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Concept: Galicia


Galicia is an Autonomous Community located in the north-west of Spain. As a starting point to implement mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change, a regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory is needed. So far, the only regional GHG inventories available are limited to the territorial emissions of those production activities which are expected to cause major environmental degradation. An alternative approach has been followed here to quantify all the on-site (direct) and embodied (indirect) GHG emissions related to all Galician production and consumption activities. The carbon footprint (CF) was calculated following the territorial life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology for data collection, that combines bottom-up and top-down approaches. The most up-to-date statistical data and life cycle inventories available were used to compute all GHG emissions. This case study represents a leap of scale when compared to existing studies, thus addressing the issue of double counting, which arises when considering all the production activities of a large region. The CF of the consumption activities in Galicia is 17.8 ktCO2e/year, with 88% allocated to Galician inhabitants and 12% to tourist consumption. The proposed methodology also identifies the main important contributors to GHG emissions and shows where regional reduction efforts should be made. The major contributor to the CF of inhabitants is housing (32%), followed by food consumption (29%). Within the CF of tourist consumption, the share of transport is highest (59%), followed by housing (26%). The CF of Galician production reaches 34.9 MtCO2e/y, and its major contributor is electricity production (21%), followed by food manufacturing (19%). Our results have been compared to those reported for other regions, actions aimed at reducing GHG emissions have been proposed, and data gaps and limitations identified.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Climate change, Spain, Natural gas, Galicia, Greenhouse gas, Life cycle assessment, Carbon footprint


The human populations of the Iberian Peninsula are the varied result of a complex mixture of cultures throughout history, and are separated by clear social, cultural, linguistic or geographic barriers. The stronger genetic differences between closely related populations occur in the northern third of Spain, a phenomenon commonly known as “micro-differentiation”. It has been argued and discussed how this form of genetic structuring can be related to both the rugged landscape and the ancient societies of Northern Iberia, but this is difficult to test in most regions due to the intense human mobility of previous centuries. Nevertheless, the Spanish autonomous community of Asturias shows a complex history which hints of a certain isolation of its population. This, joined together with a difficult terrain full of deep valleys and steep mountains, makes it suitable for performing a study of genetic structure, based on mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome markers. Our analyses do not only show that there are micro-differentiation patterns inside the Asturian territory, but that these patterns are strikingly similar between both uniparental markers. The inference of barriers to gene flow also indicates that Asturian populations from the coastal north and the mountainous south seem to be relatively isolated from the rest of the territory. These findings are discussed in light of historic and geographic data and, coupled with previous evidence, show that the origin of the current genetic patterning might indeed lie in Roman and Pre-Roman sociopolitical divisions.

Concepts: DNA, Iberian Peninsula, Spain, Andalusia, Galicia, Spanish people, Iberians, Cantabria


To assess whether the present-day geographical variability of Spanish surnames mirrors historical phenomena occurred at the times of their introduction (13th-16th century), and to infer the possible effect of foreign immigration (about 11% of present-day) on the observed patterns of diversity, we have analyzed the frequency distribution of 33,753 unique surnames (tokens) occurring 51,419,788 times, according to the list of Spanish residents of the year 2008. Isonymy measures and surname distances have been computed for, and between, the 47 mainland Spanish provinces and compared to a numerical classification of corresponding language varieties spoken in Spain. The comparison of the two bootstrap consensus trees, representing surname and linguistic variability, suggests a similar picture; major clusters are located in the east (Aragón, Cataluña, Valencia), and in the north of the country (Asturias, Galicia, León). Remaining regions appear to be considerably homogeneous. We interpret this pattern as the long-lasting effect of the surname and linguistic normalization actively led by the Christian kingdoms of the north (Reigns of Castilla y León and Aragón) during and after the southwards reconquest (Reconquista) of the territories ruled by the Arabs from the 8th century to the late 15th century, that is when surnames became transmitted in a fixed way and when Castilian linguistic varieties became increasingly prestigious and spread out. The geography of contemporary surname and linguistic variability in Spain corresponds to the political geography at the end of the Middle-Ages. The synchronicity between surname adoption and the political and cultural effects of the Reconquista have permanently forged a Spanish identity that subsequent migrations, internal or external, did not deface.

