolescents. We reviewed the threshold ages used and disease features considered to discriminate these individuals from patients with onset of SLE during adulthood. Furthermore, the nomenclature used in other chronic diseases with onset during both childhood and adulthood was assessed. Results There was an astonishing variability in the age cutoffs used to define SLE onset prior to adulthood, ranging from 14-21 years, but most studies used age 18 years. The principal synonyms in the medical literature were SLE without reference to the age at onset of disease, childhood-onset SLE, juvenile SLE, and pediatric (or paediatric) SLE. Conclusion Based on the definition of childhood, in analogy with other complex chronic diseases commencing prior to adulthood, and given the current absence of definite genetic variations that discriminate adults from children, the term childhood-onset SLE is proposed when referring to individuals with onset of SLE prior to age 18 years. © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Ospina R.,Federal University of Pernambuco | Ferrari S.L.P.,University of Sao Paulo
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2012

This paper proposes a general class of regression models for continuous proportions when the data contain zeros or ones. The proposed class of models assumes that the response variable has a mixed continuousdiscrete distribution with probability mass at zero or one. The beta distribution is used to describe the continuous component of the model, since its density has a wide range of different shapes depending on the values of the two parameters that index the distribution. We use a suitable parameterization of the beta law in terms of its mean and a precision parameter. The parameters of the mixture distribution are modeled as functions of regression parameters. We provide inference, diagnostic, and model selection tools for this class of models. A practical application that employs real data is presented. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Antolini E.,Scuola di Science Dei Materiali | Perez J.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2011

Rare earth-based materials can play different roles in fuel cell systems. These compounds can be used as catalysts, co-catalysts and electrolytes additives in different types of fuels cells. In particular, a promising acid direct methanol fuel cell can be obtained using rare earth-based materials as both anode and cathode co-catalysts and proton exchange membrane additive. In this work an overview of the use of rare earth-based materials in low-temperature fuel cells is presented. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Antolini E.,Scuola di Science Dei Materiali | Antolini E.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry | Year: 2011

Platinum-ruthenium catalysts are widely used as anode materials in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEMFCs) operating with reformate gas and in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Ruthenium dissolution from the Pt-Ru anode catalyst at potentials higher than 0.5 V vs. DHE, followed by migration and deposition to the Pt cathode can give rise to a decrease of the activity of both anode and cathode catalysts and to a worsening of cell performance. A major challenge for a suitable application of Pt-Ru catalysts in PEMFC and DMFC is to improve their stability against Ru dissolution. The purpose of this paper is to provide a better knowledge of the problem of Ru dissolution from Pt-Ru catalysts and its effect on fuel cell performance. The different ways to resolve this problem are discussed. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Antolini E.,Scuola di Science dei Materiali | Antolini E.,University of Sao Paulo | Gonzalez E.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2010

The faster kinetics of the alcohol oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions in alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells (ADAFCs), opening up the possibility of using less expensive metal catalysts, as silver, nickel and palladium, makes the alkaline direct alcohol fuel cell a potentially low cost technology compared to acid direct alcohol fuel cell technology, which employs platinum catalysts. A boost in the research regarding alkaline fuel cells, fuelled with hydrogen or alcohols, was due to the development of alkaline anion-exchange membranes, which allows the overcoming of the problem of the progressive carbonation of the alkaline electrolyte. This paper presents an overview of catalysts and membranes for ADAFCs, and of testing of ADAFCs, fuelled with methanol, ethanol and ethylene glycol, formed by these materials. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Naldi M.C.,Federal University of Viçosa | Campello R.J.G.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Neurocomputing | Year: 2014

One of the challenges for clustering resides in dealing with data distributed in separated repositories, because most clustering techniques require the data to be centralized. One of them, k-means, has been elected as one of the most influential data mining algorithms for being simple, scalable and easily modifiable to a variety of contexts and application domains. Although distributed versions of k-means have been proposed, the algorithm is still sensitive to the selection of the initial cluster prototypes and requires the number of clusters to be specified in advance. In this paper, we propose the use of evolutionary algorithms to overcome the k-means limitations and, at the same time, to deal with distributed data. Two different distribution approaches are adopted: the first obtains a final model identical to the centralized version of the clustering algorithm; the second generates and selects clusters for each distributed data subset and combines them afterwards. The algorithms are compared experimentally from two perspectives: the theoretical one, through asymptotic complexity analyses; and the experimental one, through a comparative evaluation of results obtained from a collection of experiments and statistical tests. The obtained results indicate which variant is more adequate for each application scenario. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Buckeridge M.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Plant Physiology | Year: 2010

Cell wall storage polysaccharides (CWSPs) are found as the principal storage compounds in seeds of many taxonomically important groups of plants. These groups developed extremely efficient biochemical mechanisms to disassemble cell walls and use the products of hydrolysis for growth. To accumulate these storage polymers, developing seeds also contain relatively high activities of noncellulosic polysaccharide synthases and thus are interesting models to seek the discovery of genes and enzymes related to polysaccharide biosynthesis. CWSP systems offer opportunities to understand phenomena ranging from polysaccharide deposition during seed maturation to the control of source-sink relationship in developing seedlings. By studying polysaccharide biosynthesis and degradation and the consequences for cell and physiological behavior, we can use these models to develop future biotechnological applications. © 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists.

Ganga G.M.D.,Federal University of São Carlos | Carpinetti L.C.R.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2011

The aim of this paper is to propose a supply chain performance model based on fuzzy logic to predict performance based on causal relationships between metrics of the Supply Council Operations Reference model (SCOR) model. The main contribution and originality of this proposal relates to the application of Fuzzy logic to predict performance based on performance metrics levels 1 and 2 of the SCOR model. Fuzzy logic is a technique suitable for dealing with uncertainty and subjectivity, which becomes an interesting auxiliary approach to manage performance of supply chains. A descriptive quantitative approach was adopted as research method, based on the prediction model. Statistical analysis of the prediction model results confirmed the relevance of the causal relationships embedded in the model. The findings reinforce the proposition that the adoption of a prediction model based on fuzzylogic and on metrics of the SCOR model seems to be a feasible technique to help managers in the decision making process of managing performance of supply chains. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Joly C.A.,University of Campinas | Metzger J.P.,University of Sao Paulo | Tabarelli M.,Federal University of Pernambuco
New Phytologist | Year: 2014

The Brazilian Atlantic Forest hosts one of the world's most diverse and threatened tropical forest biota. In many ways, its history of degradation describes the fate experienced by tropical forests around the world. After five centuries of human expansion, most Atlantic Forest landscapes are archipelagos of small forest fragments surrounded by open-habitat matrices. This 'natural laboratory' has contributed to a better understanding of the evolutionary history and ecology of tropical forests and to determining the extent to which this irreplaceable biota is susceptible to major human disturbances. We share some of the major findings with respect to the responses of tropical forests to human disturbances across multiple biological levels and spatial scales and discuss some of the conservation initiatives adopted in the past decade. First, we provide a short description of the Atlantic Forest biota and its historical degradation. Secondly, we offer conceptual models describing major shifts experienced by tree assemblages at local scales and discuss landscape ecological processes that can help to maintain this biota at larger scales. We also examine potential plant responses to climate change. Finally, we propose a research agenda to improve the conservation value of human-modified landscapes and safeguard the biological heritage of tropical forests. © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.2 | Award Amount: 8.68M | Year: 2010

The CHOReOS project positions itself in the context of the Ultra-Large-Scale (ULS) Future Internet of software services. To address the challenges inherent of ULS as well as other key requirements of the Future Internet, such as fusion of the user/developer/system roles, adaptability and QoS-awareness, to name a few, CHOReOS revisits the concept of choreography-based service composition in service-oriented systems. CHOReOS introduces a dynamic development process, and associated methods, tools and middleware sustaining the ever-adaptable composition of services by domain experts being the users of business choreographies in the Future Internet. CHOReOS concepts then encompass formally grounded abstractions and models, dynamic choreography-centric development process, governance and service-oriented middleware, thus providing an Integrated Development & Runtime Environment (IDRE) aimed at overcoming the ULS impact on software system development. Formally grounded abstractions and models enable reasoning about the properties, both functional and non-functional, of ULS choreographies. Dynamic choreography-centric development process allows the fusion of the user/developer/system roles, while managing the ULS service base, and supports the synthesis of scalable and adaptable choreographies. Governance includes service integration policies and rules, as well as tools for dynamic verification & validation of choreographies. Finally, service-oriented middleware enables adaptable choreographies over ESB-based middleware, Grids, Clouds, and technologies for the Internet of Things, thus overcoming scalability and heterogeneity issues of the Future Internet. Last but not least, CHOReOS assesses the industrial exploitation of this choreography-centric vision by experimenting on three demanding use cases in different domains (passenger-friendly airport, mobile-enabled coordination of people, vehicular network) and by carrying out a study of social-technical factors.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.4-5 | Award Amount: 1.96M | Year: 2009

FUTURAGE aims to produce the definitive road map that will guide European research on ageing and health for the next 10-15 years. It represents plans for the most extensive consultation ever conducted in this field and for the mobilisation of not only the leading scientists but also the stakeholders that will determine the fate of the road map. FUTURAGE combines all of the major coordination actions in the ageing field, including an ERA-Net and, on this basis, promises to produce the most comprehensive formally grounded and scientifically credible road map, as well as one that commands wide support. FUTURAGE represents a unique set of partnerships among leading scientists and between scientists and key stakeholders. It builds on and extends the existing ERA-AGE collaboration (12 existing partners) by (i) combining all of the key coordination actions and specific support actions on ageing of the past decade including: FORUM, ERA-AGE LINK-AGE and AGEACTION, (ii) extending the collaboration to new Member States, (iii) integrating scientists and programme managers, (iv) emphasising knowledge translation and policy impact and (v) engaging all key stakeholders. The resulting roadmap will not only represent the state-of-the-art in scientific terms but will also reflect the needs of a wide range of research users including funders, industry, policy makers, practitioners and older people.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.9.1 | Award Amount: 582.49K | Year: 2010

FORESTA project wants to boost the research dimension of ICT cooperation and policy dialogue between the EU and the Latin American region. In particular, the project targets the four countries having signed S&T Agreements with the EU, and Colombia, which adopted in 2008 the DVB-T standard for digital broadcasting and has recently intensified contacts with the EU to start discussions on an S&T Agreement. The project is structured in two main blocks of activities: one looking at immediate opportunities for cooperation between researchers of the two communities (Europe and Latin America) via the organisation and follow up of conferences in the five target countries, the other one looking at long-term perspectives. This latter evolves around two sets of activities: a) analysis of current ICT policies in the region and identification of key research issues to address in the future; b) recommendations on how to make a better use of support instruments to ICT research cooperation (European or national funding programmes and other initiatives). The expected results are: immediate increase in the number and intensity of Euro-LA cooperation as an effect of the conferences; set of recommendations related to future joint research areas and ways of supporting them. More in general, the project aims at coordinating efforts being done in encouraging ICT research cooperation between the two regions. The whole project will be backed by a solid dissemination and communication action. A regional organisation, ALETI, present in most of Central and South American countries will be key to the visibility of FORESTA also in countries that are not directly involved. The expected impact of FORESTA is to pave the way to a more structured and intense Euro-Latin American ICT research cooperation and to encourage other Latin American countries to set up a regular ICT policy dialogue with the European Union.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 4.28M | Year: 2008

The CLARIS LPB Project aims at predicting the regional climate change impacts on La Plata Basin (LPB) in South America, and at designing adaptation strategies for land-use, agriculture, rural development, hydropower production, river transportation, water resources and ecological systems in wetlands. In order to reach such a goal, the project has been built on the following four major thrusts. First, improving the description and understanding of decadal climate variability is of prime importance for short-term regional climate change projections (2010-2040). Second, a sound approach requires an ensemble of coordinated regional climate scenarios in order to quantify the amplitude and sources of uncertainties in LPB future climate at two time horizons: 2010-2040 for adaptation strategies and 2070-2100 for assessment of long-range impacts. Such coordination will allow to critically improve the prediction capacity of climate change and its impacts in the region. Third, adaptation strategies to regional scenarios of climate change impacts require a multi-disciplinary approach where all the regional components (climate, hydrology, land use, land cover, agriculture and deforestation) are addressed in a collaborative way. Feedbacks between the regional climate groups and the land use and hydrology groups will ensure to draw a first-order feedback of future land use and hydrology scenarios onto the future regional climate change. Fourth, stakeholders must be integrated in the design of adaptation strategies, ensuring their dissemination to public, private and governmental policy-makers. Finally, in continuity with the FP6 CLARIS Project, our project will put a special emphasis in forming young scientists in European institutes and in strengthening the collaborations between European and South American partners. The project is coordinated with the objectives of LPB, an international project on La Plata Basin that has been endorsed by the CLIVAR and GEWEX Panels.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.3.3-2 | Award Amount: 7.35M | Year: 2011

Current surveillance systems and control efforts are clearly insufficient to combat dengue in endemic countries and to prevent spread to previously uninfected areas (including Europe). We will focus on the following aspects of the call: better diagnosis, surveillance, prevention as well as prediction and/or prevention of the spread of Dengue fever to previously uninfected regions (including Europe) in the context of climate change. We will develop a rapid diagnostic assay for resource limited settings that can be used as point-of-care, is portable, provides rapid results and is inexpensive. Novel tools for vector monitoring will be tested. We propose to develop a comprehensive, early warning, laboratory-based sentinel surveillance system that integrates clinical, entomological, environmental, socio-economic, and weather/climate indices to evaluate predictive capability for epidemic dengue. The aim is to translate this information directly into improved tools for surveillance (early diagnostic assays, early warning systems and predictive models, risk maps, improved tools for vector surveillance). Furthermore, we will test the impact of a novel community-based strategy on the reduction of dengue incidence in school aged children. Lastly, the integrated information on trends of importation of dengue, global mobility patterns, and vector distribution under changing climate conditions will improve our current understanding of the risk of introduction into previously uninfected areas, in particular Europe. Web based predictive tools, models and maps will be produced. The information will be disseminated to relevant agencies, academia and policy makers and will translate into improved surveillance and control.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: SST.2008.4.1.4. | Award Amount: 2.47M | Year: 2009

The strong effort that the European Commission and all the Member States are paying to the reduction of road fatalities in Europe is giving significant results. Despite these significant improvement in the European countries, the situation in Emerging Economies is dramatically getting worse. The implementation of effective countermeasures and the achievement of a higher safety level for the vulnerable users in Emerging Economies requests a significant improvement of the local analysis, planning and design capabilities. The main aim of the project is to increase the level of safety of the whole road transport system and its components, focussing the attention on vulnerable road users, thus contributing to the overall scope of reducing the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries caused by road accidents. The proposal is structured according to the following method: Analysis of local requirements: this action focuses on the local accident databases regarding vulnerable road users, the actual situation of road infrastructure, land-use planning and local current road safety management procedures. Analysis of the transferability conditions of the European methodologies, tools and measures to the Emerging Economies. Definition of suitable measures, methodologies and tools to improve vulnerable road users safety planning and managing in Emerging Economies. Development of recommendations and guidelines for the road system infrastructure design to safely carry vulnerable road users and motorised vehicles in Emerging Economies. Pilot projects, dissemination and training to decision makers, stakeholders, etc. The main output of the project will be recommendations and guidelines for improvement of accident data collection procedures and road safety oriented land-use planning as well as education material.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-13-2016 | Award Amount: 5.38M | Year: 2017

Key industrial sectors e.g. automotive, are rapidly transformed by digital and communication technologies leading to the fourth industrial revolution. New ones are in the making, e.g. Smart Cities, which inspire a new breed of applications and services. The salient characteristic of these sectors, known as verticals, is that they are rapidly becoming open ecosystems built on top of common physical infrastructures and resources. This requires a high degree of technological convergence among vertical industries empowering them with enhanced technical capacity to trigger the development of new, innovative products, applications and services. 5G network infrastructures and embodied technologies are destined to become a stakeholder driven, holistic environment for technical and business innovation integrating networking, computing and storage resources into one programmable and unified infrastructure. It is this 5G vision that when it is further projected to accommodate verticals raises a number of technical issues Motivated by them, 5GinFIRE project aspires to address two interlinked questions: - Q1: How such a holistic and unified environment should look like? - Q2: How can 5GinFIRE host and integrate verticals and concurrently deal with reconciling their competing and opposing requirements? Addressing these key questions, 5GinFIRE main technical objective is to build and operate an Open, and Extensible 5G NFV-based Reference (Open5G-NFV) ecosystem of Experimental Facilities that integrates existing FIRE facilities with new vertical-specific ones and enables experimentation of vertical industries. In order to guarantee architectural and technological convergence the proposed environment will be built in alignment with on-going standardization and open source activities. Accordingly, the Open5G-NFV FIRE ecosystem may serve as the forerunner experimental playground wherein innovations may be proposed before they are ported to emerging mainstream 5G networks.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INT-12-2015 | Award Amount: 2.60M | Year: 2016

EULAC Focus addresses the whole set of topics included in the Call. It delivers a significant contribution to the improvement of EUCELAC relations through a better understanding of the three dimensions selected by the call: cultural, scientific and social. The main objective is that of giving focus to these three dimensions of EUCELAC relations, with a view to determining synergies and cross-fertilization, as well as identifying asymmetries in bi-lateral and bi-regional relations. Research is focused on areas crucial to explain the current state of relations between EU and LAC, and will be pursued at two levels: a) research activities; b) strategic set of recommendations. In order to guarantee high impact, the research is pursued in six interdisciplinary WPs, organized matricially. Three are horizontal : Cross-cutting pathways, Towards a common vision for EUCELAC and Dissemination and outreach. The other three are thematic/vertical: Cultural, Scientific and Social Dimension, and not only intersect the horizontal WPs but also interact between them. To achieve the objectives, the project is organized by the multidisciplinary and well balanced consortium of19 members from 15 counties. The consortium represents a unique group of highly competent and experienced institutions, composed specifically for the purpose of this project,comprising, in both regions, Gov Research Agencies, Research institutes, Universities, University Association, and two International European LA Organizations active in analytical and policy oriented research and dissemination. EULAC Focus builds upon the outcomes of prior mapping conducted at the bi-regional level and will facilitate access to end-users, as well as feeding into the work of the EU-LAC Foundation and informing bi-regional networking activities of the JIRI and T-APs work. The number of partners has been carefully defined to ensure project goals and proper diversity, while allowing for efficient project management.

Idcgs Clinica De Diagnosticos Medicos, University of Sao Paulo and Biocrates Life Sciences | Date: 2015-10-07

The present invention relates to a metabolic biomarker set for assessing HIV comprising at least one acylcarnitine (AC) and at least one sphingomyelin (SM). Moreover, the present invention relates to a method for assessing HIV in a mammalian subject which comprises obtaining a biological sample, preferably blood, from the subject and measuring in the biological sample the amount of at least one acylcarnitine (AC) and at least one sphingomyelin (SM), as well as to a kit adapted to carry out the method. By employing the specific biomarkers and the method according to the present invention it becomes possible to more properly and reliably assess HIV. In particular, it becomes possible to screen for and diagnose HIV in a patient with high accuracy and predict early in advance the patients therapeutic response to antiretroviral therapy.

University of Sao Paulo, University of Campinas, Central De Alcool Lucelia Ltda. and Fundacao De Amparo A Pesquisa Do Estado De Sao Paulo Fapesp. | Date: 2011-03-23

Modern sugarcane cultivars are complex hybrids resulting from crosses among several species of the Saccharum genus. Traditional breeding methods have been extensively employed in different countries along the past decades to develop varieties with increased sucrose yield, and resistant to plagues and diseases. Conventional varietal improvement is, however, limited by the narrow pool of suitable markers. In this sense, molecular genetics is seen as a promising tool to assist in the process of molecular marker identification. The present invention concerns the identification of 348 genes associated with sucrose content in sugarcane plants. The genes were found to be differentially expressed when high sucrose and low sucrose plants and populations of plants were compared and/or when high and low sucrose internodes were compared. The expression data was obtained using cDNA microarray and quantitative PCR technologies. The genes identified can be used to identify, distinguish, characterize and/or develop plants with increased sucrose content. More preferably SEQ ID Nos: 1 to 203 should be useful as molecular markers. SEQ ID Nos: 204 to 228 are given as controls or examples of genes never associated with sucrose content. SEQ ID Nos. 1-203 and SEQ ID Nos. 229 to 373 can be targeted in the development of transgenic or non-transgenic varieties with increased sucrose content.

Canto L.F.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Canto L.F.,Federal University of Fluminense | Gomes P.R.S.,Federal University of Fluminense | Donangelo R.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | And 4 more authors.
Physics Reports | Year: 2015

In this Report we give a balanced account of the experimental and theoretical advances acquired over the last decade in the field of near-barrier fusion reactions induced by weakly bound stable and unstable nuclei. The elastic scattering and breakup reactions of these systems are also extensively reviewed as they play an important role in the fusion process. We review several theoretical tools used in the description of the data. The concepts of Complete Fusion (CF), Incomplete Fusion (ICF) and Total Fusion (TF), which is the sum of CF and ICF, are discussed and recent work on the calculation of these quantities is reviewed. The Continuum Discretized Coupled Channels (CDCC) method and its semiclassical version are described in detail and their limitations are pointed out. More importantly, we describe the salient features of the conclusions reached from the more than 40 measurements made, over a decade, of near-barrier fusion, elastic scattering and breakup reactions, and confront these data with the CDCC or other methods appropriate for these processes at the energy regime in question. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-2-4-02 | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2010

Plant food supplements, or botanicals, have high acceptance by European consumers. Potentially, they can deliver significant health benefits, safely, and at relatively low costs. New regulations and EFSA guidance are also now in. However, concerns about safety, quality and efficacy of these products remain, and bottle-necks in risk and benefit assessments need to be solved. PlantLIBRA (PLANT food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment) aims to foster the safe use of food supplements containing plants or herbal extracts, by increasing science-based decision-making by regulators and food chain operators. To make informed decisions, competent authorities and food businesses need more quality-assured and accessible information and better tools (e.g., metadatabanks). PlantLIBRA is structured to develop, validate and disseminate data and methodologies for risk and benefit assessment and implement sustainable international cooperation. International cooperation, on-spot and in-language capacity building are necessary to ensure the quality of the plants imported in the EU. PlantLibra spans 4 continents and 23 partners, comprising leading academics, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, industry and non-profit organizations. Through its partners it exploits the databases and methodologies of two Network of Excellences, EuroFIR and Moniqa. Plantlibra will also fill the gap in intake data by conducting harmonized field surveys in the regions of the EU and apply consumer sciences to botanicals. Existing composition and safety data will be collated into a meta-databank and new analytical data and methods will be generated. The overarching aim is to integrate diverse scientific expertise into a single science of botanicals. PlantLIBRA works closely with EFSA since several PlantLIBRA partners or experts are involved in the relevant EFSA Working Groups, and also plans shoulder-to-shoulder cooperation with competent authorities and stakeholders.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-4-05 | Award Amount: 3.08M | Year: 2009

The overall objective of the project is to collect and analyze new data on non-tariff measures (NTMs), particularly on governmental standards and regulations that prescribe the conditions for importing agri-food products into the EU market and into the markets of the main competing players. Furthermore, impacts from EU NTBs on least developing country (LDC) exports are examined. The project will deliver the following results: 1. An analytical framework for defining measures, methods, products and countries. 2. A data base on NTMs in EU, USA, Canada, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Russia and New Zealand. 3. Comparative analyses on the impact of NTMs on agri-food trade of the EU. 4. Policy recommendations from case studies for quantifying NTMs on fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy trade clusters with the EU. 5. Policy recommendations from case studies on the impacts of EU private and public standards in LDCs. 6. Dissemination of project results to key stakeholders. This will be achieved: A. By optimizing complementarities of the project with ongoing NTM research on the TRAINS data base at UNCTAD. B. By organizing the research work in research, database, management and dissemination work packages. C. By developing research methodologies that are innovative and robust, optimizing the direct usefulness of the end results for the end users. D. By proposing a partner consortium that together reunites the relevant needs, for: Scientific excellence and international project experience Appropriate geographic coverage to collect the required data in all countries Linkages and complementarities with ongoing international NTM analyses (UNCTAD, OECD, World Bank, IFPRI) Policy contacts, dialogue and influence Efficient and effective project management E. With a budget of 314.5 person months, 2.372 M EC request, for 19 partners, over 30 months.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: ENERGY-2007-3.2-07 | Award Amount: 1.29M | Year: 2008

The overall objective of the BioTop proposal is to identify technical opportunities and research needs for Latin America and to create and support specific RTD cooperation activities between Latin America and the European Union in order to maximize synergies in the biofuels sectors. Specific objectives are: - to provide a broad overview of the existing biofuel sectors in all Latin American countries. - to identify priorities, needs and opportunities in the field of RTD for sustainable biofuel production and biomass conversion technologies in Latin America; - to inform European and Latin American actors in the biofuel sector about opportunities for collaboration and partnerships; - to harmonize the agenda between Latin America and the EU on sustainable biofuel production; - to facilitate and advance mutual knowledge and technology transfer between biofuel stakeholders in LA and the EU; - to make recommendations on RTD and policies for the production and utilization of biomass conversion technologies. The BioTop project will provide a broad overview of the existing biofuels sector in Latin American counties, with focus on countries with special EU S&T agreements (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico). Key focus of the project will be the identification and assessment of improved 1st and 2nd generation biofuel conversion technologies. Sustainability, standardization and trade aspects of future large-scale biofuel production will be addressed, and RTD scenarios, roadmaps and recommendations will be developed. Exchanges between stakeholders active in research and development of biofuel conversion technologies will be promoted and BioTop activities will be effectively linked with existing networks and a large variety of stakeholders, target groups and key actors. Outcome of the BioTop project will be increased awareness about EU-LA opportunities for collaboration in the area of biofuels and the identification of suitable areas for biofuels RTD cooperation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.6 | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2010

The flourishing of user driven demand, the heterogeneity of networks, the multiplicity of new devices, all mean that the Internet as we know it is reaching a saturation point. One of the main challenges of Future Internet research is to address the surge in complexity that service and network developers are facing.\n\nBuilding on top of the on-going actions to support large-scale experimentation for Future Internet protocols, TEFIS brings evaluation processes one step further. TEFIS provides an open platform to support experimentations at large-scale of resource demanding Internet services in conjunction with upcoming Future Internet networking technologies and user-oriented living labs.\n\nIt will act as a single access point to a variety of existing and next generation of experimental facilities.\n\nTEFIS outcome will be:\n\tOpen platform to integrate and use heterogeneous testbeds based on a connector models, and exposed as a classical service.\n\tIntegration of 8 complementary experimental facilities, including network and software testing facilities, and user oriented living labs.\n\tPlatform to share expertise and best practices.\n\tCore services for flexible management of experimental data and underlying testbeds resources during the experiment workflow\n\tSingle access point to testbeds instrumented with a large number of tools to support the users throughout the whole experiment lifecycle (compilation, integration, deployment, dimensioning, user evaluation, monitoring, etc) and allow them to work together by sharing expertise.\n\nA specific action is foreseen via an Open Call to engage new experimentations and to gradually expand TEFIS.\nCombining the efforts of the software and service industry, the FIRE community and the user-centric Living Labs, TEFIS will foster research and business communities in collaboratively elaborating knowledge about the provisioning of Future Internet services.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-22-2016 | Award Amount: 12.56M | Year: 2016

