Bilbao, Spain

The University of the Basque Country ; Spanish - Universidad del País Vasco ) is the only public university in the Basque Country , in Northern Spain. It has campuses over the three provinces of the autonomous community: Biscay Campus , Gipuzkoa Campus , and Álava Campus in Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is the main research institution in the Basque Country, carrying out 90% of the basic research made in that territory and taking advantage of the good industrial environment that the region constitutes. Wikipedia.


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Ramos J.,Grupo de Fisica de Fluidos y Biocoloides | Forcada J.,University of the Basque Country
European Polymer Journal | Year: 2010

[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] trimethylammonium chloride (MATMAC), and vinylbenzyl trimethyl ammonium chloride (VBTMAC) were chosen to be used as ionic comonomers in the emulsion polymerization of styrene. The cationic nature of the two comonomers is the same (quaternary ammonium salts), however the styrene derivate (VBTMAC) is more hydrophobic than the methacrylic one (MATMAC). With the more hydrophobic cationic comonomer (VBTMAC) higher conversions were obtained due to the in situ creation of an amphiphilic copolymer with styrene and faster rates of polymerization were observed by increasing the cationic comonomer concentration. The same behavior was observed with the more hydrophilic cationic comonomer (MATMAC) at concentrations up to 0.012 M. At higher concentrations the ionic strength controls the colloidal stability of the system and coagulation occurs. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Guerrero P.,University of the Basque Country | Kerry J.P.,University College Cork | De La Caba K.,University of the Basque Country
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2014

Soy protein-based blends were processed by double screw extrusion and the effects of different types and contents of polysaccharides were analyzed. Although extrusion has not been widely used for this type of blends, in this study it was observed that the increase in polysaccharide content in blends caused a decrease in specific mechanical energy (SME), facilitating extrusion process and showing the potential of this process, which is more cost effective at industrial scale. In order to explain this behavior, infrared spectroscopy analysis was carried out, mainly in the amide I and II regions. Moreover, curve fitting analysis showed the conformational changes produced in the blends due to the addition of polysaccharides, which affected protein denaturation. These changes also affected properties such as moisture content (MC) and total solubility matter (TSM). However, conformational changes did not show significant effects with respect to piece density (PD) or in the expansion ratio (ER) of the pellets. The quantitative analysis of the changes in the amide I and II regions provided novel information about the modifications produced in protein-based blends modified with polysaccharides. In this context, infrared spectroscopy provided a convenient and powerful means to monitor interactions between all ingredients used in the blend formulation, which is of great importance in order to explain changes in the functional properties of biodegradable materials used for industrial applications in food and pharmaceutical industries. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Camblong H.,University of the Basque Country
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2010

In this paper, the transient operation of a four-leg inverter equipped with an innovative control strategy under unbalanced load conditions is investigated. The inverter is proposed for transformerless hybrid power system applications, in order to provide simultaneous supply of three-phase and single-phase ac loads with balanced voltage and constant frequency. The four-leg inverter is controlled to ensure balanced voltage by means of a control strategy based on the decomposition of the supply three-phase voltage and current into instantaneous positive, negative, and homopolar sequence components using phasor representation. These three sequences are controlled independently in their own reference frames as dc signals. The implementation derived for the controller design is also described. The transient operation performance of the proposed control strategy has been tested in simulations with an average model and experimentally using a laboratory prototype. © 2010 IEEE.


Burke L.M.,Australian Institute of Sport | Mujika I.,University of the Basque Country | Mujika I.,Finis Terrae University
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism | Year: 2014

Postexercise recovery is an important topic among aquatic athletes and involves interest in the quality, quantity, and timing of intake of food and fluids after workouts or competitive events to optimize processes such as refueling, rehydration, repair, and adaptation. Recovery processes that help to minimize the risk of illness and injury are also important but are less well documented. Recovery between workouts or competitive events may have two separate goals: (a) restoration of body losses and changes caused by the first session to restore performance for the next and (b) maximization of the adaptive responses to the stress provided by the session to gradually make the body become better at the features of exercise that are important for performance. In some cases, effective recovery occurs only when nutrients are supplied, and an early supply of nutrients may also be valuable in situations in which the period immediately after exercise provides an enhanced stimulus for recovery. This review summarizes contemporary knowledge of nutritional strategies to promote glycogen resynthesis, restoration of fluid balance, and protein synthesis after different types of exercise stimuli. It notes that some scenarios benefit from a proactive approach to recovery eating, whereas others may not need such attention. In fact, in some situations it may actually be beneficial to withhold nutritional support immediately after exercise. Each athlete should use a cost-benefit analysis of the approaches to recovery after different types of workouts or competitive events and then periodize different recovery strategies into their training or competition programs. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.


Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Muga J.G.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,Shanghai University
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2012

We design, by invariant-based inverse engineering, resonant laser pulses to perform fast population transfers in three-level systems. The laser intensities to improve the fidelity or to achieve a perfect transfer are examined for different protocols. They can be reduced by populating the intermediate state and by multimode driving. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Ludvigsson J.,Linköping University | Krisky D.,Diamyd Medical | Casas R.,Linköping University | Battelino T.,University of Ljubljana | And 8 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: The 65-kD isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65) is a major autoantigen in type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that alum-formulated GAD65 (GAD-alum) can preserve beta-cell function in patients with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. METHODS: We studied 334 patients, 10 to 20 years of age, with type 1 diabetes, fasting C-peptide levels of more than 0.3 ng per milliliter (0.1 nmol per liter), and detectable serum GAD65 autoantibodies. Within 3 months after diagnosis, patients were randomly assigned to receive one of three study treatments: four doses of GAD-alum, two doses of GAD-alum followed by two doses of placebo, or four doses of placebo. The primary outcome was the change in the stimulated serum C-peptide level (after a mixedmeal tolerance test) between the baseline visit and the 15-month visit. Secondary outcomes included the glycated hemoglobin level, mean daily insulin dose, rate of hypoglycemia, and fasting and maximum stimulated C-peptide levels. RESULTS: The stimulated C-peptide level declined to a similar degree in all study groups, and the primary outcome at 15 months did not differ significantly between the combined active-drug groups and the placebo group (P = 0.10). The use of GAD-alum as compared with placebo did not affect the insulin dose, glycated hemoglobin level, or hypoglycemia rate. Adverse events were infrequent and mild in the three groups, with no significant differences. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with GAD-alum did not significantly reduce the loss of stimulated C peptide or improve clinical outcomes over a 15-month period. (Funded by Diamyd Medical and the Swedish Child Diabetes Foundation; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00723411.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.


Ronnestad B.R.,Lillehammer University College | Mujika I.,University of the Basque Country | Mujika I.,Finis Terrae University
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2014

Here we report on the effect of combining endurance training with heavy or explosive strength training on endurance performance in endurance-trained runners and cyclists. Running economy is improved by performing combined endurance training with either heavy or explosive strength training. However, heavy strength training is recommended for improving cycling economy. Equivocal findings exist regarding the effects on power output or velocity at the lactate threshold. Concurrent endurance and heavy strength training can increase running speed and power output at VO2max (Vmax and Wmax, respectively) or time to exhaustion at Vmax and Wmax. Combining endurance training with either explosive or heavy strength training can improve running performance, while there is most compelling evidence of an additive effect on cycling performance when heavy strength training is used. It is suggested that the improved endurance performance may relate to delayed activation of less efficient type II fibers, improved neuromuscular efficiency, conversion of fast-twitch type IIX fibers into more fatigue-resistant type IIA fibers, or improved musculo-tendinous stiffness. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Tseng S.-Y.,National Cheng Kung University | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Chen X.,University of the Basque Country
Optics Letters | Year: 2012

We propose fast and robust mode conversion in multimode waveguides based on Lewis-Riesenfeld invariant theory. The design of mode converters using the multimode driving for dynamical invariant is discussed. Computergenerated planar holograms are used to mimic the shaped pulses driving the states in three-level quantum systems. We show that the invariant-based inverse engineering scheme reduces mode converter length as compared to the common adiabatic scheme. © 2012 Optical Society of America.


Romero G.,University of the Basque Country | Ballester D.,University of the Basque Country | Wang Y.M.,National University of Singapore | Scarani V.,National University of Singapore | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We present a method to implement ultrafast two-qubit gates valid for the ultrastrong coupling and deep strong coupling regimes of light-matter interaction, considering state-of-the-art circuit quantum electrodynamics technology. Our proposal includes a suitable qubit architecture and is based on a four-step sequential displacement of the intracavity field, operating at a time proportional to the inverse of the resonator frequency. Through ab initio calculations, we show that these quantum gates can be performed at subnanosecond time scales while keeping a fidelity above 99%. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Villatoro J.,University of the Basque Country | Villatoro J.,Ikerbasque | Zubia J.,University of the Basque Country
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

A mode interferometer consisting of a short section of photonic crystal fiber (PCF) fusion spliced to a standard single-mode optical fiber with localized perturbations is proposed for multiparameter sensing. In this sensing configuration, the parameter being sensed changes the visibility (an absolute parameter) of the interference pattern and also causes a shift (a relative parameter) to the interference pattern. To achieve this dual effect, a portion of the PCF is squeezed on localized regions with a serrated mechanical piece. In this manner, we introduce attenuation losses and effective refractive index changes to the interfering modes, hence, visibility changes and a shift to the interference pattern. Our device is suitable for monitoring diverse physical parameters, such as weight, lateral force, pressure, load, etc., with the advantage that compensation to temperature or power fluctuations is not required. Moreover, the sensor sensitivity can be adjusted in a simple manner. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Hernandez E.R.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | Rodriguez-Prieto A.,University College London | Bergara A.,University of the Basque Country | Alfe D.,University College London
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report large-scale first-principles simulations of melting of four different phases of Li at pressures ranging from 0 to 50 GPa. We find excellent agreement with existing experimental data at low pressures, and confirm that above 10 GPa the melting line develops a negative slope, in parallel to what occurs for Na at 30 GPa. Surprisingly, our results indicate that the melting temperature of the bcc phase is always higher than that of fcc Li, suggesting the intriguing possibility of the existence of a narrow field of bcc stability separating the fcc and liquid phases, as predicted by Alexander and McTague. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Schull G.,CNRS Institute of Genetics and of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Frederiksen T.,Donostia International Physics Center | Arnau A.,Donostia International Physics Center | Arnau A.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

The transport of charge through a conducting material depends on the intrinsic ability of the material to conduct current and on the charge injection efficiency at the contacts between the conductor and the electrodes carrying current to and from the material1-3. According to theoretical considerations4, this concept remains valid down to the limit of single-molecule junctions5. Exploring this limit in experiments requires atomic-scale control of the junction geometry. Here we present a method for probing the current through a single C 60 molecule while changing, one by one, the number of atoms in the electrode that are in contact with the molecule. We show quantitatively that the contact geometry has a strong influence on the conductance. We also find a crossover from a regime in which the conductance is limited by charge injection at the contact to a regime in which the conductance is limited by scattering at the molecule. Thus, the concepts of 'good' and 'bad' contacts, commonly used in macro- and mesoscopic physics, can also be applied at the molecular scale. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Badiola I.,Innoprot SL | Olaso E.,University of the Basque Country | Crende O.,University of the Basque Country | Friedman S.L.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Vidal-Vanaclocha F.,University of San Pablo - CEU
Gut | Year: 2012

Background: The transdifferentiation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) into myofibroblasts is a major mechanism for stroma development in hepatic metastasis, but their regulatory pathways remain unclear. Transdifferentiated HSCs from fibrotic liver express high levels of the fibrillar collagen receptor discoidin domain receptor 2 (DDR2), but it is unclear if DDR2 plays a direct profibrogenic role in the tumour microenvironment. Aim: To assess the impact of DDR2 on the prometastatic role of HSC-derived myofibroblasts. Methods: Hepatic metastases were induced in DDR2-/- and DDR2+/+ mice by intrasplenic injection of MCA38 colon carcinoma cells, and their growth and features were characterised. Stromagenic, angiogenic and cancer cell proliferation responses were quantified in metastases by immunohistochemistry. The adhesion-, migration- and proliferation-stimulating activities of supernatants from primary cultured DDR2-/- and DDR2+/+ HSCs, incubated in MCA38 cell-conditioned medium, were evaluated in primary cultured liver sinusoidal endothelium cells (LSECs) and MCA38 cells. Gene expression signatures from freshly isolated DDR2-/- and DDR2 +/+ HSCs were compared and DDR2-regulated genes were studied by RT-PCR under basal conditions and after stimulation with MCA38 tumour-conditioned media. Results: Metastases were increased three fold in DDR2-/- livers, and contained a higher density of α-smooth muscle actin-expressing myofibroblasts, CD31-expressing microvessels and Ki67-expressing MCA38 cells than metastases in DDR2+/+ livers. Media conditioned by MCA38-activated DDR2-/- HSCs significantly increased adhesion, migration and proliferation of LSECs and MCA38 cells, compared with DDR2+/+ HSCs. DDR2 deficiency in HSCs led to decreased gene expression of interferon γ-inducing factor interleukin (IL)-18 and insulin-like growth factor-I; and increased gene expression of prometastatic factors IL-10, transforming growth factor (TGF)β and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), bone morphogenetic protein-7 and syndecan-1. MC38 tumour-conditioned media further exacerbated expression changes in DDR2-dependent IL-10, TGFβ and VEGF genes. Conclusion: DDR2 deficiency fosters the myofibroblast transdifferentiation of tumour-activated HSCs, generating a prometastatic microenvironment in the liver via HSC-derived factors. These findings underscore the role of stromal cells in conditioning the hepatic microenvironment for metastases through altered receptor-stroma interactions.


Mujika I.,University of the Basque Country | Mujika I.,Finis Terrae University
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2014

Detailed accounts of the training programs followed by today's elite triathletes are lacking in the sport-science literature. This study reports on the training program of a world-class female triathlete preparing to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games. Over 50 wk, she performed 796 sessions (303 swim, 194 bike, 254 run, 45 strength training), ie, 16 ± 4 sessions/wk (mean ± SD). Swim, bike, and run training volumes were, respectively, 1230 km (25 ± 8 km/wk), 427 h (9 ± 3 h/wk), and 250 h (5 ± 2 h/wk). Training tasks were categorized and prescribed based on heart-rate values and/or speeds and power outputs associated with different blood lactate concentrations. Training performed at intensities below her individual lactate threshold (ILT), between the ILT and the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), and above the OBLA for swim were 74% ± 6%, 16% ± 2%, 10% ± 2%; bike 88% ± 3%, 10% ± 1%, 2.1% ± 0.2%; and run 85% ± 2%, 8.0% ± 0.3%, 6.7% ± 0.3%. Training organization was adapted to the busy competition calendar (18 events, of which 8 were Olympic-distance triathlons) and continuously responded to emerging information. Training volumes were 35-80% higher than those previously reported for elite male and female triathletes, but training intensity and tapering strategies successfully followed recommended best practice for endurance athletes. This triathlete placed 7th in London 2012, and her world ranking improved from 14th to 8th at the end of 2012. © 2014 Human Kinetics, Inc.


Alegria A.,University of the Basque Country | Colmenero J.,University of the Basque Country | Colmenero J.,Donostia International Physics Center
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We investigated the kinetics of enthalpy recovery of several glass-forming polymers at temperatures significantly below the glass transition temperature (Tg) and for aging times up to one year. We find a double-step recovery at relatively low aging temperatures for the longest investigated aging times. The enthalpy recovered after the two-step decay approximately equals that expected by extrapolation from the melt. The two-step enthalpy recovery indicates the presence of two time scales for glass equilibration. The equilibration time of the first recovery step exhibits relatively weak temperature dependence, whereas that of the second step possesses pronounced temperature dependence, compatible with the Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann behavior. These results, while leaving open the question of the divergence of the relaxation time and that of a thermodynamic singularity at a finite temperature, reveal a complex scenario of glassy dynamics. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Heneka M.T.,Klinische Neurowissenschaften | Rodriguez J.J.,Ikerbasque | Rodriguez J.J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | Verkhratsky A.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Brain Research Reviews | Year: 2010

Neuroglial cells are fundamental for control of brain homeostasis and they represent the intrinsic brain defence system. All forms in neuropathology therefore inevitably involve glia. The neurodegenerative diseases disrupt connectivity within brain circuits affecting neuronal-neuronal, neuronal-glial and glial-glial contacts. In addition neurodegenerative processes trigger universal and conserved glial reactions represented by astrogliosis and microglial activation. The complex of recently acquired knowledge allows us to regard the neurodegenerative diseases as primarily gliodegenerative processes, in which glial cells determine the progression and outcome of neuropathological process. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.


Basanez G.,University of the Basque Country
PLoS Biology | Year: 2012

Cell death by apoptosis is indispensable for proper development and tissue homeostasis in all multicellular organisms, and its deregulation plays a key role in cancer and many other diseases. A crucial event in apoptosis is the formation of protein-permeable pores in the outer mitochondrial membrane that release cytochrome c and other apoptosis-promoting factors into the cytosol. Research efforts over the past two decades have established that apoptotic pores require BCL-2 family proteins, with the proapoptotic BAX-type proteins being direct effectors of pore formation. Accumulating evidence indicates that other cellular components also cooperate with BCL-2 family members to regulate the apoptotic pore. Despite this knowledge, the molecular pathway leading to apoptotic pore formation at the outer mitochondrial membrane and the precise nature of this outer membrane pore remain enigmatic. In this issue of PLOS Biology, Kushnareva and colleagues describe a novel kinetic analysis of the dynamics of BAX-dependent apoptotic pore formation recapitulated in native mitochondrial outer membranes. Their study reveals the existence of a hitherto unknown outer mitochondrial membrane factor that is critical for BAX-mediated apoptotic pore formation, and challenges the currently popular view that the apoptotic pore is a purely proteinaceous multimeric assembly of BAX proteins. It also supports the notion that membrane remodeling events are implicated in the formation of a lipid-containing apoptotic pore. © 2012 Basañez et al.


Valcarcel M.,Innoprot SL | Carrascal T.,University of the Basque Country | Crende O.,University of the Basque Country | Vidal-Vanaclocha F.,University of San Pablo - CEU
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2014

Very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) is frequently overexpressed on melanoma cells contributing to inflammation-dependent metastasis. Melanoma cell adhesion to endothelium via VLA-4-vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) interaction was used to study VLA-4 activation during melanoma cell response to inflammation. Cooperation among major inflammatory mediators was analyzed in melanoma cells exposed to single inflammatory factors in the presence of inhibitors for other assayed mediators. A stepwise cascade of hierarchized molecules heterogeneously made and used during melanoma response to IL-18, induced hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2), in turn activating VLA-4 and melanoma cell adhesion to endothelium. The cascade involved prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production from melanoma induced by IL-18-dependent tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα); next, PGE2-induced IL-1β via vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion, which in turn induced VLA-4 activation via cyclooxygenase 2-dependent H 2 O 2. This sequence operated in IL-18R/VLA-4/VEGF-expressing murine (B16) and human (A375 and 883) melanomas, but not in those without this phenotype. Separation of active VLA-4-expressing B16 melanoma cells through immobilized VCAM-1 verified their higher IL-18R/TNFR1/VEGFR2 expression and metastatic growth than inactive VLA-4-expressing cells. However, cooperation among melanoma cell sub-populations with heterogeneous cytokine receptor levels may occur through VLA-4-stimulating factors, leading to intratumoral amplification of metastatic potential. Therefore, expression of the VLA-4-stimulating factor sequence may help to predict melanoma prometastatic risk, and offers therapeutic targets for metastatic melanoma deactivation through VLA-4 activation blockade. © 2014 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.


Fdez-Gubieda M.L.,University of the Basque Country | Muela A.,University of the Basque Country | Alonso J.,University of the Basque Country | Garcia-Prieto A.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2013

Magnetotactic bacteria biosynthesize magnetite nanoparticles of high structural and chemical purity that allow them to orientate in the geomagnetic field. In this work we have followed the process of biomineralization of these magnetite nanoparticles. We have performed a time-resolved study on magnetotactic bacteria Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense strain MSR-1. From the combination of magnetic and structural studies by means of Fe K-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy we have identified and quantified two phases of Fe (ferrihydrite and magnetite) involved in the biomineralization process, confirming the role of ferrihydrite as the source of Fe ions for magnetite biomineralization in M. gryphiswaldense. We have distinguished two steps in the biomineralization process: the first, in which Fe is accumulated in the form of ferrihydrite, and the second, in which the magnetite is rapidly biomineralized from ferrihydrite. Finally, the XANES analysis suggests that the origin of the ferrihydrite could be at bacterial ferritin cores, characterized by a poorly crystalline structure and high phosphorus content. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ban Y.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Sherman E.Ya.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We apply an invariant-based inverse engineering method to control, by time-dependent electric fields, the spin dynamics in a quantum dot with spin-orbit coupling in a weak magnetic field. The designed electric fields provide a shortcut to adiabatic processes that flip the spin rapidly, thus avoiding decoherence effects. This approach, being robust with respect to the device-dependent noise, can open new possibilities for spin-based quantum information processing. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Ibanez S.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Torrontegui E.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

A Schrödinger equation may be unitarily transformed into dynamical equations in different interaction pictures which describe a common physical process, i.e., the same underlying interactions and dynamics. In contrast to this standard scenario, other relations are also possible, such as a common interaction-picture dynamical equation corresponding to several Schrödinger equations that represent different physical processes. This may enable us to design alternative and feasible experimental routes for operations that are a priori difficult or impossible to perform. The power of this concept is exemplified by engineering Hamiltonians that improve the performance or make realizable several shortcuts to adiabaticity. © 2012 American Physical Society.


San-Jose Lombera J.-T.,Tecnalia | San-Jose Lombera J.-T.,University of the Basque Country | Garrucho Aprea I.,SEDICAL S.A.
Building and Environment | Year: 2010

The construction sector plays a major role in the development of society. It wields enormous influence over economic activity, employment and growth rates. However, it also has a substantial impact on the natural environment, the effects of which are evident across the world. Over recent decades, pioneering initiatives have proposed environmentally friendly buildings and sustainable construction has centred on residential and office buildings. Nevertheless, further consideration still needs to be given to sustainability in many areas of industrial construction. Accordingly, an Integrated Value Model for Sustainable Assessment (MIVES) is presented in this article that applies a set of six study scopes to define the sustainability criteria of industrial buildings. The system uses a requirements tree to quantify sustainability at various hierarchical levels, in order to assess the behaviour of industrial buildings and compliance with the criteria. Assignment of value functions to the sustainability criteria is then described in the context of a case study of a printing works, which demonstrates the effectiveness of this model at unifying both qualitative and quantitative indicators, in order to arrive at a specific "environmental sustainability index" for the industrial building. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bastarrika A.,University of the Basque Country | Chuvieco E.,University of Alcalá
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing | Year: 2011

A novel automatic burned area mapping algorithm for Mediterranean ecosystems based on Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) time series data is presented in this paper. This algorithm is based on a two-phase approach. The first phase detects the most severely burned areas, using spectral/temporal rules computed from dynamic temporal windows. The second phase improves the discrimination of burned areas around those seed burned pixels using contextual algorithms based on edge detectors. The use of those filters improved the performance of the contextual algorithm, by refining the discrimination of fire perimeters while restricting the segmentation process. The algorithm was validated over six Mediterranean regions during the fire season of 2003, where reference data was generated using Landsat TM/ETM+ images. Omission and commission errors were below 20%, with an overall Kappa value of 0.846. The validation based on regression scattergraphs of 5 × 5 km grids showed good agreement as well (R2 = 0.972). The standard MODIS burned area product (MCD45A1) showed lower accuracy than the proposed algorithm, with higher omission errors (38.6%) and lower Kappa (0.704) and R2 (0.838) values. © 2011 IEEE.


Comabella M.,Hospital Universitari Vall dHebron | Vandenbroeck K.,University of the Basque Country | Vandenbroeck K.,Ikerbasque
Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports | Year: 2011

Notwithstanding the availability of diseasemodifying treatments including interferon-β, glatiramer acetate, and natalizumab, a considerable proportion of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experience continued progression of disease, clinical relapses, disease activity on MRI, and adverse effects. Application of gene expression, proteomic or genomic approaches is universally accepted as a suitable strategy toward the identification of biomarkers with predictive value for beneficial/poor clinical response to therapy and treatment risks. This review focuses on recent progress in research on the pharmacogenomics of disease-modifying therapies for MS. Although MS drug response biomarkers are not yet routinely implemented in the clinic, the diversity of reported, promising molecular markers is rapidly increasing. Even though most of these markers await further validation, given time, this research is likely to empower neurologists with an enhanced armamentarium to facilitate rational decisions on therapy and patient management. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.


Migani A.,University of the Basque Country | Migani A.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | Mowbray D.J.,University of the Basque Country | Iacomino A.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

Photocatalytic activity depends on the optimal alignment of electronic levels at the molecule-semiconductor interface. Establishing the level alignment experimentally is complicated by the uncertain chemical identity of the surface species. We address the assignment of the occupied and empty electronic levels for the prototypical photocatalytic system consisting of methanol on a rutile TiO2(110) surface. Using many-body quasiparticle (QP) techniques, we show that the frontier levels measured in UV photoelectron and two-photon photoemission spectroscopy experiments can be assigned to molecularly chemisorbed methanol rather than its dissociated product, the methoxy species. We find that the highest occupied molecular orbital of the methoxy species is much closer to the valence band maximum, suggesting why it is more photocatalytically active than the methanol molecule. We develop a general semiquantitative model for predicting many-body QP energies based on the electronic screening within the bulk, molecular, or vacuum regions of the wave functions at molecule-semiconductor interfaces. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ecija P.,University of the Basque Country | Cocinero E.J.,University of the Basque Country | Castano F.,University of the Basque Country
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Molecular spinning tops: Five halogen-bonded isotopologues of the CF 3Cl-H 2O complex have been assigned by Fourier-transform microwave spectroscopy. All complexes are symmetric-top systems with evenly spaced bonds. The free internal rotation, relative stability, and structure of these complexes were determined (see picture; Ψ, θ, and φ: angles, a and b: axes of the monomer, and A: axis of the complex). © 2011 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Ruschhaupt A.,University College Cork | Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Alonso D.,University of La Laguna | And 2 more authors.
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

We examine the stability versus different types of perturbations of recently proposed shortcuts to adiabaticity to speed up the population inversion of a two-level quantum system. We find the optimally robust processes by using invariant-based engineering of the Hamiltonian. Amplitude noise and systematic errors require different optimal protocols. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque | Saiz L.,University of California at Davis
Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Summary: Macromolecular assembly coordinates essential cellular processes, such as gene regulation and signal transduction. A major challenge for conventional computational methods to study these processes is tackling the exponential increase of the number of configurational states with the number of components. CplexA is a Mathematica package that uses functional programming to efficiently compute probabilities and average properties over such exponentially large number of states from the energetics of the interactions. The package is particularly suited to study gene expression at complex promoters controlled by multiple, local and distal, DNA binding sites for transcription factors. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Bastarrika A.,University of the Basque Country | Chuvieco E.,University of Alcalá
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2011

Maps of burned area have been obtained from an automatic algorithm applied to a multitemporal series of Landsat TM/ETM+ images in two Mediterranean sites. The proposed algorithm is based on two phases: the first one intends to detect the more severely burned areas and minimize commission errors. The second phase improves burned patches delimitation using a hybrid contextual algorithm based on logistic regression analysis, and tries to minimize omission errors. The algorithm was calibrated using six study sites and it was validated for the whole territory of Portugal (89,000 km2) and for Southern California (70,000 km2). In the validation exercise, 65 TM/ETM+ scenes for Portugal and 35 for California were used, all from the 2003 fire season. A good agreement with the official burned area perimeters was shown, with kappa values close to 0.85 and low omission and commission errors (b16.5%). The proposed algorithm could be operationally used for historical mapping of burned areas from Landsat images, as well as from future medium resolution sensors, providing they acquire images in two bands of the Short Wave Infrared (1.5-2.2 μm). © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Zubia-Olascoaga A.,IkerChem | Bujanda L.,University of the Basque Country
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest solid cancer and currently the fourth most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths. Emerging evidence suggests that cancer stem cells (CSCs) play a crucial role in the development and progression of this disease. The identification of CSC markers could lead to the development of new therapeutic targets. In this study, the authors explore the functional role of c-Met in pancreatic CSCs, by analyzing self-renewal with sphere assays and tumorigenicity capacity in NOD SCID mice. They concluded that c-Met is a novel marker for identifying pancreatic CSCs and c-Methigh in a higher tumorigenic cancer cell population. Inhibition of c-Met with XL184 blocks self-renewal capacity in pancreatic CSCs. In pancreatic tumors established in NOD SCID mice, c-Met inhibition slowed tumor growth and reduced the population of CSCs, along with preventing the development of metastases. © 2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.


Fernandez-Ferrin P.,University of the Basque Country
Food Quality and Preference | Year: 2013

This study presents the construct of consumer regional ethnocentrism, which relates to consumer opinions over whether or not it is acceptable and ethical to purchase products from other regions. Although the majority of previous studies consider the analysis of consumer ethnocentrism as an international marketing subject affecting the purchase of domestic and foreign products, we consider it necessary to discuss this influential factor in an inter-regional context. Based on the social identity theory, we put forward an antecedents and consequences of regional ethnocentrism model and we also analyze the effect of three moderating variables on some of the relationships contained in the model. Ourresults, obtained from a representative sample of 138 consumers from Galicia (Spain), support the aforementioned model and show that consumer ethnocentrism is an important factor regarding the intention to purchase not only foreign products but also non-regional products. Other studies should verify the reliability of the Consumer Ethnocentric Tendencies Scale (CETSCALE) in other regional contexts. Companies operating within different regional contexts need to be made aware that consumers with greater ethnocentric tendencies will be more likely to buy their products if they know that they have been produced in their own region or by a regional company. This exploratory paper contributes to existing literature as it is the first of its kind to analyze the construct of consumer ethnocentrism at a regional level, using a representative population sample. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Miyamoto Y.,NEC Corp | Zhang H.,Sichuan University | Rubio A.,University of the Basque Country
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We show by first-principles simulations that ultrafast laser pulses induce different chemical reactions in a molecule trapped inside a nanotube. A strong laser pulse polarized perpendicular to the tube axis induces a giant bond stretch of an encapsulated HCl molecule in semiconducting carbon nanotube or in a BN nanotube. Depending on the initial orientation of the HCl molecule, the subsequent laser-induced dynamics is different: either complete disintegration or rebonding of the HCl molecule. Radial motion of the nanotube is always observed and a vacancy appears on the tube wall when the HCl is perpendicular to the tube axis. Those results are important to analyze confined nanochemistry and to manipulate molecules and nanostructures encapsulated in organic and inorganic nanotubes. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Muga J.G.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2010

We study for the time-dependent harmonic oscillator the transient energy excitation in speed-up processes ('shortcuts to adiabaticity') designed to reproduce the initial populations at some predetermined final frequency and time. We provide lower bounds and examples. Implications for the limits imposed to the process times and for the principle of unattainability of the absolute zero, in a single expansion or in quantum refrigerator cycles, are drawn. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Ruschhaupt A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | Schmidt S.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

A method is proposed to cool down atoms in a harmonic trap without phase-space compression as in a perfectly slow adiabatic expansion, i.e., keeping the same populations of instantaneous levels in the initial and final traps, but in a much shorter time. This may require that the harmonic trap become transiently an expulsive parabolic potential. The cooling times achieved are shorter than those obtained using optimal-control bang-bang methods and real frequencies. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Lizuain I.,University of the Basque Country | Ruschhaupt A.,Leibniz University of Hanover | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We propose a method to speed up adiabatic passage techniques in two-level and three-level atoms extending to the short-time domain their robustness with respect to parameter variations. It supplements or substitutes the standard laser beam setups with auxiliary pulses that steer the system along the adiabatic path. Compared to other strategies, such as composite pulses or the original adiabatic techniques, it provides a fast and robust approach to population control. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Chen X.,University of the Basque Country | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Torrontegui E.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,University of the Basque Country
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2011

Different methods have been recently put forward and implemented experimentally to inverse engineer the time-dependent Hamiltonian of a quantum system and accelerate slow adiabatic processes via nonadiabatic shortcuts. In the "transitionless quantum driving" proposed by Berry, shortcut Hamiltonians are designed so that the system follows exactly, in an arbitrarily short time, the approximate adiabatic path defined by a reference Hamiltonian. A different approach is based on first designing a Lewis-Riesenfeld invariant to carry the eigenstates of a Hamiltonian from specified initial to final configurations, again in an arbitrary time, and then constructing from the invariant the transient Hamiltonian that connects these boundary configurations. We show that the two approaches, apparently quite different in form and so far in results, are, in fact, strongly related and potentially equivalent, so that the inverse-engineering operations in one of them can be reinterpreted and understood in terms of the concepts and operations of the other one. We study, as explicit examples, expansions of time-dependent harmonic traps and the state preparation of two-level systems. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque | Saiz L.,University of California at Davis
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Gene expression is a process central to any form of life. It involves multiple temporal and functional scales that extend from specific protein-DNA interactions to the coordinated regulation of multiple genes in response to intracellular and extracellular changes. This diversity in scales poses fundamental challenges to the use of traditional approaches to fully understand even the simplest gene expression systems. Recent advances in computational systems biophysics have provided promising avenues to reliably integrate the molecular detail of biophysical process into the system behavior. Here, we review recent advances in the description of gene regulation as a system of biophysical processes that extend from specific protein-DNA interactions to the combinatorial assembly of nucleoprotein complexes. There is now basic mechanistic understanding on how promoters controlled by multiple, local and distal, DNA binding sites for transcription factors can actively control transcriptional noise, cell-to-cell variability, and other properties of gene regulation, including precision and flexibility of the transcriptional responses. © 2013 Biophysical Society.


Zhao P.-L.,Shanghai University | Chen X.,Shanghai University | Chen X.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2011

We investigate electronic band gap and transport in Fibonacci quasi-periodic graphene superlattice. It is found that such structure can possess a zero-k gap which exists in all Fibonacci sequences. Different from Bragg gap, zero-k gap associated with Dirac point is less sensitive to the incidence angle and lattice constants. The defect mode appeared inside the zero-k gap has a great effect on transmission, conductance, and shot noise, which can be applicable to control the electron transport. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.


Egbert M.D.,University of Hertfordshire | Barandiaran X.E.,University of the Basque Country
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

In the recent history of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, the notion of habit has been reduced to a stimulus-triggered response probability correlation. In this paper we use a computational model to present an alternative theoretical view (with some philosophical implications), where habits are seen as self-maintaining patterns of behavior that share properties in common with self-maintaining biological processes, and that inhabit a complex ecological context, including the presence and influence of other habits. Far from mechanical automatisms, this organismic and self-organizing concept of habit can overcome the dominating atomistic and statistical conceptions, and the high temporal resolution effects of situatedness, embodiment and sensorimotor loops emerge as playing a more central, subtle and complex role in the organization of behavior. The model is based on a novel "iterant deformable sensorimotor medium (IDSM)," designed such that trajectories taken through sensorimotor-space increase the likelihood that in the future, similar trajectories will be taken. We couple the IDSM to sensors and motors of a simulated robot, and show that under certain conditions, the IDSM conditions, the IDSM forms self-maintaining patterns of activity that operate across the IDSM, the robot's body, and the environment. We present various environments and the resulting habits that form in them. The model acts as an abstraction of habits at a much needed sensorimotor "meso-scale" between microscopic neuron-based models and macroscopic descriptions of behavior. Finally, we discuss how this model and extensions of it can help us understand aspects of behavioral self-organization, historicity and autonomy that remain out of the scope of contemporary representationalist frameworks. © 2014 Egbert and Barandiaran.


Bergeret F.S.,Donostia International Physics Center | Tokatly I.V.,University of the Basque Country | Tokatly I.V.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2014

We investigate the proximity effect in diffusive superconducting hybrid structures with a spin-orbit (SO) coupling. Our study is focused on the singlet-triplet conversion and the generation of long-range superconducting correlations in ferromagnetic elements. We derive the quasiclassical equations for the Green's functions including the SO coupling terms in form of a background SU(2) field. With the help of these equations, we first present an interesting complete analogy between the spin diffusion process in normal metals and the generation of the triplet components of the condensate in a diffusive superconducting structure in the presence of SO coupling. From this analogy it turns out naturally that the SO coupling is an additional source of the long-range triplet component (LRTC) besides the magnetic inhomogeneities studied in the past. This analogy opens a range of possibilities for the generation and manipulation of the triplet condensate in hybrid structures. In particular we demonstrate that a normal metal with SO coupling can be used as source of LRTC if attached to a superconductor-ferromagnet bilayer. We also demonstrate an explicit connection between an inhomogeneous exchange field and SO coupling mechanisms for the generation of the LRTC and establish the conditions for the appearance of the LRTC in different geometries. Our work gives a global description of the singlet-triplet conversion in hybrid structures in terms of generic spin fields and our results are particularly important for the understanding of the physics underlying spintronic devices with superconductors. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Cabello A.,University of Seville | Kleinmann M.,University of the Basque Country | Budroni C.,University of Siegen
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We solve the problem of whether a set of quantum tests reveals state-independent contextuality and use this result to identify the simplest set of the minimal dimension. We also show that identifying state-independent contextuality graphs [R. Ramanathan and P. Horodecki, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 040404 (2014)] is not sufficient for revealing state-independent contextuality. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Lazkoz R.,University of the Basque Country
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We consider the Einstein equations within the Dirac-Born-Infield (DBI) scenario for a spatially flat Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) spacetime without a cosmological constant. We derive the inflationary scenario by applying the symmetry transformations which preserve the form of the Friedmann and conservation equations. These form invariance transformations generate a symmetry group parametrized by the Lorentz factor γ. We explicitly obtain an inflationary scenario by the cooperative effect of adding energy density into the Friedmann equation. For the case of a constant Lorentz factor, and under the slow roll assumption, we find the transformation rules for the scalar and tensor power spectra of perturbations as well as their ratio under the action of the form invariance symmetry group. Within this case and due to its relevance for the inflationary paradigm, we find the general solution of the dynamical equations for a DBI field driven by an exponential potential and show a broad set of inflationary solutions. The general solution can be split into three subsets and all these behave asymptotically as a power-law solution at early and at late times. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH-2010-1.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.98M | Year: 2011

The research programme will integrate diverse levels, methods and disciplinary traditions with the aim of developing a comprehensive policy agenda for changing the role of the financial system to help achieve a future which is sustainable in environmental, social and economic terms. The programme involves an integrated and balanced consortium involving partners from 14 countries that has unsurpassed experience of deploying diverse perspectives both within economics and across disciplines inclusive of economics. The programme is distinctively pluralistic, and aims to forge alliances across the social sciences, so as to understand how finance can better serve economic, social and environmental needs. The central issues addressed are the ways in which the growth and performance of economies in the last 30 years have been dependent on the characteristics of the processes of financialisation; how has financialisation impacted on the achievement of specific economic, social, and environmental objectives?; the nature of the relationship between financialisation and the sustainability of the financial system, economic development and the environment?; the lessons to be drawn from the crisis about the nature and impacts of financialisation? ; what are the requisites of a financial system able to support a process of sustainable development, broadly conceived?


