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"Muse bio's ForgeCraft technology will revolutionize how researchers undertake genome engineering, enabling them to make multiple, unique modifications at any location within a cell in a high throughput manner, right at their benchtop," said John Stuelpnagel. "I am impressed by Muse bio's team and excited to work with them as they bring this important, ground-breaking technology to market." About Muse bio Muse bio is inspiring a new era of genome engineering that will transform our understanding of biology.  Muse bio delivers power to researchers and production scientists in the field of genome engineering and synthetic biology through the combination of a powerful forward design software package, a proprietary benchtop biofoundry, and custom consumables and reagents.  Its next-generation, CRISPR-based ForgeCraft technology dramatically improves and simplifies genome engineering. For more information, please visit To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

Anschlag K.,University of Osnabrück | Tatti D.,University of Neuchatel | Tatti D.,Bern University of Applied Sciences | Hellwig N.,University of Osnabrück | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Mountain Science | Year: 2017

Humus forms, especially the occurrence and the thickness of the horizon of humified residues (OH), provide valuable information on site conditions. In mountain forest soils, humus forms show a high spatial variability and data on their spatial patterns is often scarce. Our aim was to test the applicability of various vegetation features as proxy for OH thickness. Subalpine coniferous forests dominated by Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. and Larix decidua Mill. were studied in the Province of Trento, Italian Alps, between ca. 900 and 2200 m a.s.l. Braun-Blanquet vegetation relevés and OH thickness were recorded at 152 plots. The vegetation parameters, tested for their suitability as indicators of OH thickness, encompassed mean Landolt indicator values of the herb layer (both unweighted and cover-weighted means) as well as parameters of vegetation structure (cover values of plant species groups) calculated from the relevés. To our knowledge, the predictive power of Landolt indicator values (LIVs) for humus forms had not been tested before. Correlations between OH thickness and mean LIVs were strongest for the soil reaction value, but indicator values for humus, nutrients, temperature and light were also significantly correlated with OH thickness. Generally, weighting with species cover reduced the indicator quality of mean LIVs for OH thickness. The strongest relationships between OH thickness and vegetation structure existed in the following indicators: the cover of forbs (excluding graminoids and ferns) and the cover of Ericaceae in the herb layer. Regression models predicting OH thickness based on vegetation structure had almost as much predictive power as models based on LIVs. We conclude that LIVs analysis can produce fairly reliable information regarding the thickness of the OH horizon and, thus, the humus form. If no relevé data are readily available, a field estimation of the cover values of certain easily distinguishable herb layer species groups is much faster than a vegetation survey with consecutive indicator value analysis, and might be a feasible way of quickly indicating the humus form. © 2017, Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Casarotto C.,Muse | Bertoni E.,Muse | Trenti A.,Autonomous Province of Trento
Rendiconti Online Societa Geologica Italiana | Year: 2015

In occasion of the preparation of a new inventory for Trentino glaciers (2013), all historically available data (1958 CGI, 1987 SAT, 2003 PAT) were digitized in a geographic information system (GIS) with the aim to reconstruct the evolution of the glaciers from the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA) up to date. Through limits of moraines and glacial sediments, as well as those of active rock glaciers, the polygons of the glaciers at the maximum of the LIA (around 1850) were defined in GIS. At that time glaciers filled an area of about 110 km2. In the early 1900s, however, some glaciers disappeared, for example on Monzoni during the World War I. The inventory 2013 (PAT) counts 120 glaciers with total area of about 32 km2. The average annual losses of glacial surface (ÄSy, in [%]) were compared for each of the considered four time periods. We have noticed that these losses have grown exponentially. With the three-dimensional analysis of the 2003 and 2013 inventories, the average annual reduction in thickness was determined for the glaciers representative of the main mountain groups, for example on Adamello Glacier, and it has been observed to achieve values up to 4 000 mm water equivalent. These data, which have a strong seasonal connotation, are comparable to those of monsoon systems, almost as if they would like to witness the tropicalization of climate resulting in global warming.

