66,745 research outputs found

    Application of lactic acid bacteria for the biopreservation of meat products: A systematic review

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    .The increasing concern of consumers about food quality and safety and their rejection of chemical additives has promoted the breakthrough of the biopreservation field and the development of studies on the use of beneficial bacteria and their metabolites as potential natural antimicrobials for shelf life extension and enhanced food safety. Control of foodborne pathogens in meat and meat products represents a serious challenge for the food industry which can be addressed through the intelligent use of bio-compounds or biopreservatives. This article aims to systematically review the available knowledge about biological strategies based on the use of lactic acid bacteria to control the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms in different meat products. The outcome of the literature search evidenced the potential of several strains of lactic acid bacteria and their purified or semi-purified antimicrobial metabolites as biopreservatives in meat products for achieving longer shelf life or inhibiting spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, especially when combined with other technologies to achieve a synergistic effect.S

    Identification of Hindbrain Neural Substrates for Motor Initiation in the hatchling Xenopus laevis Tadpole

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    Animal survival profoundly depends on the ability to detect stimuli in the environment, process them and respond accordingly. In this respect, motor responses to a sensory stimulation evolved into a variety of coordinated movements, which involve the control of brain centres over spinal locomotor circuits. The hatchling Xenopus tadpole, even in its embryonic stage, is able to detect external sensory information and to swim away if the stimulus is considered noxious. To do so, the tadpole relies on well-known ascending sensory pathway, which carries the sensory information to the brain. When the stimulus is strong enough, descending interneurons are activated, leading to the excitation of spinal CPG neurons, which causes the undulatory movement of swimming. However, the activation of descending interneurons that marks the initiation of motor response appears after a long delay from the sensory stimulation. Furthermore, the long-latency response is variable in time, as observed in the slow-summating excitation measured in descending interneurons. These two features, i.e. long-latency and variability, cannot be explained by the firing time and pattern of the ascending sensory pathway of the Xenopus tadpole. Therefore, a novel neuronal population has been proposed to lie in the hindbrain of the tadpole, and being able to 'hold' the sensory information, thus accounting for the long and variable delay of swim initiation. In this work, the role of the hindbrain in the maintenance of the long and variable response to trunk skin stimulation is investigated in the Xenopustadpole at developmental stage 37/38. A multifaceted approach has been used to unravel the neuronal mechanisms underlying the delayed motor response, including behavioural experiments, electrophysiology analysis of fictive swimming, hindbrain extracellular recordings and imaging experiments. Two novel neuronal populations have been identified in the tadpole's hindbrain, which exhibit activation patterns compatible with the role of delaying the excitation of the spinal locomotor circuit. Future work on cellular properties and synaptic connections of these newly discovered populations might shed light on the mechanism of descending control active at embryonic stage. Identifying supraspinal neuronal populations in an embryonic organism could aid in understanding mechanisms of descending motor control in more complex vertebrates

    Interactive Sonic Environments: Sonic artwork via gameplay experience

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    The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of video-game technology in the design and implementation of interactive sonic centric artworks, the purpose of which is to create and contribute to the discourse and understanding of its effectiveness in electro-acoustic composition highlighting the creative process. Key research questions include: How can the language of electro-acoustic music be placed in a new framework derived from videogame aesthetics and technology? What new creative processes need to be considered when using this medium? Moreover, what aspects of 'play' should be considered when designing the systems? The findings of this study assert that composers and sonic art practitioners need little or no coding knowledge to create exciting applications and the myriad of options available to the composer when using video-game technology is limited only by imagination. Through a cyclic process of planning, building, testing and playing these applications the project revealed advantages and unique sonic opportunities in comparison to other sonic art installations. A portfolio of selected original compositions, both fixed and open are presented by the author to complement this study. The commentary serves to place the work in context with other practitioners in the field and to provide compositional approaches that have been taken

    South Yorkshire low carbon energy supply chains: insulation sector summary

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    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

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    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95 KDa and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications

    Structural and Attitudinal Barriers to Bicycle Ownership and Cycle-Based Transport in Gauteng, South Africa

