University of Algarve

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    18511 research outputs found

    Time for change in Portuguese science

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    There is an almost perfect positive relationship between scientific output and gross domestic product (GDP) in Western Europe (Fig. 1). But two countries — Ireland and Portugal — spoil the relationship

    Mutant and chimeric recobinant plasminogen activatorsproduction in eukaryotic cellsand preliminary characterization

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    Mutant urokinase-type plasminogen activator (u-PA) genes and hybrid genes between tissue-type plasminogen activator (t-PA) and u-PA have been designed to direct the synthesis of new plasminogen activators and to investigate the structure-function relationship in these molecules. The following classes of constructs were made starting from cDNA encoding human t-PA or u-PA: 1) u-PA mutants in which the Arg156 and Lys158 were substituted with threonine, thus preventing cleavage by thrombin and plasmin; 2) hybrid molecules in which the NH2-terminal regions of t-PA (amino acid residues 1-67, 1-262, or 1-313) were fused with the COOH-terminal region of u-PA (amino acids 136-411, 139-411, or 195-411, respectively); and 3) a hybrid molecule in which the second kringle of t-PA (amino acids 173-262) was inserted between amino acids 130 and 139 of u-PA. In all cases but one, the recombinant proteins, produced by transfected eukaryotic cells, were efficiently secreted in the culture medium. The translation products have been tested for their ability to activate plasminogen after in situ binding to an insolubilized monoclonal antibody directed against urokinase. All recombinant enzymes were shown to be active, except those in which Lys158 of u-PA was substituted with threonine. Recombination of structural regions derived from t-PA, such as the finger, the kringle 2, or most of the A-chain sequences, with the protease part or the complete u-PA molecule did not impair the catalytic activity of the hybrid polypeptides. This observation supports the hypothesis that structural domains in t-PA and u-PA fold independently from one to another

    Shifting perspectives on coastal impacts and adaptation

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    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports reflect evolving attitudes in adapting to sea-level rise by taking a systems approach and recognizing that multiple responses exist to achieve a less hazardous

    Sonophoresis efficiency: consequences of methyl donors supplementation at early developmental stage in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata). Effects on growth, nutrient metabolism, egg and larval quality, and methylation patterns of larvae and juvenile fish

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    Dissertação de mestrado, Aquacultura e Pescas, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade do Algarve, 2016It is essential that the vegetable ingredients that will be use in Aquaculture feeds can maintain the growth parameters in fish when compared with the fish meal diets. Studies have shown that the replacement may be achieved until a certain level without affecting the growth parameters. Sometimes the vegetable diets lack essential amino acids that need to be supplemented in the feeds, one of the amino acids that sometimes is lacking is the Methionine. In this study the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata, L. 1758) eggs were supplemented with Methionine to understand if the supplementation had an effect in the larvae growth. The supplementation was performing using the innovative technique Sonophoresis. The amount of Methionine that entered the supplemented eggs was 33.1- fold higher than in the eggs that were not supplemented. Due to the supplementation the oil globule area of the larvae of the treatment MET was higher in the 2 and 4 days after hatching (DAH), also the dry weight was higher in the larvae of treatment MET during the first week. After the first week the larvae of both treatments presented similar growth parameters so a later supplementation was planned and performed at 57 DAH. This second supplementation was done using a Vegetable feed (VEG) supplemented with methionine. At the end of the experiment the juveniles that were from the eggs supplemented and were fed with VEG diet (METVEG) presented higher condition factor (K). In conclusion the Sonophoresis technique was a success, which allowed the alteration of the composition of the egg with the methionine, the early supplementation was able to promote growth in gilthead seabream larvae. The VEG diet did not negatively affected the survival and promoted fish to achieve similar weight to the FM diet

    Business process and practice alignment meta-model

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    Business Process Modelling (BPM) is one of the most important phases of information system design. Business Process meta-models allow capturing informational and behavioural aspects of business processes. Unfortunately, standard business process meta-modelling approaches, such as the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) Meta-model, Quality-Oriented Business Process Meta-Model (QOBPM) and Transactional Meta-Model for Business Process (TMBP) focus just on process description, providing different business process models. According to these meta-modelling approaches, it is not possible to compare and identify related daily practices in order to improve business process models. This lack of information recognizes that further research in Business Process (BP) meta-model is needed to reflect the evolution/change on software processes. Considering this limitation in BP meta-modelling, this paper presents a comparative study of the most recognized business process meta-models approaches and introduces a new BP meta-model designed by Business Process and Practice Alignment Meta-model (BPPAMeta-model). Our intention is to present observed problems in existing approaches and propose a business process meta-model that addresses features related to the alignment between daily work practices and business process descriptions. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V