The ZikaPLAN initiative combines the strengths of 25 partners in Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia, and various centres in Europe to address the urgent research gaps (WP 1-8) in Zika, identifying short-and long term solutions (WP 9-10) and building a sustainable Latin-American EID Preparedness and Response capacity (WP 11-12). We will conduct clinical studies to further refine the full spectrum and risk factors of congenital Zika syndrome (including neurodevelopmental milestones in the first 3 years of life), and delineate neurological complications associated with Zika due to direct neuroinvasion and immune-mediated responses. Laboratory based research to unravel neurotropism, investigate the role of sexual transmission, determinants of severe disease, and viral fitness will envelop the clinical studies. Burden of disease and modelling studies will assemble a wealth of data including a longitudinal cohort study of 17,000 subjects aged 2-59 in 14 different geographic locations in Brazil over 3 years. Data driven vector control and vaccine modelling as well as risk assessments on geographic spread of Zika will form the foundation for evidence-informed policies. The Platform for Diagnostics Innovation and Evaluation will develop novel ZIKV diagnostic tests in accordance with WHO Target Product Profiles. Our global network of laboratory and clinical sites with well-characterized specimens is set out to accelerate the evaluation of the performance of such tests. Based on qualitative research, we will develop supportive, actionable messages to affected communities, and develop novel personal protective measures. Our final objective is for the Zika outbreak response effort to grow into a sustainable Latin-American network for emerging infectious diseases research preparedness. To this end we will engage in capacity building in laboratory and clinical research, collaborate with existing networks to share knowledge and tackle regulatory and other bottlenecks.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-04-2014 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2015

LANDMARK is a pan-European multi-actor consortium of leading academic and applied research institutes, chambers of agriculture and policy makers that will develop a coherent framework for soil management aimed at sustainable food production across Europe. The LANDMARK proposal builds on the concept that soils are a finite resource that provides a range of ecosystem services known as soil functions. Functions relating to agriculture include: primary productivity, water regulation & purification, carbon-sequestration & regulation, habitat for biodiversity and nutrient provision & cycling. Trade-offs between these functions may occur: for example, management aimed at maximising primary production may inadvertently affect the water purification or habitat functions. This has led to conflicting management recommendations and policy initiatives. There is now an urgent need to develop a coherent scientific and practical framework for the sustainable management of soils. LANDMARK will uniquely respond to the breadth of this challenge by delivering (through multi-actor development): 1. LOCAL SCALE: A toolkit for farmers with cost-effective, practical measures for sustainable (and context specific) soil management. 2. REGIONAL SCALE - A blueprint for a soil monitoring scheme, using harmonised indicators: this will facilitate the assessment of soil functions for different soil types and land-uses for all major EU climatic zones. 3. EU SCALE An assessment of EU policy instruments for incentivising sustainable land management. There have been many individual research initiatives that either address the management & assessment of individual soil functions, or address multiple soil functions, but only at local scales. LANDMARK will build on these existing R&D initiatives: the consortium partners bring together a wide range of significant national and EU datasets, with the ambition of developing an interdisciplinary scientific framework for sustainable soil management.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.1.3 | Award Amount: 1.04M | Year: 2010

The need for authoritative, on-going international cooperation in respect of the European agenda for taking the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) to reality is pivotal in putting it into the global context it demands. CASAGRAS2 provides the necessary conduit for taking the next steps in international collaboration.\nCASAGRAS2 identifies a much broader base for international cooperation, with partners from Brazil, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and USA. The European partners are from Belgium, France, Germany, Russia and the UK. CASAGRAS2 also identifies a group of experts to participate in the project that will target stakeholders based in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, USA and Russia.\nThe coordination and support action plan for CASAGRAS2 draws upon the outcomes of CASAGRAS1 and the recommendations that specifically align with the targets identified in Objective ICT-2009-1.3: ICT Internet of Things and Enterprise environment. Moreover, it seeks to contribute to the European research cluster for IoT development represented by CERP-IoT, offering an important holistic input characterised by the generic nature of the work packages in respect of architecture, identification and data capture protocols, applications and services framework, R&D roadmap, education and training and the important multi-dimensional features of governance; all with respect to international deliberation. Each component of these work package activities will be developed in cooperation with international partners through the international platform work package. Outcomes will be delivered through a dissemination infrastructure, exploiting a range of delivery platforms and serving a wide range of project, stakeholder and end-user delivery needs, with substantial foundations for innovation and enterprise in respect of applications, services and products, and socio-economic benefit.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.4-5 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2012

Resolution of inflammation is a key determinant of pathology, and an active process which involves diverse pathways and molecules. The general objective of the TIMER Consortium is to identify and validate new molecules involved in the resolution of inflammation as a basis for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The project will involve discovery of new natural or synthetic pro-resolving molecules for plant and animals and investigation on endogenous inflammation pro-resolving mechanisms identified by various partners of the Consortium, including atypical chemokine receptors, decoy receptors, and microRNA. Tapping resources of natural compounds will be a major thrust. Efforts will be mainly focused on the regulation by pro-resolving agents on two molecular systems of key relevance in inflammation: the chemokine system, which regulates recruitment, permanence and egress of leukocyte in tissues; and the TLR/IL-1R system, which is central for the activation of infiltrating leukocytes. To this purpose, the project will capitalize on, and bring added value to a strong tradition of the Consortium in the fields of: leukocyte recruitment and activation; negative regulators of inflammation; industrial-academic collaboration; identification and characterization of innovative inhibitors of natural origin; European-Brazilian collaboration.

News Article | February 15, 2017

The acid test for a vaccine is: "Does it protect people from infection?" Emory Vaccine Center researchers have analyzed this issue for a leading malaria vaccine called RTS,S, and their results have identified candidate signatures, or biomarkers, in the blood of vaccinated subjects which predict the likelihood of success from vaccination. Bali Pulendran, PhD, and colleagues, identified molecular signatures - sets of genes that are turned on and off in immune cells in the blood - that can discern whether volunteers in a malaria vaccine study were protected when they were exposed to mosquitoes carrying the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. The results are scheduled for publication in PNAS. The research could inform decisions on how RTS,S or other malaria vaccines are deployed or modified. RTS,S was developed by GlaxoSmithKline, and has been tested in Phase 3 clinical trials with support from the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. The vaccine was shown to provide partial protection against malaria and is scheduled for roll-out through pilot projects in three African countries next year, according to the World Health Organization. Pulendran is Charles Howard Candler professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and a researcher at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. He and his team have pioneered the use of systems biology approaches to identify signatures to define molecular signatures or biomarkers, induced within a few days of vaccination, that can be used to accurately predict the strength of the immune response weeks later. A major challenge in vaccinology has been whether such signatures could be used to predict, not merely the strength of the immune response, but the efficacy of vaccination - that is the extent to which vaccination protected against infection. The present study addressed this issue by vaccinating human subjects with the RTS,S malaria vaccine, and then deliberately challenging them with Plasmodium falciparum in a controlled experimental human infection model. This provides proof of concept of the utility of systems based approaches in identifying signatures that can be used to predict vaccine efficacy. "Many of the genes contained in the predictive signatures are known to be expressed in natural killer cells, which mediate critical immune functions against viruses," Pulendran says. "It was a surprise to see such a robust 'NK cell signature' in predicting success of vaccination against the malaria parasite, and raises the hypothesis that such cells may be playing a vital role in orchestrating immunity against malaria." Pulendran says that other elements such as the signatures of antibody-producing plasma cells in the blood, and activation of antiviral interferon pathways, were conserved with vaccines such as yellow fever and flu. "The extent to which these candidate signatures of protection can successfully predict vaccine efficacy in other field trials remain to be determined," he adds. The underlying malaria vaccine study was performed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 2011 to 2012, and involved 46 volunteers who received two vaccine regimens, one with RTS,S only and another adding an adenovirus-based vector. About 50 percent of the participants were protected after exposure to parasite-carrying mosquitos for both regimens. After analyzing the immune responses, the researchers propose that the two vaccine regimens may be conferring protection against malaria by distinct mechanisms, with the RTS,S-only regimen relying on high levels of antibodies, and the other recruiting more T cells. The same signatures that predicted protection from infection were confirmed using data from an independent study that was also testing the RTS,S vaccine. The co-first authors of the paper are bioinformatics analyst Dmitri Kazmin and former Emory postdoc Helder Nakaya, now at University of Sao Paulo. Co-authors include Ripley Ballou, Robbert van der Most, Robert van den Berg and Erik Jongert from GlaxoSmithKline, Eva Lee from Georgia Tech, Daniel Zak and Alan Aderem at the Center for Infectious Disease Research, Jerald Sadoff at Crucell, and Ulli Wille Reece and Christian Ockenhouse at the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. Emory co-authors include Rafi Ahmed and Jens Wrammert. The research was supported by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U19AI090023 and U19AI057266), and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (Primate centers: P51OD11132).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA | Phase: ENERGY.2013.10.1.10 | Award Amount: 21.20M | Year: 2014

Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy encompasses Solar Thermal Electricity (STE), Solar Fuels, Solar Process Heat and Solar Desalination that are called to play a major role in attaining energy sustainability in our modern societies due to their unique features: 1) Solar energy offers the highest renewable energy potential to our planet; 2) STE can provide dispatchable power in a technically and economically viable way, by means of thermal energy storage and/or hybridization, e.g. with biomass. However, significant research efforts are needed to achieve this goal. This Integrated Research Programme (IRP) engages all major European research institutes, with relevant and recognized activities on STE and related technologies, in an integrated research structure to successfully accomplish the following general objectives: a) Convert the consortium into a reference institution for concentrating solar energy research in Europe, creating a new entity with effective governance structure; b) Enhance the cooperation between EU research institutions participating in the IRP to create EU added value; c) Synchronize the different national research programs to avoid duplication and to achieve better and faster results; d) Accelerate the transfer of knowledge to industry in order to maintain and strengthen the existing European industrial leadership in STE; e) Expand joint activities among research centres by offering researchers and industry a comprehensive portfolio of research capabilities, bringing added value to innovation and industry-driven technology; f) Establish the European reference association for promoting and coordinating international cooperation in concentrating solar energy research. To that end, this IRP promotes Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) and, in parallel, performs Coordinated Projects (CP) covering the full spectrum of current concentrating solar energy research topics, selected to provide the highest EU added value and filling the gaps among national programs.

News Article | November 4, 2016

The Third Summit on University Social Responsibility (USR), a key initiative of the University Social Responsibility Network (USR Network), kicked-off today (4 November) in Beijing. Co-hosted by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Peking University (Peking U), the Summit has attracted over 100 academia from around the world to gather together for a fruitful exchange on an important agenda: "Nurturing a Culture for University Social Responsibility". The Opening Ceremony was held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Addressing the Opening ceremony, Peking University President Professor Lin Jianhua said, "For universities in the Chinese mainland, we have a commitment to take on the responsibility for the society, the nation and the world. Peking University has inherited and has been diligently following this tradition. On the one hand, we teach students to bear social responsibility during their studies and after graduation. On the other hand, the Universities have to bear their responsibility for the community, the region, and the nation, during their course of development and advancement." Professor Lin added, "This is a difficult mission, and it calls for concerted efforts of higher education leaders." Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, "Over the last few decades, global challenges such as economic development, environmental protection and technological innovation have driven universities worldwide to redefine their roles and responsibilities beyond traditional education and research in order to bolster their impact on society. Consequently, social responsibility has become a subject high on the agenda." Professor Tong added, "The USR Network member universities sharing the same vision of making our world increasingly just, inclusive, peaceful and sustainable. With an emphasis on collaboration among members and with other networks and alliances, the Network has vigorously promoted USR by organizing a number of projects including this University Social Responsibility Summit." This year, the Summit has brought together more than 50 speakers who are higher education leaders and scholars from over 10 countries and regions. They exchanged views at three Presidents' Roundtable sessions respectively themed "Social Responsibility: A Core Mission of Universities in 21st Century?", "USR: Translating Vision into Action and Impact", and "USR in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities". Plenary sessions held tomorrow (5 November) will include "Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy and Practice", "Nurturing Future Leaders through Service-Learning: Strategies and Learning Outcomes" and "Building Disaster Response Capacity - University Students as Community First Responders". This is the first time that the Summit has a separate Student Forum on 4 November at Peking University campus. The Forum attracted more than 100 students, many of them are delegates from the USR Network member universities. In addition, there will be a student presentation tomorrow. Four teams of students from PolyU, PekingU, Sichuan University and Beijing Normal University conducted presentations to share the views and practical experience of USR from the students' perspective. Their presence and contribution at the Summit are evidence of the USR Network's commitment to engaging the university community to address world challenges and shape a better future. The second Executive Committee meeting of the USR Network was held yesterday (3 November) to discuss the strategies and work for the coming year. With two new members, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and University of Pretoria, South Africa, the USR Network now include the following 14 universities (in alphabetical order of their country): For details of the USR Network, please visit

News Article | November 4, 2016

The Opening Ceremony was held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse. Addressing the Opening ceremony, Peking University President Professor Lin Jianhua said, “For universities in the Chinese mainland, we have a commitment to take on the responsibility for the society, the nation and the world. Peking University has inherited and has been diligently following this tradition. On the one hand, we teach students to bear social responsibility during their studies and after graduation. On the other hand, the Universities have to bear their responsibility for the community, the region, and the nation, during their course of development and advancement.” Professor Lin added, “This is a difficult mission, and it calls for concerted efforts of higher education leaders.” Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong said, “Over the last few decades, global challenges such as economic development, environmental protection and technological innovation have driven universities worldwide to redefine their roles and responsibilities beyond traditional education and research in order to bolster their impact on society. Consequently, social responsibility has become a subject high on the agenda.” Professor Tong added, “The USR Network member universities sharing the same vision of making our world increasingly just, inclusive, peaceful and sustainable. With an emphasis on collaboration among members and with other networks and alliances, the Network has vigorously promoted USR by organizing a number of projects including this University Social Responsibility Summit.” This year, the Summit has brought together more than 50 speakers who are higher education leaders and scholars from over 10 countries and regions. They exchanged views at three Presidents’ Roundtable sessions respectively themed “Social Responsibility: A Core Mission of Universities in 21st Century?”, “USR: Translating Vision into Action and Impact”, and “USR in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities”. Plenary sessions held tomorrow (5 November) will include “Community Engagement in Higher Education: Policy and Practice”, “Nurturing Future Leaders through Service-Learning: Strategies and Learning Outcomes” and “Building Disaster Response Capacity – University Students as Community First Responders”. This is the first time that the Summit has a separate Student Forum on 4 November at Peking University campus. The Forum attracted more than 100 students, many of them are delegates from the USR Network member universities. In addition, there will be a student presentation tomorrow. Four teams of students from PolyU, PekingU, Sichuan University and Beijing Normal University conducted presentations to share the views and practical experience of USR from the students’ perspective. Their presence and contribution at the Summit are evidence of the USR Network’s commitment to engaging the university community to address world challenges and shape a better future. The second Executive Committee meeting of the USR Network was held yesterday (3 November) to discuss the strategies and work for the coming year. With two new members, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and University of Pretoria, South Africa, the USR Network now include the following 14 universities (in alphabetical order of their country): Australia | University of New South Wales Brazil | University of Sao Paulo Hong Kong, P.R.C. | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Israel | University of Haifa Japan | Kyoto University Korea | Yonsei University P.R.C. | Peking University P.R.C. | Beijing Normal University P.R.C. | Sichuan University P.R.C. | South Africa University of Pretoria U.K. | Clare Hall, University of Cambridge U.K. | The University of Manchester U.S.A. | Tufts University U.S.A. | Washington University in St. Louis For details of the USR Network, please visit

Abdalla E.,University of Sao Paulo | Graef L.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Wang B.,Shanghai JiaoTong University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

We discuss a model of nonperturbative decay of dark energy. We suggest the possibility that this model can provide a mechanism from the field theory to realize the energy transfer from dark energy into dark matter, which is the requirement to alleviate the coincidence problem. The advantage of the model is the fact that it accommodates a mean life compatible with the age of the universe. We also argue that supersymmetry is a natural set up, though not essential. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Ferreira L.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Zakrzewski W.J.,Durham University
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

Following our attempts to define quasi-integrability in which we related this concept to a particular symmetry of the two-soliton function we check this condition in three classes of modified sine-Gordon models in (1 + 1) dimensions. We find that the numerical results seen in various scatterings of two solitons and in the time evolution of breather-like structures support our ideas about the symmetry of the field configurations and its effects on the anomalies of the conservation laws of the charges. © 2014 Author(s).

Alcaraz F.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Berganza M.I.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Sierra G.,Autonomous University of Madrid
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

In a quantum critical chain, the scaling regime of the energy and momentum of the ground state and low-lying excitations are described by conformal field theory (CFT). The same holds true for the von Neumann and Rényi entropies of the ground state, which display a universal logarithmic behavior depending on the central charge. In this Letter we generalize this result to those excited states of the chain that correspond to primary fields in CFT. It is shown that the nth Rényi entropy is related to a 2n-point correlator of primary fields. We verify this statement for the critical XX and XXZ chains. This result uncovers a new link between quantum information theory and CFT. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Mimoso J.P.,University of Lisbon | Le Delliou M.,University of Sao Paulo | Mena F.C.,University of Minho
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We investigate spherically symmetric spacetimes with an anisotropic fluid and discuss the existence and stability of a separating shell dividing expanding and collapsing regions. We resort to a 3+1 splitting and obtain gauge invariant conditions relating intrinsic spacetime quantities to properties of the matter source. We find that the separating shell is defined by a generalization of the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff equilibrium condition. The latter establishes a balance between the pressure gradients, both isotropic and anisotropic, and the strength of the fields induced by the Misner-Sharp mass inside the separating shell and by the pressure fluxes. This defines a local equilibrium condition, but conveys also a nonlocal character given the definition of the Misner-Sharp mass. By the same token, it is also a generalized thermodynamical equation of state as usually interpreted for the perfect fluid case, which now has the novel feature of involving both the isotropic and the anisotropic stresses. We have cast the governing equations in terms of local, gauge invariant quantities that are revealing of the role played by the anisotropic pressures and inhomogeneous electric part of the Weyl tensor. We analyze a particular solution with dust and radiation that provides an illustration of our conditions. In addition, our gauge invariant formalism not only encompasses the cracking process from Herrera and co-workers but also reveals transparently the interplay and importance of the shear and of the anisotropic stresses. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Grinberg L.T.,University of California at San Francisco | Grinberg L.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2010

Cerebral atherosclerosis (AS), small vessel disease (SVD), and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) are the most prevalent arterial disorders in the aged brain. Pathogenetically, AS and SVD share similar mechanisms: plasma protein leakage into the vessel wall, accumulation of lipid-containing macrophages, and fibrosis of the vessel wall. CAA, on the other hand, is characterized by the deposition of the amyloid β-protein in the vessel wall. Despite these differences between CAA, AS and SVD, apolipoprotein E (apoE) is involved in all three disorders. Such a pathogenetic link may explain the correlations between AS, SVD, CAA, and Alzheimer's disease in the brains of elderly individuals reported in the literature. In addition, AS, SVD, and CAA can lead to tissue lesions such as hemorrhage and infarction. Moreover, intracerebral SVD leads to plasma protein leakage into the damaged vessel wall and into the perivascular space resulting in a blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction. This SVD-related BBB dysfunction is considered to cause white matter lesions (WMLs) and lacunar infarcts. In this review, we demonstrate the relationship between AS, SVD, and CAA as well as their contribution to the development of vascular tissue lesions and we emphasize an important role for apoE in the pathogenesis of vessel disorders and vascular tissue lesions as well as for BBB dysfunction on WML and lacunar infarct development. © The Author(s) 2010.

He J.-H.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Wang B.,Shanghai JiaoTong University | Abdalla E.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

Cosmological analyses based on currently available observations are unable to rule out a sizeable coupling between dark energy and dark matter. However, the signature of the coupling is not easy to grasp, since the coupling is degenerate with other cosmological parameters, such as the dark energy equation of state and the dark matter abundance. We discuss possible ways to break such degeneracy. Based on the perturbation formalism, we carry out the global fitting by using the latest observational data and get a tight constraint on the interaction between dark sectors. We find that the appropriate interaction can alleviate the coincidence problem. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Becirevic D.,University Paris - Sud | Bertuzzo E.,University of Sao Paulo | Sumensari O.,University Paris - Sud | Sumensari O.,University of Sao Paulo | Zukanovich Funchal R.,University of Sao Paulo
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2016

A plausible explanation of the recent experimental indication of a resonance in the two-photon spectrum at LHC is that it corresponds to the CP-odd Higgs boson. We explore such a possibility in a generic framework of the two Higgs doublet models (2HDM), and combine mA≈750 GeV with the known mh=125.7(4) GeV to show that the charged Higgs boson and the other CP-even scalar masses become bounded from bellow and from above. We show that this possibility is also consistent with the electroweak precision data and the low energy observables, which we test in a few leptonic and semileptonic decay modes. © 2016 The Authors.

McLaughlin V.V.,University of Michigan | Shah S.J.,Northwestern University | Souza R.,University of Sao Paulo | Humbert M.,University Paris - Sud | Humbert M.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2015

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is common and may result from a number of disorders, including left heart disease, lung disease, and chronic thromboembolic disease. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an uncommon disease characterized by progressive remodeling of the distal pulmonary arteries, resulting in elevated pulmonary vascular resistance and, eventually, in right ventricular failure. Over the past decades, knowledge of the basic pathobiology of PAH and its natural history, prognostic indicators, and therapeutic options has exploded. A thorough evaluation of a patient is critical to correctly characterize the PH. Cardiac studies, including echocardiography and right heart catheterization, are key elements in the assessment. Given the multitude of treatment options currently available for PAH, assessment of risk and response to therapy is critical in long-term management. This review also underscores unique situations, including perioperative management, intensive care unit management, and pregnancy, and highlights the importance of collaborative care of the PAH patient through a multidisciplinary approach. © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Juruena M.F.,University of Sao Paulo | Juruena M.F.,King's College London
Epilepsy and Behavior | Year: 2014

It is now broadly accepted that psychological stress may change the internal homeostatic state of an individual. During acute stress, adaptive physiological responses occur, which include hyperactivity of the HPA axis. Whenever there is an acute interruption of this balance, illness may result. The social and physical environments have an enormous impact on our physiology and behavior, and they influence the process of adaptation or 'allostasis'. It is correct to state that at the same time that our experiences change our brain and thoughts, namely, changing our mind, we are changing our neurobiology. Increased adrenocortical secretion of hormones, primarily cortisol in major depression, is one of the most consistent findings in neuropsychiatry. A significant percentage of patients with major depression have been shown to exhibit increased concentrations of cortisol, an exaggerated cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone, and an enlargement of both the pituitary and adrenal glands. The maintenance of the internal homeostatic state of an individual is proposed to be based on the ability of circulating glucocorticoids to exert negative feedback on the secretion of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormones through binding to mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptors limiting the vulnerability to diseases related to psychological stress in genetically predisposed individuals. The HPA axis response to stress can be thought of as a mirror of the organism's response to stress: acute responses are generally adaptive, but excessive or prolonged responses can lead to deleterious effects. Evidence indicates that early-life stress can induce persistent changes in the ability of the HPA axis to respond to stress in adulthood. These abnormalities appear to be related to changes in the ability of hormones to bind to GR and MR receptors. First episodes may begin with an environmental stressor, but if the cycles continue or occur unchecked, the brain becomes kindled or sensitized, and future episodes of depression, hypomania, or mania will occur independently of an outside stimulus, with greater frequency and intensity. Generally, HPA axis changes appear in chronic depressive and more severe episodes. Moreover, HPA axis changes appear to be state-dependent, tending to improve upon resolution of the depressive syndrome. Interestingly, persistent HPA dysfunction has been associated with higher rates of relapse and chronicity. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Tekli J.,University of Sao Paulo | Chbeir R.,University of Burgundy
Journal of Web Semantics | Year: 2012

XML similarity evaluation has become a central issue in the database and information communities, its applications ranging over document clustering, version control, data integration and ranked retrieval. Various algorithms for comparing hierarchically structured data, XML documents in particular, have been proposed in the literature. Most of them make use of techniques for finding the edit distance between tree structures, XML documents being commonly modeled as Ordered Labeled Trees. Yet, a thorough investigation of current approaches led us to identify several similarity aspects, i.e., sub-tree related structural and semantic similarities, which are not sufficiently addressed while comparing XML documents. In this paper, we provide an integrated and fine-grained comparison framework to deal with both structural and semantic similarities in XML documents (detecting the occurrences and repetitions of structurally and semantically similar sub-trees), and to allow the end-user to adjust the comparison process according to her requirements. Our framework consists of four main modules for (i) discovering the structural commonalities between sub-trees, (ii) identifying sub-tree semantic resemblances, (iii) computing tree-based edit operations costs, and (iv) computing tree edit distance. Experimental results demonstrate higher comparison accuracy with respect to alternative methods, while timing experiments reflect the impact of semantic similarity on overall system performance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Asencios Y.J.O.,University of Sao Paulo | Sun-Kou M.R.,Catholic University of Peru
Applied Surface Science | Year: 2012

Several types of alumina were synthesized from sodium aluminate (NaAlO 2) by precipitation with sulfuric acid (H 2SO 4) and subsequently calcination at 500°C to obtain γ-Al 2O 3. The precursor aluminate was derived from aluminum scrap. The various γ-Al 2O 3 synthesized were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), adsorption-desorption of N 2 (S BET) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). XRD revealed that distinct phases of Al 2O 3 were formed during thermal treatment. Moreover, it was observed that conditions of synthesis (pH, aging time and temperature) strongly affect the physicochemical properties of the alumina. A high-surface-area alumina (371 m 2 g -1) was synthesized under mild conditions, from inexpensive raw materials. These aluminas were tested for the adsorption of Cd(II), Zn(II) and Pb(II) from aqueous solution at toxic metal concentrations, and isotherms were determined. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.6 | Award Amount: 6.18M | Year: 2010

The aim of the OFELIA project is to create a unique experimental facility that allows researchers to not only experiment on a test network but to control the network itself precisely and dynamically. To achieve this, the OFELIA facility is based on OpenFlow, a currently emerging networking technology that allows to virtualize and control the network environment through secure and standardized interfaces. In a nutshell, OpenFlow enables experimenters to change the behavior of the network as part of the experiment rather than, if at all, as part of the experiment setup. OFELIA will provide high-performance OpenFlow equipment to enable experiments at scale and to ensure that the facility is based on mature technology.Another strength of OFELIA is its concept of federated or interconnected islands. A set of five islands creates a diverse OpenFlow infrastructure that allows experimentation on multi-layer and multi-technology networks provided by the different islands. The facility will extend all the way from standard Ethernet to optical and wireless transmission and it will also include an emulation wall for scalability tests comprising thousands of nodes.The facility will grow in three phases to, on the one hand provide an early access to the facility (after 6 months already) and, on the other hand to evolve during the project lifetime, incorporating the feedback of the user community and extending its reach to other test facilities. Two open calls will be published to invite experimenters that bring their use cases and scenarios to the facility creating a feedback loop to extend the OFELIA facility according to the needs of the user community.

