Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy
Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

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Ceola S.,Chemical | Montanari A.,Chemical
Water Resources Research | Year: 2015

The human presence close to streams and rivers is known to have consistently increased worldwide, therefore introducing dramatic anthropogenic and environmental changes. However, a spatiotemporal detailed analysis is missing to date. In this paper, we propose a novel method to quantify the temporal evolution and the spatial distribution of the anthropogenic presence along streams and rivers and in their immediate proximity at the global scale and at a high-spatial resolution (i.e., nearly 1 km at the equator). We use satellite images of nocturnal lights, available as yearly snapshots from 1992 to 2013, and identify five distinct distance classes from the river network position. Our results show a temporal enhancement of human presence across the considered distance classes. In particular, we observed a higher human concentration in the vicinity of the river network, even though the frequency distribution of human beings in space has not significantly changed in the last two decades. Our results prove that fine-scale remotely sensed data, as nightlights, may provide new perspectives in water science, improving our understanding of the human impact on water resources and water-related environments. © 2015. American Geophysical Union.

PubMed | Chemical and Complutense University of Madrid
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Forensic science review | Year: 2015

This review article summarizes the use of toxins as weapons dating from the First World War until today, when there is a high concern of possible terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction. All through modern history, military programs and terrorist groups have favored toxins because of their high toxicity. However, difficulties of extraction or synthesis, as well as effective dissemination to cause a large number of casualties, have been the most important drawbacks. Special emphasis is focused on ricin and botulinum toxin, the most important toxins that have attracted the attention of military programs and terrorist groups. Other toxins like trichothecenes, saxitoxin, and Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) are also discussed. A short section about anthrax is also included: Although Bacillus anthracis is considered a biological weapon rather than a toxin weapon, it produces a toxin that is finally responsible for the anthrax disease.

PubMed | University of Turin, Chemical, Amedeo Of Savoia Hospital and Messina University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC complementary and alternative medicine | Year: 2016

The management of Candida infections faces many problems, such as a limited number of antifungal drugs, toxicity, resistance of Candida to commonly antifungal drugs, relapse of Candida infections, and the high cost of antifungal drugs. Though azole antifungal agents and derivatives continue to dominate as drugs of choice against Candida infections, there are many available data referring to the anticandidal activity of essential oils. Since we have previous observed a good antimicrobial activity of some essential oils against filamentous fungi, the aim of this study was to extend the research to evaluate the activity of the same oils on Candida albicans, C.glabrata and C.tropicalis clinical strains, as well as the effects of related components. Essential oils selection was based both on ethnomedicinal use and on proved antibacterial and/or antifungal activity of some of these oils. Fluconazole and voriconazole were used as reference drugs.The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimal fungicidal concentration (MFC) of essential oils (thyme red, fennel, clove, pine, sage, lemon balm, and lavender) and their major components were investigated by the broth microdilution method (BM) and the vapour contact assay (VC).Using BM, pine oil showed the best activity against all strains tested, though C.albicans was more susceptible than C.glabrata and C.tropicalis (MIC50-MIC90=0.06%,v/v). On the contrary, sage oil displayed a weak activity (MIC50-MIC90=1%, v/v). Thyme red oil (MIC50-MIC900.0038%, v/v for C.albicans and C.tropicalis, and 0.0078-<0.015%, v/v for C.glabrata), followed by lemon balm, lavender and sage were the most effective by VC. Carvacrol and thymol showed the highest activity, whereas linalyl acetate showed the lowest activity both by two methods. -pinene displayed a better activity by BM than VC.Results show a good activity of essential oils, mainly thymus red and pine oils, and their components carvacrol, thymol and -pinene against Candida spp., including fluconazole/voriconazole resistant strains. These data encourage adequately controlled and randomized clinical investigations. The use in vapour phase could have additional advantages without requiring direct contact, resulting in easy of environmental application such as in hospital, and/or in school.

Ferraris M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Perero S.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Miola M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Ferraris S.,Polytechnic University of Turin | And 4 more authors.
Advanced Engineering Materials | Year: 2010

Silver nanocluster-silica matrix composite coatings have been deposited by radio frequency (RF) co-sputtering on silica substrates. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction spectra of the as deposited and heated samples (150-600 °C) revealed the presence of metal silver nanoclusters, their size depending on the heating treatment. The antibacterial activity of the as deposited and heated samples has been measured in accordance to National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards, and it has been demonstrated on samples heated up to 450 °C in contact mode and for samples heated at 600 °C in a liquid environment. Their antibacterial activity was still present after gamma ray and ethylene oxide gas (EtO) sterilization of the samples. Silver leaching tests on the as deposited and heated samples has been measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometer, revealing an amount ranging from 0.1 to 0.9mg mm±2, over 28 days. Tape resistance (ASTM D3359-97) and scratch resistance tests have been done on each sample revealing a good adhesion of the coatings on silica. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Miola M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Fucale G.,Chemical | Maina G.,University of Turin | Verne E.,Polytechnic University of Turin
Biomedical Materials (Bristol) | Year: 2015