    The delphi technique applied to urban and cultural tourism research in the Algarve

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    O turismo urbano é hoje uma actividade económica e social principal, e a componente cultural das cidades é um dos factores principais para a atracção de visitantes. O presente trabalho resulta da investigação desenvolvida no mbito da dissertação de mestrado que estabeleceu como bjectivos principais avaliar a importância do turismo cultural nas cidades de Faro e Silves, numa abordagem pela oferta, e propor ormas de prever o desenvolvimento das actividades associadas a esse tipo de turismo para o futuro. A “tranversalidade” do conhecimento ligado ao turismo, e as dinâmicas que pode criar, tornam o turismo, uma das actividades mais difíceis de quantificar e avaliar. A investigação desenvolvida pode ser traduzida numa abordagem integradora do conceito de património cultural e de turismo urbano, domínios que até recentemente têm permanecido separados. A utilização de vários métodos de investigação de forma complementar – entrevistas de grupo, método Delphi e estudo de caso – revelou-se um ponto forte da metodologia adoptada. Por outro lado, como será demonstrado, a técnica Delphi, ainda que tenha revelado algumas dificuldades na sua aplicação, e não se constituindo como um instrumento de decisão principal, nem tendo sido com frequência utilizado no turismo, demonstrou-se muito adequado para o tratamento de informação qualitativa. Assim, apresentam-se as principais técnicas de investigação utilizadas na nossa pesquisa e analisam-se os vários métodos disponíveis à investigação em turismo. Alguns dos resultados adquiridos serão também sumariados nos estudos de caso, demonstrando o potencial que a utilização conjunta de vários métodos de pesquisa trouxe para a resposta aos objectivos propostos.Urban tourism is a major economic and social activity where the cultural dimension of cities is one of the main factors that attract visitors. The present work results from a dissertation thesis that aimed to evaluate the existence of cultural tourism in the towns of Faro and Silves and proposed means of fostering such activities in the future. The “transversality” of knowledge linked to tourism and the dynamics it can create make tourism one of the most difficult activities to quantify and evaluate. The developed investigation can be translated into an integrating approach of the concept of cultural patrimony and urban tourism, domains that so far have stayed apart. The use of several investigative methods in a complementary way – group interviews, Delphi method and case study (three sided methods) –, have revealed to be a strong point in the applied methodology. On the other hand, as will be shown later, the Delphi technique, although revealing some difficulties of application, and not being a decisive instrument nor being often used in tourism, has been very useful for the treatment of qualitative information. So we will introduce the main methodologies used on our research and analyse the various methods available for tourism research. Some of the acquired results are also summarized and specified in the case studies, highlighting the potential that the combination of several investigative methods have brought in helping to discover the answer to proposed aimsinfo:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    A new method to quantify and compare the multiple components of fitness-A study case with kelp niche partition by divergent microstage adaptations to Temperature

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    Point 1 Management of crops, commercialized or protected species, plagues or life-cycle evolution are subjects requiring comparisons among different demographic strategies. The simpler methods fail in relating changes in vital rates with changes in population viability whereas more complex methods lack accuracy by neglecting interactions among vital rates. Point 2 The difference between the fitness (evaluated by the population growth rate.) of two alternative demographies is decomposed into the contributions of the differences between the pair-wised vital rates and their interactions. This is achieved through a full Taylor expansion (i.e. remainder = 0) of the demographic model. The significance of each term is determined by permutation tests under the null hypothesis that all demographies come from the same pool. Point 3 An example is given with periodic demographic matrices of the microscopic haploid phase of two kelp cryptic species observed to partition their niche occupation along the Chilean coast. The method provided clear and synthetic results showing conditional differentiation of reproduction is an important driver for their differences in fitness along the latitudinal temperature gradient. But it also demonstrated that interactions among vital rates cannot be neglected as they compose a significant part of the differences between demographies. Point 4 This method allows researchers to access the effects of multiple effective changes in a life-cycle from only two experiments. Evolutionists can determine with confidence the effective causes for changes in fitness whereas population managers can determine best strategies from simpler experimental designs.CONICYT-FRENCH EMBASSADY Ph.D. gran

    Meat yield of Bolinus brandaris (Gastropoda: Muricidae): comparative assessment of the influence of sex, size and reproductive status

