University Regional Amazonica

Tena, Ecuador

University Regional Amazonica

Tena, Ecuador
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Falconi F.,Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences | Ramos-Martin J.,Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences | Ramos-Martin J.,University Regional Amazonica | Cango P.,Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences
Ecological Economics | Year: 2017

The existence of an unequal exchange between rich and poor countries has been well studied in the literature, explained by differences in labour costs that were reflected in the prices of traded goods. Research has also demonstrated that the failure to include environmental impacts in prices of traded goods concealed an ecologically unequal exchange. This paper contributes to the discussion with the newly coined concept of caloric unequal exchange that defines the deterioration of terms of trade in food in units of calories. Exports and imports to and from Latin America and the Caribbean are analysed for the period 1961 through 2011 in volume, value, and calories, for different groups of products. The study concludes that although calories exported by the region to the rest of the world are more expensive than those imported, the ratio is deteriorating over time. This trend is found to be dependent of the trading partner involved. The region is helping the rest of the world in supplying their diets at a lower cost. A side result is that globalisation is homogenising diets over time, concentrating most food consumption in a reduced number of products, and therefore increasing interdependency among countries and affecting food security. © 2017

VAN DER HOEK Y.,University Regional Amazonica
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2017

Ecuador, a country with nearly unparalleled levels of biodiversity and endemism, has one of the highest deforestation rates of South America. I examined whether governmentally protected areas in Ecuador have been effective at reducing deforestation. After estimating deforestation rates from existing land cover change data for 2000 to 2008, I used a matching approach to compare the rates of forest loss inside and outside protected areas, which corrected for geographic biases in the locations of protected areas. I tested for the effects of protected area age, size and level of protection on the rate of deforestation using generalized linear models. Governmentally protected areas still experienced deforestation – with no apparent effect of age, size and level of protection – of nearly 10,000 ha per year, but deforestation rates were lower inside compared to outside protected areas. Governmental protection led to the avoidance of additional deforestation of 2600–7800 ha of natural forest per year. Actions to mitigate deforestation in Ecuador are of global importance and as such it is promising that protected areas can help diminish deforestation, although the effectiveness of Ecuador's protected areas can still be improved upon. Copyright © Foundation for Environmental Conservation 2017

Villacreses G.,Instituto Nacional Of Eficiencia Energetica Y Energias Renovables Iner | Gaona G.,Instituto Nacional Of Eficiencia Energetica Y Energias Renovables Iner | Gaona G.,University regional amazonica | Martinez-Gomez J.,Instituto Nacional Of Eficiencia Energetica Y Energias Renovables Iner | And 2 more authors.
Renewable Energy | Year: 2017

The aim of this research was to implement a geographical information system with multi-criteria decision making methods, to select the most feasible location for installing wind power plants in continental Ecuador. In addition, a standardization process was performed, which consists of establishing an overall performance index to evaluate the results. Finally, the Pearson correlation coefficient is used to analyze mutual correspondence between multi-criteria decision making methods. In this research, different selection criteria which include meteorological parameters (wind speed, air density), relief (slope), location (distances to substations, road network, urban areas, transmission lines, charging ports) and environmental parameters (vegetation coverage), have been considered. The results of this research revealed that the site with the highest overall performance index is the Andean region of Ecuador, with an area of more than 617.5 km2. The outcome of the overall performance index indicates that the four selected multi-criteria decision making methods provided similar results, where the value was equal to or greater than 75% of the maximum punctuation of an ideal location. In this context, the methods analyzed converge to similar solutions and indicate that the multi-criteria decision making method is a powerful tool for selecting ideal locations for wind farms. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Almeida J.R.,University of Campinas | Almeida J.R.,University Regional Amazonica | Resende L.M.,University of Campinas | Silva A.G.,Federal University of Säo João del Rei | And 6 more authors.
Toxicon | Year: 2016

Commonly, phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) play key roles in the pathogenesis of the local tissue damage characteristic of crotaline and viperine snake envenomations. Crotalus oreganus lutosus snake venom has not been extensively studied; therefore, the characterization of its components represents a valuable biotechnological tool for studying pathophysiological processes of envenoming and for gaining a deeper understanding of its biological effects. In this study, for the first time, a basic PLA2 myotoxin, ColTx-I, was purified from C. o. lutosus through two chromatographic steps. ColTx-I is monomeric with calculated molecular mass weight (Mw) of 14,145 Da and a primary structure closely related to basic PLA2s from viperid venoms. The pure enzyme has a specific activity of 15.87 ± 0.65 nmol/min/mg at optimal conditions (pH 8.0 and 37°C). ColTx-I activity was found to be dependent on Ca2+, as its substitution by other ionic species as well as the addition of chelating agents significantly reduced its phospholipase activity. In vivo, ColTx-I triggered dose-dependent inflammatory responses, measured using the paw edema model, with an increase in IL-6 levels, systemic and local myotoxicity, characterized by elevated plasma creatine kinase activity. ColTx-I induced a complex series of degenerative events associated with edema, inflammatory infiltrate and skeletal muscle necrosis. These biochemical and functional results suggest that ColTx-I, a myotoxic and inflammatory mediator, plays a relevant role in C. o. lutosus envenomation. Thus, detailed studies on its mechanism of action, such as evaluating the synergism between ColTx-I and other venom components may reveal targets for the development of more specific and effective therapies. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Almeida J.R.,University Regional Amazonica | Almeida J.R.,University of Campinas | Lancellotti M.,University of Campinas | Soares A.M.,Federal University of Rondônia | And 5 more authors.
Toxicon | Year: 2016

