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Fanello S.R.,Microsoft | Ciliberto C.,Instituto Italiano Of Tecnologiagenova | Ciliberto C.,University GenovaGenova | Noceti N.,University GenovaGenova | And 2 more authors.
Robotics and Autonomous Systems | Year: 2017

Visual perception is a fundamental component for most robotics systems operating in human environments. Specifically, visual recognition is a prerequisite to a large variety of tasks such as tracking, manipulation, human–robot interaction. As a consequence, the lack of successful recognition often becomes a bottleneck for the application of robotics system to real-world situations. In this paper we aim at improving the robot visual perception capabilities in a natural, human-like fashion, with a very limited amount of constraints to the acquisition scenario. In particular our goal is to build and analyze a learning system that can rapidly be re-trained in order to incorporate new evidence if available. To this purpose, we review the state-of-the-art coding–pooling pipelines for visual recognition and propose two modifications which allow us to improve the quality of the representation, while maintaining real-time performances: a coding scheme, Best Code Entries (BCE), and a new pooling operator, Mid-Level Classification Weights (MLCW). The former focuses entirely on sparsity and improves the stability and computational efficiency of the coding phase, the latter increases the discriminability of the visual representation, and therefore the overall recognition accuracy of the system, by exploiting data supervision. The proposed pipeline is assessed from a qualitative perspective on a Human–Robot Interaction (HRI) application on the iCub platform. Quantitative evaluation of the proposed system is performed both on in-house robotics data-sets (iCubWorld) and on established computer vision benchmarks (Caltech-256, PASCAL VOC 2007). As a byproduct of this work, we provide for the robotics community an implementation of the proposed visual recognition pipeline which can be used as perceptual layer for more complex robotics applications. © 2016

PubMed | SSD Endocrinologia PediatricaOspedale Pediatrico Microcitemico A. Cao, University GenovaGenova, University of Bologna, UOC di Endocrinologia e DiabetologiaOspedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu IRCCS and Ospedale Generale RegionaleBolzano
Type: Journal Article | Journal: European journal of endocrinology | Year: 2016

The diagnosis of GH deficiency (GHD) in children and adolescents is established when GH concentrations fail to reach an arbitrary cut-off level after at least two provocative tests. The objective of the study was to define the optimal GH cut-offs to provocative tests in children and adolescents.Retrospective study in 372 subjects who underwent evaluation of GH secretion. GH and IGF-I were measured by chemiluminescence assay in all samples. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to evaluate the optimal GH cut-offs and the diagnostic accuracy of provocative tests.Seventy four patients with organic GHD (GH peak <10g/L after two provocative tests) and 298 control subjects (GH response >10g/L to at least one test) were included in the study. The provocative tests used were arginine, insulin tolerance test (ITT) and clonidine. Diagnostic criteria based on cut-offs identified by ROC analysis (best pair of values for sensitivity and specificity) were evaluated for each test individually and for each test combined with IGF-I SDS.The optimal GH cut-off for arginine resulted 6.5g/L, 5.1g/L for ITT and 6.8g/L for clonidine. IGF-I SDS has low accuracy in diagnosing GHD (AUC=0.85). The combination of the results of provocative tests with IGF-I concentrations increased the specificity.The results of the ROC analysis showed that the cut-off limits which discriminate between normal and GHD are lower than those commonly employed. IGF-I is characterized by low diagnostic accuracy.

PubMed | University of Genoa, University GenovaGenova, Urbino University and University of Sannio
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in physiology | Year: 2016

Adipose tissue, dietary lipids and de novo lipogenesis are sources of hepatic free fatty acids (FFAs) that are stored in lipid droplets (LDs) as triacylglycerols (TAGs). Destiny of TAGs stored in LDs is determined by LD proteomic equipment. When adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) localizes at LD surface the lipid mobilization is stimulated. In this work, an in vitro model of cultured rat hepatocytes mimicking a mild steatosis condition was used to investigate the direct lipid-lowering action of iodothyronines, by focusing, in particular, on LD-associated proteins, FFA oxidation and lipid secretion. Our results demonstrate that in steatotic hepatocytes iodothyronines reduced the lipid excess through the recruitment of ATGL on LD surface, and the modulation of the LD-associated proteins Rab18 and TIP47. As an effect of ATGL recruitment, iodothyronines stimulated the lipid mobilization from LDs then followed by the up-regulation of carnitine-palmitoyl-transferase (CPT1) expression and the stimulation of cytochrome-c oxidase (COX) activity that seems to indicate a stimulation of mitochondrial function. The lipid lowering action of iodothyronines did not depend on increased TAG secretion. On the basis of our data, ATGL could be indicated as an early mediator of the lipid-lowering action of iodothyronines able to channel hydrolyzed FFAs toward mitochondrial beta-oxidation rather than secretion.

PubMed | Pediatric Rheumatology and University GenovaGenova
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in pharmacology | Year: 2016

Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) is the form of childhood arthritis whose treatment is most challenging. The demonstration of the prominent involvement of interleukin (IL)-1 in disease pathogenesis has provided the rationale for the treatment with biologic medications that antagonize this cytokine. The three IL-1 blockers that have been tested so far (anakinra, canakinumab, and rilonacept) have all been proven effective and safe, although only canakinumab is currently approved for use in sJIA. The studies on IL-1 inhibition in sJIA published in the past few years suggest that children with fewer affected joints, higher neutrophil count, younger age at disease onset, shorter disease duration, or, possibly, higher ferritin level may respond better to anti-IL-1 treatment. In addition, it has been postulated that use of IL-1 blockade as first-line therapy may take advantage of a window of opportunity, in which disease pathophysiology can be altered to prevent the occurrence of chronic arthritis. In this review, we analyze the published literature on IL-1 inhibitors in sJIA and discuss the rationale underlying the use of these medications, the results of therapeutic studies, and the controversial issues.

Ferrari M.L.,University GenovaGenova | Pascenti M.,University GenovaGenova | Magistri L.,University GenovaGenova | Massardo A.F.,University GenovaGenova
Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power | Year: 2010

The Thermochemical Power Group of the University of Genoa, Italy, has developed a new "Gas Turbine" laboratory to introduce undergraduate students to the Gas Turbines and Innovative Cycles course, and Ph.D.s to advanced experimental activities in the same field. In the laboratory a general-purpose experimental rig, based on a modified commercial 100 kW recuperated micro gas turbine, was installed and fully instrumented. One of the main objectives of the laboratory is to provide both students and researchers with several experimental possibilities to obtain data related to the gas turbine steady-state, transient, and dynamic performance, including the effect of interaction between the turbomachines (especially the compressor), and more complex innovative gas turbine cycle configurations, such as recuperated, humid air, and hybrid (with high temperature fuel cells). The facility was partially funded by two Integrated Projects of the EU VI Framework Program (Felicitas and LARGE-SOFC) and the Italian Government (PRIN project), and it was designed with a high flexibility approach including: flow control management, cogenerative and trigenerative applications, downstream compressor volume variation, grid-connected or stand-alone operations, recuperated or simple cycles, and room temperature control. The paper also shows, as an example of the possibilities offered by the rig, experimental data obtained by both Master and Ph.D. students. The tests presented here are essential for understanding commercial gas turbines and microturbine performance, control strategy development, and theoretical model validation. Copyright © 2010 by ASME.

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