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2009-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2010

The long term objective of the WOODLIFE project is to provide coated and glued wood products with substantially improved durability for a more sustainable society. The project aims to develop new water-based clear coating systems for wood with improved UV-absorbing properties, and to develop new water-based thermoplastic wood adhesives with improved mechanical properties. The new coating and adhesive systems will be designed through molecular manufacturing of inorganic nanoparticles, nanoclays and composite organic-inorganic binders with predictable and controllable properties. Wood is an excellent building material with a high strength/density ratio and it is a renewable resource. For outdoor use it is, however, necessary to enhance the durability of wood materials due to the high sensitivity for UV degradation. Traditionally, organic UV-absorbers are used in clear coatings for wood, however these substances degrade upon outdoor weathering. New UV-absorbing systems for clear coats will be developed in the project based on nanoparticles of CeO2, ZnO and TiO2. With these new systems the service-life of the coated wood will be extended and the cost for maintenance and wood replacement will be decreased. If the mechanical properties of water-based thermoplastic wood adhesives such as PVAc can be improved it would be possible to use the wood products based on these systems for a longer time, leading to a more sustainable society. It would also be possible to use PVAc adhesives instead of the more expensive MUF/PRF adhesives in some load-bearing applications. Engineered nanoparticles will be developed in the project and will be introduced into wood adhesives in order to improve the properties of wood-adhesive joints. The nanoparticles and nanoclays that will be developed in the project will either be added directly to water-based systems or incorporated in hybrid binders in order to improve the dispersion of the nanoparticles and to improve storage stability.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-1 | Award Amount: 9.99M | Year: 2014

Water and water-related services are major components of the human wellbeing, and as such are major factors of socio-economic development in Europe; yet freshwater systems are under threat by a variety of stressors (organic and inorganic pollution, geomorphological alterations, land cover change, water abstraction, invasive species and pathogens. Some stressors, such as water scarcity, can be a stressor on its own because of its structural character, and drive the effects of other stressors. The relevance of water scarcity as a stressor is more important in semi-arid regions, such as the Mediterranean basin, which are characterized by highly variable river flows and the occurrence of low flows. This has resulted in increases in frequency and magnitude of extreme flow events. Furthermore, in other European regions such as eastern Germany, western Poland and England, water demand exceeds water availability and water scarcity has become an important management issue. Water scarcity is most commonly associated with inappropriate water management, with resulting river flow reductions. It has become one of the most important drivers of change in freshwater ecosystems. Conjoint occurrence of a myriad of stressors (chemical, geomorphological, biological) under water scarcity will produce novel and unfamiliar synergies and most likely very pronounced effects. Within this context, GLOBAQUA has assembled a multidisciplinary team of leading scientists in the fields of hydrology, chemistry, ecology, ecotoxicology, economy, sociology, engineering and modeling in order to study the interaction of multiple stressors within the frame of strong pressure on water resources. The aim is to achieve a better understanding how current management practices and policies could be improved by identifying the main drawbacks and alternatives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-3.3.1. | Award Amount: 2.42M | Year: 2010

The TOLERACE project proposes a contextualised comparative analysis that focuses on the semantics and regimes of (anti-)racism and tolerance in different European contexts, exploring how they are shaped through the mediation of public institutions and policies at the European, national, regional and local level, and civil society organisations. We seek to explore how the different meanings given to tolerance and (anti-)racism are embedded in wider ideas and discourses on citizenship, more precisely in the (re-)definition of European identities in relation to current immigration policies and post-colonial situations. Our hypothesis is that public policies do not sufficiently incorporate anti-racist measures, resulting in precarious modes of integration and making social structures vulnerable to racism. Additionally, we critically consider that de-historicised, dominant conceptions of racism (as a problem of extremist ideologies and their supporters and a well-bounded, localised phenomenon) are failing to address the relationship between nationality, racism and citizenship. Therefore, we propose an analysis that locates racism within a set of complex ways of belonging and of governing difference, and thus related to multiple forms of discrimination (such as religious and linguistic). Three comparative analytical strategies will be followed: (i) Critical analysis of public policies and campaigns focused on the celebration of diversity and the promotion of anti-racism measures and tolerance, in relation to broader multicultural and/or intercultural political traditions; (ii) Empirical analysis of regional/local cases in each national context, as located in the socio-political spaces created by the interplay of (anti-)racism and (in-)tolerance, focusing on two life spheres education and employment; (iii) The role of the media in the construction of public issues and in making visible racism as a key social problem, within each national/regional context.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.4.1 | Award Amount: 2.43M | Year: 2012

Currently there are a multitude of companies offering Content Analytics and Social Internet Mining services for the purposes of Opinion Mining and Sentiment Analysis. Truly effective Sentiment Analysis is a complex NLP task in monolingual contexts alone. In multilingual contexts the complexity increase many-fold and also presents the challenge of comparison of opinion across languages and cultures. Named Entity Recognition and Classification is also key element to this challenge. As with is often the case in many innovative sectors and industries, a high percentage of SMEs are active offering niche solutions to specific segments of the market and/or domains. Acquiring or developing the base qualifying technologies require to enter this market is and expensive undertaking that redirects limited the resources of SMEs away from offering products and services that the market demands. The OpeNER project has as the goal of reuse and repurposing of exiting language resources and data sets to provide a set of underlying technologies to the broader community. OpeNER will focus on the provision of a supplementary sentiment lexicon with culturally normalised and graduated values. NERC will also be tackled leveraging Linked Data with the aim of bringing multilingual NERC up to par with state of the art in dominant languages. The scope of OpeNER will be restricted to Spanish, English, French, German, Dutch and Italian. The general research of the project will be oriented toward a generic application domain, and later, refined and validated in the Tourism domain. This will be achieved in conjunction with and End User Advisory Board composed of European Tourism Promotion Agencies, an online Tourism Portal and other interested parties. Furthermore, OpeNER will employ proven techniques from the Open Source community and develop an online development community thus ensuring the long term viability beyond the project timeframe. So that the benefits of the project are adopted and extensible to new domains and languages, OpeNER will strive to make the tools and techniques resulting from the project available under Open Source or Hybrid Licenses.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2012

In everyday life, people listen to speech under a wide range of conditions that are non-optimal relative to the controlled conditions in laboratory experiments. Classical research methods can only deal with the effects of individual adverse conditions. This has contributed to the fragmentation of speech communication research in numerous sub-disciplines that have little interaction. While each type of adversity can have important consequences on its own, it is often the combination of conditions that conspire to create serious communication problems especially for elderly and hearing impaired persons. The long-term objective of Investigating Speech Processing in Realistic Environments (INSPIRE) is creating a community of researchers who can exploit synergies between the sub-disciplines that investigate individual aspects of speech communication, resulting in a new curriculum: Real-world speech communication. We will develop novel research methods that take advantage of the massive amounts of experimental data that are becoming available and allow for the analysis of communication behaviours in real-world situations characterised by simultaneous presence of multiple adverse conditions. Computational models will be developed that allow to predict speech intelligibility for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners under realistic conditions. INSPIRE will create a permanent collection of measurement data and tools that are accessible for external researchers for testing and comparing speech intelligibility models, thus enabling a breakthrough improvement in hearing instrument tuning. INSPIRE will achieve its objectives by bringing together E(S)Rs with leading academic scientists from the core disciplines in speech communication, R&D personnel from leading companies in acoustics and hearing instruments and ENT specialists from hospitals that treat people with hearing impairments. All research projects in the network will address multiple adverse conditions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 4.30M | Year: 2011

TESIS, Towards an Embodied Science of InterSubjectivity, is an integrated ITN programme to investigate the foundations of human sociality. It brings together the complementary expertise of 13 European research institutes, clinical centres and private enterprises that span the biomedical sciences and the humanities. Thus, TESIS provides critical mass in the fields of philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, psychiatry and societal outreach. It will advance our understanding of human intersubjectivity based on the following research and training objectives: (1) To investigate the neural underpinnings of affective exchange with others, of shared action spaces and joint object relations, endorsing a novel interactive embodied neuroscience; (2) To investigate the development of social skills in infants in the context of the awareness of others during interaction, yielding an interactive concept of embodied social cognition; (3) To investigate the intersubjective factors affecting psychopathologies, especially schizophrenia, autism and somatoform disorders and to draw implications for treatment; (4) To investigate in toddlers and young children the understanding of toys, objects and cultural artefacts and the links between materiality and sociality; (5) To investigate cultural interactive patterns and shared practices such as group learning, playing, teamwork, distributed cognition, creating applied knowledge for education, management, and organizational development. By integrating state of the art and novel approaches to studying interactive situations, TESIS will significantly extend the individualistic and static paradigm still dominant in social cognition research. The major breakthrough to be expected from TESIS is a comprehensive framework for embodied intersubjectivity applicable in the biomedical sciences, the humanities, and society in general, showing how we become human by embodied interaction with others from the beginning.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EJD | Award Amount: 3.79M | Year: 2015

Theoretical Chemistry and Computational Modelling (TCCM) is emerging as a powerful tool to help in the rational design of new products and materials for pharmaceutical, chemical, energy, computer, and new-materials industries. To achieve this goal, it is necessary to go beyond the traditional electronic structure studies, and merge complementary techniques that are normally not available at a single research group. The research programme of the TCCM-EJD aims at applying computational modelling to problems demanded by the industry and with high societal relevance, namely Materials with special properties, Biomolecules for new therapies and Energy storage. The objective of the Joint Doctorate is to prepare future research leaders, able to develop and use multidisciplinary computational techniques (methods and software), with solid communication skills, with many contacts established through the intensive relationship with worldwide leading researchers of 12 European universities and 14 additional partners, including 7 industrial and spin-off companies. A Joint Doctorate in TCCM is already operative since 2011, based on a fully participative scientific discussion and assessment of all research projects with a clear interdisciplinary character and the direct participation of the non-academic sector. The training programme puts the emphasis in common training, including 3 annual International Workshops, 3 schools on High Performance Computing and 3 tutorials in new computer codes. Career development opportunities are enhanced with regular inter-sectoral activities, transferable skill education and career coaching.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ECSEL-RIA | Phase: ECSEL-04-2015 | Award Amount: 18.33M | Year: 2016

The ageing population and related increase in chronic diseases put considerable pressure on both the healthcare system and the society, resulting in an unsustainable rise of healthcare costs. As a result there is an urgent need to improve efficiency of care and reduce hospitalisation time in order to control cost and increase quality of life. Addressing this need, medical applications need to become less invasive and improve disease detection, diagnosis and treatment using advanced imaging and sensing techniques. ASTONISH will deliver breakthrough imaging and sensing technologies for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment applications by developing smart optical imaging technology that extends the use of minimally invasive diagnosis and treatment and allows for unobtrusive health monitoring. The project will integrate miniaturized optical components, data processing units and SW applications into smart imaging systems that are less obtrusive, cheaper, more reliable and easier to use than state of the art systems. This results into 6 demonstrators by which the technologies will be validated and which allow for pre-clinical testing in the scope of the project. The overall concept within ASTONISH builds on the development and application of common imaging/sensing technologies. Smart algorithms, multimodal fusion techniques and biomedical signal processing will process the acquired data and advanced user interfaces will simplify the complex clinical tasks. These technology components will be integrated to build application specific solutions for physiological signs monitoring, tumour detection, minimally invasive surgery, brain function monitoring and rehabilitation. The ASTONISH partners cover the full value chain, from semiconductor manufacturing to clinical centres testing the final application. The proposed innovations improve the global competitiveness of the European industry in the healthcare domain.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-2-2015 | Award Amount: 975.52K | Year: 2015

EMBRC is a distributed infrastructure of marine biology and ecology, encompassing aquaculture and biotechnology, exploiting the latest omics, analytical and imaging technologies, and providing on site and remote scientific and technical services to the scientific community of the public and private sector. EMBRC successfully completed a preparatory phase in early in 2014 with the production of a business plan and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by 9 countries. A host for its headquarters has been chosen and and an ERIC application is in preparation. Since only institutions from 5 MoU signatory countries went through the preparatory phase, the present proposal has as objectives: 1) to harmonize the access mechanism to the operational EMBRC-ERIC across all the partners, putting all the practical tools in place, including host contracts and single point online access platform, to enable EMBRC-ERIC to commence its access program; 2) to put in place practical guidelines towards the full implementation of the new European and international legislation and commitments on access and fair benefit sharing of the use of marine biological resources, thus providing clarity to future users of EMBRC-ERIC about their legal rights over obtained biological resources, and positioning itself globally as a broker between users and the supplying countries ; 3) to focus the smart specialization of the regions onto the opportunities marine biological resources offer for blue-biotech development and innovation, thus demonstrating the member states that EMBRC is a tool towards economic development of their maritime regions, and enticing them to sign the EMBRC-ERIC, and prioritize its sustained support, particularly from regions which are now underrepresented in EMBRC (Black and Baltic Seas). These activities will ensure that the beneficiary research communities can exploit the results obtained at EMBRC-ERIC facility from the start with the highest efficiency.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.1 | Award Amount: 3.43M | Year: 2013

Lrn2Cre8 aims to understand the relationship between learning and creativity by means of practical engineering, theoretical study, and cognitive comparison. We begin from the position that creativity is a function of memory, that generates new structures based on memorised ones, by processes which are essentially statistical. Thus, the project is situated in the tradition of frequentist statistical models of mind, and it builds on statistical understandings of perception of sequence (these are not naive 1st-order statistics) to consider its domain at the level of sequence processing in terms of percepts. Representations of these percepts are also learned, in parallel with the structural information in the data itself, and the guiding principle is one of information efficiency: the representations conspire to produce the most efficient possible representation of the data in memory. In Lre2Cre8, we wish to avoid the problem of extrinsic domain reasoning (e.g., physics in the real world) so we use music as our domain; extrinsic reasoning for music is small in comparison. We propose to build systems that take musical data as input, both in continuous and discrete forms, and learn the necessary representations and structure to memorise it efficiently. We hypothesise that this is a cognitive model of human musical behaviour, and we will test our hypthesis though empirical studies and experiments that compare the behaviour of our computational models with human behaviours. We will study the relationship between our well-understood and cognitively validated learning mechanisms and creative behaviour, in musical composition and performance. We aim to devise new methods for evaluation of creative behaviour in machines and humans, and to apply them, comparatively, to creative processes and outputs of the project. We aim ultimately to produce music which will be of genuine interest to society, and we will launch a record label to promote it as part of our evaluation methods.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST-2007-3.4-01 | Award Amount: 26.23M | Year: 2008

ARCHIMEDES is an integrating project, bringing together 6 European cities to address problems and opportunities for creating environmentally sustainable, safe and energy efficient transport systems in medium sized urban areas. The objective of ARCHIMEDES is to introduce innovative, integrated and ambitious strategies for clean, energy-efficient, sustainable urban transport to achieve significant impacts in the policy fields of energy, transport, and environmental sustainability. An ambitious blend of policy tools and measures will increase energy-efficiency in transport, provide safer and more convenient travel for all, using a higher share of clean engine technology and fuels, resulting in an enhanced urban environment (including reduced noise and air pollution). Visible and measurable impacts will result from significantly sized measures in specific innovation areas. Demonstrations of innovative transport technologies, policy measures and partnership working, combined with targeted research, will verify the best frameworks, processes and packaging required to successfully transfer the strategies to other cities. Two learning cities will participate fully in the decision making and organisational structure. New member state representation is assured with one Lead City and one Learning City. A strong educational objective will be realised with training and learning actions within the consortium, and via promotion, training events and educational exchanges between students, citizens and stakeholders in the project innovation areas. Dissemination of results and the focus on exploitation activities will impact well beyond the innovation area itself, providing lessons for citizens, practitioners and policy makers. The result will be a greater acceptance for new tools, services and technologies and the objectives that lie behind them.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2010-1 | Award Amount: 5.23M | Year: 2010

Self-sufficient intelligent plug-and-produce components with advanced sensing and actuating functionalities, e.g. based on smart materials. Able to adapt their range of properties, depending on the changing process conditions. Use vibration for energy harvesting to drive the intelligent system. Smart materials: compensation of static and / or thermally induced dislocations, vibration damping and decoupling of oscillations. High accuracy in production systems under different conditions and to overcome the traditional limitation of dynamics versus precision. Active participation of industrial partners, including SMEs, covering demonstration activities including pilot implementations in industrial settings.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2016

Speech is a hugely efficient means of communication: a reduced capacity in listening or speaking creates a significant barrier to social inclusion at all points through the lifespan, in education, work and at home. Hearing aids and speech synthesis can help address this reduced capacity but their use imposes greater listener effort. The fundamental objective of the ETN Enriched communication across the lifespan (ENRICH) is to modify or augment speech with additional information to make it easier to process. Enrichment aims to reduce the listening burden by minimising cognitive load, while maintaining or improving intelligibility. ENRICH will investigate the relationship between cognitive effort and different forms of natural and synthetic speech. Non-intrusive metrics for listening effort will be developed and used to design modification techniques which result in low-burden speech. The value of various enrichment approaches will be evaluated with individuals and cohorts with typically sub-optimal communication ability, e.g., children, hearing-impaired adults, non-native listeners and individuals engaged in simultaneous tasks. The ENRICH consortium consists of 8 beneficiaries and 7 partners from academia, industry and clinical practice in 9 countries, who collectively provide diverse infrastructure for investigating spoken communication and for applying innovations to end-user populations. ENRICH will address the unmet need for multi-skilled practitioners and engineers in this rapidly growing sector currently facing a serious workforce shortage. Through a comprehensive training programme driven by the needs of industry and clinical practice, it will equip fellows with not just the necessary cross-disciplinary knowledge and research techniques, but also with experience of entrepreneurship and technology transfer so they can translate research findings into meaningful products and services that will facilitate spoken language communication in the coming decades.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-14-2014 | Award Amount: 8.21M | Year: 2015

SESAME targets innovations around three central elements in 5G: the placement of network intelligence and applications in the network edge through Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) and Edge Cloud Computing; the substantial evolution of the Small Cell concept, already mainstream in 4G but expected to deliver its full potential in the challenging high dense 5G scenarios; and the consolidation of multi-tenancy in communications infrastructures, allowing several operators/service providers to engage in new sharing models of both access capacity and edge computing capabilities. SESAME proposes the Cloud-Enabled Small Cell (CESC) concept, a new multi-operator enabled Small Cell that integrates a virtualised execution platform (i.e., the Light DC) for deploying Virtual Network Functions (NVFs), supporting powerful self-x management and executing novel applications and services inside the access network infrastructure. The Light DC will feature low-power processors and hardware accelerators for time critical operations and will build a high manageable clustered edge computing infrastructure. This approach will allow new stakeholders to dynamically enter the value chain by acting as host-neutral providers in high traffic areas where densification of multiple networks is not practical. The optimal management of a CESC deployment is a key challenge of SESAME, for which new orchestration, NFV management, virtualisation of management views per tenant, self-x features and radio access management techniques will be developed. After designing, specifying and developing the architecture and all the involved CESC modules, SESAME will culminate with a prototype with all functionalities for proving the concept in relevant use cases. Besides, CESC will be formulated consistently and synergistically with other 5G-PPP components through coordination with the corresponding projects.


Schmid S.L.,Scripps Research Institute | Frolov V.A.,University of the Basque Country | Frolov V.A.,Ikerbasque
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

Dynamin, best studied for its role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, is the prototypical member of a family of multidomain GTPases involved in fission and remodeling of multiple organelles. Recent studies have shown that dynamin alone can catalyze fission of membrane tubules and vesicle formation from planar lipid templates. Thus, dynamin appears to be a self-sufficient fission machine. Here we review the biochemical activities and structural features of dynamin required for fission activity. As all changes in membrane topology require energetically unfavorable rearrangements of the lipid bilayer, we discuss the interplay between dynamin and its lipid substrates that are critical to defining a nonleaky pathway to membrane fission. We propose a two-stage model for dynamin-catalyzed fission. In stage one, dynamin's mechanochemical activities induce localized curvature stress and position its lipid-interacting pleckstrin homology domains to create a catalytic center that, in stage two, guides lipid remodeling through hemifission intermediates to drive membrane fission. © 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Patent
Akzo Nobel, BYK Chemie GmbH, Energenics Europe Ltd., University of the Basque Country and Ytkemiska Institutet AB | Date: 2013-05-15

The present invention relates to a method for producing nanocomposite dispersions comprising composite particles of inorganic nanoparticles and organic polymers in a continuous phase, especially in a dispersion medium, as well as to the nanocomposite dispersions thus obtained and to the use thereof.


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque | Saiz L.,University of California at Davis
ACS Synthetic Biology | Year: 2013

The basic methodology for designing, altering, and constructing biological systems is increasingly relying on well-established engineering principles to move forward from trial and error approaches to reliably predicting the system behavior from the properties of the components and their interactions. The inherent complexity of even the simplest biological systems, however, often precludes achieving such predictive power. A prototypical example is the lac operon, one of the best-characterized genetic systems, which still poses serious challenges for understanding the results of combining its parts into novel setups. The reason is the pervasive complex hierarchy of events involved in gene regulation that extend from specific protein-DNA interactions to the combinatorial assembly of nucleoprotein complexes. Here, we integrate such complexity into a few-parameter model to accurately predict gene expression from a few simple rules to connect the parts. The model accurately reproduces the observed transcriptional activity of the lac operon over a 10,000-fold range for 21 different operator setups, different repressor concentrations, and tetrameric and dimeric forms of the repressor. Incorporation of the calibrated model into more complex scenarios accurately captures the induction curves for key operator configurations and the temporal evolution of the β-galactosidase activity of cell populations. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Ibanez S.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,Shanghai University
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2014

We generalize the concept of population for non-Hermitian systems in different ways and identify the one best suited to characterize adiabaticity. An approximate adiabaticity criterion consistent with this choice is also worked out. Examples are provided for different processes involving two-level atoms with decay. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Martinez-Garaot S.,University of the Basque Country | Tseng S.-Y.,National Cheng Kung University | Muga J.G.,University of the Basque Country | Muga J.G.,Shanghai University
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

We propose a compact and high conversion efficiency asymmetric Y junction mode multiplexer/demultiplexer for applications in on-chip mode-division multiplexing. Traditionally, mode sorting is achieved by adiabatically separating the arms of a Y junction. We shorten the device length using invariant-based inverse engineering and achieve better conversion efficiency than the adiabatic device. © 2014 Optical Society of America.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2012

OLIMPIA is a training network initiative built on research and development of innovative organic optoelectronic devices interfaced and integrated with living systems. The living systems of choice are neural cells (glia and neuron) that will be interfaced and integrated in vitro and in vivo with different organic electronic and optoelectronic devices (such as OLED, OFET/OLET, OECT, OPD). The major objective of OLIMPIA is to establish an innovative training program aimed at enabling and supporting the development of a novel supradisciplinary field that combines the worlds of organic optoelectronics and of neuroscience. Novel tools based on organic optoelectronic devices will be engineered and developed to stimulate and to record neuron bioelectrical activity, such as neuron excitability and membrane polarization, as well as to modulate cell proliferation and neurite outgrowth. The OLIMPIA research will provide radically new understanding of neural cell-cell communication processes and will impact a wide variety of fields, from biomedical research to neuro-regenerative medicine. The OLIMPIA consortium is both interdisciplinary and intersectorial. It includes key European players with long standing and internationally recognized research tradition in the field of organic electronics and optoelectronics, organic synthesis as well as neural cell biology and neurophysiology and, as such, is uniquely qualified to implement this ambitious supradisciplinary training program. Moreover, the consortium combines 10 partners belonging to 6 European countries from academia, public research centers and industrial labs thereby offering an exciting and broad training landscape to the new generation of researchers.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 10.23M | Year: 2015

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (EPN2020-RI) will address key scientific and technological challenges facing modern planetary science by providing open access to state-of-the-art research data, models and facilities across the European Research Area. Its Transnational Access activities will provide access to world-leading laboratory facilities that simulate conditions found on planetary bodies as well as specific analogue field sites for Mars, Europa and Titan. Its Virtual Access activities will make available the diverse datasets and visualisation tools needed for comparing and understanding planetary environments in the Solar System and beyond. By providing the underpinning facilities that European planetary scientists need to conduct their research, EPN2020-RI will create cooperation and effective synergies between its different components: space exploration, ground-based observations, laboratory and field experiments, numerical modelling, and technology. EPN2020-RI builds on the foundations of successful FP6 and FP7 Europlanet programmes that established the Europlanet brand and built structures that will be used in the Networking Activities of EPN2020-RI to coordinate the European planetary science communitys research. It will disseminate its results to a wide range of stakeholders including industry, policy makers and, crucially, both the wider public and the next generation of researchers and opinion formers, now in education. As an Advanced Infrastructure we place particular emphasis on widening the participation of previously under-represented research communities and stakeholders. We will include new countries and Inclusiveness Member States, via workshops, team meetings, and personnel exchanges, to broaden/widen/expand and improve the scientific and innovation impact of the infrastructure. EPN2020-RI will therefore build a truly pan-European community that shares common goals, facilities, personnel, data and IP across national boundaries


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 11.76M | Year: 2015

NFFA-EUROPE will implement the first open-access research infrastructure as a platform supporting comprehensive projects for multidisciplinary research at the nanoscale extending form synthesis to nanocharacterization to theory and numerical simulation. The integration and the extension of scope of existing specialized infrastructures within an excellence network of knowledge and know-how will enable a large number of researchers from diverse disciplines to carry out advanced proposals impacting science and innovation. The full suite of key infrastructures for nanoscience will become, through the NFFA-EUROPE project, accessible to a broader community extended to research actors operating at different levels of the value chain, including SMEs and applied research, that are currently missing the benefits of these enabling technologies. NFFA-EUROPE sets out to offer an integrated, distributed infrastructure to perform comprehensive nanoscience and nanotechnology projects from synthesis and nanolithography (with nanofoundry installations) to advanced characterization and theoretical modellization/numerical simulation (with experimental installations including analytical large scale facilities and a distributed theoretical installation including high-performance computing). Coordinated access will be given to complementary facilities co-located in nine well distributed main sites in Europe, ensuring the optimal match between user proposal and technical offer. The research activity of the Consortium will realize innovative solutions on key bottlenecks of nanoscience research, therefore upgrading the facility quality and uniqueness.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.7.2 | Award Amount: 562.45K | Year: 2010

The major aim of the Coordination Action would be to improve the overall success of Challenge 7 ICT 2009 7.2 Accessible and Assistive ICT.\nIt would assist those involved in the research aspects of Challenge 7 by identifying the research and development that is needed in this field, both immediately and in the near future, by raising the level of knowledge and understanding of Accessible and Assistive ICT and by stimulating companies, research institutions and individual experts to become involved in this important area.\nThe Coordination Action would support the corresponding STREP and IP in this research area, creating a knowledge network between them.


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque | Saiz L.,University of California at Davis
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

Numerous transcription factors self-assemble into different order oligomeric species in a way that is actively regulated by the cell. Until now, no general functional role has been identified for this widespread process. Here, we capture the effects of modulated self-assembly in gene expression with a novel quantitative framework. We show that this mechanism provides precision and flexibility, two seemingly antagonistic properties, to the sensing of diverse cellular signals by systems that share common elements present in transcription factors like p53, NF-κB, STATs, Oct and RXR. Applied to the nuclear hormone receptor RXR, this framework accurately reproduces a broad range of classical, previously unexplained, sets of gene expression data and corroborates the existence of a precise functional regime with flexible properties that can be controlled both at a genome-wide scale and at the individual promoter level. © 2011 The Author(s).


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque | Saiz L.,University of California at Davis
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Many cellular networks rely on the regulated transport of their components to transduce extracellular information into precise intracellular signals. The dynamics of these networks is typically described in terms of compartmentalized chemical reactions. There are many important situations, however, in which the properties of the compartments change continuously in a way that cannot naturally be described by chemical reactions. Here, we develop an approach based on transport along a trafficking coordinate to precisely describe these processes and we apply it explicitly to the TGF-β signal transduction network, which plays a fundamental role in many diseases and cellular processes. The results of this newly introduced approach accurately capture the distinct TGF-β signaling dynamics of cells with and without cancerous backgrounds and provide an avenue to predict the effects of chemical perturbations in a way that closely recapitulates the observed cellular behavior. © 2011 Biophysical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 2.88M | Year: 2013

ECHONET is an Initial Training Network (ITN) comprising 8 full network participants from 6 countries, spanning 6 academic institutions and two private sector organisations, the latter representing SME and Global fine chemicals companies. The network is also supported by 2 associated partners from the private sector. Taken together, the consortium will offer research training and generic skills development by embarking on state-of-the-art chemical synthesis problems and by employing new approaches in catalysis, computational chemistry, bioactive molecule design and high throughput synthesis. As a whole, ECHONET offers tremendous opportunities for research training in an international interdisciplinary environment. It is anticipated that this network will make a significant contribution to the expertise already present in Europe, and will continue to play an important role in the progress of European fine chemical industries and related fields. ECHONET will be supported by 11 early stage researchers and 2 experienced researchers and their research training will be supplemented by formal courses and industrial experience, therefore offering valuable exposure to commercial environments.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2012.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 36.02M | Year: 2013

The accidental or deliberate release of CBRNE materials are low probability events that can have a significant impact on citizens and society. Whenever and wherever they occur, they usually require a gradual and multi-facetted response as they tend to provoke severe and unexpected physical, psychological, societal, economical and political effects that cross EU-borders. Successful CBRNE resilience requires a global System-of-Systems approach. The EDEN project will leverage the added-value of tools and systems from previous R&D efforts and improve CBRNE resilience through their adaptation and integration. The concept of the EDEN project is to provide a toolbox of toolboxes EDEN Store to give stakeholders access to interoperable capabilities they deem important, or affordable, from a certified set of applications. It will share the burden of development and allows for lessons to be learned and applications to be enhanced. The benefit of the EDEN concept is that integration will be applied at the application level. This means that all countries and stakeholders, irrespective of their existing capability levels, will gain immediate advantages through improved interoperability. EDEN Store will allow capabilities to be shared among multi-national CBRNE stakeholders, which is paramount in cross-border incident management, and through time allow for a build up of common capability across European boundaries. EDEN will be validated by three themed end-user demonstrations (Food Industry, Multi Chemical, Radiological) covering multiple hazards (CBRNE), phases of the security cycle, response tiers, and stakeholders. The EDEN consortium includes CBRNE domain end-users, major stakeholders, large system integration and solution providers, including SMEs with innovative solutions, and RTOs. The impact of EDEN is to provide affordable CBRNE resilience and market sustainability through the better integration of systems in real operations and thus enhancing the safety of citizens.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2013-3 | Award Amount: 10.43M | Year: 2013

Buildings consume about 40% of total final energy in Europe, and those built before 1980 represent 95% of this energy consumption. The low renovation rate of building stock (1% per year) means that boosting energy efficient buildings retrofitting is the only way to reach EUs 20-20-20 targets. The higher impact will be achieved through interventions in non-residential buildings, as their energy consumption is 40% higher than in residential buildings, being the public buildings more than 30% of the non-residential buildings in EU. A2PBEER will develop a systemic energy efficient buildings retrofitting methodology for Public buildings and will take advantage of synergies derived from interventions at district level. A2PBEER methodology will include already available building solutions and more innovative ones developed by the project: a high performance envelope retrofitting, based on an external and internal super-insulated (VIPVacuum Insulated Panels) faade retrofit and smart windows, smart lighting systems combining LED and natural light, and the Smart Dual Thermal Substation, a new approach to district heating based in smart grid functionality and integrating heating and cooling. A kit-concept will be applied in the development of new solutions in order to deploy adaptable and affordable solutions. The methodology and developed kits will be demonstrated and validated through three real retrofitting deployments, covering main climatic areas in Europe (continental, oceanic and Mediterranean), different types of Public districts and main Public end-uses. Moreover, the replicability of A2PBEER results will be further validated through three complementary virtual projects covering additional climatic areas and end-uses. A comprehensive Train the Trainer and an innovative market approach will allow results be transferred to all key players of the value chain, with special focus on SMEs, and the transferability to social housing will be also addressed.