Conradie W.,Port Elizabeth Museum | Conradie W.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity | Bittencourt-Silva G.B.,University of Basel | Engelbrecht H.M.,South African National Biodiversity Institute | And 7 more authors.
Zoosystematics and Evolution | Year: 2016

We carried out a survey of reptiles and amphibians within Afromontane forest and woodland slopes of three inselbergs in northern Mozambique (Mount Mabu, Mount Namuli, and Mount Ribáuè). A total of 56 species (22 amphibians and 34 reptiles) were recorded during the current survey. Our findings substantially increase the number of herpetofaunal species recorded from these mountains (Mount Ribáuè 59%, Mount Mabu 37%, and Mount Namuli 11% of the total species), including one new country record and several putative new species. An updated checklist of the herpetofauna of these mountains is presented. © Copyright Werner Conradie et al.

Abeli T.,University of Pavia | Gentili R.,University of Milan Bicocca | Mondoni A.,MUSE | Orsenigo S.,University of Pavia | Rossi G.,University of Pavia
Journal of Biogeography | Year: 2014

Aim: Populations at the edge of a species' distribution range may differ substantially from central populations. Peripheral populations may have either a high evolutionary potential or be prone to extinction, but the processes driving these outcomes are still unclear. Peripheral plant populations have been the subject of numerous studies and reviews, with many focusing on their genetic characteristics. In this review, we consider the effect of marginality on demographic species-specific traits. Location: World-wide. Methods: We reviewed the literature based on direct comparisons between central and peripheral plant populations. Strict inclusion criteria were applied to avoid biased analysis that may arise as a result of inaccurate boundary considerations or inappropriate comparisons. We inferred from the published data whether a certain trait had a better performance in central or peripheral populations (reliability of the abundant centre hypothesis, ACH). Results: There have not been enough studies on plant performance to allow for generalizations on the effects of marginality on plants. ACH expectations were not met in most cases and specific responses to marginality were observed at the species and population levels. Population and plant size more often met the ACH assumptions, suggesting that most geographically peripheral populations are also ecologically marginal. The availability of resources, the reproductive strategy, the level of ploidy and the ability to cope with interspecific competitors seem to drive the numerous exceptions to the ACH expectations. Main conclusions: The large numbers of exceptions to the ACH expectations suggest that a new comprehensive theory is needed to explain the effects of marginality in plants and to identify any general patterns. From the theoretical point of view, we propose that population history and dynamics should be considered when attempting to explain the processes that occur in peripheral plant populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Abeli T.,University of Pavia | Zubani L.,Flora Conservation s.r.l. Pavia | Bonomi C.,MUSE | Parolo G.,MUSE | Gargano D.,University of Calabria
Plant Species Biology | Year: 2015

Fluctuating asymmetry (FA), the deviation from the normal symmetrical condition of a morphological trait having specific morphological symmetry, increases in response to environmental and genetic stress, is related to phenotypic plasticity and is considered a tool for monitoring a species conservation status. However, FA-stress relations are dependent on measured traits or species-specific characteristics such as mating system and habitat. This study investigates the relationships between FA, genetic diversity, population size, density and individual fitness traits (plant height, fruit and seed set), in the endemic Aquilegia thalictrifolia, a mixed breeder that is declining, but maintaining high levels of heterozygosity. Leaf and flower FA and other traits were investigated in 10 populations of A. thalictrifolia, the whole species range. As a result, we found similar patterns of FA in leaves and flowers between populations, indicating a homogenous level of stress between populations that differed for other traits. FA and the other traits were not related, including heterozygosity. Heterozygosity was not related to individual fitness traits with the exception of plant height. In accordance with other studies, we found that the role of FA as a tool for assessing the conservation status of a species or population should be reconsidered. However, we conclude that a low level of FA should not automatically be considered an indicator of good conservation status or low level of stress, because in species that evolved in highly stable environments it may indicate a scarce ability to plastically respond to environmental changes, as a consequence of environmental and genetic canalization. Further investigation of this point is needed. © 2015 The Society for the Study of Species Biology.

