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Dust and tropical PMx aerosols in Cape Verde: Sources, vertical distributions and stratified transport from North Africa

Dust and tropical PMx aerosols in Cape Verde: Sources, vertical distributions and stratified transport from North Africa

We investigated the sources and processes affecting the vertical distribution of tropical PMx aerosols (particulate matter -PM- smaller than 10, 2.5 and 1 μm, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1, respectively) in the low troposphere of Santo Antão and São Vicente islands, in Cape Verde archipelago, a region where a better understanding of aerosols is needed due to their involvement in tropical meteorology and their impact on air quality, ocean and climate. We found that local sources had a low-scale impact. From transect measurements at ground level, we found that PMx levels were predominantly low, except near to PMx sources, where distinctive PM1 / PM2.5 ratios were measured, linked to vehicle exhaust (0.96), biomass burning (0.67) and Cape Verdean dust (0.36) emissions. The depth of the marine boundary layer (MBL) and the vertical distributions of PMx showed wide variability prompted by meteorological conditions. The trade winds prevailed in the MBL, whereas other airflows were situated above it: North-Atlantic, African easterly airflow and Saharan Air Layer. Under North-Atlantic airflow conditions, the MBL extended to 1400 m above sea level (m.a.s.l.). Above this altitude, PMx concentrations decreased quickly (< 3 μg/m3) due to the free troposphere conditions. Under Saharan dust conditions, the MBL was confined to just 70 m.a.s.l., whereas a complex dust stratification was observed above, characterized by alternating dry air layers with high dust loads (PM10 ~ 100 μg/m3) and more humid air layers with lower aerosol loads (PM10 ~ 40 μg/m3). Within the dry easterly African airflow occurring above the marine stratocumulus typical of the MBL top (placed at 500 m.a.s.l.), we detected layers enriched in hydrophilic aerosols (PM10: ~ 8 μg/m3). These were imbedded in relatively humid air (RH ~48%), probably linked to secondary aerosol formation by in-cloud processes in the marine stratocumulus situated below. We found that PMx transport from North Africa, both under dust and dust-free conditions, is associated with complex vertical stratifications, even within the dusty Saharan Air Layer.

Rodríguez, Sergio; López-Darias, Jessica

Atmospheric Research 263: 105793 (2021)
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The therapeutic potential of novel isobenzofuranones against Naegleria fowleri

The therapeutic potential of novel isobenzofuranones against Naegleria fowleri

The Free-Living Amoeba species, Naegleria fowleri is the causative agent of a lethal encephalitis known as Primary Amoebic Encephalitis (PAM). Moreover, most of the reported cases are often related to swimming and/or diving in aquatic environments. In addition, the current therapeutic options against PAM are not fully effective and hence, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutic agents against this disease. Previously isobenzofuranones compounds have been reported to present antiprotozoal and antifungal activity among others. However, to the best of our knowledge, these molecules have not been previously tested against N. fowleri. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the activity of 14 novel isobenzofuranones against this pathogenic amoeba. The most active and less toxic molecules, were assayed in order to check induction of Programmed Cell Death (PCD) in the treated amoebae. The obtained results showed that these molecules were able to eliminate N. fowleri trophozoites and also induced PCD. Therefore, the tested isobenzofuranones could be potential therapeutic candidates for the treatment of PAM.

Rizo-Liendo, Aitor; Arberas-Jiménez, Iñigo; Sifaoui, Ines; Gkolfi, Dimitra; Santana, Yiset; Cotos, Leandro; Tejedor, David; García-Tellado, Fernando; Piñero, José E.; Lorenzo-Morales, Jacob

International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance 17: 139-149 (2021)
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Why consumers drink natural wine? Consumer perception and information about natural wine

Why consumers drink natural wine? Consumer perception and information about natural wine

Similar to other foods, the concept of natural wine is much debated due to the lack of a clear and regulated definition, leading to a proliferation of heterogeneous norms and standards proposed from different natural wine associations at national levels. The current study explored the aspects which mediate individuals’ information and perception of natural wine, and the rationale behind natural wine consumption behavior among Italian (n = 501) and Spanish (n = 527) regular wine consumers. The results reveal a quite low self-reported degree of perceived information by Italian respondents and slightly higher levels among Spanish ones. The key drivers of natural wine consumption in both countries are wine consumption frequency, information, and natural product interest. In contrast, higher wine involvement levels decrease natural wine consumption frequency in both Italy and Spain. The findings also show that different perceptions lead to diverse motivations, suggesting the need for more homogeneous standards to mitigate the level of information asymmetry currently on the market.

Vecchio, Riccardo; Parga-Dans, Eva; Alonso-González, Pablo; Annunziata, Azzurra

Agricultural and Food Economics 9(22): 1-16 (2021)

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