Gomez-Suaga P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Rivero-Rios P.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Fdez E.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | Blanca Ramirez M.,Institute of Parasitology and Biomedicine Lopez Neyra | And 3 more authors.
Human molecular genetics | Year: 2014

Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene cause late-onset autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD), and sequence variations at the LRRK2 locus are associated with increased risk for sporadic PD. LRRK2 contains both GTPase and kinase domains flanked by protein interaction motifs, and mutations associated with familial PD have been described for both catalytic domains. LRRK2 has been implicated in diverse cellular processes, and recent evidence pinpoints to an important role for LRRK2 in modulating a variety of intracellular membrane trafficking pathways. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, by studying the classical, well-understood, degradative trafficking pathway of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we show that LRRK2 regulates endocytic membrane trafficking in an Rab7-dependent manner. Mutant LRRK2 expression causes a slight delay in early-to-late endosomal trafficking, and a pronounced delay in trafficking out of late endosomes, which become aberrantly elongated into tubules. This is accompanied by a delay in EGFR degradation. The LRRK2-mediated deficits in EGFR trafficking and degradation can be reverted upon coexpression of active Rab7 and of a series of proteins involved in bridging the EGFR to Rab7 on late endosomes. Effector pulldown assays indicate that pathogenic LRRK2 decreases Rab7 activity both in cells overexpressing LRRK2, as well as in fibroblasts from pathogenic mutant LRRK2 PD patients when compared with healthy controls. Together, these findings provide novel insights into a previously unknown regulation of Rab7 activity by mutant LRRK2 which impairs membrane trafficking at very late stages of the endocytic pathway. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-09-2014 | Award Amount: 6.24M | Year: 2015

The complexity of the problem of banning discards and bringing all unwanted catches to land makes it necessary to follow a multi-actor approach, whereby scientists, fisheries technologists, fish producers and NGOs work collaboratively to provide the scientific and technical basis to achieve the gradual elimination of discards in European marine fisheries. The projects overall objective is to minimise unwanted catches by incentivising the adoption of fishing technologies and practices that reduce pre-harvest mortality and post-harvest discards, while avoiding damage to sensitive marine species and habitats. The general approach is based on technical/technological and socioeconomic solutions on a case-by-case analysis of the main types of European fisheries. The project will analyze existing and potential discard-mitigating innovative technologies in workshop roundtables with participation of fishers, technologists and scientists. The technologies selected will be tested in field trials to experimentally assess their efficiency: among other, improved precatch identification with observational technologies and pre-harvest loss reduction by gear modification and switching to light impact gear. The results will be analyzed in terms of technological advances, marketability and cost-benefit analysis. Other actions included in the project are social and economic instruments to incentivise selective fishing and discourage discarding practices, such as ecolabelling, fisheries certification and promoting awareness among industry and consumers, and mathematical modelling of ecosystem effects of unwanted catches reduction.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.51M | Year: 2011

This network will bridge two very active disciplines in physics, namely the quantum electrodynamics of atoms or ions strongly interacting with light in resonators, and the emerging field of solid-state superconducting circuit quantum electrodynamics. Advanced techniques will be developed jointly with industry partners for the manipulation of a deterministic number of particles - atoms, ions or artificial atoms - with electromagnetic fields covering the microwave and the optical frequency spectrum. The interdisciplinary training of a new generation of young researchers will strengthen the European expertise in those fields, and will allow for a new discipline to emerge that combines single-atom control methods with superconductor micro-chip fabrication. The use of high-quality resonators, whether superconducting transmission lines or highly-reflecting mirrors, coupled to a controlled number of particles will open novel avenues to explore quantum dynamics via hitherto inaccessible physical mechanisms. These new control scenarii will be strengthened by the development of potentially marketable technologies of great multidisciplinary interest. The network groups 10 research centres and 3 companies representing the cutting edge of research in the quantum electrodynamics of fundamental systems in Europe. The network will train 12 ESRs and 2 ERs, with focus on (i) establishing bonds between solid-state and quantum optics physics, (ii) strengthening the communication between theory and experiment, and, (iii) concretizing links between fundamental and applied research. Prominent scientists and industry leaders will contribute to the schools and workshops. Special attention will be given on developing complementary skills, such as communication, presentation, project planning and management.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SEC-2007-6.4-01 | Award Amount: 3.01M | Year: 2008

EUSECON analyses the newly emerging field of European security economics by identifying the nature and scope of this research field, by bringing together the leading European research players in this field and by building new analytical and conceptual insights on the most pressing research needs in this field. By implementing these research activities, EUSECON will establish an operational network of the leading European researchers in security economics, which in turn will enable research-based policy advice on economic aspects of security. In order to achieve these aims, EUSECON builds an integrated and collaborative approach, which will lay the foundations for the development of a new European multidisciplinary research agenda in security economics and security policy. The unifying theme of the proposed research are the human drivers of the new insecurity, that is terrorism and organized crime. Specifically, EUSECON analyses the causes, dynamics and long-term effects of both human-induced insecurity threats and European security policies. The approach will promote in-depth understanding of insecurity threats emerging from terrorism and organised crime with a view to uncover the much-needed information base for effective domestic and international security policy. In terms of proven research performance in this field and relevant past policy advisory activities, the sixteen members of the consortium represent the best economists and social scientists in this field in Europe today. It is expected that EUSECON will significantly advance the European research capacity well beyond the life.-time of this project, even vis--vis the currently strongly dominant American research capacity. This will also improve the long-term viability of the European policy making capacity on security and competitiveness in this field.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.30 | Award Amount: 9.70M | Year: 2011

The central objective of this ESMI proposal is to create a top-level interdisciplinary research infrastructure available to a broad European materials research community. This is of crucial importance to the EU in view of the European strategy for nanosciences and nanotechnology and its implementation report that identifies a lack of leading interdisciplinary infrastructures. ESMI offers the most important experimental and synthesis techniques and combines world-class infrastructures with cutting edge scientific expertise through a sophisticated networking programme. The anticipated JRA will further improve the existing infrastructure. Computer simulations being of increasing importance for the understanding and prediction of complex materials, ESMI offers access to simulation groups and their advanced tools. The availability of such an infrastructure will provide soft matter scientists with a broad choice of techniques to address their scientific objectives. It will result in a quantum leap in research opportunities and assure that European scientists have a world-class collaborative capability for their frontier research. ESMI will strongly contribute to a fundamental understanding, allowing the development of new, tailored smart materials. ESMI follows the FP6 experience of the NoE SoftComp. A key feature developed within SoftComp is the highly successful Research Platforms offered to its members, anticipating the spirit of the EU Integrated Infrastructure Initiative. ESMI will promote the SoftComp experience to the European materials community, reflecting the EU recommendations that FP6 collaborative projects may well lead to new European infrastructures. Together with a platform for disseminating the results and educating a new generation of young soft matter scientists, ESMI represents an important added value to the European Research Area in nanoscience, nanotechnology and materials science


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2011.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 3.59M | Year: 2011

Nowadays there is a growing uncertainty about the near future evolution of classical PMR solutions due to spectrum scarcity, digital dividend issues and economic crisis. GERYON aims at facing this situation by seizing the existing window of opportunity due to the convergence of the IMS as a predominant enabler for future multimedia networks and the imminent deployment of commercial LTE networks,. GERYON proposes an innovative emergency inter-networking system capable of connecting existing first responder communication systems and enabling the integration of next generation mobile networks by defining technology independent standardized interfaces and autonomic configuration and adaptation techniques under the umbrella of IMS. Therefore, GERYON will unify common technical and operational logic of first responder communications networks in a technology independent manner. This unification will offload interconnection gateways from duplicated technology dependent details by providing a neutral interconnection interface. Proposed system will ensure seamless operation regardless the access technology and take advantage of coverage and responsiveness of existing PMRs and broadband data services of 4G networks. GERYON will demonstrate both classical (i.e. PTT, MTP and preemptive calls) and enhanced emergency services (i.e. multimedia streaming and data services) over an across-frontier testbed. Furthermore, its capability for including general purpose IMS terminals and GERYON enhanced ones will allow an easy access to first responder networks to different groups of unprotected users such as elderly people, people with special needs and battered women that will take advantage of enhanced services such as the Red Button over general purpose devices.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.72M | Year: 2012

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and sistemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are two autoimmune diseases that respectively affect an estimated population of 1.537.000 and 1.272.000 of patients in Europe. Such diseases show a long prodrome during which there are no clinical symptoms. In some cases, therapeutic treatments have been developed to improve patients quality of life. Therefore, reliable diagnostic/prognostic tools are necessary not only for an early diagnosis and for monitoring disease activity, but also for setting up personalized therapeutic treatments. The clinical diagnosis of RA and SLE is assisted by the use of in vitro diagnostic tests aimed at the evaluation of the presence/level of few autoantibodies circulating in serum. Yet, this diagnostic approach is unsatisfactory because it can assist the diagnosis only after the first disease onset, it is not useful to evaluate the disease susceptibility for an early prevention, and it does not provide information to follow the disease progression for the set up of personalized therapeutic treatments. To solve these drawbacks, the GAPAID project is aimed at supplying the SME participants of the scientific and technological activities necessary to develop a novel diagnostic / prognostic platform for patients affected by RA and SLE. To this aim the scientific activities will be focused on the discovery of the diagnostic and prognostic value of the genetic and serological profiles associated to RA and SLE. The technological activities will contribute to develop multiplex arrays for the contemporary detection of more analytes and to set up a software for the RA and SLE diagnosis / prognosis by matching the clinical, genetic, and serological data. The exploitation of the scientific and technological results will allow the SME participants to the GAPAID proposal to develop and to further commercialize both for RA and SLE an in vitro diagnostic product composed by a genetic array, a serological array, and a software.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-6 | Award Amount: 5.12M | Year: 2012

Limpid aims at generating new knowledge on photocatalytic materials and processes in order to develop novel depollution treatments with enhanced efficiency and applicability. The main goal of LIMPID is to develop materials and technologies based on the synergic combination of different types of nanoparticles (NPs) into a polymer host to generate innovative nanocomposites which can be actively applied to the catalytic degradation of pollutants and bacteria, both in air or in aqueous solution. Single component nanocomposites including TiO2 NPs are already known for their photocatalytic activities. LIMPID will aim at going one big step further and include, into one nanocomposite material, oxide NPs and metal NPs in order to increase the photocatalytic efficiency and allow the use of solar energy to activate the process. One of the main challenge of LIMPID is to design host polymers, such as hybrid organic inorganic and fluorinated polymers, since photocatalysts can destroy the organic materials. The incorporation of NPs in polymers will allow to make available the peculiar nano-object properties and to merge the distinct components into a new original class of catalysts. At the same time nanocomposite formulation will also prevent NPs to leach into water and air phase, thus strongly limiting the potential threat associated to dispersion of NPs into the environment. Therefore nanocomposites developed in LIMPID will be used as coating materials and products for the catalytic degradation of pollutants and bacteria in water and air, i.e. deposited onto re-usable micro-particles, or in pollutant degradation reactors, and even onto large surfaces, as a coating or paint. In addition such new class of nanocomposites will be also exploited for the fabrication of porous membranes for water treatment. In order to fulfill its objectives, the LIMPID consortium has been designed to combine leading industrial partners with research groups from Europe, ASEAN Countries and Canada.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-3.4-02;AAT-2007-4.2-06 | Award Amount: 5.69M | Year: 2008

The safe use of complex engineering structures such as aircrafts can only be guaranteed when efficient means of damage assessment are in place. Whereas the design of civil structures is nowadays based on a damage tolerance approach and time based inspection cycles, it is envisaged that the large cost associated with this approach can be drastically reduced by switching to a condition based maintenance schedule. Structural health monitoring is a technology where integrated sensors are used to enable continuous monitoring of the structural integrity. In the last years there is an increasing interest in structural health monitoring systems for aircraft. Beside the expected enhancement of safety and maintenance performance, also economic aspects play an important role. This regards on the one hand the reduction of unnecessary inspection costs and on the other hand, the possible weight reduction of aircraft part at the designing phase of an aircraft. This project wants to continue the project Aircraft Integrated Structural Health Assessment (AISHA) EU-FP6, priority 4 - STREP project nr. 502907) which was dedicated to the establishment of the basic elements of a health monitoring systems based on ultrasonic Lamb waves. Lamb waves are guided waves propagating in plate-like structures. Experiments on lab-scale and on selected full-scale parts showed the ability of Lamb-waves to give indications of correlations between acoustic parameters and damage in structural parts. The consortium is aware of the fact that a 42-month project is not sufficient to make the final step for a ready-to-use system. Thus, based on the rich experiences obtained in the running AISHA project which will be finished in June 2007, we want propose a new project with an adapted work plan and additional new partners.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.4.1 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2013

In the last decade, the incremental advancement of mainstream research on Machine Translation (MT) has been obtained by encompassing increasingly sophisticated statistical approaches and fine-grained linguistic features that add to the surface level alignment on which these approaches are ultimately anchored.It has been ventured recently, in some leading academic and industry circles, that the incremental progress towards quality MT of this path may be asymptotically reaching a ceiling, as more fine-grained distinctions tend to be needed to aim at better translations with fewer gains in terms of quality increase.The goal of this project is to contribute to a quantum leap in quality MT by pursuing a novel approach that opens the way to higher quality translations and a new cycle of technological advancement.We build on the complementarity of the two pillars of language technology -- symbolic and probabilistic -- and seek a quantum leap in their hybridization. We explore combinations of them that amplify their strengths and mitigate their drawbacks with a new design for the intertwining of statistical and rule-based MT.The construction of deep treebanks has progressed to be delivering now the first significant Parallel DeepBanks, where pairs of synonymous sentences from different languages are annotated with their fully-fledged grammatical representations, up to the level of their semantic representation.The construction of Linked Open Data and other semantic resources, in turn, has progressed now to support impactful application of lexical semantic processing that handles and resolves referential and conceptual ambiguity.These cutting edge advances permit for the cross-lingual alignment supporting translation to be established at the level of deeper linguistic representation. The deeper the level the less language-specific differences remain among source and target sentences and new chances of success become available for the statistically based transduction.


Frolov V.A.,University of the Basque Country | Frolov V.A.,Ikerbasque | Shnyrova A.V.,University of the Basque Country | Zimmerberg J.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2011

Morphological plasticity of biological membrane is critical for cellular life, as cells need to quickly rearrange their membranes. Yet, these rearrangements are constrained in two ways. First, membrane transformations may not lead to undesirable mixing of, or leakage from, the participating cellular compartments. Second, membrane systems should be metastable at large length scales, ensuring the correct function of the particular organelle and its turnover during cellular division. Lipids, through their ability to exist with many shapes (polymorphism), provide an adequate construction material for cellular membranes. They can selfassemble into shells that are very flexible, albeit hardly stretchable, which allows for their far-reaching morphological and topological behaviors. In this article, we will discuss the importance of lipid polymorphisms in the shaping of membranes and its role in controlling cellular membrane morphology. © 2011 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


News Article | November 10, 2016
Site: phys.org

Now in a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, physicists Gael Sentís et al. have taken the change point problem to the quantum domain. "Our work sets an important landmark in quantum information theory by porting a fundamental tool of classical statistical analysis into a fully quantum setup," Sentis, at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, told Phys.org. "With an ever-growing number of promising applications of quantum technologies in all sorts of data processing, building a quantum statistical toolbox capable of dealing with real-world practical issues, of which change point detection is a prominent example, will be crucial. In our paper, we demonstrate the working principles of quantum change point detection and facilitate the grounds for further research on change points in applied scenarios." Although change point problems can deal with very complex situations, they can also be understood with the simple example of playing a game of Heads or Tails. This game begins with a fair coin, but at some unknown point in the game the coin is switched with a biased one. By statistically analyzing the results of each coin toss from the beginning, it's possible to determine the most likely point at which the coin was switched. Extending this problem to the quantum realm, the physicists looked at a quantum device that emits particles in a certain state, but at some unknown point the source begins to emit particles in a different state. Here the quantum change point problem can be understood as a problem of quantum state discrimination, since determining when the change in the source occurred is the same as distinguishing among all possible sequences of quantum states of the emitted particles. Physicists can determine the change point in this situation in two different ways: either by measuring the state of each particle as soon as it arrives at the detector (a "local measurement"), or by waiting until all of the particles have reached the detector and making a measurement at the very end (a "global measurement"). Although the local measurement method sounds appealing because it can potentially detect the change point as soon as it occurs without waiting for all of the particles to be emitted, the researchers found that global measurements outperform even the best local measurement strategies. The "catch" is that global measurements are more difficult to experimentally realize and require a quantum memory to store the quantum states as they arrive at the detector one by one. The local measurement methods don't require a quantum memory, and instead can be implemented using much simpler devices in sequence. Since global detection requires a quantum memory, the results show that change point detection is another of the many problems for which quantum methods outperform all classical ones. "We expected that global measurements would help, as coherent quantum operations tend to exploit genuinely quantum resources and generally outperform local operations in many information processing tasks," Sentis said. "However, this is a case-dependent advantage, and sometimes sophisticated and clever local strategies are enough to cover the gap. The fact that here there is a finite performance gap says something fundamental about change point detection in quantum scenarios." The results have potential applications in any situation that involves analyzing data collected over time. Change point detection is also often used to divide a data sample into subsamples that can then be analyzed individually. "The ability to accurately detect quantum change points has immediate impact on any process that requires careful control of quantum information," Sentis said. "It can be considered a quality testing device for any information processing task that requires (or produces) a sequence of identical quantum states. Applications may range from probing quantum optical fibers to boundary detection in solid state systems." In the future, the researchers plan on exploring the many applications of quantum change point detection. "We plan on extending our theoretical methods to deal with more realistic scenarios," Sentis said. "The possibilities are countless. A few examples of generalizations we are exploring are multiple change points, noisy quantum states, and detection of change points in optical setups." More information: Gael Sentís et al. "Quantum Change Point." Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.150502 Also at arXiv:1605.01916 [quant-ph]


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: Shift2Rail-RIA | Phase: S2R-CFM-IP3-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.80M | Year: 2016

Research into Enhanced Track, Switches and Structure The railway of the future needs to meet the predicted growth in societal demand in terms of capacity and service, address the environmental challenges of the 21st century, and enable the political objectives of the European Union. IN2TRACK is to set the foundations for a resilient, consistent, cost-efficient, high capacity European network by delivering important building blocks that unlock the innovation potential that have been identified as part of the Shift2Rail Innovation Programme 3. Overall objectives of IN2TRACK are divided into three parts; Enhancing and optimising the switch & crossings and track systems in order to ensure the optimal line usage and capacity; Investigating novel ways of extending the life of bridges and tunnel assets through new approaches to maintaining, repairing and upgrading these structures; Development and adoption of a holistic, whole system-approach. A whole-system approach, which is defined as the system boundaries extending from dynamic wheel-rail interaction (loading input) through to degradation of the S&C system, sub-systems, individual components, and underlying track foundation, will also be at the heart of IN2TRACK on how to reach the objectives. This IN2TRACK proposal addresses each of the areas identified in the H2020-S2RJU-2016-01 call. IN2TRACK is fully aligned with Shift2Rail IP3 in its objectives, approach, and ambition; addressing early enhancements and innovation opportunities.


Home > Press > Quantum effects affect the best superconductor: Quantum effects explain why hydrogen sulphide is a superconductor at record-breaking temperatures Abstract: The theoretical results of a piece of international research published in Nature, whose first author is Ion Errea, a researcher at the UPV/EHU and DIPC, suggest that the quantum nature of hydrogen (in other words, the possibility of it behaving like a particle or a wave) considerably affects the structural properties of hydrogen-rich compounds (potential room-temperature superconducting substances). This is in fact the case of the superconductor hydrogen sulphide: a stinking compound that smells of rotten eggs, which when subjected to pressures a million times higher than atmospheric pressure, behaves like a superconductor at the highest temperature ever identified. This new advance in understanding the physics of high-temperature superconductivity could help to drive forward progress in the search for room-temperature superconductors, which could be used in levitating trains or next-generation supercomputers, for example. Superconductors are materials that carry electrical current with zero electrical resistance. Conventional or low-temperature ones behave that way only when the substance is cooled down to temperatures close to absolute zero (-273 °C o 0 degrees Kelvin). Last year, however, German researchers identified the high-temperature superconducting properties of hydrogen sulphide which makes it the superconductor at the highest temperature ever discovered: -70 °C or 203 K. The structure of the chemical bonds between atoms changes In classical or Newtonian physics it is possible to measure the position and momentum of a moving object to determine where it is going and how long it will take to reach its destination. These two properties are inherently linked. However, in the strange world of quantum physics, it is impossible, according to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, for specific pairs of observable complementary physical magnitudes of a particle to be known at the same time. Hydrogen is the lightest element in the periodic table, so it is an atom that is very strongly affected by quantum behaviour. Its quantum nature affects the structural and physical properties of various hydrogen compounds. An example is high-pressure ice where quantum fluctuations of the proton lead to a change in the way the molecules are held together, due to the fact that the chemical bonds between atoms end up being symmetrical. The researchers in this study believe that a similar quantum hydrogen-bond symmetrisation occurs in the hydrogen sulphide superconductor. The researchers have formulated the calculations by considering the hydrogen atoms as quantum particles behaving like waves, and they have concluded that they form symmetrical bonds at a pressure similar to that used experimentally by the German researchers. So they have succeeded in explaining the phenomenon of superconductivity at record-breaking temperatures because in previous calculations hydrogen atoms were treated as classical particles, which made impossible to explain the experiment. All this highlights the fact that quantum physics and symmetrical hydrogen bonds lie behind high-temperature conductivity in hydrogen sulphide. The researchers are delighted that the good results obtained in this research show that quantitative predictions and computation can be used with complete confidence to speed up the discovery of high-temperature superconductors. According to the calculations made, the quantum symmetrisation of the hydrogen bonds has a great impact on the vibrational and superconducting properties of hydrogen sulphide. "In order to theoretically reproduce the observed pressure dependence of the superconducting critical temperature, the quantum symmetrisation needs to be taken into account," explained Ion Errea, the lead researcher in the study. This theoretical study shows that in hydrogen-rich compounds, the quantum motion of hydrogen can strongly affect the structural properties (even modifying the chemical bonding), as well as the electron-phonon interaction that drives the superconducting transition. In the view of the researchers, theory and computation have played a key role in the search for superconducting hydrides subjected to extreme compression. And they also pointed out that in the future an attempt will be made to increase the temperature until room-temperature superconductivity is achieved while dramatically reducing the pressures required. ### Additional information This international research was carried out with the collaboration of researchers from the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), the UPMC Université Paris 06 (Sorbonne), the University of Cambridge (Cavendish Laboratory), the Jiangsu Normal University, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Jilin University, and the University of Rome 'La Sapienza'. The lead researcher in the study was Ion Errea (Donostia-San Sebastian, 1984); he is a PhD holder in Physics and is currently a researcher at DIPC and a lecturer in the UPV/EHU's Department of Applied Physics. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Home > Press > Ultra-long, one-dimensional carbon chains are synthesised for the first time: Researchers involved in an international study, in which the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has participated, have stabilised chains of more than 6,400 carbon atoms using double-walled nanotub Abstract: Elemental carbon appears in many different forms, some of which are very well-known and have been thoroughly studied: diamond, graphite, graphene, fullerenes, nanotubes and carbyne. Within this "carbon family", carbyne (a truly one-dimensional carbon structure) is the only one that has not been synthesised until now, despite having been studied for more than 50 years. Organic chemists across the world had been trying to synthesise increasingly longer carbyne chains by using stabilizing agents; the longest chain obtained so far (achieved in 2010) was 44 carbon atoms. A research group at the University of Vienna, led by Prof Thomas Pichler, has presented a new, simple means for stabilising carbon chains with a record-breaking length of over 6,400 carbon atoms. They have thus broken the previous record by more than two orders of magnitude. To do this, they used the confined space inside a double-walled carbon nanotube as a nano-reactor to make the ultra-long carbon chains grow and also to provide the chains with great stability. This stability is tremendously important for future applications. The existence has been confirmed The work carried out in collaboration with various highly prominent research groups worldwide, including the UPV/EHU's Nano-Bio Spectroscopy research Group led by Prof Ángel Rubio, has unambiguously confirmed the existence of these chains by means of structural and optical probes. The researchers have presented their study in the latest edition of the prestigious Nature Materials journal. According to the researchers, the direct experimental proof of the confined, ultra-long carbon chains, which are two orders of magnitude longer than the previously proven ones, can be seen as a promising step towards the final objective to obtain perfectly linear carbon chains. Theoretical studies have shown that after having made these linear chains grow inside the carbon nanotube, the hybrid system could have a metallic nature due to the load transfer from the carbon nanotubes towards the chain, although both the nanotube and the chain are vacuum semi-conductors. So it is possible to control the electronic properties of this hybrid system. Therefore, this new system is not only interesting from the chemical point of view, it could also be very important in the field of nano devices. According to theoretical models, carbyne has mechanical properties that are unmatched by any known material, as it even outperforms the mechanical resistance and flexibility properties of graphene and diamond. Furthermore, its electronic properties are pointing towards new nano-electronic applications, such as in the development of new magnetic semiconductors, high power density batteries, or in quantum spin transport electronics (spintronics). However, the researchers point out that to do this it would be necessary to extract these ultra-long, linear carbon chains from the double-walled nanotube containing them and stabilise them in some liquid environment. ### Additional information The research was carried out in collaboration with various research groups at different organisations: University of Vienna, AIST (Japan), ETH Zürich, Nano-bio Spectroscopy Group (UPV/EHU) and the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (Hamburg). The Nano-bio Spectroscopy research Group is led by Ángel Rubio, a UPV/EHU professor, a member of the Department of Materials Sciences, and director of the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter. The group's activity focusses on the theoretical research and modelling of electronic and structural properties of condensed matter as well as the development of new theoretical tools and computer codes to explore the electronic response of solids and nanostructures when handling external electromagnetic fields. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2013-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 85.21M | Year: 2013

This proposal details activities that will ensure the continued enhancement and ongoing operation of the leading-edge GANT network, supporting a range of network and added-value services, targeted at users across the GANT service area.\nIn the area of multi-domain network service operation, GN3plus plans to deliver fast, efficient provisioning of advanced services, develop operational support across management domains, and improve security to ensure service integrity and protect network resources. These initiatives will be complemented by the development of application services in a federated environment such as mobile and wireless roaming supported by safe and secure Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure.\nNetworking Activities will provide management and support for all GN3plus activities through communication, promotion, international liaison and business development. Emphasis will be placed on supporting and encouraging service take-up among users by working closely with NRENs. GANT will increase digital inclusion through closer collaboration between NRENs, exchange of staff and specialist expertise, as well as by seeking synergies between public administrations and the GN3plus partners using their vast, shared knowledge base.\nJoint Research Activities will be targeted at providing critical analyses of future network and application technologies, with a view to future deployment of emerging technologies within and outside the GANT community.\nThe governance model aims to increase effectiveness and user influence. The GN3plus Partners Assembly will deal with overall policy and an Executive Board will oversee its implementation. An International User Advisory Committee and External Advisory Committee will ensure users views and senior industry and service provider expertise are channelled directly to the Assembly. Specialised Advisory Boards will ensure highly efficient decision making, and that the voice of the stakeholder community is heard.


Bachlechner T.C.,Cornell University | Dias M.,University of Sussex | Frazer J.,University of the Basque Country | Frazer J.,Ikerbasque | McAllister L.,Cornell University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

N-flation is a radiatively stable scenario for chaotic inflation in which the displacements of N1 axions with decay constants f1≤...≤fN


Price L.C.,University of Auckland | Peiris H.V.,University College London | Frazer J.,University of the Basque Country | Easther R.,University of Auckland
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We study the tensor spectral index nt and the tensor-to-scalar ratio r in the simplest multifield extension to single-field, slow-roll inflation models. We show that multifield models with potentials V∼iλiφip have different predictions for nt/r than single-field models, even when all the couplings are equal λi=λj, due to the probabilistic nature of the fields' initial values. We analyze well-motivated prior probabilities for the λi and initial conditions to make detailed predictions for the marginalized probability distribution of nt/r. With O(100) fields and p>3/4, we find that nt/r differs from the single-field result of nt/r=-1/8 at the 5σ level. This gives a novel and testable prediction for the simplest multifield inflation models. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Zangi R.,University of the Basque Country | Zangi R.,Ikerbasque
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2011

We study by molecular dynamics simulations the driving force for the hydrophobic interaction between graphene sheets of different sizes down to the atomic scale. Similar to the prediction by Lum, Chandler, and Weeks for hard-sphere solvation [J. Phys. Chem. B 1999, 103, 4570 -4577], we find the driving force to be length-scale dependent, despite the fact that our model systems do not exhibit dewetting. For small hydrophobic solutes, the association is purely entropic, while enthalpy favors dissociation. The latter is demonstrated to arise from the enhancement of hydrogen bonding between the water molecules around small hydrophobes. On the other hand, the attraction between large graphene sheets is dominated by enthalpy which mainly originates from direct solute-solute interactions. The crossover length is found to be inside the range of 0.3-1.5 nm2 of the surface area of the hydrophobe that is eliminated in the association process. In the large-scale regime, different thermodynamic properties are scalable with this change of surface area. In particular, upon dimerization, a total and a water-induced stabilization of approximately 65 and 12 kJ/mol/nm2 are obtained, respectively, and on average around one hydrogen bond is gained per 1 nm2 of graphene sheet association. Furthermore, the potential of mean force between the sheets is also scalable except for interplate distances smaller than 0.64 nm which corresponds to the region around the barrier for removing the last layer of water. It turns out that, as the surface area increases, the relative height of the barrier for association decreases and the range of attraction increases. It is also shown that, around small hydrophobic solutes, the lifetime of the hydrogen bonds is longer than in the bulk, while around large hydrophobes it is the same. Nevertheless, the rearrangement of the hydrogen-bond network for both length-scale regimes is slower than in bulk water. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Garcia-Bajos E.,University of the Basque Country | Migueles M.,University of the Basque Country
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology | Year: 2013

Using the retrieval-practice paradigm, we examined the effects of script and selective retrieval on the recall of high- and low-typicality actions of everyday activities. The participants studied two activities, Getting up in the morning and Going to a restaurant, each consisting of high-typicality and low-typicality actions. They then practised half of the high- or low-typicality actions of an activity, with recall of the unpractised activity serving as baseline. Script-driven processing prompted the recall of high-typicality actions and produced more high-typicality than low-typicality intrusions. Selective retrieval practice of the high-typicality script actions did not have an adverse effect on the recall of high- or low-typicality actions, while practising low-typicality actions not representative of the scripts produced retrieval-induced forgetting of other low-typicality actions. Scripts provide the cognitive system with flexibility and economy, but side-effects such as high-typicality intrusions and poor memory for detail can also derive from script processing. © 2013 Copyright The Experimental Psychology Society.


Pedraz J.L.,University of the Basque Country
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

The field of cell encapsulation is advancing rapidly. This cell-based technology permits the local and long-term delivery of a desired therapeutic product reducing or even avoiding the need of immunosuppressant drugs. The choice of a suitable material preserving the viability and functionality of enclosed cells becomes fundamental if a therapeutic aim is intended. Alginate, which is by far the most frequently used biomaterial in the field of cell microencapsulation, has been demonstrated to be probably the best polymer for this purpose due to its biocompatibility, easy manipulation, gel forming capacity and in vivo performance. © 2010 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.


Maroto E.E.,Complutense University of Madrid | Filippone S.,Complutense University of Madrid | Suarez M.,Complutense University of Madrid | Suarez M.,University of Habana | And 5 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

A wide range of new dipoles and catalysts have been used in 1,3-dipolar cycloadditions of N-metalated azomethine ylides onto C60 yielding a full stereodivergent synthesis of pyrrolidino[60]fullerenes with complete diastereoselectivities and very high enantioselectivities. The use of less-explored chiral α-iminoamides as starting 1,3-dipoles leads to an interesting double asymmetric induction resulting in a matching/mismatching effect depending upon the absolute configuration of the stereocenter in the starting α-iminoamide. An enantioselective process was also found in the retrocycloaddition reaction as revealed by mass spectrometry analysis on quasi-enantiomeric pyrrolidino[60]fullerenes. Theoretical DFT calculations are in very good agreement with the experimental data. On the basis of this agreement, a plausible reaction mechanism is proposed. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Castellano J.,University of the Basque Country | Blanco-Villasenor A.,University of Barcelona | Alvarez D.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2011

Using a multi-camera computerised tracking system the present study aimed to provide a detailed analysis of the work-rate profile of a team of elite soccer players during official matches of the Spanish Premier League. Observation-based performance measures were obtained from 434 individual samples. 6 physical parameters involving the distance covered by players were analysed: standing intensity (0-11km·h1), low-intensity running (11.1-14km·h1), moderate-intensity running (14.1-17km·h1), high-intensity running (17.1- 21km·h1), very high-intensity running (21.1-24km·h 1) and sprinting (>24km·h1). These intensity thresholds were considered with respect to 4 contextual variables: match status, match location, opponent level and match half, which were analysed in relation to the effective playing time. A descriptive analysis and a multivariate mixed model were employed for the analysis of change processes in soccer. The distance total covered (m) by players at different work intensities during the effective playing time was greater when playing at home (3931 vs. 3887 away), when the reference team was losing (3975 vs. 3837 drawing and 3921 winning) and when the level of the opposing team was higher (4032 vs. 3938 medium and 3736 bottom). By contrast, their physical performance decreased during the 2ndhalf of matches (3822 vs. 3985 1st half). © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.


Heras-Saizarbitoria I.,University of the Basque Country | Cilleruelo E.,University of the Basque Country | Zamanillo I.,University of the Basque Country
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

This article addresses the public acceptance issue of renewable energies and, more specifically, the case of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy. The paper analyzes the media coverage that influences public acceptance, focusing on a specific case study: the extraordinary development of the Spanish PV sector during the period 2004-2010, a case that has gained international momentum. The work describes the intense general public debate that has been generated - a debate that may well influence Spanish public acceptance of both this and other sources of renewable energy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Martinez M.I.,University of the Basque Country | Tapia G.,University of the Basque Country | Susperregui A.,University of the Basque Country | Camblong H.,ESTIA Research of Advanced Industrial Technology
IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion | Year: 2011

Several strategies have been proposed for operating doubly-fed induction generator (DFIG)-based wind turbine under unbalanced grid voltage conditions. This study focuses on those strategies in which the rotor-side power converter aims at eliminating the oscillations affecting the electromagnetic torque and the stator reactive power. Given the limited size of the DFIGs power converters, and hence their tolerable current and voltage boundaries, this study analyzes which DFIG power generation capability is under unbalanced grid voltage, and therefrom derives rotor current and stator power controllable ranges. Besides, the feasibility regions of the DFIG are also deduced for different types of imbalance. Furthermore, and based on the outcome of previous analysis, a modified rotor current limiter, as also its equivalent stator power limiter, is proposed. In contrast to the conventional ones, the limiters proposed here take into account that imbalances may arise in the grid voltage. As a consequence, systems overall performance is considerably enhanced under unbalanced grid voltage conditions. Finally, simulation results establish the validity of the treated issues. © 2011 IEEE.


Gao S.,Nanjing University | Collins M.B.,University of the Basque Country | Collins M.B.,University of Southampton
Marine Geology | Year: 2014

The present knowledge of Holocene continental shelf deposits in relation to the processes for their formation, from the prospective of marine sediment dynamics, is examined. Over the last 50years, various innovative techniques have been developed to measure and calculate currents, waves and suspended sediment concentrations. Thus, sediment transport rates can be defined by in situ observations, or numerical modeling. At the same time, sediment dynamics has been applied to morphodynamics, such that deposition rate and seabed morphological change can be predicted. On the continental shelf, tide-wave action, residual circulation and sediment gravity flow are the major sediment dynamic forcing mechanisms. The tidal current is often responsible for landward transport, waves can cause landward transport of sand and gravel but seaward transport of fine-grained sediment, and shelf circulation and sediment gravity flow favor the dispersal of suspended sediment towards offshore or even across the shelf. For the various types of the shelf, wide or narrow, sediment starved or supply abundant, prediction on the basis of processes is consistent with the observed spatial distribution of Holocene sedimentary systems, e.g., river deltas, beaches, barrier islands, lagoons, tidal ridges, tidal inlets, tidal flats and shelf muds. The sedimentary records associated with these systems often consist of high-resolution slices, i.e., each record tends to have a resolution within 101years, but covers only a relatively short period of the Holocene. Nevertheless, if different records are connected, according to their chronological order, then the overall period covered by the records will be extended. In order to achieve this objective, a modeling approach to the formation of sedimentary records should be developed. Based upon an understanding of process-product relationships, simulation can be undertaken for: the formation of early Holocene reworking-induced deposits, during sea level rise; event beds due to extreme events; the preservation potential of the sedimentary sequences; the post-depositional modifications to the sedimentary records; the environmental settings during sedimentation; and the long-term effects of material budgeting processes on the sediment system behavior. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Heras U.L.,University of the Basque Country | Mezzacapo A.,University of the Basque Country | Lamata L.,University of the Basque Country | Filipp S.,ETH Zurich | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We propose the implementation of a digital quantum simulator for prototypical spin models in a circuit quantum electrodynamics architecture. We consider the feasibility of the quantum simulation of Heisenberg and frustrated Ising models in transmon qubits coupled to coplanar waveguide microwave resonators. Furthermore, we analyze the time evolution of these models and compare the ideal spin dynamics with a realistic version of the proposed quantum simulator. Finally, we discuss the key steps for developing a toolbox of digital quantum simulators in superconducting circuits. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Garcia Munoz A.,European Space Agency | Perez-Hoyos S.,University of the Basque Country | Sanchez-Lavega A.,University of the Basque Country
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. Reflected light from a spatially unresolved planet yields unique insight into the overall optical properties of the planet cover. Glories are optical phenomena caused by light that is backscattered within spherical droplets following a narrow distribution of sizes; they are well known on Earth as localised features above liquid clouds. Aims. Here we report the first evidence for a glory in the disk-integrated photometry of Venus and, in turn, of any planet. Methods. We used previously published phase curves of the planet that were reproduced over the full range of phase angles with model predictions based on a realistic description of the Venus atmosphere. We assumed that the optical properties of the planet as a whole can be described by a uniform and stable cloud cover, an assumption that agrees well with observational evidence. Results. We specifically show that the measured phase curves mimic the scattering properties of the Venus upper-cloud micron-sized aerosols, also at the small phase angles at which the glory occurs, and that the glory contrast is consistent with what is expected after multiple scattering of photons. In the optical, the planet appears to be brighter at phase angles of ∼11-13° than at full illumination; it undergoes a maximum dimming of up to ∼10% at phases in between. Conclusions. Glories might potentially indicate spherical droplets and, thus, extant liquid clouds in the atmospheres of exoplanets. A prospective detection will require exquisite photometry at the small planet-star separations of the glory phase angles. © ESO, 2014.


Tokatly I.V.,University of the Basque Country | Tokatly I.V.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Time-dependent (current) density functional theory for many-electron systems strongly coupled to quantized electromagnetic modes of a microcavity is proposed. It is shown that the electron-photon wave function is a unique functional of the electronic (current) density and the expectation values of photonic coordinates. The Kohn-Sham system is constructed, which allows us to calculate the above basic variables by solving self-consistent equations for noninteracting particles. We suggest possible approximations for the exchange-correlation potentials and discuss implications of this approach for the theory of open quantum systems. In particular we show that it naturally leads to time-dependent density functional theory for systems coupled to the Caldeira-Leggett bath. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Mezzacapo A.,University of the Basque Country | Lamata L.,University of the Basque Country | Filipp S.,ETH Zurich | Solano E.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

The efficient implementation of many-body interactions in superconducting circuits allows for the realization of multipartite entanglement and topological codes, as well as the efficient simulation of highly correlated fermionic systems. We propose the engineering of fast multiqubit interactions with tunable transmon-resonator couplings. This dynamics is obtained by the modulation of magnetic fluxes threading superconducting quantum interference device loops embedded in the transmon devices. We consider the feasibility of the proposed implementation in a realistic scenario and discuss potential applications. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Sokolovski D.,University of the Basque Country | Sokolovski D.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

In classical physics, the joint probability of a number of individually rare independent events is given by the Poisson distribution. It describes, for example, the unidirectional transfer of a population between the densely and sparsely populated states of a classical two-state system. We derive a quantum version of the law for a large number of noninteracting systems (particles) obeying Bose-Einstein statistics. The classical law is significantly modified by quantum interference, which allows, among other effects, for the counterflow of particles back into the densely populated state. The suggested observation of this classically forbidden counterflow effect can be achieved with modern laser-based techniques used for manipulating and trapping cold atoms. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Calvo B.,University of the Basque Country | Zuniga L.,University of the Basque Country
BioDrugs | Year: 2012

In the US, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCI Act, 2009) provided the pathway to create an abbreviated licensure procedure for biologic products that are demonstrated to be biosimilar to or interchangeable with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed biologic product.In February 2012, the FDA issued three guidelines that list the requirements for biosimilar registration. The topics covered include scientific and quality considerations to demonstrate biosimilarity to a reference product and a guidance that clarifies the BPCI Act implementation.The sponsor application for the biosimilar approval must contain biosimilarity information based on data derived from analytical, animal, and clinical studies. Clinical studies should include an assessment of immunogenicity, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and address one or more indications licensed for the reference product. To demonstrate biosimilarity the applicant is allowed to use comparative animal or clinical data with a non-US-licensed product.According to these guidelines, the FDA will consider different aspects when evaluating biosimilarity, such as product formulation, complexity, and stability which will have a risk-based approach and will depend on the degree of knowledge of the product characteristics, as well as clinical experience with the reference one. The FDA intends to use a risk-based and facts-focused approach for review of applications of biosimilars, although it faces several challenges. Once a biologic medicine has been demonstrated to be biosimilar to the reference product, an abridged development program for the biosimilar medicine can be carried out in a similar way to that established by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In addition, FDA legislation goes a step further than the EMA, offering the possibility to adopt full interchangeability for biosimilars. Adis © 2012 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved.