University of Sao Paulo and Ouro Fino Saude Animal Ltda | Date: 2014-04-09

The present invention relates to pharmaceutical compositions comprising a peptide that stimulates the release of gonadotropins and sexual steroids. More specifically, the present invention provides pharmaceutical compositions comprising kisspeptin, preferably in the kp-10 form, or derivatives thereof, for use in ovulation cycle inducing and/or infertility treatment programs. The formulations according to the present invention belong to two main groups: injectable solutions and implantable formulations. The injectable solutions according to the present invention can be divided into immediate release solutions and prolonged action solutions. The implantable formulations according to the present invention can be prepared using an RTV silicone elastomer, a rapid vulcanization silicone elastomer or a rapid vulcanization silicone elastomer with a release modulator.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: SST.2008.3.1.6. | Award Amount: 6.03M | Year: 2009

The VIAJEO project will design, demonstrate and validate an open platform which will be able to: support the transport operations, planning and a wide range of traveller information services; deliver dynamic information independent from the language to improve their provision of transport information and traveller services through integrated traffic data collection and management; deliver a solution that enables cross-modal journey planning, dynamic route guidance, effective payment access and improved personal mobility, etc.; provide standardised interfaces to connect a variety of entities needed for the mobility services The open platform will facilitate the integration of components for data management allowing integration of European and local components as most convenient in Athens, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Shanghai. The demonstration cities in Europe, China and Brazil have been carefully chosen to ensure that they have a reputation as national role models, allowing the results of successful demonstrations to be extended to other cities in these countries and also potentially to other countries in the respective continents. The scientific and technical objectives of the project are: (1) Design of an open platform with interfaces to a wide range of mobility services (2) Implementation of the open platform in Europe, and in the emerging Economies, i.e. China and Brazil. (3) Validation of the open platform (4) Assessment of social and transport impacts of the implementation and demonstration of the open platform VIAJEO will involve users, traffic managers, public authorities, transport operators, equipment manufacturers, vehicle manufacturers, service providers, application and service developers, content owners and providers, and research organisations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.53M | Year: 2013

In view of reducing the ecological footprint of machines and vehicles, effective and efficient analysis techniques and adequate measurement technologies are required to produce world-leading products with a high energy-efficiency, without compromising functionality/safety/performance/etc. Combined with the increasing trend towards virtual design and prototyping, to reduce costs and development times, this need for designing green products creates an urgent industrial need for robust and volatile simulation and experimental validation methodologies in machine and vehicle product design. Since nowadays products become more and more multi-disciplinary by the constantly increasing integration of added functionality and product intelligence (i.e. mechanical systems work together with electronic systems, linked through control schemes which are steered using embedded software, etc.) and since energy is a global design attribute which is influenced by all disciplines, the development of energy analysis methodologies, both numerical and experimental, requires an integrated research strategy. This EMVeM ITN brings together research and industrial partners who will collectively train early stage researchers, drawing together skills and expertise in a range of different technical approaches. The industrial partners put forward specific applications, behind which are generic difficulties associated with energy efficiency analysis. The academic and research centre partners bring a diverse range of potential research approaches and the capability of research training, provision of courses and dissemination and outreach to the wider community. Together the consortium can develop and promote research, knowledge and application of energy efficiency management analysis within EU industry and towards the general public.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.1.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 4.76M | Year: 2011

AMAZALERT will enable raising the alert about critical feedbacks between climate, society, land-use change, vegetation change, water availability and policies in Amazonia. We will: 1) analyze and improve coupled models of global climate and Amazon, land use, vegetation and socio-economic drivers to quantify anthropogenic and climate induced land-use and land cover change and non-linear, irreversible feedbacks among these components 2) assess the role of regional and global policies and societal responses in the Amazon region for altering the trajectory of land-use change in the face of climate change and other anthropogenic factors and finally 3) propose i) an Early Warning System for detecting any imminent irreversible loss of Amazon ecosystem services, ii) policy response strategies to prevent such loss. We first prioritise the functions of Amazonia and threats to these. We then will analyse uncertainties in biogeochemistry, land cover (vegetation), land-use change and regional hydrology , as well as nonlinear responses and feedbacks using existing and new simulations from state of the art models in which land surface is coupled to global climate. The way in which policies and possible future response strategies of policy makers, trade and economy will affect land-use change will be modelled. This will lead to (A) understanding the impact on and effectiveness of a range of international and regional policy options, including REDD\; and (B) identification of both biophysical and socio-economic indicators of irreversible change. AMAZALERT integrates the multidisciplinary knowledge and research of world-renowned, highly influential climate, land cover, land use change scientists and also policy analysts from 14 European and South-American institutions that have been collaborating for 10 to 30 years. Thus, this project can achieve maximum impact on EU (2020 climate goals), international and South-American strategies, including REDD

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-3.0-03 | Award Amount: 1.10M | Year: 2008

BELIEF-II, building on achievements and momentum created by BELIEF [2005-2007], aims to coordinate effective communication, results, networking and knowledge flow between EU eInfrastructure projects and their users, promoting their development and exploitation globally.\nBELIEF-II seeks to:\nEnsure Europes diverse eInfrastructure projects evolve in synergy with one another to ensure common directions and efficient interaction; \nReinforce the relevance of Europes eInfrastructures worldwide sustaining successful development and exploitation; \nNetwork a wide range of stakeholders through a coordinated mechanism to support a vibrant eInfrastructure community; \nSynchronise eInfrastructures priorities through easy to read eInfrastructure communication products;\nProvide a unique, communication platform for projects to manage their content, communicate activities to users and the public to learn more about eInfrastructures.\nBELIEF-II, owing to its qualified and committed international consortium of partners, is in the optimal position to address these strategic needs through: eConcertation coordination, Brainstorming Workshops, eInfrastructure Guides, Digital Library evolution and outreach in Latin America, S. Africa and India through International Symposia. \nThese actions will maximise the overall communication of eInfrastructures potential, and increase the visibility of EC Programmes in developing countries aiming at evolving and supporting a qualified, research and enterprise eInfrastructures community globally. Major results of BELIEF-II are: 2 eConcertation meetings with Reports, 2 European Brainstorming events, 2 editions of eInfrastructures guide, 1 DVD, 2 EC eInfrastructure dissemination publications, 5 Research Infrastructures News publications, 3 International Symposia. The DL implemented in BELIEF will be further enhanced in BELIEF-II with a number of services and functionalities to provide improved support for the community (eConcertation, Symposia, RI

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.3.4-2 | Award Amount: 8.64M | Year: 2014

This proposal builds on the proven methodology developed in the SEtTReND FP7 project to develop inhibitors of schistosome HME as lead compounds for new drugs. We will employ a target-based strategy for the development of novel drug leads against schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease and malaria by targeting histone modifying enzymes (HME), in particular those involved in acetylation/deacetylation and methylation/demethylation. The principal objectives of A-PARADDISE are: - The identification of HMEs from Leishmania sp. and Trypanosoma cruzi and the molecular characterization and functional characterization of selected potential targets, - Phenotypic screening of Leishmania, T. cruzi, S. mansoni and P. falciparum using HME class inhibitors, inhibitors developed specifically against S. mansoni and P. falciparum HMEs. This will permit us to obtain a comprehensive view of inhibitor classes and chemical scaffolds of interest, - Production of recombinant Leishmania and T. cruzi HME proteins, structural studies. Selected, validated target enzymes will be produced, crystallized and analysed by X-ray diffraction. Assays will be optimized to permit testing of inhibitors, - High-throughput and structure-based (in silico) screening of selected HMEs. Inhibitors selected will be further screened by phenotypic assays on the parasites in vitro, - Optimisation of inhibitor structures by chemical synthesis based on molecular modelling studies (inhibitors of all origins), - Transcriptomic analysis of drug-treated parasites to verify target specificity and mechanism of action (all parasites), - Pharmacological and toxicological studies (in vitro and in vivo) of selected inhibitors, in vivo testing of compounds in parasite-infected mice. The overall objective of the A-PARADDISE project is to develop optimized epigenetic inhibitors for further testing and optimisation as drug candidates against the four parasites studied.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2011.3.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.58M | Year: 2011

In order to be able to maximize the benefits from reuse and recycling technologies projects a larger systemic analysis of the environment is needed, an enlargement of the traditional narrow planning and management approaches, and a growing sensitivity to decision-making associated with multi-objective, multi-purpose actions and multi uses parameters. However, the problem is not centered on the lack of treatment techniques and technologies, but rather on how such schemes may become more efficient and implementable. COROADO will both develop new and adapt existing concepts and operational frameworks and produce a web-based toolbox for reuse and recycling technologies in the context of integrated water resources management, taking into account long-lasting changes, and at the same time addressing environmental and ecosystem integrity. Climate change and water scarcity in relation with the pertinent technologies will also be addressed. Thus, COROADO would focus on: a) Developing tools for analyzing reuse and recycling technologies and trade-offs b) Addressing non-linearity and resilience c) Promoting and organizing active participation of stakeholders and capacity building efforts. The web based Communication, Capacity Building and Research Tool will present a richer menu of options from assessment and planning to implementation, monitoring and evaluation The system will be designed so as to present critical information in an interesting and efficient manner, offering an engaging learning experience. The project will include deliberate efforts to ensure knowledge and capacity exchanges between the project sites, and among Latin American, European and other parts of the world facing similar conditions, by introducing exchanges based on research in the four study sites and generated outcomes with a strong emphasis in dissemination. The effort may develop an understanding of needed transitions of governance and policy systems in order to mainstream such water reuse and recycling technologies implementation, providing a continuous and appropriate set of guidelines, and manuals so that policy relevant standards may be applied by end users and policy makers and after the completion of COROADO, without any further support.

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 43.39K | Year: 2012

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

News Article | November 14, 2016

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Researchers at Oregon State University and other institutions have discovered an important link between the immune system, gut bacteria and glucose metabolism -- a "cross-talk" and interaction that can lead to type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome when not functioning correctly. The findings, published today in Nature Communications, are one example of how different mammalian systems can affect each other in ways not previously understood. A better understanding of these systems, researchers say, may lead to new probiotic approaches to diabetes and other diseases. The research also shows the general importance of proper bacterial functions in the gut and the role of one bacteria in particular -- Akkermansia muciniphila -- in helping to regulate glucose metabolism. This bacteria's function is so important, scientists say, that it has been conserved through millions of years of evolution to perform a similar function in both mice and humans. "We're discovering that in biology there are multiple connections and communications, what we call cross-talk, that are very important in ways we're just beginning to understand," said Dr. Natalia Shulzhenko, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine, and one of the corresponding authors on this study. "It's being made clear by a number of studies that our immune system, in particular, is closely linked to other metabolic functions in ways we never realized. This is still unconventional thinking, and it's being described as a new field called immunometabolism. Through the process of evolution, mammals, including humans, have developed functional systems that communicate with each other, and microbes are an essential part of that process." It had been previously observed that an immune mediator -- one type of interferon, or signaling protein called IFN-y -- can affect the proper function of glucose metabolism. IFN-y helps fight several pathogens and infections, but a decrease in its levels can lead to improvement in glucose metabolism. However, this actual process has not been understood. "Before this, no one had a clue exactly how IFN-y affected glucose tolerance," said Andrey Morgun, an assistant professor in the OSU College of Pharmacy and also a corresponding author on the study. "The involvement of microbes had not really been considered. But with the help of a statistical model and an approach we call a transkingdom network, we were able to pinpoint some likely bacterial candidates." The bacteria A. muciniphila, was found to play a critical role in this communication process - in their study, the scientists called it a "missing link." Research showed that mice specially bred with reduced levels of IFN-y had higher levels of A. muciniphila, and significantly improved glucose tolerance. When IFN-y levels increased, A. muciniphila levels declined, and glucose tolerance was reduced. Similar observations were also made in humans. It's been observed, for instance, that athletes who are extremely fit have high levels of the gut bacteria A. muciniphila, which is a mucus-degrading bacteria. The research makes clear that two systems once believed to be functionally separate -- immunity and glucose metabolism -- are, in fact, closely linked, and the bridge can be provided by gut bacteria. There's probably more than one bacteria involved in this process of communication and metabolic control, researchers said. The gut harbors literally thousands of microbes that appear to function almost as a metabolically active organ, emphasizing the critical importance of gut bacterial health. Bacteria-mediated communication, of course, is just one part of complex human systems -- issues such as proper diet, exercise, and appropriate weight control are all still important, the researchers said. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health. Other collaborating researchers were from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, University of North Carolina, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Duke University Medical Center. Co-first authors were Renee Greer of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Xiaoxi Dong of the OSU College of Pharmacy.

Kosinski L.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Habr-Gama A.,University of Sao Paulo | Ludwig K.,Medical College of Wisconsin | Perez R.,University of Sao Paulo
CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians | Year: 2012

The management of rectal cancer has transformed over the last 3 decades and continues to evolve. Some of these changes parallel progress made with other cancers: refinement of surgical technique to improve organ preservation, selective use of neoadjuvant (and adjuvant) therapy, and emergence of criteria suggesting a role for individually tailored therapy. Other changes are driven by fairly unique issues including functional considerations, rectal anatomic features, and surgical technical issues. Further complexity is due to the variety of staging modalities (each with its own limitations), neoadjuvant treatment alternatives, and competing strategies for sequencing multimodal treatment even for nonmetastatic disease. Importantly, observations of tumor response made in the era of neoadjuvant therapy are reshaping some traditionally held concepts about tumor behavior. Frameworks for prioritizing and integrating complex data can help to formulate treatment plans for patients. © 2012 American Cancer Society.

Carvalho V.O.,University of Sao Paulo | Mezzani A.,Veruno Scientific Institute
European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation | Year: 2011

Chronic heart failure (CHF) is a significant cause of worldwide mortality and morbidity, whose clinical picture is characterized by exercise intolerance and impaired quality of life. Aerobic exercise training is a well-established nonpharmacological tool improving the CHF's pathophysiological, clinical, and prognostic picture, and prescription of an adequate training intensity is crucial to obtain both exercise-induced benefits and a reasonable control of exerciserelated risk. However, clarity is still lacking regarding the definition of exercise intensity domains and the lower and upper intensity limits of prescriptible aerobic exercise in CHF patients. The purpose of this review is to provide an update of the methods for the exercise intensity assessment and continuous aerobic training intensity prescription in the CHF population, furnishing indications useful for implementation of physical rehabilitation programs in these patients. © The European Society of Cardiology 2011.

Goldemberg J.,University of Sao Paulo | Guardabassi P.,Brazilian Reference Center on Biomass
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2010

Ethanol production from sugarcane, mainly in Brazil, on the basis of first-generation technology (22.5 billion liters, in 2007/2008 season, in 3.4 million hectares) replaces 1% of the gasoline used in the world today and is highly competitive in economic terms with ethanol produced from other crops in the USA and Europe. In this paper we discuss the potential for sugarcane ethanol expansion from two angles: (1) productivity gains which would allow greater production in the same area and (2) geographical expansion to larger areas. The potential of first-generation technology for the production of ethanol from sugarcane is far from being exhausted. There are gains in productivity of approximately a factor of two from genetically modified varieties and a geographical expansion by a factor of ten of the present level of production in many sugar-producing countries. The replacement of 10% of the gasoline used in the world by ethanol from sugarcane seems possible before second-generation technology reaches technological maturity and possibly economic competitiveness. © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Rocha J.V.,University of Lisbon | Santarelli R.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

We investigate the consequences of throwing point particles into odd-dimensional Myers-Perry black holes in asymptotically anti-de Sitter (AdS) backgrounds. We restrict our attention to the case in which the angular momenta of the background geometry are all equal. This process allows us to test the generalization of the weak cosmic censorship conjecture to asymptotically AdS spacetimes in higher dimensions. We find no evidence for overspinning in D=5,7,9 and 11 dimensions. Instead, test particles carrying the maximum possible angular momentum that still fall into an extremal rotating black hole generate a flow along the curve of extremal solutions. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Olivares I.R.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Lopes F.A.,National Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2012

Considering how demand for quality assurance (QA) has grown in analytical laboratories, we show the trends in analytical science, illustrated through international standard ISO/IEC 17025, validation, measurements of uncertainty, and quality-control (QC) measures. A detailed review of the history of analytical chemistry indicates that these concepts are consistently used in laboratories to demonstrate their traceabilities and competences to provide reliable results.We propose a new approach for laboratory QA, which also develops a diagram to support routine laboratories (which generally apply a quality system, such as ISO/IEC 17025) or research laboratories (that have some difficult applying this international standard). This approach, called the Analytical Quality Assurance Cycle (AQAC), presents the major QA concepts and the relationships between these concepts in order to provide traceability and reliable results. The AQAC is a practical tool to support the trend towards QA in analytical laboratories. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Garcia-Moreno C.,World Health Organization | Hegarty K.,University of Melbourne | D'Oliveira A.F.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Koziol-Mclain J.,Auckland University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Health systems have a crucial role in a multisector response to violence against women. Some countries have guidelines or protocols articulating this role and health-care workers are trained in some settings, but generally system development and implementation have been slow to progress. Substantial system and behavioural barriers exist, especially in low-income and middle-income countries. Violence against women was identified as a health priority in 2013 guidelines published by WHO and the 67th World Health Assembly resolution on strengthening the role of the health system in addressing violence, particularly against women and girls. In this Series paper, we review the evidence for clinical interventions and discuss components of a comprehensive health-system approach that helps health-care providers to identify and support women subjected to intimate partner or sexual violence. Five country case studies show the diversity of contexts and pathways for development of a health system response to violence against women. Although additional research is needed, strengthening of health systems can enable providers to address violence against women, including protocols, capacity building, effective coordination between agencies, and referral networks. © 2015 World Health Organization. Published by Elsevier Ltd/Inc/BV. All rights reserved.

Erlingsson S.I.,Reykjavik University | Egues J.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2015

We show that electrons in ordinary III-V semiconductor double wells with an in-plane modulating periodic potential and interwell spin-orbit interaction are tunable topological insulators (TIs). Here the essential TI ingredients, namely, band inversion and the opening of an overall bulk gap in the spectrum arise, respectively, from (i) the combined effect of the double-well even-odd state splitting ΔSAS together with the superlattice potential and (ii) the interband Rashba spin-orbit coupling η. We corroborate our exact diagonalization results with an analytical nearly-free-electron description that allows us to derive an effective Bernevig-Hughes-Zhang model. Interestingly, the gate-tunable mass gap M drives a topological phase transition featuring a discontinuous Chern number at ΔSAS∼5.4meV. Finally, we explicitly verify the bulk-edge correspondence by considering a strip configuration and determining not only the bulk bands in the nontopological and topological phases but also the edge states and their Dirac-like spectrum in the topological phase. The edge electronic densities exhibit peculiar spatial oscillations as they decay away into the bulk. For concreteness, we present our results for InAs-based wells with realistic parameters. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Fiorina P.,Harvard University | Fiorina P.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Voltarelli J.,University of Sao Paulo | Zavazava N.,University of Iowa
Endocrine Reviews | Year: 2011

Current approaches aiming to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) have made a negligible number of patients insulinindependent. In this review, we revisit the role of stem cell (SC)-based applications in curing T1D. The optimal therapeutic approach for T1D should ideally preserve the remaining β-cells, restore β-cell function, and protect the replaced insulin-producing cells from autoimmunity. SCs possess immunological and regenerative properties that could be harnessed to improve the treatment of T1D; indeed, SCs may reestablish peripheral tolerance toward β-cells through reshaping of the immune response and inhibition of autoreactive T-cell function. Furthermore, SC-derived insulin-producing cells are capable of engrafting and reversing hyperglycemia in mice. Bone marrow mesenchymal SCs display a hypoimmunogenic phenotype as well as a broad range of immunomodulatory capabilities, they have been shown to cure newly diabetic nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, and they are currently undergoing evaluation in two clinical trials. Cord blood SCs have been shown to facilitate the generation of regulatory T cells, thereby reverting hyperglycemia in NOD mice. T1D patients treated with cord blood SCs also did not show any adverse reaction in the absence of major effects on glycometabolic control. Although hematopoietic SCs rarely revert hyperglycemia in NOD mice, they exhibit profound immunomodulatory properties in humans; newly hyperglycemic T1D patients have been successfully reverted to normoglycemia with autologous nonmyeloablative hematopoietic SC transplantation. Finally, embryonic SCs also offer exciting prospects because they are able to generate glucose-responsive insulin-producing cells. Easy enthusiasm should be mitigated mainly because of the potential oncogenicity of SCs. © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.

Roscoe M.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Meira J.B.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Cattaneo P.M.,University of Aarhus
American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics | Year: 2015

Introduction In this systematic review, we assessed the literature to determine which evidence level supports the association of orthodontic force system and root resorption. Methods PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase databases were searched with no restrictions on year, publication status, or language. Selection criteria included human studies conducted with fixed orthodontic appliances or aligners, with at least 10 patients and the force system well described. Results A total of 259 articles were retrieved in the initial search. After the review process, 21 full-text articles met the inclusion criteria. Sample sizes ranged from 10 to 73 patients. Most articles were classified as having high evidence levels and low risks of bias. Conclusions Although a meta-analysis was not performed, from the available literature, it seems that positive correlations exist between increased force levels and increased root resorption, as well as between increased treatment time and increased root resorption. Moreover, a pause in tooth movement seems to be beneficial in reducing root resorption because it allows the resorbed cementum to heal. The absence of a control group, selection criteria of patients, and adequate examinations before and after treatment are the most common methodology flaws. © 2015 American Association of Orthodontists.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2009-4.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.33M | Year: 2010

We propose to develop novel drug leads for the therapy of the major human parasitic disease, schistosomiasis, using a holistic approach that will enable us to progress from the cloned target protein to the lead compound and from epigenetic inhibitors to crucial targets. For this, we have chosen to target the histone modifying enzymes (HME); histone deacetylases (HDAC), histone acetyltransferases (HAT), histone methyltransferases (HMT) and histone demethylases (HDM) of Schistosoma mansoni. In the course of the project the members of HDAC classes I, II and III (sirtuins) HAT, HMT and HDM encoded in the genome will be identified. In parallel, a reverse chemical genetics approach using generic inhibitors of HME subclasses available within the consortium in cultures of schistosome larvae will identify those classes that are bona fide drug targets. These enzymes will be validated as therapeutic targets individually or collectively using RNAi to invalidate the corresponding genes. Potential inhibitors (HDACi, HATi, HMTi, HDMi) will be screened by in silico docking to the modelled catalytic domains of the enzymes and collections of analogues will be tested for their ability to inhibit the activity of the corresponding recombinant proteins in high-throughput assays. We will also establish gene expression profiles corresponding to HME invalidation (by RNAi) and inhibition (using drug candidates in cultured larval stages (schistosomula) that will enable the determination of the specificity of action of the drugs. Finally, in vivo testing of the best candidates will be done in infected mice. In this way, during the study period we aim to develop a series of candidate molecules that can progress to clinical trials.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-4.3-01 | Award Amount: 2.01M | Year: 2009

Geographers are the most critical social scientists when it comes to the delimitation of borders of the so-called European continent. Continents as Huntingtons civilisation are ideological productions that are certainly not based on natural facts. But they are deeply enhanced in the mind of European citizens and policy makers because they were historically produced by Europeans as a tool of world power. It is therefore crucial to examine which divisions of the world are perceived by people located outside the European Union, in order to produce a non Eurocentric view. The project EuroBroadMap is based on a worldwide survey trying to catch both the perception of European Union global role and attraction power level and the definition of EU from a qualitative and spatial point of view as well as the relative attraction of countries, or even cities that compose it. The survey will be realized on a panel of license degree students in a relevant panel of external countries and in different academic fields. The questionnaire will combine different kinds of methods, like drawings on maps, open questions, ranking etc Variations in answer will be examined according to both geographical location and social status. The individual mental maps will be compared to collective representations: websites of organization, tourist guides, teaching books, international media, etc. Particular attention will be paid to (carto)graphic representations of Europe and other world divisions. Spiritual flows that are revealed by individual and collective mental maps will be then compared to four types of effective flows linking EU and the rest of the world (Trade, Aid, FDI, Migrations) in order to examine possible discrepancies. The diffusion of results in various formats (report, website, teaching material, ) will be organized in order to insure a growing awareness of the complexity of actual situation of Europe in the world, according to material and spiritual dimensions.

ArcelorMittal and University of Sao Paulo | Date: 2014-09-10

The Invention pertains to the field of enabling a quick application launch in various types of Portable Computing Devices (PCD). Use of specific/special or even mundane application is increasing among the current technology savvy populace. To cater to the ever-increasing demand, network providers and application makers are flooding the market with many more applications. Users need to search and find the application for launch in their PCD. This becomes time consuming and sometimes difficult when there are many applications involved. The Unique embodiment, namely the Quick Launch Module (QLM) solves this problem by intercepting and interpreting launch commands emanating from the novel Mobile Server Platform (MSP) to quickly launch the application. The Mobile Server Platform is the other Novel embodiment that makes note of PCD information from network message and prepares the launch message that is to be sent to the PCD. The whole process is very simple for the user, who may send either a Short Character Code (SCC) or a Short Numerical Code (SNC) to the network gateways. The SSC reaches the MSP through the USSD gateway, while the SNC reaches the MSP via the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) gateway to bring about the quick launch. The unique embodiments of the invention are programmed by a special proprietary software that allows the above mentioned operation and makes the system operable in a variety of PCD platforms and network providers. The advantage of the system over prior art is that it is able to bring about quick launch even in mobile stations that do not have call intercept facilities.