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    The present study assessed the influence of sex, size and reproductive status on the meat yield (soft tissues proportion) of the purple dye murex (Bolinus brandaris) from the Ria Formosa lagoon (southern Portugal). During one year of monthly sampling (October 2008-September 2009), average meat yield of B. brandaris was 40.5 +/- 6.1% (range: 25.8-56.1% wet weight), with no significant differences between sexes. Relationships established between specimen size and soft parts weight indicated that both shell length and total weight are excellent indicators of meat yield. Significant differences in meat yield between size classes further reinforced the trend of increasing meat yield during ontogeny. Meat yield exhibited significant monthly variation and a similar temporal trend in both sexes, which were directly related to the reproductive status. Meat yield of B. brandaris was compared with that of other muricid species and the marked influence of the reproductive status on meat yield prompted a comparative assessment of the spawning season and peak of three sympatric muricids (B. brandaris, Hexaplex trunculus and Stramonita haemastoma). Overall, these findings have implications at diverse levels, including the management, regulation and inspection of this fishing/ harvesting activity and the commercialization and consumption of this seafood product.postdoctoral grant [SFRH/BPD/26348/2006]; Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT - Portugal); Fisheries Operational Programme (PROMAR); European Fisheries Fund [EFF 2007-2013]info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Marinas as habitats for nearshore fish assemblages: comparative analysis of underwater visual census, baited cameras and fish traps

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    Understanding the ecological role that artificial structures might play on nearshore fish assemblages requires the collection of accurate and reliable data through efficient sampling techniques. In this work, differences in the composition and structure of fish assemblages between the inner and outer sides of three marinas located in the temperate northern-eastern Atlantic Ocean were tested using three complementary sampling techniques: underwater visual censuses (UVC), baited cameras (BCs) and fish traps (FTs). UVCs and BCs recorded a comparable number and relative abundance of species, which in turn were much greater than those recorded by FTs. This finding supports the use of UVCs and BCs over FTs for broad ecologically studies, especially when dealing with structurally complex habitats such as artificial structures. We found differences in fish assemblage structure between the inner and outer sides of marinas, independently of the sampling method. Four small-sized species (Similiparma lurida, Thalassoma pavo, Sarpa salpa and Symphodus roissali) associated with structurally complex vegetated habitats dominated, in terms of abundance, the outer sides of marinas; Diplodus vulgaris, Diplodus sargus and Gobius niger, species with high ecological plasticity in habitat requirements, dominated the inner sides of marinas. The information provided in this study is of great interest for developing sound monitoring programmes to ascertain the effects of artificial structures on fish

    Phylogeny, expression patterns and regulation of DNA Methyltransferases in early development of the flatfish, Solea senegalensis

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    Background: The identification of DNA methyltransferases (Dnmt) expression patterns during development and their regulation is important to understand the epigenetic mechanisms that modulate larval plasticity in marine fish. In this study, dnmt1 and dnmt3 paralogs were identified in the flatfish Solea senegalensis and expression patterns in early developmental stages and juveniles were determined. Additionally, the regulation of Dnmt transcription by a specific inhibitor (5-aza-2 '-deoxycytidine) and temperature was evaluated. Results: Five paralog genes of dnmt3, namely dnmt3aa, dnmt3ab, dnmt3ba, dnmt3bb. 1 and dnmt3bb. 2 and one gene for dnmt1 were identified. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the dnmt gene family was highly conserved in teleosts and three fish-specific genes, dnmt3aa, dnmt3ba and dnmt3bb. 2 have evolved. The spatio-temporal expression patterns of four dnmts (dnmt1, dnmt3aa, dnmt3ab and dnmt3bb. 1) were different in early larval stages although all of them reduced expression with the age and were detected in neural organs and dnmt3aa appeared specific to somites. In juveniles, the four dnmt genes were expressed in brain and hematopoietic tissues such as kidney, spleen and gills. Treatment of sole embryos with 5-aza-2 '-deoxycytidine down-regulated dntm1 and up-regulated dntm3aa. Moreover, in lecithotrophic larval stages, dnmt3aa and dnmt3ab were temperature sensitive and their expression was higher in larvae incubated at 16 degrees C relative to 20 degrees C. Conclusion: Five dnmt3 and one dnmt1 paralog were identified in sole and their distinct developmental and tissue-specific expression patterns indicate that they may have different roles during development. The inhibitor 5-aza-2 '-deoxycytidine modified the transcript abundance of dntm1 and dntm3aa in embryos, which suggests that a regulatory feedback mechanism exists for these genes. The impact of thermal regime on expression levels of dnmt3aa and dnmt3ab in lecithotrophic larval stages suggests that these paralogs might be involved in thermal programing.INIA and EU through FEDER [RTA2013-00023-C0201]; Algae4A-B from UE H2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie [691102]; FCT Investigator grant [IF/01274/2014


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