Felicetti S.,University of the Basque Country | Sanz M.,University of the Basque Country | Lamata L.,University of the Basque Country | Romero G.,University of the Basque Country | And 4 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We show that the physics underlying the dynamical Casimir effect may generate multipartite quantum correlations. To achieve it, we propose a circuit quantum electrodynamics scenario involving superconducting quantum interference devices, cavities, and superconducting qubits, also called artificial atoms. Our results predict the generation of highly entangled states for two and three superconducting qubits in different geometric configurations with realistic parameters. This proposal paves the way for a scalable method of multipartite entanglement generation in cavity networks through dynamical Casimir physics. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Barrutia J.M.,University of the Basque Country | Gilsanz A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Service Research | Year: 2013

Electronic service quality (ESQ) is essential for explaining consumer value perceptions in B2C e-commerce contexts. However, we argue that focusing too narrowly on ESQ without considering consumer knowledge-related resources could lead managers to devise myopic strategies. Our research is inspired by, and intends to contribute to, service-dominant logic, service logic, and service science. These perspectives suggest that firms and consumers cocreate value by integrating their resources. However, the literature in these areas relies on conceptual development, and further empirical research is needed. The empirical study reported here is the first cross-sectional test that confers similar salience to both consumer resources, in the form of consumer expertise (and its antecedents), and firm resources, as represented by ESQ (and its antecedents), to explain value perception in a B2C e-commerce context. We provide evidence that both consumer expertise and ESQ directly and positively affect value perception, the magnitude of the effect of consumer expertise (ESQ) on value perception being smaller as ESQ (consumer expertise) increases, and vice versa. Our results offer interesting insights for designing successful e-commerce strategies. For instance, the negative interaction effect we found suggests that consumer expertise and ESQ behave as substitutes to some extent. Therefore, firms might reduce the expert/nonexpert value gap by incorporating in their websites tools addressed to palliate nonexperts' disadvantages, or by upgrading these tools when available. Thus, recommender systems might be upgraded using information derived from experts' e-buying behavior and opinions, instead of considering only overall data from consumers with a similar taste profile. © The Author(s) 2012.


Leceta I.,University of the Basque Country | Guerrero P.,University of the Basque Country | Cabezudo S.,Polytechnic School | De La Caba K.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

A comparative environmental assessment between two different food packaging systems was carried out: a commercial food packaging film based on polypropylene (PP) and a new biodegradable chitosanbased film developed in our labs. The environmental load of chitosan-based films in different life cycle stages was studied and compared with the one of conventional PP films currently used as food packaging. The functional unit in this study was 1 m2 of packaging film. The studied system includes three main stages: material extraction, film manufacture, and end of life. Results showed that PP films have higher impact than chitosan-based films in carcinogens and in fossil fuels impact categories. The environmental burden associated to carcinogens is mainly due to the end of life stage, while the impact related to fossil fuels is owing to the extraction of PP. On the contrary, chitosan-based films have higher environmental load in respiratory inorganics, land use, and minerals categories. Environmental load associated to respiratory inorganics is mostly related to the acetic acid used in the film manufacture and, in a more significant way, to the hydrochloric acid used in the raw material extraction, which is also responsible for the impact in minerals category. In addition, the main responsible for the impact in land use category is glycerine, considered as a by-product from biodiesel, used in the film manufacture stage. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Hoyos Cillero I.,University of the Basque Country | Jago R.,University of Bristol
Journal of Public Health | Year: 2011

Higher screen-viewing levels increase the risk of obesity. Understanding the correlates of screen viewing is an important first step in designing interventions but there is lack of information on the correlates among Spanish children. This study examined associations among environmental, sociocultural, age variables and screen viewing among Spanish children. MethodsChildren completed a questionnaire about time spent in screen viewing. BMI was assessed and children were classified into obesity groups using International Obesity Task Force cut-off points. Parents completed a questionnaire about sociodemographic, environmental and sociocultural variables. ResultsParticipants were 247 primary and 256 secondary school-aged children and their parents. Time spent in screen viewing increased with age. Males spent more time than females in screen viewing. Greater access to bedroom media sources was associated with higher screen viewing. Younger children from single-parent households and older children having a younger parent, siblings and a father who was not working were higher screen-viewers on weekends and weekdays, respectively. For older children parental TV viewing time appeared to be a significant correlate, while parental rules was a determinant predictor for younger children on weekdays. ConclusionsEnvironmental and sociocultural factors influence the time children spend in screen viewing. Parents play a central role in child's screen viewing; therefore, interventions that target environmental and family TV viewing practices are likely to be effective. © The Author 2010, Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health. All rights reserved.


Quindos G.,University of the Basque Country
Revista Iberoamericana de Micologia | Year: 2014

Invasive candidiasis is a leading cause of mortality. Candidaemia is the most common clinical presentation of invasive candidiasis but more that 30% of these infections do not yield positive blood cultures. Candida albicans remains the predominant aetiology, accounting for 50% of all cases. However, there has been an epidemiological shift in the last decades. Some species of Candida different to C. albicans have emerged as an important cause of severe candidaemia as they can exhibit resistance to fluconazole and other antifungal agents. Moreover, there is a different distribution of non C. albicans Candida species in relationship to patients' and hospital characteristics. Thus, Candida parapsilosis has been associated to candidaemia in neonates and young adults. This species usually has an exogenously origin and contaminates medical devices, causing central venous catheter-associated candidaemias. Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis and Candida krusei are isolated in blood cultures from older patients (>65 years) with important risk factors, such as major abdominal surgery, solid tumours and haematologic malignancies, transplants, and/or prolonged treatment with corticoids. Moreover, important geographical differences in the distribution of the Candida species different to C. albicans causing invasive candidiasis have been reported: C. parapsilosis predominates in Australia, Latin America and Mediterranean countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. In contrast, C. glabrata has an important aetiological role in USA and Central and Northern Europe. Finally, an important and worrying issue is that mortality due to invasive candidiasis remains unacceptably high.This manuscript is part of the series of works presented at the "V International Workshop: Molecular genetic approaches to the study of human pathogenic fungi" (Oaxaca, Mexico, 2012). © 2013 Revista Iberoamericana de Micología.


Fontelos M.A.,Institute Ciencias Matematicas ICMAT | De La Hoz F.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

We describe, by means of asymptotic methods and direct numerical simulation, the structure of singularities developing at the interface between two perfect, inviscid and irrotational fluids of different densities 1 and 2 and under the action of gravity. When the lighter fluid is on top of the heavier fluid, one encounters the water-wave problem for fluids of different densities. In the limit when the density of the lighter fluid is zero, one encounters the classical water-wave problem. Analogously, when the heavier fluid is on top of the lighter fluid, one encounters the Rayleigh-Taylor problem for fluids of different densities, with this being the case when one of the densities is zero for the classical Rayleigh-Taylor problem. We will show that both water-wave and Rayleigh-Taylor problems develop singularities of the Moore-type (singularities in the curvature) when both fluid densities are non-zero. For the classical water-wave problem, we propose and provide evidence of the development of a singularity in the form of a logarithmic spiral, and for the classical Rayleigh-Taylor problem no singularities were found. The regularizing effects of surface tension are also discussed, and estimates of the size and wavelength of the capillary waves, bubbles or blobs that are produced are provided. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.


Rodriguez G.,University of the Basque Country | Alonso G.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes | Year: 2014

In Experiment 1, we demonstrated an intermixed-blocked effect where intermixed preexposure to a flavor compound and to an element of that compound (AX, X, AX, X . . .) reduced generalization between them more than equivalent blocked preexposure (AX, AX . . . X, X . . . , or X, X, AX, AX). Then we used sensory preconditioning (Experiment 2) and conditioned flavor preference (Experiment 3) procedures to assess the strength of the X-A within-compound association resulting from those preexposure schedules. In both experiments, we observed that the within-compound association was stronger after blocked than intermixed preexposure. We suggest that these differences in strength produce more mediated generalization in the blocked than intermixed preexposure. © 2014 American Psychological Association.


Erro D.,University of the Basque Country | Moreno A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Bonafonte A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing | Year: 2010

Most existing voice conversion systems, particularly those based on Gaussian mixture models, require a set of paired acoustic vectors from the source and target speakers to learn their corresponding transformation function. The alignment of phonetically equivalent source and target vectors is not problematic when the training corpus is parallel, which means that both speakers utter the same training sentences. However, in some practical situations, such as cross-lingual voice conversion, it is not possible to obtain such parallel utterances. With an aim towards increasing the versatility of current voice conversion systems, this paper proposes a new iterative alignment method that allows pairing phonetically equivalent acoustic vectors from nonparallel utterances from different speakers, even under cross-lingual conditions. This method is based on existing voice conversion techniques, and it does not require any phonetic or linguistic information. Subjective evaluation experiments show that the performance of the resulting voice conversion system is very similar to that of an equivalent system trained on a parallel corpus. © 2006 IEEE.


Erro D.,University of the Basque Country | Moreno A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Bonafonte A.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing | Year: 2010

Any modification applied to speech signals has an impact on their perceptual quality. In particular, voice conversion to modify a source voice so that it is perceived as a specific target voice involves prosodic and spectral transformations that produce significant quality degradation. Choosing among the current voice conversion methods represents a trade-off between the similarity of the converted voice to the target voice and the quality of the resulting converted speech, both rated by listeners. This paper presents a new voice conversion method termed Weighted Frequency Warping that has a good balance between similarity and quality. This method uses a time-varying piecewise-linear frequency warping function and an energy correction filter, and it combines typical probabilistic techniques and frequency warping transformations. Compared to standard probabilistic systems, Weighted Frequency Warping results in a significant increase in quality scores, whereas the conversion scores remain almost unaltered. This paper carefully discusses the theoretical aspects of the method and the details of its implementation, and the results of an international evaluation of the new system are also included. © 2006 IEEE.


Megias E.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Valle M.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We compute the partition function for non-interacting chiral fermions at second order in a derivative expansion of an arbitrary time-independent gravitational and gauge background. We find that Pauli-Villars regularization of the vacuum part is needed to get consistent results. We use our results to discuss some features of the non-dissipative constitutive relations of second order hydrodynamics. © 2014, The Author(s).


Lizarraga J.,University of the Basque Country | Urrestilla J.,University of the Basque Country | Daverio D.,University of Geneva | Hindmarsh M.,University of Sussex | And 4 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We show that the B-mode polarization signal detected at low multipoles by BICEP2 cannot be entirely due to topological defects. This would be incompatible with the high-multipole B-mode polarization data and also with existing temperature anisotropy data. Adding cosmic strings to a model with tensors, we find that B modes on their own provide a comparable limit on the defects to that already coming from Planck satellite temperature data. We note that strings at this limit give a modest improvement to the best fit of the B-mode data, at a somewhat lower tensor-to-scalar ratio of r≃0.15. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Easther R.,University of Auckland | Frazer J.,University College London | Frazer J.,University of the Basque Country | Peiris H.V.,University College London | Price L.C.,University of Auckland
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We explore whether multifield inflationary models make unambiguous predictions for fundamental cosmological observables. Focusing on N-quadratic inflation, we numerically evaluate the full perturbation equations for models with 2, 3, and O(100) fields, using several distinct methods for specifying the initial values of the background fields. All scenarios are highly predictive, with the probability distribution functions of the cosmological observables becoming more sharply peaked as N increases. For N=100 fields, 95% of our Monte Carlo samples fall in the ranges ns (0.9455,0.9534), α (-9.741,-7.047)×10-4, r (0.1445,0.1449), and riso (0.02137,3.510) ×10-3 for the spectral index, running, tensor-to-scalar ratio, and isocurvature-to-adiabatic ratio, respectively. The expected amplitude of isocurvature perturbations grows with N, raising the possibility that many-field models may be sensitive to postinflationary physics and suggesting new avenues for testing these scenarios. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Bandos I.,University of the Basque Country | Bandos I.,Ikerbasque
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We study the Lagrangian description of chiral bosons, p-form gauge fields with (anti-)self-dual gauge field strengths, in D = 2p + 2 dimensional spacetime of non-trivial topology. We show that the manifestly Lorentz and diffeomorphism invariant Pasti-Sorokin-Tonin (PST) approach is consistent and produces the (anti-)self-duality equation also in topologically nontrivial spacetime. We discuss in what circumstances the nontrivial topology makes difference between two disconnected, da-timelike and da-spacelike branches of the PST system, the gauge fixed version of which are described by not manifestly invariant Henneaux-Teitelboim (HT) and Perry-Schwarz (PS) actions, respectively. © 2014 The Author(s).


Heras-Saizarbitoria I.,University of the Basque Country | Dogui K.,Laval University | Boiral O.,Laval University
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

This article analyses the extent to which the ISO 14001 certification audit can be considered as an independent and rigorous process ensuring organizational conformance with the standard and improved environmental performance. Although the ISO 14001 certification process and external recognition are based on external audits, the rigor, focus and reliability of these audits tend to be taken for granted and have been largely overlooked in the literature. Moreover, the experience of auditors and ISO 14001 professionals has rarely been taken into account in the literature. As a result, the reasons why organizations which have superficially implemented the ISO 14001 standard have succeeded in becoming certified remain unclear. This article describes a qualitative study conducted in Canada with thirty-six professionals involved in ISO 14001 certification audits, and sheds light on the rather elastic interpretation and application of this standard, with a focus on procedural rather than substantive aspects of the Environmental Management System. The findings call into question the prevailing opinion on the rather objective, rigorous and unambiguous nature of ISO 14001 certification audits. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Herranz M.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of radiological protection : official journal of the Society for Radiological Protection | Year: 2013

Shielded metal arc welding using covered electrodes is the most common welding process. Sometimes the covering contains naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMs). In Spain the most used electrodes are those covered with rutile mixed with other materials. Rutile contains some detectable natural radionuclides, so it can be considered a NORM. This paper mainly focuses on the use of MCNP (Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code) as a predictive tool to obtain doses in a factory which produces this type of electrode and assess the radiological impact in a specific facility after estimating the internal dose.To do this, in the facility, areas of highest radiation and positions of workers were identified, radioactive content of rutile and rutile covered electrodes was measured, and, considering a worst possible scenario, external dose at working points has been calculated using MCNP. This procedure has been validated comparing the results obtained with those from a pressurised ionisation chamber and TLD dosimeters. The internal dose has been calculated using DCAL (dose and risk calculation). The doses range between 8.8 and 394 μSv yr(-1), always lower than the effective dose limit for the public, 1 mSv yr(-1). The highest dose corresponds to the mixing area.


Vicente-Molina M.A.,University of the Basque Country | Fernandez-Sainz A.,University of the Basque Country | Izagirre-Olaizola J.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

This paper analyses the influence of environmental knowledge on pro-environmental behaviour among university students from countries with different levels of economic development (USA, Spain, Mexico and Brazil). The explanatory variables include formal and informal education sources, gender, motivations, attitudes and perceived effectiveness of pro-environmental behaviour. Differences are found between students from emerging and developed countries which suggest that external factors (culture, environmental structures and services in each country) might play a relevant role in university students' behaviour towards the environment. A multinomial ordered logit model is applied to estimate the influence of the covariates on the environmental performance probability. The results also suggest that motivation and perceived effectiveness are not only significant variables in both groups but also the most important ones in explaining pro-environmental behaviour. While knowledge (objective and subjective) influences pro-environmental behaviour, attitude and informal education are not relevant variables. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Calvo B.,University of the Basque Country | Zuniga L.,University of the Basque Country
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Biosimilar medicines already on the market may have a primary structure identical to their reference products (e.g., amino acid sequences should be identical). In the case of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), and due to their more complex structure, a greater level of demand would be in order and identity at other levels (e.g., post-translational modifications within the Fc region of the molecule) should be proved to establish "similarity". These requirements would lead to a greater development in the process and tighter quality controls during the production of biosimilar mAbs. The following issues should be taken into account in the comparability exercise: - The designs of the studies carried out to obtain approval of the reference product are not always adequate to show that safety and efficacy of the biosimilar mAbs are comparable. A similar efficacy does not necessarily imply a similar safety profile between the innovator and biosimilar products. - The design of clinical tests to demonstrate comparability must be flexible and adaptable throughout the development of the product. - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will consider suitable goals in the evaluation of biosimilar mAbs for their approval (e.g., to specify whether their goal is to check similarity with the reference product or to show that the treatment is effective at a clinical level). © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


Agirre E.,University of the Basque Country | Soroa A.,University of the Basque Country | Stevenson M.,University of Sheffield
Bioinformatics | Year: 2010

Motivation: Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD), automatically identifying the meaning of ambiguous words in context, is an important stage of text processing. This article presents a graph-based approach to WSD in the biomedical domain. The method is unsupervised and does not require any labeled training data. It makes use of knowledge from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Metathesaurus which is represented as a graph. A state-of-the-art algorithm, Personalized PageRank, is used to perform WSD. Results: When evaluated on the NLM-WSD dataset, the algorithm outperforms other methods that rely on the UMLS Metathesaurus alone. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


Guillen M.D.,University of the Basque Country | Uriarte P.S.,University of the Basque Country
Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

Extra virgin olive oil was heated at 190 °C in a discontinuous industrial fryer for 40 h. The evolution during heating of the acyl group proportions and of the iodine value was monitored by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance. Monounsaturated acyl groups degraded at faster rates than linoleic and linolenic groups. The formation of primary oxidation compounds was not observed with this technique, which contrasts with the early detection of different types of aldehydes, such as alkanals, (E)-2-alkenals, (E,E)-2,4-alkadienals, and 4-oxoalkanals, whose concentrations follow a curved path in most cases. In addition, the formation of (E) and (Z)-9,10-epoxystearyl groups was also observed and the evolution of their concentrations throughout the heating time determined. Equations that relate the above mentioned composition parameters to the heating time were obtained, all of them with high correlation coefficients and predictive value. Major differences were found between the behaviour of this extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil submitted to identical conditions. The safety level, in terms of aldehydes contained, is higher in the extra virgin olive oil than in the sunflower; in fact, cytotoxic and genotoxic 4-hydroxy-(E)-2-alkenals were not detected in extra virgin olive oil, unlike in sunflower oil. The same percentage in weight of polar compounds in these oils involves great differences in composition and in safety level. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Imaz A.,University of the Basque Country | Forcada J.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2011

Two different synthesis strategies were used to synthesize N-vinylcaprolactam (VCL)-acrylic acid (AA)-based temperature- and pH-sensitive microgels under the adequate conditions to avoid possible hydrolysis of VCL due to the presence of carboxylic groups provided by AA. Polymeric and colloidal features of the microgels were analyzed: the partial conversion evolutions of each comonomer were determined by 1H NMR and the swelling/deswelling behavior by means of Photon Correlation Spectroscopy. Considering that microgels are porous soft nanoparticles, conductimetric titrations at the swollen state were carried out to calculate the volumetric charge density. The results indicate that the addition of AA after 30 minutes of reaction time helped to incorporate higher amounts of AA into microgels and as a result, to obtain both temperature- and pH-sensitive nanoparticles. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Zangi R.,University of the Basque Country | Zangi R.,Ikerbasque
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2014

Buckyballs exhibit two seemingly opposing characters. On one hand, they are known to be insoluble in water with all potential chemical properties of being hydrophobic. On the other hand, their pairwise effective interaction in water includes a repulsive solvent-induced contribution. We perform molecular dynamics simulations of the association process of two C60 fullerenes in water at different temperatures in order to reconcile these contradicting observations. For comparison, the simulations were also performed in a nonpolar solvent, and the results were further contrasted with those obtained previously for the association of graphene sheets. Considering the association in water, we find small magnitudes for the enthalpy and entropy changes with small positive slopes as a function of temperature, implying an almost negligible change in the heat capacity at constant pressure. These findings sharply contradict the behavior of typical hydrophobic interactions. The reason for these abnormalities, as well as for the repulsive nature of the solvent-induced interactions, is the shape of the contact state that supports the existence of a distinct type of interfacial waters located between two convex surfaces of two buckyballs. These interfacial waters are characterized by smaller entropy and lower density and form a smaller number of hydrogen bonds with surrounding waters compared with those of the interfacial waters around the dissociated solutes. Thus, upon bringing the C60 fullerenes into contact, the changes associated with the liberation of the latter to bulk waters are opposed by the concomitant conversion of the latter also to the distinct waters between the two spherical solutes. We argue that although the effective pair interaction is not hydrophobic, the solvation properties are hydrophobic. In the hydration free energy of a single solute, there is no contact state. Furthermore, in the solubility at the macroscopic scale, the relative number of these distinct waters around a large aggregate is smaller, and hence, they are not predicted to influence much the solvation properties. Therefore, buckyballs can serve as an example in which hydrophobic interaction cannot be deducted from hydrophobic solvation. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Rodriguez F.D.,University of Salamanca | Vecino E.,University of the Basque Country
Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy | Year: 2011

Regeneration and plasticity refer to the ability of certain progenitor cells to produce cell lineages with specific morphological and functional settings. The pathway from a less delineated or immature phenotype to a mature or specialized one follows intricate routes where a monumental array of molecular elements, basically transcription factors and epi-genetic regulators that turn off or on a specific phenotypic change, play a fundamental role. Nature itself offers procedures to healing strategies. Therapy approaches to pathologies in the realm of ophthalmology may benefit from the knowledge of the properties and mechanisms of activation of different routes controlling the pathways of cell definition and differentiation. Specification of cell identity, not only in terms of phenotypic traits, but also regarding the mechanisms of gene expression and epigenetic regulation, will provide new tools to manipulating cell fates and status, both forward and backwards. In the human eye, two main locations shelter stem cells: the limbus, which is situated in the limit of the cornea and the conjuctiva, and the ciliary body pars plana. Transplantation of limbal cells is currently used in certain pathologies where corneal epithelium is damaged. Therapeutic applications of retina progenitors are not yet fully developed due to the complexity of the cellular components of the multilayer retinal architecture. Animal models of Retinitis pigmentosa or Glaucoma offer an interesting approach to validate certain techniques, such as the direct injection of progenitors into the vitreal compartment, aimed to restoring retinal function. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Bakule L.,Czech Institute of Information Theory And Automation | De La Sen M.,University of the Basque Country
Proceedings of the 2010 American Control Conference, ACC 2010 | Year: 2010

The objective of this paper is to propose an approach to decentralized resilient networked robustly exponentially stabilizing with H ∞-norm bound γ observer-based controller for a class of uncertain symmetric composite continuous-time systems with nonlinearities. Such systems are composed of identical nominal subsystems, symmetric nominal interconnections, norm-bounded parameter uncertainties, and nonlinear perturbations. The effect of data-packet dropout and communication delays between the plant and the controller is included in the controller design. It is shown how this methodology can lead to a reduced-order control design with sampled delayed feedback. A delay-dependent approach and additive gain perturbations in the gain matrices are used to obtain a robustly exponentially stable overall closed-loop system with H∞-norm bound γ by using a decentralized control architecture. © 2010 AACC.


Guillen M.D.,University of the Basque Country | Uriarte P.S.,University of the Basque Country
Food Control | Year: 2012

Linseed oil was heated at frying temperature in an industrial fryer for 20 h. The evolution of its composition was monitored by 1H Nuclear magnetic resonance. The composition parameters determined simultaneously were: the molar percentage of the different acyl groups, the Iodine Value, the concentration of the total aldehydes as well as of the different kinds of aldehydes; in addition, the percentage in weight of Polar Compounds was also determined at different heating times. When heating this oil the molar percentage of linolenic groups diminishes at an important rate while that of linoleic or diunsaturated groups increases, as does that of saturated plus modified groups, that of oleic or monounsaturated groups remaining unchanged. The main aldehydes formed were (E,E)-2,4-alkadienals together with n-alkanals and (E)-2-alkenals. This oil reached the safety limit of 25% in weight of Polar Compounds very early with a very small degradation level of acyl groups and a very low content of aldehydes. The changes undergone by this oil were compared with those of sunflower oil and of extra virgin olive oil submitted to the same degradative conditions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Ukar O.,University of Deusto | Zamora I.,University of the Basque Country
Renewable Energy | Year: 2011

Wind turbines are often very high structures that are usually installed in high keraunic level areas. The keraunic level is the number of storm days per year. Therefore, wind farms are very vulnerable to lightning discharge. The damage due to a lightning strike can be reduced if the high current is quickly conducted to the ground. To date, wind turbine grounding system designs have been based on prior experience, without accurately studying transient grounding system behavior.In this work, typical wind farm grounding system geometries are analyzed in the context of lightning strikes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Abdullah S.,University of Bath | Abdullah S.,University of the Basque Country | Jeanty P.W.,Ohio State University
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2011

A modern form of energy, in particular electricity for household use, is an important vehicle in alleviating poverty in developing countries. However, access and costs of connecting to this service for most poor in these countries is inconceivable. Policies promoting electricity connection in rural areas are known to be beneficial in improving the socio-economic and health well-being for households. This paper examines willingness to pay (WTP) for rural electrification connection in Kisumu district, Kenya, using the contingent valuation method (CVM). A nonparametric and a parametric model are employed to estimate WTP values for two electricity products: grid electricity (GE) and photovoltaic (PV) electricity. The results indicate that respondents are willing to pay more for GE services than PV and households favoured monthly connection payments over a lump sum amount. Some of the policies suggested in this paper include: subsidizing the connection costs for both sources of electricity, adjusting the payment periods, and restructuring the market ownership of providing rural electricity services. © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Marder M.,University of the Basque Country
Plant Signaling and Behavior | Year: 2013

This article applies the phenomenological model of attention to plant monitoring of environmental stimuli and signal perception. Three complementary definitions of attention as selectivity, modulation and perdurance are explained with reference to plant signaling and behaviors, including foraging, ramet placement and abiotic stress communication. Elements of animal and human attentive attitudes are compared with plant attention at the levels of cognitive focus, context and margin. It is argued that the concept of attention holds the potential of becoming a cornerstone of plant intelligence studies. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.


Esbec W.,University of the Basque Country | Echeburua E.,University of the Basque Country
Actas Espanolas de Psiquiatria | Year: 2011

Diagnosing personality disorders in the current edition of t h e DSM-IV involves two central features. The first is the concept of a personality disorder, which currently is defined as a pattern of inner experiences and behaviors that is generalized, is stable, and has been maintained at least since adolescents. The second aspect involves defining what type of personality disorder is present among a list of ten, with a catch-all "not otherwise specified category." There are many problems with the existing system: the different personality types are poorly defined and the diagnostic criteria overlap heavily. The proposed revision on the DSM-V website appears quite complicated and has three major facets: a n ew definition for personality disorder, focused on "adaptive failures" involving "impaired sense of self-identity " or "failure to develop effective interpersonal functioning;" five personality types (Antisocial/ Psychopathic, Avoidant, Borderline, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Schizotypal); and a series of s ix personality "trait domains," each of them with a subset of facets. This new proposed system for personality disorder diagnosis may be controversial. Finally, challenges for the near future are discussed.


Arana-Landin G.,University of the Basque Country | Heras-Saizarbitoria I.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2011

A Spanish ecodesign standard (the UNE 150301) is being used as a basic reference point in paving the way for the future ISO 14006 ecodesign standard which may foreseeably be passed in 2011. This article aims to analyze the experience regarding adoption of the UNE 150301 in Spain. Following an analysis of the standard's structure, its objectives and scope, its real implementation process is then analyzed based on an exploratory qualitative study carried out in four Spanish companies that have been pioneers in adopting this environmental standard. The conclusion is drawn in the article that in all the cases analyzed, the greatest source of impact occurs in the phase in which the product is used and is related to energy consumption. Companies appear to be satisfied with the adoption of this standard and, in particular, point out that they have managed to reduce the environmental impact of their products. However, they draw attention to the fact that, to deal with certain instances of impact that increases in cost entail, administrative bodies need to establish mandatory regulations, as environmentally-friendly companies would otherwise lose competitiveness. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Heras-Saizarbitoria I.,University of the Basque Country | Molina-Azorin J.F.,University of Alicante | Dick G.P.M.,University of Kent
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2011

The paper explores the bi-directional relationship between ISO 14001 certification and financial performance with the aim of shedding light on whether better performance is due to the beneficial effects of ISO 14001 or due to selection-effects where better performance precedes accreditation. The study uses a five year longitudinal analysis to compare the financial performance of firms in Spain before and after certification. The results of a multivariate panel data analysis find that firms with better than average performance have a greater propensity to pursue accreditation but there is no evidence that improvements in performance follow certification. This suggests that the inference that environmental variables cause improved financial performance may be unwise in research studies that can only measure association. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Guemes J.A.,University of the Basque Country | Iraolagoitia A.M.,University of the Basque Country | Del Hoyo J.I.,University of the Basque Country | Fernandez P.,University of the Basque Country
IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion | Year: 2011

This paper examines the torque ripple and cogging-torque variation in permanent-magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs). The effect of slot number and magnet skewing on electromagnetic motor torque, has been analyzed in different 20-pole, three-phase, PMSM configurations having the same envelop dimensions and output requirements. Finite-element technique is used for machine characteristics computation. Maxwell-stress tensor is used to find torque. Finite-element analysis results show that: 1) motors with fractional-slot winding have lower torque ripple but show a reduction of the average torque and 2) in step-skew magnet motors, torque-ripple reduction is significant only for a certain step number and magnet-skew angle. © 2010 IEEE.


Froese T.,University of Tokyo | Di Paolo E.A.,University of the Basque Country
Pragmatics and Cognition | Year: 2011

There is a small but growing community of researchers spanning a spectrum of disciplines which are united in rejecting the still dominant computationalist paradigm in favor of the enactive approach. The framework of this approach is centered on a core set of ideas, such as autonomy, sense-making, emergence, embodiment, and experience. These concepts are finding novel applications in a diverse range of areas. One hot topic has been the establishment of an enactive approach to social interaction. The main purpose of this paper is to serve as an advanced entry point into these recent developments. It accomplishes this task in a twofold manner: (i) it provides a succinct synthesis of the most important core ideas and arguments in the theoretical framework of the enactive approach, and (ii) it uses this synthesis to refine the current enactive approach to social interaction. A new operational definition of social interaction is proposed which not only emphasizes the cognitive agency of the individuals and the irreducibility of the interaction process itself, but also the need for jointly co-regulated action. It is suggested that this revised conception of 'socio-cognitive interaction' may provide the necessary middle ground from which to understand the confluence of biological and cultural values in personal action. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.


Bersani D.,University of Parma | Madariaga J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy | Year: 2012

The Sixth edition of the International Congress on the Application of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archeology (RAA 2011) was held in Parma (Italy) from 5 to 8 September 2011, with five Plenary Lectures, 45 Oral Presentations and 83 Poster Presentations. The number of active participants was 130 delegates from 26 countries among the 502 authors that presented at least one work to the Congress. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Vilar J.M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Vilar J.M.G.,Ikerbasque
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2010

Gene regulation involves a hierarchy of events that extend from specific protein-DNA interactions to the combinatorial assembly of nucleoprotein complexes. The effects of DNA sequence on these processes have typically been studied based either on its quantitative connection with single-domain binding free energies or on empirical rules that combine different DNA motifs to predict gene expression trends on a genomic scale. The middle-point approach that quantitatively bridges these two extremes, however, remains largely unexplored. Here, we provide an integrated approach to accurately predict gene expression from statistical sequence information in combination with detailed biophysical modeling of transcription regulation by multidomain binding on multiple DNA sites. For the regulation of the prototypical lac operon, this approach predicts within 0.3-fold accuracy transcriptional activity over a 10,000-fold range from DNA sequence statistics for different intracellular conditions. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.


Lizundia E.,University of the Basque Country | Oleaga A.,University of the Basque Country | Salazar A.,University of the Basque Country | Sarasua J.R.,University of the Basque Country
Polymer | Year: 2012

In this work the thermal properties of poly (l-lactide)/multi-wall carbon nanotube (PLLA/MWCNT) composites have been investigated. Thermal conductivity was determined after measuring specific heat capacity (C p), thermal diffusivity (D) and bulk density (ρ) of composites. Thermal conductivity rises up to 0.345 W/m K at 5 wt.% after reaching a minimum value of about 0.12 W/m K at 0.75 wt.%. In order to understand the heat-conduction process, experimentally obtained thermal conductivities were fitted to an existing theoretical model. The much lower thermal conductivity of composites compared with the value estimated from the intrinsic thermal conductivity of the nanotubes and their volume fraction could be explained in terms of the obtained large thermal resistance (R k) of 1.8 ± 0.3 × 10 -8 m 2 K/W at nanotube-matrix interface. The CNT dispersion in the composites was analyzed by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Although the thermal resistance dramatically reduces the estimated bulk thermal conductivity of composites, the existence of an interconnected conductive nanotube network for thermal diffusion in PLLA/MWCNT composites demonstrates that the addition of carbon nanotubes represents an efficient strategy in order to successfully enhance the thermal conductivity of insulator polymers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nunes J.D.S.,University of the Basque Country | Asua J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Langmuir | Year: 2012

The synthesis of waterborne nanocomposites in semicontinuous emulsion polymerization was investigated using a theory-guided strategy with the aim of achieving the best balance among small particle size, low surfactant concentration, and sufficiently high solids content. It was found that both kinetic (monomer feeding rate, radical generation rate, and temperature) and colloidal (ionic strength and polymer hydrophilicity) aspects were critical in the process. Waterborne nanoparticles as small as 13 nm were obtained with a solids content/(surfactant/polymer) ratio higher than 7. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Arnold M.M.,Flinders University | Higham P.A.,University of Southampton | Martin-Luengo B.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied | Year: 2013

Under formula-scoring rules for multiple-choice exams, a penalty is applied to incorrect responses to reduce noise in the observed score. To avoid the penalty individuals are allowed to "pass," and therefore they must be able to strategically regulate the accuracy of their reporting by deciding which and how many questions to answer. To investigate the effect of bias within this framework, Higham (2007) introduced bias profiles, which show the score obtained under formula scoring (corrected score) as a function of the omission rate. Bias profiles estimate the optimal number of questions that should be answered to maximize the corrected score (i.e., optimal bias). Our initial research showed that individuals tend to be too conservative when setting reporting criteria, "omitting" too many answers. The present three experiments introduced a feedback manipulation whereby participants were informed of the optimal omission rate after completing a test and asked to alter their reporting decisions accordingly. This feedback and concomitant alteration of reporting decisions led to improved corrected scores on true/false (Experiment 1), 2-alternative tests (Experiments 2), and 4-alternative tests (Experiment 3). Importantly, corrected scores at optimal bias also were higher than at forced-report for both true/false and 2-alternative tests. Furthermore, in Experiment 3, feedback based on one test improved scores on a second test, and participants were more likely to perform optimally on a third test without feedback. These effects suggest that optimal-bias feedback may have long-term effects and generalize to new tests. © 2013 American Psychological Association.


Iparraguirre L.,University of the Basque Country
Pharmacogenetics and Genomics | Year: 2016

OBJECTIVES: Methotrexate (MTX), the key drug in childhood B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) therapy, often causes toxicity. An association between genetic variants in MTX transport genes and toxicity has been found. It is known that these transporters are regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs), and miRNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) interfere with miRNA levels or function. With regard to B-cell ALL, we have previously found rs56103835 in miR-323b that targets ABCC4 associated with MTX plasma levels. Despite these evidences and that nowadays a large amount of new miRNAs have been annotated, studies of miRNA polymorphisms and MTX toxicity are almost absent. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine whether there are other variants in miRNAs associated with MTX levels. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Blood samples of 167 Spanish patients with pediatric B-cell ALL treated with the LAL-SHOP protocol were analyzed. We selected all the SNPs described in pre-miRNAs with a minor allele frequency more than 1% (213 SNPs in 206 miRNAs) that could regulate MTX transporters because the miRNAs that target MTX transporter genes are not completely defined. Genotyping was performed with VeraCode GoldenGate platform. RESULTS: Among the most significant results, we found rs56292801 in miR-5189, rs4909237 in miR-595, and rs78790512 in miR-6083 to be associated with MTX plasma levels. These miRNAs were predicted, in silico, to regulate genes involved in MTX uptake: SLC46A1, SLC19A1, and SLCO1A2. CONCLUSION: In this study, we detected three SNPs in miR-5189, miR-595, and miR-6083 that might affect SLC46A1, SLC19A1, and SLCO1A2 MTX transport gene regulation and could affect MTX levels in patients with pediatric B-cell ALL. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Guimon J.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Mental Health | Year: 2010

The negative attitudes toward mental illness can be based not only on ignorance and intolerance but also on such real factors as dangerousness, unpredictability, disability, and the burden the psychiatric patient represents for the community, particularly for members of the family and professionals who experience the stress that results from caring for them. A lack of access to health services can be due to discrimination or social stigma, such as in the case of chronic mental patients. However, other patients-anxious, shy, fearful, avoidant, obsessional, schizoid and other-whose behavioral difficulties also remain frequently undetected as the public can find it very difficult to overcome the barriers that society poses to obtain some services, privileges, and compensations. They are, in fact, indirectly discriminated. Questions concerning the relation between mental health and human rights are summarily addressed in some documents of international organizations, particularly, the UN Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care. However, many situations of inequity in relation to psychiatric care are detected in contemporary systems of managed care, but solutions are not easy to implement. If we treat disabled people as equal in dignity and right, differences in physical or mental capability among people should be accommodated without discrimination. This equal treatment requires a combination of psychological approaches such as modifications in public attitudes toward disabled people and social efforts to confront the concrete realities of disability and legal measures (including positive discrimination) when the previous steps are not sufficient. © 2010 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved.


Garcia-Etxebarria K.,University of the Basque Country
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2016

To identify candidate genes in celiac disease (CD), we reanalyzed the whole Immunochip CD cohort using a different approach that clusters individuals based on immunoancestry prior to disease association analysis, rather than by geographical origin. We detected 636 new associated SNPs (P<7.02 × 10-07) and identified 5 novel genomic regions, extended 8 others previously identified and also detected 18 isolated signals defined by one or very few significant SNPs. To test whether we could identify putative candidate genes, we performed expression analyses of several genes from the top novel region (chr2:134533564–136169524), from a previously identified locus that is now extended, and a gene marked by an isolated SNP, in duodenum biopsies of active and treated CD patients, and non-celiac controls. In the largest novel region, CCNT2 and R3HDM1 were constitutively underexpressed in disease, even after gluten removal. Moreover, several genes within this region were coexpressed in patients, but not in controls. Other novel genes like KIF21B, REL and SORD also showed altered expression in active disease. Apart from the identification of novel CD loci, these results suggest that ancestry-based stratified analysis is an efficient strategy for association studies in complex diseases.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 21 September 2016; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2016.120. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.