News Article | December 17, 2015

The passion fruit is used around the world in juices, salads, syrups and even ice cream.  A team of researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil have discovered that the passion fruit seed oils, which are typically discarded in production, are a good source of nutrients and might be able to be used as edible oils in functional foods. Their findings are detailed in a recent study in the Journal of Food Science study, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Souza L.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Costa-Neto C.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2012

It has been previously shown that besides its classical role in blood pressure control the renin-angiotensin system, mainly by action of angiotensin II on the AT 1 receptor, exerts pro-inflammatory effects such as by inducing the production of cytokines. More recently, alternative pathways to this system were described, such as binding of angiotensin-(1-7) to receptor Mas, which was shown to counteract some of the effects evoked by activation of the angiotensin II-AT 1 receptor axis. Here, by means of different molecular approaches we investigated the role of angiotensin-(1-7) in modulating inflammatory responses triggered in mouse peritoneal macrophages. Our results show that receptor Mas transcripts were up-regulated by eightfold in LPS-induced macrophages. Interestingly, macrophage stimulation with angiotensin-(1-7), following to LPS exposure, evoked an attenuation in expression of TNF-α and IL-6 pro-inflammatory cytokines; where this event was abolished when the receptor Mas selective antagonist A779 was also included. We then used heterologous expression of the receptor Mas in HEK293T cells to search for the molecular mechanisms underlying the angiotensin-(1-7)-mediated anti-inflammatory responses by a kinase array; what suggested the involvement of the Src kinase family. In LPS-induced macrophages, this finding was corroborated using the PP2 compound, a specific Src kinase inhibitor; and also by Western blotting when we observed that Ang-(1-7) attenuated the phosphorylation levels of Lyn, a member of the Src kinase family. Our findings bring evidence for an anti-inflammatory role for angiotensin-(1-7) at the cellular level, as well as show that its probable mechanism of action includes the modulation of Src kinases activities. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

do Nascimento G.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Leite-Panissi C.R.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2014

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is prevalent in dental clinics and can involve problems with the masticatory muscles or the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). The pain of TMD is frequently associated with inflammation in the TMJs, but it's etiology is considered to be multifactorial and includes biologic, behavioral, environmental, social, emotional and cognitive factors. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the anxiety-like behavior in rats exposed to temporomandibular inflammation via injection of Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) with the elevated plus maze (EPM) and light/dark box (LDB) tests and to evaluate nociceptive behavior with the von Frey test at different periods. Moreover, this study measured TMJ inflammation using plasma extravasation (Evans blue test) and the intraarticular infiltration of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (myeloperoxidase quantification). The results showed that rats that were submitted to TMJ inflammation exhibited a decreased number of entries into the open arms of the EPM and a decrease in the time spent in the light compartment and in the number of transitions in the LDB. Additionally, the number of entries in closed arms in the EPM, used as indicator of locomotor activity, did not alter between treatments. Furthermore, increases in mechanical sensitivity and increases in plasma extravasation in the joint tissue occurred throughout the inflammation process, along with an increase in myeloperoxidase in the synovial fluid of TMJ. Our results suggest that the temporomandibular inflammation induced by CFA produced anxiety-like behaviors in rats and induced nociceptive behavior across different periods of inflammation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Gardim F.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Grassi F.,University of Sao Paulo | Luzum M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ollitrault J.-Y.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2012

We investigate how the initial geometry of a heavy-ion collision is transformed into final flow observables by solving event-by-event ideal hydrodynamics with realistic fluctuating initial conditions. We study quantitatively to what extent anisotropic flow (v n) is determined by the initial eccentricity δ n for a set of realistic simulations, and we discuss which definition of δ n gives the best estimator of v n. We find that the common practice of using an r2 weight in the definition of δ n in general results in a poorer predictor of v n than when using rn weight, for n>2. We similarly study the importance of additional properties of the initial state. For example, we show that in order to correctly predict v 4 and v 5 for noncentral collisions, one must take into account nonlinear terms proportional to δ22 and δ 2δ 3, respectively. We find that it makes no difference whether one calculates the eccentricities over a range of rapidity or in a single slice at z=0, nor is it important whether one uses an energy or entropy density weight. This knowledge will be important for making a more direct link between experimental observables and hydrodynamic initial conditions, the latter being poorly constrained at present. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Macedo D.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2014

A pivotal event in the onset of puberty in humans is the re-emergence of pulsatile release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamic neurons. Pathways governing GnRH ontogeny and physiology have been discovered by studying animal models and humans with reproductive disorders. Recent human studies implicated the activation of the kisspeptin and its cognate receptor (KISS1- KISS1R), and the inactivation of the MKRN3 in the premature reactivation of the GnRH secretion, causing central precocious puberty (CPP). MKRN3, an imprinted gene located in the long arm of chromosome 15, encodes makorin ring finger protein 3 that is involved with ubiquitination and cell signaling. MKRN3 protein is derived only from RNA transcribed from the paternally inherited copy of the gene due to maternal imprinting. Currently, MKRN3 defects represent the most frequent known genetic cause of familial CPP. In this review, we explore the clinical, hormonal and genetic aspects of children with sporadic or familial CPP caused by mutations in the kisspeptin and MKRN3 systems, essential genetic factors for pubertal timing. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Santos R.C.D.,Federal University of ABC | Senger E.C.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems | Year: 2011

This work presents the development and implementation of an artificial neural network based algorithm for transmission lines distance protection. This algorithm was developed to be used in any transmission line regardless of its configuration or voltage level. The described ANN-based algorithm does not need any topology adaptation or ANN parameters adjustment when applied to different electrical systems. This feature makes this solution unique since all ANN-based solutions presented until now were developed for particular transmission lines, which means that those solutions cannot be implemented in commercial relays. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Forlenza O.V.,University of Sao Paulo | De-Paula V.J.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Diniz B.S.O.,Federal University of Minas Gerais
ACS Chemical Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Lithium is a well-established therapeutic option for the acute and long-term management of bipolar disorder and major depression. More recently, based on findings from translational research, lithium has also been regarded as a neuroprotective agent and a candidate drug for disease-modification in certain neurodegenerative disorders, namely, Alzheimer's disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and, more recently, Parkinson's disease (PD). The putative neuroprotective effects of lithium rely on the fact that it modulates several homeostatic mechanisms involved in neurotrophic response, autophagy, oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Such a wide range of intracellular responses may be secondary to two key effects, that is, the inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta (GSK-3β) and inositol monophosphatase (IMP) by lithium. In the present review, we revisit the neurobiological properties of lithium in light of the available evidence of its neurotrophic and neuroprotective properties, and discuss the rationale for its use in the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

de Souza M.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Corio P.,University of Sao Paulo
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2013

Titanium oxide (TiO2) is widely employed in photocatalysis and in organic solar cells despite certain efficiency shortcomings regarding the high e-/h+ pair recombination rate and wide Egap. Wet chemistry immobilization of plasmonic Ag NPs onto commercial TiO2 (P25) through a bifunctional linker molecule (3-mercaptopropionic acid) was employed as a strategy to overcome such shortcomings. This paper proposes the main photodegradation excitation mechanisms according to the irradiation energy source. The photodegradation of the textile dye Alizarin Red S (ARS) catalyzed by bare P25 and a P25-Ag composite was studied applying UV/visible and visible radiation. Under UV/visible radiation, the P25-Ag composite showed a 40% improvement in the photodegradation rate constant in comparison to the bare P25, a phenomenon assigned to the charge separation due to the Schottky barrier. After 180min under visible radiation the ARS degradation was 80%, i.e. low P25 photosensitization, while the P25-Ag composite showed a 7% increase in the percentage degradation of the unsaturated compounds, which was attributed to the plasmonic local field enhancement at the TiO2 surface. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Vasques L.R.,University of Sao Paulo
MicroRNA (Shāriqah, United Arab Emirates) | Year: 2014

MicroRNAs post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of approximately 60% of the mammalian genes, and have an important role in maintaining the differentiated state of somatic cells through the expression of unique tissuespecific microRNA sets. Likewise, the stemness of pluripotent cells is also sustained by embryonic stem cell-enriched microRNAs, which regulate genes involved in cell cycle, cell signaling and epigenetics, among others. Thus, microRNAs work as modulator molecules that ensure the appropriate expression profile of each cell type. Manipulation of microRNA expression might determine the cell fate. Indeed, microRNA-mediated reprogramming can change the differentiated status of somatic cells towards stemness or, conversely, microRNAs can also transform stem- into differentiated-cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this Review, we outline what is currently known in this field, focusing on the applications of microRNA in tissue engineering.

Esper L.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Furtado E.F.,University of Sao Paulo
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry | Year: 2014

To identify the demographic, psychological, and social maternal risk factors associated with the development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). A bibliographic search was conducted in PubMed, SciELO, Lilacs, Web of Knowledge, and PsycINFO. The Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale (NOS) was used to evaluate the quality of the studies with case–control design. Articles were selected based on their relevance and presentation of data related to statistical comparisons of at least one or more demographic, psychological, or social maternal risk factors for FASD. 738 references were identified, of which 15 met the criteria to be included in the present review. Mothers of FASD children tend to: be older at the time of birth of the affected child, present lower educational level, have other family relatives with alcohol abuse, have other children with FASD, present a pattern of little prenatal care and a distinguishing pattern of alcohol consumption (alcohol use before and during pregnancy, failure to reduce alcohol use during pregnancy, and frequent episodes of binge drinking). Application of the NOS scale of methodological quality indicated that 8 studies (53 %) met the criterion for selection, 4 (27 %) were suitable for the criterion for comparability and only 4 studies were suitable for the exposition criterion. Mothers of FASD children have a distinctive pattern of drinking and accumulate several social risk factors. Maternal age at birth of the child seems to accentuate the risk. There are, however, few controlled studies that are adequate according to the NOS requirements for methodological quality. Fewer are based on the verification of a theoretical model. Clinicians should be aware of the relevance of preventive assessment of FASD risk mothers. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

De Sousa Cavalcante L.,University of Sao Paulo | Monteiro G.,University of Sao Paulo
European Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2014

Gemcitabine is the first-line treatment for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, but is increasingly used to treat breast, bladder, and non-small cell lung cancers. Despite such broad use, intrinsic and acquired chemoresistance is common. In general, the underlying mechanisms of chemoresistance are poorly understood. Here, current knowledge of gemcitabine metabolism, mechanisms of action, sensitivity and chemoresistance reported over the past two decades are reviewed; and we also offer new perspectives to improve gemcitabine efficacy with particular reference to the treatment of pancreatic cancer. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Landi G.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Applied Physics | Year: 2012

This article reports on the influence of the magnetization damping on dynamic hysteresis loops in single-domain particles with uniaxial anisotropy. The approach is based on the Nel-Brown theory and the hierarchy of differential recurrence relations, which follow from averaging over the realizations of the stochastic Landau-Lifshitz equation. A new method of solution is proposed, where the resulting system of differential equations is solved directly using optimized algorithms to explore its sparsity. All parameters involved in uniaxial systems are treated in detail, with particular attention given to the frequency dependence. It is shown that in the ferromagnetic resonance region, novel phenomena are observed for even moderately low values of the damping. The hysteresis loops assume remarkably unusual shapes, which are also followed by a pronounced reduction of their heights. Also demonstrated is that these features remain for randomly oriented ensembles and, moreover, are approximately independent of temperature and particle size. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Del'acqua M.A.,University of Sao Paulo
The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants | Year: 2012

This in vitro study evaluated the dimensional accuracy of two impression techniques (tapered and splinted) with two stock trays (plastic and metal) for implant-supported prostheses. A master cast with four parallel abutment analogs and a passive framework were fabricated. Polyvinyl siloxane impression material was used for all impressions with two metal stock trays and two plastic stock trays (closed and open trays). Four groups (tapered plastic, splinted plastic, tapered metal, and splinted metal) and a control group (master cast) were tested (n = 5 for each group). After the framework was seated on each of the casts, one abutment screw was tightened, and the marginal gap between the abutment and framework on the other side was measured with a stereomicroscope. The measurements were analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance on ranks test followed by the Dunn method. The mean values (± standard deviations) for the abutment/framework interface gaps were: master cast, 32 ± 2 Μm; tapered metal, 44 ± 10 Μm; splinted metal, 69 ± 28 Μm; tapered plastic, 164 ± 58 Μm; splinted plastic, 128 ± 47 Μm. No significant difference was detected between the master cast, tapered metal, and splinted metal groups or between the tapered and splinted plastic groups. In this study, the rigidity of the metal stock tray ensured better results than the plastic stock tray for implant impressions with a high-viscosity impression material (putty). Statistically similar results were obtained using tapered impression copings and splinted squared impression copings. The tapered impression copings technique and splinted squared impression copings technique with a metal stock tray produced precise casts with no statistically significant difference in interface gaps compared to the master cast.

Moraes D.J.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Zoccal D.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Machado B.H.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2012

The involvement of glutamatergic neurotransmission in the rostral ventrolateral medulla/Bötzinger/pre-Bötzinger complexes (RVLM/BötC/pre-BötC) on the respiratory modulation of sympathoexcitatory response to peripheral chemoreflex activation (chemoreflex) was evaluated in the working heart-brain stem preparation of juvenile rats. We identified different types of baro- and chemosensitive presympathetic and respiratory neurons intermingled within the RVLM/BötC/pre-BötC. Bilateral microinjections of kynurenic acid (KYN) into the rostral aspect of RVLM (RVLM/BötC) produced an additional increase in frequency of the phrenic nerve (PN: 0.38 ± 0.02 vs. 1 ± 0.08 Hz; P < 0.05; n = 18) and hypoglossal (HN) inspiratory response (41 ± 2 vs. 82 ± 2%; P < 0.05; n = 8), but decreased postinspiratory (35 ± 3 vs. 12 ± 2%; P < 0.05) and late-expiratory (24 ± 4 vs. 2 ±1%; P < 0.05; n = 5) abdominal (AbN) responses to chemoreflex. Likewise, expiratory vagal (cVN; 67 ± 6 vs. 40 ± 2%; P < 0.05; n = 5) and expiratory component of sympathoexcitatory (77 ± 8 vs. 26 ± 5%; P < 0.05; n = 18) responses to chemoreflex were reduced after KYN microinjections into RVLM/BötC. KYN microinjected into the caudal aspect of the RVLM (RVLM/pre-BötC; n = 16) abolished inspiratory responses [PN (n = 16) and HN (n = 6)], and no changes in magnitude of sympathoexcitatory (n = 16) and expiratory (AbN and cVN; n = 10) responses to chemoreflex, producing similar and phase-locked vagal, abdominal, and sympathetic responses. We conclude that in relation to chemoreflex activation 1) ionotropic glutamate receptors in RVLM/BötC and RVLM/pre-BötC are pivotal to expiratory and inspiratory responses, respectively; and 2) activation of ionotropic glutamate receptors in RVLM/BötC is essential to the coupling of active expiration and sympathoexcitatory response. © 2012 the American Physiological Society.

Maia M.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Melendez J.,University of Sao Paulo | Ramirez I.,University of Texas at Austin
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2014

We study the stars of the binary system 16 Cygni to determine with high precision their chemical composition. Knowing that the component B has a detected planet of at least 1.5 Jupiter masses, we investigate if there are chemical peculiarities that could be attributed to planet formation around this star. We perform a differential abundance analysis using high resolution (R = 81,000) and high S/N (∼700) CFHT/ESPaDOnS spectra of the 16 Cygni stars and the Sun; the latter was obtained from light reflected of asteroids. We determine differential abundances of the binary components relative to the Sun and between components A and B as well. We achieve a precision of σ ≲ 0.005 dex and a total error ∼0.01 dex for most elements. The effective temperatures and surface gravities found for 16 Cyg A and B are Teff = 5830 ± 7 K, log g = 4.30 ± 0.02 dex, and Teff = 5751 ± 6 K, log g = 4.35 ± 0.02 dex, respectively. The component 16 Cyg A has a metallicity ([Fe/H]) higher by 0.047 ± 0.005 dex than 16 Cyg B, as well as a microturbulence velocity higher by 0.08 km s-1. All elements show abundance differences between the binary components, but while the volatile difference is about 0.03 dex, the refractories differ by more and show a trend with condensation temperature, which could be interpreted as the signature of the rocky accretion core of the giant planet 16 Cyg Bb. We estimate a mass of about 1.5-6 M⊕ for this rocky core, in good agreement with estimates of Jupiter's core. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Brandao M.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Silva-Filho M.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2011

Aminoacyl-transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetases (aaRS) are key players in translation and act early in protein synthesis by mediating the attachment of amino acids to their cognate tRNA molecules. In plants, protein synthesis may occur in three subcellular compartments (cytosol, mitochondria, and chloroplasts), which requires multiple versions of the protein to be correctly delivered to its proper destination. The organellar aaRS are nuclear encoded and equipped with targeting information at the N-terminal sequence, which enables them to be specifically translocated to their final location. Most of the aaRS families present organellar proteins that are dual targeted to mitochondria and chloroplasts. Here, we examine the dual targeting behavior of aaRS from an evolutionary perspective. Our results show that Arabidopsis thaliana aaRS sequences are a result of a horizontal gene transfer event from bacteria. However, there is no evident bias indicating one single ancestor (Cyanobacteria or Proteobacteria). The dual-targeted aaRS phylogenetic relationship was characterized into two different categories (paralogs and homologs) depending on the state recovered for both dual-targeted and cytosolic proteins. Taken together, our results suggest that the dual-targeted condition is a gain-of-function derived from gene duplication. Selection may have maintained the original function in at least one of the copies as the additional copies diverged. © 2010 The Author.

Lemos O.A.L.,Federal University of São Paulo | Masiero P.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Information Sciences | Year: 2011

Aspect-oriented programming (AOP) is a promising technology that supports separation of crosscutting concerns (i.e., functionality that tends to be tangled with, and scattered through the rest of the system). In AOP, a method-like construct named advice is applied to join points in the system through a special construct named pointcut. This mechanism supports the modularization of crosscutting behavior; however, since the added interactions are not explicit in the source code, it is hard to ensure their correctness. To tackle this problem, this paper presents a rigorous coverage analysis approach to ensure exercising the logic of each advice - statements, branches, and def-use pairs - at each affected join point. To make this analysis possible, a structural model based on Java bytecode - called PointCut-based Def-Use Graph (PCDU) - is proposed, along with three integration testing criteria. Theoretical, empirical, and exploratory studies involving 12 aspect-oriented programs and several fault examples present evidence of the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Gardim F.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Grassi F.,University of Sao Paulo | Luzum M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ollitrault J.-Y.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We simulate top-energy Au+Au collisions using ideal hydrodynamics in order to make the first comparison to the complete set of midrapidity flow measurements made by the PHENIX Collaboration. A simultaneous calculation of v 2, v 3, v 4, and the first event-by-event calculation of quadrangular flow defined with respect to the v 2 event plane (v 4{Ψ 2}) gives good agreement with measured values, including the dependence on both transverse momentum and centrality. This provides confirmation that the collision system is indeed well described as a quark-gluon plasma with an extremely small viscosity and that correlations are dominantly generated from collective effects. In addition, we present a prediction for v 5. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Background: Homeopathy is based on the principle of similitude (similia similibus curentur) using medicines that cause effects similar to the symptoms of disease in order to stimulate the reaction of the organism. Such vital, homeostatic or paradoxical reaction of the organism is closely related to rebound effect of drugs. Method: Review of the literature concerning the rebound effects of drugs used to suppress gastric acidity, particularly proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Results: The mechanism of action of these effects is discussed. Rebound in terms of clinical symptoms and physiological effects occur in about 40% of people taking PPIs, their timing depends on the half-life of the drug and the adaptation period of the physiological mechanisms involved. The wide use of PPIs may be linked to the rising incidence of carcinoid tumours. Conclusions: These findings support Hahnemann's concept of secondary action of drugs. We are developing a homeopathic materia medica and repertory of modern drugs on the basis of reported rebound effects. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

De Oliveira M.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Applied Physics | Year: 2012

A new and simple criterion with which to quantitatively predict the glass forming ability (GFA) of metallic alloys is proposed. It was found that the critical cooling rate for glass formation (R c) correlates well with a proper combination of two factors, the minimum topological instability (λ min and the △h parameter, which depends on the average work function difference (△φ) and the average electron density difference (△n ws 1/3) among the constituent elements of the alloy. A correlation coefficient (R 2) of 0.76 was found between R c and the new criterion for 68 alloys in 30 different metallic systems. The new criterion and the Uhlmann's approach were used to estimate the critical amorphous thickness (Z c) of alloys in the Cu-Zr system. The new criterion underestimated R c in the Cu-Zr system, producing predicted Z c values larger than those observed experimentally. However, when considering a scale factor, a remarkable similarity was observed between the predicted and the experimental behavior of the GFA in the binary Cu-Zr. When using the same scale factor and performing the calculation for the ternary Zr-Cu-Al, good agreement was found between the predicted and the actual best GFA region, as well as between the expected and the observed critical amorphous thickness. ©2012 American Institute of Physics.

De Barros G.O.V.,University of Sao Paulo
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

We present an update to the analysis of fully reconstructed jets in heavy ion collisions by the STAR Collaboration at RHIC. We analyse the response of the anti-K T algorithm in the presence of background, and present a new observable for the measurement of inclusive jet production that is expected to be more robust against background model assumptions than previous jet analyses at RHIC and LHC. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Lopes R.I.,University of Sao Paulo
Einstein (São Paulo, Brazil) | Year: 2012

A 36 year-old man after tests for assessing male infertility was diagnosed with primary infertility, bilateral cryptorchidism, nonobstructive azoospermia and discontinuous splenogonadal fusion. Carcinoma in situ was found in his left testicle, which was intraabdominal and associated with splenogonadal fusion. To our knowledge, this is the fourth case of splenogonadal fusion associated with testicular cancer reported. One should always bear in mind the possibility of this association for the left cryptorchid testicle.

Martins A.C.R.,University of Sao Paulo
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2012

Opinion Dynamics tries to model how different opinions spread in a society. At this point, the existing models lack a common theoretical basis. In this article, I propose to use a decision-theoretic framework, based on the updating of subjective probabilities, as that basis. We will see we get a basic tool for a better understanding of the interaction between the agents in Opinion Dynamics problems and for creating new models. I will review the few existing applications of Bayesian update rules to both discrete and continuous opinion problems, and show that several traditional models can be obtained as special cases or approximations from these Bayesian models. The empirical basis and useful properties of the framework will be discussed, and examples of how the framework can be used to describe different problems given. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

With over half of the world's population living in cities, and with rising consumption, the generation of solid waste has become a ubiquitous and serious problem in urban agglomerations. City administrations are facing social, cultural, environmental, and economic challenges when planning solid waste solutions. The paper discusses the participatory epistemology and methodology experience resulting from inclusive solid waste management in Brazil. In the global South countless informal and organized solid waste collectors are engaged in resource recovery, classification of discarded waste, and redirection of recyclables towards the recycling sector. Their work is mostly unrecognized and the service is not remunerated. Governmental support to include recycling cooperatives in selective waste collection varies significantly in scope and quality. In theory, the Brazilian solid waste management legislation supports recycling cooperatives and promotes avoidance, reuse, and recycling as a primary solution tackling waste. In praxis, however, many challenges towards inclusive resource recovery and awareness building about waste avoidance and diversion are yet to be overcome. Action-oriented, participatory qualitative research, conducted with recycling cooperatives and local governments in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, has revealed some of the environmental and social contributions, as well as challenges arising in planning, policy design, and implementation of waste management. The research applies a feminist and post-colonial theoretical lense and demonstrates a wealth of knowledge co-generation on waste management. The participatory method underlines important social aspects to consider in planning and policy design for inclusive waste management. The final conclusion of this paper is that selective household waste collection with recycling cooperatives creates unique opportunities to build more inclusive and cleaner cities. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Toma H.E.,University of Sao Paulo
Green Chemistry | Year: 2015

Magnetic nanohydrometallurgy (MNHM), although yet in a very incipient stage, is opening new and exciting perspectives in conventional hydrometallurgy, thus aggregating nanotechnology to the mineral area. MNHM is based on the same principles of coordination chemistry successfully employed in modern extractive hydrometallurgy processes; however, it uses specially designed superparamagnetic nanoparticles for capturing, transporting, confining and processing metal ions with the aid of an external magnet. The working nanoparticles are completely recovered after the electrodeposition process, sustaining a cyclic process which can be automated, without using organic solvents and intensive chemical processing, as is the case of current extractive hydrometallurgy and electrowinning technology. At the laboratory scale, the entire procedure can be performed in the same reactor, fulfilling, in addition to the processing and recovery facilities, the most important requisites of green chemistry. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Herman P.,University of Sao Paulo
Annals of surgical oncology | Year: 2013

Hepatic resection remains a challenging procedure in laparoscopy, requiring trained surgical teams and specialized centers.1 (-) 3 Operating on the posterior segments of the liver brings additional concerns, such as vascular control, right liver mobilization from the retroperitoneum and diaphragm, and a large transection area.1 (,) 3 (-) 6 Here we present a case of a hepatitis B-positive 42-year-old woman with a neoplastic nodule on the right posterior section of the noncirrhotic liver. Pneumoperitoneum was made through a hand port, and three additional trocars were placed. Intrahepatic glissonian pedicle control was achieved after liver mobilization. Parenchymal transection was performed through the demarcation line between the anterior well vascularized and the posterior ischemic right segments of the liver. All surgical steps were performed with hand assistance. Operative time was 210 min, and estimated blood loss was 300 ml. Postoperative was uneventful. The patient was discharged on the fourth postoperative day. Histological evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of a well-differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma. The patient was free of disease after 18 months of follow-up. Our video shows a standardized operative strategy in which the hand assistance plays important role. Posterosuperior segments of the liver are still less often approached by laparoscopic surgery as a result of its limitations on visualization, mobilization, pedicle control, and parenchymal transection.1 (,) 3 (,) 6 Hand assistance helps solve these issues, making assisted resection easier than a purely laparoscopic approach and more advantageous over the open technique, providing the benefits of laparoscopy without compromising oncological safety.7.

Lima W.C.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Vanzella D.A.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

It has been widely believed that, except in very extreme situations, the influence of gravity on quantum fields should amount to just small, subdominant contributions. This view seemed to be endorsed by the seminal results obtained over the last decades in the context of renormalization of quantum fields in curved spacetimes. Here, however, we argue that this belief is false by showing that there exist well-behaved spacetime evolutions where the vacuum energy density of free quantum fields is forced, by the very same background spacetime, to become dominant over any classical energy-density component. By estimating the time scale for the vacuum energy density to become dominant, and therefore for backreaction on the background spacetime to become important, we argue that this (infrared) vacuum dominance may bear unexpected astrophysical and cosmological implications. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Tumolo T.,University of Sao Paulo | Lanfer-Marquez U.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Food Research International | Year: 2012

Copper chlorophyllin (Cu-Chl) is a chlorophyll-derived food colorant, commercially available as a complex mixture of different chlorin molecules. Several studies have reported great variability in the composition of the mixture as well as the presence of porphyrins and uncoppered chlorin derivatives. The intake of chlorophyllin and its relationship with possible health benefits have been also the subject of several studies and the results have drawn attention to the possibility that this compound may serve not just as a food colorant, but also as a potential bioactive product with antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant activities; however, its mechanisms of action are not yet well understood. Attaining knowledge of its mechanisms of absorption, bioavailability and consequent bioactivity is essential for the exploration of its potential health-related applications. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of bioactivities concerning Cu-Chl and provide a discussion on the latest scientific research findings on its human health benefits. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Lima W.C.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Matsas G.E.A.,São Paulo State University | Vanzella D.A.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

Void of any inherent structure in classical physics, the vacuum has revealed to be incredibly crowded with all sorts of processes in relativistic quantum physics. Yet, its direct effects are usually so subtle that its structure remains almost as evasive as in classical physics. Here, in contrast, we report on the discovery of a novel effect according to which the vacuum is compelled to play an unexpected central role in an astrophysical context. We show that the formation of relativistic stars may lead the vacuum energy density of a quantum field to an exponential growth. The vacuum-driven evolution which would then follow may lead to unexpected implications for astrophysics, while the observation of stable neutron-star configurations may teach us much on the field content of our Universe.

Simone L.R.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Papeis Avulsos de Zoologia | Year: 2012

Spiripockia punctata is a new genus and species of Pomatiopsidae found in a cave from Serra Ramalho, SW Bahia, Brazil. The taxon is troglobiont (restricted to subterranean realm), and is characterized by the shell weakly elongated, fragile, translucent, normally sculptured by pustules with periostracum hair on tip of pustules; peristome highly expanded; umbilicus opened; radular rachidian with 6 apical and 3 pairs of lateral cusps; osphradium short, arched; gill filaments with rounded tip; prostate flattened, with vas deferens inserting subterminally; penis duct narrow and weakly sinuous; pallial oviduct simple anteriorly, possessing convoluted bypass connecting base of bulged portion of transition between visceral and pallial oviducts with base of seminal receptacle; spermathecal duct complete, originated from albumen gland. The description of this endemic species may raise protective environmental actions to that cave and to the Serra Ramalho Karst area.

A sample of Pulmonata collected in Santa Maria da Vitória, interior of Bahia, Brazil, in Caatinga semi-arid environment, is studied taxonomically. From the five species, four are revealed as new, including a new genus. The new taxa are the Bulimulidae (1) Kora corallina gen. et sp. n. characterized by the elongated shell with aperture somewhat dislocated from the shell axis, and an oblique tooth in middle level of inner lip; (2) Spixia coltrorum, mainly characterized by an uneven spire, delicate sculpture and peristome with 4 equidistant teeth; (3) Anostoma tessa, mainly characterized by a broad spire and well-developed anal canal; and the Megalobulimidae (4) Megalobulimus amandus, mainly characterized by pointed protoconch sculptured by dense quantity of axial cords. Rhinus suturalis is the only previously known species, but its geographic distribution is expanded southwards to Bahia state. A discussion with respect to necessity for improving the study on the malacofauna from the interior region of the Brazilian Northeast and the importance for preservation of the Caatinga biome is also provided.

Simone L.R.L.,University of Sao Paulo
ZooKeys | Year: 2012

Two new species of shallow water Tornidae are found in Espírito Santo state, Brazil, formally described herein. They belong to a complex group of tiny gastropods, in such the taxonomy is very confused. Cyclostremiscus mohicanus sp. n. is characterized by three well-developed spiral, equidistant carinas, working as base of three series of tall, aligned periostracal rods. Episcinia itanhuna sp. n. has as single sculpture a series of pustules in periphery, but the periostracum bears three series of peripheral fringes with irregular rods. The new species are compared with the allies, showing a close relation with Caribbean fauna, but possessing worthy differences. These similarities have raised misidentifications. © Luiz Ricardo L. Simone.