Concepts: Middle Ages, Spanish language, Al-Andalus, Spain, Andalusia, Galicia, Asturias, Castile


OBJECTIVE: To describe the current situation of self-management initiatives in Spain. METHODS: We performed a descriptive study of self-management support initiatives in Spain from the perspective of the patient as expert. Three databases were searched in October 2010 (Pubmed, Scientific Electronic Library Online [SCIELO] and Indice Médico Español [IME]), using the following Keywords «paciente experto» (expert patient), «paciente activo» (active patient) and «apoyo al autocuidado» (self-management support). Web sites were also consulted, using the same key words. Of the initiatives found, we selected those with the most advanced development and continuity, using the perspective of the expert patient (in which patients have an active role) and with a systematic format and methodology. A questionnaire was designed and was sent to the heads of the selected initiatives in the last quarter of 2010. To update the information, the questionnaire was sent again between August and September, 2012. Subsequently, the web sites were visited to review their contents and presence in social networks. RESULTS: Seven initiatives were identified in the autonomous regions of Murcia, Andalusia, Galicia, Castile-La Mancha, Basque Country, and Catalonia. These initiatives used distinct methodologies, formats and assessment systems. CONCLUSIONS: In Spain, there is increasing interest in the development of self-management support programs, although their scope is limited and their impact is mostly unknown, except for patient satisfaction. There is a need for studies on results assessment to identify the impact of these initiatives in our setting, as well as for studies on their implementation to encourage the introduction of patient activation initiatives in routine clinical practice.

Concepts: Spain, Andalusia, Galicia, Autonomous communities of Spain, Basque Country, Provinces of Spain, Catalonia, Castile-La Mancha


Tobacco is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the developed world. Smoking is associated with a large number of oral pathologies, such as cancer and periodontitis. Dental professionals can play a key role in preventing these health problems. The objectives of this study were (1) to analyze tobacco consumption habits among a group of Spanish dental students, and (2) to assess their knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes regarding procedures to help patients quit smoking. A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). Three validated questionnaires were distributed, and the obtained data was processed using SPSS. One hundred twenty out of 220 surveys were completed. Of the students, 18.3% were smokers and the average number of smoked cigarettes per day was 7.5. Tobacco dependence and the intention to give up the habit were low (Fagerström Test) and doubtful (Richmond test), respectively. The majority of students (94.2%) considered it appropriate to promote tobacco use cessation (TUC) activities. A great divergence of criteria regarding tobacco-associated pathologies was found among courses. This article provides positive data about the motivation of dental students to implement TUC strategies. Nevertheless, the usefulness of these interventions makes it necessary to modify the university curricula in order to improve the education on this issue to reduce the incidence of future health problems.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Spain, Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de los Caballeros


The STR Sequencing Project (STRSeq) was initiated to facilitate the description of sequence-based alleles at the Short Tandem Repeat (STR) loci targeted in human identification assays. This international collaborative effort, which has been endorsed by the ISFG DNA Commission, provides a framework for communication among laboratories. The initial data used to populate the project are the aggregate alleles observed in targeted sequencing studies across four laboratories: National Institute of Standards and Technology (N=1786), Kings College London (N=1043), University of North Texas Health Sciences Center (N=839), and University of Santiago de Compostela (N=944), for a total of 4612 individuals. STRSeq data are maintained as GenBank records at the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which participates in a daily data exchange with the DNA DataBank of Japan (DDBJ) and the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA). Each GenBank record contains the observed sequence of a STR region, annotation (“bracketing”) of the repeat region and flanking region polymorphisms, information regarding the sequencing assay and data quality, and backward compatible length-based allele designation. STRSeq GenBank records are organized within a BioProject at NCBI (, which is sub-divided into: commonly used autosomal STRs, alternate autosomal STRs, Y-chromosomal STRs, and X-chromosomal STRs. Each of these categories is further divided into locus-specific BioProjects. The BioProject hierarchy facilitates access to the GenBank records by browsing, BLAST searching, or ftp download. Future plans include user interface tools at, a pathway for submission of additional allele records by laboratories performing population sample sequencing and interaction with the STRidER web portal for quality control (

Concepts: Gene, Genetic genealogy, Short tandem repeat, Genealogical DNA test, Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de los Caballeros, University of Santiago de Compostela