A bioactive silica-based glass powder (SBA2) was doped with silver (Ag+) ions by means of an ion-exchange process. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersion spectrometry (EDS) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) evidenced that the glass powder was enriched with Ag+ ions. However, a small amount of Ag2CO3 precipitated with increased Ag concentrations in the exchange solution. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of Ag-SBA2 towards Staphylococcus aureus were also evaluated and were respectively 0.05 mg ml-1 and 0.2 mg ml-1. Subsequently, Ag-SBA2 glass was used as filler (30%wt) in a commercial formulation of bone cement (Simplex™ P) in order to impart both antibacterial and bioactive properties. The composite bone cement was investigated in terms of morphology (using SEM) and composition (using EDS); the glass powder was well dispersed and exposed on the cement surface. Bioactivity tests in simulated body fluid (SBF) evidenced the precipitation of hydroxyapatite on sample surfaces. Composite cement demonstrated antibacterial properties and a compressive strength comparable to the commercial formulation. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Miola M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Bistolfi A.,University of Turin | Bistolfi A.,M Adelaide Hospital | Valsania M.C.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Materials Science and Engineering C | Year: 2013

An in vitro study was carried out in order to investigate the antibiotic release mechanism and the antibacterial properties of commercially (Palacos® R + G and Palacos® LV + G) and manually (Palacos® R + GM and Palacos® LV + GM) blended gentamicin-loaded bone cements. Samples were characterized by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and compression strength was evaluated. The antibiotic release was investigated by dipping sample in simulated body fluid (SBF) and periodically analyzing the solution by means of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Different antibacterial tests were performed to investigate the possible influence of blending technique on antibacterial properties. Only some differences were observed between gentamicin manually added and commercial ones, in the release curves, while the antibacterial effect and the mechanical properties seem to not feel the blending technique. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Miola M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Bruno M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Maina G.,University of Turin | Fucale G.,Chemical | And 2 more authors.
Materials Science and Engineering C | Year: 2014

Two bone cements (Palacos R® and Palacos LV®) based on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), clinically used in several cemented prosthetic devices, have been enriched with silver containing bioactive glass powders and compared with the plain commercial ones. The obtained composite cements have been subjected to a preliminary characterization by means of morphological and compositional analyses, compression mechanical tests, bioactivity test (by soaking into simulated body fluids), leaching tests and in vitro antibacterial test (count of colonies forming units, McFarland index evaluation, inhibition zone evaluation). The glass powders appeared uniformly dispersed inside the PMMA matrix and good mechanical properties (in compression) have been reached. The composite cements showed a bioactive behavior (since they developed hydroxyapatite on their surface after soaking in simulated body fluid) and a good antibacterial performance. The release of silver ions, which is the principal reason of antibacterial properties, is mainly reached after the first hours of contact with the leaching solution, as it is expected for a reasonable prevention of bacterial colonization during in vivo applications. © 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Saracino A.,Chemical | Antonioni G.,Chemical | Spadoni G.,Chemical
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2014

MIMOSA is the acronym for: Methodology for the Implementation and Monitoring of Occupational SAfety, and it is a new model for evaluating performances in health and safety in workplace, through the use of check-lists and indicators. In this work a first proposal of the application of Fuzzy Logic to the Mimosa methodology is described. It is worth noting that the application of fuzzy logic set theory to the field of occupational safety is legitimate by the presence of typical uncertainty in the collection of data related to the human behavior. The aim is to obtain a quantification of a theme through the fuzzyfication of the checklists, whose scores are vague for definition, and of the indicators. One among the 27 themes of the whole methodology is selected, in order to show in a simple way how fuzzy logic can be applied and which are the results obtained. This is a preliminary approach but it shows that the method can be extended to all the themes and interesting considerations can result for the uncertainties characterizing the final result of Mimosa. © Copyright 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l.

Nguyen T.,Chemical | Nguyen T.,University of Oklahoma | Do L.,Chemical | Do L.,University of Oklahoma | Sabatini D.A.,University of Oklahoma
Fuel | Year: 2010

Vegetable oils have been studied as a feasible substitute for diesel fuel, and short term tests using neat vegetable oils have shown results comparable to those of diesel fuel. However, engine problems arise due to the high oil viscosity after long-term usage. Vegetable oil/diesel blending as biodiesel fuel has been shown to be one technique to reduce vegetable oil viscosity. The goal of this research is to demonstrate the feasibility of producing this biodiesel fuel via vegetable oil extraction using diesel-based reverse-micellar microemulsions as an extraction solvent. In this extraction technique, peanut oil is directly extracted into the oil phase of the microemulsion based on the "likes dissolve likes" principle and the product of the extraction process is peanut oil/diesel blend. The results show that diesel-based reverse micellar extract oil from peanuts more effectively than both diesel and hexane alone under the same extraction condition. An extraction efficiency of 95% was achieved at room temperature and short extraction time of 10 min in just a single extraction step. The extracted peanut oil/diesel blend was tested for peanut oil fraction, viscosity, cloud point and pour point, which all meet the requirements for biodiesel fuel. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PubMed | Chemical
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Radiation protection dosimetry | Year: 2016

The public health and medical response to a radiological or nuclear incident requires the capability to sort, assess, treat, triage and to ultimately discharge, refer or transport people to their next step in medical care. The size of the incident and scarcity of resources at the location of each medical decision point will determine how patients are triaged and treated. This will be a rapidly evolving situation impacting medical responders at regional, national and international levels. As capabilities, diagnostics and medical countermeasures improve, a dynamic system-based approach is needed to plan for and manage the incident, and to adapt effectively in real time. In that the concepts and terms can be unfamiliar and possibly confusing, resources and a concept of operations must be considered well in advance. An essential underlying tenet is that medical evaluation and care will be managed by healthcare professionals with biodosimetry assays providing critical supporting data.

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