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    Policies that aim to facilitate and promote non-motorised transport (NMT), and in particular cycling, have been developed by many high-income countries facing increasingly congested roads and saturated public transport systems. Such policies are also emerging in many low- and middle-income settings where high rates of urbanisation have led to similar problems with motorised transport. The aim of the present study was to better understand the potential structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport in one such context: South Africa’s Gauteng Province, the industrial powerhouse of sub-Saharan Africa that has recently made a firm commitment to NMT. The study focussed on demographic and socioeconomic variation in bicycle and car ownership, and related this to: (1) the reported use of motorised and non-motorised transport (both private and public); and (2) perceived ‘problems’ with cycling. The analyses drew on interviews with key respondents from n = 27,490 households conducted in 2013 as part of the third Quality of Life survey undertaken by the Gauteng City Regional Observatory. The survey contained items on three outcomes of interest: household vehicle ownership (bicycles and cars); modes of transport used for the “trips” most often made; and respondents’ “single biggest problem with… cycling”. Respondent- and household-level demographic and socioeconomic determinants of these outcomes were examined using descriptive and multivariable statistical analyses, the latter after adjustment for measured potential confounders identified using a theoretical causal path diagram (in the form of a directed acyclic graph). Of the n = 26,469 households providing complete data on all of the variables examined in the present study, only n = 8722 (32.9%) owned a car and fewer still (n = 2244; 8.4%) owned a bicycle. The ownership of these assets was commonest amongst wealthier, economically active households; and those that owned a car had over five times the odds of also owning a bicycle, even after adjustment for potential confounding (OR 5.17; 95% CI 4.58, 5.85). Moreover, of household respondents who reported making ‘trips’ during the preceding month (n = 18,209), over two-thirds of those whose households owned a car (70.1%) reported private car-based transport for such trips, while only 3.2% of those owning a bicycle reported cycling. Amongst the specific responses given to the item requesting the “single biggest problem with… cycling” by far the commonest was “Don’t know how to cycle” (32.2%), less than half as many citing “Vehicle accident risk” (15.9%), and fewer still: “Destination is too far” (13.9%); “Crime” (10.3%); “Too much effort” (9.2%); or “Lack of good paths” (4.6%). While the first of these reasons was commonest amongst poorer households, concerns about risk and effort were both most common amongst better educated, economically active and wealthier/better serviced households. In contrast, concerns over (cycle) paths were only common amongst those owning bicycles. The low prevalence of household bicycle ownership, and the disproportionate number of households owning bicycles that also owned cars, might explain the very small proportion of the ‘the trips most often made’ that involved cycle-based transport (0.3%), and the preferential use of cars amongst households owning both bicycles and cars. Low levels of bicycle ownership might also explain why so many respondents cited “Don’t know how” as the “single biggest problem with… cycling”; although risk and effort were also substantial concerns (presumably for many who did, and some who did not, know how to cycle); the lack of suitable cycle lanes being only primarily a concern for those who actually owned bicycles. Structural and attitudinal barriers to cycle-based transport limit the use of cycle-based transport in Gauteng, not only amongst the vast majority of household respondents who lack the means to cycle (and the means to learn how), but also amongst those dissuaded from learning to cycle, purchasing a bicycle and/or using a bicycle they own by: the risks and effort involved; the lack of suitable cycle paths; and/or because they also own a car and prefer to drive than cycle

    The Idiosyncrasy of Involuntary Musical Imagery Repetition (IMIR) Experiences: The Role of Tempo and Lyrics

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    Involuntary musical imagery repetition (IMIR), colloquially known as “earworms,” is a form of musical imagery that arises involuntarily and repeatedly in the mind. A growing number of studies, based on retrospective reports, suggest that IMIR experiences are associated with certain musical features, such as fast tempo and the presence of lyrics, and with individual differences in music training and engagement. However, research to date has not directly assessed the effect of such musical features on IMIR and findings about individual differences in music training and engagement are mixed. Using a cross-sectional design (Study 1, n = 263), we examined IMIR content in terms of tempo (fast, slow) and presence of lyrics (instrumental, vocal), and IMIR characteristics (frequency, duration of episode and section) in relation to 1) the musical content (tempo and lyrics) individuals most commonly expose themselves to (music-listening habits), and 2) music training and engagement. We also used an experimental design (Study 2, n = 80) to test the effects of tempo (fast or slow) and the presence of lyrics (instrumental or vocal) on IMIR retrieval and duration. Results from Study 1 showed that the content of music that individuals are typically exposed to with regard to tempo and lyrics predicted and resembled their IMIR content, and that music engagement, but not music training, predicted IMIR frequency. Music training was, however, shown to predict the duration of IMIR episodes. In the experiment (Study 2), tempo did not predict IMIR retrieval, but the presence of lyrics influenced IMIR duration. Taken together, our findings suggest that IMIR is an idiosyncratic experience primed by the music-listening habits and music engagement of the individual