The access of the young people to the university marks a fundamental break in their lives that may also result in a substantial change in their dietary habits. The aim of this study was to characterize the food patterns, body composition and biochemical profiles of Galician university students from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Campus de Lugo). A total of 62 students participated in this survey. For each individual, anthropometric parameters, blood pressure, blood glucose and lipid profile were measured. Also, the participants filled questionnaires of dietary habits, Mediterranean and Atlantic diet adherence, risk of type II diabetes and physical activity, lifestyle and personal and family histories. A BMI within the normal range was shown by 72% of students. Eight volunteers (12.90%) presented high levels of total cholesterol (>200 mg/dL), and 54.55% of women had levels of HDL-cholesterol above 60 mg/dL. Five students had levels of glucose above 100 mg/dL, being four men and one woman. None of the participants presented high blood pressure, but 11.29% were in pre-hypertension status. The intake of carbohydrates was below the recommendations, while protein and lipids were above. There was an excessive consumption of bakery, alcohol beverages, sausages and ready-made food. The students showed medium adherence to Atlantic and Mediterranean diet and low risk of type II diabetes mellitus and a sedentary lifestyle. Since university students are a group especially prone to poor dietary habits, it seems necessary to promote changes towards healthier meals and rescue the Mediterranean-like dietary pattern.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Galicia, Santiago de Compostela


The impact of comorbidity on multiple sclerosis (MS) is a new area of interest. Limited data on the risk factors of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is currently available. The aim of this study was to estimate the presence of comorbid conditions and MetS in a sample of adult patients with MS.

Concepts: Multiple sclerosis, Spain, Comorbidity, Galicia, Autonomous communities of Spain, Provinces of Spain, Francisco Franco, Spanish Civil War


The rationale of the present study was to evaluate the potential of microbial adjunct cultures including Kocuria varians and/or Yarrowia lipolytica strains in the recovery of the typical sensory profile of traditional (raw-milk) Tetilla cheese. Four batches of Tetilla cheese, a short ripened cows' milk cheese produced in Galicia (NW Spain), were made in duplicate from pasteurized milk inoculated with different microbial cultures. A control batch was manufactured by adding a mesophilic commercial D-starter only. The other three batches were made with the same starter after a cheese-milk pre-ripening step carried out with (i) an adjunct culture of K. varians, (ii) an adjunct culture of Y. lipolytica, or (iii) a combination of both adjunct cultures. The highest pH and water activity values, associated with softer textures were determined in the cheeses manufactured with the Y. lipolytica adjunct after 21days of ripening. The contents of the volatile compounds 3-methylbutanol, dimethyl disulfide and dimethyl trisulfide were higher in the cheeses made with only the K. varians adjunct than in the cheeses made with the only yeast adjunct and in the control cheeses. The contents of hexanoic and octanoic acids were highest in the cheeses made with the Y. lipolytica adjunct, and levels of ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate and ethyl decanoate were higher in the cheeses made with only the yeast adjunct than in the other batches of cheese. The cheeses manufactured with both adjunct cultures were awarded the highest scores for flavour and overall sensory parameters (considering the standards of the traditional product) and were considered very similar to ‘good quality’ artisanal raw-milk cheeses. We conclude that use of selected Micrococcaceae and Y. lipolytica strains as adjunct cultures would differentiate the sensory properties and contribute to the quality and typicality of the short-ripened rennet-curd Galician Tetilla and Arzúa-Ulloa cheeses.

Concepts: Milk, Butter, Cattle, Brucellosis, Pasteurization, Cheese, Galicia, Mold


Residential radon exposure is a major public health problem. It is the second greatest cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and the greatest in never-smokers. This study shows the indoor radon exposure distribution in Galicia and estimates the percentage of dwellings exceeding reference levels. It is based on 3,245 residential radon measurements obtained from the Galician Radon Map project and from controls of two previous case-control studies on residential radon and lung cancer. Results show a high median residential radon concentration in Galicia (99 Bq/m3), with 49.3% of dwellings having a radon concentration above 100 Bq/m3 and 11.1% having a concentration above 300 Bq/m3. Ourense and Pontevedra, located in South Galicia, are the provinces with the highest median indoor radon concentrations (137 Bq/m3 and 123.5 Bq/m3, respectively). Results also show lower radon levels in progressively higher building storeys. These high residential radon concentrations confirm Galicia as a radon-prone area. A policy on radon should be developed and implemented in Galicia to minimize the residential radon exposure of the population.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Lung cancer, Concentration, Tobacco smoking, Galicia, Building, Radon