Beck A.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Gomes W.J.D.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics | Year: 2013

Crack propagation in metals has long been recognized as a stochastic process. As a consequence, crack propagation rates have been modeled as random variables or as random processes of the continuous. On the other hand, polynomial chaos is a known powerful tool to represent general second order random variables or processes. Hence, it is natural to use polynomial chaos to represent random crack propagation data: nevertheless, no such application has been found in the published literature. In the present article, the large replicate experimental results of Virkler et al. and Ghonem and Dore are used to illustrate how polynomial chaos can be used to obtain accurate representations of random crack propagation data. Hermite polynomials indexed in stationary Gaussian stochastic processes are used to represent the logarithm of crack propagation rates as a function of the logarithm of stress intensity factor ranges. As a result, crack propagation rates become log-normally distributed, as observed from experimental data. The Karhunen-Loève expansion is used to represent the Gaussian process in the polynomial chaos basis. The analytical polynomial chaos representations derived herein are shown to be very accurate, and can be employed in predicting the reliability of structural components subject to fatigue. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Lebiasina marilynae n. sp., L. melanoguttata n. sp., and L. minuta n. sp. are described from the headwaters of the rio Curuá, in Serra do Cachimbo, Pará, Brazil, and represent the only members of the Lebiasininae in the Brazilian Shied, so far. A close relationship among these species is proposed based on: 1) the presence of a pair of foramina through which the ramus palatinus of the facial nerve passes, a modification unique in Lebiasinidae and apparently in the Characiformes, 2) the enlargement of the extrascapular bone, 3) the absence of the secondary stripe, and 4) the nearly equal length of caudal-fin lobes. Lebiasina marilynae additionally differs from all congeners in having the primary stripe extending from the tip of the snout to the distal border of the caudal-fin peduncle, the possession of two series of dark blotches parallel to the primary stripe, and a rounded dorsal surface of the mesethmoid. Lebiasina melanoguttata and Lebiasina minuta additionally differ from all congeners in the absence of the primary stripe and the caudal blotch, and the presence of three longitudinal series of dark blotches at the base of the scales of series 3-5. Lebiasina melanoguttata differs from Lebiasina minuta in the absence of a dark blotch at the base of the median rays of the dorsal fin, second infrapharyngobranchial bearing conical teeth, the reddish overall coloration of the eye and fins, and the dark blotches never coalescing (vs. dark dorsal-fin blotch present; the second infrapharyngobranchial being edentulous; dark, olive green eyes, and the yellowish overall color of body and fins; and the dark blotches of longitudinal series 3 and 4 coalescing where scales of adjacent longitudinal series overlap). The occurrence of species of the Lebiasininae on the Brazilian Shield is discussed, and the distribution pattern of the species described herein is compared to that of other endemic species of the Serra do Cachimbo, a highly biodiverse area isolated from the rest of the Amazon basin. © 2012 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia.

Ghirelli C.O.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of veterinary dentistry | Year: 2013

Imaging of patients with oral cancer is required to determine tumor extension in order to assist in prognosis and surgical planning. Conventional screen-film radiography (SFR) used to be the most common method for oral assessment, but computed tomography (CT) has become more available and is being used for obtaining complementary information. CT examinations eliminate superimposition by acquiring cross-sectional images of the region of interest. The objective of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of SFR compared with CT examinations for evaluation of oral masses in dogs. Twenty-one dogs received head and thorax SFR, and pre- and post-contrast head CT. Bony changes were observed in 80.9% and 95.2% of the cases in SFR and CT studies, respectively. Invasion of adjacent structures (i.e. nasal cavity, frontal and sphenoidal sinuses, orbit, maxillary recess, nasopharynx) was observed in only 30% of cases with SFR while CT showed 90.4% involvement. CT is an important preoperative examination modality and is more effective in identifying bone changes and tumor invasion of adjacent structures compared with SFR.

Coelho P.R.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Coelho P.R.T.,Southern Cross University of Brazil
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

Theoretical stellar libraries have been increasingly used to overcome limitations of empirical libraries, e.g. by exploring atmospheric parameter spaces not well represented in the latter. This work presents a new theoretical library which covers 3000 ≤ Teff ≤ 25 000 K,-0.5 ≤ log g ≤ 5.5 and 12 chemical mixtures covering 0.0017 ≤ Z ≤ 0.049 at both scaledsolar and α-enhanced compositions. This library complements previous ones by providing: (i) homogeneous computations of opacity distribution functions, models atmospheres, statistical surface fluxes and high-resolution spectra; (ii) high-resolution spectra with continua slopes corrected by the effect of predicted lines and (iii) two families of α-enhanced mixtures for each scaled-solar iron abundance, to allow studies of the α-enhancement both at 'fixed iron' and 'fixed Z' cases. Comparisons to observed spectra were performed and confirm that the synthetic spectra reproduce well the observations, although there are wavelength regions which should be still improved. The atmospheric parameter scale of the model library was compared to one derived from a widely used empirical library, and no systematic difference between the scales was found. This is particularly reassuring for methods which use synthetic spectra for deriving atmospheric parameters of stars in spectroscopic surveys © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Alvarado-Mora M.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Rebello Pinho J.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Antiviral Therapy | Year: 2013

Approximately 2 billion people worldwide are infected with HBV, and 350 million people are chronic carriers. HBV is classified into nine genotypes (A to I). Genotype F is the most prevalent in the Spanish-speaking countries and in the Amerindian population in South America. HBV genotype F was primarily found in indigenous populations from South America and is divided into four subgenotypes (F1 to F4). Subgenotype F1 is further divided into F1a (found in Costa Rica and El Salvador) and F1b (found in in Alaska, Argentina and Chile). Subgenotypes F2 and F3 cocirculate in the north of South America: F2a is found in Brazil and Venezuela, F2b is described only in Venezuela, F3 is frequent in Colombia, Venezuela and Panama, and F4 is reported from the central and south areas of South America, including Bolivia, Argentina and southern Brazil. HBV genotypes and subgenotypes have distinct geographical distributions. It is currently under discussion whether they are associated with different prognoses, considering the patterns of severity of liver diseases in various populations. Furthermore, global human migrations affect the pattern of genotype distribution, introducing genotypes differing from those found in the original inhabitants. © 2013 International Medical Press.

Nunes M.A.,R. Dr. Cesario Motta Jr | Viel T.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Buck H.S.,R. Dr. Cesario Motta Jr
Current Alzheimer Research | Year: 2013

A lower incidence of dementia in bipolar patients treated with lithium has been described. This metal inhibits the phosphorylation of glycogen-synthase-kinase 3-α and β, which are related to amyloid precursor protein processing and tau hyperphosphorylation in pathological conditions, respectively. Following the same rationale, a group just found that lithium has disease-modifying properties in amnestic mild cognitive impairment with potential clinical implications for the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) when a dose ranging from 150 to 600 mg is used. As lithium is highly toxic in regular doses, our group evaluated the effect of a microdose of 300μg, administered once daily on AD patients for 15 months. In the evaluation phase, the treated group showed no decreased performance in the mini-mental state examination test, in opposition to the lower scores observed for the control group during the treatment, with significant differences starting three months after the beginning of the treatment, and increasing progressively. This data suggests the efficacy of a microdose lithium treatment in preventing cognitive loss, reinforcing its therapeutic potential to treat AD using very low doses. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

Belfiore P.,Federal University of ABC | Yoshizaki H.T.Y.,University of Sao Paulo
Computers and Industrial Engineering | Year: 2013

This paper proposes a scatter-search (SS) approach to solve the Fleet Size and Mixed Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows and Split Deliveries (FSMVRPTWSD). In the Vehicle Routing Problem with Split Deliveries (VRPSD), each customer can be served by more than one vehicle, as opposed to the classical VRP in which each customer is served only once. In the FSMVRPTW, the customers must be serviced within their time windows with minimal costs using a heterogeneous fleet. Experimental testing and benchmark examples are used to assess the merit of our proposed procedure. The results show that the proposed heuristics are competitive with the best results found in the literature. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Backes A.R.,Federal University of Uberlandia | Casanova D.,University of Sao Paulo | Bruno O.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Information Sciences | Year: 2013

In this paper, we propose a novel texture analysis method using the complex network theory. We investigated how a texture image can be effectively represented, characterized and analyzed in terms of a complex network. The proposed approach uses degree measurements to compose a set of texture descriptors. The results show that the method is very robust, and it presents a excellent texture discrimination for all considered classes, overcoming traditional texture methods. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Florindo J.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Bruno O.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2013

This work proposes a novel texture descriptor based on fractal theory. The method is based on the Bouligand-Minkowski descriptors. We decompose the original image recursively into four equal parts. In each recursion step, we estimate the average and the deviation of the Bouligand-Minkowski descriptors computed over each part. Thus, we extract entropy features from both average and deviation. The proposed descriptors are provided by concatenating such measures. The method is tested in a classification experiment under well known datasets, that is, Brodatz and Vistex. The results demonstrate that the novel technique achieves better results than classical and state-of-the-art texture descriptors, such as Local Binary Patterns, Gabor-wavelets and co-occurrence matrix. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

De Santana Gomes W.J.,University of Sao Paulo | Beck A.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Computers and Structures | Year: 2013

The literature is filled with structural optimization articles which claim to minimize costs but which disregard the costs of failure. Due to uncertainties, minimum cost can only be achieved by considering expected consequences of failure. This article discusses challenges in solving real structural optimization problems, taking into account expected consequences of failure. The solution developed herein combines non-linear FE analysis (by positional FEM), structural reliability analysis, Artificial Neural Networks (used as surrogates for objective function) and a hybrid Particle Swarm Optimization algorithm, which efficiently solves for the global optimum. Optimization of a steel-frame transmission line tower is the application example. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Caluza A.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia | Year: 2012

The major cause of death in the city of São Paulo (SP) is cardiac events. At its periphery, in-hospital mortality in acute myocardial infarction is estimated to range between 15% and 20% due to difficulties inherent in large metropoles. To describe in-hospital mortality in ST-segment elevation acute myocardial infarction (STEMI) of patients admitted via ambulance or peripheral hospitals, which are part of a structured training network (STEMI Network). Health care teams of four emergency services (Ermelino Matarazzo, Campo Limpo, Tatuapé and Saboya) of the periphery of the city of São Paulo and advanced ambulances of the Emergency Mobile Health Care Service (abbreviation in Portuguese, SAMU) were trained to use tenecteplase or to refer for primary angioplasty. A central office for electrocardiogram reading was used. After thrombolysis, the patient was sent to a tertiary reference hospital to undergo cardiac catheterization immediately (in case of failed thrombolysis) or in 6 to 24 hours, if the patient was stable. Quantitative and qualitative variables were assessed by use of uni- and multivariate analysis. From January 2010 to June 2011, 205 consecutive patients used the STEMI Network, and the findings were as follows: 87 anterior wall infarctions; 11 left bundle-branch blocks; 14 complete atrioventricular blocks; and 14 resuscitations after initial cardiorespiratory arrest. In-hospital mortality was 6.8% (14 patients), most of which due to cardiogenic shock, one hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident, and one bleeding. The organization in the public health care system of a network for the treatment of STEMI, involving diagnosis, reperfusion, immediate transfer, and tertiary reference hospital, resulted in immediate improvement of STEMI outcomes.

Aortic aneurysm and dissection are important causes of death in older people. Ruptured aneurysms show catastrophic fatality rates reaching near 80%. Few population-based mortality studies have been published in the world and none in Brazil. The objective of the present study was to use multiple-cause-of-death methodology in the analysis of mortality trends related to aortic aneurysm and dissection in the state of Sao Paulo, between 1985 and 2009. We analyzed mortality data from the Sao Paulo State Data Analysis System, selecting all death certificates on which aortic aneurysm and dissection were listed as a cause-of-death. The variables sex, age, season of the year, and underlying, associated or total mentions of causes of death were studied using standardized mortality rates, proportions and historical trends. Statistical analyses were performed by chi-square goodness-of-fit and H Kruskal-Wallis tests, and variance analysis. The joinpoint regression model was used to evaluate changes in age-standardized rates trends. A p value less than 0.05 was regarded as significant. Over a 25-year period, there were 42,615 deaths related to aortic aneurysm and dissection, of which 36,088 (84.7%) were identified as underlying cause and 6,527 (15.3%) as an associated cause-of-death. Dissection and ruptured aneurysms were considered as an underlying cause of death in 93% of the deaths. For the entire period, a significant increased trend of age-standardized death rates was observed in men and women, while certain non-significant decreases occurred from 1996/2004 until 2009. Abdominal aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections prevailed among men and aortic dissections and aortic aneurysms of unspecified site among women. In 1985 and 2009 death rates ratios of men to women were respectively 2.86 and 2.19, corresponding to a difference decrease between rates of 23.4%. For aortic dissection, ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms, the overall mean ages at death were, respectively, 63.2, 68.4 and 71.6 years; while, as the underlying cause, the main associated causes of death were as follows: hemorrhages (in 43.8%/40.5%/13.9%); hypertensive diseases (in 49.2%/22.43%/24.5%) and atherosclerosis (in 14.8%/25.5%/15.3%); and, as associated causes, their principal overall underlying causes of death were diseases of the circulatory (55.7%), and respiratory (13.8%) systems and neoplasms (7.8%). A significant seasonal variation, with highest frequency in winter, occurred in deaths identified as underlying cause for aortic dissection, ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms. This study introduces the methodology of multiple-causes-of-death to enhance epidemiologic knowledge of aortic aneurysm and dissection in São Paulo, Brazil. The results presented confer light to the importance of mortality statistics and the need for epidemiologic studies to understand unique trends in our own population.

Mitteldorf J.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Martins A.C.R.,University of Sao Paulo
American Naturalist | Year: 2014

Population turnover is necessary for progressive evolution. In the context of a niche with fixed carrying capacity, aging contributes to the rate of population turnover. Theoretically, a population in which death is programmed on a fixed schedule can evolve more rapidly than one in which population turnover is left to a random death rate. Could aging evolve on this basis? Quantitative realization of this idea is problematic, since the short-term individual fitness cost is likely to eliminate any hypothetical gene for programmed death before the long-term benefit can be realized. In 2011, one of us proposed the first quantitative model based on this mechanism that robustly evolves a finite, programmed life span. That model was based on a viscous population in a rapidly changing environment. Here, we strip this model to its essence and eliminate the assumption of environmental change. We conclude that there is no obvious way in which this model is unrealistic, and that it may indeed capture an important principle of nature's workings. We suggest aging may be understood within the context of the emerging science of evolvability. © 2014 by The University of Chicago.

Andriolo R.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2010

BACKGROUND: Although physical fitness has been suggested to improve physical and psychosocial health for a variety of population profiles, there is a lack of information about the safety and effectiveness of aerobic exercise for adults with Down syndrome. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of aerobic exercise training programmes for physiological and psychosocial outcomes in adults with Down syndrome. SEARCH STRATEGY: The following electronic databases were searched: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2009, Issue 1); MEDLINE (1966 to August 2009); EMBASE (1980 to August 2009); CINAHL (1982 to August 2009); LILACS (1982 to August 2009); PsycINFO (1887 to August 2009); ERIC (1966 to August 2009); Current Controlled Trials (August 2009); and Campbell Collaboration's Social, Psychological, Educational and Criminological Register (C2- SPECTR) (to August 2009). Information about ongoing clinical trials was sought by searching ( (accessed August 2009), and the National Research Register (NRR) (2009 Issue 1). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials using supervised aerobic exercise training programmes with behavioral components accepted as co-interventions. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers selected relevant trials, assessed methodological quality and extracted data. Where appropriate, data were pooled using meta-analysis with a random-effects model. Positive values favour the intervention group, while negative values favour the control group. MAIN RESULTS: Three studies included in this systematic review used different kinds of aerobic activity: walking/jogging and rowing training and included participants with a broad age range (17 to 65 years). They were conducted in the USA, Portugal and Israel. In the meta-analyses, only maximal treadmill grade was improved after aerobic exercise training programmes (4.26 grades (%) [95% CI 2.06, 6.45]). Other variables relative to work performance that could not be combined in a meta-analysis were also improved in the intervention group (maximal test time P=0.0003), total turns of fan wheel (P=0.02), resistance of ergometer (p=0.003), power knee extension and flexion (p<0.00001), and timed up and go test (p=0.008). Thirty other outcomes measured in this review including, oxidative stress and body composition variables, could not be combined in the meta-analysis. Apart from work performance, trials reported no statistically significant improvements. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that there is improvement in physical or psychosocial outcomes of aerobic exercise in adults with Down syndrome. Although evidence exists to support improvements in physiological and psychological aspects from strategies using mixed physical activity programmes, well-conducted research examining long-term physical outcomes, adverse effects, psychosocial outcomes and costs is required before informed practice decisions can be made.

Hawkes C.,University of Sao Paulo
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2010

Abstract: Sugar-sweetened beverages are widely believed to be contributing to the growing prevalence of overweight and obesity around the world. One of the channels used by industry to encourage greater consumption and preferences for soft drinks is schools. But governments around the world are taking action to limit the availability of soft drinks in schools. More than 30 national and subnational governmental bodies have made efforts to restrict availability, and the soft drinks industry has also taken some limited voluntary action. Most government-led efforts-with some exceptions-restrict the availability of any drink with added sugar, but the voluntary pledges take less-restrictive approaches. There is little consensus on artificially sweetened drinks. Policies vary in other ways, too, presenting an opportunity to study the effects of different policy approaches on short- and long-term consumption and attitudes. In the meantime, the widespread condemnation of soft drinks in schools suggests that it is within the industry's interests to take more comprehensive action. © 2010 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Vojta T.,Missouri University of Science and Technology | Hoyos J.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We employ scaling arguments and optimal fluctuation theory to establish a general relation between quantum Griffiths singularities and the Harris criterion for quantum phase transitions in disordered systems. If a clean critical point violates the Harris criterion, it is destabilized by weak disorder. At the same time, the Griffiths dynamical exponent z′ diverges upon approaching the transition, suggesting unconventional critical behavior. In contrast, if the Harris criterion is fulfilled, power-law Griffiths singularities can coexist with clean critical behavior, but z′ saturates at a finite value. We present applications of our theory to a variety of systems including quantum spin chains, classical reaction-diffusion systems and metallic magnets, and we discuss modifications for transitions above the upper critical dimension. Based on these results we propose a unified classification of phase transitions in disordered systems. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Gomes F.,University of Sao Paulo
Arquivos brasileiros de cardiologia | Year: 2010

Obesity is becoming a global epidemic. Around 1.1 billion adults and 10% of the world's children are currently overweight or considered obese. Generally associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as Diabetes Mellitus and systemic arterial high blood pressure, the obesity has been more and more seen as an independent risk factor for Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Coronary arteriosclerosis comprises a series of inflammatory responses at cellular and molecular level, whose reactions are stronger in obese patients. In the past, the adipose tissue was regarded as a mere fat deposition. Now it is seen from a totally different standpoint, as an active endocrine and paracrine organ that produces several inflammatory cytokines, such as the adipokines. This article aims to raise awareness about obesity as an increasingly significant public health issue over the past decades, as well as to relate the intense inflammatory process in obese individuals with an increased tendency for this group of individuals to develop CAD.

Backes A.R.,Federal University of Uberlandia | Bruno O.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Information Sciences | Year: 2013

Contour polygonal approximation is usually defined as a set of selected points, which describes a polygon and best represents the original contour. This paper presents a novel graph based approach to compute a polygonal approximation of a shape contour. In a graph, such points correspond to a high transitivity region of the graph. We use the vertex betweenness to measure the importance of each vertice in a graph according to the number of shortest paths where each vertice occurs. By selecting the vertices with higher vertex betweenness, a polygon which retains the main characteristics of the contour is achieved. By using benchmark curves, a comparative experiment with other commonly used algorithms is presented. Results indicate that the proposed approach produced efficient and effective polygonal approximations for digital planar curves. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Rego E.E.,University of Sao Paulo
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

Auctions have been used in several formats in the electric energy industry. In general, regulators may be uncomfortable initiating a reverse auction at a higher-than-expected final price, fearing that participants may sell their energy at an excess profitability. Nevertheless, evidence from electricity procurement auctions conducted in Brazil supports the findings that these types of auctions have the opposite effect. By attracting a larger number of agents, these auctions can trigger stronger competition and lead to lower settlement pricing. Accordingly, the Brazilian cases examined in this article present significant evidence to support this directional theory. In fact, there are some cases of electricity procurement auctions that show that inadequate auction reserve pricing leads to inefficient outcomes and may also cause the auction to fail. On the other hand, auctions with adequate price caps have led to lower final clearing prices, thus contributing to reasonable final energy pricing. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Cozman F.G.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Approximate Reasoning | Year: 2014

The paper by Masegosa and Moral, on "Imprecise probability models for learning multinomial distributions from data", considers the combination of observed data and minimal prior assumptions so as to produce possibly interval-valued parameter estimates. We offer an evaluation of Masegosa and Moral's proposals. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Pereira-Barretto A.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Advances in Therapy | Year: 2015

Abstract: Heart failure has seen a number of therapeutic advances in recent years. Despite this, heart failure is still related to increasing rates of morbidity, repeated hospitalizations, and mortality. Ivabradine is a recent treatment option for heart failure. It has a mode of action that includes reduction in heart rate, and leads to improvement in outcomes related to heart failure mortality and morbidity, as demonstrated by the results of the SHIFT trial in patients with systolic heart failure, functional classes II and III on the New York Heart Association classification, and left ventricular ejection fraction ≤35%. These results are intriguing since many heart failure drugs reduce heart rate without such benefits, or with quite different effects, making it more difficult to understand the novelty of ivabradine in this setting. Many of the drugs used in heart failure modify heart rate, but most have other pathophysiological effects beyond their chronotropic action, which affect their efficacy in preventing morbidity and mortality outcomes. For instance, heart rate reduction at rest or exercise with ivabradine prolongs diastolic perfusion time, improves coronary blood flow, and increases exercise capacity. Another major difference is the increase in stroke volume observed with ivabradine, which may underlie its beneficial cardiac effects. Finally, there is mounting evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies that ivabradine has an anti-remodeling effect, improving left ventricular structures and functions. All together, these mechanisms have a positive impact on the prognosis of ivabradine-treated patients with heart failure, making a compelling argument for use of ivabradine in combination with other treatments. Funding: Servier. © 2015, Springer Healthcare.

Janasi V.D.A.,University of Sao Paulo | de Freitas V.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Heaman L.H.,University of Alberta
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

We report the first U-Pb baddeleyite/zircon date for a felsic volcanic rock from the Paraná Large Igneous Province in south Brazil. The new date of 134.3±0.8Ma for a hypocrystalline Chapecó-type dacite from Ourinhos (northern Paraná basin) is an important regional time marker for the onset of flood basalt volcanism in the northern and western portion of the province. The dated dacite was erupted onto basement rocks and is overlain by a high-Ti basalt sequence, interpreted to be correlative with Pitanga basalts elsewhere. This new U-Pb date for the Ourinhos dacite is consistent with the local stratigraphy being slightly older than the few reliable step-heating 40Ar/39Ar dates currently available for overlying high-Ti basalts (133.6-131.5Ma). This indicates an ~3Ma time span for the building of the voluminous high-Ti lava sequence of the Paraná basin. On the other hand, it overlaps the 40Ar/39Ar dates (134.8-134.1Ma) available for the stratigraphically older low-Ti basalt (Gramado+Esmeralda types) and dacite-rhyolite (Palmas type) sequences from South Brazil, which is consistent with the short-lived character of this volcanism and its rapid succession by the high-Ti sequence. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

As a consequence of the growth in additive manufacturing applications, research on the improvement of these processes has gained relevance. One such process, the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)-process, deposits a support material to build negative surface features such as snap-fits. The purpose of this work is to determine the parameters that enable the fabrication of these types of features without a support material. We applied a design-of-experiments method to identify the quality of the non-supported deposition and the adherence between layers. As to control factors, we defined the deposition temperature and the extrusion and deposition velocities, while the nozzle diameter and the deposition height were held constant. For response factors, we defined the distance, the non-supported deposition quality, and the ultimate tensile stress. Additionally, an optimisation study was performed to maximise the mechanical strength and the non-supported distance, thereby making it possible to determine the suitable range of parameters for implementation of the process. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Fernandes R.A.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Da Silva I.N.,University of Sao Paulo | Oleskovicz M.,University of Sao Paulo
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics | Year: 2013

This paper presents a method for the identification of consumer load profiles in a totally automatic way. The main objective was to develop an interface between utilities and consumers in order to obtain data from smart meters and identify the load profile. To this end, client/server software interfaces capable of transmitting and receiving data through TCP/IP sockets were developed. In this case, the consumer and utility were represented by client and server software, respectively. However, in order to be able to consider all the stages of this methodology, a database was created to store data related to consumers (meter readings, electricity bills and personal data). From this database, the utility software was able to furnish each consumer's load profiles and to use this information to make decisions. Moreover, the software sends the electricity bill to the consumer by e-mail each month. Experimental and simulation results were obtained to validate the methodology and to show some benefits that can be achieved with the introduction of smart meters into power distribution systems in the context of load profile identification. © 2005-2012 IEEE.

