53,688 research outputs found

    Comparison of physical fitness between healthy and mild‚Äźto‚Äźmoderate asthmatic children with exercise symptoms: A cross‚Äźsectional study

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    .Objective Asthma is a chronic disease that may affect physical fitness, although its primary effects on exercise capacity, muscle strength, functionality and lifestyle, in children and adolescents, are still poorly understood. This study aimed to evaluate the differences in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lifestyle, lung function, and functionality between asthmatics with exercise symptoms and healthy children. In addition, we have analyzed the association between clinical history and the presence of asthma. Study Design Cross-sectional study including 71 patients with a diagnosis of asthma and 71 healthy children and adolescents (7‚Äď17 years of age). Anthropometric data, clinical history, disease control, lifestyle (KIDMED and physical activity questionnaires), lung function (spirometry), exercise-induced bronchoconstriction test, aerobic fitness (cardiopulmonary exercise test), muscle strength and functionality (timed up and go; timed up and down stairs) were evaluated. Results Seventy-one patients with asthma (mean age 11.5‚ÄȬĪ‚ÄČ2.7) and 71 healthy subjects (mean age 10.7‚ÄȬĪ‚ÄČ2.5) were included. All asthmatic children had mild to moderate and stable asthma. EIB occurred in 56.3% of asthmatic children. Lung function was significantly (p‚ÄČ<‚ÄČ.05) lower in the asthmatic group when compared to healthy peers, as well as the cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lifestyle and functionality. Moreover, asthmatic children were more likely to have atopic dermatitis, allergic reactions, food allergies, and a family history of asthma when compared to healthy children. Conclusions Children with mild-to-moderate asthma presenting exercise symptoms show a reduction in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lung function, functionality, and lifestyle when compared to healthy peers. The study provides data for pediatricians to support exercise practice aiming to improve prognosis and quality of life in asthmatic children.S

    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

    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 afecci√≥n potencialmente mortal causada por una respuesta anormal del hu√©sped a una infecci√≥n, produciendo respuestas fisiol√≥gicas alteradas que da√Īan los propios tejidos del paciente y pueden provocar disfunci√≥n org√°nica e incluso la muerte. Asimismo, algunos pacientes s√©pticos progresan a shock s√©ptico, caracterizado por alteraciones circulatorias, celulares y metab√≥licas sustanciales que aumentan el riesgo de mortalidad. A pesar de que la sepsis se caracteriza por un mal funcionamiento del sistema inmunol√≥gico, lo que a su vez conduce a una respuesta inmune alterada e inmunosupresi√≥n, la alta complejidad de la fisiopatolog√≠a de la sepsis requiere una mayor investigaci√≥n para comprender las respuestas inmunes que ocurren durante la sepsis. Asimismo, las histonas extracelulares circulantes han ganado relevancia como mediadores citot√≥xicos en la sepsis, ya que act√ļan como patrones moleculares asociados a da√Īo, que inducen estr√©s oxidativo y activan el inflamasoma NLRP3. Estos mecanismos median la activaci√≥n de la piroptosis, un mecanismo de muerte celular programada que produce inflamaci√≥n mediante la expresi√≥n de IL-18, IL-1ő≤ and IL-1őĪ. Sin embargo, a pesar de la evidencia de activaci√≥n del inflamasoma en las c√©lulas 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 activaci√≥n del inflamasoma NLRP3 y la piroptosis en las c√©lulas endoteliales, contribuyendo a la disfunci√≥n endotelial y la desregulaci√≥n de la respuesta inmune mediada por el endotelio. Asimismo, tambi√©n demostramos c√≥mo la acetilaci√≥n de histonas disminuye la activaci√≥n de la piroptosis. Adem√°s, demostramos que la piroptosis se produce en pacientes con shock s√©ptico y los niveles de histonas circulantes se correlacionan con la expresi√≥n de citoquinas proinflamatorias y citoquinas piropt√≥ticas, la liberaci√≥n de factores de adhesi√≥n endotelial y la gravedad de la enfermedad. Proponemos la piroptosis mediada por histonas como un nuevo objetivo para desarrollar intervenciones cl√≠nicas. 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 cr√≠ticamente enfermos no s√©pticos, s√©pticos y de shock s√©ptico. Nuestro enfoque ayudar√° a caracterizar r√°pidamente las respuestas inmunes alteradas en pacientes s√©pticos y de shock s√©ptico ingresados en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos. Finalmente analizamos el papel de la metilaci√≥n del ADN en el control del sistema inmune s√©ptico. Nuestros resultados demostraron el papel central de la metilaci√≥n del ADN modulando la respuesta molecular en los pacientes de shock s√©ptico y contribuyendo a la inmunosupresi√≥n, a trav√©s de la alteraci√≥n de los patrones de metilaci√≥n 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-1ő≤ and IL-1őĪ. 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