    Uso de las histonas circulantes y sus modificaciones post-traduccionales como biomarcadores en sepsis y shock séptico

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    La sepsis es una afección potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del huésped a una infección, produciendo respuestas fisiológicas alteradas que dañan los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunción orgánica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes sépticos progresan a shock séptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metabólicas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunológico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresión, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatología de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigación para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citotóxicos en la sepsis, ya que actúan como patrones moleculares asociados a daño, que inducen estrés oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activación de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamación mediante la expresión de IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activación del inflamasoma en las células inmunes durante la sepsis, se desconoce si las histonas extracelulares son capaces de activar los inflamasomas endoteliales y sus consecuencias. En este trabajo destacamos el papel previamente desconocido de las histonas extracelulares, mediando la activación del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las células endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunción endotelial y la desregulación de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, también demostramos cómo la acetilación de histonas disminuye la activación de la piroptosis. Además, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock séptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresión de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piroptóticas, la liberación de factores de adhesión endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones clínicas. De manera similar, hemos analizado las respuestas inmunorelacionadas que ocurren durante las primeras etapas de la sepsis con el objetivo de proporcionar nuevos datos comparando las cantidades de citoquinas, inmunomoduladores y otros mediadores endoteliales en pacientes críticamente enfermos no sépticos, sépticos y de shock séptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudará a caracterizar rápidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes sépticos y de shock séptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilación del ADN en el control del sistema inmune séptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilación del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock séptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresión, a través de la alteración de los patrones de metilación de los promotores de IL-10 y TREM-2.Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an abnormal host response to an infection that produce altered physiological responses which damages own tissues of the patient and can result in organ dysfunction and in some cases death. Likewise, a subset of septic patients progresses to septic shock, characterized by substantial circulatory, cellular and metabolic abnormalities, which substantially increase the risk of mortality. Sepsis is characterized by a malfunction of the immune system and it can lead to an altered immune response and immunosuppression. Moreover, the high complexity of the pathophysiology of sepsis requires of further investigation to characterize the immune responses in sepsis and septic shock. Likewise, circulating extracellular histones have gained relevance as cytotoxic mediators in sepsis pathophysiology, since they act as damage-associated molecular patterns, which induce oxidative stress and activate NLRP3 inflammasome. Subsequently, inflammasome mediates pyroptosis activation, a programmed cell death mechanism that produces inflammation through the release of IL-18, IL-1β and IL-1α. However, despite inflammasome activation may occur in immune cells during sepsis, it is unknown if this process also takes place in endothelial cells and particularly whether extracellular histones are capable of activating endothelial inflammasomes and their consequences. In this work we highlight a previously unknown role for extracellular histones, that mediates the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and pyroptosis in endothelial cells by contributing to endothelial dysfunction and the dysregulation of the immune response mediated by endothelium. Likewise, we demonstrated how histone acetylation decreases pyroptosis activation. Furthermore, we show how pyroptosis occurs in septic shock patients and how circulating histone levels correlate with the expression of pro-inflammatory and pyroptotic cytokines, the release of endothelial adhesion factors and septic shock severity. We propose histone-mediated pyroptosis as a new target to develop clinical interventions. Similarly, we have analyzed the immune-related responses occurring during the early stages of sepsis with the aim of providing new data by comparing the amounts of cytokines, immune modulators and other endothelial mediators in critically-ill non-septic patients, septic and septic shock patients. Our approach will help to rapidly characterize the altered immune responses in septic and septic shock patients admitted in the Intensive Care Unit. Finally, we also analyzed the role of DNA methylation in the control of septic immune system. Our results demonstrated the central role of DNA methylation modulating the molecular response in septic shock patients and contributing to immunosuppression, through the alteration of DNA methylation patterns of IL-10 and TREM2 promoters