Victora C.G.,Federal University of Pelotas | Aquino E.M.,Federal University of Bahia | Do Carmo Leal M.,Oswaldo Cruz Foundation | Monteiro C.A.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2011

In the past three decades, Brazil has undergone rapid changes in major social determinants of health and in the organisation of health services. In this report, we examine how these changes have affected indicators of maternal health, child health, and child nutrition. We use data from vital statistics, population censuses, demographic and health surveys, and published reports. In the past three decades, infant mortality rates have reduced substantially, decreasing by 5·5 a year in the 1980s and 1990s, and by 4·4 a year since 2000 to reach 20 deaths per 1000 livebirths in 2008. Neonatal deaths account for 68 of infant deaths. Stunting prevalence among children younger than 5 years decreased from 37 in 1974-75 to 7 in 2006-07. Regional differences in stunting and child mortality also decreased. Access to most maternal-health and child-health interventions increased sharply to almost universal coverage, and regional and socioeconomic inequalities in access to such interventions were notably reduced. The median duration of breastfeeding increased from 2·5 months in the 1970s to 14 months by 2006-07. Official statistics show stable maternal mortality ratios during the past 10 years, but modelled data indicate a yearly decrease of 4, a trend which might not have been noticeable in official reports because of improvements in death registration and the increased number of investigations into deaths of women of reproductive age. The reasons behind Brazil's progress include: socioeconomic and demographic changes (economic growth, reduction in income disparities between the poorest and wealthiest populations, urbanisation, improved education of women, and decreased fertility rates), interventions outside the health sector (a conditional cash transfer programme and improvements in water and sanitation), vertical health programmes in the 1980s (promotion of breastfeeding, oral rehydration, and immunisations), creation of a tax-funded national health service in 1988 (coverage of which expanded to reach the poorest areas of the country through the Family Health Program in the mid-1990s); and implementation of many national and state-wide programmes to improve child health and child nutrition and, to a lesser extent, to promote women's health. Nevertheless, substantial challenges remain, including overmedicalisation of childbirth (nearly 50 of babies are delivered by caesarean section), maternal deaths caused by illegal abortions, and a high frequency of preterm deliveries. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Correia N.D.S.,University of Sao Paulo | Bueno B.D.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Geotextiles and Geomembranes | Year: 2011

Geosynthetics interlayer systems are effective techniques to control reflective cracking in damaged pavements. It comprises the inclusion of nonwoven geotextiles between the damaged layer and the new overlay of the pavement to reduce the propagation of cracks and to extend pavement life. However, the success of this technique depends directly on the understanding of the geotextile's behavior when impregnated with asphalt. This paper evaluates different nonwoven geotextiles frequently used in anti-reflective cracking systems, focusing on initial stiffness gain and permeability reduction after asphalt impregnation. Fresh and impregnated samples of polyester and polypropylene nonwoven geotextiles were tested. Cationic rapid setting emulsified asphalt was used as asphalt binder. Wide-width tensile tests were carried out based on the specification of ABNT - NBR 12824 (1993). Water vapor transmission tests were conducted according to ASTM E 96M (2005). Results of tensile tests on impregnated geotextiles showed a significant increase on tensile strength values, probably due to the inter contact of the fibers. Results also showed high increase in strength values at strain levels less than 0.05% and decrease on stiffness gains with increase of strains. Water vapor transmission tests demonstrated that cationic asphalt emulsion applied on nonwoven geotextiles allows a drastic reduction in permeability values to turn nonwoven geotextiles into a low permeability barrier. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Azevedo C.R.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Engineering Failure Analysis | Year: 2011

Neutron irradiation alters the mechanical properties of metallic parts, which are exposed to service temperatures below 40% of their homologous temperature. These working conditions affect most of the components of fission nuclear reactors, making these parts susceptible during service to hardening, loss of ductility, localised plastic deformation and plastic instability. Additionally, there has been a continuous historical increase in the efficiency and service life of nuclear reactors, leading to more severe irradiation exposure during service. In this sense, understanding the mechanisms for the formation and evolution of irradiation-induced defects and their interaction with gliding dislocations is vital for the estimation of the service life of these components and the development of new radiation-resistant materials via alloy and microstructural design. The present paper reviews the use of atomic-scale modelling to simulate the generation and evolution of irradiation-induced defects. Additionally, the interaction between these defects and the gliding dislocations is revised in accordance with the continuum theory and atomic-scale modelling. Finally, the limitations and challenges facing the atomic-scale modelling of radiation damage and defect/dislocation interaction are briefly discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Fiorelli A.I.,University of Sao Paulo
Transplantation proceedings | Year: 2012

Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) is the most commonly valvular dysfunction found after heart transplantation (HTx). It may be related to endomyocardial biopsy (EMB) performed for allograft rejection surveillance. This investigation evaluated the presence of tricuspid valve tissue fragments obtained during routine EMB performed after HTx and its possible effect on short-term and long-term hemodynamic status. This single-center review included prospectively collected and retrospectively analyzed data. From 1985 to 2010, 417 patients underwent 3550 EMB after HTx. All myocardial specimens were reviewed to identify the presence of tricuspid valve tissue by 2 observers initially and in doubtful cases by a third observer. The echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters were only considered for valvular functional damage analysis in cases of tricuspid tissue inadvertently removed during EMB. The 417 HTx patients to 3550 EMB, including 17,550 myocardial specimens. Tricuspid valve tissue was observed in 12 (2.9%) patients corresponding to 0.07% of the removed fragments. The echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters of these patients before versus after the biopsy showed increased TR in 2 cases (2/12; 16.7%) quantified as moderate without progression in the long term. Only the right atrial pressure showed a significant increase (P = .0420) after tricuspid injury; however, the worsening of the functional class was not significant enough in any of the subjects. Thus, surgical intervention was not required. Histological evidence of chordal tissue in EMB specimens is a real-world problem of relatively low frequency. Traumatic tricuspid valve injury due to EMB rarely leads to severe valvular regurgitation; only a minority of patients develop significant clinical symptoms. Hemodynamic and echocardiographic alterations are also less often observed in most patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Monteiro M.L.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Afonso C.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Eye (Basingstoke) | Year: 2014

Purpose To evaluate the ability of frequency domain-optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT)-measured macular thickness parameters to differentiate between eyes with resolved chronic papilledema and healthy eyes and to evaluate the correlation between FD-OCT measures and visual field (VF) loss on standard automated perimetry (SAP). Methods Fifty-two eyes from 29 patients suffering from pseudotumor cerebri syndrome (PTC) and 62 eyes from 31 normal controls underwent FD-OCT scanning and ophthalmic evaluation including VF with SAP. All patients had previously been submitted to treatment of PTC and had clinically resolved papilledema and stable VF for at least 6 months before the study. Macular and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness measurements were determined for both groups. Comparisons were made using Generalized Estimated Equations. Correlations between FD-OCT and VF measurements were verified.ResultsIn eyes with resolved papilledema, the macular thickness parameters corresponding to the inner and outer superior, temporal, inferior and nasal segments, average macular thickness and most RNFL thickness measurements were significantly reduced when compared with controls. The discrimination ability was similar for macular thickness measurements and RNFL thickness measurements. Both sets of OCT measurements correlated well with VF sensitivity loss. Conclusions Eyes with resolved chronic papilledema show a significant reduction in macular thickness, which is well correlated with the severity of VF loss. Macular thickness measurements can potentially be used to estimate and monitor the amount of ganglion cell loss in eyes with papilledema from patients with PTC. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Schiesari L.,University of Sao Paulo | Grillitsch B.,University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2011

Global interest in biofuels is driving a continuous expansion of agroindustrial production in tropical countries, bringing a substantial share of the world's biodiversity into contact with hundreds of potentially hazardous pesticides. We reviewed the hazards imposed by all 784 pesticides currently registered for use on biofuelcrops in Brazil. We detected compounds that have been suspended by international conventions, as well as over 80 compounds included in lists of priority concern for exhibiting environmental persistence and/or having the potential to elicit neurotoxic, reprotoxic, carcinogenic, or endocrine-disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. These chemicals will be used at increased rates, or for the first time, across large expanses of agroindustrially converted pastures and native (ie pristine) habitat in the cerrado (tropical savanna) and Amazonian rainforest biomes. If human and environmental health are to be balanced with productivity to achieve a sustainable agriculture, bolder initiatives on pesticide restriction and control must be implemented in tropical countries. © The Ecological Society of America.

Organ transplant recipients with refractory rejection or intolerance to the prescribed immunosuppressant may respond to rescue therapy with tacrolimus. We sought to evaluate the clinical outcomes of children undergoing heart transplantation who required conversion from a cyclosporine-based, steroid-free therapy to a tacrolimus-based regimen. We performed a prospective, observational, cohort study of 28 children who underwent conversion from cyclosporine-based, steroid-free therapy to a tacrolimus-based therapy for refractory or late rejection or intolerance to cyclosporine. There was complete resolution of refractory rejection episodes and adverse side effects in all patients. The incidence rate (×100) of rejection episodes before and after conversion was 7.98 and 2.11, respectively (P ≤ .0001). There was a 25% mortality rate in patients using tacrolimus after a mean period of 60 months after conversion. Tacrolimus is effective as rescue therapy for refractory rejection and is a therapeutic option for pediatric patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Schmidt T.M.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Miwa R.H.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Fazzio A.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

Based upon first-principles methods, we investigate the magnetic anisotropy and spin texture of Co impurities embedded at the interlayer van der Waals (vdW) spacings and onto the topmost Se network of the topological insulator Bi 2Se 3. The interaction of the magnetic impurity with the surface spin texture breaks time-reversal symmetry, opening up a surface band gap. For a Co atom adsorbed onto the surface, the net magnetic moment is aligned perpendicular to the surface plane, with anisotropy energy of 6 meV. On the other hand, for the Co impurity at the vdW interlayers, the net magnetic moment is aligned in plane. While pristine Bi 2Se 3 presents a helical spin texture in the massless surface Dirac cone and states resonant within the valence band, the presence of the Co impurity reduces the planar spin helicity of now massive Dirac fermions. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Stroke affects mainly people aged over 65 years, and atherosclerosis predominates as the main etiopathogenic factor in ischemic stroke (IS). On the other hand, cardiac embolism and arterial dissection are the most frequent causes of IS in patients aged less than 45 years. However, inappropriate control of traditional vascular risk factors in young people may be causing a significant increase of atherosclerosis-related IS in this population. Furthermore, a variety of etiologies, many of them uncommon, must be investigated. In endemic regions, neurocysticercosis and Chagas' disease deserve consideration. Undetermined cause has been still reported in as many as one third of young stroke patients.

Feferbaum R.,University of Sao Paulo
BMC public health | Year: 2012

Energy from liquids is one of the most important factors that could impact on the high prevalence of children and adolescents obesity around the world. There are few data on the liquid consumption in Brazil. The aim of this study is to evaluate the volume and quality of liquids consumed by Brazilian children and adolescents and to determine the proportion of their daily energy intake composed of liquids. A multicenter study was conducted in five Brazilian cities; the study included 831 participants between 3 and 17 years of age. A four-day dietary record specific to fluids was completed for each individual, and the volume of and Kcal from liquid intake were evaluated. The average number of Kcal in each beverage was determined based on label information, and the daily energy intake data from liquids were compared with the recommendations of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária- ANVISA), the Brazilian food regulation authority, according to each subject's age. As the children aged, the volume of carbonated beverages that they consumed increased significantly, and their milk intake decreased significantly. For children between the ages of 3 and 10, milk and dairy products contributed the greatest daily number of Kcal from liquids. Sugar sweetened beverages which included carbonated beverages, nectars and artificial beverages, accounted for 37% and 45% of the total Kcal from liquid intake in the 3- to 6-year-old and 7- to 10- year-old groups, respectively. Among adolescents (participants 11- to 17- years old), most of the energy intake from liquids came from carbonated beverages, which accounted for an average of 207 kcal/day in this group (42% of their total energy intake from liquids). Health professionals should be attentive to the excessive consumption of sugar sweetened beverages in children and adolescents. The movement toward healthier dietary patterns at the individual and population levels may help to improve programs for preventing overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. From childhood to adolescence the daily volume of liquid ingested increased reaching a total of 2.0 liters on average. Of this volume, the daily volume of milk ingested decreased while the carbonated drinks, sweetened, nectars and artificial beverages increased significantly. The proportion of water remained constant in about 1/3 of the total volume. From 3 to 17 years of age the energy intake from carbonated beverages increased by about 20%. The carbonated drinks on average corresponded to a tenth of the daily requirements of energy of adolescents.

Menck C.F.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Munford V.,University of Sao Paulo
Genetics and Molecular Biology | Year: 2014

The discovery of DNA repair defects in human syndromes, initially in xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) but later in many others, led to striking observations on the association of molecular defects and patients' clinical phenotypes. For example, patients with syndromes resulting from defective nucleotide excision repair (NER) or translesion synthesis (TLS) present high levels of skin cancer in areas exposed to sunlight. However, some defects in NER also lead to more severe symptoms, such as developmental and neurological impairment and signs of premature aging. Skin cancer in XP patients is clearly associated with increased mutagenesis and genomic instability, reflecting the defective repair of DNA lesions. By analogy, more severe symptoms observed in NER-defective patients have also been associated with defective repair, likely involving cell death after transcription blockage of damaged templates. Endogenously induced DNA lesions, particularly through oxidative stress, have been identified as responsible for these severe pathologies. However, this association is not that clear and alternative explanations have been proposed. Despite high levels of exposure to intense sunlight, patients from tropical countries receive little attention or care, which likely also reflects the lack of understanding of how DNA damage causes cancer and premature aging. © 2014, Sociedade Brasileira de Genética. Printed in Brazil.

Oliveira R.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Kiyohara P.K.,University of Sao Paulo | Rossi L.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Green Chemistry | Year: 2010

We present the magnetic separation approach to facilitate the recovery of gold nanoparticle (AuNP) catalysts. The use of magnetically recoverable supports for the immobilization of AuNPs instead of traditional oxides, polymers or carbon based solids guarantees facile, clean, fast and efficient separation of the catalyst at the end of the reaction cycle. Magnetic separation can be considered an environmentally benign separation approach, since it minimizes the use of auxiliary substances and energy for achieving catalyst recovery. The catalyst preparation is based on the immobilization of Au3+ on the surface of core-shell silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles, followed by metal reduction using two different methods. AuNPs were prepared by thermal reduction in air and by hydrogen reduction at mild temperature. Interestingly, the mean particle size of the supported AuNPs was similar (ca. 5.9 nm), but the polydispersity of the samples is quite different. The catalytic activity of both catalysts in the aerobic oxidation of alcohols was investigated and a distinct selectivity for benzyl alcohol oxidation was observed. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Ruther R.,Federal University of Santa Catarina | Zilles R.,University of Sao Paulo
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

In the developed world, grid-connected photovoltaics (PVs) are the fastest-growing segment of the energy market. From 1999 to 2009, this industry had a 42% compound annual growth-rate. From 2009 to 2013, it is expected to grow to 45%, and in 2013 the achievement of grid parity - when the cost of solar electricity becomes competitive with conventional retail (including taxes and charges) grid-supplied electricity - is expected in many places worldwide. Grid-connected PV is usually perceived as an energy technology for developed countries, whereas isolated, stand-alone PV is considered as more suited for applications in developing nations, where so many individuals still lack access to electricity. This rationale is based on the still high costs of PV when compared with conventional electricity. We make the case for grid-connected PV generation in Brazil, showing that with the declining costs of PV and the rising prices of conventional electricity, urban populations in Brazil will also enjoy grid parity in the present decade. We argue that governments in developing nations should act promptly and establish the mandates and necessary conditions for their energy industry to accumulate experience in grid-connected PV, and make the most of this benign technology in the near future. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Merrifield A.,University of Sao Paulo
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space | Year: 2010

A specter is haunting Europe: the specter of autonomous communist activism. A new party is expanding its ranks, The Imaginary Party, which has already unnerved the French establishment, rattled Sarkozy's government, and penned its own intriguing manifesto: The Coming Insurrection. Everybody agrees: current society is about to explode. Even the French daily Le Monde, was forced to admit: "one hasn't seen power become so fearful of a book for a very long time." Semiotext(e)'s recent English translation has rattled the Anglo-Saxon establishment, too, unleashing a spate of bourgeois paranoia, highlighting for all to see what intelligent people knew already: how very flimsy their hegemony really is, how weak their grip is on political reality. This article examines the coming of The Coming Insurrection, its theoretical basis, and its revolutionary potential. It suggests this uncompromising text is in the 'vanguard' of disseminating a new brand of Marxism, a non-class-based Marxism, a runaway Marxism that has at its core an incipient neocommunist impulse, one currently pitting its wits against an intransigent neoliberalism. Its card-carrying membership thrives off nonaffiliated people, whose platform is grounded in everyday life, not at the workplace. Importantly, The Coming Insurrection employs a vitality of spirit and a principle of hope, as well as the direct action anarchism necessary to reinvigorate classical Marxism. Yes, everyone agrees: an exodus from capitalism has already begun. © 2010 Pion Ltd and its Licensors.

De Carvalho J.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

The energy crisis and a greater awareness among the general public regarding the issue of climate change have, between them, led to a notable increase in the interest shown by governments in relation to the problem of environmental sustainability. An example has been the initiative taken by the President of France to set up a commission, known as the Sarkozy Commission, named after the President, bringing together renowned economists to study and propose forms of economic performance measurement related to social progress. This article aims to propose a methodology to establish a quantitative definition of sustainability structured on the principles of minimum and maximum entropy production, and, based on this, outline a way of organizing the many sources of, and kinds of energy, we have available to us in order of the intensity of their respective environmental impacts. Based on this, we could produce an Environmental Sustainability Index, linked to existing statistical indicators of human development, and thereby arrive at a Sustainable Human Development Index, which would be positively or negatively influenced by parameters linked to environmental sustainability and quality of life. In order to ensure that this index can produce practical results, the WTO (World Trade Organization) would have to establish a scale of increments, to be applied to export tariffs on products originating in countries with different indexes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lemos P.A.,University of Sao Paulo
EuroIntervention : journal of EuroPCR in collaboration with the Working Group on Interventional Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Drug-eluting stents have proven to be effective in reducing the risk of late restenosis. In order to achieve a controlled and prolonged release of the antiproliferative agent, current drug-eluting stents utilise various biodegradable as well as non-erodible polymeric blends to coat the stent surface and to serve as drug carriers. The utilisation of polymeric compounds in current drug-eluting stents may eventually limit their performance as well as their clinical applicability due to the potential induction of undesirable local reactions. The development of alternative, polymer-free drug carriers has the potential to overcome some of the limitations of current drug-eluting stent formulations. Moreover, improvements in drug carriers may also result in an expansion of the technological possibilities for other intravascular drug delivery systems, such as metal-free or even implant-free solutions. This article describes the structure and the preclinical validation profile of a novel phospholipid encapsulated sirolimus nanocarrier, used as a coating in two formulations: a coronary stent-plus-balloon system and a stand-alone balloon catheter. The nanoparticles provided a stable, even and homogenous coating to the devices in both formulations. Dose-finding studies allowed the most appropriate identification of the best nanoparticle structure associated with an extremely efficient transfer of drug to all layers of the vessel wall, achieving high tissue concentrations that persisted days after the application, with low systemic drug leaks.

Camara-Lopes G.,University of Sao Paulo
International braz j urol : official journal of the Brazilian Society of Urology | Year: 2013

Prostatic artery embolization (PAE) for the treatment of patients with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is believed to be a safe procedure with a low risk of adverse side effects. Artery embolization is a viable treatment option in patients who are refractory to the classic noninvasive treatments. Knowledge of the histological characteristics of prostate tissue following the procedure is still limited. In this study, we describe the microscopic aspects of the prostate following PAE for BPH. Two patients underwent transurethral resections of the prostate (TURP) after PAE. Embolizations were performed under local anesthesia with an initial pelvic angiography to evaluate the iliac vessels and the prostate arteries using a 2.8 French microcatheter. The prostate was embolized with 300-500 μm Microspheres (Embosphere ®), using complete blood stasis as the end point. The prostate tissues were analyzed histologically to characterize the effects of the embolization. The embolic material within the prostate tissue was easily identified as homogeneous, bright eosin-red spheroids filling the vessel lumens. Ischemic necrosis surrounded or not by chronic inflammatory reactions containing macrophages were considered as a result of the artery embolization. Also, some aspects related to the healing process were observed being fibrotic nodules surrounded by glands with squamous metaplasia of the epithelial lining the most important. In the remaining sections, due to the precocious surgical intervention, the classic findings of BPH were still present with the glandular and stromal hyperplasia associated with nonspecific chronic prostatitis. This is the first description of prostate histology in BPH patients treated by PAE, a new procedure that is being used increasingly as a therapeutic intervention. The recognition of the changes caused by this new modality of treatment has become a very important differential in a chronic granulomatous reaction of the prostate tissue.

Moreira A.M.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Gunther W.M.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Waste Management | Year: 2013

According to the Brazilian law, implementation of a Medical Waste Management Plan (MWMP) in health-care units is mandatory, but as far as we know evaluation of such implementation has not taken place yet. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the improvements deriving from the implementation of a MWMP in a Primary Health-care Center (PHC) located in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The method proposed for evaluation compares the first situation prevailing at this PHC with the situation 1. year after implementation of the MWMP, thus allowing verification of the evolution of the PHC performance. For prior and post-diagnosis, the method was based on: (1) application of a tool (check list) which considered all legal requirements in force; (2) quantification of solid waste subdivided into three categories: infectious waste and sharp devices, recyclable materials and non-recyclable waste; and (3) identification of non-conformity practices. Lack of knowledge on the pertinent legislation by health workers has contributed to non-conformity instances. The legal requirements in force in Brazil today gave origin to a tool (check list) which was utilized in the management of medical waste at the health-care unit studied. This tool resulted into an adequate and simple instrument, required a low investment, allowed collecting data to feed indicators and also conquered the participation of the unit whole staff. Several non-conformities identified in the first diagnosis could be corrected by the instrument utilized. Total waste generation increased 9.8%, but it was possible to reduce the volume of non-recyclable materials (11%) and increase the volume of recyclable materials (4%). It was also possible to segregate organic waste (7%), which was forwarded for production of compost. The rate of infectious waste generation in critical areas decreased from 0.021 to 0.018. kg/procedure. Many improvements have been observed, and now the PHC complies with most of legal requirements, offers periodic training and better biosafety conditions to workers, has reduced the volume of waste sent to sanitary landfills, and has introduced indicators for monitoring its own performance. This evaluation method might subsidize the creation and evaluation of medical waste management plans in similar heath institutions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Azevedo C.R.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Engineering Failure Analysis | Year: 2011

The growing understanding of the link between carbon emissions and global warming has been promoting a discussion on the environmental and safety viability of nuclear power generation. Current open fuel cycle reactors, however, result in low energy efficiency and produce large volumes of nuclear waste. More advanced nuclear reactors, which are currently under investigation, are expected to allow more efficient and safer use of nuclear energy. In all these cases, the fuel cladding is the most important safety barrier in fission nuclear reactors, as it restrains most of the radioactive fission products within its volume. The selection of fuel cladding material is based on many design constraints, such as neutron absorption cross section, service temperature, mechanical strength, toughness, neutron radiation resistance, thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, and chemical compatibility. The present paper reviews the selection of nuclear fuel cladding materials since the early reactors, illustrating some of the main failure modes and briefly discussing the challenges facing the development of fuel cladding materials for generation IV reactors. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Galgano P.D.,University of Sao Paulo | El Seoud O.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2011

The impetus for the increasing interest in studying surface active ionic liquids (SAILs; ionic liquids with long-chain " tails" ) is the enormous potential for their applications, e.g., in nanotechnology and biomedicine. The progress in these fields rests on understanding the relationship between surfactant structure and solution properties, hence applications. This need has prompted us to extend our previous study on 1-(1-hexadecyl)-3-methylimidazolium chloride to 1-(1-alkyl)-3-methylimidazolium chlorides, with alkyl chains containing 10, 12, and 14 carbons. In addition to investigating relevant micellar properties, we have compared the solution properties of the imidazolium-based surfactants with: 1-(1-alkyl)pyridinium chlorides, and benzyl (2-acylaminoethyl)dimethylammonium chlorides. The former series carries a heterocyclic ring head-group, but does not possess a hydrogen that is as acidic as H2 of the imidazolium ring. The latter series carries an aromatic ring, a quaternary nitrogen and (a hydrogen-bond forming) amide group. The properties of the imidazolium and pyridinium surfactants were determined in the temperature range from 15 to 75°C. The techniques employed were conductivity, isothermal titration calorimetry, and static light scattering. The results showed the important effects of the interactions in the interfacial region on the micellar properties over the temperature range studied. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Grande R.,University of Sao Paulo | Carvalho A.J.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2011

Ternary compatible blends of chitosan, poly(vinyl alcohol), and poly(lactic acid) were prepared by an oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion process. Solutions of chitosan in aqueous acetic acid, poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) in water, and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) in chloroform were blended with a high-shear mixer. PVA was used as an emulsifier to stabilize the emulsion and to reduce the interfacial tension between the solid polymers in the blends produced. It proved to work very well because the emulsions were stable for periods of days or weeks and compatible blends were obtained when PVA was added. This effect was attributed to a synergistic effect of PVA and chitosan because the binary blends PVA/PLA and chitosan/PLA were completely incompatible. The blends were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermal mechanical analysis (TMA), stress-strain tests, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The results indicated that despite the fact that the system contained distinct phases some degree of molecular miscibility occurred when the three components were present in the blend. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Gao J.,Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials | Loi M.A.,Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials | De Carvalho E.J.F.,University of Sao Paulo | Dos Santos M.C.,University of Sao Paulo
ACS Nano | Year: 2011

We report on the photophysical properties of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) suspensions in toluene solutions of poly[9,9-dioctylfluorenyl-2,7-diyl] (PFO). Steady-state and timeresolved photoluminescence spectroscopy in the near-infrared and visible spectral regions are used to study the interaction of the dispersed SWNTs with the wrapped polymer. Molecular dynamics simulations of the PFO-SWNT hybrids in toluene were carried out to evaluate the energetics of different wrapping geometries. The simulated fluorescence spectra in the visible region were obtained by the quantum chemical ZlNDO-Cl method, using a sampling of structures obtained from the dynamics trajectories. The tested schemes consider polymer chains aligned along the nanotube axis, where chirality has a minimal effect, or forming helical structures, where a preference for high chiral angles is evidenced. Moreover, toluene affects the polymer structure favoring the helical conformation. Simulations show that the most stable hybrid system is the PFO-wrapped (8,6) nanotube, in agreement with the experimentally observed selectivity. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Scorza F.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria | Year: 2012

People with epilepsy are more likely to die prematurely, and the most common epilepsy-related category of death is sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Thus, the purpose of this article was to alert the scientific community about SUDEP.

Santos-Silva T.,University of Sao Paulo | Gregorio-Hetem J.,University of Sao Paulo
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Aims. Several embedded clusters are found in the Galaxy. Depending on the formation scenario, most of them can evolve to unbounded groups that are dissolved within 10 Myr to 20 Myr. A systematic study of young stellar clusters that show distinct characteristics provides interesting information on the evolutionary phases during the pre-main sequence. To identify and to understand these phases we performed a comparative study of 21 young stellar clusters. Methods. Near-infrared data from 2MASS were used to determine the structural and fundamental parameters based on surface stellar density maps, radial density profile, and colour-magnitude diagrams. The cluster members were selected according to their membership probability, which is based on the statistical comparison with the cluster proper motion. Additional members were selected on the basis of a decontamination procedure that was adopted to distinguish field stars found in the direction of the cluster area. Results. We obtained age and mass distributions by comparing pre-main sequence models with the position of cluster members in the colour-magnitude diagram. The mean age of our sample is ∼ 5 Myr, where 57% of the objects is found in the 4-10 Myr range of age, while 43% is <4 Myr old. Their low E(B-V) indicate that the members are not suffering high extinction (A V < 1 mag), which means they are more likely young stellar groups than embedded clusters. Relations between structural and fundamental parameters were used to verify differences and similarities that could be found among the clusters. The parameters of most of the objects show the same trends or correlations. Comparisons with other young clusters show similar relations among mass, radius, and density. Our sample tends to have larger radius and lower volumetric density than embedded clusters. These differences are compatible with the mean age of our sample, which we consider intermediate between the embedded and the exposed phases of the stellar clusters evolution. © 2012 ESO.

Porfirio C.R.,Petrobras | Odloak D.,University of Sao Paulo
Control Engineering Practice | Year: 2011

The main scope of this work is the implementation of an MPC that integrates the control and the economic optimization of the system. The two problems are solved simultaneously through the modification of the control cost function that includes an additional term related to the economic objective. The optimizing MPC is based on a quadratic program (QP) as the conventional MPC and can be solved with the available QP solvers. The method was implemented in an industrial distillation system, and the results show that the approach is efficient and can be used, in several practical cases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Carmona-Ribeiro A.M.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2010

Mimicking nature is a powerful approach for developing novel lipid-based devices for drug and vaccine delivery. In this review, biomimetic assemblies based on natural or synthetic lipids by themselves or associated to silica, latex or drug particles will be discussed. In water, self-assembly of lipid molecules into supramolecular structures is fairly well understood. However, their self-assembly on a solid surface or at an interface remains poorly understood. In certain cases, hydrophobic drug granules can be dispersed in aqueous solution via lipid adsorption surrounding the drug particles as nanocapsules. In other instances, hydrophobic drug molecules attach as monomers to borders of lipid bilayer fragments providing drug formulations that are effective in vivo at low drug-to-lipid-molar ratio. Cationic biomimetic particles offer suitable interfacial environment for adsorption, presentation and targeting of biomolecules in vivo. Thereby antigens can effectively be presented by tailored biomimetic particles for development of vaccines over a range of defined and controllable particle sizes. Biomolecular recognition between receptor and ligand can be reconstituted by means of receptor immobilization into supported lipidic bilayers allowing isolation and characterization of signal transduction steps. © 2010 Carmona-Ribeiro.