    The company she keeps : The social and interpersonal construction of girls same sex friendships

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    This thesis begins a critical analysis of girls' 'private' interpersonal and social relations as they are enacted within two school settings. It is the study of these marginal subordinated worlds productivity of forms of femininity which provides the main narrative of this project. I seek to understand these processes of (best) friendship construction through a feminist multi-disciplinary frame, drawing upon cultural studies, psychoanalysis and accounts of gender politics. I argue that the investments girls bring to their homosocial alliances and boundary drawing narry a psychological compulsion which is complexly connected to their own experiences within the mother/daughter bond as well as reflecting positively an immense social debt to the permissions girls have to be nurturant and ; negatively their own reproduction of oppressive exclusionary practices. Best friendship in particular gives girls therefore, the experience of 'monogamy' continuous of maternal/daughter identification, reminiscent of their positioning inside monopolistic forms of heterosexuality. But these subcultures also represent a subversive discontinuity to the public dominance of boys/teachers/adults in schools and to the ideologies and practices of heterosociality and heterosexuality. By taking seriously their transmission of the values of friendship in their chosen form of notes and diaries for example, I was able to access the means whereby they were able to resist their surveillance and control by those in power over them. I conclude by arguing that it is through a recognition of the valency of these indivisiblly positive and negative aspects to girls cultures that Equal Opportunities practitioners must begin if they are serious about their ambitions. Methods have to be made which enable girls to transfer their 'private' solidarities into the 'public' realm, which unquestionably demands contesting with them the causes and consequences of their implication in the divisions which also contaminate their lives and weaken them

    Studies of strategic performance management for classical organizations theory & practice

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    Nowadays, the activities of "Performance Management" have spread very broadly in actually every part of business and management. There are numerous practitioners and researchers from very different disciplines, who are involved in exploring the different contents of performance management. In this thesis, some relevant historic developments in performance management are first reviewed. This includes various theories and frameworks of performance management. Then several management science techniques are developed for assessing performance management, including new methods in Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and Soft System Methodology (SSM). A theoretical framework for performance management and its practical procedures (five phases) are developed for "classic" organizations using soft system thinking, and the relationship with the existing theories are explored. Eventually these results are applied in three case studies to verify our theoretical development. One of the main contributions of this work is to point out, and to systematically explore the basic idea that the effective forms and structures of performance management for an organization are likely to depend greatly on the organizational configuration, in order to coordinate well with other management activities in the organization, which has seemingly been neglected in the existing literature of performance management research in the sense that there exists little known research that associated particular forms of performance management with the explicit assumptions of organizational configuration. By applying SSM, this thesis logically derives some main functional blocks of performance management in 'classic' organizations and clarifies the relationships between performance management and other management activities. Furthermore, it develops some new tools and procedures, which can hierarchically decompose organizational strategies and produce a practical model of specific implementation steps for "classic" organizations. Our approach integrates popular types of performance management models. Last but not least, this thesis presents findings from three major cases, which are quite different organizations in terms of management styles, ownership, and operating environment, to illustrate the fliexbility of the developed theoretical framework

    Pontus in Antiquity: aspects of identity

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    The purpose of this thesis is the presentation of the interaction between the successive inhabitants of Pontus in antiquity, indigenous Anatolians, Greeks, Persians and Romans. Limited archaeological evidence cannot determine the precise extent of interaction, although the available information substantiates the notion of a slow, but steady amalgamation. Initially, the intermingling was based on mutual trading links. Although the Hellenic cultural element tended to surface, Eastern factors remained visible. The Mithridatic dynasty was established around the vicinity of Pontus, creating the 'Kingdom of Pontus' which reached its height under Mithridates VI. His administrative and military policy appears to have placed the foundations for the later, Roman corresponding structures. His policies-propaganda reflected the GraecoEastern image of a king, which appealed to the Greek and Persian-Eastern inhabitants of his kingdom, Asia Minor and, to a lesser extent, mainland Greece. This GraecoEastern image might have nourished the concept of a shared history among the inhabitants of Pontus. Their interactions appear to have given rise to an unnamed, local culture, which was enriched with the relevant Roman practices. Around the third century A.D., the Roman administrative patterns might have established an externally defined appellation. During Roman times, Christianity started to be established in Pontus. Although it was not yet a socio-political factor, its non-racial nature prevailed in later centuries. The influence of the Roman-Christian elements can still be observed in the modern Ponti an identity. In antiquity, (lack of) evidence indicates that no group defined themselves as 'Pontics' or 'Pontians' and an internally defined Pontic identity is unlikely to have existed. However, people associated themselves with the geographical area of Pont us, cultural and religious concepts were frequently amalgamated, while the notion of a common descent and a shared history might have been unconsciously fostered. These factors can assist in the understanding of the 'Pontians' today