Guillen M.D.,University of the Basque Country | Uriarte P.S.,University of the Basque Country
Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

The evolution of the abundance of the different types of aldehydes, including those that are genotoxic and cytotoxic, oxygenated α,β unsaturated, in the headspace of extra virgin olive, sunflower and virgin linseed oils, submitted to frying temperature for prolonged periods of time, in a discontinuous industrial fryer, was analysed. Very close relationships were found between the abundance of the aldehydes in the three oils at a certain heating time and the original oil composition in the main components. The equations that related these parameters, which can be used for predictive purposes, show not only which acyl group each aldehyde comes from, but also its quantitative influence. This is the first time that the presence of 4-oxo-(E)-2-decenal, and 4-oxo-(E)-2-undecenal have been detected, not only in frying oils, but also in foods. Furthermore, the concentration of aldehydes such as 4-hydroxy-(E)-2-nonenal, (E)-4,5-epoxy-(E)-2-decenal, 4-hydroxy-(E)-2- hexenal, and 4-oxo-(E)-2-nonenal have been determined simultaneously for the first time in these edible oils submitted to frying temperature. The fact that significant concentrations of these toxic compounds were found in some oils before the oil reached 25% of the polar compounds is a cause of concern for human health. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Tanaka K.,University of Tokyo | Caaveiro J.M.M.,University of Tokyo | Morante K.,University of Tokyo | Morante K.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2015

Pore-forming toxins (PFT) are water-soluble proteins that possess the remarkable ability to self-assemble on the membrane of target cells, where they form pores causing cell damage. Here, we elucidate the mechanism of action of the haemolytic protein fragaceatoxin C (FraC), a α-barrel PFT, by determining the crystal structures of FraC at four different stages of the lytic mechanism, namely the water-soluble state, the monomeric lipid-bound form, an assembly intermediate and the fully assembled transmembrane pore. The structure of the transmembrane pore exhibits a unique architecture composed of both protein and lipids, with some of the lipids lining the pore wall, acting as assembly cofactors. The pore also exhibits lateral fenestrations that expose the hydrophobic core of the membrane to the aqueous environment. The incorporation of lipids from the target membrane within the structure of the pore provides a membrane-specific trigger for the activation of a haemolytic toxin. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Reyes Y.,University of the Basque Country | Asua J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Macromolecular Rapid Communications | Year: 2011

Acrylic monomers undergo chain transfer to polymer during polymerization leading to branched and even gelled polymers. It has been experimentally demonstrated that the extent of branching is higher for conventional free radical polymerization than for controlled radical polymerization (ATRP, RAFT, NMP) and this has been qualitatively explained in terms of the differences in the concentrations of highly reactive short-chain radicals between controlled and conventional radical polymerizations. Contrary to this explanation, in this work, it is quantitatively demonstrated that the short transient lifetime of the radicals, i.e., the time between activation and deactivation of the radical in controlled radical polymerization, is the cause for the low level of branching in these polymerizations. The extent of branching is lower for controlled radical polymerization (CRP) than for conventional free radical polymerization (FRP) because in CRP, the transient life time of the radicals, namely, the time that it takes for a radical to be deactivated by the CRP agent, is similar or even shorter than the characteristic time for the chain transfer to polymer processes. This reduces the likelihood of chain transfer to polymer events. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Perez-Lopez U.,University of the Basque Country
Photosynthesis research | Year: 2012

The future environment may be altered by high concentrations of salt in the soil and elevated [CO(2)] in the atmosphere. These have opposite effects on photosynthesis. Generally, salt stress inhibits photosynthesis by stomatal and non-stomatal mechanisms; in contrast, elevated [CO(2)] stimulates photosynthesis by increasing CO(2) availability in the Rubisco carboxylating site and by reducing photorespiration. However, few studies have focused on the interactive effects of these factors on photosynthesis. To elucidate this knowledge gap, we grew the barley plant, Hordeum vulgare (cv. Iranis), with and without salt stress at either ambient or elevated atmospheric [CO(2)] (350 or 700 μmol mol(-1) CO(2), respectively). We measured growth, several photosynthetic and fluorescence parameters, and carbohydrate content. Under saline conditions, the photosynthetic rate decreased, mostly because of stomatal limitations. Increasing salinity progressively increased metabolic (photochemical and biochemical) limitation; this included an increase in non-photochemical quenching and a reduction in the PSII quantum yield. When salinity was combined with elevated CO(2), the rate of CO(2) diffusion to the carboxylating site increased, despite lower stomatal and internal conductance. The greater CO(2) availability increased the electron sink capacity, which alleviated the salt-induced metabolic limitations on the photosynthetic rate. Consequently, elevated CO(2) partially mitigated the saline effects on photosynthesis by maintaining favorable biochemistry and photochemistry in barley leaves. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012


Balleza D.,University of the Basque Country
Channels (Austin, Tex.) | Year: 2012

Material properties of lipid bilayers, including thickness, intrinsic curvature and compressibility regulate the function of mechanosensitive (MS) channels. This regulation is dependent on phospholipid composition, lateral packing and organization within the membrane. Therefore, a more complete framework to understand the functioning of MS channels requires insights into bilayer structure, thermodynamics and phospholipid structure, as well as lipid-protein interactions. Phospholipids and MS channels interact with each other mainly through electrostatic forces and hydrophobic matching, which are also crucial for antimicrobial peptides. They are excellent models for studying the formation and stabilization of membrane pores. Importantly, they perform equivalent responses as MS channels: (1) tilting in response to tension and (2) dissipation of osmotic gradients. Lessons learned from pore forming peptides could enrich our knowledge of mechanisms of action and evolution of these channels. Here, the current state of the art is presented and general principles of membrane regulation of mechanosensitive function are discussed.


Manzano H.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Manzano H.,University of the Basque Country | Moeini S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Marinelli F.,CNRS Physics Laboratory Ionic and Molecular Interactions ( PIIM ) | And 4 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

Interest in microporous materials has risen in recent years, as they offer a confined environment that is optimal to enhance chemical reactions. Calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel, the main component of cement, presents a layered structure with sub-nanometer-size disordered pores filled with water and cations. The size of the pores and the hydrophilicity of the environment make C-S-H gel an excellent system to study the possibility of confined water reactions. To investigate it, we have performed molecular dynamics simulations using the ReaxFF force field. The results show that water does dissociate to form hydroxyl groups. We have analyzed the water dissociation mechanism, as well as the changes in the structure and water affinity of the C-S-H matrix and water polarization, comparing the results with the behavior of water in a defective zeolite. Finally, we establish a relationship between water dissociation in C-S-H gel and the increase of hardness due to a transformation from a two- to a three-dimensional structure. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Matute C.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Anatomy | Year: 2011

Excessive signalling by excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate and ATP can be deleterious to neurons and oligodendroglia, and cause disease. In particular, sustained activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), kainate and N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors damages oligodendrocytes, a feature that depends entirely on Ca2+ overload of the cytoplasm and that can be initiated by disruption of glutamate homeostasis. Thus, inhibition of glutamate uptake by activated microglia can compromise glutamate homeostasis and induce oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity. Moreover, non-lethal, brief activation of kainate receptors in oligodendrocytes rapidly sensitizes these cells to complement attack as a consequence of oxidative stress. In addition to glutamate, ATP signalling can directly trigger oligodendrocyte excitotoxicity via activation of Ca2+-permeable P2X7 purinergic receptors, which mediates ischaemic damage to white matter (WM) and causes lesions that are reminiscent of multiple sclerosis (MS) plaques. Conversely, blockade of P2X7 receptors attenuates post-ischaemic injury to WM and ameliorates chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of MS. Importantly, P2X7 expression is elevated in normal-appearing WM in patients with MS, suggesting that signalling through this receptor in oligodendrocytes may be enhanced in this disease. Altogether, these observations reveal novel mechanisms by which altered glutamate and ATP homeostasis can trigger oligodendrocyte death. This review aims at summarizing current knowledge about the mechanisms leading to WM damage as a consequence of altered neurotransmitter signalling, and their relevance to disease. This knowledge will generate new therapeutic avenues to treat more efficiently acute and chronic WM pathology. © 2011 The Author. Journal of Anatomy © 2011 Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Reyes Y.,University of the Basque Country | Asua J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry | Year: 2010

Multiphase waterborne polymer particles provide advantages in more demanding applications and their performance depends on particle morphology. Currently, no general approach to predict the morphology of multiphase latex particles is available. In this work, a model based on Monte Carlo methods was developed for the prediction of equilibrium morphologies of multiphase waterborne systems, such as polymer-polymer and polymer-polymer-inorganic hybrids. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Ipatov M.,University of the Basque Country | Zhukova V.,University of the Basque Country | Zhukov A.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez J.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2010

We have investigated the impedance dependence of magnetically soft microwire on the internal circumferential magnetic field HB created by the dc bias current IB and theoretically and experimentally demonstrated that in a conductor with helical magnetic anisotropy, the high frequency impedance depends on the dc bias current IB (or the corresponding bias field HB) and this dependence is hysteretic. We have experimentally observed a change of impedance more than 35% upon changing the bias current. The possible applications of the dc current-driven magnetoimpedance effect are discussed. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


Eisler V.,Eötvös Loránd University | Zimboras Z.,University College London | Zimboras Z.,University of the Basque Country
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2014

We study the entanglement in a chain of harmonic oscillators driven out of equilibrium by preparing the two sides of the system at different temperatures, and subsequently joining them together. The steady state is constructed explicitly and the logarithmic negativity is calculated between two adjacent segments of the chain. We find that, for low temperatures, the steady-state entanglement is a sum of contributions pertaining to left- and right-moving excitations emitted from the two reservoirs. In turn, the steady-state entanglement is a simple average of the Gibbs-state values and thus its scaling can be obtained from conformal field theory. A similar averaging behaviour is observed during the entire time evolution. As a particular case, we also discuss a local quench where both sides of the chain are initialized in their respective ground states. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Aguirre-Urizar J.M.,University of the Basque Country
World Journal of Surgical Oncology | Year: 2011

In this letter I propose the name "Proliferative Multifocal Leukoplakia" with the goal of reducing under-diagnosis of this disease, improve the early diagnosis, try to make an early therapy and control, and prevent its malignant transformation. © 2011 Aguirre-Urizar; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Bacigalupe A.,University of the Basque Country | Escolar-Pujolar A.,Local Health Authority
International Journal for Equity in Health | Year: 2014

Since 2008, Western countries are going through a deep economic crisis whose health impacts seem to be fundamentally counter-cyclical: when economic conditions worsen, so does health, and mortality tends to rise. While a growing number of studies have presented evidence on the effect of crises on the average population health, a largely neglected aspect of research is the impact of crises and the related political responses on social inequalities in health, even if the negative consequences of the crises are primarily borne by the most disadvantaged populations. This commentary will reflect on the results of the studies that have analyzed the effect of economic crises on social inequalities in health up to 2013. With some exceptions, the studies show an increase in health inequalities during crises, especially during the Southeast Asian and Japanese crises and the Soviet Union crisis, although it is not always evident for both sexes or all health or socioeconomic variables. In the Nordic countries during the nineties, a clear worsening of health equity did not occur. Results about the impacts of the current economic recession on health equity are still inconsistent. Some of the factors that could explain this variability in results are the role of welfare state policies, the diversity of time periods used in the analyses, the heterogeneity of socioeconomic and health variables considered, the changes in the socioeconomic profile of the groups under comparison in times of crises, and the type of measures used to analyze the magnitude of social inequalities in health. Social epidemiology should further collaborate with other disciplines to help produce more accurate and useful evidence about the relationship between crises and health equity. © 2014 Bacigalupe and Escolar-Pujolar; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Campos Celador A.,University of the Basque Country | Odriozola M.,University of the Basque Country | Sala J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Energy Conversion and Management | Year: 2011

This paper considers the effect that different hot water storage tank modelling approaches have on the global simulation of residential CHP plants as well as their impact on their economic feasibility. While a simplified assessment of the heat storage is usually considered in the feasibility studies of CHP plants in buildings, this paper deals with three different levels of modelling of the hot water tank: actual stratified model, ideal stratified model and fully mixed model. These three approaches are presented and comparatively evaluated under the same case of study, a cogeneration plant with thermal storage meeting the loads of an urbanisation located in the Bilbao metropolitan area (Spain). The case of study is simulated by TRNSYS for each one of the three modelling cases and the so obtained annual results are analysed from both a First and Second-Law-based viewpoint. While the global energy and exergy efficiencies of the plant for the three modelling cases agree quite well, important differences are found between the economic results of the feasibility study. These results can be predicted by means of an advanced exergy analysis of the storage tank considering the endogenous and exogenous exergy destruction terms caused by the hot water storage tank. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cavaliere F.,University of the Basque Country
Cell death & disease | Year: 2012

We used multipotent stem cells (MSCs) derived from the young rat subventricular zone (SVZ) to study the effects of glutamate in oligodendrocyte maturation. Glutamate stimulated oligodendrocyte differentiation from SVZ-derived MSCs through the activation of specific N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits. The effect of glutamate and NMDA on oligodendrocyte differentiation was evident in both the number of newly generated oligodendrocytes and their morphology. In addition, the levels of NMDAR1 and NMDAR2A protein increased during differentiation, whereas NMDAR2B and NMDAR3 protein levels decreased, suggesting differential expression of NMDA receptor subunits during maturation. Microfluorimetry showed that the activation of NMDA receptors during oligodendrocyte differentiation elevated cytosolic calcium levels and promoted myelination in cocultures with neurons. Moreover, we observed that stimulation of MSCs by NMDA receptors induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which were negatively modulated by the NADPH inhibitor apocynin, and that the levels of ROS correlated with the degree of differentiation. Taken together, these findings suggest that ROS generated by NADPH oxidase by the activation of NMDA receptors promotes the maturation of oligodendrocytes and favors myelination.


Sunflower oil was heated at 190°C in a discontinuous industrial fryer for 32h. The simultaneous monitoring during heating of the Iodine Value, acyl groups proportions and aldehydes concentrations was carried out by 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance; at the same time the percentage in weight of Polar Compounds was also controlled by an instrumental test. The evolution with heating time of Iodine value, percentage in weight of polar compound and acyl groups proportions fit well to linear equations. The formation of primary oxidation compounds was not observed in contrast with the early detection of different types of aldehydes such as alkanals, (E)-2-alkenals, (E,E)-2,4-alkadienals, (Z,E)-2,4-alkadienals, 4-oxoalkanals and the genotoxic and citotoxic 4-hydroxy-(E)-2-alkenals; their evolution with heating time fits well to curved lines in most cases. The results obtained were compared with those previously obtained in a domestic fryer, resulting in clearly higher degradation rate of acyl groups in the domestic fryer than in the industrial one; however, the differences in aldehydes concentration were less remarkable due to the higher retention degree of aldehydes in the industrial version. Aldehydes retention was shown to be directly related with oil volume and inversely to the oil-air surface and aldehyde volatilities. The presence of the genotoxic and citotoxic 4-hydroxy-(E)-2-alkenals from the beginning of the sunflower oil heating is cause of concern for the human health. The concentration of aldehydes when the oil reaches 25% in weight of polar compounds is near its maximum values. These results suggest the need to analyze in depth the safety of some oils when they are submitted to heating at frying temperature. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Infection is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Bacterial infections are most frequent, followed by viral and fungal infections. The impaired cellular and humoral immune functions seen in patients with SLE are predisposing conditions, whilst disease activity, prednisone doses over 7.5-10 mg/day, high doses of methylprednisolone or cyclophosphamide are well-recognised risk factors for infection. The first six months after rituximab treatment and the use of more than three courses are also associated with an increased susceptibility for infection. It has not been established whether belimumab, azathioprine and mycophenolate mofetil increase the risk of serious infections. Most vaccines are effective and safe in SLE patients, although vaccination should be avoided during periods of active disease. Live virus vaccines are contraindicated for immunosuppressed patients. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are universally recommended. Tuberculosis prophylaxis should be considered in selected cases. Therefore, it is advisable not to exceed doses of 5 mg/day of prednisone in chronic treatment. Methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide should be used in low-dose regimens. Antimalarials have a well-known protective role against infection, in addition to other beneficial properties, thus, hydroxychloroquine is recommended for all SLE patients where no contraindication exists.


Mashaghi A.,Technical University of Delft | Mashaghi S.,Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials | Reviakine I.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Reviakine I.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

We review recent progress in the study of the structure and dynamics of phospholipid membranes and associated proteins, using novel label-free analytical tools. We describe these techniques and illustrate them with examples highlighting current capabilities and limitations. Recent advances in applying such techniques to biological and model membranes for biophysical studies and biosensing applications are presented, and future prospects are discussed. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


De La Sen M.,University of the Basque Country
Mathematical Problems in Engineering | Year: 2010

This paper investigates the stability properties of a class of dynamic linear systems possessing several linear time-invariant parameterizations (or configurations) which conform a linear time-varying polytopic dynamic system with a finite number of time-varying time-differentiable point delays. The parameterizations may be timevarying and with bounded discontinuities and they can be subject to mixed regular plus impulsive controls within a sequence of time instants of zero measure. The polytopic parameterization for the dynamics associated with each delay is specific, so that (q + 1) polytopic parameterizations are considered for a system with q delays being also subject to delay-free dynamics. The considered general dynamic system includes, as particular cases, a wide class of switched linear systems whose individual parameterizations are timeinvariant which are governed by a switching rule. However, the dynamic system under consideration is viewed as much more general since it is time-varying with timevarying delays and the bounded discontinuous changes of active parameterizations are generated by impulsive controls in the dynamics and, at the same time, there is not a prescribed set of candidate potential parameterizations. © 2010 M. de la Sen.


Vecino E.,University of the Basque Country | Rodriguez F.,University of Salamanca | Ruzafa N.,University of the Basque Country | Pereiro X.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Progress in Retinal and Eye Research | Year: 2016

The mammalian retina provides an excellent opportunity to study glia-neuron interactions and the interactions of glia with blood vessels. Three main types of glial cells are found in the mammalian retina that serve to maintain retinal homeostasis: astrocytes, Müller cells and resident microglia. Müller cells, astrocytes and microglia not only provide structural support but they are also involved in metabolism, the phagocytosis of neuronal debris, the release of certain transmitters and trophic factors and K+ uptake. Astrocytes are mostly located in the nerve fibre layer and they accompany the blood vessels in the inner nuclear layer. Indeed, like Müller cells, astrocytic processes cover the blood vessels forming the retinal blood barrier and they fulfil a significant role in ion homeostasis. Among other activities, microglia can be stimulated to fulfil a macrophage function, as well as to interact with other glial cells and neurons by secreting growth factors. This review summarizes the main functional relationships between retinal glial cells and neurons, presenting a general picture of the retina recently modified based on experimental observations. The preferential involvement of the distinct glia cells in terms of the activity in the retina is discussed, for example, while Müller cells may serve as progenitors of retinal neurons, astrocytes and microglia are responsible for synaptic pruning. Since different types of glia participate together in certain activities in the retina, it is imperative to explore the order of redundancy and to explore the heterogeneity among these cells. Recent studies revealed the association of glia cell heterogeneity with specific functions. Finally, the neuroprotective effects of glia on photoreceptors and ganglion cells under normal and adverse conditions will also be explored. © 2015 The Authors.


Ozalp V.C.,University of the Basque Country
Analyst | Year: 2011

A quartz crystal microbalance with a dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) sensor was developed for highly sensitive and specific detection of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) by using an aptamer. The binding of ATP molecules on the aptamer films could be calculated as accurate mass changes using multiple frequency and dissipation measurements. The detection is achieved by calculating the mass changes from conformational rearrangements of the sensor surface upon interaction with the target. The sensor was demonstrated to respond to changes in ATP concentrations in real time suitable for continuous monitoring applications. This sensor showed excellent selectivity toward ATP compared with other chemically similar nucleotide GTP. The feasibility of the sensor was demonstrated by analyzing ATP concentrations in cell culture media with serum. The maximum frequency change was about -2 Hz after injection of 500 μM ATP. The affinity constant of the aptamer was determined to be 49 ± 7.59 μM. The proposed sensor can extend the application of the QCM-D system in medical diagnosis, and could be adopted for the detection of other small molecules with the use of specific aptamers. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Bahramian A.,Hamedan University of Technology | Olazar M.,University of the Basque Country
AIChE Journal | Year: 2012

The numerical simulations and experimental data of bed hydrodynamics in a conical fluidized bed unit are compared. Experimental studies have been carried out in a bed containing TiO 2 particles belonging to A/C boundary of Geldart's classification with a wide particle-size distribution. Thus, pressure measurements and an optical fiber technique allowed determining the effect of static bed height on the fluidization characteristics of micronic particles. Numerical simulations have then been performed to evaluate the sensitivity of gas-solids drag models. The Eulerian multiphase model has been used with different drag models and three boundary conditions (BC) consisting of no-slip, partial-slip, and free-slip. The numerical predictions using the Gidaspow drag model and partial-slip BC agreed reasonably well with the experimental bed pressure drop measurements. The simulation results obtained for bed expansion ratio show that the Gidaspow model with the free-slip BC best fit with the experimental data. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).


Garcia A.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez Alriols M.,University of the Basque Country | Labidi J.,University of the Basque Country
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

Ultrasonic treatments (0, 15, 30, 60 and 120. min) were applied to black liquor resulting from organosolv fractionation of olive tree pruning residues (ethanol/water 60/40 v/v, 180 °C, 60. min) in order to determine their effect on black liquor components. HPLC analyses of ultrasound-treated liquid fractions demonstrated that ultrasonic irradiation promoted up to 20% degradation of monosaccharides for 15. min of sonication and an increase of monomeric sugars from 3% to 16% due lignin-carbohydrate complex rupture. The quality and purity of the lignin precipitated from sonicated liquors by adding acidified water were assessed. Attenuated-total reflectance infrared spectroscopy (ATR-IR), gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) confirmed that main lignin structure did not change due sonication, and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and chemical composition and antioxidant behavior showed purification of lignin samples. These results established sonication as a suitable intensification technology in biorefinery processes. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Isik M.,University of the Basque Country | Sardon H.,University of the Basque Country | Mecerreyes D.,University of the Basque Country | Mecerreyes D.,Ikerbasque
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2014

Due to its abundance and a wide range of beneficial physical and chemical properties, cellulose has become very popular in order to produce materials for various applications. This review summarizes the recent advances in the development of new cellulose materials and technologies using ionic liquids. Dissolution of cellulose in ionic liquids has been used to develop new processing technologies, cellulose functionalization methods and new cellulose materials including blends, composites, fibers and ion gels. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Sistiaga-Poveda M.,University of the Basque Country | Jugo B.M.,University of the Basque Country
Heredity | Year: 2014

The oncogenic exogenous Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV), responsible for ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma, has several endogenous counterparts termed enJSRVs. Although many of these elements have been inactivated over time by the accumulation of deleterious mutations or internal recombination leading to solo long terminal repeat (LTR) formation, several members of enJSRVs have been identified as nearly intact and probably represent recent integration events. To determine the level of enJSRV polymorphism in the sheep population and related species, we have undertaken a study by characterizing enJSRVs copies and independent integration sites in six domestic sheep and two wild species of the sheep lineage. enJSRVs copies were detected by amplifying the env-LTR region by PCR, and for the detection of the insertion sites, we used two approaches: (1) an in silico approach based on the recently published Sheep Reference Genome Assembly (OARv3.0) and (2) an experimental approach based on PCR suppression and inverse PCR techniques. In total, 103 enJSRV sequences were generated across 10 individuals and enJSRV integrations were found on 11 of the 28 sheep chromosomes. These findings suggest that there are still uncharacterized enJSRVs, and that some of the integration sites are variable among the different species, breeds of the same species, subspecies and geographic locations. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Agirrezabal-Telleria I.,University of the Basque Country | Requies J.,University of the Basque Country | Guemez M.B.,University of the Basque Country | Arias P.L.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2012

Furfural (FUR) is widely used as an industrial solvent and can be potentially used as building-block to produce added-value products, such as methyltetrahydrofuran (MeTHF) or levulinic acid. It is currently manufactured from pentosan-rich biomass via steam-stripping under homogeneously catalyzed conditions. Alternatives focus on novel process optimization or on the design of heterogeneous water-tolerant Brönsted acids. In this work, functionalized SBA-15 catalysts with controlled textural properties were prepared in order to study their performance during xylose cyclodehydration. The combination of these two procedures allowed to selectively produce FUR from xylose. Preliminary catalyst screening at 140°C showed a FUR selectivity maxima for the material aged at 100°C. Moreover, the results revealed a direct influence of the sulfonic load and the reaction temperature on the catalytic performance of SBA-15 samples. Promising results were achieved for the propylsulfonic SBA-15 aged at 100°C, since it could optimize the FUR yield up to 82% at 170°C of reaction temperature. Finally, the stability of the catalysts in different solvents and their regeneration were also evaluated. © 2011 Elsevier B.V..


Karmele Urbikain M.,University of the Basque Country | Sala J.M.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2012

The aim of this research is to quantify the influence of a louvered blind in a double-glazed unit during night-time conditions. First, an analytical study of free convection was conducted to obtain a set of correlations for the Nusselt numbers of the cavity. Second, a parametric study was performed to calculate the total heat transfer (convective and long-wave radiative) during night-time conditions. The analysis accounted for aspect ratio, blind thermal conductivity, surface emissivity and slat angle. Using these data, a biquadratic equation was developed to calculate the U-factor of a double-glazed unit with an internal louvered blind in terms of the U-factor of the unit without the blind, slat surface emissivity and slat angle. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Rodriguez-Gascon A.,University of the Basque Country | del Pozo-Rodriguez A.,University of the Basque Country | Solinis M.A.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Nanomedicine | Year: 2014

Self-amplifying RNA or RNA replicon is a form of nucleic acid-based vaccine derived from either positive-strand or negative-strand RNA viruses. The gene sequences encoding structural proteins in these RNA viruses are replaced by mRNA encoding antigens of interest as well as by RNA polymerase for replication and transcription. This kind of vaccine has been successfully assayed with many different antigens as vaccines candidates, and has been shown to be potent in several animal species, including mice, nonhuman primates, and humans. A key challenge to realizing the broad potential of self-amplifying vaccines is the need for safe and effective delivery methods. Ideally, an RNA nanocarrier should provide protection from blood nucleases and extended blood circulation, which ultimately would increase the possibility of reaching the target tissue. The delivery system must then be internalized by the target cell and, upon receptor-mediated endocytosis, must be able to escape from the endosomal compartment into the cell cytoplasm, where the RNA machinery is located, while avoiding degradation by lysosomal enzymes. Further, delivery systems for systemic administration ought to be well tolerated upon administration. They should be safe, enabling the multiadministration treatment modalities required for improved clinical outcomes and, from a developmental point of view, production of large batches with reproducible specifications is also desirable. In this review, the concept of self-amplifying RNA vaccines and the most promising lipid-based delivery systems are discussed. © 2014 Rodríguez-Gascón et al.


Egues I.,University of the Basque Country | Sanchez C.,University of the Basque Country | Mondragon I.,University of the Basque Country | Labidi J.,University of the Basque Country
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2012

A study of the potential of autohydrolysis and alkaline extraction processes from corn stalks was performed for high purity hemicellulose extraction. The influence of process parameters on the purity of obtained hemicelluloses was analyzed. An experimental design was developed for the autohydrolysis treatments to determine the optimal conditions to solubilize the hemicelluloses with lowest content in contaminants. On the other hand, alkaline extraction, including raw material pretreatment (dewaxing and delignification step) was carried out analyzing the effectiveness of this processes for maximum pure hemicellulose recovery. The maximum yield (54% of the raw material hemicelluloses) and the best physicochemical properties (highest hemicellulose content free of lignin) were obtained with these pretreatments in alkaline extraction. Moreover, the effect of lignin removal by sulfuric acid from the autohydrolysis liquors before hemicellulose precipitation was studied. This purification step has allowed to obtain lignin-free autohydrolysis hemicellulose but with the presence of sulfur as predominant contaminant. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Martin C.,University of the Basque Country | Gomez-Bilbao G.,University of the Basque Country | Ostolaza H.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2010

Adenylate cyclase toxin (ACT), a 200 kDa protein, is an essential virulence factor for Bordetella pertussis, the bacterium that causes whooping cough. ACT is a member of the pore-forming RTX (repeats-in-toxin) family of proteins that share a characteristic calcium-binding motif of Gly- and Asp-rich nonapeptide repeats and a marked cytolytic or cytotoxic activity. In addition, ACT exhibits a distinctive feature: it has an N-terminal calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase domain. Translocation of this domain into the host cytoplasm results in uncontrolled production of cAMP, and it has classically been assumed that this surge in cAMP is the basis for the toxin-mediated killing. Several members of the RTX family of toxins, including ACT, have been shown to induce intracellular calcium increases, through different mechanisms. We show here that ACT stimulates a raft-mediated calcium influx, through its cAMP production activity, that activates PKA, which in turn activates calcium channels with L-type properties. This process is shown to occur both in CD11b+ and CD11b- cells, suggesting a common mechanism, independent of the toxin receptor. We also show that this ACT-induced calcium influx does not correlate with the toxin-induced cytotoxicity. © 2010 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Xu C.,Zhengzhou University of Light Industry | Arancon R.A.D.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Arancon R.A.D.,City University of Hong Kong | Labidi J.,University of the Basque Country | Luque R.,University of Cordoba, Spain
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Research on lignin deconstruction has recently become the center of interest for scientists and companies worldwide, racing towards harvesting fossil-fuel like aromatic compounds which are so durably put together by plants as products of millions of years of evolution. The natural complexity and high stability of lignin bonds (also as an evolutionary adaptation by plants) makes lignin depolymerization a highly challenging task. Several efforts have been directed towards a more profound understanding of the structure and composition of lignin in order to devise pathways to break down the biopolymer into useful compounds. The present contribution aims to provide an overview of key advances in the field of lignin depolymerisation. Protocols and technologies will be discussed as well as critically evaluated in terms of possibilities and potential for further industrial implementation. © the Partner Organisations 2014.


Casamichana D.,University of the Basque Country | Castellano J.,University of the Basque Country | Castagna C.,Biomechanics Laboratory
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2012

This study compared the physical demands of friendly matches (FMs) and small-sided games (SGs) in semiprofessional soccer players by means of global positioning system technology. Twenty-seven semiprofessional soccer players were monitored during 7 FMs and 9 sessions involving different SGs. Their physical profile was described on the basis of 20 variables related to distances and frequencies at different running speeds, the number of accelerations, and through global indicators of workload such as the work:rest ratio, player workload, and the exertion index. Results showed significant differences (p<0.01) between SGs and FMs for the following variables: overall workload (SG > FM); the distribution of the distance covered in the speed zones 7.0-12.9 km·h -1 (SG > FM) and .21 km·h -1 (FM > SG); the distribution of time spent in certain speed zones (FM > SG: 0.0-6.9 and >21 km·h -1; FM > SG: 7.0-12.9 km·h -1). More sprints per hour of play were performed during FMs, with greater mean durations and distances, greater maximum durations and distances, and a greater frequency per hour of play for sprints of 10-40 and >.40 m (p < 0.01). The frequency of repeated high-intensity efforts was higher during FM (p < 0.01). The results show that coaches and strength and conditioning professionals should consider FMs during their training routine to foster specific adaptations in the domain of high-intensity effort. © 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Munoz-Leoz B.,University of the Basque Country | Ruiz-Romera E.,University of the Basque Country | Antiguedad I.,University of the Basque Country | Garbisu C.,Tecnalia
Soil Biology and Biochemistry | Year: 2011

A short-term mesocosm experiment was conducted to ascertain the impact of tebuconazole on soil microbial communities. Tebuconazole was applied to soil samples with no previous pesticide history at three rates: 5, 50 and 500 mg kg -1 DW soil. Soil sampling was carried out after 0, 7, 30, 60 and 90 days of incubation to determine tebuconazole concentration and microbial properties with potential as bioindicators of soil health [i.e., basal respiration, substrate-induced respiration, microbial biomass C, enzyme activities (urease, arylsulfatase, β-glucosidase, alkaline phosphatase, dehydrogenase), nitrification rate, and functional community profiling]. Tebuconazole degradation was accurately described by a bi-exponential model (degradation half-lives varied from 9 to 263 days depending on the concentration tested). Basal respiration, substrate-induced respiration, microbial biomass C and enzyme activities were inhibited by tebuconazole. Nitrification rate was also inhibited but only during the first 30 days. Different functional community profiles were observed depending on the tebuconazole concentration used. It was concluded that tebuconazole application decreases soil microbial biomass and activity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


de Rivas B.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez-Fonseca R.,University of the Basque Country | Gutierrez-Ortiz M.A.,University of the Basque Country | Gutierrez-Ortiz J.I.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2011

The main scope of this work is to evaluate the catalytic stability of two Ce/Zr mixed oxides, namely Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 and Ce0.15Zr0.85O2, in the gas-phase oxidation of 1,2-dichloroethane as a model reaction for chlorinated VOC abatement. In order to simulate an accelerated Cl-poisoning of the catalysts the samples were submitted to a chlorination step with an aqueous solution of HCl at room temperature followed by calcination or by reduction and calcination at mild temperature (550°C). For comparative purposes pure CeO2 and ZrO2 catalysts were also investigated. It was found that chlorination led to remarkable changes in surface area, acidity and redox properties, as revealed by EDX, N2-physisorption, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, adsorption of pyridine followed by IR, NH3-TPD, H2-TPR and oxygen storage capacity. Interestingly, the balance between negative (significant decrease in surface area, and lower overall acidity and reducibility) and positive (promoted redox properties due to the formation of stable CeOCl patches and generation of new acid sites related to Cl- ions adsorbed on Ce4+ and Zr4+ cations) changes introduced by chlorine incorporation appeared to be effectively counterbalanced. As a result the catalytic behaviour of chlorinated samples was not markedly affected when compared with the corresponding parent samples. Hence, a slightly lower activity was found for CeO2 and Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 while catalytic conversion was somewhat promoted for Ce0.15Zr0.85O2 and ZrO2. Anyway, after chlorination both Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 and Ce0.15Zr0.85O2 exhibited an adequate catalytic performance not only in terms of low-temperature conversion, but also of stability during extended periods of time on stream. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Agirrezabal-Telleria I.,University of the Basque Country | Larreategui A.,University of the Basque Country | Requies J.,University of the Basque Country | Guemez M.B.,University of the Basque Country | Arias P.L.,University of the Basque Country
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2011

The aim of this work deals with the development of new approaches to the production of furfural from xylose. It combines relatively cheap heterogeneous catalysts (Amberlyst 70) with simultaneous furfural stripping using nitrogen under semi-batch conditions. Nitrogen, compared to steam, does not dilute the vapor phase stream when condensed. This system allowed stripping 65% of the furfural converted from xylose and almost 100% of selectivity in the condensate. Moreover, high initial xylose loadings led to the formation of two water-furfural phases, which could reduce further purification costs. Constant liquid-vapor equilibrium along stripping could be maintained for different xylose loadings. The modeling of the experimental data was carried out in order to obtain a liquid-vapor mass-transfer coefficient. This value could be used for future studies under steady-state continuous conditions in similar reaction-systems. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Garcia A.,University of the Basque Country | Alriols M.G.,University of the Basque Country | Llano-Ponte R.,University of the Basque Country | Labidi J.,University of the Basque Country
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2011

In the present work the effectiveness of different lignocellulosic biomass fractionation processes based on ultrasounds technology was evaluated. Organosolv (acetic acid 60% v/v), alkaline (sodium hydroxide 7.5% w/w) and autohydrolysis treatments were applied at low temperature and the fractionation effectiveness was measured at different sonication conditions of the raw material. The obtained solid fractions were characterized using TAPPI standard methods, and the liquid fractions main components were quantified with the purpose of studying the effect that the treatment conditions had on the obtained by-products quality. Therefore, obtained lignin samples were characterized by ATR-IR spectroscopy and their thermal behaviour by TGA technique. The results showed that ultrasounds application improved the yield and selectivity of the studied processes and that the obtained lignin did not suffer significant modifications in its physicochemical properties. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


de Rivas B.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez-Fonseca R.,University of the Basque Country | Gutierrez-Ortiz M.T.,University of the Basque Country | Gutierrez-Ortiz J.I.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2011

In this work the application of a redox treatment consisting of a high-temperature reduction with 5%H2/Ar in the range 950-1075°C for 0.5-3h followed by mild oxidation at 550°C with 5%O2/He was evaluated as a tool for improving the catalytic performance of Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 mixed oxide in the combustion of chlorinated compounds. Structural, morphological and physico-chemical changes caused by the redox treatment were analysed by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, BET measurements, NH3-temperature programmed desorption, temperature programmed reduction with hydrogen, and oxygen chemisorption. Interestingly, after reduction at a temperature as high as 1050°C during at least 1.5h, a substantially enhanced redox behaviour was noticed which resulted in a significant promotion of the catalytic activity in comparison with the unmodified parent sample. Hence, the value of temperature of half conversion at 30,000h-1 decreased from 300 to 275°C for the combustion of 1,2-dichloroethane, which was selected as a model chlorinated feed. This active performance was assigned to the formation of a new κ-CeZrO4 phase after redox aging characterised by a markedly increased capacity of providing active oxygen species at low temperatures. For comparative purposes two additional Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 samples calcined at 750 and 1000°C were also characterised and catalytically tested. © 2010.