Snake venoms are rich and intriguing sources of biologically-active molecules that act on target cells, modulating a diversity of physiological functions and presenting promising pharmacological applications. Lys49 phospholipase A2 is one of the multifunctional proteins present in these complex secretions and, although catalytically inactive, has a variety of biological activities, including cytotoxic, antibacterial, inflammatory, antifungal activities. Herein, a Lys49 phospholipase A2, denominated CoaTx-II from Crotalus oreganus abyssus, was purified and structurally and pharmacologically characterized. CoaTx-II was isolated with a high degree of purity by a combination of two chromatographic steps; molecular exclusion and reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography. This toxin is dimeric with a mass of 13868.2 Da (monomeric form), as determined by mass spectrometry. CoaTx-II is rich in Arg and Lys residues and displays high identity with other Lys49 PLA2 homologues, which have high isoelectric points. The structural model of dimeric CoaTx-II shows that the toxin is non-covalently stabilized. Despite its enzymatic inactivity, in vivo CoaTx-II caused local muscular damage, characterized by increased plasma creatine kinase and confirmed by histological alterations, in addition to an inflammatory activity, as demonstrated by mice paw edema induction and pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 elevation. CoaTx-II also presents antibacterial activity against gram negative (Pseudomonas aeruginosa 31NM, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922) and positive (Staphyloccocus aureus BEC9393 and Rib1) bacteria. Therefore, data show that this newly purified toxin plays a central role in mediating the degenerative events associated with envenomation, in addition to demonstrating antibacterial properties, with potential for use in the development of strategies for antivenom therapy and combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

PubMed | University of Turku, Technical University of the North, Ibarra, James Cook University, University of Nottingham and 46 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings. Biological sciences | Year: 2016

Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change.

Cuenca P.,University Regional Amazonica | Echeverria C.,University of Concepción
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Most protected areas (PA) try to limit logging of forests by means of restrictions on access and use, especially in areas where local communities coexist with the forests and depend on resources derived from PAs. In such contexts, achieving full or effective protection of the forests is almost impossible. This fact has led to researching beyond PAs boundaries in order to examine large surrounding landscapes with multiple forms of properties and restriction on forests use. The present study assessed the change in forest cover and fragmentation between 1990 and 2014, in addition to the drivers that explain such changes in a landscape with the presence of PAs and high-density population belonging to the Chocó-Darien biodiversity hotspot. Results indicated differences in the extent and spatial patterns of change in forest cover of PAs and their surrounding landscapes. Two PAs exhibited a tendency to increase fragmentation and lose their forests in comparison with the stable protection of the forests in other PAs during this period. However, the greatest change in forest cover and fragmentation was observed in the surrounding landscapes, where the best connection to markets and transport networks were the dominating deforestation drivers. Our findings corroborated that the PAs were a shield against the deforestation of the tropical Andean forest, especially in landscapes with high-density population. However, the fragmentation of the forest cannot be avoided around the PAs limits. It is expected that, if this tendency continues in the future, the biodiversity in the Chocó-Darien hotspot will be seriously affected. © 2017 Cuenca, Echeverria. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Araoz J.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Fernandez E.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Franquesa C.,University Regional Amazonica
TOP | Year: 2017

This paper focuses on the generalized arc routing problem. This problem is stated on an undirected graph in which some clusters are defined as pairwise-disjoint connected subgraphs, and a route is sought that traverses at least one edge of each cluster. Broadly speaking, the generalized arc routing problem is the arc routing counterpart of the generalized traveling salesman problem, where the set of vertices of a given graph is partitioned into clusters and a route is sought that visits at least one vertex of each cluster. A mathematical programming formulation that exploits the structure of the problem and uses only binary variables is proposed. Facets and families of valid inequalities are presented for the polyhedron associated with the formulation and the corresponding separation problem studied. The numerical results of a series of computational experiments with an exact branch and cut algorithm are presented and analyzed. © 2017 Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa

PubMed | Federal University of Rondônia, CIBER ISCIII, University of KwaZulu - Natal, Federal University of Fluminense and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology | Year: 2016

Snake venom toxins are related not only in detention, death and the promotion of initial digestion of prey but also due to their different biochemical, structural and pharmacological effects they can result in new drugs. Among these toxins snake venom serine proteases (SVSPs) should be highlighted because they are responsible for inducing changes in physiological functions such as blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and platelet aggregation. This article presents the first serine protease (SP) isolated from Bothrops brazili: BbrzSP-32. The new SP showed 36 kDa of relative molecular mass and its absolute mass was confirmed by mass spectrometry as 32,520 Da. It presents 79.48% identity when compared to other SVSPs and was able to degrade the -chain of fibrinogen, in in vitro models, because of this it is considered a SVTLE-A. It showed dose-dependent activity in the process of degradation of fibrin networks demonstrating greater specificity for this activity when compared to its thrombolytic action. BbrzSP-32 demonstrated proteolytic activity on gelatin and chromogenic substrates for serine proteases and thrombin-like enzymes (S-2288 and S-2238 respectively), besides having coagulant activity on human plasma. After pre-incubation with PMSF and benzamidine the coagulant and proteolytic activities on the S-2288 and S-2238 substrates were reduced. BbrzSP-32 shows stability against pH and temperature variations, demonstrating optimum activity between 30 and 40 C and in the pH range 7.5 to 8.5. A new SP with potential biotechnological application was isolated.

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