    Factors influencing the ground thermal regime in a mid-latitude glacial cirque (Hoyo Empedrado, Cantabrian Mountains, 2006‚Äď2020)

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    .Air and near-surface ground temperatures were measured using dataloggers over 14 years (2006‚Äď2020) in 10 locations at 2262 to 2471 m.a.s.l. in a glacial cirque of the Cantabrian Mountains. These sites exhibit relevant differences in terms of substrate, solar radiation, orientation, and geomorphology. Basal temperature of snow (BTS) measurements and electrical resistivity tomography of the talus slope were also performed. The mean annual near-surface ground temperatures ranged from 5.1 ¬įC on the sunny slope to 0.2 ¬įC in the rock glacier furrow, while the mean annual air temperature was 2.5 ¬įC. Snow cover was inferred from near-surface ground temperature (GST) data, estimating between 130 and 275 days per year and 0.5 to 7.1 m snow thickness. Temperature and BTS data show that the lowest part of the talus slope and the rock glacier furrow are the coldest places in this cirque, coinciding with a more persistent and thickest snow cover. The highest temperatures coincide with less snow cover, fine-grained soils, and higher solar radiation. Snow cover has a primary role in controlling GST, as the delayed appearance in autumn or delayed disappearance in spring have a cooling effect, but no correlation with mean annual near-surface ground temperatures exists. Heavy rain-over-snow events have an important influence on the GST. In the talus slope, air circulation during the snow-covered period produces a cooling effect in the lower part, especially during the summer. Significant inter-annual GST differences were observed that exhibited BTS limitations. A slight positive temperature trend was detected but without statistically significance and less prominent than nearby reference official meteorological stations, so topoclimatic conditions reduced the more global positive temperature trend. Probable existence of permafrost in the rock glacier furrow and the lowest part of the talus slope is claimed; however, future work is necessary to confirm this aspect.S

    Viability of patent insurance in Spain

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    M-24609-2013Since 1975 the FUNDACI√ďN MAPFRE has involved itself in activities serving the general interests of society in different areas of business and culture along with activities aimed at improving the economic and social conditions of the least advantaged members and sectors of society. Within this framework, the FUNDACI√ďN MAPFRE‚Äôs Institute of Insurance Science promotes and undertakes educational and research activities in the fields of insurance and risk management. In the area of education, its activities include specialized, post-graduate academic training carried out in association with the Pontifical University of Salamanca and courses and seminars for professionals held in Spain and Latin America. These activities have been expanded into other geographic regions thanks to cooperation with a series of institutions in Spain and other countries and an Internet training programme. The Institute offers grants for research in risk and insurance science and operates a specialized insurance and risk management Documentation Centre as support for its activities. The Institute routinely sponsors and draws up reports and publishes books dealing with insurance and risk management to improve our understanding of these fields. Some are intended as reference materials for those starting out in the study or practice of insurance affairs, while others are intended as information sources for undertaking research into specialized issues in greater depth. One of these activities is the publication of this volume, the outcome of research carried out by Drs. P√©rez Carrillo and Cuypers in 2011 and 2012, under the guidance of Jos√© Antonio Avent√≠n Arroyo

    New models involving quantum chemical parameters for assessing the chromatographic retention process

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    .Knowledge about the theoretical relationship between the analyte properties and the critical chromatographic parameters is mandatory for a better interpretation of the separation mechanism and a more leisurely development of quantitative studies. In a preliminary stage of this work, we introduce the Gumbel distribution, the extreme value distribution type-I widely used in other fields, as a novel tool for modelling the chromatographic peak shape. Further, we develop mathematical models to evaluate the effect of the experimental variables and various quantum parameters on the chromatographic indices, such as the retention time, capacity factor, asymmetry factor, tailing factor and number of theoretical plates. Finally, we propose a mechanistic behaviour for the chromatographic separation process based on the structure-retention relationship of fifteen selected drugs involving several molecular quantum parametersS
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