Elordi G.,University of the Basque Country | Olazar M.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez G.,University of the Basque Country | Castano P.,University of the Basque Country | Bilbao J.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental | Year: 2011

The deactivation of three different catalysts used in the cracking of high density polyethylene (HDPE) has been compared. The catalysts used are HZSM-5, Hβ and HY zeolites agglomerated with bentonite and alumina. The reactions have been carried out in a conical spouted bed reactor at 500°C, and plastic (high density polyethylene) has been fed in continuous mode (1gmin-1) for up to 15h of reaction. The HZSM-5 zeolite catalyst gives way to high yields of C2-C4 olefins (57wt%) and, moreover, it is the one least influenced by deactivation throughout the run, which is explained by the lower deterioration of its physical properties and acidity. The results of temperature program combustion and transmission electron microscopy show that coke growth is hindered in the HZSM-5 zeolite pore structure. The high N2 flow rate used in the conical spouted bed reactor enhances coke precursor circulation towards the outside of the zeolite crystal channels. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Mateo-Alonso A.,University of the Basque Country | Mateo-Alonso A.,Ikerbasque
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

Linear and ribbon-like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as acenes and graphene nanoribbons are at the forefront of current investigations, as these graphene "cut outs" possess discrete energy gaps that can be tailored with the number of rings and their arrangements. Pyrene-fused pyrazaacenes are a type of nitrogenated ribbon-like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with a very high stability. As a matter of fact, ribbon-like pyrene-fused pyrazaacenes with as many as 85 linearly fused aromatic rings have been synthesised with thermal stabilities over 500 °C in air. This review covers most of the synthetic and application aspects of pyrene-fused pyrazaacenes from 1937 to our days, illustrating that pyrene-fused pyrazaacenes are a widely tuneable and a highly stable platform for developing ribbon-like nitrogenated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons for a broad spectrum of applications. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2014.


Ruiz-Mirazo K.,University of the Basque Country | Briones C.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | De La Escosura A.,Autonomous University of Madrid
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

In order to explain how the first organisms might have appeared on Earth, or elsewhere, it is necessary to develop chemistries that enable the synthesis of information-bearing polymers, protometabolic networks, and protocellular compartments under compatible prebiotic conditions. In this direction, the first step would be the synthesis of the monomeric units that constitute peptides, nucleic acids or their analogue polymers, and vesicle membranes. Some of these building blocks could have been delivered to Earth from extraterrestrial sources, while their endogenous synthesis on our planet is another feasible option. Catalysis, in particular organocatalysis and organometallic catalysis, could have enlarged and diversified the set of compounds potentially present in different prebiotic scenarios. Vesicles composed of mixtures of simple amphiphilic molecules and surfactants, on the other hand, have shown the required stability and permeability for encapsulation of nucleic acids and peptides.


Ramos J.,University of the Basque Country | Forcada J.,University of the Basque Country | Hidalgo-Alvarez R.,University of Granada
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

Cationic polymer particles and nanogels are being used in emerging biomedical technologies due to the strong interaction between nucleic acids and cationic polymer colloids, the acid-swellable behavior of the nanoparticle/nanogel, and the ability to form oriented bonds with proteins, among other aspects. One of the most challenging applications is the use of cationic nanogels as carriers or vectors for in vivo siRNA delivery. The use of RNA interference to treat or prevent a variety of diseases, is a challenge in the biomedical field of therapeutics. New nanogel architectures or nanostructures should be envisaged for the adequate and controlled cell-specific siRNA release. Adequate nanogel sizes and shells are required for Improved stealth properties for the nanogels, avoiding recognition by the immune system (phagocytes), and enhancement of tumor accumulation, taking advantage of the EPR (enhanced permeability and retention) effect in tumors. The design of new nanogels sensitive to or able to respond to other in vivo stimuli different from the pH, temperature, or ionic strength is needed.


Parrondo J.,Southern University and A&M College | Mijangos F.,University of the Basque Country | Rambabu B.,Southern University and A&M College
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2010

The performance of high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) using platinum supported over tin oxide and Vulcan carbon (Pt/SnOx/C) as cathode catalyst was evaluated at 160-200 °C and compared with Pt/C. This paper reports first time the Pt/SnOx/C preparation, fuel cell performance, and durability test up to 200 h. Pt/SnOx/C of varying SnO compositions were characterized using XRD, SEM, TEM, EDX and EIS. The face-centered cubic structure of nanosized Pt becomes evident from XRD data. TEM and EDX measurements established that the average size of the Pt nanoparticles were ∼6 nm. Low ionic resistances were derived from EIS, which ranged from 0.5 to 5 Ω-cm2 for cathode and 0.05 to 0.1 Ω-cm2 for phosphoric acid, doped PBI membrane. The addition of the SnOx to Pt/C significantly promoted the catalytic activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). The 7 wt.% SnO in Pt/SnO2/C catalyst showed the highest electro-oxidation activity for ORR. High temperature PEMFC measurements performed at 180 °C under dry gases (H2 and O2) showed 0.58 V at a current density of 200 mA cm-2, while only 0.40 V was obtained in the case of Pt/C catalyst. When the catalyst contained higher concentrations of tin oxide, the performance decreased as a result of mass transport limitations within the electrode. Durability tests showed that Pt/SnOx/C catalysts prepared in this work were stable under fuel cell working conditions, during 200 h at 180 °C demonstrate as potential cathode catalyst for HT-PEMFCs. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Sanchez-Rosello M.,University of Valencia | Sanchez-Rosello M.,Research Center Principe Felipe | Acena J.L.,University of the Basque Country | Simon-Fuentes A.,University of Valencia | Del Pozo C.,University of Valencia
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

The organocatalytic intramolecular aza-Michael reaction gives access to enantiomerically enriched nitrogen-containing heterocycles in a very simple manner. Enals, enones, conjugated esters and nitro olefins have been employed as Michael acceptors, while moderate nitrogen nucleophiles such as sulphonamides, carbamates and amides have been shown to be appropriate Michael donors in this type of reaction. Additionally, the process has been performed under both covalent and non-covalent catalysis, with diaryl prolinols, imidazolidinones, thioureas and chiral binol phosphoric acids being the most frequently used catalysts. The level of efficiency reached with this protocol is demonstrated by the implementation of numerous tandem processes, as well as the total synthesis of several natural products. © 2014 the Partner Organisations.


Bandos I.A.,University of the Basque Country | Bandos I.A.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We present the equations of motion for multiple M0-brane (multiple M-wave) systems in general 11 dimensional supergravity background. These are obtained in the frame of superembedding approach, but have a rigid structure: they can be restored from SO(1,1)×SO(9) symmetry characteristic for M0. BPS (Bogomol'nyi-Prasad-Sommerfield) conditions for the 1/2 supersymmetric solution of these equations have the fuzzy 2-sphere solution modeling M2-brane. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Heras-Saizarbitoria I.,University of the Basque Country
Industrial Management and Data Systems | Year: 2011

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop the operational definition of the concept of internalization of ISO 9001, a theoretical construct which until recently had not received the attention it deserves in research on quality management. Design/methodology/approach Extensive exploratory fieldwork based on both in-depth interviews of general managers, middle managers and employees 65 in total as well as on intensive participant observation e.g. 139 direct field-consults and 240 documents analyzed was carried out in eight Spanish organizations that adopted the standard a long time ago. Findings A set of specific factors and subfactors aimed at operationalizing the ISO 9001 internalization construct are proposed. Moreover, it has been ascertained that the concept of internalization is a clearly relevant one, as in previous works found in the literature in other countries, the conclusion is drawn that organizations do not adopt ISO 9001 homogeneously. Practical implications The conclusions may be of interest both for academic and professional spheres of activity. For managers, the key aspects of a substantive adoption of ISO 9001 are highlighted. For academics, certain specific categorization elements are proposed for a relevant construct so that these may be used in subsequent works. Originality/value This is a new exploratory work for its field of research. On the one hand, most works to date have tended to assume the principle of homogeneous adoption of ISO 9001. On the other, they tend to be based solely on managers' opinions without giving voice to employees or using participative observation. Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.


Sanchez-Beitia S.,University of the Basque Country
Experimental Mechanics | Year: 2011

The X-Ray Diffraction technique has been widely applied for decades in many industrial sectors for the quantification of residual stresses in metallic parts. The present paper describes the laboratory calibration of this technique with the aim of adapting it to the quantification of global stresses (non residual) in metallic structures, in service for civil engineering and building. A small structure specifically built for this research has been repeatedly loaded at laboratory. In each load level the global stresses in a bar of the structure have been quantified by means of X-Ray Diffraction technique. The experimental procedure allows one to discern the residual stresses and the structural (mechanical) stresses in service. The correlation between the stresses deduced experimentally and the applied stresses is excellent. As conclusion, it can be stated that the X-Ray Diffraction technique as a non-destructive technique, has been calibrated to be used for stress deduction in metallic elements in service. © 2011 Society for Experimental Mechanics.


Zulaika J.J.,Tecnalia | Campa F.J.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez De Lacalle L.N.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture | Year: 2011

This paper provides an integrated approach for designing large milling machines, taking both mass reduction of mobile structural components and the maximum material removal rate into account. This approach considers a representative milling operation and a productivity target as a starting point, and then deals with the design of the machine to achieve the targeted productivity with structural components of minimum mass. The procedure is based on modeling the interactions between process and machine by means of a stability model of the milling process in modal coordinates. The model allows the identification of the mechanical design parameters that limit the productivity as well as the threshold values that must be met to ensure the targeted productivity. Those values are reached in an iterative procedure that minimizes the mass of the critical structural components of the machine. This approach has been applied to the re-design of an actual milling machine, on which, once built and adjusted, the machining tests conducted have shown increases above 100% in productivity, consuming at the same time 13% less energy due to mass reduction above 20% in mobile structural components. In this way, an eco-efficient milling machine that performs highly productive machining processes has been designed and built. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Verstraete M.J.,University of the Basque Country | Verstraete M.J.,Catholic University of Louvain
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

The thermodynamical properties of the main phases of metallic polonium are examined using density functional theory. The exceptional nature of the solid-solid phase transition of α to β Po is underlined: it induces a lowering in symmetry, from cubic to rhombohedral, with increasing temperature. This is explained as the result of a delicate balance between bonding and entropic effects. Overall agreement with existing experimental data is good by state-of-the-art standards. The phonons of Po present Kohn anomalies, and it is shown that the effect of spin-orbit interactions is the inverse of that in normal metals: due to the nonspherical nature of the Fermi Surface, spin-orbit effects reduce nesting and harden most phonon frequencies. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Peropadre B.,Institute Fisica Fundamental | Forn-Diaz P.,Technical University of Delft | Solano E.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,Ikerbasque | Garcia-Ripoll J.J.,Institute Fisica Fundamental
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We propose different designs of switchable coupling between a superconducting flux qubit and a microwave transmission line. They are based on two or more loops of Josephson junctions which are directly connected to a closed (cavity) or open transmission line. In both cases the circuit induces a coupling that can be modulated in strength, reaching the so-called ultrastrong coupling regime in which the coupling is comparable to the qubit and photon frequencies. Furthermore, we suggest a wide set of applications for the introduced architectures. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Achucarro A.,Instituut Lorentz for Theoretical Physics | Achucarro A.,University of the Basque Country | Verbiest G.J.,Instituut Lorentz for Theoretical Physics
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report the first observation of multiple intercommutation (more than two successive reconnections) of Abelian Higgs cosmic strings at ultrahigh collision speeds, and the formation of "kink trains" with up to four closely spaced left- or right-moving kinks, in the deep type-II regime 16≤β≤64 (where β=mscalar2/mgauge2). The minimum critical speed for double reconnection goes down from ∼0.98c at β=1 to ∼0.86c for β=64. The process leading to the second intercommutation changes with β: it involves an expanding loop if β 16, but only a radiation blob if 1<β≤8. Triple reconnections are generic in the loop-mediated regime for collision parameters on the boundary between single and double reconnection. For β=16 we observe quadruple events. We comment on the effect of strongly repulsive core interactions on the small scale structure on the strings and their gravitational wave emission. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Albo J.,University of the Basque Country | Alvarez-Guerra M.,University of Cantabria | Castano P.,University of the Basque Country | Irabien A.,University of Cantabria
Green Chemistry | Year: 2015

Various strategies have been proposed to date in order to mitigate the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, such as the separation, storage, and utilization of this gas. Among the available technologies, the electrochemical valorisation of CO2 appears to be an innovative technology, in which electrical energy is supplied to establish a potential between two electrodes, allowing CO2 to be transformed into value-added chemicals under mild conditions. It provides a method to recycle CO2 (in a carbon neutral cycle) and, at the same time, a way to chemically store the excess of renewable energy from intermittent sources, thus reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Among the useful products that can be obtained, methanol is particularly interesting as a platform chemical, and it has gained renewed and growing attention in the research community. Accomplishments to date in the electroreduction of CO2 to methanol have been encouraging, although substantial advances are still needed for it to become a profitable technology able to shift society to renewable energy sources. This review presents a unified discussion of the significant work that has been published in the field of electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to methanol. It emphasizes the aspects related to process design at different levels: cathode materials, reaction media, design of electrochemical cells, as well as working conditions. It then extends the discussion to the important conclusions from different electrocatalytic routes, and recommendations for future directions to develop a catalytic system that will convert CO2 to methanol at high process efficiencies. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.


Casanova J.,University of the Basque Country | Romero G.,University of the Basque Country | Lizuain I.,University of the Basque Country | Garcia-Ripoll J.J.,Institute Fisica Fundamental | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We study the quantum dynamics of a two-level system interacting with a quantized harmonic oscillator in the deep strong coupling regime (DSC) of the Jaynes-Cummings model, that is, when the coupling strength g is comparable or larger than the oscillator frequency ω (g/ω1). In this case, the rotating-wave approximation cannot be applied or treated perturbatively in general. We propose an intuitive and predictive physical frame to describe the DSC regime where photon number wave packets bounce back and forth along parity chains of the Hilbert space, while producing collapse and revivals of the initial population. We exemplify our physical frame with numerical and analytical considerations in the qubit population, photon statistics, and Wigner phase space. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Garcia A.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez Alriols M.,University of the Basque Country | Labidi J.,University of the Basque Country
Industrial Crops and Products | Year: 2014

In the present work several alternative lignocellulosic materials have been classified according to their type and origin, and chemically characterized in order to propose their proper exploitation as biorefinery feedstock. In addition, different fractionation processes have been applied to some of these raw materials with the purpose of evaluating their efficiency and applicability for different feedstocks. The yield of each applied treatment has been determined according to the delignification ratio and the carbohydrate dissolution degree achieved. The characterisation results indicated that different lignocellulosic feedstocks could be treated together in biorefinery processes because of similar compositions and fractionation behaviour. Furthermore, different pretreatments could be applied for the achievement of specific fractionation results, depending on the desired solid or liquid by-product to obtain. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Stroppa A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Barone P.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Jain P.,Los Alamos National Laboratory | Perez-Mato J.M.,University of the Basque Country | Picozzi S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Advanced Materials | Year: 2013

On the basis of first-principles calculations, we design a novel Cr-based metal-organic framework to be both multiferroic and magnetoelectric. The compound shows a "double-hybrid" nature: it is a hybrid organic-inorganic compound and it shows hybrid improper ferroelectricity. Here, the coupling of non-polar distortions, such as Jahn-Teller pseudo-rotations and tilting, pave the way to a polar behavior, with the coupling being realized through hydrogen bonds. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Toth G.,University of the Basque Country | Toth G.,Ikerbasque | Toth G.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Mitchell M.W.,ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2010

We study squeezing of the spin uncertainties by quantum nondemolition (QND) measurement in non-polarized spin ensembles. Unlike the case of polarized ensembles, the QND measurements can be performed with negligible back-action, which allows, in principle, perfect spin squeezing as quantified by Tóth et al (2007 Phys. Rev. Lett. 99 250405). The generated spin states approach many-body singlet states and contain a macroscopic number of entangled particles even when individual spin is large. We introduce the Gaussian treatment of unpolarized spin states and use it to estimate the achievable spin squeezing for realistic experimental parameters. Our proposal might have applications for magnetometry with a high spatial resolution or quantum memories storing information in decoherence free subspaces. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


San Juan J.,University of the Basque Country | No M.L.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Alloys and Compounds | Year: 2013

In this work we overview the extrinsic size-effects on the martensitic transformation reported in the literature by nano compression tests in micro and sub-micrometer pillars, as well as by in situ superelastic tests at the transmission electron microscope. Three different size-effects are described: The increase of the critical stress for superelasticity at nano scale, the decrease of the stress for recovery during the reverse stress-induced martensitic transformation at micro and nano scale and finally the change of the selection rule for the martensitic variants promoted at micro and nano scale. New results are presented to illustrate the behavior of these size-effects and the microscopic origin of such effects is discussed. A consistent interpretation is given and explained for each one of the reported size-effects on the martensitic transformation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Bandos I.A.,University of the Basque Country
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We study the possibility to describe multiple M0-brane system in the frame of superembedding approach. The simplest framework is provided by the maximally supersymmetric non-Abelian SU (N) Yang-Mills supermultiplet on the d = 1N = 16 superspace the embedding of which to the target D = 11 supergravity superspace is determined by the so-called superembedding equation, characteristic of the worldline superspace of a single M0-brane. We use it to obtain a covariant generalization of the Matrix model equations describing the multiple M0-system in flat target superspace. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Lazkoz R.,University of the Basque Country | Salzano V.,University of the Basque Country | Sendra I.,University of the Basque Country
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We study the possibility of detecting oscillating patterns in the equation of state (EoS) of the dark energy using different cosmological datasets. We follow a phenomenological approach and study three different oscillating models for the EoS, one of them periodic and the other two damped (proposed here for the first time). All the models are characterized by the amplitude, the center and the frequency of oscillations. In contrast to previous works in the literature, we do not fix the frequency to a fiducial value related to the time extension of chosen datasets, but consider a discrete set of values, so to avoid arbitrariness and try to detect any possible time period in the EoS. We test the models using a recent collection of SNeIa, direct Hubble data and Gamma Ray Bursts data. Main results are: I. even if constraints on the amplitude are not too strong, we detect a trend of it versus the frequency, i.e. decreasing (and even negatives) amplitudes for higher frequencies; II. the center of oscillation (which corresponds to the present value of the EoS parameter) is very well constrained, and phantom behavior seems statistically disfavored; III. the frequency is hard to constrain, showing similar statistical validity for all the values of the discrete set chosen, but the best fit of all the considered scenarios is associated with a period which is in the redshift range depicted by our cosmological data. The "best" oscillating models are compared with ΛCDM using different dimensionally consistent and Bayesian-based information criteria; the conclusion is reached that at present, data cannot discriminate between a cosmological constant and oscillating equation of state. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Bandos I.,University of the Basque Country | Bandos I.,Ikerbasque
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We show that, at the classical level, the recently proposed 'ambitwistor string' model is equivalent to the spinor moving frame formulation of null-supersting, which in its turn is equivalent to Siegel's formulation of closed twistor string or to its higher dimensional generalizations. Although the null-(super)string is usually considered as describing the tensionless limit of (super)string, we show that its action can be derived from the spinor moving frame formulation of superstring also in the infinite tension limit. This observation, supplemented by some indirect arguments, allows us to conjecture the absence of critical dimensions, i.e. that the (ambi)twistor string based technique(s) to calculate field theory amplitudes can be developed not only in D=10 or 26, but also in D=11 and other dimensions. The D=11 and D=10 twistor strings are described in some details. © 2014 The Author(s).


Martinez-Yusta A.,University of the Basque Country | Goicoechea E.,University of the Basque Country | Guillen M.D.,University of the Basque Country
Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety | Year: 2014

This review summarizes present-day knowledge provided by proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) concerning food lipid thermo-oxidative degradation. The food lipids considered include edible oils and fats of animal and vegetable origin. The thermo-oxidation processes of food lipids of very different composition, occurring at low, intermediate, or high temperatures, with different food lipid surfaces exposed to oxygen, are reviewed. Mention is made of the influence of both food lipid nature and degradative conditions on the thermo-oxidation process. Interest is focused not only on the evolution of the compounds that degrade, but also on the intermediate or primary oxidation compounds formed, as well as on the secondary ones, from both qualitative and quantitative points of view. Very valuable qualitative and quantitative information is provided by 1H NMR, which can be useful for metabolomic and lipidomic studies. The chemical shift assignments of spectral signals of protons of primary (hydroperoxides and hydroxides associated with conjugated dienes) and secondary, or further (aldehydes, epoxides, among which 9,10-epoxy-12-octadecenoate [leukotoxin] can be cited, alcohols, ketones) oxidation compounds is summarized. It is worth noting the ability of 1H NMR to detect toxic oxygenated α,β-unsaturated aldehydes, like 4-hydroperoxy-, 4,5-epoxy-, and 4-hydroxy-2-alkenals, which can be generated in the degradation of food lipids having omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated groups in both biological systems and foodstuffs. They are considered as genotoxic and cytotoxic, and are potential causative agents of cancer, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®.


Perez Samartin A.L.,University of the Basque Country
Revista Internacional de Acupuntura | Year: 2011

The ancient texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) show that the acupuncture points (APs) are located precisely and that the accuracy in their findings as well as their adequate manipulation are necessary for an achievement of a therapeutic effect. A lot of effort has been made in order to show the existence of the APs and, among them, the measurement of the electric resistance of the skin. Although some of the obtained results are contradictory, there is enough evidence that it can be found a reduction of the cutaneous resistance in the APs. These points are also located in areas where the metabolism of nitric oxide is also enhanced, something which supports the finding of the decrease of electric resistance. It would be necessary a consensus in the methodology to best use the electric detection of the AP for location and diagnosis in TCM. © 2011 Elsevier España S.L.


The effect of monohydration in equatorial/axial isomerism of the common motif of tropane alkaloids is investigated in a supersonic expansion by using Fourier-transform microwave spectroscopy. The rotational spectrum reveals the equatorial isomer as the dominant species in the tropinone{dot operator}{dot operator}{dot operator}H2 O complex. The monohydrated complex is stabilized primarily by a moderate O H{dot operator}{dot operator}{dot operator}N hydrogen bond. In addition, two C H{dot operator}{dot operator}{dot operator}O weak hydrogen bonds also support this structure, blocking the water molecule and avoiding any molecular dynamics in the complex. The water molecule acts as proton donor and chooses the ternary amine group over the carbonyl group as a proton acceptor. The experimental work is supported by theoretical calculations; the accuracy of the B3LYP, M06-2X, and MP2 methods is also discussed. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Vitagliano G.,University of the Basque Country | Hyllus P.,University of the Basque Country | Egusquiza I.L.,University of the Basque Country | Toth G.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

We determine the complete set of generalized spin squeezing inequalities, given in terms of the collective angular momentum components, for particles with an arbitrary spin. They can be used for the experimental detection of entanglement in an ensemble in which the particles cannot be individually addressed. We also present a large set of criteria involving collective observables different from the angular momentum coordinates. We show that some of the inequalities can be used to detect k-particle entanglement and bound entanglement. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Basterretxea K.,University of the Basque Country
Proceedings of the 2012 NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems, AHS 2012 | Year: 2012

This paper describes an accuracy programmable sigmoidal neuron design and its hardware implementation. The "recursive neuron" can be adjusted to produce recursively more accurate and smoother piecewise linear approximations to the sigmoidal neural squashing function. This adaptive accuracy neuron, combined with a constructive training algorithm, can be used as the basic component for the implementation of self adaptive neural processing systems able to optimize power consumption and processing speeds when operating in applications with changing performance requirements and varying operational constraints. © 2012 IEEE.


Stroppa A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Jain P.,Florida State University | Barone P.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Marsman M.,University of Vienna | And 4 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

Forget me not: In a new multiferroic metal-organic framework (see structure, Cu green, O red, C black, N blue, H gray; arrows show spin configuration), Jahn-Teller and antiferro-distortions induce a switchable ferroelectric polarization, which is coupled to a weak ferromagnetic component. This true magnetoelectric multiferroic should be very attractive for advanced memory devices. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Peche R.,University of the Basque Country | Rodriguez E.,University of the Basque Country
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

Fuzzy logic is a suitable mathematical tool to treat information of very different nature, which is partially affected by uncertainty and subjectivity. Its successful application in the environmental field in recent years shows its great potential for the design of environmental quality indexes. This work deals with a rigorous and versatile methodology based on fuzzy logic for the design and the subsequent assessment of environmental quality indexes (EQI). It enables the design of specific indexes to evaluate the quality from different perspectives in any environmental compartment. The information required to design the EQI should be supplied by a panel of experts in all the different aspects related to the quality under assessment. An environmentalist team should coordinate the panel and the acquisition, management and treatment of the information supplied at each step of the procedure. Conventional convergence methods should be used to obtain a joint assessment at each step in order to rigorously integrate the panel's contributions. For the design of the EQI, firstly, a set of attributes A = {a i} is defined, which should include all the significant properties influencing the quality under consideration. Next, a conventionally accepted indicator I i is selected to quantify each attribute a i, together with the range of values [minI i, maxI i]. Next, a normalized indicator S i is calculated for each I i and a linguistic variable LS i is assigned to each S i. Then, a fuzzy set Bi is defined to each LS i, which describes in fuzzy terms the "Beneficial" contribution of a i to the environmental quality assessed by the EQI. Next, a pair-wise comparison matrix X̄=x̄ ij of the relative importances of the attributes a i is calculated and subsequently, a standardized priority vector W′ = {w i′} is determined from matrix X̄, so that each component w i′ provides the relative significance of the attribute a i in the EQI - represented as a fraction of unity. The final value of the index is obtained as result of a fuzzy inference procedure based on the zero-order Method of Takagi and Sugeno. The value of the EQI is a non-dimensional magnitude ranging from 0 to 1, the quality being greater the closer the index is to 1. This methodology is applied to a simplified case study in order to illustrate its practical application, which is the design and assessment of a physical-chemical soil quality index at a particular site. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Talavera G.,University of the Basque Country | Reyes E.,University of the Basque Country | Vicario J.L.,University of the Basque Country | Carrillo L.,University of the Basque Country
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Two can play this game: The title reaction is catalyzed by a chiral secondary amine in the presence of an achiral thiourea for the enantio- and diastereoselective synthesis of highly functionalized cyclobutanes (see scheme; TMS=trimethylsilyl). Mechanistically, two consecutive Michael reactions proceed through an unprecedented combination of an dienamine/iminium activation mode. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Cocinero E.J.,University of the Basque Country | Lesarri A.,University of Valladolid | Ecija P.,University of the Basque Country | Basterretxea F.J.,University of the Basque Country | And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Sweet truth: The search for sugars in interstellar space is hampered by a lack of spectroscopic information. D-Ribose is now the first C 5 sugar observed in the gas phase using microwave spectroscopy. The rotational spectrum revealed six conformations of free ribose, adopting preferentially β-pyranose rings and higher-energy α-pyranose forms. No evidence of α-/β-furanoses or linear forms was found, unlike biological systems, where β-furanoses are found in RNA. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Moure M.J.,University of the Basque Country | Sanmartin R.,University of the Basque Country | Dominguez E.,University of the Basque Country
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

DMA donates: Copper(II) acetate and 8-hydroxyquinoline promote the formation of a benzofuran core through a cascade of copper-catalyzed processes wherein the key carbon atom comes from the dimethylacetamide (DMA) solvent. Strong evidence for the participation of a Wacker cyclization catalyzed solely by copper is provided, not only in the title reaction from benzophenones but also from 2-hydroxy-α-arylstyrene derivatives. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Perez J.,University of the Basque Country | Descals E.,Instituto Mediterraneo Of Estudios Avanzados Of Las Balearic Islands Csic Uib | Pozo J.,University of the Basque Country
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2012

The community of aquatic hyphomycetes associated with decomposing alder leaf litter was studied during autumn-winter in nine headwater reference streams of the Basque Country (northern Spain). In order to study the spatial variability in composition and community structure, three streams from each of three different river basins were compared. The colonization dynamics and community changes throughout the decomposition process were also followed in three of the rivers (one per basin). The taxonomic richness and community structure of these fungi varied among rivers, including similar streams of a given watershed. However, neither species diversity nor total abundance was statistically related to environmental variables. Only the conidial production of two of the species, Flagellospora curvula and Lunulospora curvula appeared to be enhanced by nitrate availability in the water. The taxonomic richness and the reproductive activity (sporulation rate) were positively related to the leaf litter decomposition rate. The changes in conidial production along the process were similar for all the streams and helped explain leaf litter quality dynamics. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Abelairas-Etxebarria P.,University of the Basque Country | Astorkiza I.,University of the Basque Country
Land Use Policy | Year: 2012

This paper provides empirical and conceptual insights in analysing the factors that determine the prices of farmland within Protected Natural Areas that are close to densely populated urban areas, the changes in land use experiences as well as the additional control policies needed to curb this unsustainable trend.The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve nearby the metropolitan area of Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) is the case study considered and its bordering non-protected rural area is used as a reference for comparison. A spatial hedonic farmland price model is estimated and the willingness of land purchasers to pay for different farmland characteristics quantified both inside and outside the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. The main results are that: (1) residential development is taking place in all categories of farmland, (2) aside from neighbouring prices, farmland prices depend on different factors depending on whether the marketed plots stand inside or outside the Protected Natural Area, (3) the " reserve effect" on land prices is less powerful than the " proximity to the metropolitan area (and motorway) effect" observed from villages of the non-protected area located in the 3rd crown of Bilbao, (4) the reasons for farmers non-compliance with policy regulations is the necessary knowledge base for the farmland conservation policy design and (5) in the light of the results, three development-control policy instruments such as Payments for Ecosystem Services, Tradable Planning Permits and development-taxes are discussed considering the factors that could improve compliance. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Gantz S.C.,Oregon Health And Science University | Levitt E.S.,Oregon Health And Science University | Llamosas N.,University of the Basque Country | Neve K.A.,Oregon Health And Science University | Williams J.T.,Oregon Health And Science University
Cell Reports | Year: 2015

Imbalance between the dopamine and serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmitter systems has been implicated in the comorbidity of Parkinson's disease (PD) and psychiatric disorders. L-DOPA, the leading treatment of PD, facilitates the production and release of dopamine. This study assessed the action of L-DOPA on monoamine synaptic transmission in mouse brain slices. Application of L-DOPAaugmented the D2-receptor- mediated inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra. This augmentation was largely due to dopamine release from 5-HT terminals. Selective optogenetic stimulation of 5-HT terminals evoked dopamine release, producing D2-receptor-mediated IPSCs following treatment with L-DOPA. In the dorsal raphe, L-DOPA produced a long-lasting depression of the 5-HT1Areceptor- mediated IPSC in 5-HT neurons. When D2 receptors were expressed in the dorsal raphe, application of L-DOPA resulted in a D2-receptor-mediated IPSC. Thus, treatment with L-DOPA caused ectopic dopamine release from 5-HT terminals and a loss of 5-HT-mediated synaptic transmission. © 2015 The Authors.


Molnar S.M.,National Taiwan University | Broadhurst T.,University of the Basque Country | Broadhurst T.,Ikerbasque
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

The distinctive cometary X-ray morphology of the recently discovered massive galaxy cluster "El Gordo" (ACT-CT J0102-4915; z = 0.87) indicates that an unusually high-speed collision is ongoing between two massive galaxy clusters. A bright X-ray "bullet" leads a "twin-tailed" wake, with the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) centroid at the end of the northern tail. We show how the physical properties of this system can be determined using our FLASH-based, N-body/hydrodynamic model, constrained by detailed X-ray, SZ, and Hubble lensing and dynamical data. The X-ray morphology and the location of the two dark matter components and the SZ peak are accurately described by a simple binary collision viewed about 480 million years after the first core passage. We derive an impact parameter of ≃300 kpc, and a relative initial infall velocity of ≃2250 km s-1 when separated by the sum of the two virial radii assuming an initial total mass of 2.15 × 1015 M and a mass ratio of 1.9. Our model demonstrates that tidally stretched gas accounts for the northern X-ray tail along the collision axis between the mass peaks, and that the southern tail lies off axis, comprising compressed and shock heated gas generated as the less massive component plunges through the main cluster. The challenge for ΛCDM will be to find out if this physically extreme event can be plausibly accommodated when combined with the similarly massive, high-infall-velocity case of the Bullet cluster and other such cases being uncovered in new SZ based surveys. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Loidi J.,University of the Basque Country | Fernandez-Gonzalez F.,University of Castilla - La Mancha
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2012

This paper deals with the recent debate on the potential natural vegetation (PNV) concept. After reviewing its limitations with respect to understanding of the processes involved in secondary succession, spatial and temporal scaling and data processing, we still consider it a useful tool for summarizing knowledge about a territory in a way that can guide good practice in nature conservation, and for hypothesis generation. Mapping PNV has a descriptive aim and offers the possibility of depicting not only a 'natural' scenario according to the extant vegetation types and current environmental factors, but also an ecological description of the territory. It is not a commitment to build any ideal stage of nature but it can contribute to better management by providing targets for restoration and improving naturalness, ecosystem conservation and biodiversity preservation. Constant development of the concept, through discussion, improvement of methods and incorporation of new knowledge, is necessary, but we are reluctant to accept the idea of abandoning it because a part of what has been achieved to date in nature conservancy management using PNV could be lost, as arguments supporting naturalness would be weakened. © 2012 International Association for Vegetation Science.


Termenon M.,University of the Basque Country | Grana M.,University of the Basque Country
Neural Processing Letters | Year: 2012

We present a two stage sequential ensemble where data samples whose output from the first classifier fall in a low confidence output interval (LCOI) are processed by a second stage classifier. Training is composed of three processes: training the first classifier, determining the LCOI of the first classifier, and training the second classifier upon the data items whose output fall in the LCOI. The LCOI is determined varying a threshold on the false positive rate (FPR) and false negative rate (FNR) curves. We have tested the approach on a database of feature vectors for the classification of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and control subjects extracted from structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data. In this paper, we focus on the combinations obtained when the first classifier is a relevance vector machine (RVM). Obtained results improve over previous results for this database. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Manzano H.,University of the Basque Country | Masoero E.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Lopez-Arbeloa I.,University of the Basque Country | Jennings H.M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Soft Matter | Year: 2013

The calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel is the phase that provides cohesive strength to cement. The mechanics of the C-S-H gel at the molecular level is key to the durability of infrastructures made of concrete, controlling for example their macroscopic creep and shrinkage. The existing experimental techniques cannot access the nanostructure and properties of this very heterogeneous phase, and therefore atomistic simulations constitute a valuable alternative. Here we consider two established model systems for the solid part of the C-S-H gel that are representative of perfectly ordered and very disordered molecular structures: crystal tobermorite and glassy C-S-H. Using reactive force field simulations, we calculate elastic properties that match with experimental values from the literature. The analysis of the large deformations under shear indicates that the shear strain localizes preferentially at nanoscale sites that are rich in highly confined water. Implications of our findings for a colloidal description of the C-S-H gel mechanics and for the macroscopic properties of cement are finally discussed. This journal is © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Ezcurra M.,University of the Basque Country
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

Can a mineral paper be called paper? Until now all known writing supports have been ancient stones and tablets, parchment, and paper of vegetable origin, such as papyrus and fiber pulp paper. Some years ago polymeric banknotes appeared in Australia, and in 2004 mineral paper (stone plus polymer) emerged as an ecological alternative to pulp paper. In this article we study the physical and elemental features of a mineral paper such as the behavior of Terraskin® paper. We also study its behavior as a writing support, either for handwriting or printing, and compare these results with those usually obtained for paper made from pulp. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Stevenson M.,University of Sheffield | Agirre E.,University of the Basque Country | Soroa A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association | Year: 2012

Objective: Current techniques for knowledge-based Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) of ambiguous biomedical terms rely on relations in the Unified Medical Language System Metathesaurus but do not take into account the domain of the target documents. The authors' goal is to improve these methods by using information about the topic of the document in which the ambiguous term appears. Design: The authors proposed and implemented several methods to extract lists of key terms associated with Medical Subject Heading terms. These key terms are used to represent the document topic in a knowledgebased WSD system. They are applied both alone and in combination with local context. Measurements: A standard measure of accuracy was calculated over the set of target words in the widely used National Library of Medicine WSD dataset. Results and discussion: The authors report a significant improvement when combining those key terms with local context, showing that domain information improves the results of a WSD system based on the Unified Medical Language System Metathesaurus alone. The best results were obtained using key terms obtained by relevance feedback and weighted by inverse document frequency.


Garcia Munoz A.,University of the Basque Country | Mills F.P.,Australian National University
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. On 5-6 June 2012 ground-based observers have the last opportunity of the century to watch the passage of Venus across the solar disk from Earth. Venus transits have traditionally provided unique insight into the Venus atmosphere through the refraction halo that appears at the planet's outer terminator near ingress/egress. Much more recently, Venus transits have attracted renewed interest because the technique of transits is being successfully applied to the characterization of extrasolar planet atmospheres. Aims. The current work theoretically investigates the interaction of sunlight and the Venus atmosphere through the full range of transit phases, as observed from Earth and from a remote distance. Our model predictions quantify the relevant atmospheric phenomena, thereby assisting the observers of the event in the interpretation of measurements and extrapolation to the exoplanet case. Methods. Our approach relies on numerical integration of the radiative transfer equation, and includes refraction, multiple scattering, atmospheric extinction, and solar limb darkening, as well as an up-to-date description of the Venus atmosphere. Results. We produce synthetic images of the planet's terminator during ingress/egress that demonstrate the evolving shape, brightness, and chromaticity of the halo. Our simulations reveal the impact of micrometer-sized aerosols borne in the upper haze layer of the atmosphere on the halo's appearance. Guidelines are offered for the investigation of the planet's upper haze from vertically-unresolved photometric measurements. In this respect, the comparison with measurements from the 2004 transit appears encouraging. We also show integrated lightcurves of the Venus-Sun system at various phases during transit and calculate the respective Venus-Sun integrated transmission spectra. The comparison of the model predictions to those for a Venus-like planet free of haze and clouds (and therefore a closer terrestrial analog) complements the discussion and sets the conclusions into a broader perspective. © 2012 ESO.