Franceschi M.,MUSE | Massironi M.,University of Padua | Franceschi P.,Data Management | Picotti V.,University of Bologna
Rendiconti Online Societa Geologica Italiana | Year: 2013

The Calcari Grigi carbonate platform (Southern Alps, Italy) (size ∼100km × 100km, up to 400m thick) consists of several sub-environments (tidal flats, deep lagoons, oolitic shoals), now exhumed in the Southern Alps (Italy), a poorly deformed portion of the Mesozoic passive margin of Adria. Despite some alpine faulting and folding, lateral relationships between Jurassic units are still preserved. During Early Jurassic, the platform was affected by synsedimentary tectonics, testified by exposed structures, controlling sharp variations in the thickness of its units. Excellent outcrop continuity, extensive geological mapping and previous studies provide a great wealth of field data that give the opportunity to produce a 3D model of a seismic-scale carbonate platform. 3D modeling was carried out with SKUA®. Main stratigraphic horizons and geometries of the sedimentary prisms were modeled. Spatial variability of the platform units' thickness was studied with geostatistics to retrieve information about the arrangement of the Jurassic fault system that drove subsidence during the platform growth. This helped to estimate the position of main Jurassic faults and revealed an extensive orthorhombic fault-network at the platform scale. The 3D model can now be populated with facies information, derived from outcrop data and geologic maps, to evaluate the influence of tectonics on the depositional environments. The model of a carbonate platform of this size potentially represents a useful analogue for carbonate reservoirs and help the understanding of similar buried sedimentary body. © Società Geologica Italiana, Roma 2013.

Marchetti L.,University of Padua | Avanzini M.,MUSE | Conti M.A.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Ichnos:an International Journal of Plant and Animal | Year: 2013

Studies on Early Permian tetrapod ichnofauna emphasized the scarcity of forms from Italian sites. A revision work on the entire collections revealed the presence of Hyloidichnus bifurcatus Gilmore, 1927 and Limnopus heterodactylus (King, 1845). The ichnoassociation now lists seven ichnogenera: Amphisauropus, Batrachichnus, Dromopus, Erpetopus, Hyloidichnus, Limnopus, Varanopus. These new data enlarge the ichnoceonosis, adding tracks of medium-size captorhinomorphs (Hyloidichnus) and temnospondyls (Limnopus) to the Italian ichnofauna, previously characterized by scarcity of predators and amphibians. Radiometric ages give a strong age constraint to the ichnoassociation (Early Kungurian), allowing useful correlations to contemporary successions all over the world. The main difference is the absence of Ichniotherium and Dimetropus, and this could have a stratigraphic or paleoenvironmental significance. The fauna is similar in two main basins, Collio and Orobic. It differs solely in the proportions between ichnotaxa, with a predominance of areoscelid traces (Dromopus) in the Collio Basin and of captorhinomorph traces (Erpetopus, Varanopus, Hyloidichnus) in the Orobic Basin. This datum could reflect slightly different environments, seasonal in the Collio Basin (alluvial plain) and more arid in the Orobic Basin (playa-like). The lack of some forms in smaller basins of the Athesian Volcanic Complex is probably due to a bias. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

PubMed | CNRS Chizé Center for Biological Studies, University of Pavia, MUSE, University of Porto and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: General and comparative endocrinology | Year: 2016

Sexual steroids influence reproductive behaviours and promote secondary sexual traits. In male lizards, increasing levels of testosterone (T) bolster conspicuous colouration, stimulate territoriality, and trigger antagonistic interactions among rivals. Moreover, in colour polymorphic species, reproductive strategy, aggressiveness and T levels can differ between morphs. Therefore, T level is considered as an important mechanism that regulates the expression of colour polymorphism and sexual behaviours of males. But in the polymorphic territorial wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), a lack of relationship between morphs and aggressiveness challenges the notion that T plays such a role. To examine this issue, we compared adult T levels among three colour morphs (white, yellow and red) through repeated sampling during the mating season. High T levels were observed at the onset of the mating season followed by a significant decrease, a pattern documented in other lizard species. Mean T levels did not differ among morphs. However, yellow males maintained significantly higher T levels over time and displayed a stronger subsequent decline. Overall, in this species, seasonal T patterns differ among morphs, not mean values. Previous studies revealed that T suppresses the immune response; suggesting that a strong initial investment promoted by high T levels may trade-off against immunity (maintenance). Further experimental investigations are required to clarify the relationship between T and reproductive effort in polymorphic species that exhibit complex temporal pattern of T levels.

News Article | February 28, 2017

BOULDER, Colo., Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Muse bio, a privately-held company leading the development of next-generation genome engineering capabilities, today announced the completion of a $23 million Series B financing. The oversubscribed financing was led by Venrock and included...

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