De Melo V.V.,Federal University of São Paulo | Botazzo Delbem A.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Information Sciences | Year: 2012

Recently, researches have shown that the performance of metaheuristics can be affected by population initialization. Opposition-based Differential Evolution (ODE), Quasi-Oppositional Differential Evolution (QODE), and Uniform-Quasi-Opposition Differential Evolution (UQODE) are three state-of-the-art methods that improve the performance of the Differential Evolution algorithm based on population initialization and different search strategies. In a different approach to achieve similar results, this paper presents a technique to discover promising regions in a continuous search-space of an optimization problem. Using machine-learning techniques, the algorithm named Smart Sampling (SS) finds regions with high possibility of containing a global optimum. Next, a metaheuristic can be initialized inside each region to find that optimum. SS and DE were combined (originating the SSDE algorithm) to evaluate our approach, and experiments were conducted in the same set of benchmark functions used by ODE, QODE and UQODE authors. Results have shown that the total number of function evaluations required by DE to reach the global optimum can be significantly reduced and that the success rate improves if SS is employed first. Such results are also in consonance with results from the literature, stating the importance of an adequate starting population. Moreover, SS presents better efficacy to find initial populations of superior quality when compared to the other three algorithms that employ oppositional learning. Finally and most important, the SS performance in finding promising regions is independent of the employed metaheuristic with which SS is combined, making SS suitable to improve the performance of a large variety of optimization techniques. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Tavares H.,University of Sao Paulo
Addiction | Year: 2014

Aims: To provide an overview of gambling in Brazil, including historical background, past and current legislation, gamblers' profile, treatment and research initiatives. Methods: Review of the published literature and research reports. Results: Gambling is deeply rooted in Brazilian history and culture, but gambling regulation historically alternates between legalization and banning. Currently, only state lotteries, horse betting and poker-playing are allowed. There is pressure to widen the games repertoire, but efforts at full legalization and commercial exploration of gambling have receded. Despite the barriers to gambling access, Brazil has prevalence rates similar to other countries: 1.0 and 1.3% life-time prevalence for pathological and problem gambling. A faster progression from regular to problem gambling was found among middle-aged women in clinical samples and for adolescent male gamblers in a population-based sample. Youth gambling is associated with severe forms of gambling and other risk-taking behaviours. Treatment options are scarce, and the public health system is unprepared to support gambling patients. Ongoing incipient efforts are being made to establish a treatment model combining psychotherapy and psychiatric comorbidity treatment with promotion of quality of life. Conclusion: Life-time incidence of pathological gambling in Brazil appears similar to many other countries, at approximately 1%. Arguably, there is a need to develop a more coherent regulatory and treatment response to this societal problem. © 2014 Society for the Study of Addiction.

de Brito Neves B.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of South American Earth Sciences | Year: 2011

The Paleoproterozoic blocks and terranes that constiture of the South-American continent basement register rock-forming events (orogeny and taphrogeny) clustered in the four different periods as defined by the International Stratigraphic Chart (IUGS/UNESCO 2004). There are some particular cases for which rifting and drifting events precede the processes of convergent interaction between lithospheric plates, representing therefore examples of Wilson Cycles. In other cases, the records of extensional processes and those of convergent interaction of lithospheric plates (orogenies) are either concurrent in time (with difficult discrimination between them) or concurrent in the geographic-geologic space (they occur in different and separated domains), privileging different regions. The four periods of rock-forming events discussed here (Siderian, Rhyacian, Orosirian, Statherian) are mainly recorded and recognizable for most of the cratonic domains of the continent, but they are gradually being identified within the Paleoproterozoic basement blocks (" inliers" ) in the large Neoproterozoic (Brasiliano) provinces of the continent. In the latter, such discrimination is much more difficult due to the overprint of the Brasiliano thermo-dynamic processes. For many years (in the recent past), the word " Transamazonian" (event, orogeny, cycle) had been used to cover indiscriminately all these many different Paleoproterozoic events, of the four different periods. With the present discrimination of the four major stages (periods) on time of rock-forming processes (igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary assemblages) the term Transamazonian has naturally become obsolete, and its usage is no longer advisable. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Monteiro C.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Moubarac J.-C.,University of Sao Paulo | Cannon G.,University of Sao Paulo | Ng S.W.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Popkin B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: The relationship between the global food system and the worldwide rapid increase of obesity and related diseases is not yet well understood. A reason is that the full impact of industrialized food processing on dietary patterns, including the environments of eating and drinking, remains overlooked and underestimated. Many forms of food processing are beneficial. But what is identified and defined here as ultra-processing, a type of process that has become increasingly dominant, at first in high-income countries, and now in middle-income countries, creates attractive, hyper-palatable, cheap, ready-to-consume food products that are characteristically energy-dense, fatty, sugary or salty and generally obesogenic. In this study, the scale of change in purchase and sales of ultra-processed products is examined and the context and implications are discussed. Data come from 79 high- and middle-income countries, with special attention to Canada and Brazil. Results show that ultra-processed products dominate the food supplies of high-income countries, and that their consumption is now rapidly increasing in middle-income countries. It is proposed here that the main driving force now shaping the global food system is transnational food manufacturing, retailing and fast food service corporations whose businesses are based on very profitable, heavily promoted ultra-processed products, many in snack form. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

Moraes D.J.A.,University of Bristol | Moraes D.J.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Machado B.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Paton J.F.R.,University of Bristol
Hypertension | Year: 2014

A major aspect of hypertension is excessive sympathetic activity but the reasons for this remain elusive. Sympathetic tone is increased in the spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rat reflecting, in part, enhanced respiratory-sympathetic coupling. We aimed to identify which respiratory cells might have altered properties. Using the working heart-brain stem preparation, we monitored simultaneously sympathetic and respiratory nerve activity in combination with intracellular recordings of physiologically characterized medullary presympathetic or respiratory neurons. In SH rats, respiratory modulation of both inspiratory and postinspiratory phases of sympathetic activity was larger relative to Wistar rats. An additional burst of sympathetic activity in the preinspiratory phase was also present in SH rats. After synaptic isolation of rostral medullary presympathetic neurons, there was no difference in their excitability compared with neurons in Wistar rats. Rather, both pre-Bötzinger preinspiratory and Bötzinger postinspiratory neurons had increased neuronal excitability in SH rats relative to Wistar rats; this was attributed to higher input resistance/reduced leak current in preinspiratory neurons and reduced calcium activated potassium conductance in postinspiratory neurons. Thus, the respiratory network of the SH rat is reconfigured to a pattern dominated by heightened excitability of preinspiratory and postinspiratory neurons. These neurons both provide augmented excitatory synaptic drive to rostral medullary presympathetic neurons contributing to excessive sympathetic nerve activity associated with hypertension in the in situ SH rat. Our data indicate selective modulation of potassium conductances in 2 subsets of respiratory neurons contributing to neurogenic hypertension. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

Tacon A.G.J.,University of Sao Paulo | Metian M.,University of Stockholm
Reviews in Fisheries Science | Year: 2013

In a world where nearly 30% of humanity is suffering from malnutrition and over 70% of the planet is covered with water, aquatic foods represent an essential component of the global food basket to improve the nutrition, health, and well being of all peoples.It is not by chance that Japan, the country with one of the world's highest reported life expectancies and lowest incidences of obesity and deaths from heart related illnesses, is also one of the world's top consumers of captured and farmed aquatic animal food products and aquatic plants. According to the FAO, in 2009, total captured and farmed aquatic animal food products accounted for 16.6% of the global population's intake of animal protein, providing more than three billion people with almost 20% of their average per capita intake of animal protein, and 4.3 billion people with at least 15% of such protein.This article reviews the nutritional composition of different farmed and captured aquatic food products and compares these with conventional terrestrial meat products. In addition to the superior nutritional profile and benefits of aquatic animal food products, small-sized marine pelagic fish play an important role in the nutrition of the poor as an affordable and much needed source of high quality animal protein and essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. As one of the best aquatic animal foods from a nutritional perspective, the direct consumption of small pelagic fish should be encouraged and promoted, as apposed to the continued targeted use of these species for reduction into fishmeal and fish oil for use in animal feeds. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Nader J.J.,University of Sao Paulo
Geotechnique | Year: 2011

The present analysis takes into account the acceleration term in the differential equation of motion to obtain exact dynamic solutions concerning the groundwater flow towards a well in a confined aquifer. The results show that the error contained in the traditional quasi-static solution is very small in typical situations.

Borges J.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Ramos C.H.I.,University of Campinas
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2011

The interest in analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) to analyze protein structural parameters and interactions has increased in the past decades as a result of several developments on new generation instrumentation and data analysis tools. In this article, we review AUC principles and applications to study proteins, emphasizing molecular targets of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Vidal M.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Pires M.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Guimaraes P.R.,University of Sao Paulo
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Large-bodied frugivores may play a key role in the networks of plants and their seed dispersers. These species, however, are often threatened by human impacts that lead to defaunation. In this paper, we discuss the potential implications of the loss of large frugivores for seed-dispersal networks. First, we review the role of large vertebrates as seed dispersers in different tropical ecosystems to show that these species are likely to be important components of seed-dispersal networks. Second, we showed that, despite their importance, large vertebrates are absent from most of the seed-dispersal networks described in the available literature. We identified three main reasons for this absence: (1) large vertebrates have already died out in the studied areas; (2) studies focus on particular taxonomic groups that consist mostly of small birds; and (3) it is inherently difficult to describe the interactions of naturally rare and secretive species such as large vertebrates. We argue that a proper evaluation of the importance of large frugivores within seed-dispersal networks would benefit from considering aspects other than the frequency of interactions. We suggest weighting pairwise interactions by their ecological consequences to quantify the contribution of large frugivores to outcomes of seed dispersal, such as landscape connectivity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Russo-Carbolante E.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Biotechnology letters | Year: 2011

293T and Sk-Hep-1 cells were transduced with a replication-defective self-inactivating HIV-1 derived vector carrying FVIII cDNA. The genomic DNA was sequenced to reveal LTR/human genome junctions and integration sites. One hundred and thirty-two sequences matched human sequences, with an identity of at least 98%. The integration sites in 293T-FVIIIDB and in Sk-Hep-FVIIIDB cells were preferentially located in gene regions. The integrations in both cell lines were distant from the CpG islands and from the transcription start sites. A comparison between the two cell lines showed that the lentiviral-transduced DNA had the same preferred regions in the two different cell lines.

Vieira S.E.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of COPD | Year: 2015

Exposure to atmospheric pollutants in both open and closed environments is a major cause of morbidity and mortality that may be both controlled and minimized. Despite growing evidence, several controversies and disagreements exist among the studies that have analyzed the effects of prenatal pollutant exposure. This review article aims to analyze primary scientific evidence of the effects of air pollution during pregnancy and the impact of these effects on the fetus, infant health, and in particular, the respiratory system. We performed a review of articles from the PubMed and Web of Science databases that were published in English within the past 5 years, particularly those related to birth cohorts that began in pregnancy with follow-up until the first years of life. The largest reported effects are associated with prenatal exposure to particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and tobacco smoke. The primary effects affect birth weight and other parameters of fetal biometry. There is strong evidence regarding the impact of pollutants on morbidity secondary to respiratory problems. Growing evidence links maternal smoking to childhood asthma and wheezing. The role of passive maternal smoking is less clear. Great heterogeneity exists among studies. There is a need for additional studies on birth cohorts to monitor the relationship between the exposure of pregnant women to pollutants and their children’s progress during the first years of life. © 2015 Vieira.

Santos U.P.,University of Sao Paulo | Zanetta D.M.T.,University of Sao Paulo | Terra-Filho M.,University of Sao Paulo | Burdmann E.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Kidney International | Year: 2015

Sugarcane harvesting has been associated with an epidemic of chronic kidney disease in Central America mainly affecting previously healthy young workers. Repeated episodes of acute kidney dysfunction are hypothesized to be one of the possible mechanisms for this phenomenon. Therefore, this exploratory study aimed to assess the acute effects of burnt sugarcane harvesting on renal function among 28 healthy non-African Brazilian workers. Urine and blood samples were collected at the beginning and at the end of the harvesting season and before and at the end of a harvesting workday. All individuals decreased their estimated glomerular filtration rate by ∼20% at the end of the daily shift, and 18.5% presented with serum creatinine increases consistent with acute kidney injury. Those changes were associated with increased serum creatine phosphokinase (a known marker for exertional rhabdomyolysis) and oxidative stress-associated malondialdehyde levels, increased peripheral blood white cell counts, decreased urinary and serum sodium, decreased calculated fractional sodium excretion, and increased urine density. Thus, burnt sugarcane harvesting caused acute renal dysfunction in previously healthy workers. This was associated with a combination of dehydration, systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and rhabdomyolysis. © 2015 International Society of Nephrology.

Garcia E.J.,University of Sao Paulo
The European journal of esthetic dentistry : official journal of the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry | Year: 2012

It is generally not recommended that bonded restoration treatment should be carried out immediately after bleaching treatment. However, the use of antioxidants such as sodium ascorbate can be useful to avoid a waiting period. This article is a brief review about in vitro proposals to overcome low bond strength values to bleached dental surfaces. It shows a one-year follow-up case report of a young female presenting agenesis of maxillary lateral incisors reshaped with direct resin composite immediately after dental bleaching. Teeth were bleached with a combination of in-office and at-home whitening protocols, followed by the application of a 10% sodium ascorbate gel for one hour, to allow the immediate reshaping with direct resin composite restoration. After one year, the clinical performance of the restoration was successful. The use of sodium ascorbate gel can help the clinician to perform bonding procedures immediately after bleaching treatments.

Popkin B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Monteiro C.,University of Sao Paulo | Swinburn B.,University of Auckland
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2013

Summary: The Bellagio 'Conference on Program and Policy Options for Preventing Obesity in the Low- and Middle-Income Countries' (LMICs) was organized to pull together the current. We need not reiterate the importance of this topic or the speed of change in eating, drinking and moving facing us across the globe. The conference emerges from need to significantly step up the policies and programs to reduce obesity by learning from some current examples of best practice and strengthening the role of the academic and civil society players in translating global evidence and experience into action at the national level. There is also a need to empower the younger generation of scholars and activists in these countries to carry on this effort. The meeting was also timely because a number of funding agencies in the United States, Canada and the UK, at least, are beginning to focus attention on this topic. This set of papers provides not only examples of existing best practice but also a road map ahead for LMICs in the various areas of action needed to reduce obesity across LMICs. The meeting highlighted critical barriers to implementation that have blocked many initiatives. © 2013 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

Dutra L.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Einstein (São Paulo, Brazil) | Year: 2012

The Sneddon's syndrome is a rare disorder characterized by the occurrence of cerebrovascular disease associated with livedo reticularis. The antiphospholipid syndrome is the most frequent type of acquired thrombophilia, defined by the occurrence of thrombosis or pregnancy morbidity in the presence of persistently positive antiphospholipid antibodies. Approximately 80% of Sneddon's syndrome patients have an antiphospholipid antibody marker. These antibodies may play a pathogenetic role in some cases of Sneddon's syndrome, and many authors consider these two syndromes as the same entity. Although clinical features of antiphospholipid syndrome and Sneddon's syndrome may overlap, there is a distinction between clinical and laboratory evidence suggesting that these two entities are different diseases. A recent finding of coagulopathies, including elevated levels of coagulation factor VII, decreased levels of protein S, and activated protein C in Sneddon's syndrome patients suggested a possible biological link between the vasculopathy and a primary coagulopathy. Moreover, the clinical course seems to be progressive in Sneddon's syndrome patients and includes increase of disability and cognitive deterioration, more arterial involvement, and the antiphospholipid syndrome shows a more benign course. Both syndromes share clinical and laboratory features, and whether Sneddon's syndrome represents a spectrum of antiphospholipid syndrome remains unclear. Sneddon's syndrome patients have a worse prognosis and may represent a subgroup of patients who demands more rigorous follow-up. It is important to recognize the Sneddon's syndrome, particularly because stroke episodes may be prevented through appropriate treatment.

Ramos D.,University of Sao Paulo | Ades C.,University of Sao Paulo
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Syntax use by non-human animals remains a controversial issue. We present here evidence that a dog may respond to verbal requests composed of two independent terms, one referring to an object and the other to an action to be performed relative to the object. A female mongrel dog, Sofia, was initially trained to respond to action (point and fetch) and object (ball, key, stick, bottle and bear) terms which were then presented as simultaneous, combinatorial requests (e.g. ball fetch, stick point). Sofia successfully responded to object-action requests presented as single sentences, and was able to flexibly generalize her performance across different contexts. These results provide empirical evidence that dogs are able to extract the information contained in complex messages and to integrate it in directed performance, an ability which is shared with other linguistically trained animals and may represent a forerunner of syntactic functioning. © 2012 Ramos, Ades.

Drager L.F.,University of Sao Paulo | Togeiro S.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Polotsky V.Y.,Johns Hopkins University | Lorenzi-Filho G.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an underdiagnosed condition characterized by recurrent episodes of obstruction of the upper airway leading to sleep fragmentation and intermittent hypoxia during sleep. Obesity predisposes to OSA, and the prevalence of OSA is increasing worldwide because of the ongoing epidemic of obesity. Recent evidence has shown that surrogate markers of cardiovascular risk, including sympathetic activation, systemic inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction, are significantly increased in obese patients with OSA versus those without OSA, suggesting that OSA is not simply an epiphenomenon of obesity. Moreover, findings from animal models and patients with OSA show that intermittent hypoxia exacerbates the metabolic dysfunction of obesity, augmenting insulin resistance and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In patients with the metabolic syndrome, the prevalence of moderate to severe OSA is very high (∼60%). In this population, OSA is independently associated with increased glucose and triglyceride levels as well as markers of inflammation, arterial stiffness, and atherosclerosis. A recent randomized, controlled, crossover study showed that effective treatment of OSA with continuous positive airway pressure for 3 months significantly reduced several components of the metabolic syndrome, including blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and visceral fat. Finally, several cohort studies have consistently shown that OSA is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality, independent of obesity. Taken together, these results support the concept that OSA exacerbates the cardiometabolic risk attributed to obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Recognition and treatment of OSA may decrease the cardiovascular risk in obese patients. © 2013 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation Published by Elsevier Inc.

Carneiro-Sampaio M.,University of Sao Paulo | Coutinho A.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia
Frontiers in Immunology | Year: 2015

Autoimmune disorders (AID) have been increasingly observed in association with primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs). Here, we discuss the interface between PID and AID, focusing on autoimmune manifestations early in life, which can be diagnostic clues for underlying PIDs. Inflammatory bowel disease in infants and children has been associated with IL-10 and IL-10R deficiencies, chronic granulomatous disease, immunedysregulation-polyendocrinopathy-enteropathy-X-linked syndrome (IPEX), autoinflammatory disorders, and others. Some PIDs have been identified as underlying defects in juvenile systemic lupus erythematosus: C1q-, IgA-, IgM deficiencies, alterations of the IFN-α pathway (in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome due to TREX1 mutation). IPEX (due to FOXP3 mutation leading to Treg cell deficiency), usually appearing in the first months of life, was recently observed in miscarried fetuses with hydrops who presented with CD3+ infiltrating lymphocytes in the pancreas. Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis due to perforin deficiency was also identified as a cause of fetal hydrops. In conclusion, PID should be suspected in any infant with signs of autoimmunity after excluding transferred maternal effects, or in children with multiple and/or severe AID. © 2015 Carneiro-Sampaio and Coutinho.

Pinho V.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Burtoloso A.C.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Tetrahedron Letters | Year: 2012

A concise synthesis of the (-)-indolizidine alkaloid 167B and two formal syntheses of (-)-indolizidine 209D and (-)-coniceine are described in just three steps from an α,β-unsaturated diazoketone, via an unusual photochemical Wolff rearrangement. Preparation of the unsaturated diazoketone is straightforward from N-Cbz-prolinal and a 3-diazo-2-oxopropylphosphonate, employing a Horner-Wadsworth-Emmons reaction. The strategy should be feasible and easily adaptable to the synthesis of other indolizidine alkaloids and analogues. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Male coleoid cephalopods produce spermatophores that can attach autonomously on the female's body during a complex process of evagination called the 'spermatophoric reaction', during which the ejaculatory apparatus and spiral filament of the spermatophore are everted and exposed to the external milieu. In some deepwater cephalopods, the reaction leads to the intradermal implantation of the spermatophore, a hitherto enigmatic phenomenon. The present study builds upon several lines of evidence to propose that spermatophore implantation is probably achieved through the combination of (1) an 'evaginating-tube' mechanism performed by the everting ejaculatory apparatus and (2) the anchorage provided by the spiral filament's stellate particles. The proposed theoretical model assumes that, as it is exposed to the external milieu, each whorl of the spiral filament anchors to the surrounding tissue by means of its sharp stellate particles. As the ejaculatory apparatus tip continues evaginating, it grows in diameter and stretches lengthwise, enlarging the diameter of the whorl and propelling it, consequently tearing and pushing the anchored tissue outward and backward, and opening space for the next whorl to attach. After the ejaculatory apparatus has been everted and has perforated tissue, the cement body is extruded, possibly aiding in final attachment, and the sperm mass comes to lie inside the female tissue, encompassed by the everted ejaculatory apparatus tube. It is proposed that this unique, efficient spermatophore attachment mechanism possibly evolved in intimate relationship with the adoption of an active mode of life by coleoids. The possible roles of predation pressure and sperm competition in the evolution of this mechanism are also discussed. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London.

Deppman A.,University of Sao Paulo
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2012

The self-consistency of a thermodynamical theory for hadronic systems based on the non-extensive statistics is investigated. We show that it is possible to obtain a self-consistent theory according to the asymptotic bootstrap principle if the mass spectrum and the energy density increase q-exponentially. A direct consequence is the existence of a limiting effective temperature for the hadronic system. We show that this result is in agreement with experiments. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Silva Jr. L.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Synlett | Year: 2014

Nearly two decades of work on ring-contraction reactions is discussed in this account. We have developed several reliable protocols for the rearrangement of a number of different substrates using thallium(III) salts and, more recently, hypervalent iodine(III) reagents. A variety of ring systems, such as cyclopentanes, cis- and trans-hydrindanes, and indanes, can be obtained using these methods. Additionally, the stereoselective total syntheses of the sesquiterpenes (±)-, (-)- and (+)-mutisianthol and (+)-bakkenolide A, the indole alkaloid (±)- and (+)-trans-trikentrin A, and the potential drug (±)-indatraline have been achieved through a ring-contraction approach. 1 Introduction 2 Ring-Contraction Reactions Promoted by Thallium(III) 2.1 Thallium(III)-Mediated Ring Contraction of Cyclic Ketones 2.2 Thallium(III)-Mediated Ring Contraction of Cyclic Olefins 2.3 Thallium(III)-Mediated Ring Contraction of Homoallylic Alcohols 3 Ring-Contraction Reactions Promoted by Iodine(III) 4 Conclusion © Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart New York.

Martins A.C.R.,University of Sao Paulo | Martins A.C.R.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Understanding why we age is a long-lived open problem in evolutionary biology. Aging is prejudicial to the individual, and evolutionary forces should prevent it, but many species show signs of senescence as individuals age. Here, I will propose a model for aging based on assumptions that are compatible with evolutionary theory: i) competition is between individuals; ii) there is some degree of locality, so quite often competition will be between parents and their progeny; iii) optimal conditions are not stationary, and mutation helps each species to keep competitive. When conditions change, a senescent species can drive immortal competitors to extinction. This counter-intuitive result arises from the pruning caused by the death of elder individuals. When there is change and mutation, each generation is slightly better adapted to the new conditions, but some older individuals survive by chance. Senescence can eliminate those from the genetic pool. Even though individual selection forces can sometimes win over group selection ones, it is not exactly the individual that is selected but its lineage. While senescence damages the individuals and has an evolutionary cost, it has a benefit of its own. It allows each lineage to adapt faster to changing conditions. We age because the world changes. © 2011 André C. R. Martins.

Silvestre D.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Nomura C.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry | Year: 2013

The development of methods for direct determinations of Al, Cd, and Pb in rice by SS-GF AAS is presented. Heating program optimization associated with the use of an adequate chemical modifier containing Pd + Mg allowed direct analysis against aqueous calibrations. The obtained LOD values were 114.0, 3.0, and 16.0 μg kg-1 for Al, Cd, and Pb, respectively. Important parameters associated with a solid sampling analysis were investigated, such as minimum and maximum sample mass size and analyte segregation. Seventeen rice samples available in São Paulo City were analyzed, and all of them presented analyte mass fractions less than the maximum allowed by legislation. The influences of rice washing and the cooking procedure were also investigated. The washing procedure diminished the Al and Pb total mass fractions, indicating an exogenous grain contamination. The cooking procedure diminished the Cd total mass fraction. Rice cooking using an aluminum container did not cause a significant increase in the Al mass fraction in the rice, indicating no translocation of this element from container to food. In general, coarse rice presented higher levels of Al when compared to polished or parabolized rice. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) may be contributing to hazardous drinking practices and risk-taking behaviors among college students. In this regard, this study aimed to assess the frequency of AmED consumption in a national sample of Brazilian college students and to estimate the risk that energy drinks pose on drinking and traffic behaviors. A sample of 12,711 college students from across the country was asked to complete a research questionnaire on the use of drugs and other behaviors. Students who reported drinking in the previous 12 months (N = 8672) were divided into 2 groups: (a) those who reported drinking only alcohol (N = 4192) and (b) those who reported drinking AmED (N = 1119). The college students who reported the use of at least one illicit drug were excluded from data analysis. Descriptive and inferential analyses were subsequently carried out using the R library survey software 2.15.0. The null hypothesis was rejected at the level of P < .05. AmED users are more likely to be hazardous drinkers. Being male, single, and involved with high-risk drinking behaviors are associated to AmED. After adjusting for demographic and drinking variables, the odds of being involved in high-risk traffic behaviors--for example, driving at high speed (odds ratio [OR] = 2.6; P < .001) and driving after binge drinking (OR = 2.8; P < .001)--were higher among AmED users than alcohol only users (AUs). The current findings are consistent with the results of previous studies. Drinking AmED may make college students more vulnerable to the occurrence of risky drinking and traffic behaviors. Educational campaigns targeted to young people should be developed warning them about the potential risks of mixing alcohol with energy drinks.

Bazan F.A.V.,University of Sao Paulo | Beck A.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Corrosion Science | Year: 2013

linear models grossly neglect well-known characteristics of the corrosion process. Herein, a non-linear model is proposed, where corrosion rate is represented as a Poisson square wave process. The resulting model represents inherent time-variability of corrosion growth, produces continuous growth and leads to mean growth at less-than-one power of time. Different corrosion models are adjusted to the same set of actual corrosion data for two inspections. The proposed non-linear random process corrosion growth model leads to the best fit to the data, while better representing problem physics. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ferreira L.,University of Sao Paulo | Silveira G.,University of Sao Paulo | Latronico A.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (HH) or secondary hypogonadism is defined as a clinical syndrome that results from gonadal failure due to abnormal pituitary gonadotropin levels. HH may result from either absent or inadequate hypothalamic GnRH secretion or failure of pituitary gonadotropin secretion. Several congenital and acquired causes, including functional and organic forms, have been associated with this condition. One important aspect of the HH diagnosis is that it may reflect the presence of a tumor of the hypothalamic pituitary region or even a systemic disease. On the other hand, functional forms of HH, characterized byatransient defect in GnRH secretion, are relatively common in women, in response to significant weight loss, exercise, or stress leading to hypothalamic amenorrhea. HH is typically characterized by low circulating sexual steroids associated with low or inappropriately normal gonadotropin levels. The precise and early diagnosis of HH can prevent negative physical and psychological sequelae, preserve normal peak bone mass, and restore the fertility in affected patients. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

Ranhel J.,University of Sao Paulo
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems | Year: 2012

Spiking neurons can realize several computational operations when firing cooperatively. This is a prevalent notion, although the mechanisms are not yet understood. A way by which neural assemblies compute is proposed in this paper. It is shown how neural coalitions represent things (and world states), memorize them, and control their hierarchical relations in order to perform algorithms. It is described how neural groups perform statistic logic functions as they form assemblies. Neural coalitions can reverberate, becoming bistable loops. Such bistable neural assemblies become short-or long-term memories that represent the event that triggers them. In addition, assemblies can branch and dismantle other neural groups generating new events that trigger other coalitions. Hence, such capabilities and the interaction among assemblies allow neural networks to create and control hierarchical cascades of causal activities, giving rise to parallel algorithms. Computing and algorithms are used here as in a nonstandard computation approach. In this sense, neural assembly computing (NAC) can be seen as a new class of spiking neural network machines. NAC can explain the following points: 1) how neuron groups represent things and states; 2) how they retain binary states in memories that do not require any plasticity mechanism; and 3) how branching, disbanding, and interaction among assemblies may result in algorithms and behavioral responses. Simulations were carried out and the results are in agreement with the hypothesis presented. A MATLAB code is available as a supplementary material. © 2012 IEEE.