Gutierrez Garcia J.,University of the Basque Country | Romaguera S.,Polytechnic University of Valencia
Fuzzy Sets and Systems | Year: 2011

Answering a recent question posed by Gregori et al. [On a class of completable fuzzy metric spaces, Fuzzy Sets and Systems 161 (2010), 2193-2205] we present two examples of non-strong fuzzy metrics (in the sense of George and Veeramani). © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


De Almeida C.M.,University of the Basque Country
Technoetic Arts | Year: 2015

The main notion of this article is that the blurring of the limits between offline and online dimensions of knowledge and experience, in addition to the manipulation of genes, neurons, atoms and bits, is dissolving the distinction between subjectivism (i.e. idealism) and materialism (i.e. objectivism and realism). As a consequence, in the moistmedia (from Ascott) ecology in which we are increasingly immersed, a radical kind of experience of matter, time, space and self is emerging. In this form of experience, the blending of subjectivist and materialist approaches help in overcoming the classical Cartesian polarity: we feel part of an extended reality, and we feel this extended reality in ourselves by combining bodies, points of view and multiple senses with digital layers of everything. The article proposes these research questions: Which are the main factors that shape the change toward a moistmedia ecology resulting from the impact of the manipulation of genes, neurons, bits and atoms? Which transformation is being shaped in relation to the previous model of experience? What are the features of the new forms of materiality, sensitivity and action? How artists are putting themselves at risk in the moistmedia ecology? The hypothesis is that a hybrid kind of interval is opening between different layers of reality: analogue versus digital; nature versus culture; here versus there; past versus future; I versus others; and human versus non-human. In this recombination process, a third dimension of reality - that I call 'radical reality' - emerges in the moistmedia ecology. This article will analyse the radical experience (Wilson) in moistmedia environments by crossing the five dimensions (matter, space, time, identity and action) with the practices of manipulation of genes, atoms and bits using examples from art and design. This crossing shows the basic dimensions and sub-dimensions of the 'Model of Radical Experience' to reveal the nature of this third dimension between subjectivism and materialism, which is explored by artists who put themselves at risk in the turbulent zone between the physical and the digital. © 2015 Intellect Ltd.


Alberdi A.,University of the Basque Country | Garin I.,University of the Basque Country | Aizpurua O.,University of the Basque Country | Aihartza J.,University of the Basque Country
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Molecular analysis of diet overcomes the considerable limitations of traditional techniques for identifying prey remains in bat faeces. We collected faeces from individual Mountain Long-eared Bats Plecotus macrobullaris trapped using mist nets during the summers of 2009 and 2010 in the Pyrenees. We analysed their diet using DNA mini-barcodes to identify prey species. In addition, we inferred some basic features of the bat's foraging ecology that had not yet been addressed. P. macrobullaris fed almost exclusively on moths (97.8%). As prey we detected one dipteran genus (Tipulidae) and 29 moth taxa: 28 were identified at species level (23 Noctuidae, 1 Crambidae, 1 Geometridae, 1 Pyralidae, 1 Sphingidae, 1 Tortricidae), and one at genus level (Rhyacia sp., Noctuidae). Known ecological information about the prey species allowed us to determine that bats had foraged at elevations between 1,500 and 2,500 m amsl (above mean sea level), mostly in subalpine meadows, followed by other open habitats such as orophilous grasslands and alpine meadows. No forest prey species were identified in the diet. As 96.4% of identified prey species were tympanate moths and no evidence of gleaning behaviour was revealed, we suggest P. macrobullaris probably forages by aerial hawking using faint echolocation pulses to avoid detection by hearing moths. As we could identify 87.8% of the analysed sequences (64.1% of the MOTUs, Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units) at species level, we conclude that DNA mini-barcodes are a very useful tool to analyse the diet of moth-specialist bats. © 2012 Alberdi et al.


Ballard N.,University of the Basque Country | De La Cal J.C.,University of the Basque Country | Asua J.M.,University of the Basque Country
Macromolecules | Year: 2015

Intramolecular transfer to polymer, and the reactions of the resulting midchain radical, are important processes in determining both the reaction kinetics and microstructure of acrylic polymers produced by radical polymerization. Herein, the causes of the reduction in branching content when adding chain transfer agent (CTA) to the polymerization mixture are unveiled. Quantitative NMR spectroscopy is used to determine the distribution of product species from the reaction of n-butyl acrylate in the presence of CBr4. It is shown that the reduction of branching is the result of the combined effect of a lower backbiting rate and the removal of the resulting midchain radical via transfer to CTA. The first effect is due to the minimum chain length required for backbiting to occur, and the second one is operative at high CTA/monomer ratios but becomes negligible at high concentrations of monomer. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


Han M.H.,CICenergigune | Gonzalo E.,CICenergigune | Singh G.,CICenergigune | Rojo T.,CICenergigune | Rojo T.,University of the Basque Country
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2015

The room temperature Na-ion secondary battery has been under focus lately due to its feasibility to compete against the already well-established Li-ion secondary battery. Although there are many obstacles to overcome before the Na-ion battery becomes commercially available, recent research discoveries corroborate that some of the cathode materials for the Na-ion battery have indeed indisputable advantages over its Li-ion counterparts. In this publication, a comprehensive review of layered oxides (NaTMO2, TM = Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, and a mixture of 2 or 3 elements) as a viable Na-ion battery cathode is presented. Single TM systems are well characterized not only for their electrochemical performance but also for their structural transitions during the cycle. Binary TM systems are investigated in order to address issues regarding low reversible capacity, capacity retention, operating voltage, and structural stability. As a consequence, some materials already have reached an energy density of 520 mW h g-1, which is comparable to that of LiFePO4. Furthermore, some ternary TM systems retained more than 72% of their capacity along with over 99.7% Coulombic efficiency for 275 cycles. The goal of this review is to present the development of Na layered oxide materials in the past as well as the state of the art today in order to emphasize the compatibility and durability of layered oxides as powerful candidates for Na-ion battery cathode materials. © 2015 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Planas E.,University of the Basque Country | Andreu J.,University of the Basque Country | Garate J.I.,University of the Basque Country | Martinez De Alegria I.,University of the Basque Country | Ibarra E.,University of the Basque Country
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2015

Microgrids are a suitable, reliable and clean solution to integrate distributed generation into the mains grid. Microgrids can present both AC and DC distribution lines. The type of distribution conditions the performance of distribution line and implies different features, advantages and disadvantages in each case. This paper analyses, in detail, all this parameters for AC and DC microgrids in order to identify and describe the available alternatives for building and configuring a microgrid. Elements and issues involved in the implementation and development, such as protections, power converters, economic analysis, and availability are discussed and described. This analysis constitutes a tool for selecting a suitable configuration of a microgrid adapted to the needs in each situation. In addition, the paper provides a picture of the current situation of microgrids, and identifies and proposes future research lines. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


De La Sen M.,University of the Basque Country
IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management | Year: 2016

This paper investigates some controllability properties of probabilistic discrete dynamic systems. Related approximate probabilistic controllability properties are also dealt with for the case when a nominal controllable system is subject to either parametrical perturbations or unmodeled dynamics. © 2015 IEEE.


Hueso R.,University of the Basque Country | Peralta J.,University of Lisbon | Sanchez-Lavega A.,University of the Basque Country
Icarus | Year: 2012

The Venus Express (VEX) mission has been in orbit to Venus for more than 4 years now. The Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument onboard VEX observes Venus in two channels (visible and infrared) obtaining spectra and multi-wavelength images of the planet that can be used to sample the atmosphere at different altitudes. Day-side images in the ultraviolet range (380nm) are used to study the dynamics of the upper cloud at 66-72km while night-side images in the near infrared (1.74μm) map the opacity of the lower cloud deck at 44-48km. Here we present a long-term analysis of the global atmospheric dynamics at these levels using a large selection of orbits from the VIRTIS-M dataset covering 860 Earth days that extends our previous work (Sánchez-Lavega, A. et al. [2008]. Geophys. Res. Lett. 35, L13204) and allows studying the variability of the global circulation at the two altitude levels. The atmospheric superrotation is evident with equatorial to mid-latitudes westward velocities of 100 and 60ms -1 in the upper and lower cloud layers. These zonal velocities are almost constant in latitude from the equator to 50°S. From 50°S to 90°S the zonal winds at both cloud layers decrease steadily to zero at the pole. Individual cloud tracked winds have errors of 3-10ms -1 with a mean of 5ms -1 and the standard deviations for a given latitude of our zonal and meridional winds are 9ms -1. The zonal winds in the upper cloud change with the local time in a way that can be interpreted in terms of a solar tide. The zonal winds in the lower cloud are stable at mid-latitudes to the tropics and present variability at subpolar latitudes apparently linked to the activity of the South polar vortex. While the upper cloud presents a net meridional motion consistent with the upper branch of a Hadley cell with peak velocity v=10ms -1 at 50°S, the lower cloud meridional motions are less organized with some cloud features moving with intense northwards and southwards motions up to v=±15ms -1 but, on average, with almost null global meridional motions at all latitudes. We also examine the long-term behavior of the winds at these two vertical layers by comparing our extended wind tracked data with results from previous missions. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Olano J.M.,University of Valladolid | Arzac A.,University of the Basque Country | Garcia-Cervigon A.I.,University of Valladolid | von Arx G.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Rozas V.,Mision Biologica de Galicia
New Phytologist | Year: 2013

Tree-ring anatomy reflects the year-by-year impact of environmental factors on tree growth. Up to now, research in this field has mainly focused on the hydraulic architecture, with ray parenchyma neglected despite the growing recognition of its relevance for xylem function. Our aim was to address this gap by exploring the potential of the annual patterns of xylem parenchyma as a climate proxy. We constructed ring-width and ray-parenchyma chronologies from 1965 to 2004 for 20 Juniperus thurifera trees growing in a Mediterranean continental climate. Chronologies were related to climate records by means of correlation, multiple regression and partial correlation analyses. Ray parenchyma responded to climatic conditions at critical stages during the xylogenetic process; namely, at the end of the previous year's xylogenesis (October) and at the onset of earlywood (May) and latewood formation (August). Ray parenchyma-based chronologies have potential to complement ring-width chronologies as a tool for climate reconstructions. Furthermore, medium- and low-frequency signals in the variation of ray parenchyma may improve our understanding of how trees respond to environmental fluctuations and to global change. © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.


Mujika I.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2012

Age-related fitness declines in athletes can be due to both aging and detraining. Very little is known about the physiological and performance decline of professional cyclists after retirement from competition. To gain some insight into the aging and detraining process of elite cyclists, 5-time Tour de France winner and Olympic Champion Miguel Indurain performed a progressive cycle-ergometer test to exhaustion 14 y after retirement from professional cycling (age 46 y, body mass 92.2 kg). His maximal values were oxygen uptake 5.29 L/min (57.4 mL · kg-1 · min-1), aerobic power output 450 W (4.88 W/kg), heart rate 191 beats/min, blood lactate 11.2 mM. Values at the individual lactate threshold (ILT): 4.28 L/min (46.4 mL · kg-1 · min-1), 329 W (3.57 W/kg), 159 beats/min, 2.4 mM. Values at the 4-mM onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA): 4.68 L/min (50.8 mL · kg-1 · min-1), 369 W (4.00 W/kg), 170 beats/min. Average cycling gross efficiency between 100 and 350 W was 20.1%, with a peak value of 22.3% at 350 W. Delta efficiency was 27.04%. Absolute maximal oxygen uptake and aerobic power output declined by 12.4% and 15.2% per decade, whereas power output at ILT and OBLA declined by 19.8% and 19.2%. Larger declines in maximal and submaximal values relative to body mass (19.4-26.1%) indicate that body composition changed more than aerobic characteristics. Nevertheless, Indurain's absolute maximal and submaximal oxygen uptake and power output still compare favorably with those exhibited by active professional cyclists. © 2012 Human Kinetics, Inc.


Onaindia M.,University of the Basque Country | Fernandez de Manuel B.,University of the Basque Country | Madariaga I.,University of the Basque Country | Rodriguez-Loinaz G.,University of the Basque Country
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

The trade-offs between biodiversity, carbon storage and water flow regulation were analysed in a biosphere reserve area. With the aim of proposing criteria for conservation plans that would include ecosystem services and biodiversity, a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based approach was designed to estimate and map the value of the biodiversity and ecosystem services. The actual protected areas, namely, coastal ecosystems and Cantabrian evergreen-oak forests, were found to be important for the overall biodiversity and included some important portions of the other services. The non-protected natural forests, such as the mixed-oak, beech and riparian forests, are biodiversity hotspots, and they contribute to the carbon storage and water flow regulation services. Thus, even though these areas are small, their inclusion in conservation proposals should be considered. The pine and eucalyptus plantations contribute to ecosystem services but have negative effects on biodiversity and cause environmental problems. In contrast to the plantations of fast-growing species, the increase in broadleaf plantations will exhibit a positive trend due to the benefits they provide. Our study highlights that the inclusion of ecosystem services in conservation planning has a great potential to provide opportunities for biodiversity protection; however, strategies of conservation based only on specific ecosystem services may be detrimental to the biodiversity and may cause other environmental problems. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Barambones O.,University of the Basque Country
Electric Power Systems Research | Year: 2015

This short communication is a discussion of the paper entitled "Adaptive sliding mode observer for induction motor using two-time-scale approach" by A. Mezouar, M.K. Fellah and S. Hadjeri published in the Electric Power Systems Research 77 (2007) pp. 604-618. In the discussed paper the authors present a current and flux sliding mode observer for the induction motor that also incorporates an adaptive law in order to estimate the inverse of the rotor time constant. However the proposed observer design uses the real value of the rotor time constant which is unknown and therefore cannot be used in the observer design. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Fernandez I.,Complutense University of Madrid | Cossio F.P.,University of the Basque Country
Current Organic Chemistry | Year: 2010

In this article, recent computational studies focused on double group transfer reactions and related processes are summarized. The reported results clearly indicate that these transformations can be considered as a subclass of pericyclic reactions occurring concertedly, with high activation barriers and synchronicity values, and through highly symmetric transition states. Interestingly, the aromatic nature of the latter saddle points has been also studied and discussed showing that they can be viewed as the in-plane analogues of sixmembered hetero-aromatic rings. Finally, the application of the so-called "Strain Model" on these important processes has demonstrated that the strain (the energy required to deform the reactants to the geometry they present in the corresponding transition state) is the major factor controlling the high barrier heights in spite of the stabilizing contribution of the aromaticity. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Galvez J.,University of Murcia | Guirado A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Computational Chemistry | Year: 2010

The different mechanisms, rotation, inversion, or intermediate mechanism, by which occur the topomerization of imine systems R2C=N-X have been studied by applying ab initio, B3LYP, and MP2 methods. The effect of a wide variety of substituents R and X on the isomerization pathway have been examined by computing fully optimized structures of the ground and transition states (136 isomers belonging to different imine families were studied and more than 300 transition structures were determined at various levels of theory). Energy barriers have been also obtained and it was found that the groups R and X have a strong influence on the type of mechanism involved and the activation energies. Thus, and depending on the type of substituents, transition state structures related to the following kinds of processes were found: pure inversion, intermediate mechanisms, rotation, and enhanced rotation (hyper-rotation). In turn, the corresponding activation energies range between very low (<10kcal/mol) and extremely high (>70kcal/mol) values. A simple index that allows us to quantify the percentage of inversion or rotation mechanism is proposed. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Skowron S.T.,University of Nottingham | Lebedeva I.V.,University of the Basque Country | Popov A.M.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Bichoutskaia E.,University of Nottingham
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

The presence of defects in graphene has an essential influence on its physical and chemical properties. The formation, behaviour and healing of defects are determined by energetic characteristics of atomic scale structure changes. In this article, we review recent studies devoted to atomic scale reactions during thermally activated and irradiation-induced processes in graphene. The formation energies of vacancies, adatoms and topological defects are discussed. Defect formation, healing and migration are quantified in terms of activation energies (barriers) for thermally activated processes and by threshold energies for processes occurring under electron irradiation. The energetics of defects in the graphene interior and at the edge is analysed. The effects of applied strain and a close proximity of the edge on the energetics of atomic scale reactions are overviewed. Particular attention is given to problems where further studies are required. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Ruiz-Moneo P.,Hospital Universitario Of Araba | Molano-Munoz J.,Hospital Universitario Of Araba | Prieto E.,Osatek S.A. Public Society | Algorta J.,Hospital Universitario Of Araba | Algorta J.,University of the Basque Country
Arthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery | Year: 2013

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether addition of plasma rich in growth factors (PRGF) improves functional and structural outcomes after arthroscopic repair of full-thickness rotator cuff tears. Methods: The study design was independent (investigator-sponsored), randomized in parallel groups, double-blind, and controlled with a conventional surgical technique clinical trial. Sixty-nine patients with rotator cuff tears were included. Subsequently, 6 patients in whom less than 50% footprint coverage of the repair was possible were excluded. Before arthroscopic repair, patients were randomly assigned to receive PRGF at the end of arthroscopy (injected first in the repaired area and then spread over the tendon suture) or only conventional surgery. Efficacy was evaluated 1 year after surgery using functional (UCLA score) and structural (arthro-MRI) assessments. Results: The baseline UCLA scores of the PRGF (14.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 13.7 to 16.12) and control (13.2; 95% CI: 13.3 to 16.3) groups were similar. After surgery, both groups showed an improvement in UCLA score, without significant differences between groups (23.2; CI 95%: 20.8 to 25.7, and 23.8; 95% CI: 21.0 to 26.7, respectively). Furthermore, no significant differences were observed in satisfaction 1 year after surgery. Tendon healing evaluated with arthro-magnetic resonance imaging showed total healing in 40% of cases, partial healing in 30%, and lack of healing in 30%, again with no significant differences between groups. No adverse events were recorded. Conclusions: The present clinical trial does not support the use of plasma rich in growth factors in the arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears because no differences in rotator cuff healing or improvements in function were observed in the 1-year postsurgical clinical and radiological follow-up assessments. Level of Evidence: Level I, randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial. © 2013 by the Arthroscopy Association of North America.


Cavaliere F.,University of the Basque Country | Urra O.,University of the Basque Country | Alberdi E.,University of the Basque Country | Matute C.,University of the Basque Country
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2012

We used multipotent stem cells (MSCs) derived from the young rat subventricular zone (SVZ) to study the effects of glutamate in oligodendrocyte maturation. Glutamate stimulated oligodendrocyte differentiation from SVZ-derived MSCs through the activation of specific N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits. The effect of glutamate and NMDA on oligodendrocyte differentiation was evident in both the number of newly generated oligodendrocytes and their morphology. In addition, the levels of NMDAR1 and NMDAR2A protein increased during differentiation, whereas NMDAR2B and NMDAR3 protein levels decreased, suggesting differential expression of NMDA receptor subunits during maturation. Microfluorimetry showed that the activation of NMDA receptors during oligodendrocyte differentiation elevated cytosolic calcium levels and promoted myelination in cocultures with neurons. Moreover, we observed that stimulation of MSCs by NMDA receptors induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which were negatively modulated by the NADPH inhibitor apocynin, and that the levels of ROS correlated with the degree of differentiation. Taken together, these findings suggest that ROS generated by NADPH oxidase by the activation of NMDA receptors promotes the maturation of oligodendrocytes and favors myelination. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Gonzalez-Eguino M.,University of the Basque Country
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2015

Abstract In the coming decades the energy sector will have to face three major transformations concerned with climate change, security of supply and energy poverty. The first two have been extensively analysed, but less attention has been paid to the third, even though it has a great influence on the lives of millions of people. This paper presents an overview on energy poverty, different ways of measuring it and its implications. According to the WHO, indoor pollution causes an estimated 1.3 million deaths per annum in low income countries associated with the use of biomass in inadequate cookstoves. Although energy poverty cannot be delinked from the broader, more complex problem of poverty in general, access to energy infrastructures would avoid its most serious consequences and would help to encourage autonomous development. According to the IEA, the cost of providing universal access to energy by 2030 would require annual investment of $35 billion, i.e. much less than the amount provided annually in subsidies to fossil fuels. Finally, the paper argues that energy and energy poverty need to be incorporated into the design of development strategies. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Sukhostavets O.V.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez J.M.,University of the Basque Country | Guslienko K.Y.,Ikerbasque
Applied Physics Express | Year: 2011

The low frequency dynamics of two coupled magnetic vortices oscillating in a pair of laterally patterned circular dots are calculated. The linearized Thiele equations of motion of the vortex core positions are applied to describe the dynamics. The main emphasis is put on the symmetry of the excited spin eigenmodes and the possibility to excite them by applying the variable driving magnetic fields in different directions. The importance of the high-order multipole terms in the interdot coupling integrals decomposition is underlined. Some recent experiments on the coupled magnetic vortex dynamics in patterned films are interpreted. © 2011 The Japan Society of Applied Physics.


Goitandia A.M.,Surface Chemistry Unit | Beobide G.,University of the Basque Country | Aranzabe E.,Surface Chemistry Unit | Aranzabe A.,Surface Chemistry Unit
Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells | Year: 2015

The performance of the vacuum infiltration technique to develop content-stable phase change composites is thoroughly analyzed for a representative spectrum of solid supports that cover a wide range of pore sizes, from micropores (>0.6 nm) to macropores (<200 μm). Particularly, the discussion of the results addresses how the porous features affect the amount of embeddable PCM, the phase change properties and the cycling stability of the composites. In terms of latent heat and cycling stability, conventionally used solid supports, such as bentonite, zeolites, diatomaceous earth and expanded graphite, appear to be less advantageous than mesoporous silica. The content stability provided by the nanosized pores of the composite developed with mesoporous silica reduces the risk of PCM leakage and makes this composite suitable for use in building materials without requiring a protective coating. The characterization of the phase change features is also accomplished by thermodiffractometric measurements on composite samples to analyze their main crystallographic properties. Finally, the effect of nano-confinement within the porous matrix on the phase change properties is discussed by focusing on the shifts observed for supercooling and melting point depression. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Castellano J.,University of the Basque Country | Casamichana D.,University of the Basque Country | Dellal A.,Olympique Lyonnais Football Club | Dellal A.,Tunisian Research Laboratory Sport Performance Optimization
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2013

The aim of the study was to examine the extent to which changing the game format (possession play vs. regulation goals and goalkeepers vs. small goals only) and the number of players (3 vs. 3, 5 vs. 5 and 7 vs. 7) influenced the physiological and physical demands of small-sided games (SSGs) in soccer in semiprofessional players. Fourteen semiprofessional male soccer players were monitored with global positioning system and heart rate devices. Heart rate, player load, distance covered, running speed, and the number of accelerations were recorded for 9 different SSGs. The results show that changes both in game format and the number of players affect the players' physiological and physical demands. Possession play places greater physiological and physical demands on players, although reducing the number of players only increases the physiological load. In the 7 vs. 7 games, changing the game format did not alter the heart rate responses. Finally, in the possession play format, changing the number of players did not produce significant differences in heart rate responses, although physical demands did decrease in line with a reduction in the number of players. These results should help coaches to understand how modifying different aspects of SSGs has a differential effect on the players' physiological and physical demands. Moreover, coaches in semiprofessional and amateur teams have now consistent information to design and optimize their training time in mixing the technical, tactical, and physical aspects. © 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Garmendia E.,Basque Center for Climate Change 3 | Garmendia E.,University of the Basque Country | Gamboa G.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

The use of multi-criteria evaluation tools in combination with participatory approaches provides a promising framework for integrating multiple interests and perspectives in the effort to provide sustainability. However, the inclusion of diverse viewpoints requires the "compression" of complex issues, a process that is controversial. Ensuring the quality of the compression process is a major challenge, especially with regards to retaining the essential elements of the various perspectives. Based on the lessons learned during a case study that assessed sustainable management options for the Urdaibai Estuary (Basque Country-Southern Europe), we propose a process in which the explicit elicitation of weights (the prioritisation of criteria) within a participatory multi-criteria evaluation serves as a quality assurance mechanism to check the robustness of the evaluation process. The results demonstrate that diverse individual priorities can be grouped in a reduced set of social preferences by means of cluster analysis reinforced with a deliberative appraisal among a wide variety of social actors. The approach presented retains relevant information regarding extreme and sometimes irreconcilable positions, allows an explicit social sensitivity analysis of the MCE process, and enables participants to learn from and reflect upon diverse social preferences without forcing their consensus. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Seena S.,University of Coimbra | Seena S.,University of Minho | Monroy S.,University of the Basque Country
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2016

Aquatic hyphomycetes play a key role in leaf litter decomposition and are mediators of organic matter turnover in streams. Molecular studies have shown that some aquatic fungi are also plant endophytes, however, more evidence is needed to evaluate their multiple ecological abilities. To date, little information is available on fungal lineages that might have undergone convergent evolution to adapt to multiple ecological modes. We examined the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary divergences of aquatic hyphomycetes, endophytic aquatic hyphomycetes and other fungal endophytes of riparian/terrestrial plants by analyzing ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequences retrieved from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Sequences with close phylogenetic affinity to aquatic fungi can occur as endophytes of terrestrial plants or in soil far from streams. To fully understand the ecological impact of aquatic hyphomycetes, we need to document and interpret their niches more broadly. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.


Basurko O.C.,AZTI Marine Research Division | Uriondo Z.,University of the Basque Country
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2015

Condition-Based Maintenance for diesel engines has contributed to reliability, energy-efficiency, and cost reduction. Both, the modelling of engine performance and fault detection require large amounts of data; usually, these are obtained on a test bench. In contrast, in operative engines, provoking faults onboard is not a viable proposition. Condition-Based Maintenance, fault detection and diagnosis need to be solved on engines installed in commercial vessels: the present contribution answers this need. A medium-speed diesel engine was monitored using thermocouples, pressure sensors, a propeller shaft torque meter and fuel oil flow-meters, during more than 10,000 running hours. Monitored data were used to train a three-layer feed-forward neural network, to generate the engine performance model; thus, determine the engine's fuel consumption and faulty conditions. The faulty conditions considered were: (1) a polluted turbine; (2) a dirty air filter/compressor; (3) a dirty air cooler; (4) and bad fuel injection, i.e. bad combustion. The sensor's precision and the experience gained by monitoring the engine served as a baseline to define the fault threshold values. The results proved the feasibility of installing a Condition-Based Maintenance, for vessels in operation, by monitoring engine performance and analysing the data with the aid of artificial neural networks. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Martin-Luengo B.,University of the Basque Country
The Spanish journal of psychology | Year: 2013

We examined the influence of the type of radio program on the memory for radio advertisements. We also investigated the role in memory of the typicality (high or low) of the elements of the products advertised. Participants listened to three types of programs (interesting, boring, enjoyable) with two advertisements embedded in each. After completing a filler task, the participants performed a true/false recognition test. Hits and false alarm rates were higher for the interesting and enjoyable programs than for the boring one. There were also more hits and false alarms for the high-typicality elements. The response criterion for the advertisements embedded in the boring program was stricter than for the advertisements in other types of programs. We conclude that the type of program in which an advertisement is inserted and the nature of the elements of the advertisement affect both the number of hits and false alarms and the response criterion, but not the accuracy of the memory.


Orive G.,University of the Basque Country | Orive G.,CIBER ISCIII | Santos E.,University of the Basque Country | Santos E.,CIBER ISCIII | And 4 more authors.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2014

Cell microencapsulation technology is likely to have an increasingly important role in new approaches rather than the classical and pioneering organ replacement. Apart from becoming a tool for protein and morphogen release and long-term drug delivery, it is becoming a new three-dimensional platform for stem cell research. Recent progress in the field has resulted in biodegradable scaffolds that are able to retain and release the cell content in different anatomical locations. Additional advances include the use biomimetic scaffolds that provide greater control over material-cell interactions and the development of more precise encapsulated cell-tracking systems. This review summarises the state of the art of cell microencapsulation and discusses the main directions and challenges of this field towards the controlled delivery of biological therapeutics. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Emerich D.F.,Nsgene Inc. | Orive G.,University of the Basque Country | Orive G.,CIBER ISCIII | Thanos C.,Cytosolve Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews | Year: 2014

Delivering therapeutic molecules, including trophic factor proteins, across the blood brain barrier to the brain parenchyma to treat chronic neurodegenerative diseases remains one of the great challenges in biology. To be effective, delivery needs to occur in a long-term and stable manner at sufficient quantities directly to the target region in a manner that is selective but yet covers enough of the target site to be efficacious. One promising approach uses cellular implants that produce and deliver therapeutic molecules directly to the brain region of interest. Implanted cells can be precisely positioned into the desired region and can be protected from host immunological attack by encapsulating them and by surrounding them within an immunoisolatory, semipermeable capsule. In this approach, cells are enclosed within a semiporous capsule with a perm selective membrane barrier that admits oxygen and required nutrients and releases bioactive cell secretions while restricting passage of larger cytotoxic agents from the host immune defense system. Recent advances in human cell line development have increased the levels of secreted therapeutic molecules from encapsulated cells, and membrane extrusion techniques have led to the first ever clinical demonstrations of long-term survival and function of encapsulated cells in the brain parenchyma. As such, cell encapsulation is capable of providing a targeted, continuous, de novo synthesized source of very high levels of therapeutic molecules that can be distributed over significant portions of the brain. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Marquez J.,University of the Basque Country | Olaso E.,University of the Basque Country
Histology and Histopathology | Year: 2014

Until recently, collagen interactions with cells had been ascribed to integrins. The identification of the Discoidin Domain Receptor (DDR) family as collagen receptors represents a new paradigm in the regulation of collagen-cell interactions. How DDR signaling is biochemically linked to specific cell regulatory functions remains largely unknown. Moreover, the characteristic slow and substained phosphorylation of DDRs and the elevated expression of DDR2 in the myofibroblasts of healing wounds suggest a role for DDR2 in physiological and pathological wound healing. In fact, DDR2 signaling regulates cell proliferation and extracellular matrix synthesis, which are key aspects of fibroblast contribution to tissue healing. In this review we summarize evidence in favor of this concept. © 2014, Histology and Histopathology, All rights reserved.


Jbabdi S.,University of Oxford | Sotiropoulos S.N.,University of Oxford | Savio A.M.,University of the Basque Country | Grana M.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Magnetic Resonance in Medicine | Year: 2012

In this article, we highlight an issue that arises when using multiple b-values in a model-based analysis of diffusion MR data for tractography. The non-monoexponential decay, commonly observed in experimental data, is shown to induce overfitting in the distribution of fiber orientations when not considered in the model. Extra fiber orientations perpendicular to the main orientation arise to compensate for the slower apparent signal decay at higher b-values. We propose a simple extension to the ball and stick model based on a continuous gamma distribution of diffusivities, which significantly improves the fitting and reduces the overfitting. Using in vivo experimental data, we show that this model outperforms a simpler, noise floor model, especially at the interfaces between brain tissues, suggesting that partial volume effects are a major cause of the observed non-monoexponential decay. This model may be helpful for future data acquisition strategies that may attempt to combine multiple shells to improve estimates of fiber orientations in white matter and near the cortex. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Alonso C.,University of the Basque Country | Martinez De Marigorta E.,University of the Basque Country | Rubiales G.,University of the Basque Country | Palacios F.,University of the Basque Country
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2015

The incorporation of a trifluoromethyl group into an organic substrate is an important strategy in preparative organic chemistry. Many biologically active compounds contain a trifluoromethyl group as the essential motif, and the trifluoromethyl group has been particularly difficult to install, in part because the reactive intermediates that are generated during trifluoromethylation reactions are unstable under the conditions necessary for the reactions to proceed. The direct trifluoromethylation of unsaturated substrates such as allyl, alkene, and alkyne derivatives in both stoichiometric and catalytic reactions has attracted special interest. Nevertheless, the direct trifluoromethylation of aromatic systems has often the drawback of generating mixtures of regioisomers. The use of new prefunctionalized aromatic compounds bearing directing groups improves the reliability and increases the regioselectivity of these processes in some cases. Excellent challenges for the future imply a better understanding of their mechanism pathways along with the development of new simple trifluoromethylating agents, the design of new cheap catalytic systems and metal-free strategies.


The Internet and virtual social networks are new technologies that have had most impact on young people and have provided many benefits to their users. However, some people become obsessed with the Internet, are unable to control their use of it, and may put their work and relation-ships in jeopardy. This paper addresses the issue of the maladaptive use of these technologies. Internet use and abuse are related to psychosocial variables, such as psychological vulnerability, life stress and family and social support. There are some specific risk factors for abuse of virtual social networks among young people. Certain alarm signs appear before a hobby becomes an addiction. The concept of "Internet addiction" has been proposed as an explanation for uncontrollable and harmful use of this technology. Symptoms of excessive Internet use can be identified with the criteria used to diagnose other chemical or non-chemical addictions. Prevention strategies in both home and school settings should be implemented on the basis of behavioral risk factors and demographic characteristics. The goal of treatment for this type of addiction, unlike the case of other addictions, cannot be total abstinence, but rather controlled use. The psychological treatment of choice appears to be stimulus control and gradual exposure to Internet, followed by a cognitive-behavioral intervention in relapse prevention. There is a need for more information about young Internet abusers and about the most appropriate programs for treating them. More research is required on the enhancement of motivation for treatment and the types of brief intervention available in relation to the problematic use of Internet among young people. The implications of the present review for clinical practice and possible future research directions in this field are discussed, as well as the problems as yet unsolved.


Bandos I.,University of the Basque Country | Bandos I.,Ikerbasque
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The covariant and kappa-symmetric action for superstring in direct product of two flat D= 10 N=1 superspaces is presented. It is given by the sum of supersymmetric generalization of two copies of chiral boson actions constructed with the use of the Pasti-Sorokin-Tonin (PST) technique. The chirality of 8 'left' bosons and 8 'left' fermions and the anti-chirality of their 'right' counterparts are obtained as gauge fixed version of the equations of motion, so that the physical degrees of freedom are essentially those of the II Green-Schwarz superstring. Our action is manifestly T-duality invariant as the fields describing oscillating and winding modes enter it on equal footing. © 2015 The Author.


Abrego N.,University of the Basque Country | Salcedo I.,University of the Basque Country
Fungal Ecology | Year: 2015

Despite advances in phylogenetic research and the number of ecological studies focusing on wood-inhabiting fungi, these species still represent a taxonomically poorly known group of organisms. In this study, our overall aim was to detect and characterize the understudied wood-inhabiting fungal groups in the beech forests of Navarre (northern Spain). We present a list of 326 wood-inhabiting fungal species, out of which 36% are first regional records. Comparing the already recorded fungal species in this territory and the list of firstly recorded species, we found that field-mycologists tend to focus on certain fungal groups, and in general rare species are less frequently encountered. Particularly, species with corticioid fruit body type have been especially overlooked in this territory. We attribute the high proportion of new regional records to the use of a systematic sampling design. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The British Mycological Society.


Senovilla J.M.M.,University of the Basque Country
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2015

I revisit a known solution of the Einstein field equations to show that it describes the formation of non-spherical black holes by the collapse of pure electromagnetic monochromatic radiation. Both positive and negative masses are feasible without ever violating the dominant energy condition. The solution can also be used to model the destruction of naked singularities and the evaporation of white holes by emission or reception of light. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Sousa K.,University of the Basque Country | Ortiz P.,Leiden University
Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2015

We consider the perturbative stability of non-supersymmetric configurations in =1 supergravity models with a spectator sector not involved in supersymmetry breaking. Motivated by the supergravity description of complex structure moduli in Large Volume Compactifications of type IIB-superstrings, we concentrate on models where the interactions are consistent with the supersymmetric truncation of the spectator fields, and we describe their couplings by a random ensemble of generic supergravity theories. We characterise the mass spectrum of the spectator fields in terms of the statistical parameters of the ensemble and the geometry of the scalar manifold. Our results show that the non-generic couplings between the spectator and the supersymmetry breaking sectors can stabilise all the tachyons which typically appear in the spectator sector before including the supersymmetry breaking effects, and we find large regions of the parameter space where the supersymmetric sector remains stable with probability close to one. We discuss these results about the stability of the supersymmetric sector in two physically relevant situations: non-supersymmetric Minkowski vacua, and slow-roll inflation driven by the supersymmetry breaking sector. For the class of models we consider, we have reproduced the regimes in which the KKLT and Large Volume Scenarios stabilise all supersymmetric moduli. We have also identified a new regime in which the supersymmetric sector is stabilised at a very robust type of dS minimum without invoking a large mass hierarchy.


Jimenez J.B.,Leuven University | Salzano V.,University of the Basque Country | Lazkoz R.,University of the Basque Country
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We review the appropriateness of using SNIa observations to detect potential signatures of anisotropic expansion in the Universe. We focus on Union2 and SNLS3 SNIa datasets and use the hemispherical comparison method to detect possible anisotropic features. Unlike some previous works where non-diagonal elements of the covariance matrix were neglected, we use the full covariance matrix of the SNIa data, thus obtaining more realistic and not underestimated errors. As a matter of fact, the significance of previously claimed detections of a preferred direction in the Union2 dataset completely disappears once we include the effects of using the full covariance matrix. Moreover, we also find that such a preferred direction is aligned with the orthogonal direction of the SDSS observational plane and this suggests a clear indication that the SDSS subsample of the Union2 dataset introduces a significant bias, making the detected preferred direction unphysical. We thus find that current SNIa surveys are inappropriate to test anisotropic features due to their highly non-homogeneous angular distribution in the sky. In addition, after removal of the highest inhomogeneous sub-samples, the number of SNIa is too low. Finally, we take advantage of the particular distribution of SNLS SNIa sub-sample in the SNLS3 data set, in which the observations were taken along four different directions. We fit each direction independently and find consistent results at the 1σ level. Although the likelihoods peak at relatively different values of Ωm, the low number of data along each direction gives rise to large errors so that the likelihoods are sufficiently broad as to overlap within 1σ. © 2014 The Authors.


