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Montopoli M.,University of Cambridge | Montopoli M.,University of LAquila | Herzog M.,University of Cambridge | Vulpiani G.,Rome | And 5 more authors.
International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS)

The goal of this work is to show potentials and drawbacks of Dual Polarization measurements of volcanic plume from microwave ground-based X-band radar (DPX). Measurements of brightness temperature (BT) from the space-orbiting microwave radiometer are used as well and compared with DPX retrievals of total columnar content (TCC). The latter is estimated from the radar variables using the volcanic ash radar retrieval for dual-polarization X band systems (VARR-PX) algorithm whereas BT's have been acquired from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS). Model simulations of volcanic plume evolution are generated to carry out comparisons with radar estimates of TCC. The Active Tracer High-Resolution Atmospheric Model (ATHAM) of eruption plume is used for this purpose. Results show that high- spatial-resolution DPX radar data identify an evident volcanic plume signature, even though the interpretation of the polarimetric variables and the related retrievals is not always easy, likely due to the possible formation of ash and ice particle aggregates, the radar signal depolarization induced by turbulence effects, and the partial filling of the radar beam. A forth degree polynomial relationship is in good agreement with BT - TCC measured samples with correlation of -0.71. The variability of TCC, described by the ATHAM simulations, seems to include the spatial and temporal variation of the radar retrievals. © 2013 IEEE. Source

Significant developments took place in the area of infection control since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC, USA) 1996 publication of a guideline for isolation precautions in hospitals. New guidelines were therefore published by CDC in 2007 (Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings) and by the World Health Organization in 2009 (WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Healthcare). The authors propose an updated guideline that takes into account the new recommendations made by CDC and the WHO in light of the specific requirements of a university teaching hospital. Source

Plastino W.,Third University of Rome | Povinec P.P.,Comenius University | De Luca G.,Rome | De Luca G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Radioactivity

Monitoring of chemical and physical groundwater parameters has been carried out worldwide in seismogenic areas with the aim to test possible correlations between their spatial and temporal variations and strain processes. Uranium (U) groundwater anomalies were observed during the preparation phases of the recent L'Aquila earthquake of 6th April 2009 in the cataclastic rocks near the overthrust fault crossing the deep underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory. The results suggest that U may be used as a potential strain indicator of geodynamic processes occurring before the seismic swarm and the main earthquake shock. Moreover, this justifies the different radon patterns before and after the main shock: the radon releases during and after the earthquake are much than more during the preparatory period because the process does not include only the microfracturing induced by stress-strain activation, but also radon increases accompanying groundwater U anomalies. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Minier T.,University of Pecs | Guiducci S.,University of Florence | Bellando-Randone S.,University of Florence | Bruni C.,University of Florence | And 60 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Objectives: The EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) Scleroderma Trials and Research Group (EUSTAR) has identified preliminary criteria for very early diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Our aim was to assess the prevalence of each proposed diagnostic item in a large observational patient cohort with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP). Methods: Baseline data of 469 RP patients enrolled into the Very Early Diagnosis of Systemic Sclerosis (VEDOSS) cohort are presented. Results: 68% of all RP patients were antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive. ANA+ RP patients more frequently had previous or current puffy fingers (PuFi) (38.5% and 23.3%, p<0.01) and an SSc pattern on nailfold capillaroscopy (NC) (53.6% and 13.4%, p<0.001) than ANA- patients. Telangiectasia, current digital ulcers and digital pitting scars were also commoner in ANA+ RP patients. 38% of ANA+ patients presented with all three features, which should raise suspicion of very early SSc (ANA+RP+PuFi constitutes a 'red flag'). These patients more frequently exhibited an NC SSc pattern, sclerodactyly and telangiectases compared to ANA+ patients without PuFi. Almost 90% of patients with 'red flags' had anti-centromere or anti-topoisomerase I antibodies and/or an NC SSc pattern, and fulfilled the EUSTAR criteria for very early SSc. Previous or current PuFi were present in 23.3% of ANA- RP patients, eight of whom also had an NC SSc pattern. Conclusions: In addition to well-characterised predictive factors, PuFi is an important sign raising suspicion for underlying very early SSc in patients with RP. The relevance of PuFi in ANA- RP patients should be clarified. © 2013 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism. Source

Kruijff G.J.M.,Nuance Communications | Janicek M.,Nuance Communications | Keshavdas S.,Nuance Communications | Larochelle B.,Nuance Communications | And 27 more authors.
Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics

The paper describes experience with applying a user-centric design methodology in developing systems for human-robot teaming in Urban Search and Rescue. A human-robot team consists of several semi-autonomous robots (rovers/UGVs, microcopter/UAVs), several humans at an off-site command post (mission commander, UGV operators) and one on-site human (UAV operator). This system has been developed in close cooperation with several rescue organizations, and has been deployed in a real-life tunnel accident use case. The human-robot team jointly explores an accident site, communicating using amulti-modal team interface, and spoken dialogue. The paper describes the development of this complex sociotechnical system per se, as well as recent experience in evaluating the performance of this system. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014. Source

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