Kowal G.,University of Sao Paulo | De Gouveia Dal Pino E.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Lazarian A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Magnetic fields can change their topology through a process known as magnetic reconnection. This process in not only important for understanding the origin and evolution of the large-scale magnetic field, but is seen as a possibly efficient particle accelerator producing cosmic rays mainly through the first-order Fermi process. In this work we study the properties of particle acceleration inserted in reconnection zones and show that the velocity component parallel to the magnetic field of test particles inserted in magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) domains of reconnection without including kinetic effects, such as pressure anisotropy, the Hall term, or anomalous effects, increases exponentially. Also, the acceleration of the perpendicular component is always possible in such models. We find that within contracting magnetic islands or current sheets the particles accelerate predominantly through the first-order Fermi process, as previously described, while outside the current sheets and islands the particles experience mostly drift acceleration due to magnetic field gradients. Considering two-dimensional MHD models without a guide field, we find that the parallel acceleration stops at some level. This saturation effect is, however, removed in the presence of an out-of-plane guide field or in three-dimensional models. Therefore, we stress the importance of the guide field and fully three-dimensional studies for a complete understanding of the process of particle acceleration in astrophysical reconnection environments. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Ollitrault J.-Y.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Gardim F.G.,University of Sao Paulo
Nuclear Physics A | Year: 2013

We review recent progress in applying relativistic hydrodynamics to the modeling of heavy-ion collisions at RHIC and LHC, with emphasis on anisotropic flow and flow fluctuations. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

McQuade K.J.,University of Washington | De Oliveira A.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Clinical Biomechanics | Year: 2011

Background: The goal of this study was to determine if increasing strength in primary knee extensors and flexors would directly affect net knee joint moments during a common functional task in persons with knee osteoarthritis. Methods: An exploratory single sample clinical trial with pre-post treatment measures was used to study volunteers with clinical diagnosis of mild knee osteoarthritis (OA) in one knee. Subjects participated in an individually supervised training program 3 times a week for eight weeks consisting of progressive resistive exercises for knee extensors and knee flexors. Pre and post training outcome assessments included: 1. Net internal knee joint moments, 2. Electromyography of primary knee extensors and flexors, and 3. Self-report measures of knee pain and function. The distribution of lower extremity joint moments as a percent of the total support moment was also investigated. Findings: Pain, symptoms, activities of daily life, quality of life, stiffness, and function scores showed significant improvement following strength training. Knee internal valgus and hip internal rotation moments showed increasing but non-statistically significant changes post-training. There were no significant differences in muscle co-contraction activation of the Quadriceps and Hamstrings. Interpretation: While exercise continues to be an important element of OA management, the results of this study suggest improvements in function, pain, and other symptoms, as a result of strength training may not be causally related to specific biomechanical changes in net joint moments. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Tome T.,University of Sao Paulo | De Oliveira M.J.,University of Sao Paulo
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We present a stochastic approach to nonequilibrium thermodynamics based on the expression of the entropy production rate advanced by Schnakenberg for systems described by a master equation. From the microscopic Schnakenberg expression we get the macroscopic bilinear form for the entropy production rate in terms of fluxes and forces. This is performed by placing the system in contact with two reservoirs with distinct sets of thermodynamic fields and by assuming an appropriate form for the transition rate. The approach is applied to an interacting lattice gas model in contact with two heat and particle reservoirs. On a square lattice, a continuous symmetry breaking phase transition takes place such that at the nonequilibrium ordered phase a heat flow sets in even when the temperatures of the reservoirs are the same. The entropy production rate is found to have a singularity at the critical point of the linear-logarithm type. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Wilke A.B.B.,University of Sao Paulo | Marrelli M.T.,University of Sao Paulo
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2015

The three main mosquito genera, Anopheles, Aedes and Culex, transmit respectively malaria, dengue and lymphatic filariasis. Current mosquito control strategies have proved unsuccessful, and there still is a substantial number of morbidity and mortality from these diseases. Genetic control methods have now arisen as promising alternative strategies, based on two approaches: the replacement of a vector population by disease-refractory mosquitoes and the release of mosquitoes carrying a lethal gene to suppress target populations. However, substantial hurdles and limitations need to be overcome if these methods are to be used successfully, the most significant being that a transgenic mosquito strain is required for every target species, making genetically modified mosquito strategies inviable when there are multiple vector mosquitoes in the same area. Genetically modified bacteria capable of colonizing a wide range of mosquito species may be a solution to this problem and another option for the control of these diseases. In the paratransgenic approach, symbiotic bacteria are genetically modified and reintroduced in mosquitoes, where they express effector molecules. For this approach to be used in practice, however, requires a better understanding of mosquito microbiota and that symbiotic bacteria and effector molecules be identified. Paratransgenesis could prove very useful in mosquito species that are inherently difficult to transform or in sibling species complexes. In this approach, a genetic modified bacteria can act by: (a) causing pathogenic effects in the host; (b) interfering with the host's reproduction; (c) reducing the vector's competence; and (d) interfering with oogenesis and embryogenesis. It is a much more flexible and adaptable approach than the use of genetically modified mosquitoes because effector molecules and symbiotic bacteria can be replaced if they do not achieve the desired result. Paratransgenesis may therefore become an important integrated pest management tool for mosquito control. © 2015 Wilke and Marrelli.

Villa L.L.,University of Sao Paulo
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2012

Latin America and the Caribbean have one of the highest incidence and mortality rates from cervical cancer in the world. In this region, age-adjusted incidence rates range from 20 to 80 per 100,000 women per year. Overall, the mortality rates are extremely high in spite of the availability of Pap screening in several countries. Women from lower socioeconomic status, often less educated, are unaware of cervical cancer screening or have no access to it. Despite the efforts to reorganize screening programs in the region, in a few countries, only a slight decrease in cervical cancer mortality has been observed. New modalities for primary and secondary screening should be evaluated and disseminated, including HPV testing and vaccination against the most common HPV types. HPV prophylactic vaccines were approved in most Latin American countries, but only few are considering its implementation in national immunization programs. Besides cost and other logistical issues, lack of recommendation by policy makers or lawmakers is deterring the introduction of HPV vaccines in the region. Furthermore, studies conducted in the region have indicated that HPV vaccination only or vaccination supplemented with screening may be considered a cost-effective strategy to reduce mortality by cervical cancer. ©2012 AACR.

Raal F.J.,University of Witwatersrand | Santos R.D.,University of Sao Paulo
Atherosclerosis | Year: 2012

Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH) is an autosomal co-dominant disease resulting from mutations in both copies of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene. Mutations in 3 other associated genes, proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9, apolipoprotein B (APOB), and, more rarely, the autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia adaptor protein, may lead to a similar phenotype with varying severity. HoFH patients have aggressive cardiovascular disease that develops from birth due to severe LDLR defects, resulting, in turn, in excess production of Apo B-containing atherogenic lipoproteins (low-density lipoprotein [LDL] and lipoprotein(a)). The condition is characterized by exceptionally high LDL cholesterol levels, cutaneous and tendon xanthomas, and valvular and supravalvular stenosis, and accelerated atherosclerosis often manifests in the first 2 decades of life. Treatment typically involves lipid-modifying medical therapy as well as mechanical removal of plasma LDL by means of apheresis. Although statins have afforded survival into the third and fourth decades of life, further therapeutic advancements currently under investigation promise hope of further improvements in survival and improved quality of life. The purpose of this review is to provide current perspectives on diagnosis and therapy in an effort to encourage early recognition and treatment of this rare but severe disease. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Bedani R.,University of Sao Paulo | Rossi E.A.,São Paulo State University | Saad S.M.I.,University of Sao Paulo
Food Microbiology | Year: 2013

The effect of inulin and/or okara flour on Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis Bb-12 viability in a fermented soy product (FSP) and on probiotic survival under in vitro simulated gastrointestinal conditions were investigated throughout 28 days of storage at 4 °C. Employing a 22 design, four FSP trials were produced from soymilk fermented with ABT-4 culture (La-5, Bb-12, and Streptococcus thermophilus): FSP (control); FSP-I (with inulin, 3 g/100 mL of soymilk); FSP-O (with okara, 5 g/100 mL); FSP-IO (with inulin + okara, ratio 3:5 g/100 mL). Probiotic viabilities ranged from 8 to 9 log cfu/g during the 28 days of storage, and inulin and/or okara flour did not affect the viability of La-5 and Bb-12. Bb-12 resistance to the artificial gastrointestinal juices was higher than for La-5, since the Bb-12 and La-5 populations decreased approximately 0.6 log cfu/g and 3.8 log cfu/g, respectively, throughout storage period. Even though the protective effect of inulin and/or okara flour on probiotic microorganisms was not significant, when compared to a fresh culture, the FSP matrix improved Bb-12 survival on day 1 of storage and may be considered a good vehicle for Bb-12 and could play an important role in probiotic protection against gastrointestinal juices. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

The theoretical constructs of interprofessional education (IPE) are analyzed based on two reviews of the literature, taking the context of training for healthcare professionals in Brazil into consideration. Three types of training are identified: uniprofessional, multiprofessional and interprofessional, with predominance of the first type. The first occurs among students of the same profession, in isolation; the second occurs among students of two or more professions, in parallel without interaction; and the third involves shared learning, with interaction between students and/or professionals from different fields. The distinction between interprofessionalism and interdisciplinarity is highlighted: these refer to integration, respectively, of professional practices and disciplines or fields of knowledge. Through the analysis presented, it is concluded that in the Brazilian context, IPE (the basis for collaborative teamwork) is still limited to some recent initiatives, which deserve to be investigated.

Jatenco-Pereira V.,University of Sao Paulo
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

The need of a minimum amount of ionization in protostellar accretion discs is necessary for the magnetorotational instability to take place. This instability is believed to be the mechanism responsible for a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence that could lead to the accretion observed. In this work, we study the role of MHD waves as a source of heating in discs. We analyse if Alfvén waves, when damped during their propagation through the disc, can transfer enough energy in order to raise its temperature. As the discs are composed of dust, we suggest here that the Alfvén waves are damped by the dust-cyclotron mechanism of damping. In this mechanism when charged dust particles acquire the same (cyclotron) frequency as the waves, a resonance occurs that leads to the damping of the waves. Here, we present a disc model with two heating mechanisms: the 'anomalous' viscosity considered in terms of the α parametrization and the damping of Alfvén waves. We vary the space parameters in order to study the second mechanism's behaviour. We show that the waves can increase the temperature of the disc and flatten the traditional r3/4 effective temperature profile of the disc. © 2013 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Andrioli L.P.,University of Sao Paulo
Genesis | Year: 2012

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is a great model system in developmental biology studies and related disciplines. In a historical perspective, I focus on the formation of the Drosophila segmental body plan using a comparative approach. I highlight the evolutionary trend of increasing complexity of the molecular segmentation network in arthropods that resulted in an incredible degree of complexity at the gap gene level in derived Diptera. There is growing evidence that Drosophila is a highly derived insect, and we are still far from fully understanding the underlying evolutionary mechanisms that led to its complexity. In addition, recent data have altered how we view the transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that control segmentation in Drosophila. However, these observations are not all bad news for the field. Instead, they stimulate further study of segmentation in Drosophila and in other species as well. To me, these seemingly new Drosophila paradigms are very challenging ones. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Sigrist M.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Genetics and molecular research : GMR | Year: 2011

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a triploid, vegetatively propagated crop introduced early during the colonization of Brazil. Turmeric rhizomes are ground into a powder used as a natural dye in the food industry, although recent research suggests a greater potential for the development of drugs and cosmetics. In Brazil, little is known about the genetic variability available for crop improvement. We examined the genetic diversity among turmeric accessions from a Brazilian germplasm collection comprising 39 accessions collected from the States of Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, and Pará. For comparison, 18 additional genotypes were analyzed, including samples from India and Puerto Rico. Total DNA was extracted from lyophilized leaf tissue and genetic analysis was performed using 17 microsatellite markers (single-sequence repeats). Shannon-Weiner indexes ranged from 0.017 (Minas Gerais) to 0.316 (São Paulo). Analyses of molecular variance (AMOVA) demonstrated major differences between countries (63.4%) and that most of the genetic diversity in Brazil is found within states (75.3%). Genotypes from São Paulo State were the most divergent and potentially useful for crop improvement. Structure analysis indicated two main groups of accessions. These results can help target future collecting efforts for introduction of new materials needed to develop more productive and better adapted cultivars.

Alberici L.C.,University of Sao Paulo
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry | Year: 2011

Easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS) was used to interrogate the hepatic lipid profiles of hypertriglyceridemic and control normotriglyceridemic mice. The analyses of ex vivo complex lipid mixtures were made directly with EASI-MS without accompanying separation steps. Intense ions for phosphatidylcholines and triacylglycerols were observed in the positive ion mode whereas the spectra in the negative ion mode provided profiles of phosphatidylethanolamines and phosphatidylinositol. EASI-MS was coupled to high-performance thin-layer chromatography for analysis of free fatty acids. Fourier transform-ion cyclotron resonance-mass spectrometry was also employed to confirm the identity of the detected lipids. We demonstrated higher incorporation of oleic acid in phosphatidylcholine and triacylglycerol composition, higher relative abundance of arachidonic acid containing phosphatidylinositol, and overall distinct free fatty acid profile in the livers of genetic hypertriglyceridemic mice. We propose that these alterations in liver lipid composition are related to the higher tissue and body metabolic rates described in these hypertriglyceridemic mice.

Camarini P.M.,University of Sao Paulo
Brazilian journal of physical therapy | Year: 2013

The SRS-22r questionnaire is a well-accepted instrument used to measure health-related quality of life in patients with idiopathic scoliosis. No validated tool exists in Brazil for idiopathic scoliosis, and the use of the SRS-22r in non-English Laguage contries requires its transcultural adaptation. The objective of this study was to culturally adapt the translated Brazilian version of the SRS-22r questionnaire and to determine its reliability using statistical tests for internal consistency and test-retest reliability. The transcultural adaptation process was carried out according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. The pre-final version was administered to 44 patients with idiopathic scoliosis. The mean age of the participants was 18.93 years and the mean curve magnitude was 54.6°. A subgroup of 30 volunteers completed the questionnaire a second time one week later to determine the scale's reproducibility. Internal consistency was determined using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, and the test-retest reliability was determined using the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC). No floor effects were observed using the Brazilian version of the SRS-22r. Ceiling effects were observed in the Pain and Satisfaction with Management domains. The internal consistency values were very good for 3 domains and good for 2 domains. The ICC values were excellent for all domains. The high values of internal consistency and ICC reproducibility suggest that this version of the questionnaire can be used in Brazilian patients with idiopathic scoliosis.

Melioli C.,University of Sao Paulo | de Gouveia Dal Pino E.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Geraissate F.G.,University of Sao Paulo
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

In this study we present three-dimensional radiative cooling hydrodynamical simulations of galactic winds generated particularly in M82-like starburst galaxies. We have considered intermittent winds induced by supernova (SN) explosions within super star clusters randomlydistributed (in space and time) in the central region of the galaxy (within a radius of R = 150 pc) and were able to reproduce the observed M82 wind conditions with its complex morphological outflow structure. We have found that the environmental conditions in the disc in thenearly recent past are crucial to determine whether the wind will develop a large-scale rich filamentary structure, as in M82 wind, or not. If a sufficiently large number of super stellar clusters are built upin a starburst mainly over a period of a few million years, then the simulations reproduce the multiphase gas observed in M82-like winds, i.e. with filaments of sizes about 20-300 pc, velocities of ~200-500 km s-1, densities in the range 10-1-10 cm-3, embedded in a hot, low-density gas with a density smaller than 10-2 cm-3 and a velocity of ~2000 km s-1. Otherwise, a 'superbubble-like' wind develops, with very poor or no cold filamentary structures. Also, the numerical evolutionof the SN ejecta has allowed us to obtain the abundance distribution over the first ~3 kpc extension of the wind and we have found that the SN explosions change significantly the metallicity only of the hot, low-density wind component for which we obtained abundances ~5-10 Z⊙in fair consistency with the observations. Moreover, we have found that the SN-driven wind transports to outside the disc large amounts ofenergy, momentum and gas, but the more massive high-density componentreaches only intermediate altitudes smaller than 1.5 kpc. Therefore, no significant amounts of gas mass are lost to the intergalactic medium and the mass evolution of the galaxy is not much affected by the starburst events occurring in the nuclear region. © 2013 The Authors.

Machado R.E.G.,University of Sao Paulo | Lima Neto G.B.,University of Sao Paulo
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

Observed galaxy clusters often exhibit X-ray morphologies suggestive of recent interaction with an infalling subcluster. A3376 is a nearby (z=0.046) massive galaxy clusterwhose bulletshaped X-ray emission indicates that it may have undergone a recent collision. It displays a pair of Mpc-scale radio relics and its brightest cluster galaxy is located 970 h-1 70 kpc away from the peak of X-ray emission, wherethe second brightest galaxy lies. We attempt to recover the dynamicalhistory of A3376. We perform a set ofN-body adiabatic hydrodynamical simulations using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) code GADGET-2. These simulations of binary cluster collisions are aimed at exploring the parameter space of possible initial configurations. By attempting to match X-ray morphology, temperature, virial mass and X-ray luminosity, we set approximate constraints on some merger parameters. Our best models suggest a collision of clusters with mass ratio in the range 1/6-1/8, and having a subcluster with central gas density four times higher than that of the major cluster. Models with small impact parameter (b < 150 kpc), if any, are preferred. We estimate that A3376 is observed approximately 0.5 Gyr after core passage, and that the collision axis is inclined by i ≈ 40° with respect to the plane ofthe sky. The infalling subcluster drives a supersonic shock wave that propagates at almost 2600 km s-1, implying a Mach number as high as M ~ 4; but we show how it would have been underestimated as M ~ 3 due to projection effects. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Raul Abramo L.,University of Sao Paulo | Leonard K.E.,University of Florida
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

Galaxy surveys that map multiple species of tracers of large-scale structure can improve the constraints on some cosmological parameters far beyond the limits imposed by a simplistic interpretation of cosmic variance. This enhancement derives from comparing the relative clustering between different tracers of large-scale structure. We present a simple but generic expression for the Fisher information matrix of surveys with any (discrete) number of tracers, and show that the enhancement of the constraints on bias-sensitive parameters are a straightforward consequence of this multitracer Fisher matrix. In fact, the relative clustering amplitudes between tracers are eigenvectors of thismultitracer Fisher matrix. The diagonalized multitracer Fisher matrix clearly shows that while the effective volume is bounded by the physical volume of the survey, the relational information between species is unbounded. As an application, we study the expected enhancements in the constraints of realistic surveys that aim at mapping several different types of tracers of large-scale structure. The gain obtained by combining multiple tracers is highest at low redshifts, and in one particular scenario we analysed that the enhancement can be as large as a factor of 3 for the accuracy in the determination of the redshift distortion parameter, and a factor of 5 for the local non-Gaussianity parameter fNL Radial and angular distance determinations from the baryonic features in the power spectrum may also benefit from the multitracer approach. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Falceta-Goncalves D.,University of Sao Paulo
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

In this work, we present a semi-analytical model of galactic wind for dwarf galaxies wherethermal and turbulent/momentum driving mechanisms are studied. The model takes intoaccount wave and internal adiabatic heating mechanisms, as well as radiative and adiabaticcooling. The importance of external sources of energy is discussed.We also studied the role ofthe spatial distribution of dark matter in the acceleration of the wind and in the mass-loss rates.The basic model parameters that regulate the wind mass-loss rate and terminal velocity are thegravitational potential profile, the equilibrium temperature of the gas and the amplitude of theturbulent motions of the gas.We found that dwarf galaxies are likely to present quasi-stationarywinds with mass-loss rates larger than 10-3 M· yr-1 even in the absence of turbulent motions(which is possibly related to the supernovae feedback), if the interstellar gas is heated to T > 104-105 K. We also found that the wind mass-loss rate is enhanced for cusped darkmatter distributions, such as the Navarro-Frenk-White profile, due to the increased pressuregradients at the centre of the galaxy. The solutions presented here may serve as benchmarksfor numerical simulations, and as inputs for single-zone chemical evolution models of dwarfgalaxies. © 2013 The Author Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Yukalov V.I.,University of Sao Paulo
Laser Physics Letters | Year: 2010

A statistical model is advanced for describing quantum turbulence in a superfluid system with Bose-Einstein condensate. Such a turbulent superfluid can be realized for trapped Bose atoms subject to either an alternating trapping potential or to an alternating magnetic field modulating the atomic scattering length by means of Feshbach resonance. The turbulent system is represented as a continuous mixture of states each of which is characterized by its own vorticity corresponding to a particular vortex. © 2010 by Astro Ltd.

Lourenco B.H.,University of Sao Paulo | Qi L.,Harvard University | Willett W.C.,Harvard University | Cardoso M.A.,University of Sao Paulo
Diabetes | Year: 2014

Previous evidence suggests that variants in the fat mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) affect adiposity in an age-dependent fashion in children, and nutritional factors may modify genotype effects. We assessed the effect of FTO rs9939609 on BMI and BMI-for-age Z score changes during childhood in a population-based longitudinal study in the Brazilian Amazon and investigated whether these effects were modified by vitamin D status, an important nutritional factor related to adiposity. At baseline, 1,088 children aged <10 years had complete genotypic and anthropometric data; 796 were followed up over a median 4.6 years. Baseline vitamin D insufficiency was defined as <75 nmol/L. We observed a 0.07 kg/m2/year increase in BMI and a 0.03 Z/year increase in BMI-for-age Z score per rs9939609 risk allele over follow-up (P = 0.01). Vitamin D status significantly modified FTO effects (P for interaction = 0.02). The rs9939609 risk allele was associated with a 0.05 Z/year increase in BMIfor- age Z score among vitamin D-insufficient children (P = 0.003), while no significant genetic effects were observed among vitamin D-sufficient children. Our data suggest that FTO rs9939609 affects child weight gain, and genotype effects are more pronounced among children with insufficient vitamin D levels. © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association.

Yukalov V.I.,University of Sao Paulo
Laser Physics Letters | Year: 2010

The notion of fluctuation indices, characterizing thermodynamic stability of statistical systems, is advanced. These indices are especially useful for investigating the stability of nonuniform and trapped atomic assemblies. The fluctuation indices are calculated for several systems with Bose-Einstein condensate. It is shown that: the ideal uniform Bose-condensed gas is thermodynamically unstable; trapped ideal gases are stable for the confining dimension larger than two; trapped gases, under the confining dimension two, are weakly unstable; harmonically trapped gas is stable only for the spatial dimension three; one-dimensional harmonically trapped gas is unstable; two-dimensional gas in a harmonic trap represents a marginal case, being weakly unstable; interacting nonuniform three-dimensional Bose-condensed gas is stable. There are no thermodynamically anomalous particle fluctuations in stable Bose-condensed systems. © 2010 by Astro Ltd., published exclusively by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

Narchi N.Z.,University of Sao Paulo
Midwifery | Year: 2011

General objective: to analyse the exercise of essential competencies for midwifery care by nurses and/or midwives in the public health system of São Paulo (eastern zone), Brazil. Specific objectives: to develop a profile of the public health institutions and of the nurses and/or midwives who care for women before, during and following childbirth; to identify the activities performed in providing such care, as well as their frequency; and to specify the possible obstacles or difficulties encountered by them when exercising their competencies. Design: a descriptive and exploratory research design, using a quantitative approach. Setting: the study was conducted in all public health services of São Paulo (eastern zone), Brazil, namely 59 basic health-care units and six hospitals, during the period of October 2006-December 2007. Participants: the study population consisted of 272 nurses and/or midwives who provide care for pregnant women and newborns at the primary health-care units and maternity hospitals of the public health system. Participants comprised 100% of hospital nurse coordinators (n=6), 61% of hospital maternity nursing and/or midwifery staff (n=62) and 64% (n=204) of nursing and/or midwifery staff working at primary health-care units. Methods and findings: the data collection was based on a single form given to the coordinators and two questionnaires, one handed out to antenatal and postnatal nursing and/or midwifery staff and another handed out to labour and birth nursing and/or midwifery staff. The results showed that nurses and/or midwives providing care for women during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period did not put the essential competencies for midwifery care into practice, because they encountered institutional barriers and personal resistance, and lacked protocols based on best practice and on the exercise of essential competencies needed for effective midwifery care. Key conclusions: the model of care in the public health services of São Paulo (eastern zone) is based much more on hierarchical positions than on professional competencies or on the recommendations of the scientific community. As a result, health authorities need to review their midwifery policies to improve maternal-infant care by nurses and/or midwives in order to ensure the implementation of best midwifery practice. Practical implications: the results of this study support actions to improve the quality of care delivered to women and their families, while integrating nursing and midwifery care in São Paulo, Brazil. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

Zhang S.-J.,University of Sao Paulo | Abdalla E.,University of Sao Paulo
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015

We study holographic thermalization in spacetimes with a chemical potential and a non-trivial dilaton field. Three non-local observables are used to probe the whole process and investigate the effect of the ratio of the chemical potential over temperature χ and the dilaton-Maxwell coupling constant α. It is found that the saturation time is not always a monotonically increasing function of χ, the situation depends on α. When 0. ≤. α. ≤. 1, larger χ yields longer saturation time, while for α. >. 1, the situation becomes more complex. More interesting, we found that although α indeed has influence on the whole thermalization process, it nearly does not affect the saturation time, which indicates the universality of the saturation time for the dual one-parameter field theories. © 2015 The Authors.

Finazzo S.I.,University of Sao Paulo | Noronha J.,University of Sao Paulo
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: The imaginary part of the heavy quark-antiquark potential experienced by moving heavy quarkonia in strongly coupled plasmas dual to theories of gravity is computed by considering thermal worldsheet fluctuations of the holographic Nambu-Goto string. General results for a wide class of gravity duals are presented and an explicit formula for Im VQQ¯ is found in the case where the axis of the moving Q¯Q pair has an arbitrary orientation with respect to its velocity in the plasma. These results are applied to the study of heavy quarkonia propagating through a strongly coupled N=4 SYM plasma. Our results indicate that the onset of Im VQQ¯ decreases with increasing rapidity (though our analysis is limited to slowly moving quarkonia) and that, in general, a QQ¯ pair is more strongly bound if its axis is aligned with its direction of motion through the strongly coupled plasma. © 2015, The Author(s).

Goncalves V.P.,Federal University of Pelotas | Moreira B.D.,University of Sao Paulo | Navarra F.S.,University of Sao Paulo
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The exclusive ϒ photoproduction in proton-proton and proton-nucleus collisions at LHC energies is investigated using the color dipole formalism and considering different models for the ϒ wave function and forward dipole-target scattering amplitude. Our goal is to update the color dipole predictions and estimate the theoretical uncertainty present in these predictions. We present predictions for the kinematical ranges probed by the ALICE, CMS and LHCb Collaborations. © 2015 The Authors.