    Metodología de intervención para trabajar ODS. Educación a través de las artes

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    La Agenda 2030 presenta 17 Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), con sus metas e indicadores universales que los países miembros de la ONU emplean para enmarcar sus políticas. Entre las metas del ODS 4 “educación de calidad” encontramos: “asegurar que todos los alumnos adquieran los conocimientos teóricos y prácticos necesarios para promover el desarrollo sostenible, entre otras cosas mediante la educación para el desarrollo sostenible y los estilos de vida sostenibles, los derechos humanos, la igualdad de género, la promoción de una cultura de paz y no violencia, la ciudadanía mundial y la valoración de la diversidad cultural y la contribución de la cultura al desarrollo sostenible”. La educación, se considera el motor de la Agenda 2030 porque, además de representar el centro del ODS 4, desempeña también un papel notable en la implementación de los demás, mejorando su alcance y efectividad. Así pues, entre las disciplinas que sustentan este trabajo se escogió la Educación para el Desarrollo Sostenible y la Ciudadanía Global como marco de acción y punto de partida en la formación de los ciudadanos de un futuro viable, equitativo y habitable. Se continuó investigando las oportunidades del desarrollo de la Competencia Intercultural en las relaciones humanas, aquello que diferencia a unas personas de otras puede aportar al conjunto de la sociedad y cómo la educación permitiría su aprovechamiento. Con todo ello, se planteó el marco didáctico de interacción en el cual se implementó la interculturalidad en el ejercicio educativo. Se estudió así el poder de las artes como medio de motivación e inspiración a la hora de transmitir de la manera más eficaz posible los valores considerados más arriba. El objetivo del presente estudio se centra en demostrar el potencial de las artes para fomentar las competencias comunicativas, sociales, interculturales, emocionales, de ciudadanía y sostenibilidad. Para ello, se ha realizado una investigación aplicada que deriva en una propuesta concreta de intervención con un programa educativo destinado a la enseñanza de lenguas, tanto primera como extranjera, en distintos niveles de la educación formal en Mali y en España, aplicando un método holístico basado en el paradigma interpretativo. A través de la pintura, la literatura y el cine, se plantean una serie de actividades ideadas para crear un entorno educativo integrador, favorecer el empoderamiento del alumnado y promover el pensamiento crítico, la empatía, la resiliencia, la comunicación, la cooperación y la educación intercultural, como competencias esenciales para la consecución de los 17 ODS, la construcción de un mundo transcultural sostenible y el desarrollo de una ciudadanía global preparada para los retos del siglo XXI. En la metodología de este proceso educativo innovador, multidisciplinar, flexible y adaptable, se ha empleado un análisis del proceso de investigación para monitorizarlo adecuadamente (DAFO). Cada una de las propuestas presenta una recogida de datos cualitativos (observación, rúbricas) y cuantitativos (encuestas, entrevistas) y se ofrece un análisis de contraste de los resultados finales. Con todo, se espera facilitar la exigente tarea que supone hacer consciente a la sociedad de base (desde la misma infancia; desde los niveles más bajos de la misma y en todos los niveles de la educación formal) de en qué consisten los ODS y su relevancia para hacer de todas las personas corresponsables directas en su consecución para garantizar un futuro sostenible para toda la ciudadanía global.The 2030 Agenda presents 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with their universal targets and indicators that UN member countries use to frame their policies. Among the targets of SDG 4 “quality education,” we find the one that seeks: “to ensure that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among other things through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, world citizenship and the appreciation of cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development”. Education is considered the engine of the 2030 Agenda because, in addition to representing the centre of SDG 4, it also plays a notable role in the implementation of the others, improving their scope and effectiveness. Among the disciplines that support this research, Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship sets the framework for action and represents a starting point in the formation of citizens for a viable, equitable and habitable future. Global citizenship implies human relations and those and intrinsically shaped by culture. Intercultural Education and, more specifically, the development of Intercultural Competence needed to be considered. What differentiates some people from others can contribute to society as a whole and education is the means to explore and understand. For the design of a didactic framework of interaction, the power of the arts was studied as a means of motivation and inspiration when transmitting the values considered above in the most effective way possible. The objective of this study focuses on proving the potential of the arts to promote communicative, social, intercultural, emotional, citizenship and sustainability skills. For this, the theoretical research derived in a concrete intervention proposal with an educational program in language teaching, both first and foreign languages, at different levels of formal education in Mali and Spain, applying a holistic method based on the interpretive paradigm. Through painting, literature and cinema, a series of activities were designed to create an inclusive educational environment, favour the empowerment of students and promote critical thinking, empathy, resilience, communication, cooperation and intercultural education, as essential skills for the achievement of the 17 SDGs, the construction of a sustainable transcultural world and the development of global citizenship prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. In the methodology of this innovative, multidisciplinary, flexible and adaptable educational process, an analysis of the research process has been used to adequately monitor it (SWOT). Each of the proposals presents a collection of qualitative data (observation, rubrics) and quantitative data (surveys, interviews) and contrast analysis of the final results is offered. All in all, it is expected to facilitate the demanding task of making basic society aware (from childhood itself, from its lowest levels and at all levels of formal education) of what the SDGs consist of and their relevance to make all people directly co-responsible in its achievement to guarantee a sustainable future for all global citizens
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