Grzechnik A.,University of the Basque Country | Friese K.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2010

The pressure-induced crystal structure of lead sulfide (PbS) above 2.2GPa has been studied with single-crystal x-ray diffraction in a diamond anvil cell at room temperature. It has been found to be twinned and of the TlI type (Cmcm, Z = 4), in which the Pb atoms are surrounded by seven S atoms in a capped trigonal prism coordination. The twin laws in relation to the parent B1 (NaCl) type structure (, Z = 4) at atmospheric pressure have been discussed. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Senovilla J.M.M.,University of the Basque Country | Garfinkle D.,Oakland University | Garfinkle D.,University of Michigan
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2015

We review the first modern singularity theorem, published by Penrose in 1965. This is the first genuine post-Einsteinian result in general relativity, where the fundamental and fruitful concept of the closed trapped surface was introduced. We include historical remarks, an appraisal of the theorem's impact, and relevant current and future work that belongs to its legacy. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Brizuela D.,University of the Basque Country
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2015

The evolution of polar perturbations on a spherical background spacetime is analyzed. The matter content is assumed to be a massless scalar field. This provides a nontrivial dynamics to the background and the linearized equations of motion become much more involved than in the vacuum case. The analysis is performed in a Hamiltonian framework, which makes explicit the dynamical role of each of the variables. After performing a number of canonical transformations, it is possible to completely decouple the different perturbative degrees of freedom into constrained, pure-gauge and gauge-invariant variables. In particular, two master variables are obtained: one corresponding to the polar mode of the gravitational wave, whereas the other encodes the complete physical information about the perturbative matter degree of freedom. The evolution equations for these master variables are obtained and simplified. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Reina B.,University of the Basque Country | Vera R.,University of the Basque Country
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2015

Hartle's model describes the equilibrium configuration of a rotating isolated compact body in perturbation theory up to second order in general relativity. The interior of the body is a perfect fluid with a barotropic equation of state, no convective motions and rigid rotation. That interior is matched across its surface to an asymptotically flat vacuum exterior. Perturbations are taken to second order around a static and spherically symmetric background configuration. Apart from the explicit assumptions, the perturbed configuration is constructed upon some implicit premises, in particular the continuity of the functions describing the perturbation in terms of some background radial coordinate. In this work we revisit the model within a modern general and consistent theory of perturbative matchings to second order, which is independent of the coordinates and gauges used to describe the two regions to be joined. We explore the matching conditions up to second order in full. The main particular result we present is that the radial function m0 (in the setting of the original work) of the second order perturbation tensor, contrary to the original assumption, presents a jump at the surface of the star, which is proportional to the value of the energy density of the background configuration there. As a consequence, the change in mass δM needed by the perturbed configuration to keep the value of the central energy density unchanged must be amended. We also discuss some subtleties that arise when studying the deformation of the star. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Senovilla J.M.M.,University of the Basque Country | Torres R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2015

We provide a general formalism that allows us to analyze the phenomenon of tunneling in arbitrary spacetimes. We show that a flux of particles produced by tunneling through general marginally trapped surfaces (MTSs) may be perceived by some privileged observers. We discuss how this particle perception can be related to Hawking/Unruh radiation in specific cases. Our approach naturally leads to an expression for the effective surface gravity of MTSs. The procedure is applicable to general astrophysical and cosmological dynamical situations. Some practical examples for known and new cases are provided. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


De Rivas B.,University of the Basque Country | Lopez-Fonseca R.,University of the Basque Country | Jimenez-Gonzalez C.,University of the Basque Country | Gutierrez-Ortiz J.I.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Catalysis | Year: 2011

Several nanocrystalline Co3O4 catalysts were investigated for their activity and selectivity during the oxidation of 1,2-dichloroethane, which was selected as a model chlorinated volatile organic compound. A wide number of synthesis routes starting from cobalt(II) nitrate were examined, namely calcination of the precursor salt, solid-state reaction, precipitation and sol-gel. The catalysts prepared by precipitation decomposed the chlorinated feed at the lowest temperatures. Activity was observed to be chiefly governed by a small crystallite size which may give rise to more easily accessible active sites (oxygen -O- or O2-- species), which were not present on the more highly crystalline Co3O 4 catalysts. Additionally, surface Lewis acidity played a relevant catalytic role. Interestingly, the behaviour of some of the nanocrystalline oxides was superior to that of supported noble metal catalysts and other bulk oxide catalysts. Conversion to deep oxidation products was complete (CO 2, HCl and Cl2), and no appreciable deactivation with time on stream was noticed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Barcelo-Coblijn G.,Hospital Universitari Son Espases | Fernandez J.A.,University of the Basque Country
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2015

These are definitively exciting times for membrane lipid researchers. Once considered just as the cell membrane building blocks, the important role these lipids play is steadily being acknowledged. The improvement occurred in mass spectrometry techniques (MS) allows the establishment of the precise lipid composition of biological extracts. However, to fully understand the biological function of each individual lipid species, we need to know its spatial distribution and dynamics. In the past 10 years, the field has experienced a profound revolution thanks to the development of MS-based techniques allowing lipid imaging (MSI). Images reveal and verify what many lipid researchers had already shown by different means, but none as convincing as an image: each cell type presents a specific lipid composition, which is highly sensitive to its physiological and pathological state. While these techniques will help to place membrane lipids in the position they deserve, they also open the black box containing all the unknown regulatory mechanisms accounting for such tailored lipid composition. Thus, these results urges to different disciplines to redefine their paradigm of study by including the complexity revealed by the MSI techniques. © 2015 Barceló-Coblijn and Fernández.


Aguirre L.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of physiology and pharmacology : an official journal of the Polish Physiological Society | Year: 2013

Statins are a family of drugs used in hypercholesterolemia. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of statins on body and liver fat accumulation in obese Zucker rats. Seventy Zucker (fa/fa) rats were divided into seven groups. Rats from six statin groups were treated with pravastatin, simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, fluvastatin and lovastatin respectively, at a dose of 0.6 mg/kg body weight/day. After 6 weeks, liver and white adipose tissue from intra-abdominal and subcutaneous locations were dissected and weighed. Subcutaneous adipose tissue from rosuvastatin, atorvastatin, fluvastatin and lovastatin treated rats was significantly increased. Fatty acid synthase (FAS) activity was increased by the administration of fluvastatin and lovastatin, as was glucose-6-P dehydrogenase (G6PDH) by the administration of atorvastatin and lovastatin. No changes were observed in malic enzyme (ME) activity. Furthermore, heparin-releasable lipoprotein lipase (HR-LPL) was increased in all groups where the subcutaneous depot was increased, and total LPL increased only in rosuvastatin and fluvastatin-treated groups. With regard to liver, there were no changes in weight but the amount of triacylglycerols was increased in rosuvastatin group, as well as its liver damage was higher. In this group FAS and G6PDH activities were increased and no changes were observed in ME, acyl CoA oxidase (ACO) and carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1a (CPT-1a) activities. All statins, with the exception of simvastatin, worsen insulin resistance. These results show that statins have different effects on body fat accumulation. Moreover, rosuvastatin also shows a prosteatotic effect. These results should be taken into account for statin choice in prescription.


Rezabal E.,University of the Basque Country | Schafer T.,University of the Basque Country | Schafer T.,Ikerbasque
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2013

Understanding the nature of the inter- and intramolecular interactions of solutes and ionic liquid (IL) ion pairs from an electronic point of view is necessary for explaining the mechanisms behind the selectivity of ILs toward a certain solute. Due to the complexity of the underlying physicochemical interactions, and aiming at a reliable representation of the solute-IL interactions, the model system chosen in this work is formed by one single ion pair and the solute of interest, in the gas phase. Ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) techniques are used for ensuring a complete scan of the potential energy surface. A representative number of structures extracted from this trajectory are optimized using more sophisticated DFT methods. Posterior bond analysis (with natural bonding orbitals (NBO), and Morokuma-like energy partition) provide a detailed picture of the solute-IL bond nature for a set of various solutes, anions, and cations, to find a relationship between the gas phase electronic characteristics and the experimentally observed behavior. The approximation to the ILs solvation properties employing this very basic model shows that, on one side, the specific interaction of the solute with methylimidazolium-based IL is a reliable indication of the overall affinity between the bulk IL and the solute, and can be considered a predictive tool for the bulk behavior. Furthermore, the systematic study carried out has permitted the rational comprehension of such properties and thus permits us to extend it to other systems. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Irigoyen E.,University of the Basque Country | Minano G.,University of the Basque Country
Neurocomputing | Year: 2013

Current medical tendencies in the rehabilitation field are trying to physically rehabilitate patients. Thus, people with cardiovascular illnesses need to exercise their injured systems in order to improve themselves. In training, each person has a different heart rate response according to the demand of physical effort. Hence, it is necessary to know the relationship between the effort (training device power/resistance) and the patient's heartbeat for an optimal training configuration. This relationship has non-linear and complex dynamics, being a complicated identification problem solved by classical techniques. Soft Computing techniques based on artificial neural networks may be a way to implement more efficient control strategies in order to obtain a suitable power demand each and every time. It is necessary to be aware of the pace, length and intensity of the exercises in order to be effective and safe. In this paper, we present the results of the identification of the relationship in time, between the required exercise (machine resistance) and the heart rate of the patient in medical effort tests, using a NARX neural network model. In the experimental stage, test data have been obtained by exercising with a cyclo-ergometer in two different tests: Power Step Response (PSR) and Conconi. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Grana M.,University of the Basque Country | Gonzalez-Acuna A.I.,University of the Basque Country
Neurocomputing | Year: 2013

From a practical industrial point of view parsimonious classifiers based on dendritic computing (DC) have two advantages: First they are implemented using only additive and min/max operators. They can be implemented in simple processors and be extremely fast providing classification responses. Second, parsimonious models improve generalization. In this paper we develop a formulation of dendritic classifiers based on lattice kernels and we train them using a direct Monte Carlo approach and a Sparse Bayesian Learning. We compare the results of both kinds of training with the relevance vector machines (RVM) on a collection of benchmark datasets. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Zuniga L.,University of the Basque Country | Calvo B.,University of the Basque Country
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety | Year: 2010

Biosimilars cannot be authorised based on the same requirements that apply to generic medicines. Despite the fact that the biosimilar and reference drug can show similar efficacy, the biosimilar may exhibit different safety profile in terms of nature, seriousness or incidence of adverse reactions. However, the data from pre-authorisation clinical studies normally are insufficient to identify all potential differences. Therefore, clinical safety of similar biological medicinal products must be monitored closely on an ongoing basis during the post-approval phase including continued risk-benefit assessment. The biosimilar applicant must provide the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) with a risk management plan (EU-RMP) and pharmacovigilance programme with its application, including a description of the potential safety issues associated with the similar biological medicinal product that may be a result of differences in the manufacturing process from the reference biologic. The most critical safety concern relating to biopharmaceuticals (including biosimilars) is immunogenicity. Risk management applies scientifically based methodologies to identify, assess, communicate and minimise risk throughout a drug's life cycle so as to establish and maintain a favourable benefit-risk profile in patients. The risk management plan for biosimilars should focus on heightens the pharmacovigilance measures, identify immunogenicity risk and implement special post-marketing surveillance. Although International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) served as a useful tool in worldwide pharmacovigilance, for biologicals they should not be relied upon as the only means of product identification. Biologicals should always be commercialised with a brand name or the INN plus the manufacturer's name. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Lopez-Eiguren A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

In this work we calibrate two different analytic models of semilocal strings by constraining the values of their free parameters. In order to do so, we use data obtained from the largest and most accurate field theory simulations of semilocal strings to date, and compare several key properties with the predictions of the models. As this is still work in progress, we present some preliminary results together with descriptions of the methodology we are using in the characterisation of semilocal string networks. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


Senovilla J.M.M.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

Gravitational double layers, unlike their classical electromagnetic counterparts, are thought to be forbidden in gravity theories. It has been recently shown, however, that they are feasible in, for instance, gravity theories with a Lagrangian quadratic in the curvature. This is surprising with many potential consequences and the possibility of new physical behaviours. While a clear interpretation seems elusive, several lines of research are open. I present the field equations for double layers, the new physical quantities arising, and several explicit examples. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


Larranaga P.,Computational Intelligence Group | Karshenas H.,Computational Intelligence Group | Bielza C.,Computational Intelligence Group | Santana R.,University of the Basque Country
Information Sciences | Year: 2013

Thanks to their inherent properties, probabilistic graphical models are one of the prime candidates for machine learning and decision making tasks especially in uncertain domains. Their capabilities, like representation, inference and learning, if used effectively, can greatly help to build intelligent systems that are able to act accordingly in different problem domains. Bayesian networks are one of the most widely used class of these models. Some of the inference and learning tasks in Bayesian networks involve complex optimization problems that require the use of meta-heuristic algorithms. Evolutionary algorithms, as successful problem solvers, are promising candidates for this purpose. This paper reviews the application of evolutionary algorithms for solving some NP-hard optimization tasks in Bayesian network inference and learning. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Achurra A.,University of the Basque Country | Erseus C.,Gothenburg University
Invertebrate Systematics | Year: 2013

Individuals of the aquatic oligochaete species Stylodrilus heringianus Clapar̀de, 1862 were collected across a part of this species' distribution range in Sweden, Estonia, Great Britain and Spain to test whether they represent a single metapopulation or several separately evolving lineages. Using sequences of the barcoding gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and two nuclear genes (internal transcribed spacer region and histone 3), three different approaches were conducted: pairwise distance-method, Bayesian inference and network analysis. Both the COI phylogeny and network analyses were concordant in recovering six haplotype clusters, which showed a maximum genetic distance of 7.7% (K2P) among each other. Nevertheless, nuclear genes failed to confirm any lineage separation, and we conclude that the sampled specimens all belong to the same species. A phylogeographic history with allopatric divergence and secondary contact is suggested to explain this intraspecific pattern of mitochondrial divergence and nuclear non-divergence. The study shows that a mitochondrial single-locus approach can be problematic for the accurate delimitation of species, and we emphasise the need for nuclear genes as supplementary markers, when taxonomic resolution is assessed with COI barcodes. © CSIRO 2011.


Del Pozo-Rodriguez A.,University of the Basque Country | Delgado D.,University of the Basque Country | Gascon A.R.,University of the Basque Country | Solinis M.A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2013

This review highlights the application of lipid nanoparticles (Solid Lipid Nanoparticles, Nanostructured Lipid Carriers, or Lipid Drug Conjugates) as effective drug/gene delivery systems for retinal diseases. Most drug products for ocular disease treatment are marketed as eye drop formulations but, due to ocular barriers, the drug concentration in the retina hardly ever turns out to be effective. Up to this date, several delivery systems have been designed to deliver drugs to the retina. Drug delivery strategies may be classified into 3 groups: noninvasive techniques, implants, and colloidal carriers. The best known systems for drug delivery to the posterior eye are intravitreal implants; in fact, some of them are being clinically used. However, their long-term accumulation might impact the patient's vision. On the contrary, colloidal drug delivery systems (microparticles, liposomes, or nanoparticles) can be easily administered in a liquid form. Nanoparticular systems diffuse rapidly and are better internalized in ocular tissues than microparticles. In comparison with liposomes, nanoparticles have a higher loading capacity and are more stable in biological fluids and during storage. In addition, their capacity to adhere to the ocular surface and interact with the endothelium makes these drug delivery systems interesting as new therapeutic tools in ophthalmology. Within the group of nanoparticles, those composed of lipids (Solid Lipid Nanoparticles, Nanostructred Lipid Carriers, and Lipid Drug Conjugates) are more biocompatible, easy to produce at large scale, and they may be autoclaved or sterilized. The present review summarizes scientific results that evidence the potential application of lipid nanoparticles as drug delivery systems for the retina and also as nonviral vectors in gene therapy of retina disorders, although much more effort is still needed before these lipidic systems could be available in the market. © 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Dornaika F.,University of the Basque Country | Dornaika F.,Ikerbasque | Assoum A.,Lebanese University
Neurocomputing | Year: 2013

In this paper, we address the graph-based linear manifold learning method for object recognition. The proposed method is called enhanced Locality Preserving Projections. The main contribution is a parameterless computation of the affinity matrix that draws on the notion of meaningful and adaptive neighbors. It integrates two interesting properties: (i) being entirely parameter-free and (ii) the mapped data are uncorrelated. The proposed method has been integrated in the framework of three graph-based embedding techniques: Locality Preserving Projections (LPP), Orthogonal Locality Preserving Projections (OLPP), and supervised LPP (SLPP). Recognition tasks on six public face databases show an improvement over the results of LPP, OLPP, and SLPP. The proposed approach could also be applied to other category of objects. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Mujika I.,USP Araba Sport Clinic | Mujika I.,University of the Basque Country
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports | Year: 2010

The training load is markedly reduced during the taper so that athletes recover from intense training and feel energized before major events. Load reduction can be achieved by reducing the intensity, volume and/or frequency of training, but with reduced training load there may be a risk of detraining. Training at high intensities before the taper plays a key role in inducing maximal physiological and performance adaptations in both moderately trained subjects and highly trained athletes. High-intensity training can also maintain or further enhance training-induced adaptations while athletes reduce their training before a major competition. On the other hand, training volume can be markedly reduced without a negative impact on athletes' performance. Therefore, the training load should not be reduced at the expense of intensity during the taper. Intense exercise is often a performance-determining factor during match play in team sports, and high-intensity training can also elicit major fitness gains in team sport athletes. A tapering and peaking program before the start of a league format championship or a major tournament should be characterized by high-intensity activities. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Brizuela D.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

We compare the classical and quantum description of systems with one degree of freedom with an effective formalism based on statistical moments. Within this formalism the similarities and differences between the classical and quantum evolution of an initial probability distribution are made apparent. We revisit the application of this formalism to a simple cosmological model: the homogeneous and isotropic universe with a massless scalar field as matter content and with positive cosmological constant. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.


Ozalp V.C.,University of the Basque Country
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2012

An interferometry-based method was developed for detection of a small molecule, argininamide. The quantification of argininamide was demonstrated using aptamers immobilized on silicone oxynitride sensor surface via avidin-biotin binding. The aptamers formed a thin film over avidin layer corresponding to a thickness of 1.2 nm, consistent with a molecular positioning of multipoint attachment to the surface. The binding of argininamide did not cause any significant changes in the thickness of the aptamer film, suggesting that the specific binding did not affect the overall conformation of the aptamer molecules after adaptive rearrangement of aptamer molecules. However, the binding results in clearly detectable changes in mass calculated from multiple parameters determined by mass deposition and structural changes. The limit of detection of the developed sensor was determined to be 5 μM. The sensor can monitor real-time changes in argininamide concentrations with high reliability and sensitivity. The model system demonstrated that a combined measurement considering structural and mass changes through interferometry-based techniques can overcome one of the major problems associated with real-time monitoring of small mass analytes. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Plattner H.,University of Konstanz | Verkhratsky A.,University of Manchester | Verkhratsky A.,Ikerbasque | Verkhratsky A.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2013

Early in evolution, Ca2+ emerged as the most important second messenger for regulating widely different cellular functions. In eukaryotic cells Ca2+ signals originate from several sources, i.e. influx from the outside medium, release from internal stores or from both. In mammalian cells, Ca2+-release channels represented by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors and ryanodine receptors (InsP3R and RyR, respectively) are the most important. In unicellular organisms and plants, these channels are characterised with much less precision. In the ciliated protozoan, Paramecium tetraurelia, 34 molecularly distinct Ca2+-release channels that can be grouped in six subfamilies, based on criteria such as domain structure, pore, selectivity filter and activation mechanism have been identified. Some of these channels are genuine InsP3Rs and some are related to RyRs. Others show some - but not all - features that are characteristic for one or the other type of release channel. Localisation and gene silencing experiments revealed widely different - yet distinct - localisation, activation and functional engagement of the different Ca2+-release channels. Here, we shall discuss early evolutionary routes of Ca2+-release machinery in protozoa and demonstrate that detailed domain analyses and scrutinised functional analyses are instrumental for in-depth evolutionary mapping of Ca2+-release channels in unicellular organisms. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Mezzacapo A.,University of the Basque Country | Casanova J.,University of the Basque Country | Lamata L.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We propose the implementation of the Holstein model by means of digital methods in a linear chain of trapped ions. We show how the simulation fidelity scales with the generation of phononic excitations. We propose a decomposition and a stepwise trapped-ion implementation of the Holstein Hamiltonian. Via numerical simulations, we study how the protocol is affected by realistic gates. Finally, we show how measurements of the size of the simulated polaron can be performed. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Casanova J.,University of the Basque Country | Mezzacapo A.,University of the Basque Country | Lamata L.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,University of the Basque Country | Solano E.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We propose a method of simulating efficiently many-body interacting fermion lattice models in trapped ions, including highly nonlinear interactions in arbitrary spatial dimensions and for arbitrarily distant couplings. We map products of fermionic operators onto nonlocal spin operators and decompose the resulting dynamics in efficient steps with Trotter methods, yielding an overall protocol that employs only polynomial resources. The proposed scheme can be relevant in a variety of fields such as condensed-matter or high-energy physics, where quantum simulations may solve problems intractable for classical computers. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Barambones O.,University of the Basque Country
Energies | Year: 2012

The efficiency of the wind power conversions systems can be greatly improved using an appropriate control algorithm. In this work, a sliding mode control for variable speed wind turbine that incorporates a doubly fed induction generator is described. The electrical system incorporates a wound rotor induction machine with back-to-back three phase power converter bridges between its rotor and the grid. In the presented design the so-called vector control theory is applied, in order to simplify the electrical equations. The proposed control scheme uses stator flux-oriented vector control for the rotor side converter bridge control and grid voltage vector control for the grid side converter bridge control. The stability analysis of the proposed sliding mode controller under disturbances and parameter uncertainties is provided using the Lyapunov stability theory. Finally simulated results show, on the one hand, that the proposed controller provides high-performance dynamic characteristics, and on the other hand, that this scheme is robust with respect to the uncertainties that usually appear in the real systems. © 2012 by the author.


Matute C.,University of the Basque Country
Cell Calcium | Year: 2010

Calcium (Ca2+) dyshomeostasis is a major event in the pathophysiology of white matter disorders of the brain and spinal cord. All cellular components of white matter, including macroglial cells and axons, are endowed with membrane Ca2+-permeable receptors and channels lodged in the cell membrane, as well as store-operated channels and pumps. Intracellular Ca2+ overload resulting from deregulated activity of channels, such as those opened by glutamate and ATP, is deleterious to glia and axons. In this review, I summarize recent advances in our understanding of white matter Ca2+ dyshomeostasis in experimental paradigms which are relevant to stroke, perinatal ischemia, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer's disease and traumatic injury, and discuss some of the clinical implications of these findings. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Castellano J.,University of the Basque Country | Casamichana D.,University of Malaga
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine | Year: 2010

Although beach soccer has become increasingly popular in recent years very little scientific research has been conducted into the sport. A pilot study was carried out with the aim of examining the physiological (heart rate) and physical (motion analysis) responses of beach soccer players during competitive matches. Ten players (age 25.5 ±0.5 years; height 1.80 ± 0.08 m; weight 78.2 ± 5.6 kg.) were studied over five beach soccer matches. The physiological demands were analysed by measuring heart rate (HR) using telemetric devices, while the physical profile was evaluated by recording motion and speed by means of GPS devices. During competitive matches, players obtained a HRmean of 165.2 bpm (86.5% HRmax), with 59.3% of the time participating (TP) corresponding to values above 90% of the HRmax. The distance covered per minute of participation was 97.7 m, with 9.5% of this distance corresponding to high-intensity running and 2.5% to sprint; the work: rest ratio was 1.4:1 and the maximum speed 21.7 km·h-1. These results showed that beach soccer is an intermittent physical activity of greater intensity than other team games. It requires a major contribution from the anaerobic system as emphasis is placed on players making quick bursts of high-intensity activity separated by brief rest periods. © Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.


Gorria C.,University of the Basque Country | Alejo M.A.,University of the Basque Country | Vega L.,University of the Basque Country
Journal of Computational Physics | Year: 2013

Pseudospectral collocation methods and finite difference methods have been used for approximating an important family of soliton like solutions of the mKdV equation. These solutions present a structural instability which make difficult to approximate their evolution in long time intervals with enough accuracy. The standard numerical methods do not guarantee the convergence to the proper solution of the initial value problem and often fail by approaching solutions associated to different initial conditions. In this frame the numerical schemes that preserve the discrete invariants related to some conservation laws of this equation produce better results than the methods which only take care of a high consistency order. Pseudospectral spatial discretization appear as the most robust of the numerical methods, but finite difference schemes are useful in order to analyze the rule played by the conservation of the invariants in the convergence. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Paladino A.,University of the Basque Country | Zangi R.,University of the Basque Country | Zangi R.,Ikerbasque
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2013

The chemical structure of RNA and DNA is very similar; however, the three-dimensional conformation of these two nucleic acids is very different. Whereas the DNA adopts a repetitive structure of a double-stranded helix, RNA is primarily single stranded with a complex three-dimensional structure in which the hairpin is the most common secondary structure. Apart from the difference between uracil and thymine, the difference in the chemical structure between RNA and DNA is the presence of a hydroxyl group at position 2′ of the sugar (ribose) instead of a hydrogen (deoxyribose). In this paper, we present molecular dynamics simulations addressing the contribution of 2′-hydroxyls to the stability of a GCUAA pentaloop motif. The results indicate that the 2′-hydroxyls stabilize the hairpin conformation of the GCUAA pentaloop relative to an analogous oligonucleotide in which the ribose sugars in the loop region were substituted with deoxyriboses. The magnitude of the stabilization was found to be 23.8 ± 4.1 kJ/mol using an alchemical mutations free energy method and 4.2 ± 6.5 kJ/mol using potential of mean force calculations. The latter indicates that in addition to its larger thermodynamic stability the RNA hairpin is also kinetically more stable. We find that the excess stability is a result of intrahairpin hydrogen bonds in the loop region between the 2′-hydroxyls and sugars, bases, and phosphates. The hydrogen bonds with the sugars and phosphates involve predominantly interactions with adjacent nucleotides. However, the hydrogen bonds with the bases involve also interactions between groups on opposite sides of the loop or with the middle base of the loop and are therefore likely to contribute significantly to the stability of the loop. Of these hydrogen bonds, the most frequent is observed between the 2′-hydroxyl at the first position of the pentaloop with N6/N7 of adenine at the forth position, as well as between the 2′-hydroxyl at position -1 with N6 of adenine at the fifth position. Our results contribute to the notion that one of the important roles of the ribose sugars in RNA is to facilitate hairpin formation. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Olasagasti F.,University of the Basque Country | Ruiz De Gordoa J.C.,University of the Basque Country
Translational Research | Year: 2012

The field of point-of-care (POC) testing technology is developing quickly and producing instruments that are increasingly reliable, while their size is being gradually reduced. Proteins are a common target for POC analyses and the detection of protein markers typically involves immunoassays aimed at detecting different groups of proteins such as tumor markers, inflammation proteins, and cardiac markers; but other techniques can also be used to analyze plasma proteins. In the case of nucleic acids, hybridization and amplification strategies can be used to record electromagnetic or electric signals. These techniques allow for the identification of specific viral or bacterial infections as well as specific cancers. In this review, we consider some of the latest advances in the analysis of specific nucleic acid and protein biomarkers, taking into account their trend toward miniaturization and paying special attention to the technology that can be implemented in future applications, such as lab-on-a-chip instruments. © 2012 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


Eltschka C.,University of Regensburg | Siewert J.,University of the Basque Country | Siewert J.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Among all entanglement measures negativity arguably is the best known and most popular tool to quantify bipartite quantum correlations. It is easily computed for arbitrary states of a composite system and can therefore be applied to discuss entanglement in an ample variety of situations. However, as opposed to logarithmic negativity, its direct physical meaning has not been pointed out yet. We show that the negativity can be viewed as an estimator of how many degrees of freedom of two subsystems are entangled. As it is possible to give lower bounds for the negativity even in a device-independent setting, it is the appropriate quantity to certify quantumness of both parties in a bipartite system and to determine the minimum number of dimensions that contribute to the quantum correlations. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Bergeret F.S.,Centro Mixto CSIC UPV EHU | Bergeret F.S.,Donostia International Physics Center | Bergeret F.S.,Carl von Ossietzky University | Tokatly I.V.,University of the Basque Country | Tokatly I.V.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

The long-range proximity effect in superconductor-ferromagnet (S/F) hybrid nanostructures is observed if singlet Cooper pairs from the superconductor are converted into triplet pairs which can diffuse into the ferromagnet over large distances. It is commonly believed that this happens only in the presence of magnetic inhomogeneities. We show that there are other sources of the long-range triplet component (LRTC) of the condensate and establish general conditions for their occurrence. As a prototypical example, we consider first a system where the exchange field and spin-orbit coupling can be treated as time and space components of an effective SU(2) potential. We derive a SU(2) covariant diffusive equation for the condensate and demonstrate that an effective SU(2) electric field is responsible for the long-range proximity effect. Finally, we extend our analysis to a generic ferromagnet and establish a universal condition for the LRTC. Our results open a new avenue in the search for such correlations in S/F structures and make a hitherto unknown connection between the LRTC and Yang-Mills electrostatics. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Figueroa D.G.,University of Geneva | Figueroa D.G.,Helsinki Institute of Physics | Hindmarsh M.,Helsinki Institute of Physics | Hindmarsh M.,University of Sussex | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We demonstrate that any scaling source in the radiation era produces a background of gravitational waves with an exact scale-invariant power spectrum. Cosmic defects, created after a phase transition in the early universe, are such a scaling source. We emphasize that the result is independent of the topology of the cosmic defects, the order of phase transition, and the nature of the symmetry broken, global or gauged. As an example, using large-scale numerical simulations, we calculate the scale-invariant gravitational wave power spectrum generated by the dynamics of a global O(N) scalar theory. The result approaches the large N theoretical prediction as N-2, albeit with a large coefficient. The signal from global cosmic strings is O(100) times larger than the large N prediction. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Abrego N.,University of the Basque Country | Salcedo I.,University of the Basque Country
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

Conservation of saproxylic organisms requires knowledge about the effects of forest management on their habitat. To better understand such effects, 16 beech forest sites in Navarre (Northern Spain) were examined. Woody debris volume and variety of woody debris were recorded in each sampled plot. To calculate variety of woody debris, dead wood pieces were classified into nine categories according to three size and three main decay stage classes. Results showed that forest management had a negative impact on fungal diversity and woody debris variety. Likewise, a nested mixed model design performed with PERMANOVA showed that both fungal assemblages and woody debris composition were significantly dissimilar between forests with distinct management history. When fungal richness was analyzed against variety and volume of woody debris, variety of woody debris explained much more variability than woody debris volume. Similarly, canonical correlation analysis revealed that groups formed according to the forest management factor based on fungal assemblages fitted better with the variety of woody debris variable than with the woody debris volume one. Accordingly, most fungal species showed preference for the type of woody debris on which they grow, and thus, some general growing patterns were established for them. In conclusion, taking into consideration that variety of woody debris is the main factor affecting wood-inhabiting fungal diversity and forest management is the factor which most affects the presence of wood debris variety, some recommendations for wood-inhabiting fungal conservation are provided. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Krasovskii E.E.,University of the Basque Country | Krasovskii E.E.,Ikerbasque | Krasovskii E.E.,Donostia International Physics Center
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

Theory of laser-assisted photoemission from solids is developed for a numerically exactly solvable model with full inclusion of band structure effects. The strong lattice scattering in the vicinity of band gaps leads to a distortion and a temporal shift of the streaking spectrogram of the order of 100 as. The effect is explained in terms of Bloch electron dynamics and is shown to remain large for an arbitrarily small photoelectron mean-free path. The implications for the streaking experiment on W(110) are discussed. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Collier N.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology | Pardo D.,University of the Basque Country | Dalcin L.,CONICET | Paszynski M.,AGH University of Science and Technology | Calo V.M.,King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2012

We study the performance of direct solvers on linear systems of equations resulting from isogeometric analysis. The problem of choice is the canonical Laplace equation in three dimensions. From this study we conclude that for a fixed number of unknowns and polynomial degree of approximation, a higher degree of continuity k drastically increases the CPU time and RAM needed to solve the problem when using a direct solver. This paper presents numerical results detailing the phenomenon as well as a theoretical analysis that explains the underlying cause. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Arteche Pujana M.,University of the Basque Country | Perez-Alvarez L.,University of the Basque Country | Cesteros Iturbe L.C.,University of the Basque Country | Katime I.,University of the Basque Country
Carbohydrate Polymers | Year: 2013

Chitosan nanoparticles crosslinked with genipin were prepared by reverse microemulsion that allowed to obtain highly monodisperse (3-20 nm by TEM) nanogels. The incorporation of genipin into chitosan was confirmed and quantitatively evaluated by UV-vis and 1H NMR. Loosely crosslinked chitosan networks showed higher water solubility at neutral pHs than pure chitosan. The hydrodynamic diameter of the genipin-chitosan nanogels ranged from 270 to 390 nm and no remarkable differences were found when the crosslinking degree was varied. The hydrodynamic diameters of the nanoparticles increased slightly at acidic pH and the protonation of ionizable amino groups with the pH was confirmed by the zeta potential measurements. The biocompatible and biodegradable nature, as well as the colloidal and monodisperse particle size of the prepared nanogels, make them attractive candidates for a large variety of biomedical applications. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Olazabal-Herrero A.,University of the Basque Country | Garcia-Santisteban I.,University of the Basque Country | Rodriguez J.A.,University of the Basque Country
Molecular Cancer | Year: 2015

Background: In complex with its cofactor UAF1, the USP1 deubiquitinase plays an important role in cellular processes related to cancer, including the response to DNA damage. The USP1/UAF1 complex is emerging as a novel target in cancer therapy, but several aspects of its function and regulation remain to be further clarified. These include the role of the serine 313 phosphorylation site, the relative contribution of different USP1 sequence motifs to UAF1 binding, and the potential effect of cancer-associated mutations on USP1 regulation by autocleavage. Methods: We have generated a large set of USP1 structural variants, including a catalytically inactive form (C90S), non-phosphorylatable (S313A) and phosphomimetic (S313D) mutants, deletion mutants lacking potential UAF1 binding sites, a mutant (GG/AA) unable to undergo autocleavage at the well-characterized G670/G671 diglycine motif, and four USP1 mutants identified in tumor samples that cluster around this cleavage site (G667A, L669P, K673T and A676T). Using cell-based assays, we have determined the ability of these mutants to bind UAF1, to reverse DNA damage-induced monoubiquitination of PCNA, and to undergo autocleavage. Results: A non-phosphorylatable S313A mutant of USP1 retained the ability to bind UAF1 and to reverse PCNA ubiquitination in cell-based assays. Regardless of the presence of a phosphomimetic S313D mutation, deletion of USP1 fragment 420-520 disrupted UAF1 binding, as determined using a nuclear relocation assay. The UAF1 binding site in a second UAF1-interacting DUB, USP46, was mapped to a region homologous to USP1(420-520). Regarding USP1 autocleavage, co-expression of the C90S and GG/AA mutants did not result in cleavage, while the cancer-associated mutation L669P was found to reduce cleavage efficiency. Conclusions: USP1 phosphorylation at S313 is not critical for PCNA deubiquitination, neither for binding to UAF1 in a cellular environment. In this context, USP1 amino acid motif 420-520 is necessary and sufficient for UAF1 binding. This motif, and a homologous amino acid segment that mediates USP46 binding to UAF1, map to the Fingers sub-domain of these DUBs. On the other hand, our results support the view that USP1 autocleavage may occur in cis, and can be altered by a cancer-associated mutation. © Olazabal-Herrero et al.


Escobedo M.,University of the Basque Country | Velazquez J.J.L.,Complutense University of Madrid
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2010

We describe the fundamental solution of the equation that is obtained by linearization of the coagulation equation with kernel K(x, y) = (xy)λ/2, around the steady state f(x) = x-(3+λ)/2 with λ ε (1, 2). Detailed estimates on its asymptotics are obtained. Some consequences are deduced for the flux properties of the particles distributions described by such models. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Senovilla J.M.M.,University of the Basque Country
International Journal of Modern Physics D | Year: 2011

I review the definition and types of (closed) trapped surfaces. Surprising global properties are shown, such as their "clairvoyance" and the possibility that they enter into flat portions of the spacetime. Several results on the interplay of trapped surfaces with vector fields and with spatial hypersurfaces are presented. Applications to the quasi-local definition of Black Holes are discussed, with particular emphasis set onto marginally trapped tubes, trapping horizons and the boundary of the region with closed trapped surfaces. Finally, the core of a trapped region is introduced, and its importance discussed. © 2011 World Scientific Publishing Company.


Tokatly I.V.,University of the Basque Country | Tokatly I.V.,Ikerbasque
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

A rigorous formulation of time-dependent current density functional theory (TDCDFT) on a lattice is presented. The density-to-potential mapping and the V-representability problems are reduced to a solution of a certain nonlinear lattice Schrödinger equation, to which the standard existence and uniqueness results for nonlinear differential equations are applicable. For two versions of the lattice TDCDFT, we prove that any continuous-in-time current density is locally V-representable (both interacting and noninteracting), provided that in the initial state the local kinetic energy is nonzero everywhere. In most cases of physical interest, the V-representability should also hold globally in time. These results put the application of TDCDFT to any lattice model on a firm foundation, and pave the way for studying exact properties of exchange-correlation potentials. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Zhang H.,Sichuan University | Miyamoto Y.,Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology |