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Bologna, Italy

The University of Bologna is a university in Bologna, Italy, founded in 1088. As of 2013 the University's crest carries the motto Alma mater studiorum and the date A.D. 1088. The University has about 85,000 students in its 23 schools. It has branch centres in Imola, Ravenna, Forlì, Cesena and Rimini and a branch center abroad in Buenos Aires. It also has a school of excellence named Collegio Superiore di Bologna. It is recognised as the oldest university in continuous operation, considering that it was the first to use the term universitas for the corporations of students and masters which came to define the institution.The publisher of the University of Bologna is Bononia University Press S.p.A . Wikipedia.

Derosa G.,University of Pavia | Maffioli P.,University of Pavia | Cicero A.F.G.,University of Bologna
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2012

Introduction: Type 2 diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolemia have proven to give an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Recent studies have suggested that the natural alkaloid berberine could have pharmacological activities potentially useful in diabetes and hypercholesterolemia management. Areas covered: The aim of this review is to evaluate the metabolic properties of the natural alkaloid berberine, and its potential application to the treatment of diabetes and CVD prevention. Expert opinion: Berberine proved to be effective in improving glycemic control and lipid profile. The modern investigation on berberine pharmacological activity is actually developing and numerous scientific evidences are actually in progress and reported in international congresses. The near future perspective is the isolation or neo-synthesis of berberine analogs with a higher bioavailability. The anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-diabetic effects of berberine have to be related to markers of improvement in organ damage in humans; longer trials are needed to better evaluate the safety profile of the molecule, when administered alone or in association with other anti-hyperlipidemic or anti-diabetic drugs, especially in the European population. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.

Staderini M.,Complutense University of Madrid | Martin M.A.,Complutense University of Madrid | Bolognesi M.L.,University of Bologna | Menendez J.C.,Complutense University of Madrid
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

Brain amyloid depositions are the main hallmarks of Alzheimer's and other protein misfolding diseases. Since they are believed to precede clinical symptoms by several years, imaging of such fibrillar aggregates is particularly suitable to diagnose the onset of the disease in its early stage and monitor its progression. In this context, near infrared (NIR) imaging has been proposed as a promising and non-invasive method to visualize amyloid plaques in vivo because of its acceptable depth of penetration and minimal degree of tissue damage. In this tutorial review, we describe the main chemical and physicochemical features of probes associated with fluorescence emission in the NIR region. The review focuses on the recent progress and improvements in the development of small-molecule NIR fluorescent probes and their in vivo application in living animals. In addition, the possible therapeutic application of NIR probes to block the pathological aggregation process will be discussed, raising the fascinating possibility of their exploitation as theranostic agents. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Becucci M.,University of Florence | Melandri S.,University of Bologna
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2016

A wealth of structural and dynamical information has been obtained in the last 30 years from the study of high-resolution spectra of molecular clusters generated in a cold supersonic expansion by means of highly resolved spectroscopic methods. The data obtained, generally lead to determination of the structures of stable conformations. In addition, in the case of weakly bound molecular complexes, it is usual to observe the effects of internal motions due to the shallowness of the potential energy surfaces involved and the flexibility of the systems. In the case of electronic excitation experiments, also the effect of electronic distribution changes on both equilibrium structures and internal motions becomes accessible. The structural and dynamical information that can be obtained by applying suitable theoretical models to the analysis of these unusually complex spectra allows the determination and understanding of the driving forces involved in formation of the molecular complex. In this way, many types of non-covalent interactions have been characterized, from pure van der Waals interactions in complexes of rare gases to moderate-strength and weak hydrogen bonds and to the most recent halogen bonds and n-π interactions. The aim of this review is to underline how the different experimental and theoretical methods converge in giving a detailed picture of weak interactions in small molecular adducts involving medium-size molecules. The conclusions regarding geometries and energies can contribute to understanding of the different driving forces involved in the dynamics of the processes and can be exploited in all fields of chemistry and biochemistry, from design of new materials with novel properties to rational design of drugs. © 2016 American Chemical Society.

Fabrizio M.,University of Bologna
Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Mathematik und Physik | Year: 2010

The paper deals with the second-order phase transition in Helium II by a Ginzburg-Landau model, in which any particle has simultaneously a normal and superfluid velocity. This pattern is able to describe the classical effects of Helium II as the phase diagram, the vortices, the second sound and the thermomechanical effect. Finally, the vorticities and turbulence are described by an extension of the model in which the material time derivative is used. © 2009 Birkháuser Verlag Basel/Switzerland.

Lotze H.K.,Dalhousie University | Coll M.,Dalhousie University | Coll M.,CSIC - Institute of Marine Sciences | Magera A.M.,Dalhousie University | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2011

Many marine populations and ecosystems have experienced strong historical depletions, yet reports of recoveries are increasing. Here, we review the growing research on marine recoveries to reveal how common recovery is, its magnitude, timescale and major drivers. Overall, 10-50% of depleted populations and ecosystems show some recovery, but rarely to former levels of abundance. In addition, recovery can take many decades for long-lived species and complex ecosystems. Major drivers of recovery include the reduction of human impacts, especially exploitation, habitat loss and pollution, combined with favorable life-history and environmental conditions. Awareness, legal protection and enforcement of management plans are also crucial. Learning from historical recovery successes and failures is essential for implementing realistic conservation goals and promising management strategies. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Lenci M.,University of Bologna
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2010

In the context of the long-standing issue of mixing in infinite ergodic theory, we introduce the idea of mixing for observables possessing an infinite-volume average. The idea is borrowed from statistical mechanics and appears to be relevant, at least for extended systems with a direct physical interpretation. We discuss the pros and cons of a few mathematical definitions that can be devised, testing them on a prototypical class of infinite measure-preserving dynamical systems, namely, the random walks. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Vernocchi P.,University of Bologna
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology | Year: 2012

Bacteria colonizing the human intestinal tract exhibit a high phylogenetic diversity that reflects their immense metabolic potentials. The catalytic activity of gut microbes has an important impact on gastrointestinal (GI) functions and host health. The microbial conversion of carbohydrates and other food components leads to the formation of a large number of compounds that affect the host metabolome and have beneficial or adverse effects on human health. Metabolomics is a metabolic-biology system approach focused on the metabolic responses understanding of living systems to physio-pathological stimuli by using multivariate statistical data on human body fluids obtained by different instrumental techniques. A metabolomic approach based on an analytical platform could be able to separate, detect, characterize and quantify a wide range of metabolites and its metabolic pathways. This approach has been recently applied to study the metabolic changes triggered in the gut microbiota by specific diet components and diet variations, specific diseases, probiotic and synbiotic food intake. This review describes the metabolomic data obtained by analyzing human fluids by using different techniques and particularly Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Solid-phase Micro Extraction (GC-MS/SPME), Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance ((1)H-NMR) Spectroscopy and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. This instrumental approach has a good potential in the identification and detection of specific food intake and diseases biomarkers.

Total caloric restriction (CR) without malnutrition is a well-established experimental approach to extend life span in laboratory animals. Although CR in humans is capable of shifting several endocrinological parameters, it is not clear where the minimum inflection point of the U-shaped curve linking body mass index (BMI) with all-cause mortality lies. The exact trend of this curve, when used for planning preventive strategies for public health is of extreme importance. Normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 24.9; many epidemiological studies show an inverse relationship between mortality and BMI inside the normal BMI range. Other studies show that the lowest mortality in the entire range of BMI is obtained in the overweight range (25-29.9). Reconciling the extension of life span in laboratory animals by experimental CR with the BMI-mortality curve of human epidemiology is not trivial. In fact, one interpretation is that the CR data are identifying a known: "excess fat is deleterious for health"; although a second interpretation may be that: "additional leanness from a normal body weight may add health and life span delaying the process of aging." This short review hope to start a discussion aimed at finding the widest consensus on which weight range should be considered the "healthiest" for our species, contributing in this way to the picture of what is the correct life style for a long and healthy life span. © 2014 Lorenzini.

Di Fabio B.,University of Bologna | Landi C.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Foundations of Computational Mathematics | Year: 2011

In algebraic topology it is well known that, using the Mayer-Vietoris sequence, the homology of a space X can be studied by splitting X into subspaces A and B and computing the homology of A, B, and A∩B. A natural question is: To what extent does persistent homology benefit from a similar property? In this paper we show that persistent homology has a Mayer-Vietoris sequence that is generally not exact but only of order 2. However, we obtain a Mayer-Vietoris formula involving the ranks of the persistent homology groups of X, A, B, and A∩B plus three extra terms. This implies that persistent homological features of A and B can be found either as persistent homological features of X or of A∩B. As an application of this result, we show that persistence diagrams are able to recognize an occluded shape by showing a common subset of points. © 2011 SFoCM.

Viroli C.,University of Bologna
Statistics and Computing | Year: 2011

Matrix-variate distributions represent a natural way for modeling random matrices. Realizations from random matrices are generated by the simultaneous observation of variables in different situations or locations, and are commonly arranged in three-way data structures. Among the matrix-variate distributions, the matrix normal density plays the same pivotal role as the multivariate normal distribution in the family of multivariate distributions. In this work we define and explore finite mixtures of matrix normals. An EM algorithm for the model estimation is developed and some useful properties are demonstrated. We finally show that the proposed mixture model can be a powerful tool for classifying three-way data both in supervised and unsupervised problems. A simulation study and some real examples are presented. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Camilleri M.,Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research | Stanghellini V.,University of Bologna
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2013

Functional dyspepsia refers to painful and nonpainful symptoms that are perceived to arise in the upper digestive tract but are not secondary to organic, systemic or metabolic diseases. The symptoms of this syndrome often overlap with those of GERD and IBS, making its management far from simple. If Helicobacter pylori infection is diagnosed in patients with functional dyspepsia, it should be treated. In patients with mild or intermittent symptoms, reassurance and lifestyle advice might be sufficient; in patients not responding to these measures, or in those with more severe symptoms, drug therapy should be considered. Both PPIs and prokinetics can be used in initial empirical pharmacotherapy based on symptom patterns - a PPI is more likely to be effective in the presence of retrosternal or epigastric burning or epigastric pain, whereas a prokinetic is more effective in dyspepsia with early satiation or postprandial fullness. Although combinations of PPIs and prokinetics might have additive symptomatic effects, single-drug therapy is initially preferable. Antidepressants or referral to a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can be considered in nonresponders and in those whose symptoms have a marked effect on daily functioning. Despite extensive research, functional dyspepsia treatment often remains unsatisfactory. Better characterization of dyspeptic subgroups and understanding of underlying mechanisms will enable treatment advances to be made in the future. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Castellazzi G.,University of Bologna
Finite Elements in Analysis and Design | Year: 2011

Parametric finite elements can lose their performance when distortions of the element geometry arise. Geometry distortions cause global co-ordinates to be non-linear functions of local co-ordinates when described through the co-ordinate transformation. This transformation is ruled by the inverse of the Jacobian matrix. In this paper a new method to investigate the effects of element distortions on the performance of parametric finite elements is presented. By inspecting analytically the Jacobian matrix, the proposed method investigates, on a rational basis, the relation between distortions and the interpolating functions of parametric finite elements. Common examples are employed to test the accuracy of the information provided by the method. Comparison with extant methods confirm the ability of the proposed technique to give useful information about the performance of an investigated element when geometry distortions occur. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Montanari A.,University of Bologna | Di Baldassarre G.,UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Advances in Water Resources | Year: 2013

Observation uncertainty is nowadays recognized as a serious issue undermining the reliability of hydrological studies. For instance, many recent contributions show that river flow observations are affected by errors that may reach 25% even when state-of-the-art measurement techniques are adopted. Yet, there is still little guidance by the literature on the most appropriate modelling strategies to be adopted under observation uncertainty. We carried out a series of simulation experiments and explored how the selection of appropriate model complexity can help reduce the impact of observation uncertainty. We found that model structure plays a relevant role and, in particular, a description of the relevant physical processes that come into play can effectively contribute to limit the impact of data errors and therefore significantly reduce overall uncertainty. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bianca C.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Ferrara M.,University of Reggio Calabria | Guerrini L.,University of Bologna
Journal of Global Optimization | Year: 2014

Recently the thermostatted kinetic framework has been proposed as mathematical model for studying nonequilibrium complex systems constrained to keep constant the total energy. The time evolution of the distribution function of the system is described by a nonlinear partial integro-differential equation with quadratic type nonlinearity coupled with the Gaussian isokinetic thermostat. This paper is concerned with further developments of this thermostatted framework. Specifically the term related to the Gaussian thermostat is adjusted in order to ensure the conservation of even high-order moments of the distribution function. The derived framework that constitutes a new paradigm for the derivation of specific models in the applied sciences, is analytically investigated. The global in time existence and uniqueness of the solution to the relative Cauchy problem is proved. Existence and moments conservation of stationary solutions are also performed. Suitable applications and research perspectives are outlined in the last section of the paper. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Todini E.,University of Bologna | Rossman L.A.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering | Year: 2013

The known formulations for steady-state hydraulics within looped water distribution networks are rederived in terms of linear and nonlinear transformations of the original set of partly linear and partly nonlinear equations that express conservation of mass and energy. All of these formulations lead to a system of nonlinear equations that can be linearized as a function of the chosen unknowns using either the Newton-Raphson (NR) or the linear theory (LT) approaches. This produces a number of different algorithms, some of which are already known in the literature, whereas others have been originally developed within this work. For the sake of clarity, all the different algorithms were rederived using the same analytical approach and a unified notation. They were all applied to the same test case network with randomly perturbed demands to compare their convergence characteristics. The results show that all of the linearly transformed formulations have exactly the same convergence rate, whose value depends on whether a NR or LT algorithm was used, and that they converge faster than the nonlinearly transformed formulations do. A number of computational factors suggest that the global algorithm, in either its NR or LT form, is the most attractive of the various formulations to implement. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Todini E.,University of Bologna
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

This paper discusses the analogies and the performances of two uncertainty post-processors, the Hydrologic Uncertainty Processor (HUP) introduced by Krzysztofowicz (1999) and the Model Conditional Processor (MCP), which was proposed by Todini (2008) for the assessment of predictive uncertainty, as an alternative to HUP. The paper shows analytically and through a numerical example that the two uncertainty processors are strongly related and explains why MPC results into improved performances with respect to the HUP, when used with the same level of information. The simplicity of its derivation, the extended capabilities of MCP at tackling multi-predictand, multi-site, multi-model, multi-time problems together with the possible use of Truncated Normal Distributions in order to overcome heteroscedasticity in the residuals make MCP more easily applicable than HUP to describe predictive uncertainty in real time flood forecasting applications. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Druskin V.,Schlumberger | Simoncini V.,University of Bologna
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2011

The rational Krylov space is recognized as a powerful tool within model order reduction techniques for linear dynamical systems. However, its success has been hindered by the lack of a parameter-free procedure, which would effectively generate the sequence of shifts used to build the space. In this paper we propose an adaptive computation of these shifts. The whole procedure only requires us to inject some initial rough estimate of the spectral region of the matrix, while further information is automatically generated during the process. The approach is a full generalization to the nonsymmetric case of the idea first proposed in Druskin et al. (2010) [18] and it is used for two important problems in control: the approximation of the transfer function and the numerical solution of large Lyapunov equations. The procedure can be naturally extended to other related problems, such as the solution of the Sylvester equation, and parametric or higher order systems. Several numerical experiments are proposed to assess the quality of the rational projection space over its most natural competitors. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Buratti C.,University of Bologna | Zanella A.,CNR Institute of Electronics, Computer and Telecommunication Engineering
IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology | Year: 2011

This paper investigates the performance of multihop virtual multiple-inputmultiple-output systems (V-MIMO), based on the concept of virtual antenna array (VAA), in the presence of random location of nodes. Nodes are supposed to be distributed according to a Poisson point process. Random fluctuations are considered, and the channel model takes both slow and fast fading into account. Performance is evaluated in terms of outage probability, which is defined as the probability that the ergodic capacity between the source and the destination is smaller than a given threshold. We investigate the impact of a random distribution of nodes on the overall performance. The role played by the interference, when some reuse of radio resources is considered for inter-VAA communication, is also investigated. © 2011 IEEE.

De Rosis A.,University of Bologna
International Journal of Modern Physics C | Year: 2014

In this paper, the lattice Boltzmann (LB) method is used in order to simulate non-Newtonian blood flows in deformable vessels. Casson's rheological model is adopted and a local correction to the relaxation time is implemented in order to modify the viscosity. The hyperelastic, hardening and anisotropic behavior of a flexible arterial wall is discussed and a closed-form solution is used to predict the deformed configuration of the vessel. A partitioned staggered-explicit strategy to couple the LB method and such analytical prediction is proposed. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Brucale M.,CNR Institute of Nanostructured Materials | Schuler B.,University of Zurich | Samori B.,University of Bologna
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

Single-molecule techniques have started to provide important new types of information on the structural and dynamic behavior of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). All single-molecule experiments are by definition able to avoid ensemble averaging since they give information on the smallest possible subensembles of a population. Two of the key strengths of the approaches are their ability to resolve structural and dynamic heterogeneity and to provide quantitative information that can be used for testing physical models. The single-molecule fluorescence approaches available, ranging from Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) to Positron Emission Topography (PET) and (FCS), can provide information on intra and intermolecular distances and, even more importantly, distance distributions, dynamics on time scales from nanoseconds to seconds, and changes in molecular size or dimensions. Combination of single-molecule fluorescence and ionic current measurements in single-ion channels was developed to monitor structural changes in single channels.

Cappelli R.,University of Bologna
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics | Year: 2011

This paper describes a new fingerprint indexing approach based on vector and scalar features, obtained from ridge-line orientations and frequencies. A carefully designed set of features and ad-hoc score measures allow the proposed indexing algorithm to be extremely effective and efficient, as confirmed by the results of extensive experiments. The new method markedly outperforms competing state-of-the-art techniques over six publicly available data sets. Furthermore, it can scale to large databases without losing accuracy: on a standard PC, a search over one million fingerprints takes less than 1 s. © 2006 IEEE.

Bortolotti M.,University of Bologna
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

The lack of an effective medical treatment for gastro-paresis has pushed the research of new techniques of gastric electrical stimulation (GES) for nearly half a century of experimentation with a large variety of electrical stimuli delivered to the gastric wall of animals and patients with gastroparesis. Three principal methods are currently available: gastric low-frequency/high-energy GES with long pulse stimulation, high-frequency/low-energy GES with short pulse stimulation and neural sequential GES. The first method aims to reset a regular slow wave rhythm, but has variable effects on contractions and requires devices with large and heavy batteries unsuitable for implantation. High-frequency/low-energy GES, although inadequate to restore a normal gastric electro-mechanical activity, improves dyspeptic symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting, giving patients a better quality of life together with a more satisfactory nutritional status and is suitable for implantation. Unfortunately, the numerous clinical studies using this type of GES, with the exception of two, were not controlled and there is a need for definitive verification of the effectiveness of this technique to justify the cost and the risks of this procedure. The last method, which is neural sequential GES, consists of a microprocessor-controlled sequential activation of a series of annular electrodes along the distal two thirds of the stomach and is able to induce propagated contractions causing forceful emptying of the gastric content. The latter method is the most promising, but has been used only in animals and needs to be tested in patients with gastroparesis before it is regarded as a solution for this disease. © 2011 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Barletta A.,University of Bologna | Nield D.A.,University of Auckland
Physics of Fluids | Year: 2011

The onset of the convective instability in the horizontal throughflow of a power-law fluid saturating a horizontal porous layer heated from below is studied. A linear stability analysis of the basic flow is carried out and the disturbance equations are solved analytically. The problem examined here is an extension of the classical Prats problem for Newtonian fluids. It is shown that the marginal stability condition, as well as the critical values of the wave number and of the Darcy-Rayleigh number, is affected by the value of the Péclet number associated with the basic flow, except for the special case of a Newtonian fluid. The limit of a vanishingly small Péclet number is considered leading to the special case of the Horton-Rogers-Lapwood (HRL) problem for a power-law fluid, i.e., the Prats problem with a vanishing basic throughflow. It is shown that the generalized HRL problem is always linearly stable for pseudoplastic fluids and always linearly unstable for dilatant fluids. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.

The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling axis plays a central role in cell proliferation, growth, and survival under physiological conditions. However, aberrant PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling has been implicated in many human cancers, including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Therefore, the PI3K/Akt/mTOR network is considered as a validated target for innovative cancer therapy. The limit of acceptable toxicity for standard polychemotherapy has been reached in AML. Novel therapeutic strategies are therefore needed. This review highlights how the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling axis is constitutively active in AML patients, where it affects survival, proliferation, and drug-resistance of leukemic cells including leukemic stem cells. Effective targeting of this pathway with small molecule kinase inhibitors, employed alone or in combination with other drugs, could result in the suppression of leukemic cell growth. Furthermore, targeting the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling network with small pharmacological inhibitors, employed either alone or in combinations with other drugs, may result in less toxic and more efficacious treatment of AML patients. Efforts to exploit pharmacological inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR cascade which show efficacy and safety in the clinical setting are now underway.

Iazeolla C.,University of Bologna | Sundell P.,University of Mons
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We provide Vasiliev's four-dimensional bosonic higher-spin gravities with six families of exact solutions admitting two commuting Killing vectors. Each family contains a subset of generalized Petrov Type-D solutions in which one of the two so(2) symmetries enhances to either so(3) or so(2, 1). In particular, the spherically symmetric solutions are static and we expect one of them to be gauge-equivalent to the extremal Didenko-Vasiliev solution [1]. The solutions activate all spins and can be characterized either via generalized electric and magnetic charges defined asymptotically in weak-field regions or via the values of fully higher-spin gauge-invariant observables given by on-shell closed zeroforms. The solutions are obtained by combining the gauge-function method with separation of variables in twistor space via expansion of the Weyl zero-form in Di-Rac supersingleton projectors times deformation parameters in a fashion that is suggestive of a generalized electromagnetic duality. © SISSA 2011.

Muratori L.,University of Bologna | Longhi M.S.,Kings College London
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

Autoimmune hepatitis is an immuno-mediated inflammatory liver disorder of unknown etiology and is characterized by hypergammaglobulinaemia, circulating autoantibodies and interface hepatitis. The disease may often present as an acute icteric hepatitis, or run an insidious and progressive course, and in most of the cases it is expected to evolve towardliver cirrhosis and end-stage liver failure, without prompt and appropriate treatment with steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs. Nonetheless, several patients are non-responsive or become non-tolerant to conventional therapy with prednisone/prednisolone with or without azathioprine. Recent findings highlight the role of the interplay between CD4. +. CD25+ regulatory T cells and Th17 cells in the pathogenesis of autoimmune hepatitis. A numerical and functional imbalance between regulatory and effector cells in favor of the latter appears to be pivotal in the progression of the disease. In addition, the intra-hepatic microenvironment of autoimmune hepatitis is particularly rich in pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, IL-17, IL-23, IL-1β which play a crucial role in perpetuating and expanding effector cells and subsequent liver damage, whereas regulatory T cells are greatly disadvantaged and inhibited in such polarized habitat. Novel therapeutic interventions should aim at modulating the intra-hepatic pro-inflammatory milieu while favoring the expansion of regulatory T cells. Liver autoantigen-specific regulatory T cells generated and expanded invitro from patients' own cells might offer a potentially curative approach to autoimmune hepatitis by inhibiting effector cells of the same specificity without inducing pan-immunosuppression. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Mahapatra S.K.,Clarkson University | Narasimhan R.,Michigan State University | Barbieri P.,University of Bologna
Journal of Operations Management | Year: 2010

Inter-organizational exchange governance approaches are often characterized as two broad types: relational and transactional. However, in fast changing business contexts, the contextual contingencies do not present ideal conditions for practicing purely relational or transactional approach. Understanding the dynamic of key contextual factors and their effects on a firm's resource capabilities and inter-organizational power structure is crucial for identifying the appropriate governance structure over time. In this paper we explore the exchanges between an OEM and five of its strategic suppliers that operate in high-end, short product life cycle motorbike industry, to understand the key contextual factors and the relationships among business context, governance structure, and exchange practices in a dyadic context. It is observed that firms deviate from the conventional choices of either transactional or relational governance to a combination of contractual and relational aspects to make the governance structure effective. Based on case studies, a theoretical framework is proposed to explain the rationale, feasibility and effectiveness of combining contractual and relational aspects in different contexts. The framework suggests that the degree of strategic interdependence between the trading partners fundamentally drives the effectiveness of governance structure and exchange practices. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2011

Not long ago, the definition of eigenspinors of charge-conjugation belonging to a special Wigner class has lead to the unexpected theoretical discovery of a form of matter with spin 12 and mass dimension 1, called ELKO matter field; ELKO matter fields defined in flat spacetimes have been later extended to curved and twisted spacetimes, in order to include in their dynamics the coupling to gravitational fields possessing both metric and torsional degrees of freedom: the inclusion of non-commuting spinorial covariant derivatives allows for the introduction of more general dynamical terms influencing the behaviour of ELKO matter fields. In this Letter, we shall solve the theoretical problem of finding the most general dynamics for ELKO matter, and we will face the phenomenological issue concerning how the new dynamical terms may affect the behavior of ELKO matter; we will see that new effects will arise for which the very existence of ELKO matter will be endangered, due to the fact that ELKOs will turn incompatible with the cosmological principle. Thus we have that anisotropic universes must be taken into account if ELKOs are to be considered in their most general form. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Toth F.,University of Bologna
Health Economics, Policy and Law | Year: 2014

The Italian National Health Service began experimenting with a significant regionalisation process during the 1990s. The purpose of this article is to assess the effects that this regionalisation process is having on the rift between the north and the south of the country. Has the gap between the health care systems of the northern and southern regions been increasing or decreasing during the 1999-2009 decade? Three indicators will be utilised to answer this question: (1) the level of satisfaction expressed by the citizens towards the regional hospital system; (2) the mobility of the patients among regions; (3) the health care deficit accumulated by the individual regions. On the basis of these three indicators, there is evidence to conclude that, during the decade under study, the gap between the North and the South, already significant, has increased further. © Cambridge University Press 2014.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
General Relativity and Gravitation | Year: 2011

We consider the ELKO field in interaction through contorsion with its own spin density, and we investigate the form of the consequent autointeractions; to do so we take into account the high-density limit and find plane wave solutions: such plane waves give rise to contorsional autointeractions for which the Ricci metric curvature vanishes and therefore the energy density is equal to zero identically. Consequences are discussed. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Venturi D.,University of Bologna
Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena | Year: 2011

We present a general approach for nonlinear biorthogonal decomposition of random fields. The mathematical theory is developed based on a fully symmetric operator framework that unifies different types of expansions and allows for a simple formulation of necessary and sufficient conditions for their completeness. The key idea of the method relies on an equivalence between nonlinear mappings of Hilbert spaces and local inner products, i.e. inner products that may be functionals of the random field being decomposed. This extends previous work on the subject and allows for an effective formulation of field-dependent and field-independent representations. The proposed new methodology can be applied in many areas of mathematical physics, for stochastic low-dimensional modelling of partial differential equations and dimensionality reduction of complex nonlinear phenomena. An application to a transient stochastic heat conduction problem in a one-dimensional infinite medium is presented and discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ricci G.,University of Bologna
Skin therapy letter | Year: 2012

Many factors may worsen atopic dermatitis (AD) including sweating, skin infections, food, inhalant allergens, climatic conditions, stress, and chemical or physical irritants. Especially in children, clothing can be an effective barrier against flare-inducing factors and persistent scratching, allowing more rapid improvement of the eczematous lesions. On the contrary, some fabrics used for clothing may exacerbate skin conditions due to their rough fibers, such as wool and nylon. Conventional silk has smooth fibers that are generally woven for textiles in the manufacturing of clothes, but this material is not particularly useful in the management of children with AD since it reduces transpiration and may cause discomfort. Herein, we evaluate the data concerning a special silk fabric (MICROAIR DermaSilk®) shown to be suitable for patients with AD. The unique properties of this knitted silk allow the skin to breathe and lack irritative potential. Moreover, this fabric is treated with a water-resistant antimicrobial finish known as AEGIS AEM 5772/5. This novel knitted silk fabric appears to be useful in managing children with AD due to its non-irritating and antibacterial features. Additionally, a synthetic silk-like fabric (DermaTherapy®) has received US FDA clearance as a Class I medical device and is commercially available as bedding; their use by AD patients has shown interesting results.

Lewis R.E.,University of Bologna | Kontoyiannis D.P.,University of Houston
Future Microbiology | Year: 2013

Mucormycosis is an uncommon but aggressive opportunistic fungal infection that afflicts patients with severe underlying immunosuppression, uncontrolled hyperglycemia and/or ketoacidosis, patients with iron overload resulting from frequent blood transfusions or blood disorders and occasionally healthy patients who are inoculated with fungal spores through traumatic injuries. The clinical presentation of mucormycosis is initially indistinguishable from other common infections, and if not diagnosed early and aggressively treated, it is almost always fatal. In this article we summarize recent changes in the epidemiology of mucormycosis, discuss diagnostic and clinical clues suggestive of the infection and provide a general strategy for managing the infection in the absence of data from well-controlled, prospective clinical trials. © 2013 Future Medicine Ltd.

Cannarsa R.,University of Bologna
Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN | Year: 2012

Several studies demonstrated a cross-talk between the opioid and cannabinoid system. The NOP receptor and its endogenous ligand nociceptin/orphanin FQ represent an opioid-related functional entity that mediates some non-classical opioid effects. The relationship between cannabinoid and nociceptin/NOP system is yet poorly explored. In this study, we used the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line to investigate the effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC) on nociceptin/NOP system. Results revealed that the exposure to Δ(9)-THC (100, 150, and 200 nM) for 24 h produces a dose-dependent NOP receptor B (max) down-regulation. Moreover, Δ(9)-THC caused a dose-dependent decrease in NOP mRNA levels. The selective cannabinoid receptor CB1 antagonist AM251 (1-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-5-(4-iodophenyl)-4-methyl-N-1-piperidinyl-1H-pyrazole-3-carboxamide) reduces both effects, suggesting that Δ(9)-THC activation of CB1 receptor is involved in the observed effects. These data show evidence of a cross-talk between NOP and CB1 receptors, thus suggesting a possible interplay between cannabinoid and nociceptin/NOP system.

Ghisetti C.,University of Bologna | Rennings K.,Center for European Economic Research
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

Much of the empirical literature analysing the relation between environmental innovation and competitiveness has focused on the question whether "it pays to be green". We differentiate between different types of environmental innovations, which will be disentangled in those aiming at reducing the negative externalities and those allowing for efficiency increases and cost savings. What we analyse is at first the extent to which these two typologies have impacts on firms' profitability with opposite signs, and, secondly, whether the motivations driving the adoption of those innovations make the difference in terms of economic gains. We find empirical evidence that both the typology of Environmental Innovation and the driver of their adoption affect the sign of the relationship between competitiveness and environmental performance. Innovations leading to a reduction in the use of energy or materials per unit of output positively affect firms' competitiveness. Contrarily, externality reducing innovations hamper firms' competitiveness. The empirical strategy is based on a sample of German firms and makes use of a merge of two waves of the Mannheim Innovation Panel in 2011 and 2009 that allow overcoming some endogeneity issues which may arise in a cross-section setting. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Campo E.,University of Barcelona | Swerdlow S.H.,University of Pittsburgh | Harris N.L.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Pileri S.,University of Bologna | And 2 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

The World Health Organization classification of lymphoid neoplasms updated in 2008 represents a worldwide consensus on the diagnosis of these tumors and is based on the recognition of distinct diseases, using a multidisciplinary approach. The updated classification refined the definitions of well-recognized diseases, identified new entities and variants, and incorporated emerging concepts in the understanding of lymphoid neoplasms. However, some questions were unresolved, such as the extent to which specific genetic or molecular alterations define certain tumors, and the status of provisional entities, categories for which the World Health Organization working groups felt there was insufficient evidence to recognize as distinct diseases at this time. In addition, since its publication, new findings and ideas have been generated. This review summarizes the scientific rationale for the classification, emphasizing changes that have had an effect on practice guidelines. The authors address the criteria and significance of early or precursor lesions and the identification of certain lymphoid neoplasms largely associated with particular age groups, such as children and the elderly. The issue of borderline categories having overlapping features with large B-cell lymphomas, as well as several provisional entities, is reviewed. These new observations chart a course for future research in the field.

Foss F.M.,Yale Cancer Center | Zinzani P.L.,University of Bologna | Vose J.M.,University of Nebraska Medical Center | Gascoyne R.D.,British Columbia Cancer Agency | And 2 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are a heterogeneous group of clinically aggressive diseases associated with poor outcome. Studies that focus specifically on PTCL are emerging, with the ultimate goal of improved understanding of disease biology and the development of more effective therapies. However, one of the difficulties in classifying and studying treatment options in clinical trials is the rarity of these subtypes. Various groups have developed lymphoma classifications over the years, including the World Health Organization, which updated its classification in 2008. This article briefly reviews the major lymphoma classification schema, highlights contributions made by the collaborative International PTCL Project, discusses prognostic issues and gene expression profiling, and outlines therapeutic approaches to PTCL. These include the standard chemotherapeutic regimens and other modalities incorporating antifolates, conjugates, histone deacetylase inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, nucleoside analogs, proteasome inhibitors, and signaling inhibitors. As this review emphasizes, the problem has now evolved into an abundance of drugs and too few patients available to test them. Collaborative groups will aid in future efforts to find the best treatment strategies to improve the outcome for patients with PTCL. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Cristofolini L.,University of Bologna
Journal of Biomechanics | Year: 2015

Optimization can be seen in a number of human skeletal bones. While there is strong evidence concerning the mechanism at the tissue-level for bone adaptation to the applied loads, the structural optimization at the organ-level is somewhat less clear. This paper reviews the evidence, mainly based on in vitro testing, but also from anatomical and biomechanical considerations, concerning the shape-function relationship in some exemplar cases. The proximal femur is robustly optimized to resist a force applied in a range of directions during daily life, but also to absorb a large amount of energy if an impact is delivered on the greater trochanter during a sideways fall. The diaphysis of the tibia is shaped so as to act as a uniform-stress structure (. i.e. structurally efficient) when loaded by a bending moment in the sagittal plane, such as during locomotion. The body of the thoraco-lumbar vertebrae is optimized to resist to a load applied strictly in an axial direction. The result of this review suggests that the structure of bones derives from a combination of local stimulus-driven tissue-level adaptation within the subject, and organ-level generational evolution. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Mucciarelli A.,University of Bologna
Astronomische Nachrichten | Year: 2014

The Small Magellanic Cloud is a close, irregular galaxy that has experienced a complex star formation history due to the strong interactions occurred both with the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Galaxy. Despite its importance, the chemical composition of its stellar populations older than ∼ 1-2 Gyr is still poorly investigated. I present the first results of a spectroscopic survey of ∼ 200 Small Magellanic Cloud giant stars performed with FLAMES@VLT. The derived metallicity distribution peaks at [Fe/H] ∼ -0.9/-1.0 dex, with a secondary peak at [Fe/H] ∼ -0.6 dex. All these stars show [α /Fe] abundance ratios that are solar or mildly enhanced (∼+0.1 dex). Also, three metal-poor stars (with [Fe/H] ∼ -2.5 dex and enhanced [α /Fe] ratios compatible with those of the Galactic Halo) have been detected in the outskirts of the SMC: These giants are the most metal-poor stars discovered so far in the Magellanic Clouds. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Macchelli A.,University of Bologna
2013 European Control Conference, ECC 2013 | Year: 2013

The main contribution of this paper is the generalisation of well-known energy-based control techniques (i.e., energy-balancing passivity-based control and passivity-based control with state modulated source), to the case in which the plant is a port-Hamiltonian system in implicit form. A typical situation is when (part of) the system is obtained from the spatial discretization of an infinite dimensional port-Hamiltonian system: in this case, the dynamics is not given in standard input-state-output form, but as a set of DAEs. Consequently, the control by energy-shaping has to be extended to deal with dynamical systems with constraints. The general methodology is discussed with the help of a simple but illustrative example, i.e. a transmission line interconnected with an RLC circuit. © 2013 EUCA.

Macchelli A.,University of Bologna
IFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline) | Year: 2013

The scope of this paper is to show how to exploit the properties of the Stokes-Dirac structure in the development of energy-based boundary control laws for distributed port-Hamiltonian systems. Usually, stabilisation of non-zero equilibria has been achieved by shaping the open-loop Hamiltonian function by interconnecting a finite-dimensional port-Hamiltonian controller to the boundary of the distributed parameter system. The procedure is based on the presence of structural invariants, namely Casimir functions, in closed-loop, but this approach fails when a non-zero power flow from the controller is required at the equilibrium (dissipation obstacle). This paper illustrates that the class of stabilising controllers can be enlarged by relying on the parametrisation of the system dynamics provided by the image representation of the Stokes-Dirac structure, that is able to show the effects of the boundary inputs on the state evolution in a simple and effective way. © IFAC.

Morandi A.,University of Bologna
Physica C: Superconductivity and its Applications | Year: 2013

Modern electric power systems are becoming more and more complex in order to meet new needs. Nowadays a high power quality is mandatory and there is the need to integrate increasing amounts of on-site generation. All this translates in more sophisticated electric network with intrinsically high short circuit rate. This network is vulnerable in case of fault and special protection apparatus and procedures needs to be developed in order to avoid costly or even irreversible damage. A superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) is a device with a negligible impedance in normal operating conditions that reliably switches to a high impedance state in case of extra-current. Such a device is able to increase the short circuit power of an electric network and to contemporarily eliminate the hazard during the fault. It can be regarded as a key component for future electric power systems. In this paper the state of the art of superconducting fault current limiters mature for applications is briefly resumed and the potential impact of this device on the paradigm of design and operation of power systems is analyzed. In particular the use of the FCL as a mean to allow more interconnection of MV bus-bars as well an increased immunity with respect to the voltage disturbances induced by critical customer is discussed. The possibility to integrate more distributed generation in the distribution grid is also considered.

Volta U.,University of Bologna | Bardella M.T.,University of Milan | Calabro A.,University of Florence | Troncone R.,University of Naples Federico II | Corazza G.R.,University of Pavia
BMC Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is still an undefined syndrome with several unsettled issues despite the increasing awareness of its existence. We carried out a prospective survey on NCGS in Italian centers for the diagnosis of gluten-related disorders, with the aim of defining the clinical picture of this new syndrome and to establish roughly its prevalence compared with celiac disease. Methods: From November 2012 to October 2013, 38 Italian centers (27 adult gastroenterology, 5 internal medicine, 4 pediatrics, and 2 allergy) participated in this prospective survey. A questionnaire was used in order to allow uniform and accurate collection of clinical, biochemical, and instrumental data. Results: In total, 486 patients with suspected NCGS were identified in this 1-year period. The female/male ratio was 5.4 to 1, and the mean age was 38 years (range 3-81). The clinical picture was characterized by combined gastrointestinal (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation, nausea, epigastric pain, gastroesophageal reflux, aphthous stomatitis) and systemic manifestations (tiredness, headache, fibromyalgia-like joint/muscle pain, leg or arm numbness, 'foggy mind,' dermatitis or skin rash, depression, anxiety, and anemia). In the large majority of patients, the time lapse between gluten ingestion and the appearance of symptoms varied from a few hours to 1 day. The most frequent associated disorders were irritable bowel syndrome (47%), food intolerance (35%) and IgE-mediated allergy (22%). An associated autoimmune disease was detected in 14% of cases. Regarding family history, 18% of our patients had a relative with celiac disease, but no correlation was found between NCGS and positivity for HLA-DQ2/-DQ8. IgG anti-gliadin antibodies were detected in 25% of the patients tested. Only a proportion of patients underwent duodenal biopsy; for those that did, the biopsies showed normal intestinal mucosa (69%) or mild increase in intraepithelial lymphocytes (31%). The ratio between suspected NCGS and new CD diagnoses, assessed in 28 of the participating centers, was 1.15 to 1. Conclusions: This prospective survey shows that NCGS has a strong correlation with female gender and adult age. Based on our results, the prevalence of NCGS seems to be only slightly higher than that of celiac disease. Please see related article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/12/86. © 2014 Volta et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Montebugnoli L.,University of Bologna
The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants | Year: 2012

To compare the short-term outcome of dental implant therapy in a group of organ transplant patients with that of a control group. The study population included consecutive organ transplant patients and consecutive normal (healthy) subjects as controls. Two films were taken of all patients: one at baseline (implant placement) and one after 3 months of healing. All radiographs were analyzed twice (15 days apart) blindly by two independent trained radiologists. Crestal bone level (CBL) was measured, defined as the perpendicular distance from the reference point on the implant to the first visible apical bone-to-implant contact. The study population included 10 organ transplant patients (eight hearts, two livers) and 10 control patients, who received 20 and 12 submerged dental implants, respectively. At the 3-month follow-up visit, no implants showed any exposed cover screws. CBL increased in both groups, without any significant difference between the groups (CBL increased from 0.08±0.09 mm to 0.28±0.20 mm in transplant patients and from 0.11±0.16 mm to 0.42±0.32 mm in controls). Multiple analysis of variance showed that the mean bone loss of 0.21±0.18 mm observed in the group of transplant patients was not statistically different from that (0.32±0.25 mm) seen in the control group and was not influenced by any of the variables considered. The present pilot study seems to indicate that the bone response around submerged dental implants in immunocompromised organ transplant patients does not differ from that observed in control patients and that this particular population of patients may be successfully rehabilitated with dental implants.

Massi A.,University of Ferrara | Nanni D.,University of Bologna
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2012

Radical thiol-yne coupling (TYC) has emerged as one of the most appealing click chemistry procedures, appearing as a sound candidate for replacing/complementing other popular click reactions such as the thiol-ene coupling (TEC) and the Cu-catalysed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC). Radical TYC is indeed a metal-free reaction suitable for biomedical applications, and its mechanistic features often make it more efficient than its TEC sister reaction and more suitable for multifaceted derivatisations in the materials chemistry and bioconjugation realms. This article reviews the fascinating results obtained in those fields in very recent years. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Borghetti A.,University of Bologna
Electric Power Systems Research | Year: 2013

One of the functions that characterize modern management systems of electric power distribution networks is the periodical short-term optimization of the operating conditions. Such a function is typically designated as volt/var optimization (VVO). The usual objective is the minimization of network loss or demand. The main constraints are the maximum current values in lines or transformers and a few percentage point deviation of bus voltages from the rated value. VVO exploits the availability of two-way communication and the possibility to control transformer load tap changers, switchable capacitor banks, and reactive outputs of specific embedded generators (being active outputs often fixed by market decisions or by energy resource characteristics). The use of mixed integer linear programming (MILP) appears to have been less explored than other approaches for the solution of VVO problems. This paper presents a MILP model that includes the approximate representation of the main characteristics and constraints of short-term distribution system operation. The quality of the results obtained for different test feeders in various operating conditions and the corresponding performances of the solver appear promising for online applications. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Sentinelli P.,University of Bologna
Journal of Combinatorial Theory. Series A | Year: 2016

We define and study, for any Coxeter system (W, S), modules over its Temperley-Lieb algebra, two for each quotient WJ, which have generators indexed by the fully commutative elements of WJ. Our results are new even in type A and include, for J=θ, those obtained in [16] and [17]. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

In this paper the insulation resistances of the concrete structures of a high-speed rail transit system viaduct are analysed by means of an equivalent circuit. It is shown that the insulation resistances between a span and its respective piers and between adjacent spans depend on the earth wire to rebar resistance of the spans. The insulation resistances measured during the construction stages of the Ticino viaduct of the Italian ac high-speed line are used to estimate the earth wire to rebar resistance in three sections of the viaduct with different characteristics. The variation of the earth wire to rebar resistance along the viaduct can be related to the type, extension and progressive installation of metallic fixed structures in the spans. A good agreement between the viaduct insulation resistances calculated with the equivalent circuit and the measurements is found. An assessment of the stray current interference on a viaduct span is made with reference to the standard EN 50122-2:2010. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

An investigation into the insulation resistances of the concrete structures of a high-speed rail transit system viaduct is presented in this paper. Measurements of the insulation resistances in three sections of different characteristics are carried out during the construction stages of the viaduct, in order to get insights into the relation between insulation resistance changes and viaduct completion. The measurement campaign consists of six sessions of measurement in a period of two and a half years. The measured insulation resistances between a span and its supporting piers and between two adjacent spans show a variation in time and among the viaduct sections. The dispersion of the measurements in the three viaduct sections is highly reduced in the last session of measurements, showing that the insulation resistances are related to the progress in viaduct completion and the characteristics of viaduct sections. The main requirements for protective provisions for both low- and high-speed lines are also detailed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Grandi F.,University of Bologna
Journal of Computer and System Sciences | Year: 2016

We introduce a storage scheme that allows the representation and management of the evolving hierarchical structure of a multi-version ontology in a temporal relational database. The proposed scheme is aimed at supporting ontology-based personalization and temporal access to large collections of resources (data, documents, procedures etc.) stored in a dynamic environment. Whereas in previous works we considered tree-shaped ontologies only, in this work we consider ontologies with a class hierarchy structured as a general directed graph, that is also supporting multiple inheritance and intersection classes. We will also show how multi-version ontologies must be dealt with for the processing of ontology-based personalization queries. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

MacChelli A.,University of Bologna
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2011

The main contribution of this paper is a procedure for the control by energy shaping via Casimir generation of infinite dimensional port-Hamiltonian systems based on a particular finite element approximation. The proposed approach is justified by the fact that the adopted spatial discretization technique is able to preserve Casimir functions in the closed-loop system when going from the distributed to the (approximated) lumped parameter system. Besides the intrinsic difficulties related to the large number of state variables, the finite element model is generally given in terms of a Dirac structure and is completely a-causal, which implies that the plant dynamics is not given in standard input-state-output form, but as a set of DAEs. Consequently, the classical energy Casimir method has to be extended in order to deal with dynamical systems with constraints, usually appearing in the form of Lagrangian multipliers. The general methodology is illustrated with the help of an example in which the distributed parameter system is a lossless transmission line. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Balduini C.L.,University of Pavia | Savoia A.,University of Trieste | Seri M.,University of Bologna
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2013

The diagnosis of inherited thrombocytopenias is difficult, for many reasons. First, as they are all rare diseases, they are little known by clinicians, who therefore tend to suspect the most common forms. Second, making a definite diagnosis often requires complex laboratory techniques that are available in only a few centers. Finally, half of the patients have forms that have not yet been described. As a consequence, many patients with inherited thrombocytopenias are misdiagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia, and are at risk of receiving futile treatments. Misdiagnosis is particularly frequent in patients whose low platelet count is discovered in adult life, because, in these cases, even the inherited origin of thrombocytopenia may be missed. Making the correct diagnosis promptly is important, as we recently learned that some forms of inherited thrombocytopenia predispose to other illnesses, such as leukemia or kidney failure, and affected subjects therefore require close surveillance and, if necessary, prompt treatments. Moreover, medical treatment can increase platelet counts in specific disorders, and affected subjects can therefore receive drugs instead of platelet transfusions when selective surgery is required. In this review, we will discuss how to suspect, diagnose and manage inherited thrombocytopenias, with particular attention to the forms that frequently present in adults. Moreover, we describe four recently identified disorders that belong to this group of disorders that are often diagnosed in adults: MYH9-related disease, monoallelic Bernard-Soulier syndrome, ANKRD26-related thrombocytopenia, and familial platelet disorder with predisposition to acute leukemia. © 2013 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

Viroli M.,University of Bologna | Zambonelli F.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Information Sciences | Year: 2010

Emerging network scenarios call for innovative open service frameworks to ensure capability of self-adaptability and long-lasting evolvability. In this paper, we assess the need for such innovative service frameworks, and discuss how their engineering should get inspiration from natural ecosystems, i.e., by modelling services as autonomous individuals in an ecosystem of other services and data sources. We introduce a reference conceptual architecture with the goal of clarifying the concepts expressed and framing the several possible nature-inspired metaphors that could be adopted to realise the idea. On this basis, we go into details about one of such possible approaches, in which the rules governing the ecosystem are inspired by biochemical mechanisms. A case study is also introduced to exemplify the potentials of the presented biochemical approach and to experiment with some representative biochemistry-inspired patterns of adaptive service organisation and evolution. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Zacchini S.,University of Bologna
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2011

This microreview aims at presenting a personal perspective on the possible contributions of molecular metal carbonyl clusters (MCCs) to a better understanding and development of metal nanoparticles. High-nuclearity molecular MCCs are perfectly (atomically) monodisperse, ligand-stabilised metal nanoparticles with nanometric dimensions. Thus, when the nuclearity of molecular clusters is increased and the dimensions of metal nanoparticles are reduced, these two worlds begin to overlap. Herein, the synthesis of larger MCCs is briefly outlined, together with the description of their structural features and physical properties. The use of molecular MCCs as nanometric or subnanometric building blocks for self-assembly of functional nanomaterials is also reported. Finally, the employment of MCCs as precursors for metal nanoparticles after decomposition of the molecular precursor is described. The purpose of this microreview is to discuss some representative examples of all these topics, showing that one of the most promising and fascinating aspects of molecular MCCs is their borderline nature between molecular chemistry and nanochemistry. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Tail regeneration in lizards depends on the stimulation of growth factors, including Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs). Light and ultrastructural immunolocalization of FGFs was compared between the regenerating tail blastema and the limb where no regeneration occurs. A likely epithelial-mesenchymal transition occurs following amputation in both tail and limb and FGFs are present in the wound epidermis of both organs at 7-14 days post-amputation, and at lower intensity in mesenchymal cells of the blastema. Immunoreactivity for FGFs disappears in the limb wound epidermis after 14 days post-amputation and in the epithelium covering tails induced to form scars, whereas it remains in the apical tail epithelium. These observations suggest that scarring in the limb or the induced scarring in the tail correlate with the disappearance of FGFs. Basic FGF is concentrated in the incomplete basement membrane between the epidermis and the tail blastema where the essential signaling process that allows the continuous growth of the regenerative blastema may occur. The study suggests that the successful regeneration of lizard tail is dependent on the presence of FGFs in the wound epidermis, which are probably released into the blastema.

Mazzanti A.,University of Bologna | Casarini D.,University of Basilicata
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science | Year: 2012

An outlook of the various research fields of organic chemistry where conformational analysis plays a fundamental role is presented. The section Methodologies for Conformational Analysis is focused on the information that can be obtained by various spectroscopic techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance and optical methods such as electronic circular dichroism and vibrational circular dichroism. A comprehensive screening of the more recent ab initio and density functional theory theoretical approaches to conformational analysis is presented in the section Theoretical Conformational Analysis. The section Application of Conformational Analysis to the Determination of the AC of Organic Molecules shows how the synergic use of experimental and theoretical methods can solve challenging conformational tasks arising from modern organic chemistry. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ferrante A.,University of Bologna
Advances in Building Energy Research | Year: 2012

The concept of zero-energy building (ZEB) has gained much international attention and now represents the main future target for the design of buildings. ZEB development in building design construction practice needs to respond quickly to the mandatory new requirements for any new constructions in a few years. This chapter presents and discusses some progress in low- and zero-energy research and practice, with specific reference to the case of the Mediterranean context. It reports the following: a review of the current policy background; some notes on the definition of low- and zero-energy buildings; case studies and demonstration projects; an outlined description of the Mediterranean climate and its cooling demand; passive strategies to reduce the energy demands of buildings; past and ongoing research studies and projects in the Mediterranean region. Starting from very recent research studies in the literature and achievements in building pilot projects, a brief discussion to widen and consolidate current technical knowledge about ZEB and its deep penetration into building common practices is finally presented. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Zattoni E.,University of Bologna
Proceedings of the American Control Conference | Year: 2013

This work deals with rejection of signals accessible for measurement in discrete-time linear switching systems, with the requirement that the compensated system be quadratically stable under arbitrary switching. The synthesis of a feedforward dynamic switching compensator is first presented. A combined switching control scheme, also including measurement dynamic feedback, is then introduced with the aim of extending the proposed methodology to switching plants which are quadratically stabilizable by linear state feedback and by linear output injection. The methodology developed is based on the combined use of geometric approach tools and linear matrix inequalities. © 2013 AACC American Automatic Control Council.

The 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2Ar) is located in a variety of excitatory and inhibitory neurons in many regions of the central nervous system and is a major target for atypical antipsychotic drugs. In the present study, an immunoperoxidase experiment was used to investigate the distribution of 5-HT2Ar immunoreactivity in the rat amygdaloid complex. In the basolateral amygdala, the colocalization of 5-HT2Ar with inhibitory transmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was studied using double-immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. The staining pattern obtained was colchicine-sensitive. In fact, pretreatment with colchicine increased the number of 5-HT2Ar-immunoreactive somata. Accordingly, with the exception of the intercalated nuclei, the amygdaloid complex of colchicine-injected rats exhibited a high density of 5-HT2Ar-IR somata. Morphological analyses indicated that 5-HT2Ar was located on both excitatory and inhibitory neurons in the rat amygdaloid complex. In addition, double-immunofluorescence observations revealed that the great majority of GABA-immunoreactive neurons in the basolateral amygdala exhibited 5-HT2Ar immunoreactivity (66.3%-70.6% depending on the nucleus). These data help to clarify the complex role of the 5-HT2Ar in the amygdaloid complex suggesting that this receptor can regulate amygdaloid activity by acting on different neuronal populations. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Mehta J.,Northwestern University | Cavo M.,University of Bologna | Singhal S.,Northwestern University
Blood | Year: 2010

The clinical approach to older patients with myeloma has to be modified to take into account comorbidities and the likelihood of higher treatment-related toxicity. Individualization of management and adequate supportive therapy are important to obtain the best response while minimizing adverse effects. Corticosteroids, novel agents, conventional cytotoxic agents, and high-dose chemotherapy with autotransplantation (modalities used in younger patients) are also used in older patients, although the elderly undergo transplantation less frequently. The sequential use of active agents singly and in different combinations has improved response rates and survival of all patients with myeloma, including the elderly. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.

Baldini N.,University of Bologna
Technovation | Year: 2010

Even though universities routinely share revenues with the inventors and their departments to foster patenting activities, royalties' incentive effect is largely unexplored, especially using panel data. Using a unique dataset of Italian universities' patents between 1988 and 2002, I fill this gap, using estimators that account for the potential endogeneity in the data. Both the royalties shared with the inventors and their departments are associated with greater patenting activity. Several other organisational arrangements have significant positive impact, from the use of prompt administrative procedures, to the university's commitment to exploit the inventions, to the availability of a technology transfer office. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Marzolla M.,University of Bologna
Journal of Informetrics | Year: 2015

The Italian National Scientific Qualification (ASN) was introduced in 2010 as part of a major reform of the national university system. Under the new regulation, the scientific qualification for a specific role (associate or full professor) and field of study is required to apply for a permanent professor position. The ASN is peculiar since it makes use of bibliometric indicators with associated thresholds as one of the parameters used to assess applicants. The first round of the ASN received 59,149 applications, and the results have been made publicly available for a short period of time, including the values of the quantitative indicators for each applicant. The availability of this wealth of information provides an opportunity to draw a fairly detailed picture of a nation-wide evaluation exercise, and to study the impact of the bibliometric indicators on the qualification results. In this paper, we provide a first account of the Italian National Scientific Qualification from a quantitative point of view. We show that significant differences exist among scientific disciplines, in particular with respect to the fraction of qualified applicants, that cannot be easily explained. Furthermore, we describe some issues related to the definition and use of the bibliometric indicators and the corresponding thresholds. Our analysis aims at drawing attention to potential problems that should be addressed by decision-makers in future rounds of the ASN. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Guazzi M.,University of Milan | Galie N.,University of Bologna
European Respiratory Review | Year: 2012

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a frequent complication of left heart disease arising from a wide range of cardiac disorders. In the clinical classification, PH associated with left heart disease is classified as Group 2, which includes left heart systolic dysfunction, left heart diastolic dysfunction and left heart valvular disease. In the past, rheumatic mitral valve disease was the most common cause of PH in left heart disease; however, today it is more likely to be associated with hypertensive and/or ischaemic heart disease. As the incidence of these conditions is increasing, the number of patients presenting with PH is also increasing and, today, left heart disease represents the most frequent cause of PH. The development of PH in patients with left heart disease is associated with poor prognosis. However, despite the increasingly large number of patients affected and the impact of PH on outcome, there are currently no specific treatment options for these patients. This review gives an overview of the pathophysiology and epidemiology of PH associated with left heart disease, and discusses the challenges associated with its management and treatment. © 2012.

A "Point-Of-Care-Testing" (POCT) system relies on portable and simply operated self-standing analytical devices. To fulfill diagnostic requirements, the POCT system should provide highly sensitive simultaneous detection of several biomarkers of the pathology of interest (multiplexing) in a short assay time. One of the main unsolved issues in POCT device development is the integration of pre-analytical sample preparation procedures in the miniaturized device. In this work, an integrated POCT system based on gravitational field-flow fractionation (GrFFF) and chemiluminescence (CL) detection is presented for the on-line sample pre-analytical treatment and/or clean-up and analysis of biological fluids. As a proof of principle for the new GrFFF-CL POCT system, the automatic on-line analysis of plasma alkaline phosphatase activity, a biomarker of obstructive liver diseases and bone disorders, starting from whole blood samples was developed. The GrFFF-CL POCT system was able to give quantitative results on blood samples from control and patients with low sample volume (0.5 μL) and reagent consumption, short analysis time (10 minutes), high reproducibility and with a linear range of 50-1400 IU L(-1). The system can be easily applied to on-line prepare plasma from whole blood for other clinical biomarkers and for other assay formats, based on immunoassay or DNA hybridization.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
Modern Physics Letters A | Year: 2010

The importance for cosmology of the recently introduced ELKOs requires our deepest understanding of them and of all of their fundamental properties. Among these fundamental properties, a special one is causality: in the present paper, we show that causality is always preserved for ELKOs. © 2010 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Novak G.S.,Princeton University | Ostriker J.P.,Princeton University | Ciotti L.,University of Bologna
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

We extend the black hole (BH) feedback models of Ciotti, Ostriker, and Proga to two dimensions. In this paper, we focus on identifying the differences between the one-dimensional and two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. We examine a normal, isolated L * galaxy subject to the cooling flow instability of gas in the inner regions. Allowance is made for subsequent star formation, Type Ia and Type II supernovae, radiation pressure, and inflow to the central BH from mildly rotating galactic gas which is being replenished as a normal consequence of stellar evolution. The central BH accretes some of the infalling gas and expels a conical wind with mass, momentum, and energy flux derived from both observational and theoretical studies. The galaxy is assumed to have low specific angular momentum in analogy with the existing one-dimensional case in order to isolate the effect of dimensionality. The code then tracks the interaction of the outflowing radiation and winds with the galactic gas and their effects on regulating the accretion. After matching physical modeling to the extent possible between the one-dimensional and two-dimensional treatments, we find essentially similar results in terms of BH growth and duty cycle (fraction of the time above a given fraction of the Eddington luminosity). In the two-dimensional calculations, the cool shells forming at 0.1-1kpc from the center are Rayleigh-Taylor unstable to fragmentation, leading to a somewhat higher accretion rate, less effective feedback, and a more irregular pattern of bursting compared with the one-dimensional case. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Pellegrini S.,University of Bologna
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

Recently, the temperature T and the luminosity LX of the hot gas halos of early-type galaxies have been derived, with unprecedented accuracy, from Chandra data for a sample of 30 galaxies, covering a wider range of galactic luminosity (and central velocity dispersion σc) than before. This work investigates the origin of the observed temperatures by examining the relationship between them and the galaxy structure, the gas heating due to Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) and the gravitational potential, and the dynamical status of the gas flow. In galaxies with σc ≲ 200kms-1, the T's are close to a fiducial average temperature of gas in outflow; at 200 < σc (km s-1) < 250, the T's are generally lower than this and unrelated to σc, which requires a more complex gas flow status; at larger σc, the T's may increase as σ2 c, as expected for infall heating, though heating from SNe Ia, that is independent of σc, should be dominant. All observed T's are larger than the virial temperature, by up to 0.5keV. The additional heating can be provided in the X-ray brightest galaxies by SNe Ia and infall heating, with an SN Ia energy input even lower than in standard assumptions; in the X-ray fainter ones it can be provided by SNe Ia, whose energy input would be required to be close to the full standard value at the largest σc. This same energy input, though, would produce temperatures larger than observed at low σc if entirely thermalized. The values of the observed T's increase from outflows to inflows; the gas is relatively hotter in outflows, however, if the T's are rescaled by the virial temperature. For 200 < σc(km s-1) < 250, lower LX values tend to correspond to lower T's, a result that deserves further investigation. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Palareti G.,University of Bologna
Hamostaseologie | Year: 2011

Anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) is effective in the prevention and treatment of thrombotic complications in many clinical conditions, including atrial fibrillation (that represents today the most frequent indication for anticoagulant treatment), venous thromboembolism, acute coronary syndromes and after invasive cardiac procedures. Bleeding is the most important complication of VKAs and a major concern for both physicians and patients, limiting a more widespread prescription of the treatment. As a result, a non negligible proportion of all the subjects who would have a clear clinical indication for anticoagulation do not receive an effective treatment. This review analyses the treatment- and person-associated risk factors for bleeding during VKAs. New oral anticoagulant drugs seems to overcome at least some of the limitations of VKAs. Potentially, they can allow a less demanding and more stable anticoagulant treatment, with less side-effects allowing that more patients can receive an appropriate anticoagulant treatment. Based on the so far available phase III clinical studies, it is possible to assume that these new drugs are associated with a risk of bleeding, that is probably related to the intensity of treatment. © Schattauer 2011.

Grifoni D.,University of Bologna | Bellosta P.,University of Milan
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2015

The identification of the Drosophila homolog of the human MYC oncogene has fostered a series of studies aimed to address its functions in development and cancer biology. Due to its essential roles in many fundamental biological processes it is hard to imagine a molecular mechanism in which MYC function is not required. For this reason, the easily manipulated Drosophila system has greatly helped in the dissection of the genetic and molecular pathways that regulate and are regulated by MYC function. In this review, we focus on studies of MYC in the fruitfly with particular emphasis on metabolism and cell competition, highlighting the contributions of this model system in the last decade to our understanding of MYC's complex biological nature. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Myc proteins in cell biology and pathology. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Teti G.,University of Bologna
European journal of histochemistry : EJH | Year: 2013

In this study, starting from human dental pulp cells cultured in vitro, we simulated reparative dentinogenesis using a medium supplemented with different odontogenic inductors. The differentiation of dental pulp cells in odontoblast-like cells was evaluated by means of staining, and ultramorphological, biochemical and biomolecular methods. Alizarin red staining showed mineral deposition while transmission electron microscopy revealed a synthesis of extracellular matrix fibers during the differentiation process. Biochemical assays demonstrated that the differentiated phenotype expressed odontoblast markers, such as Dentin Matrix Protein 1 (DMP1) and Dentin Sialoprotein (DSP), as well as type I collagen. Quantitative data regarding the mRNA expression of DMP1, DSP and type I collagen were obtained by Real Time PCR. Immunofluorescence data demonstrated the various localizations of DSP and DMP1 during odontoblast differentiation. Based on our results, we obtained odontoblast-like cells which simulated the reparative dentin processes in order to better investigate the mechanism of odontoblast differentiation, and dentin extracellular matrix deposition and mineralization.

Barletta A.,University of Bologna | Rees D.A.S.,University of Bath
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2012

The Darcy-Bénard problem with constant heat flux boundary conditions is studied in a regime where the fluid and solid phases are in local thermal non-equilibrium. The onset conditions for convective instability in the plane porous layer are investigated using a linear stability analysis. Constant heat flux boundary conditions are formulated according to the Amiri-Vafai-Kuzay Model A, where the boundary walls are assumed as impermeable and with a high thermal conductance. The normal mode analysis of the perturbations imposed on the basic state leads to a one-dimensional eigenvalue problem, solved numerically to determine the neutral stability condition. Analytical solutions are found for the limit of small wave numbers, and in the regime where the conductivity of the solid phase is much larger than the conductivity of the fluid phase. A comparison with the corresponding results under conditions of local thermal equilibrium is carried out. The critical conditions for the onset of convection correspond to a zero wave number only when the inter-phase heat transfer coefficient is sufficiently large. Otherwise, the critical conditions correspond to a nonzero wave number. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hanthorn J.J.,Queens University | Valgimigli L.,University of Bologna | Pratt D.A.,Queens University | Pratt D.A.,University of Ottawa
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

The incorporation of nitrogen atoms into the aryl rings of conventional diphenylamine antioxidants enables the preparation of readily accessible, air-stable analogues, several of which have temperature-independent radical-trapping activities up to 200-fold greater than those of typical commercial diphenylamines. Amazingly, the nitrogen atoms raise the oxidation potentials of the amines without greatly changing their radical-trapping (H-atom transfer) reactivity. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Orlandini S.,University of Florence | Gotti R.,University of Bologna | Furlanetto S.,University of Florence
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis | Year: 2014

In this article a review on the recent applications of multivariate techniques for optimization of electromigration methods, is presented. Papers published in the period from August 2007 to February 2013, have been taken into consideration. Upon a brief description of each of the involved CE operative modes, the characteristics of the chemometric strategies (type of design, factors and responses) applied to face a number of analytical challenges, are presented. Finally, a critical discussion, giving some practical advices and pointing out the most common issues involved in multivariate set-up of CE methods, is provided. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Steroid-resistant acute cellular rejection (ACR) and chronic rejection (CR) are still major concerns after intestinal transplantation. We report our experience from a single center on 48 adults recipients using 49 grafts from 2001 to 2011, immunosuppressing them initially with daclizumab initially and later Alemtuzumab. Overall patient survival was 41.9% at 10 years while graft survival was 38.5%. The steroid-resistant ACR population of 14 recipients (28.5%) experienced 50% mortality mainly due to sepsis, while the five (8%) CR recipients, included two survivors. All but 1 graft was placed without a liver. CR was often preceded by ACR episodes. Mortality related to steroid-resistant ACR and CR still affects the intestinal transplant population despite induction/preconditioning, especially in the absence of a protective liver effect of the liver. New immunosuppressive strategies are needed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Maroney M.J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Ciurli S.,University of Bologna
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014

The knowledge of the biochemistries, structures, and reaction mechanisms of enzymes whose active sites require nickel, and utilize it in a nonredox role, are reviewed. The selection of nickel as a catalytic center for biological reactions is related to its flexible coordination geometry, which makes this metal a very versatile element for biological applications. The biological roles of nickel enzymes are conveniently divided into redox and nonredox roles. S-donor ligands are strongly associated with Ni redox enzymes, which include a novel superoxide dismutase, and several other enzymes including hydrogenase and COdehydrogenase/acetyl coenzyme. An alternative reaction mechanism has been proposed that features different roles for the two Ni(II) ions, with Ni1 binding and activating urea, and Ni2 binding and activating the nucleophilic water by turning it into a hydroxide ion. Thus, the proposed Fe-ARD mechanism relies on transient redox chemistry, while Ni(II) is a simple Lewis acid.

The anterior nutcracker syndrome is defined by the compression of the left renal vein between the aorta and superior mesenteric artery, usually related to the occurrence of hematuria. We report the case of an uncommon complication of the nutcracker syndrome. A 75-year-old woman was referred to our institution for left flank pain without hematuria. Multiphasic computer tomography urography showed a condition of left renal vein entrapment between the aorta and superior mesenteric artery with the development of left gonadal vein varicosities at the level of the renal hilum; a pyeloureteral junction compression with dilation of the pyelocalyceal system coexisted. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the association between nutcracker syndrome and pyeloureteral junction obstruction. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel Copyright © 2015, S. Karger AG. All rights reserved.

This paper introduces an extension of the Global Gradient Algorithm (GGA) to directly solve unsteady flow problems arising from the presence of variable head water storage devices, such as tanks, in Extended Period Simulations (EPS) of looped water distribution networks (WDN). Such a modification of the original algorithm was motivated by the need to overcome oscillations and instabilities reported by several users of EPANET, a worldwide available package, which uses the GGA to solve the looped WDN equations. The set of partial differential equations describing the time and space behaviour of a water distribution system is here presented. It is shown how an unsteady flow GGA can be derived by simple modifications of the original steady-state GGA. The performances of the new algorithm, referred to as EPS-GGA, are compared with the results provided by EPANET on an extremely simplified example, the solution of which is qualitatively known. As opposed to EPANET which shows significant instabilities, the EPS-GGA is stable under a wide variety of increasing integration time intervals. © IWA Publishing 2011.

Tomasi V.,University of Bologna
Immunity and Ageing | Year: 2010

Background: It has been reported that cellular prion protein (PrPc) co-localizes with caveolin-1 and participates to signal transduction events by recruiting Fyn kinase. As PrPc is a secreted protein anchored to the outer surface membrane through a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor (secPrP) and caveolin-1 is located in the inner leaflet of plasma membrane, there is a problem of how the two proteins can physically interact each other and transduce signals.Results: By using the GST-fusion proteins system we observed that PrPc strongly interacts with caveolin-1 scaffolding domain and with a caveolin-1 hydrophilic C-terminal region, but not with the caveolin-1 N-terminal region. In vitro binding experiments were also performed to define the site(s) of PrPc interacting with cav-1. The results are consistent with a participation of PrPc octapeptide repeats motif in the binding to caveolin-1 scaffolding domain. The caveolar localization of PrPc was ascertained by co-immunoprecipitation, by co-localization after flotation in density gradients and by confocal microscopy analysis of PrPc and caveolin-1 distributions in a neuronal cell line (GN11) expressing caveolin-1 at high levels.Conclusions: We observed that, after antibody-mediated cross-linking or copper treatment, PrPc was internalized probably into caveolae. We propose that following translocation from rafts to caveolae or caveolae-like domains, secPrP could interact with caveolin-1 and induce signal transduction events. © 2010 Tomasi; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the risk factors proposed by Fukuoka guidelines in detecting malignancy of branch-duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms. METHOD: Diagnostic meta-analysis of cohort studies. A systematic literature search was conducted using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and the ISI-Web of Science databases to identify all studies published up to 2014. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies (2025 patients) were suitable for the meta-analysis. The “high risk stigmata” showed the highest pooled diagnostic odds ratio (jaundice, 6.3; positive citology, 5.5; mural nodules, 4.8) together with 2 “worrisome features” (thickened/enhancing walls, 4.2; duct dilatation, 4.0) and 1 “other parameters” (carbohydrate antigen 19-9 serum levels, 4.6). CONCLUSIONS: An “ideal risk factor” capable of recognizing all malignant branch-duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms was not identified and some “dismal areas” remain. However, “high risk stigmata” were strongly related to malignancy, mainly enhancing mural nodules. Among the “worrisome features,” duct dilatation and thickened/enhancing walls were underestimated, and their diagnostic performance was similar to those of “high risk stigmata.” The carbohydrate antigen 19-9 serum level should be added to the Fukuoka algorithm because this value could help in carrying out correct management. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Porcelli P.,Psychosomatic Unit | Rafanelli C.,University of Bologna
Current Psychiatry Reports | Year: 2010

The Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) represent a diagnostic and conceptual framework that aims to translate psychosocial variables derived from psychosomatic research into operational tools whereby individual patients can be identified. A set of 12 syndromes was developed: disease phobia, thanatophobia, health anxiety, illness denial, persistent somatization, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, conversion symptoms, anniversary reaction, irritable mood, type A behavior, demoralization, and alexithymia. The aim of this article is to survey the research evidence that has accumulated on the DCPR in several clinical settings (cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, primary care, consultation psychiatry, nutrition, and community), to examine prevalence and specific diagnostic clusters of the more prevalent DCPR syndromes, and to review their clinical utility in terms of clinical decision, prediction of psychosocial functioning, and treatment outcomes. The implications for classification purposes (DSM-V) are also discussed. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.

Cosmi B.,University of Bologna
Thrombosis research | Year: 2010

The optimal duration of oral anticoagulation after a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncertain. The aim of this review is to evaluate the predictive role of D-dimer testing for recurrence after idiopathic VTE with the update of the most recent publications. In the PROLONG study patients with normal D-dimer at one month after anticoagulation withdrawal did not resume anticoagulation and had 4.4% patient-years of recurrences. Patients with abnormal D-dimer were randomized to resume or not anticoagulation and had 2% and 10.2% recurrences, respectively. These results were confirmed also after extending the follow-up to a mean of 2.55 years and indicate that patients with abnormal D-dimer after anticoagulation withdrawal are at higher risk for recurrence versus those with normal D-dimer and benefit from prolongation of anticoagulation. However, in patients with a normal D-dimer, the duration of treatment remains uncertain as the recurrence rate of approximately 5% patient-years may also warrant anticoagulation. The prospective observational PROLONG II aimed at assessing D-dimer time course and its relation with late recurrences in patients with normal D-dimer at 1 month. Patients repeated D-dimer testing every two months for one year. The few patients in whom D-dimer became abnormal at the 3(rd) month and remained abnormal afterwards had a higher risk of recurrence (27% patient-years) than patients with persistently normal D-dimer (2.9% patient-years) (adjusted HR: 7.9; 95% CI:2.1-30; p = 0.002). These results indicate that repeated D-dimer testing after anticoagulation suspension may help tailor the individual duration of treatment after a first unprovoked VTE.

Thioridazine (THD) is a commonly prescribed phenotiazine neuroleptic drug, which is extensively biotransformed in the organism producing as main metabolites sulfoxides and a sulfone by sulfur oxidation. Significant differences have been observed in the activity of the THD enantiomers as well as for its main metabolites, and enantioselectivity phenomena have been proved in the metabolic pathway. Here the assignment of the absolute configuration at the sulfur atom of enantiomeric THD-2-sulfoxide (THD-2-SO) has been carried out by circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. The stereoisomers were separated by HPLC on Chiralpak AS column, recording the CD spectra for the two collected enantiomeric fractions. The theoretical electronic CD spectrum has been obtained by the TDDFT/B3LYP/6-31G*, as Boltzmann averaging of the contributions calculated for the most stable conformations of the drug. The comparison of the simulated and experimental spectra allowed the absolute configuration at the sulfur atom of the four THD-2-SO stereoisomers to be assigned. The developed method should be useful for a reliable correlation between stereochemistry and activity and/or toxicity.

The previous identification of 21 proteins in the digital setae transcriptome of Gekko gecko, 2 alpha-keratins of 52-53. kDa and 19 beta-proteins (beta-keratins) of 10-21. kDa, has indicated that most of setal corneous proteins are cysteine-rich. The production of specific antibodies for two of the main beta-protein subfamilies expressed in gecko setae has allowed the ultrastructural localization of two beta-proteins indicated as Ge-cprp-9 (cysteine-rich) and Ge-gprp-6 (glycine-rich). Only Ge-cprp-9, representing most of the 16 cysteine-rich beta-proteins, is present in the oberhautchen, setae and in the terminal spatula where adhesion takes place, supporting the previous expression study. Instead, the glycine-rich beta-proteins (Ge-gprp-6), representing the 3 glycine-rich beta-proteins of digital epidermis is only present in the stiff beta-layer of the digital scales and in the thin beta layer of the pad lamella sustaining the setae. Ge-cprp-9 is representative for most of the remaining 15 cys-rich proteins (Ge-cprp 1-16) and may have a structural and functional role in the process of adhesion. Most of the cysteine-rich setal proteins have a net positive charge and it is here hypothesized that these proteins may induce the formation of dipoles at the surface interface between the spatula and the substrate, enhancing the van der Waals forces and therefore adhesion to the substrate. The selection and improvement of these proteins during the evolution of geckos may have represented a successful factor for the survival and ecological adaptations of these climbing lizards. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Barone V.,Normal School of Pisa | Biczysko M.,CNR Institute of Chemistry of organometallic Compounds | Puzzarini C.,University of Bologna
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2015

ConspectusFor many years, scientists suspected that the interstellar medium was too hostile for organic species and that only a few simple molecules could be formed under such extreme conditions. However, the detection of approximately 180 molecules in interstellar or circumstellar environments in recent decades has changed this view dramatically. A rich chemistry has emerged, and relatively complex molecules such as C60 and C70 are formed. Recently, researchers have also detected complex organic and potentially prebiotic molecules, such as amino acids, in meteorites and in other space environments. Those discoveries have further stimulated the debate on the origin of the building blocks of life in the universe. Many efforts continue to focus on the physical, chemical, and astrophysical processes by which prebiotic molecules can be formed in the interstellar dust and dispersed to Earth or to other planets.Spectroscopic techniques, which are widely used to infer information about molecular structure and dynamics, play a crucial role in the investigation of planetary atmosphere and the interstellar medium. Increasingly these astrochemical investigations are assisted by quantum-mechanical calculations of structures as well as spectroscopic and thermodynamic properties, such as transition frequencies and reaction enthalpies, to guide and support observations, line assignments, and data analysis in these new and chemically complicated situations. However, it has proved challenging to extend accurate quantum-chemical computational approaches to larger systems because of the unfavorable scaling with the number of degrees of freedom (both electronic and nuclear).In this Account, we show that it is now possible to compute physicochemical properties of building blocks of biomolecules with an accuracy rivaling that of the most sophisticated experimental techniques, and we summarize specific contributions from our groups. As a test case, we present the underlying computational machinery through the investigation of oxirane. We describe how we determine the molecular structure and then how we characterize the rotational and IR spectra, the most important issues for a correct theoretical description and a proper comparison with experiment. Next, we analyze the spectroscopic properties of representative building blocks of DNA bases (uracil and pyrimidine) and of proteins (glycine and glycine dipeptide analogue).Solvation, surface chemistry (dust fraction, adsorption, desorption), and inter- and intramolecular interactions, such as self-organization and self-interaction, are important molecular processes for understanding astrochemistry. Using the specific cases of uracil dimers and glycine adsorbed on silicon grains, we also illustrate approaches in which we treat different regions, interactions, or effects at different levels of sophistication. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Montanari A.,University of Bologna | Koutsoyiannis D.,National Technical University of Athens
Water Resources Research | Year: 2014

Environmental change is a reason of relevant concern as it is occurring at an unprecedented pace and might increase natural hazards. Moreover, it is deemed to imply a reduced representativity of past experience and data on extreme hydroclimatic events. The latter concern has been epitomized by the statement that "stationarity is dead." Setting up policies for mitigating natural hazards, including those triggered by floods and droughts, is an urgent priority in many countries, which implies practical activities of management, engineering design, and construction. These latter necessarily need to be properly informed, and therefore, the research question on the value of past data is extremely important. We herein argue that there are mechanisms in hydrological systems that are time invariant, which may need to be interpreted through data inference. In particular, hydrological predictions are based on assumptions which should include stationarity. In fact, any hydrological model, including deterministic and nonstationary approaches, is affected by uncertainty and therefore should include a random component that is stationary. Given that an unnecessary resort to nonstationarity may imply a reduction of predictive capabilities, a pragmatic approach, based on the exploitation of past experience and data is a necessary prerequisite for setting up mitigation policies for environmental risk. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Franzoni E.,University of Bologna
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2014

Rising damp is one of the main problems affecting historical masonry structures all over the world, as it jeopardises materials integrity, inhabitants' health and performances of the building envelope. Despite the great effort spent over last century to understand water capillary rise phenomenon, the problem of damp removal is still substantially open, as not only the technologies adopted in the field frequently fail, but their working principles in real masonries have not been fully elucidated yet. This paper aims at providing, through a review of international literature, a coherent picture of the technologies so far proposed for the removal of rising damp and the results obtained, both in laboratory and on-site. Based on the results, the open challenges for research in this field are tentatively pointed out, according to the author's opinion.© 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

OBJECTIVE:: To optimize the results of low-volume (LV) centers for hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) surgery.BACKGROUND:: High-volume (HV) centers for HPB surgery have lower mortality than LV. Strategies for collaboration between HV and LV centers are not well investigated.METHODS:: Postoperative outcomes of patients undergoing curative HPB resection were evaluated at an LV hospital before (2006–2008) and during the collaboration (2009–2012) and at 2 hospitals with HV for either liver or pancreatic resection (2009–2012). Itinerant tutor surgeons from the HV centers were involved in the pre-, intra- and postoperative course of HPB patients at the LV hospital.RESULTS:: HPB cases at the LV center increased from 18 to 40 patients per year from 2006 to 2012, whereas 6-month postoperative mortality decreased from 17.8% (2006–2008) to 6% (2009–2012), P < 0.05 (liver: 10.3% vs 4.7% and pancreas: 29.4% vs 7.9%). During the collaborative study period, outcomes for hepatectomy were similar for LV and HV (85 vs 507 cases): postoperative Clavien-Dindo scores 4 and 5 were 2% and 0.2% for HV versus 2.4% and 1.2% for LV, respectively. Outcomes for pancreatic procedures (LV 63 vs HV 269 cases) showed better postoperative Clavien-Dindo scores 4 and 5 in the HV (0.7% score 4 and 1.5% score 5 for HV vs 3.2% and 6.3%, respectively, for LV) but the difference disappeared in the last 2 years (2011–2012) and matching the cases.CONCLUSIONS:: Our partnership model helped improve postoperative outcomes at the LV center. Results at the LV hospital were comparable with the HV centers, although 2 years of partnership were required to achieve this in pancreatic surgery. © 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mucciarelli A.,University of Bologna | Salaris M.,Liverpool John Moores University | Bonifacio P.,University Paris Diderot
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

The discrepancy between cosmological Li abundance inferred from Population II dwarf stars and that derived from big bang nucleosynthesis calculations is still far from being satisfactorily solved. We investigated, as an alternative route, the use of Li abundances in Population II lower red giant branch stars as empirical diagnostic of the cosmological Li. Both theory and observations suggest that the surface Li abundance in metal-poor red giants after the completion of the first dredge-up and before the red giant branch bump is significantly less sensitive to the efficiency of atomic diffusion, compared with dwarf stars. The surface Li abundances in these objects - after the dilution caused by the first dredge-up - are predicted to be sensitive to the total Li content left in the star, i.e. they are affected only by the total amount of Li eventually burned during the previous main-sequence phase. Standard stellar models computed under different physical assumptions show that the inclusion of the atomic diffusion has an impact of about 0.07dex in the determination of the primordial Li abundance - much smaller than the case of metal-poor main-sequence turnoff stars - and it is basically unaffected by reasonable variations of other parameters (overshooting, age, initial He abundance and mixing length). We have determined from spectroscopy the surface Li content of 17 halo lower red giant branch stars, in the metallicity range between [Fe/H] ~- 3.4 and ~- 1.4dex, evolving before the extramixing episode that sets in at the red giant branch bump. The initial Li (customarily taken as estimate of the cosmological Li abundance A(Li) 0) has then been inferred by accounting for the difference between initial and post-dredge-up Li abundances in the appropriate stellar models. It depends mainly on the T eff scale adopted in the spectroscopic analysis, and is only weakly sensitive to the efficiency of atomic diffusion in the models, so long as one neglects Li destruction caused by the process competing with atomic diffusion. Our final A(Li) 0 estimate spans a relatively narrow range, between 2.28 and 2.46dex, and is ~0.3-0.4dex lower than predictions from big bang nucleosynthesis calculations. These values of A(Li) 0 are corroborated by the analysis of samples of red giants in the Galactic globular clusters NGC6397, NGC6752 and M4. Our result provides an independent quantitative estimate of the difference with the big bang value, and sets a very robust constraint for the physical processes invoked to resolve this discrepancy. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

An availability function which includes the usual functions exergy and flow exergy as special cases is defined and called exergy. The new definition of exergy is based on the concept of pressure energy, namely the work that must be done on a stationary external pressure field to build inside it the region of space occupied by the system. Then, the definition of exergy efficiency is written in a more explicit form, where the same availability function is employed for both steady-flow processes and non-flow processes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Loguercio C.,Gastroenterology School Interuniversity Research Center on Foods | Festi D.,University of Bologna
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Herbal products are increasingly used, mainly in chronic liver disease. Extracts of milk thistle, Silymarin and silybin, are the most prescribed natural compounds, with different indications, but with no definitive results in terms of clinical efficacy. This review analyzes the available studies on the effects of the purified product silybin, both as a free and a conjugated molecule, on liver cells or on experimentally induced liver damage, and in patients with liver disease. We searched PUBMED for articles pertaining to the in vitro and in vivo effects of silybin, its antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, as well as its metabolic effects, combined with the authors' own knowledge of the literature. Results indicate that the bioavailability of silybin phytosome is higher than that of silymarin and is less influenced by liver damage; silybin does not show significant interactions with other drugs and at doses < 10 g/d has no significant side effects. Experimental studies have clearly demonstrated the antifibrotic, antioxidant and metabolic effects of silybin; previous human studies were insufficient for confirming the clinical efficacy in chronic liver disease, while ongoing clinical trials are promising. On the basis of literature data, silybin seems a promising drug for chronic liver disease. © 2011 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Fuel Poverty is a big challenge for everybody: politicians, decision-makers, technicians, researchers, etc. In Italy, a strategy to solve fuel poverty involves action in order to reduce energy prices, the AEEG (Italian regulatory authority for electricity gas and water) has defined an Assist Tariff for poor people. Fuel poverty depends on family income and energy prices. Building energy performance also influences required energy consumption, and is a contributing cause of fuel poverty. Subsequently, it is possible to introduce a new Fuel Poverty risk Index, correlated to Building Energy Performance: the Building Fuel Poverty index. The Building Fuel Poverty Index (BFP) allows us to quantify how many buildings need direct action and/or just economic incentives.The index should be adopted in order to identify subjects that can afford to pay building energy refurbishment. The paper proposes an index in order to evaluate fuel poverty condition correlated to building energy performance. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Tronchin L.,University of Bologna
AES: Journal of the Audio Engineering Society | Year: 2012

The measurement and emulation of audio systems (devices, environments, and sound boxes) have been studied in recent years. The most-used methods to obtain information about an audio system are those based on measuring its impulse response (IR). Once the IR has been caught it is possible to recreate, by the use of linear convolution, the output signal that the audio system will generate when it is physically driven by any input signal. This method gives great results if the system is linear and time-invariant (environmentals behavior is very linear and, therefore, its reverberant effect can be faithfully recreated using IRs) but not satisfactory in other cases, such as the emulation of tube preamps (mainly nonlinear) and musical instruments. Since musical instruments cannot be considered completely linear, their musical performance might be analyzed properly considering also their nonlinear behavior. By using Volterra series it is possible to represent the input-output relationship of nonlinear systems. This mathematical theory uses a set of impulse responses to describe the system and not only one as before. By an enhanced impulse response measurement method it is possible to obtain this set of impulses and, then, with Volterra series it would be possible to have the output of the audio system driven by any input. A numerical tool has been developed to recreate the system behavior by using this method. Satisfactory results have been obtained in comparison with the traditional linear convolution based approach.

In this paper, we study some three-dimensional stationary heat conduction problems in rarefied gases at rest, using the linearized 13-moment equations of extended thermodynamics. It follows that, in this linear theory, the temperature is still described by the Fourier law of heat conduction, while in contrast with the Navier-Stokes law, the stress tensor does not vanish. Furthermore, a non-equilibrium temperature is introduced and differences between this temperature and the kinetic one are predicted. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Napolitano F.,University of Bologna
IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility | Year: 2011

The evaluation of the lightning performance of overhead lines requires, mainly for distribution lines, the calculation of the voltages induced by nearby lightning strokes hitting the ground. Generally, when calculating lightning-induced voltages using the time-domain approach and the TEM assumption, the most time-consuming stage is the calculation of the source terms of the coupling equations, which means, in turn, the electromagnetic field radiated by the lightning channel. Hence, simplified approaches are still desirable in order to save computational time. Analytical solution of the lighting-originated electric- and magnetic field is available in literature for the case of an ideal transmission-line (TL) return-stroke model with channel-base current having a stepwise waveshape. This paper describes an analytical approach that applies to the case of a general waveshape of the channel-base current, based on the piecewise straight-line approximation, in cylindrical coordinates, which is functional when using the TL return-stroke current model and the Agrawal et al. coupling model. This paper reports the exact solution for the case of trapezoidal waveshape of the current at the base of the channel and the analytical solution for the case of piecewise linear waveform. © 2010 IEEE.

Moresco M.,University of Bologna
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2015

One of the most compelling tasks of modern cosmology is to constrain the expansion history of the Universe, since this measurement can give insights on the nature of dark energy and help to estimate cosmological parameters. In this letter are presented two new measurements of the Hubble parameter H(z) obtained with the cosmic chronometer method up to z ~ 2. Taking advantage of near-infrared spectroscopy of the few verymassive and passive galaxies observed at z > 1.4 available in literature, the differential evolution of this population is estimated and calibrated with different stellar population synthesis models to constrain H(z), including in the final error budget all possible sources of systematic uncertainties (star formation history, stellar metallicity, model dependences). This analysis is able to extend significantly the redshift range coverage with respect to present-day constraints, crossing for the first time the limit at z~1.75. The new H(z) data are used to estimate the gain in accuracy on cosmological parameters with respect to previous measurements in two cosmological models, finding a small but detectable improvement (~5 per cent) in particular on ωM and w0. Finally, a simulation of a Euclidlike survey has been performed to forecast the expected improvement with future data. The provided constraints have been obtained just with the cosmic chronometers approach, without any additional data, and the results show the high potentiality of this method to constrain the expansion history of the Universe at these redshifts. © 2015 The Authors.

Fanti F.,University of Bologna | Catuneanu O.,University of Alberta
Journal of Sedimentary Research | Year: 2010

Outcrop exposures and high-resolution subcrop data allow the description and mapping of four stratigraphic discontinuities in the fully nonmarine strata of the Campanian-Maastrichtian Wapiti Formation (Western Interior foreland basin, Alberta, Canada). This framework defines four unconformity-bounded depositional sequences (A-D), based on sequence stratigraphic methodology, well-log patterns, and facies analysis. In ascending order, sequence A records the transition from the underlying marine faciès of the Puskwaskau Formation into the Wapiti fluvial faciès, and consists of strongly progradational and aggradational stacking patterns. Sequences B and C show a similar pattern of basal amalgamated channelfill deposits that grade upwards into floodplain-dominated strata. Finally, sequence D is dominated by channelized sediments and extensive overbank facies. An aggradational stacking pattern suggests deposition under high-accommodation conditions. Maximum flooding surfaces are interpreted within fine-grained deposits in the upper portions of sequences C and D. They are tied to regionally extensive coals that accumulated more than 250 km away from the coeval shoreline. This study provides new evidence that major coal seams may represent the extension of marine maximum flooding surfaces into the downstream-controlled fluvial realm. Furthermore, the new stratigraphic framework of subaerial unconformities and maximum flooding surfaces provides the means of subdividing the previously undifferentiated fully nonmarine Wapiti Formation into depositional sequences and component systems tracts. Copyright © 2010, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).

To compare the effectiveness of immediate post-extractive single implants with delayed implants placed in preserved sockets after 4 months of healing. Implants that achieved an insertion torque of at least 35 Ncm were immediately non-occlusally loaded. Just after tooth extraction and in the presence of a loss of the buccal plate bone less than 4 mm, compared to the palatal wall, 106 patients requiring a single immediate postextractive implant in the maxilla from second premolar to second premolar were randomly allocated to immediate implant placement (immediate group; 54 patients) or to socket preservation using anorganic bovine bone covered by a resorbable collagen barrier (delayed group; 52 patients) according to a parallel group design at three different centres. Bone-to-implant gaps were to be filled with anorganic bovine bone, however this was not done in 17 patients (corresponding to 40% of those who should have been grafted). Four months after socket preservation, delayed implants were placed. Implants placed with an insertion torque >35 Ncm were immediately loaded with non-occluding provisional single crowns, replaced, after 4 months, by definitive crowns. Outcome measures were implant failures, complications, aesthetics assessed using the pink esthetic score (PES), and patient satisfaction, recorded by blinded assessors. All patients were followed up to 4 months after loading. Nineteen (35%) implants were not immediately loaded in the immediate group versus 39 (75%) implants in the delayed placement group because an insertion torque >35 Ncm could not be obtained. No patient dropped out. Two implants failed in the immediate group (4%) versus none in the delayed group. More minor complications occurred in the immediate group (8) than the in the delayed group (1) and this was statistically significant (P = 0.032). At delivery of definitive crowns, 4 months after loading, aesthetics were scored as 12.8 and 12.6 in the immediate and delayed groups, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference (P = 0.5). Patients of both groups were equally satisfied. There were more complications at immediate post-extractive implants when compared to delayed implants. The aesthetic outcome appears to be similar for both groups and it seems more difficult to obtain a high insertion torque in sockets preserved with anorganic bovine bone.

Garcia-Llatas G.,University of Valencia | Rodriguez-Estrada M.T.,University of Bologna
Chemistry and Physics of Lipids | Year: 2011

Over the past 15 years, plant sterol-enriched foods have faced a great increase in the market, due to the asserted cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols. However, owing to their chemical structures, plant sterols can oxidize and produce a wide variety of oxidation products with controversial biological effects. Although oxyphytosterols can derive from dietary sources and endogenous formation, their single contribution should be better defined. The following review provides an overall and critical picture on the current knowledge and future perspectives of plant sterols-enriched food, particularly focused on occurrence of plant sterol oxidation products and their biological effects. The final objective of this overview is to evince the different aspects of plant sterols-enriched food that require further research, for a better understanding of the influence of plant sterols and their oxides on consumers' health. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Caputo F.,SS Annunziata Hospital | Bernardi M.,University of Bologna
Current Pharmaceutical Design | Year: 2010

Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) represents the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. Ethanol as well as benzodiazepines (BDZs) and some anticonvulsant drugs directly affect GABAA receptors inducing similar anxiolytic, sedativehypnotic, and anticonvulsant effects. Since BDZs have proven their efficacy in ameliorating symptoms and in decreasing the risk of seizures and delirium tremens, they are the drugs of choice for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS). However, due to their addictive potential and lack of safety when combined with alcohol, BDZs are usually not recommended for the maintenance of alcohol abstinence. Other GABA-ergic medications represent potentially promising drugs useful in the treatment of AWS and in maintaining alcohol abstinence. Indeed, available studies have demonstrated that clomethiazole, gabapentin and gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) present a similar efficacy to BDZs in suppressing AWS. In addition, current evidence also indicates that gabapentin and GHB do not have significant interactions with ethanol that render them safe to use in maintaining alcohol abstinence. Moreover, gabapentin and valproic acid may be beneficial in maintaining alcohol abstinence in alcoholics with psychiatric co-morbidity. Pregabalin, neurosteroids, tiagabine, and vigabatrin need further clinical evidence of efficacy, safety and tolerability. Thus, given the importance of GABA-ergic mechanisms in the development and maintenance of alcohol dependence, and the very interesting results currently achieved, more research on GABAergic agents is warranted. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Contrasting data partially support a certain antihypertensive efficacy of lactotripeptides derived from enzymatic treatment of casein hydrolysate. We carried out a randomized, double-blind, crossover clinical study to investigate the antihypertensive efficacy of a short-term treatment with lactotripeptides in Mediterranean subjects with normal or high-normal blood pressure (BP). We consecutively enrolled 55 untreated subjects (men:women = 30:25), 40.3 ± 9.8 years old, with normal or high-normal BP. After 4 weeks of dietary standardization, they were allocated to treatment with a fruit juice containing 3 mg of added Ile-Pro-Pro/Val-Pro-Pro lactotripeptides or with placebo for 4 weeks. After a 4-week washout period, they were then assigned to the alternative treatment for a further period of 4 weeks. Overall, no significant difference has been observed in office BP comparing baseline data with those posttreatment. Repeating the analysis by basal BP level, a mild but significant reduction in systolic BP (-1.7 ± 2.3 mm Hg; t = 3.5, P =.002) has been observed only in subjects with high-normal BP after treatment with lactotripeptides. With regard to 24-hour BP measurement, after lactotripeptide treatment only, the subjects experienced a significant reduction in diurnal diastolic BP (-1.6 ± 5.4 mm Hg; P =.042), diurnal mean BP (-2.1 ± 5.9 mm Hg; P =.19), and 24-hour (-5.4 ± 14.2 mm Hg; P =.011) and diurnal (-7.1 ± 19.2%; P =.014) diastolic BP value measurements relative to normal values. No modification has been observed in relation to plasma renin activity and aldosteronemia. In conclusion, diurnal diastolic BP is significantly reduced by lactrotripeptide supplementation in untreated Mediterranean subjects with normal or high-normal BP. Office systolic BP is reduced only in subjects with high-normal BP.

Chiesa A.,University of Bologna
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Year: 2010

Objectives: Vipassana meditation (VM) is one of the most ancient and diffused types of meditative practices belonging to the pole of mindfulness. Despite the growing interest toward the neurobiological and clinical correlates of many meditative practices, no review has specifically focused on current evidence on neuro-imaging and clinical evidence about VM. Methods: A literature search was undertaken using MEDLINE,® ISI web of knowledge, the Cochrane database, and references of retrieved articles. Controlled and cross-sectional studies with controls published in English up to March 2009 were included. Results: Seven (7) mainly poor-quality studies were identified. Three (3) neuro-imaging studies suggested that VM practice could be associated with the activation of the prefrontal and the anterior cingulate cortex during meditative periods, and with increased thickness in cortical areas related to attention as well as increased subcortical gray matter in right insula and hippocampus in long-term meditators. Three (3) clinical studies in incarcerated populations suggested that VM could reduce alcohol and substance abuse but not post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in prisoners. One (1) clinical study in healthy subjects suggested that VM could enhance more mature defenses and copying styles. Discussion: Current studies provided preliminary results about neurobiological and clinical changes related to VM practice. Nonetheless, few and mainly low-quality data are available especially for clinical studies and current results have to be considered with caution. Further research is needed to answer critical questions about replications, self-selection, placebo, and long-term effects of VM. © 2010, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Zinzani P.L.,University of Bologna
Seminars in Hematology | Year: 2010

Results of conventional or high-dose chemotherapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) are unsatisfactory, leaving a potential role for autologous or allogeneic stem cell transplantation. There are a number of retrospective studies and a few prospective studies on autologous transplantation for first-line PTCL treatment. Studies show that autologous transplant is feasible in relapsed and previously untreated patients, and efficacy is comparable to results in aggressive B-cell lymphomas. Allogeneic transplant may also have a role in relapsed PTCL, especially in the context of reduced-intensity conditioning, which has decreased nonrelapse mortality. However, it is unclear whether there is a role for allogeneic transplant as a frontline treatment option. © 2010.

Leoncini R.,University of Bologna
Research Policy | Year: 2016

Failure to innovate has been only recently recognized as one of the key elements in determining successful firms' innovative performance. However, as this literature focuses only on the determinants of firms' failure, it neglects the role of failure in spurring innovative activity. In this paper, the relationship between innovative performance and failure to innovate is empirically tested, through a two step econometric model, on the 2008 CIS Innovation survey dataset. The main results of the paper are, first, that failure is negatively correlated to the firms' experience (proxies by R&D), and to the acquisition of direct external knowledge (through productive links in product and process innovation). Indirect learning from the failures of similar firms is moderated by firms engagement in R&D and in searching for external knowledge. The second step reveals that failure in turn has a positive impact on performance in term of percentage of turnover from new to the market innovative products. Finally, an additional test is performed on still ongoing innovation (rather than abandoned), and the results show a minor impact on innovation activity. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate the hard and soft tissue stability and esthetic outcomes of single-tooth implants placed in the anterior atrophic maxilla, following augmentation with mandibular block grafts covered with bovine hydroxyapatite and a resorbable collagen membrane, over a 5-year period. Patients with a bony deficiency of ≥ 3 mm horizontally and ≤ 3 mm vertically were treated consecutively with reconstructive procedures and implant placement 6 months afterward. Alveolar ridge dimensions were measured before and after augmentation using computed tomography. Clinical and radiographic measurements of soft and hard tissue levels and esthetic parameters (pink esthetic score [PES]) were performed annually to assess treatment outcomes. Twenty-nine patients were treated. One patient had partial graft exposure after 1 month that required regrafting at the time of implant placement. Mean bone gain was 4.23 ± 0.69 mm horizontally and 1.71 ± 0.75 mm vertically. The implant cumulative success rate was 100%, according to the criteria of Albrektsson et al. Mean crestal bone resorption after 5 years was low (0.61 ± 0.33 mm). Moderate recession of the facial mucosa (-1.12 ± 0.4 mm) was observed during the study period, while mesial and distal papilla heights increased slightly (0.13 ± 0.17 and 0.19 ± 0.37 mm, respectively). Mean PES ratings remained stable, varying from 9.07 ± 1.49 at the moment of definitive crown delivery to 8.61 ± 1.55 at 5 years. Only two cases (7%) were considered slightly below the defined threshold (PES = 8) of marginal esthetic acceptability. This study demonstrated that implants placed in anterior atrophic maxillae augmented with mandibular block grafts showed stable hard and soft tissue levels and reasonable esthetic outcomes over the medium term, although ongoing recession of the facial mucosa was observed.

Nipoti C.,University of Bologna
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2015

The surface-brightness profiles of galaxies are well described by the Sérsic law: systems with high Sérsic index m have steep central profiles and shallow outer profiles, while systems with low m have shallow central profiles and steep outer profiles. R. Cen has conjectured that these profiles arise naturally in the standard cosmological model with initial density fluctuations represented by a Gaussian random field (GRF). We explore and confirm this hypothesis with N-body simulations of dissipationless collapses in which the initial conditions are generated from GRFs with different power spectra. The numerical results show that GRFs with more power on small scales lead to systems with higher m. In our purely dissipationless simulations, the Sérsic index is in the range 2 ≤ m ≤ 6.5. It follows that systems with Sérsic index as low as m = 2 can be produced by coherent dissipationless collapse, while high-m systems can be obtained if the assembly history is characterized by several mergers. As expected, dissipative processes appear to be required to obtain exponential profiles (m = 1). © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Nava S.,Pneumologia e Terapia Intensiva Respiratoria | Nava S.,University of Bologna
Respiratory Care | Year: 2013

It is difficult to exactly date the beginning of mechanical ventilation, but there are no doubts that noninvasive ventilation (NIV) was the first method of ventilatory support in clinical practice. The technique had a sudden increase in popularity, so that it is now considered, according to criteria of evidence-based medicine, the first-line treatment for an episode of acute respiratory failure in 4 pathologies (the Fabulous Four): COPD exacerbation, cardiogenic pulmonary edema, pulmonary infiltrates in immunocompromised patients, and in the weaning of extubated COPD patients. The so-called emerging applications are those for which the evidence has not achieved level A, mainly because the number or sample size of the published studies does not allow conclusive meta-analysis. These emerging applications are the post-surgical period, palliation of dyspnea, asthma attack, obesity hypoventilation syndrome, and to prevent extubation failure. Potentially "risky business" uses include for respiratory failure from pandemic diseases and ARDS, where probably the "secret" for success is early use. Healthcare is rich in evidence-based innovations, yet even when such innovations are implemented successfully in one location, they often disseminate slowly, if at all, so their clinical use remains limited and heterogeneous. The low rate of NIV use in some hospitals relates to lack of knowledge about or experience with NIV, insufficient confidence in the technique, lack of NIV equipment, and inadequate funding. But NIV use has been increasing around the world, thanks partly to improved technologies. The skill and confidence of clinicians in NIV have improved with time and experience, but NIV is and should remain a team effort, rather than the property of a single local "champion," because, overall, NIV is beautiful!. © 2013 Daedalus Enterprises.

To evaluate the efficacy of flapless versus open flap implant placement in partially edentulous patients. Forty patients with two separate edentulous areas characterised by residual bone at least 5 mm thick and 10 mm in height had these sites randomised following a split-mouth design to receive at least one implant to each side after flap elevation or not. Implants were first placed in one site, and after 2 weeks in the other site freehand. Implants inserted with a torque >48 Ncm were immediately loaded with full occluding acrylic temporary restorations. Definitive single cemented crowns or screw-retained metal ceramic fixed dental prostheses were delivered after 2 months. Outcome measures were prosthesis and implant failures, complications, postoperative swelling and pain, consumption of analgesics, patient preference, surgical time, marginal bone level changes, and implant stability quotient (ISQ) values. Seventy-six implants were placed flapless and 67 after flap elevation. In the flapless group, four flaps had to be raised to control the direction of the bur, whereas one haemorrhage and one fracture of the buccal bone occurred in two patients of the flap elevation group. Four implants did not reach the planned stability (three belonging to the flapless group) and they were all immediately replaced by larger diameter ones. After 1 year, no drop-outs occurred. Two definitive bridges could not be placed when planned (one in each group) and two crowns had to be remade (one in each group). Two implants failed in each group, all in different patients. There were no statistically significant differences for prosthetic and implant failures, complications, ISQ values and marginal bone levels between groups. However, flapless implant placement required significantly less operation time (17 minutes less, saving almost two-thirds of the time for implant placement), induced less postoperative pain, swelling, analgesic consumption and was preferred by patients. Mean ISQ values of both groups significantly decreased over time. Implants can be successfully placed flapless and loaded immediately, reducing treatment time and patient discomfort.

To evaluate whether short (5 to 8.5 mm) dental implants could be a suitable alternative to longer (>11.5 mm) implants placed in atrophic maxillae augmented with autogenous bone for supporting dental prostheses. Twenty-eight patients with fully edentulous atrophic maxillae having 5 to 9 mm of residual crestal bone height at least 5 mm thick, as measured on computerised tomography scans, were randomised into two groups either to receive 4 to 8 short (5 to 8.5 mm) implants (15 patients) or autogenous bone from the iliac crest to allow the placement of at least 11.5 mmlong implants (13 patients). Bone blocks and the windows at maxillary sinuses were covered with rigid resorbable barriers. Grafts were left to heal for 4 months before placing implants, which were submerged. After 4 months, provisional reinforced acrylic prostheses or bar-retained overdentures were delivered. Provisional prostheses were replaced, after 4 months, by definitive screw-retained metal-resin cross-arch fixed dental prostheses. Outcome measures were: prosthesis and implant failures, any complications (including prolonged postoperative pain) and patient satisfaction. All patients were followed for 5 months after loading. All patients could be rehabilitated with implant-supported prostheses and none dropped out. One bilateral sinus lift procedure failed due to infection, though short implants could be placed. One implant failed in the augmented group versus 2 short implants in 2 patients. All failures occurred before loading. Significantly more complications occurred in augmented patients: 8 complications occurred in 5 augmented patients (all complained of pain 1 month after bone harvesting from the iliac crest). No complications occurred in the short implant group. All patients were fully satisfied with the treatment and would do it again. This pilot study suggests that short implants may be a suitable, cheaper and faster alternative to longer implants placed in bone augmented with autogenous bone for rehabilitating edentulous atrophic maxillae. However, these preliminary results need to be confirmed by larger trials with follow-ups of at least 5 years.

The epidermis of soft-shelled and hard-shelled turtles has been compared to determine the origin of the different cornification. Immunolocalization of acidic alpha-keratin (AK2) of 45-50. kDa in tonofilaments of the epidermis in Apalone spinifera and absence in the corneous layer where desquamating corneocytes are present supports the biochemical data. Corneocytes shows a weak to absent immunolabeling for beta-proteins (formerly beta-keratins) of 14-16. kDa while sparse immunolabeled corneous granules are seen in the pre-corneous layer. In the hard-shelled turtle Pseudemys nelsonii differentiating corneocytes contain small level of acidic alpha-keratin while beta-proteins of 10-17. kDa form dense aggregates of corneous material among tonofilaments. Corneocytes do not desquamate but remain tightly connected determining an increase in thickness of the corneous layer that becomes mechanically stiff and resistant. Since both species possess beta-proteins in shelled and non-shelled areas of the epidermis the difference in hardness of the corneous layer is not due to the alternation between beta-keratin versus alpha-keratin. Mechanical resilience of the corneous layer derives from the accumulation of alpha-keratins, beta- and likely of other proteins in corneocytes of the shell in hard-shelled turtles. In the softer epidermis of hard-shelled turtles and in the soft-shelled turtle a more rapid and continuous turnover of corneocytes is present and no accumulation of beta-proteins and corneocytes takes place. It is hypothesized that the dermis derived from the carapacial ridge during development remains localized underneath the shell epidermis in hard-shelled turtles and influences the formation of the hard corneous epidermis. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bartoli G.,University of Bologna | Dalpozzo R.,University of Calabria | Nardi M.,University of Calabria
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014

In 1989, the reaction of vinyl magnesium halides with ortho-substituted nitroarenes leading to indoles was discovered. This reaction is now frequently reported as the "Bartoli reaction" or the "Bartoli indole synthesis" (BIS). It has rapidly become the shortest and most flexible route to 7-substituted indoles, because the classical indole syntheses generally fail in their preparation. The flexibility of the Bartoli reaction is great as it can be extended to heteroaromatic nitro derivatives and can be run on solid support. This review will focus on the use of the Bartoli indole synthesis as the key step in preparations of complex indoles, which appeared in the literature in the last few years. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Chiani M.,University of Bologna
IEEE Transactions on Communications | Year: 2010

One of the key operations in communication systems is frame synchronization, which is similar in many aspects to code acquisition in the context of code division multiple access systems. We focus on frame synchronization for binary PSK signals in the presence of additive white Gaussian noise and phase offset due to imperfect carrier phase estimation. We derive optimum and low-complexity suboptimum synchronization techniques, showing large improvements with respect to frame synchronization based on noncoherent correlation. Extensions to higher order modulations and fading channels are also discussed. © 2006 IEEE.

Lorenzini G.,University of Parma | Biserni C.,University of Bologna | Rocha L.A.O.,Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul
International Journal of Thermal Sciences | Year: 2013

This paper applies constructal design to discover the configuration that facilitates the access of the heat that flows through non-uniform X-shaped pathways of high-conductivity material embedded within a square-shaped heat-generating medium of low-conductivity to cooling this finite-size volume. The objective is to minimize the maximal excess of temperature of the whole system, i.e. the hot spots, independent of where they are located. The total volume and the volume of the material of high thermal conductivity are fixed, but the lengths of the pathways and the angles between the pathways can vary. The configuration was optimized for four degrees of freedom: the two angles between the pathways, and the two ratios between the lengths. It was found numerically that the performance of the non-uniform X-shaped pathways is approximately 10% better than the performance of the uniform X-shaped pathways, i.e. X-shaped with equal lengths and thicknesses. When compared to the configuration calculated for a simpler I-shaped blade (i.e. a single pathway of high thermal conductivity material beginning in the isothermal wall and ending of such a way that there is spacing between the tip of the pathway and the insulated wall) the non-uniform X-shaped pathways configuration performs 56% better. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

Huntley J.W.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Scarponi D.,University of Bologna
Paleobiology | Year: 2012

The role of antagonistic organismal interactions in the production of long-term macroevolutionary trends has been debated for decades. Some evidence seems to suggest that temporal trends in predation frequency share a common causative mechanism with genus-level diversity, whereas studies on the role of parasites in "shaping" the evolutionary process are rare indeed. Digenean trematodes (Phylum Platyhelminthes) infest molluscs in at least one stage of their complex life cycle. Trematodes leave characteristic oval-shaped pits with raised rims on the interior of their bivalve hosts, and these pits are preserved in the fossil record. Here we survey 11,785 valves from the PleistoceneHolocene deposits of the Po Plain and from nearby modern coastal environments on the northeast Adriatic coast of Italy. Of these, 205 valves exhibited trematode-induced pits. Trematodes were selective parasites in terms of host taxonomy and host body size. Infestation was restricted to lower shoreface/transition-to-platform paleoenvironments. During the Holocene, individuals from the transgressive systems tract were significantly more likely to be infested than those from highstand systems tracts. Temporal trends in infestation frequency cannot be explained as an ecological/evolutionary phenomenon (e.g., the hypothesis of escalation); instead the trend seems controlled by environmental variation induced by glacio-eustatic sea-level changes and inadequate sampling. Because this interaction appears to be ephemeral, both temporally and spatially, it is not likely that any selective pressure would be continuous over geologic time in this region. Furthermore, these results support the hypothesis that antagonistic interactions are lower in the northern Adriatic Sea in comparison to other midlatitude shallow marine settings. © 2012 The Paleontological Society.

Tieri P.,University of Bologna
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2011

Omics data and computational approaches are today providing a key to disentangle the complex architecture of living systems. The integration and analysis of data of different nature allows to extract meaningful representations of signaling pathways and protein interactions networks, helpful in achieving an increased understanding of such intricate biochemical processes. We here describe a general workflow and relative hurdles in integrating online Omics data and analyzing reconstructed representations by using the available computational platforms.

A reliable quantitative estimate of changes in source-to-sink sediment transfer requires that high-resolution stratigraphic studies be coupled with accurate reconstructions of spatial and temporal variability of the sediment-routing system through time. Source-to-sink patterns from the contributing upland river catchments to the deltaic and coastal system are reconstructed from the Holocene succession of the Po Plain on the basis of selected geochemical indicators. Sediment supplied to the delta area by the major trunk river (the Po) exhibits naturally high Cr and Ni values, which invariably exceed the maximum permissible concentrations for unpolluted sites. This 'anomaly' reflects remarkable sediment contribution from ultramafic (ophiolitic) parent rocks cropping out in the Po drainage basin (Western Alps and NW Apennines). In contrast, alluvial and coastal plain deposits supplied by ophiolite-free, Apenninic catchments invariably display lower Cr and Ni contents. For constant sediment provenance domain, Cr and Ni distribution is observed to be controlled primarily by hydraulic sorting. Clay-silt deposits (floodplain, swamp and lagoon/bay facies associations) invariably show higher metal concentrations than their sandy counterparts (fluvial-channel, distributary-channel and beach-ridge facies associations). From a stratigraphic perspective, in sedimentary basins characterized by strong differences in sediment composition geochemical fingerprinting of individual facies associations framed by surfaces of chronostratigraphic significance is proposed as an invaluable approach towards an accurate quantitative assessment of sediment storage in alluvial and coastal depositional systems as opposed to volumetric reconstructions based on lithologic or geometric criteria alone. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
Modern Physics Letters A | Year: 2010

We shall consider the general problem of causal propagation for spinor fields, focus attention in particular on the case constituted by ELKO fields and will show that the problem of causal propagation for ELKO fields is always solvable. © World Scientific Publishing Company.

Samaras A.G.,University of Bologna | Koutitas C.G.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Geomorphology | Year: 2014

Coastal morphology evolves as the combined result of both natural- and human- induced factors that cover a wide range of spatial and temporal scales of effect. Areas in the vicinity of natural stream mouths are of special interest, as the direct connection with the upstream watershed extends the search for drivers of morphological evolution from the coastal area to the inland as well. Although the impact of changes in watersheds on the coastal sediment budget is well established, references that study concurrently the two fields and the quantification of their connection are scarce. In the present work, the impact of land-use changes in a watershed on coastal erosion is studied for a selected site in North Greece. Applications are based on an integrated approach to quantify the impact of watershed management on coastal morphology through numerical modeling. The watershed model SWAT and a shoreline evolution model developed by the authors (PELNCON-M) are used, evaluating with the latter the performance of the three longshore sediment transport rate formulae included in the model formulation. Results document the impact of crop abandonment on coastal erosion (agricultural land decrease from 23.3% to 5.1% is accompanied by the retreat of ~. 35. m in the vicinity of the stream mouth) and show the effect of sediment transport formula selection on the evolution of coastal morphology. Analysis denotes the relative importance of the parameters involved in the dynamics of watershed-coast systems, and - through the detailed description of a case study - is deemed to provide useful insights for researchers and policy-makers involved in their study. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Lolli B.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Gasperini P.,University of Bologna
Geophysical Journal International | Year: 2012

Until a decade ago, regression analyses for conversions between different types of magnitude were using only the ordinary least squares method, which assumes that the independent variable is error free, or the simple orthogonal regression method, which assumes equal uncertainties for the two variables. The recent literature became aware of the inadequacy of such approaches and proposes the use of general orthogonal regression methods that account for different uncertainties of the two regression variables. Under the common assumption that only the variance ratio between the dependent and independent variables is known, we compared three of such general orthogonal regression methods that have been applied to magnitude conversions: the chi-square regression, the general orthogonal regression, and the weighted total least squares. Although their formulations might appear quite different, we show that, under appropriate conditions, they all compute almost exactly the same regression coefficients and very similar (albeit slightly different) formal uncertainties. The latter are in most cases smaller than those estimated by bootstrap simulation but the amount of the deviation depends on the data set and on the assumed variance ratio. © 2012 The Authors Geophysical Journal International © 2012 RAS.

Montanari A.,University of Bologna
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2012

Scientists and public administrators are devoting increasing attention to the Po River, in Italy, in view of concerns related to the impact of increasing urbanisation and exploitation of water resources. A better understanding of the hydrological regime of the river is necessary to improve water resources management and flood protection. In particular, the analysis of the effects of hydrological and climatic change is crucial for planning sustainable development and economic growth. An extremely interesting issue is to inspect to what extent river flows can be naturally affected by the occurrence of long periods of water abundance or scarcity, which can be erroneously interpreted as irreversible changes due to human impact. In fact, drought and flood periods alternatively occurred in the recent past in the form of long-term fluctuations. This paper presents advanced graphical and analytical methods to gain a better understanding of the temporal distribution of the Po River discharge. In particular, we present an analysis of river flow variability and persistence properties, to gain a better understanding of natural patterns, and in particular long-term changes, which may affect the future flood risk and availability of water resources. © Author(s) 2013.

Puzzarini C.,University of Bologna
International Journal of Quantum Chemistry | Year: 2010

Molecular structure and energetics of the four isomers of CH2N, namely H2CN, trans-HCNH, cis-HCNH, and H2NC, have been investigated by means of a highly accurate level of theory, i.e., using the coupled cluster method in conjunction with correlation consistent basis sets ranging in size from triple to sextuple zeta. Extrapolation to the complete basis set limit, higher excitations in the cluster operator as well as core correlation and relativistic effects have been considered. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Zambelli B.,University of Bologna
Metal ions in life sciences | Year: 2012

The dramatic changes in the environmental conditions that organisms encountered during evolution and adaptation to life in specific niches, have influenced intracellular and extracellular metal ion contents and, as a consequence, the cellular ability to sense and utilize different metal ions. This metal-driven differentiation is reflected in the specific panels of metal-responsive transcriptional regulators found in different organisms, which finely tune the intracellular metal ion content and all metal-dependent processes. In order to understand the processes underlying this complex metal homeostasis network, the study of the molecular processes that determine the protein-metal ion recognition, as well as how this event is transduced into a transcriptional output, is necessary. This chapter describes how metal ion binding to specific proteins influences protein interaction with DNA and how this event can influence the fate of genetic expression, leading to specific transcriptional outputs. The features of representative metal-responsive transcriptional regulators, as well as the molecular basis of metal-protein and protein-DNA interactions, are discussed on the basis of the structural information available. An overview of the recent advances in the understanding of how these proteins choose specific metal ions among the intracellular metal ion pool, as well as how they allosterically respond to their effector binding, is given.

Cicero A.F.,University of Bologna
Hospital practice (1995) | Year: 2012

Berberine is an alkaloid that is highly concentrated in the roots, rhizomes, and stem bark of various plants. It affects glucose metabolism, increasing insulin secretion, stimulating glycolysis, suppressing adipogenesis, inhibiting mitochondrial function, activating the 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, and increasing glycokinase activity. Berberine also increases glucose transporter-4 (GLUT-4) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) levels. On GLP-1 receptor activation, adenylyl cyclase is activated, and cyclic adenosine monophosphate is generated, leading to activation of second messenger pathways and closure of adenosine triphosphate-dependent potassium channels. Increased intracellular potassium causes depolarization, and calcium influx through the voltage-dependent calcium channels occurs. This intracellular calcium increase stimulates the migration and exocytosis of the insulin granules. In glucose-consuming tissues, such as adipose, or liver or muscle cells, berberine affects both GLUT-4 and retinol-binding protein-4 in favor of glucose uptake into cells; stimulates glycolysis by AMPK activation; and has effects on the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ molecular targets and on the phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1, finally resulting in decreased insulin resistance. Moreover, recent studies suggest that berberine could have a direct action on carbohydrate metabolism in the intestine. The antidiabetic and insulin-sensitizing effect of berberine has also been confirmed in a few relatively small, short-term clinical trials. The tolerability is high for low dosages, with some gastrointestinal complaints appearing to be associated with use of high dosages.

Ferreri A.J.M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Govi S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Pileri S.A.,University of Bologna
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2012

Hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HSTL) is a rare and aggressive extranodal lymphoma derived mostly from cytotoxic γδ T-cells. The peak incidence is in adolescents and young adults, and is more common in males. Up to 20% of HSTL arise in the setting of chronic immune suppression, most commonly solid organ transplantation or prolonged antigenic stimulation. Patients present with systemic symptoms (fever), abdominal pain, weakness, and marked hepatosplenomegaly in the absence of lymphadenopathy. Patients usually manifest marked thrombocytopenia, often with anaemia and leucopenia, a leukemic phase, and bone marrow involvement in 80% of cases. Lactate dehydrogenase levels are usually markedly elevated. HSTL exhibits a marked chemoresistance to currently used regimens, a rapidly progressive behavior, and dismal prognosis. Patients with post-transplant HSTL exhibit an especially poor outcome. Standard treatment has yet to be established. Anthracycline-based chemotherapy is associated with a satisfactory response in two thirds of patients, but poor long-term results. Complete remission is extremely uncommon, and most patients die from lymphoma within two years of diagnosis. A prognostic correlation between outcome and degree of thrombocytopenia has been reported. Relapsing disease is usually chemorefractory and fast growing, and patients' performance status and clinical conditions are poor. These aspects, as well as the lack of drugs with proven activity against HSTL, render salvage treatment almost impossible. A few cases of HSTL successfully treated with autologous or allogeneic stem-cell transplantation have been reported. The use of 2'-deoxycoformycin and other targeted therapies, such as alemtuzumab, anti-γδ TCR monoclonal antibodies, and anti-CD44 therapy, have shown promising results in anecdotal reports. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Bortolotti M.,University of Bologna | Porta S.,SoFar
Digestive Diseases and Sciences | Year: 2011

Background: Abdominal pain, that characterizes irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) together with bloating and disordered defecation, is mainly related to a visceral hypersensitivity due to an increase of TRPV 1 nociceptive nerve fiber activity. Aim: As capsaicin contained in red pepper is able to desensitize the TRPV 1 fibres, we evaluated whether the red pepper oral administration can decrease the symptoms of visceral hypersensitivity in IBS patients. Methods: The study was performed on 50 patients with IBS diagnosed following Rome II criteria. After a 2-week washout period, 23 patients were planned to receive 4 pills/day, for 6 weeks randomly and in a double blind manner, each containing 150 mg of red pepper powder with a coat that dissolves in the colon, and 27 patients placebo. The patients scored each day in a diary the abdominal pain and bloating intensities following the 5-point Likert scale. The weekly symptom mean scores and the final patient subjective evaluation on treatment effectiveness were statistically compared among groups and intra-groups with appropriate tests. Results: Eight patients dropped from the study: 6 in the red pepper group for abdominal pain and 2 in the placebo group. In 8 patients, the pills were reduced to 2/day, because of the abdominal pain at the onset of treatment. The intra-group comparisons showed that in patients taking red pepper the abdominal pain and bloating mean score values of the last weeks of treatment were significantly improved with respect to pre-treatment values, unlike patients taking placebo. The final patient subjective evaluation on the treatment effectiveness showed that red pepper group scored significantly better than placebo. Conclusions: The results of this preliminary study indicate that the chronic administration of red pepper powder in IBS patients with enteric-coated pills was significantly more effective than placebo in decreasing the intensity of abdominal pain and bloating and was considered by the patients more effective than placebo. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Sollima A.,Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias | Nipoti C.,University of Bologna
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

We test the modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND) theory with the velocity dispersion profiles of Galactic globular clusters populating the outermost region of the Milky Way halo, where the Galactic acceleration is lower than the characteristic MOND acceleration a0. For this purpose, we constructed self-consistent, spherical models of stellar systems in MOND, which are the analogues of the Newtonian King models. The models are spatially limited, reproduce well the surface brightness profiles of globular clusters and have velocity dispersion profiles that differ remarkably in shape from the corresponding Newtonian models. We present dynamical models of six globular clusters, which can be used to efficiently test MOND with the available observing facilities. A comparison with recent spectroscopic data obtained for NGC 2419 suggests that the kinematics of this cluster might be hard to explain in MOND. © 2009 RAS.

Margiotta A.,University of Bologna
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2013

A general discussion of the organization of the Monte Carlo (MC) simulation in a Cherenkov neutrino telescope is presented. Some practical examples are taken from the simulation chain used for the ANTARES and the IceCube detectors. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hens S.M.,California State University, Sacramento | Belcastro M.G.,University of Bologna
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

Age determination from human skeletal remains is an important biological parameter in both forensic and bioarchaeological contexts. This study presents the results of a blind test of the revised auricular surface age estimation method proposed by Buckberry and Chamberlain (Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 119 (2002) 321-329) on a large sample (n= 404) of known sex and age from the Sassari collection, housed at the Museum of Anthropology, University of Bologna, Italy. Ilia were scored for five features: transverse organization, surface texture, microporosity, macroporosity, and apical changes, which combined for a composite score. The results indicated that all features and the composite score were positively correlated with known age. Composite scores were significantly different between the sexes, suggesting that males and females should be treated separately. Bias and inaccuracy varied across age intervals. Age tended to be overestimated in individuals under age 59 and underestimated for those over age 60 years. However, the revised method showed improvement over the original auricular surface method (Lovejoy et al., Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 68 (1985) 15-28), especially for aging older individuals. Considerable variation exists in the age ranges derived from composite scores and few significant differences were found between age stages, suggesting that fewer stages with wider age ranges may be necessary. The independent, quantitative scoring of the surface features makes the revised method substantially easier to apply and the method shows significant improvement for aging older individuals. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Using an antibody against a lizard telomerase-1 component the presence of telomerase has been detected in regenerating lizard tails where numerous cells are proliferating. Immunoblots showed telomerase positive bands at 75-80 kDa in normal tissues and at 50, 75, and 90 kDa in those regenerating. Immunofluorescence and ultrastructural immunolocalization showed telomerase-immunoreactivity in sparCe (few/diluted) mesenchymal cells of the blastema, early regenerating muscles, perichondrium of the cartilaginous tube, ependyma of the spinal cord, and in the regenerating epidermis. Clusters of gold particles were detected in condensing chromosomes of few mesenchymal and epithelial cells in the regenerating tail, but a low to undetectable labeling in interphase cells. Telomerase-immunoreactivity was intense in the nucleus and sparCe (few/diluted) in the cytoplasm of spermatogonia and spermatocytes and drastically decreased in early spermatids where some nuclear labeling remains. Some intense immunoreactivity was seen in few cells near the basal membrane of intestinal enterocytes or in leukocytes (likely lymphocytes) of the intestine mucosa. In spermatogonia, spermatids and in enterocytes part of the nuclear labeling formed cluster of gold particles in dense areas identified as Cajal Bodies, suggesting that telomerase is a marker for these stem cells. This therefore suggests that also the sparCe (few/diluted) telomerase positive cells detected in the regenerating tail may represent sparCe (few/diluted) stem cells localized in regenerating tissues where transit amplifying cells are instead preponderant to allow for tail growth. This observation supports previous studies indicating that few stem cells are present in the stump after tail amputation and give rise to transit amplifying cells for tail regeneration. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ghisetti C.,University of Bologna | Quatraro F.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

This paper contributes to the debate on the inducement of environmental innovations by analyzing the extent to which endogenous inducement mechanisms spur the generation of greener technologies in contexts characterized by weak exogenous inducement pressures. In the presence of a fragile environmental regulatory framework, inducement can indeed be endogenous and environmental innovations may be spurred by firms' reactions to their direct or related environmental performance. Cross-sector analysis focuses on a panel of Italian regions, over the time span 2003-2007, and is conducted by implementing zero-inflated regression models for count data variables. The empirical results suggest that in a context characterized by a weak regulatory framework, such as the Italian one, environmental performance has significant and complementary within- and between-sector effects on the generation of green technologies. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Simbula S.,University of Bologna
Anxiety, Stress and Coping | Year: 2010

The study tests the dynamic nature of the Job Demands-Resources model with regard to both motivational and health impairment processes. It does so by examining whether daily fluctuations in co-workers' support (i.e., a typical job resource) and daily fluctuations in work/family conflict (i.e., a typical job demand) predict day-levels of job satisfaction and mental health through work engagement and exhaustion, respectively. A total of 61 schoolteachers completed a general questionnaire and a daily survey over a period of five consecutive work days. Multilevel analyses provided evidence for both the above processes. Consistently with the hypotheses, our results showed that day-level work engagement mediated the impact of day-level co-workers' support on day-level job satisfaction and day-level mental health, after general levels of work engagement and outcome variables had been controlled for. Moreover, day-level exhaustion mediated the relationship between day-level work/family conflict and day-level job satisfaction and day-level mental health after general levels of exhaustion and outcome variables had been controlled for. These findings provide new insights into the dynamic psychological processes that determine daily fluctuations in employee well-being. Such insights may be transformed into job redesign strategies and other interventions designed to enhance work-related psychological well-being on a daily level. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Although mitochondrial inheritance in metazoans is typically strictly maternal, doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) is probably the major exception to this widespread rule. DUI has been found in many species of bivalve molluscs, belonging to several different families. Based on current understanding, the detection of DUI generally relies on the detection of two distinct mitochondrial DNA lineages: a female-transmitted one, that dominates somatic tissues in males and females and eggs, and a male-transmitted one, that dominates the male germline and sperm. When a new species with DUI is identified, novel data are available to make a better inference on the evolution of this phenomenon within the Bivalvia. In this study, mitochondrial heteroplasmy in Pseudocardium sachalinense (Schrenck, 1862) is described. This species belongs to the family of Mactridae, in which DUI has not been previously demonstrated: this finding allowed to upgrade the present knowledge about the distribution of DUI. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Bolondi L.,University of Bologna
Internal and emergency medicine | Year: 2011

Hepatocellular carcinoma represents the main cause of death in patients with Child-A cirrhosis. Surveillance programs aimed at the early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma, at potentially treatable stages, are mandatory in Child-A cirrhotic patients and in Child-B cirrhotic patients, provided liver transplantation can be pursued. Surveillance allows stage migration and in definite subgroups of patients, it improves survival as well. Even though several circulating markers have been tested, none of them, including serum AFP determination, is actually recommended in the setting of surveillance. Thus ultrasound scan is the only recommended test, and it should be performed at 6-month intervals. Upon detection of a new nodule, a diagnostic algorithm based on the size of the nodule should be applied. In the western countries, the BCLC proposal is the most widely used and validated staging system and it helps to choice of the best treatment option even though each patient deserves a multidisciplinary evaluation due to the complexity of the coexistence of two diseases: hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis.

Casari M.,University of Bologna
Behavioral and Brain Sciences | Year: 2012

The claims about (1) the lack of empirical support for a model of strong reciprocation and (2) the irrelevant empirical role of costly punishment to support cooperation in the field need qualifications. The interpretation of field evidence is not straightforward, and other-regarding preferences are also likely to play a role in the field. © 2012 Cambridge University Press.

Manicklal S.,University of Cape Town | Emery V.C.,University College London | Lazzarotto T.,University of Bologna | Boppana S.B.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Gupta R.K.,University College London
Clinical Microbiology Reviews | Year: 2013

Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a leading cause of congenital infections worldwide. In the developed world, following the virtual elimination of circulating rubella, it is the commonest nongenetic cause of childhood hearing loss and an important cause of neurodevelopmental delay. The seroprevalence of CMV in adults and the incidence of congenital CMV infection are highest in developing countries (1 to 5% of births) and are most likely driven by nonprimary maternal infections. However, reliable estimates of prevalence and outcome from developing countries are not available. This is largely due to the dogma that maternal preexisting seroimmunity virtually eliminates the risk for sequelae. However, recent data demonstrating similar rates of sequelae, especially hearing loss, following primary and nonprimary maternal infection have underscored the importance of congenital CMV infection in resource-poor settings. Although a significant proportion of congenital CMV infections are attributable to maternal primary infection in well-resourced settings, the absence of specific interventions for seronegative mothers and uncertainty about fetal prognosis have discouraged routine maternal antibody screening. Despite these challenges, encouraging results from prototype vaccines have been reported, and the first randomized phase III trials of prenatal interventions and prolonged postnatal antiviral therapy are under way. Successful implementation of strategies to prevent or reduce the burden of congenital CMV infection will require heightened global awareness among clinicians and the general population. In this review, we highlight the global epidemiology of congenital CMV and the implications of growing knowledge in areas of prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and management for both low (50 to 70%)- and high (>70%)-seroprevalence settings. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Vaccari V.C.,University of Bologna
Journal of Information Technology and Politics | Year: 2010

The role of the Internet as a tool for participation and organization has been considered the most important innovation in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign and one of the key strategic factors in Barack Obama's conquest of the Democratic nomination and the White House. This article analyzes e-campaigning in the 2008 election through data drawn from qualitative interviews with 31 consultants and operatives who were involved in the presidential race. Rather than adopting a technocentric perspective, our interviewees acknowledge that several contextual factors enhance or hinder the effectiveness of online tools, such as the message of the campaign, the candidate's personality, and his or her ability to generate enthusiasm in the electorate, together with the campaign's strategic prioritization of grassroots electioneering. Technology is seen more as an efficient channel of preexisting motivations and loyalties than as a driver of these attitudes. Moreover, while the Web has often been characterized as presenting campaigns with a dilemma between top-down hierarchy and bottom-up spontaneity, Internet professionals and operatives argue that contemporary e-campaigning tools can help achieve both goals and breed a hybrid organizing model that reconciles control and empowerment through the skillful use of individual data. These findings have important implications regarding the strategic and organizational dynamics of contemporary campaigns and the role of citizen participation within them. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Wagener T.,Pennsylvania State University | Montanari A.,University of Bologna
Water Resources Research | Year: 2011

The focus in the search for more reliable predictions in ungauged basins (PUB) has generally been on reducing uncertainty in watershed models (mainly their parameters). More recently, however, we seem to remember that the ultimate objective is not to define the parameters of a specific model but to understand the watershed: What behavior do we expect the ungauged watershed to exhibit? And what behavior should not occur in a particular ungauged watershed? The answers to these questions actually provide additional information that can be assimilated in watershed models for uncertainty reduction in PUB. This extension to hydrologic modeling approaches provides a quantitative link between watershed modeling and statistical hydrology as well as process hydrology that has to be explored. We witness a convergence of approaches - Bayesian, set theoretic, and optimization based - toward utilizing this link. The result is an opportunity for the (quantitative) dialog between modelers, statistical hydrologists, and experimentalists. We close our discussion of this development by presenting new and exciting research questions that we now have to address. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

In this paper, I develop an optimization model for integrated urban planning for land use at the municipality level, in which decisions arise from an area-based weighted-GDP maximisation algorithm whose weights represent the sustainability and implementability of the land uses. The model favours the involvement of stakeholders in urban governance, but does not use complicated assessment procedures for non-economic indicators or relative weights to combine economic, social and environmental indicators; instead, the integration between economic activities and environmental status is represented objectively and non-linearly by referring to initial and sustainability conditions. The model accounts for both human and environmental dynamics by adopting a spatial structure that permits compromises between economic information (available at a macro level) and ecological information (available at a micro level). A single value is attached to each urban governance, with an elicitation of future decisions (including acceptance of the status quo) and the ability to provide an evaluation of past decisions: some environmental policies are considered. The model's predictions are based on reasonably reliable knowledge that can be easily collected, with reliability determined by calculating the confidence level. The resulting urban governance can then be presented and further analysed within a geographical information system. A case study of the model's application to Algeria's Reghaïa and Heraoua municipalities provides insights into optimal urban governance, with and without water quantity or quality policies, in terms of resource sustainability, sectoral development, and pollution sustainability. I also assess the previous master plan in terms of the land uses suggested by the model. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Arfelli G.,University of Teramo | Sartini E.,University of Bologna
Food Chemistry | Year: 2014

High performance anion exchange chromatography (HPAEC) coupled with pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) was optimised in order to quantify mannose, maltose, maltotriose, maltotetraose, maltopentaose, maltohexaose and maltoheptaose content of beer. The method allows the determination of above mentioned oligosaccharides, in a single chromatographic run, without any pre-treatment. Limit of detection and limit of quantification were suitable for beer. Accuracy and repeatability were good for the entire amount considered. Once optimised HPAEC PAD for the specific matrix, the second goal of this research was to verify the possibility to discriminate beers, depending on their style. The carbohydrates content of brewpub commercial beers was very variable, ranging from 19.3 to 1469 mg/L (mannose), 34.5 to 2882 mg/L (maltose), 141.9 to 20731 mg/L (maltotriose), 168.5 to 7650 mg/L (maltotetraose), 20.1 to 2537 mg/L (maltopentaose), 22.9 to 3295 mg/L (maltohexaose), 8.5 to 2492 mg/L (maltoeptaose), even in the same style of beer. However, the carbohydrates content was useful, jointed with other compounds amount, to discriminate different styles of beer. As a matter of fact, principal component analysis put in evidence beer differences considering some fermentation conditions and colour. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Nanni L.,University of Padua | Brahnam S.,Missouri State University | Lumini A.,University of Bologna
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Motivation: The microarray report measures the expressions of tens of thousands of genes, producing a feature vector that is high in dimensionality and that contains much irrelevant information. This dimensionality degrades classification performance. Moreover, datasets typically contain few samples for training, leading to the 'curse of dimensionality' problem. It is essential, therefore, to find good methods for reducing the size of the feature set. Results: In this article, we propose a method for gene microarray classification that combines different feature reduction approaches for improving classification performance. Using a support vector machine (SVM) as our classifier, we examine an SVM trained using a set of selected genes; an SVM trained using the feature set obtained by Neighborhood Preserving Embedding feature transform; a set of SVMs trained using a set of orthogonal wavelet coefficients of different wavelet mothers; a set of SVMs trained using texture descriptors extracted from the microarray, considering it as an image; and an ensemble that combines the best feature extraction methods listed above. The positive results reported offer confirmation that combining different features extraction methods greatly enhances system performance. The experiments were performed using several different datasets, and our results [expressed as both accuracy and area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve] show the goodness of the proposed approach with respect to the state of the art. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Agliardi E.,University of Bologna
Environmental and Resource Economics | Year: 2011

A stochastic growth model with a list of capital assets (i. e., reproducible capital, non-renewable resources, the knowledge base and institutions) is studied to evaluate the effects of different sources of uncertainty on sustainability. It is also discussed which measure can serve as an index of intergenerational welfare to evaluate sustainable development under uncertainty. The aim is to consider a more comprehensive setting than is usually explored in the literature and to generalize Arrow, Dasgupta and Mäler results to the case of uncertainty. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Point mutations in the DKC1 gene that encodes dyskerin cause the rare inherited syndrome called X-linked dyskeratosis congenita, characterized by a failure of proliferating tissues and increased susceptibility to cancer. Dyskerin is a nucleolar protein with different functions, all fundamental to basic cellular events such as protein expression, growth, and proliferation. The two best-characterized dyskerin activities are the stabilization of the telomerase RNA component, allowing the proper function telomerase enzymatic complex, and the modification of specific uridine residues of ribosomal RNA by converting them to pseudouridine, thus allowing proper ribosome processing and function. In light of the recent findings, this review focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of dyskeratosis congenita, discussing how a defect in ribosomal function might impact on the translation of a subset of mRNAs encoding for tumour suppressors, thus providing an explanation for the apparent paradox of dyskeratosis congenita in which reduced cell proliferation is associated with cancer susceptibility. In addition, the current evidence pointing to a role played by dyskerin in tumours in the general population is also discussed. © 2010 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Chiani M.,University of Bologna | Win M.Z.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Shin H.,Kyung Hee University
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2010

Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems are being considered as one of the key enabling technologies for future wireless networks. However, the decrease in capacity due to the presence of interferers in MIMO networks is not well understood. In this paper, we develop an analytical framework to characterize the capacity of MIMO communication systems in the presence of multiple MIMO co-channel interferers and noise. We consider the situation in which transmitters have no channel state information, and all links undergo Rayleigh fading. We first generalize the determinant representation of hypergeometric functions with matrix arguments to the case when the argument matrices have eigenvalues of arbitrary multiplicity. This enables the derivation of the distribution of the eigenvalues of Gaussian quadratic forms and Wishart matrices with arbitrary correlation, with application to both single-user and multiuser MIMO systems. In particular, we derive the ergodic mutual information for MIMO systems in the presence of multiple MIMO interferers. Our analysis is valid for any number of interferers, each with arbitrary number of antennas having possibly unequal power levels. This framework, therefore, accommodates the study of distributed MIMO systems and accounts for different spatial positions of the MIMO interferers. © 2009 IEEE.

The regeneration of the tail in lizards is likely sustained by stem/progenitor cells located in the stump after amputation of the tail. This microscopic and ultrastructural study shows the localization of 5-bromo-deoxy-uridine (5BrdU)-long retaining labeled cells in different tissues of the tail stump. These putative stem/progenitor cells are sparsely detected in the epidermis of scales, adipose tissue, intermuscle connective septa, myosatellite cells, and perichondrion of the vertebrae. Most of 5BrdU-labeled cells are present in the bone marrow of vertebrae as hemocytoblasts and reticulate cells, whereas more numerous myelocytes and polychromatophilic erythroblasts show a variable level of nuclear labeling. 5BrdU and tritiated-thymidine labeled and unlabeled hemopoietic cells are seen in circulating vessels and in the blastema where their maturation is completed. This observation indicates that the entire differentiation span of both white and red blood cells, at least during tail regeneration, lasts longer than 4 weeks. Labeled polychromatophilic erythroblasts and heterophilic and basophilic myelocytes are present in the synusoidal vessels of the regenerating tail. This study indicates that extravasating blood cells involved in immunity make large part of the forming blastema cell population, but are replaced by mesenchymal cells of different origin. The presence of long retaining labeled cells in tissues of the tail stump is likely connected to the production of blastema mesenchymal cells. Although no direct cell-lineage study has been done, histological, immunocytochemical, and autoradiographic studies have indicated that it is from these tissues that proliferating cells appear mainly localized after tail amputation and blastema formation. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Zucchelli G.,University of Bologna
The International journal of periodontics & restorative dentistry | Year: 2013

A major esthetic concern is soft tissue defects around implant restorations, which often result in an extra long prosthetic crown. This report describes a modified prosthetic-surgical approach to the treatment of peri-implant horizontal and vertical soft tissue defects in an esthetically demanding patient. One month before surgery, the implant crown restoration was removed, the preexisting implant abutment was reduced, and a short provisional crown, at the level of the homologous contralateral incisor, was applied. A bilaminar technique, consisting of an envelope coronally advanced flap covering two connective tissue grafts, was used to treat the soft tissue defects around the implant site. Four months after surgery, a new implant abutment and provisional crown were applied for soft tissue conditioning before the final impression. Nine months after surgery, the peri-implant soft tissue margin was 4 mm more coronal compared with baseline and at the same soft tissue margin level of the right central incisor. A 2.2-mm increase in buccal soft tissue thickness measured 1.5 mm apical to the soft tissue margin was accomplished. The emergence profile of the replaced tooth faithfully reproduced that of the healthy homologous contralateral central incisor. Two years after surgery, the soft tissue margin was stable and the esthetic appearance of the implant site was well maintained. This report demonstrates the possibility of fully correcting severe vertical and horizontal peri-implant soft tissue defects and achieving high patient satisfaction through a combined mucogingival and prosthetic treatment.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
General Relativity and Gravitation | Year: 2015

In the present article we shall consider the torsional completion of a gravitational background that is filled with electrodynamically interacting material fields, taken to be of fermionic type, eventually deriving properties like the impossibility of singularities and the possibility of confinement, both necessary for a correct quantum description. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Casadio R.,University of Bologna | Casadio R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Micu O.,Romanian Space Science Institute | Stojkovic D.,State University of New York at Buffalo
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We investigate the Cosmic Censorship Conjecture by means of the horizon wave-function (HWF) formalism. We consider a charged massive particle whose quantum mechanical state is represented by a spherically symmetric Gaussian wave-function, and restrict our attention to the superextremal case (with charge-to-mass ratio α>1), which is the prototype of a naked singularity in the classical theory. We find that one can still obtain a normalisable HWF for α2<2, and this configuration has a non-vanishing probability of being a black hole, thus extending the classically allowed region for a charged black hole. However, the HWF is not normalisable for α2>2, and the uncertainty in the location of the horizon blows up at α2=2, signalling that such an object is no more well-defined. This perhaps implies that a quantum Cosmic Censorship might be conjectured by stating that no black holes with charge-to-mass ratio greater than a critical value (of the order of 2) can exist. © 2015 The Authors.

Buscemi F.,University of Bologna | Bordone P.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

Few studies explored the dynamics of nonclassical correlations besides entanglement in open multipartite quantum systems. Here, we address the time evolution of quantum discord and entanglement in a model of three noninteracting qubits subject to a classical random telegraph noise in common and separated environments. Two initial entangled states of the system are examined, namely the GHZ- and W-type states. The dynamics of quantum correlations results to be strongly affected by the input configuration of the qubits, the type of the system-environment interaction, and the memory properties of the environmental noise. When the qubits are nonlocally coupled to the random telegraph noise, the GHZ-type states partially preserve, at long times, both discord and entanglement, regardless of the correlation time of the environmental noise. The survived entangled states turn out to be also detectable by means of suitable entanglement witnesses. On the other hand, in the same conditions, the decohering effects suppress all the quantum correlation of the W-type states which are thus less robust than the GHZ-type ones. The long-time survival of tripartite discord and entanglement opens interesting perspectives in the use of multipartite entangled states for practical applications in quantum information science. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Zucchelli G.,University of Bologna
The European journal of esthetic dentistry : official journal of the European Academy of Esthetic Dentistry | Year: 2013

Unfavorable conditions at the soft tissues adjacent to a recession defect may preclude performing pedicle flaps (advanced or rotational) both as a root coverage procedure, and as a covering flap for a connective tissue graft. Free gingival grafts may not be recommended because of the low root coverage predictability and the poor esthetic outcome. The goal of the present case report is to suggest modifications of the two-stage surgical technique aimed at improving root coverage and esthetic outcomes, and reducing patient morbidity. In the first case report, a Miller class II gingival recession, associated with a deep buccal probing depth, affecting a lower central incisor was treated. In the first step of the surgery an epithelized graft with an apical-coronal dimension equal to the keratinized tissue height of the adjacent teeth was sutured apical to the bone dehiscence. Four months later, a coronally advanced flap was performed to cover the root exposure. In the second case report, a Miller class III gingival recession, complicated with a deep buccal probing depth affecting the mesial root of the first lower molar was treated. In the first step of the surgery, a free gingival graft was positioned mesially to the root exposure to create keratinized tissue lateral to the recession defect. This was adequate to perform the laterally moved, coronally advanced flap that was used as a second-step root coverage surgical procedure. In the first case report complete root coverage, an increase (4 mm) in keratinized tissue height and realignment of the mucogingival line were achieved 1 year after the surgery. The reduced dimension of the graft permitted to minimize patient's discomfort and to obtain good esthetics of mucogingival tissues. These successful outcomes were well maintained for 5 years. In the second case report successful root coverage, increase (3 mm) in keratinized tissue height and good harmony of mucogingival tissues were achieved 1 year after the surgery. These outcomes were well maintained 5 years after the surgery. The present study suggested that modifications of the two-stage procedure by minimizing the dimension of the graft and by standardizing the surgical techniques allowed successful results to be achieved in the treatment of gingival recessions characterized by local conditions that otherwise preclude the use of one-step root coverage surgical techniques.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics | Year: 2015

We consider the most general torsional completion of gravitation together with electrodynamics for the Dirac spinorial material fields, and we show that consistency arguments constrain torsion to be completely antisymmetric and the dynamics to be parity-invariant and described by actions that are either least-order derivative or renormalizable. © 2015 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Bevilacqua A.,University of Bologna
Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Conference | Year: 2011

Vignetting is one of the most common problem that may affect digital imaging. The effect becomes particularly evident when images are stitched together to increase the camera's field of view (e.g., when building a mosaic), where it can lead to errors in automatic analyses. To correct the effect, the most common approach is to acquire an empty field image in advance that is used later to perform a flat field correction on every subsequently acquired image. However, in several cases, such as when dealing with off-line images or with real time acquisitions, this is not a viable option. The method we propose relies on a non parametric model to characterize in real time the vignetting function from the specimen itself, by using our foreground/background segmentation algorithm. The function is computed over a background built incrementally, detecting regions free of objects of interest. The experiments carried out using cell cultures and histological samples prove that our method yields results at least comparable to those achieved by using empty field.

Bittelli M.,University of Bologna
HortTechnology | Year: 2011

Soil water content (SWC) is a soil property that plays a crucial role in a large variety of biophysical processes, such as seed germination, plant growth, and plant nutrition. SWC affects water infiltration, redistribution, percolation, evaporation, and plant transpiration. Indeed, the quantification ofSWCis necessary for a variety of important applications in horticultural systems, such as optimization of irrigation volumes, fertilization, and soil-water-budget computations. In recent decades, a substantial number of different experimental methods have been developed to determine the SWC, and a large body of knowledge is now available on theory and applications. In this review, the main techniques used to determine the SWC are discussed, first by describing the physical principles behind the most popular methods and then by addressing how the various spatial scales might affect the different methodologies when applied.

Olmi G.,University of Bologna
Experimental Techniques | Year: 2011

A study was conducted to develop an original loading-constraining device, which was able to compensate for misalignments between testing machine rips, when tests were performed under a nominal axial load. The proposed device was extremely versatile and had several applications on different machines to perform static, high-cycle, or low-cycle fatigue tests or creep experimentation. An experimental campaign was set up to validate correct working of the new device after manufacturing it. It was important to experimentally estimate all misalignments and to measure the entity of bending components to be compared with that of nominal ones, as the fixture technique was unable to provide their full cancellation. A specimen, manufactured according to the requirements of the ASTM E606-04 standard was equipped with four electrical strain gages to address this issue.

Palli G.,University of Bologna | Pirozzi S.,The Second University of Naples
Sensors and Actuators, A: Physical | Year: 2011

In this paper, a novel force sensor based on commercial discrete optoelectronic components mounted on a compliant frame is described. The compliant frame has been designed through an optimization procedure to achieve a desired relation between the applied force and the angular displacement of the optical axes of the optoelectronic components. The narrow-angle characteristics of Light Emitting Diode (LED) and PhotoDetector (PD) couples have been exploited for the generation of a signal proportional to very limited deformation of the compliant frame caused by the external traction force. This sensor is suitable for applications in the field of tendon driven robots, and in particular the use of this sensor for the measurement of the actuator side tendon force in a robotic hand is reported. The design procedure of the sensor is presented together with the sensor prototype, the experimental verification of the calibration curve and of the frame deformation and the testing in a force feedback control system. The main advantages of this sensor are the simplified conditioning electronics, the very high noise-to-signal ratio and the immunity to electromagnetic fields. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Casadio R.,University of Bologna | Casadio R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Micu O.,Romanian Space Science Institute | Scardigli F.,Polytechnic of Milan | Scardigli F.,Kyoto University
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We address the issue of (quantum) black hole formation by particle collision in quantum physics. We start by constructing the horizon wave-function for quantum mechanical states representing two highly boosted non-interacting particles that collide in flat one-dimensional space. From this wave-function, we then derive a probability that the system becomes a black hole as a function of the initial momenta and spatial separation between the particles. This probability allows us to extend the hoop conjecture to quantum mechanics and estimate corrections to its classical counterpart. © 2014 The Authors.

The localization of specific keratin-associated beta-proteins (formerly referred to as beta-keratins) in the embryonic epidermis of lizards is not known. Two specific keratin-associated beta-proteins of the epidermis, one representing the glycine-rich subfamily (HgG5) and the other the glycine-cysteine medium-rich subfamily (HgGC10), have been immunolocalized at the ultrastructural level in the lizard Anolis lineatopus. The periderm and granulated subperiderm are most immunonegative for these proteins. HgG5 is low to absent in theOberhäutchen layer while is present in the forming beta-layer, and disappears in mesos- and alpha-layers. Instead, HgGC10 is present in the Oberhäutchen, beta-, and also in the following alpha-layers, and specifically accumulates in the developing adhesive setae but not in the surrounding cells of the clear layer. Therefore, setae and their terminal spatulae that adhere to surfaces allowing these lizards to walk vertically contain cysteine-glycine rich proteins. The study suggests that, like in adult and regenerating epidermis, the HgGC10 protein is not only accumulated in cells of the beta-layer but also in those forming the alpha-layer. This small protein therefore is implicated in resistance, flexibility, and stretching of the epidermal layers. It is also hypothesized that the charges of these proteins may influence adhesion of the setae of pad lamellae. Conversely, glycine-rich beta-proteins like HgG5 give rise to the dense, hydrophobic, and chromophobic corneous material of the resistant beta-layer. This result suggests that the differential accumulation of keratin-associated beta-proteins over the alpha-keratin network determines differences in properties of the stratified layers of the epidermis of lizards. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Moller S.,Copenhagen University | Bernardi M.,University of Bologna
European Heart Journal | Year: 2013

There is a mutual interaction between the function of the heart and the liver and a broad spectrum of acute and chronic entities that affect both the heart and the liver. These can be classified into heart diseases affecting the liver, liver diseases affecting the heart, and conditions affecting the heart and the liver at the same time. In chronic and acute cardiac hepatopathy, owing to cardiac failure, a combination of reduced arterial perfusion and passive congestion leads to cardiac cirrhosis and cardiogenic hypoxic hepatitis. These conditions may impair the liver function and treatment should be directed towards the primary heart disease and seek to secure perfusion of vital organs. In patients with advanced cirrhosis, physical and/or pharmacological stress may reveal a reduced cardiac performance with systolic and diastolic dysfunction and electrophysical abnormalities termed cirrhotic cardiomyopathy. Electrophysiological abnormalities include prolonged QT interval, chronotropic incompetance, and electromechanical uncoupling. No specific therapy can be recommended, but it should be supportive and directed against the heart failure. Numerous conditions affect both the heart and the liver such as infections, inflammatory and systemic diseases, and chronic alcoholism. The risk and prevalence of coronary artery disease are increasing in cirrhotic patients and since the perioperative mortality is high, a careful cardiac evaluation of such patients is required prior to orthotopic liver transplantation. © 2013 Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved.

Lutey A.H.A.,University of Bologna
Journal of Applied Physics | Year: 2013

A model is presented for the ablation of metals by nanosecond laser pulses, based on one-dimensional heat flow with temperature dependent material properties. A numerical optical calculation is introduced to account for laser beam absorption in the target, utilizing established matrix methods for electromagnetic plane wave propagation in multi-layered media. By including the effects of reflection from the dielectric-metal interface, the fall in reflectivity of aluminum during nanosecond laser pulses above the phase explosion threshold is found to be approximately twice that calculated in previous works. A simulated shielding coefficient is introduced to account for reflection and absorption of the incident laser beam by the ablation products. With these additions to foregoing models, good agreement between calculated and published experimental ablation data is attained for aluminum, both in terms of ablation threshold and depth. An investigation is subsequently carried out into the effects of laser wavelength, pulse duration and target thickness on the phase explosion threshold of aluminum. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Carelli V.,IRCCS Institute of Neurological science of Bologna | Carelli V.,University of Bologna | Chan D.C.,California Institute of Technology
Neuron | Year: 2014

Because of their high-energy metabolism, neurons are strictly dependent on mitochondria, which generate cellular ATP through oxidative phosphorylation. The mitochondrial genome encodes for critical components of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway machinery, and therefore, mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cause energy production defects that frequently have severe neurological manifestations. Here, we review the principles of mitochondrial genetics and focus on prototypical mitochondrial diseases to illustrate how primary defects in mtDNA or secondary defects in mtDNA due to nuclear genome mutations can cause prominent neurological and multisystem features. In addition, we discuss the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying mitochondrial diseases, the cellular mechanisms that protect mitochondrial integrity, and the prospects for therapy. The nervous system relies on mitochondrial metabolism to drive energy-consuming processes. Carelli and Chan illustrate how defects in mitochondrial DNA lead to neurological dysfunction and discuss how research in mitochondrial biology can unravel pathogenic mechanisms and translate into therapy. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

The isolation of genes for alpha-keratins and keratin-associated beta-proteins (formerly beta-keratins) has allowed the production of epitope-specific antibodies for localizing these proteins during the process of cornification epidermis of reptilian sauropsids. The antibodies are directed toward proteins in the alpha-keratin range (40-70 kDa) or beta-protein range (10-30 kDa) of most reptilian sauropsids. The ultrastructural immunogold study shows the localization of acidic alpha-proteins in suprabasal and precorneous epidermal layers in lizard, snake, tuatara, crocodile, and turtle while keratin-associated beta-proteins are localized in precorneous and corneous layers. This late activation of the synthesis of keratin-associated beta-proteins is typical for keratin-associated and corneous proteins in mammalian epidermis (involucrin, filaggrin, loricrin) or hair (tyrosine-rich or sulfur-rich proteins). In turtles and crocodilians epidermis, keratin-associated beta-proteins are synthesized in upper spinosus and precorneous layers and accumulate in the corneous layer. The complex stratification of lepidosaurian epidermis derives from the deposition of specific glycine-rich versus cysteine-glycine-rich keratin-associated beta-proteins in cells sequentially produced from the basal layer and not from the alternation of beta- with alpha-keratins. The process gives rise to Oberhäutchen, beta-, mesos-, and alpha-layers during the shedding cycle of lizards and snakes. Differently from fish, amphibian, and mammalian keratin-associated proteins (KAPs) of the epidermis, the keratin-associated beta-proteins of sauropsids are capable to form filaments of 3-4 nm which give rise to an X-ray beta-pattern as a consequence of the presence of a beta-pleated central region of high homology, which seems to be absent in KAPs of the other vertebrates. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Tornabene F.,University of Bologna
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2011

In this paper, the Generalized Differential Quadrature (GDQ) method is applied to study the dynamic behaviour of laminated composite doubly-curved shells of revolution. The First-order Shear Deformation Theory (FSDT) is used to analyze the above mentioned moderately thick structural elements. The governing equations of motion, written in terms of stress resultants, are expressed as functions of five kinematic parameters, by using the constitutive and kinematic relationships. The solution is given in terms of generalized displacement components of points lying on the middle surface of the shell. The discretization of the system by means of the Differential Quadrature (DQ) technique leads to a standard linear eigenvalue problem, where two independent variables are involved. Results are obtained taking the meridional and circumferential co-ordinates into account, without using the Fourier modal expansion methodology. Examples of hyperbolic, catenary, cycloid, parabolic, elliptic and circular shell and panel structures are presented to illustrate the validity and the accuracy of the GDQ method. Furthermore, GDQ results are compared with those presented in literature and the ones obtained by using commercial programs such as Abaqus, Ansys, Nastran, Straus and Pro/Mechanica. Very good agreement is observed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Modica M.,CNR Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth | Reggiani A.,University of Bologna
Networks and Spatial Economics | Year: 2015

The concept of resilience has been receiving both theoretical and empirical attention in recent years, from different disciplinary fields, including spatial economics where resilience is becoming a ‘popular’ term. In particular, the concept of spatial economic resilience seems to assume slightly different interpretations. Starting from the basic definitions of resilience, which stem from ecology, this paper aims to highlight the similarities and the differences in the various analyses of resilience, in order to offer some insights into its use in the spatial economics literature. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Nipoti C.,University of Bologna
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

The thermal stability of rotating, stratified, unmagnetized atmospheres is studied by means of linear-perturbation analysis, finding stability, overstability or instability, depending not only on the properties of the gas distribution but also on the nature of the perturbations. In the relevant case of distributions with outward-increasing specific entropy and angular momentum, axisymmetric perturbations grow exponentially, unless their wavelength is short enough that they are damped by thermal conduction; non-axisymmetric perturbations typically undergo overstable oscillations in the limit of zero conductivity, but are effectively stabilized by thermal conduction, provided rotation is differential. To the extent that the studied models are representative of the poorly constrained hot atmospheres of disc galaxies, these results imply that blob-like, cool overdensities are unlikely to grow in galactic coronae, suggesting an external origin for the high-velocity clouds of the Milky Way. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.

Puzzarini C.,University of Bologna | Biczysko M.,University of Naples Federico II | Barone V.,Normal School of Pisa
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2010

Impressive growth of computer facilities and effective implementation of very accurate quantum mechanical methods allow, nowadays, the determination of structures and vibrational characteristics for small- to medium-sized molecules to a very high accuracy. Since the situation is much less clear for open-shell species, we decided to build a suitable database of harmonic and anharmonic frequencies for small-sized free radicals containing atoms of the first two rows of the periodic table. The level of theory employed is the CCSD(T) model in conjunction with triple- and quadruple-ζ basis sets, whose accuracy has been checked with respect to the available experimental data and/or converged quantum mechanical computations. Next, in view of studies of larger open-shell systems, we have validated the B3LYP/N07D model with reference to the above database: our results confirm previous suggestions about the remarkable reliability and reduced computational cost of this computational method. A number of test computations show that basis set extension has negligible effects and other density functionals (including last generation ones) deliver significantly worse results. Increased accuracy can be obtained, instead, by using CCSD(T) harmonic frequencies and B3LYP/N07D anharmonic corrections. Copyright © 2010 American Chemical Society.

Identification of patient sub-groups with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) at high risk of progression to active disease (MM) is an important goal. 18F-FDG PET/CT (positron emission tomography (PET) integrated with computed tomography (PET/CT) using glucose labelled with the positron-emitting radionuclide 18F) allows for assessing early skeletal involvement. Identification of osteolytic lesions by this technique has recently been incorporated into the updated International Myeloma Working Group criteria for MM diagnosis. However, no data are available regarding the impact of focal lesions (FLs) without underlying osteolysis on time to progression (TTP) to MM. We hence prospectively studied a cohort of 120 SMM patients with PET/CT. PET/CT was positive in 16% of patients (1 FL: 8, 2 FLs: 3, >3 FLs: 6, diffuse bone marrow involvement: 2). With a median follow-up of 2.2 years, 38% of patients progressed to MM, in a median time of 4 years, including 21% with skeletal involvement. The risk of progression of those with positive PET/CT was 3.00 (95% confidence interval 1.58–5.69, P=0.001), with a median TTP of 1.1 versus 4.5 years for PET/CT-negative patients. The probability of progression within 2 years was 58% for positive versus 33% for negative patients. In conclusion, PET/CT positivity significantly increased the risk of progression of SMM to MM. PET/CT could become a new tool to define high-risk SMM.Leukemia advance online publication, 13 November 2015; doi:10.1038/leu.2015.291. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Many drugs currently used in chemotherapy work by hindering the process of ribosome biogenesis. In tumors with functional p53, the inhibition of ribosome biogenesis may contribute to the efficacy of this treatment by inducing p53 stabilization. As the level of stabilized p53 is critical for the induction of cytotoxic effects, it seems useful to highlight those cancer cell characteristics that can predict the degree of p53 stabilization following the treatment with inhibitors of ribosome biogenesis. In the present study we exposed a series of p53 wild-type human cancer cell lines to drugs such as actinomycin D (ActD), doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil and CX-5461, which hinder ribosomal RNA (rRNA) synthesis. We found that the amount of stabilized p53 was directly related to the level of ribosome biogenesis in cells before the drug treatment. This was due to different levels of inactivation of the ribosomal proteins–MDM2 pathway of p53 digestion. Inhibition of rRNA synthesis always caused cell cycle arrest, independent of the ribosome biogenesis rate of the cells, whereas apoptosis occurred only in cells with a high rDNA transcription rate. The level of p53 stabilization induced by drugs acting in different ways from the inhibition of ribosome biogenesis, such as hydroxyurea (HU) and nutlin-3, was independent of the level of ribosome biogenesis in cells and always lower than that occurring after the inhibition of rRNA synthesis. Interestingly, in cells with a low ribosome biogenesis rate, the combined treatment with ActD and HU exerted an additive effect on p53 stabilization. These results indicated that (i) drugs inhibiting ribosome biogenesis may be highly effective in p53 wild-type cancers with a high ribosome biogenesis rate, as they induce apoptotic cell death, and (ii) the combination of drugs capable of stabilizing p53 through different mechanisms may be useful for treating cancers with a low ribosome biogenesis rate.Oncogene advance online publication, 11 May 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.147. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited

Lisabeth E.M.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Falivelli G.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Falivelli G.,University of Bologna | Pasquale E.B.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Pasquale E.B.,University of California at San Diego
Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology | Year: 2013

The Eph receptors are the largest of the RTK families. Like other RTKs, they transduce signals from the cell exterior to the interior through ligand-induced activation of their kinase domain. However, the Eph receptors also have distinctive features. Instead of binding soluble ligands, they generally mediate contact-dependent cell-cell communication by interacting with surface-associated ligands-the ephrins-on neighboring cells. Eph receptor- ephrin complexes emanate bidirectional signals that affect both receptor- and ephrin-expressing cells. Intriguingly, ephrins can also attenuate signaling by Eph receptors coexpressed in the same cell. Additionally, Eph receptors can modulate cell behavior independently of ephrin binding and kinase activity. The Eph/ephrin system regulates many developmental processes and adult tissue homeostasis. Its abnormal function has been implicated in various diseases, including cancer. Thus, Eph receptors represent promising therapeutic targets. However, more research is needed to better understand the many aspects of their complex biology that remain mysterious. © 2013 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

Galdi S.,University of Padua | Cadinu M.,University of Padua | Tomasetto C.,University of Bologna
Child Development | Year: 2014

Although stereotype awareness is a prerequisite for stereotype threat effects (Steele & Aronson, 1995), research showed girls' deficit under stereotype threat before the emergence of math-gender stereotype awareness, and in the absence of stereotype endorsement. In a study including 240 six-year-old children, this paradox was addressed by testing whether automatic associations trigger stereotype threat in young girls. Whereas no indicators were found that children endorsed the math-gender stereotype, girls, but not boys, showed automatic associations consistent with the stereotype. Moreover, results showed that girls' automatic associations varied as a function of a manipulation regarding the stereotype content. Importantly, girls' math performance decreased in a stereotype-consistent, relative to a stereotype-inconsistent, condition and automatic associations mediated the relation between stereotype threat and performance. © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.

Puzzarini C.,University of Bologna | Barone V.,Normal School of Pisa
Journal of Chemical Physics | Year: 2010

In the present paper, we investigate the molecular structure and hyperfine couplings of a series of σ radicals containing first- and second-row atoms (H2 CN, H2 CP, NH2, PH2) for which accurate gas-phase microwave results are available. The presence of α - and, especially, Β -hydrogen atoms makes the evaluation of magnetic properties of these radicals particularly challenging. Geometrical parameters have been computed by the coupled-cluster ansatz in conjunction with hierarchical series of basis sets, thus accounting for extrapolation to the complete basis-set limit. Core correlation as well as higher excitations in the electronic-correlation treatment have also been taken into account. An analogous approach has been employed for evaluating hyperfine coupling constants with particular emphasis given to basis-set, correlation, and geometrical effects. The corresponding vibrational corrections, required for a meaningful comparison to experimental data, have also been investigated. The remarkable agreement with experiment confirms the reliability of the present computational approach, already validated for π radicals, thus establishing the way for setting up a benchmark database for magnetic properties. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Gorji N.E.,University of Tabriz | Gorji N.E.,University of Bologna
IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology | Year: 2014

For the first time, a quantitative approach was carried out to model the optical losses in several Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) based thin-film heterojunction solar cells having different window and buffer layers. The modeling indicates that the heterojunction of glass/FTO/TiO2/In 2S3/CZTS has a lower reflection and higher transmission coefficient than glass/FTO/In2S3/CZTS and conventional glass/FTO/CdS/CZTS structures. These optical losses at the interfaces (reflection) and inside the thickness (absorption) of stacked layers were calculated based on the known optical constants such as refractive index and extinction coefficient. While TiO2 windowed device resulted in a promising high short-circuit current and energy conversion efficiency, the In2S3 windowed and conventional CdS windowed devices showed to be less efficient. We compared our theoretical analysis with the practical reports given for such structures in the literature. Further studies are required to reduce the reflection and absorption losses of CZTS structures in practice. So far, the overall performance parameters (e.g., Jsc and η) are much less than our theoretical estimations. The size of the TiO2 nanoparticles on the layer is about 100 nm. © 2002-2012 IEEE.

Pirodda A.,University of Bologna
Swiss medical weekly : official journal of the Swiss Society of Infectious Diseases, the Swiss Society of Internal Medicine, the Swiss Society of Pneumology | Year: 2010

On the basis of previous observations we examined the possibility of a favourable effect of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) on Meniere's disease (MD). A preliminary step was made by retrospectively analysing the number of menieric crisis in group of patients suffering from MD and using PPI for other reasons as compared to a group of menieric subjects who had never used PPI. Between January 2001 and December 2006, 42 patients affected by MD were examined in the tertiary referral centre at the University Hospital of Bologna, Italy and in the private office of an ENT specialist in Cassino, Italy. Within the study group, 18 patients had used PPI for various reasons for at least 12 consecutive months, whilst 24 patients had never been prescribed them. We recorded the number of menieric crises reported in the observation period. The mean follow-up period was 21.9 months. Statistical analysis was performed by means of the x2 test and significance was defined when p<0.05. Most of MD patients (72%) using PPI suffered less than one episode of menieric crisis/year. On the other hand patients who had never used a PPI, experienced considerably more episodes only 16.7% having less than one crisis per year. This difference was statistically significant (p<0, 001). Even taking the limitations of this retrospective study into account the reported data nevertheless strongly suggest a possible role for proton pumps in the pathogenesis of MD. This could lead to interesting developments and contribute to a better definition of MD and the therapeutic possibilities.

Previous molecular studies indicated that antimicrobial peptides in lizard are expressed in the skin and tongue among other epithelial organs. The present ultrastructural immunogold study aimed to detect the specific location of three broadly expressed antimicrobial peptides in the tongue of the lizard Anolis carolinensis. The immunocytochemical study indicated that beta-defensin-15, the likely main defensin of granulocytes and skin, is poorly expressed in some dense and medium-dense granules of glandular cells of the papillated tongue. Conversely beta-defensin-27 appears highly expressed in numerous pale and cribriform dense granules of glandular cells and is also secreted on the tongue surface. The immunostaining for cathelicidin-1 indicated a variable but however positive immunolabeling in numerous granules in the tongue glands, suggesting that this antimicrobial peptide previously found on the epidermal surface is also present in the tongue secretions and participates to the formation of the anti-microbial oral barrier. The study suggests that among the numerous beta-defensins and cathelicidins identified in the genome of this lizard is present a specific distribution of different peptide subtypes in various body regions, including the tongue, and that these peptides contribute to the formation of local antimicrobial barriers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Sirri L.,University of Bologna
Current Psychiatry Reviews | Year: 2014

Background: The hypochondriacal spectrum includes several clinical phenomena, such as disease phobia, thanatophobia and health anxiety. The major challenge for a dimensional tool is to capture the different features which sensitively differentiate the hypochondriacal syndrome from other clinical phenomena, such as somatization. This article provides a qualitative review of the instruments designed for the dimensional assessment of hypochondriacal fears and beliefs. Methods: Articles were retrieved by means of both computerized (Medline, PsycINFO) and manual searches. Results: In the 1960s, the Whiteley Index (WI) was the first instrument specifically built to measure the severity of hypochondriacal symptoms. In the 1980s, Kellner developed the nine Illness Attitude Scales (IAS), each of them concerns a specific cluster of attitudes, fears and beliefs. They were designed to reflect the clinimetric properties, in particular content validity and sensitivity to treatment-related changes. In the 1990s, the refinement of the cognitive-behavioral model of hypochondriasis was followed by an upsurge of questionnaires aimed at assessing the dimensions of hypochondriasis according to this model. However, most of these instruments need to be further validated and the amount of incremental information they yield remains to be established. In the last decade, the interest of the studies has been focused on the measurement of specific features of hypochondriasis, such as response to medical reassurance and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Conclusions: Kellner's IAS and Pilowsky's WI are the most validated and widely used instruments. The clinimetric properties make the IAS the gold standard for the dimensional assessment of hypochondriacal fears and beliefs. © 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

Campaner R.,University of Bologna
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health | Year: 2011

Current epidemiological and statistical theory about research methods and how to elicit causation from epidemiological studies is strongly influenced by counterfactual-manipulative thinking. However, thinking about how disease states develop is rooted in mechanistic 'webs of causes'. After a tremendous growth of research in molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics, attention has increasingly been paid to environmental and socioeconomic factors as determinants of diseases. This led to conceiving of most pathologies as caused by multilevel mechanical systems. The nature of 'mechanisms' has been the subject of extensive philosophical reflection over the past couple of decades. The present paper will first present some of today's philosophical insights in what are called biologic or other 'mechanisms' and thereafter show how these concepts can be linked to counterfactual-manipulative views.

Coccheri S.,University of Bologna | Mannello F.,Urbino University
Drug Design, Development and Therapy | Year: 2013

Sulodexide (SDX), a sulfated polysaccharide complex extracted from porcine intestinal mucosa, is a blend of two glycosaminoglycan (GAG) entities, namely a fast-moving heparin (HP) fraction and a dermatan sulfate (DS; 20%) component. The compound is unique among HP-like substances in that it is biologically active by both the parenteral and oral routes. A main feature of the agent is to undergo extensive absorption by the vascular endothelium. For this reason, in preclinical studies, SDX administered parenterally displays an antithrombotic action similar to that of HPs but associated with fewer alterations of the blood clotting mechanisms and tests, thus being much less conducive to bleeding risk than HPs. When given orally, SDX is associated with minimal changes in classic coagulation tests, but maintains a number of important effects on the structure and function of endothelial cells (EC), and the intercellular matrix. These activities include prevention or restoration of the integrity and permeability of EC, counteraction versus chemical, toxic or metabolic EC injury, regulation of EC-blood cell interactions, inhibition of microvascular infammatory and proliferative changes, and other similar effects, thus allowing oral SDX to be considered as an endothelial-protecting agent. The best available clinical evidence of the efficacy of SDX administered orally with or without an initial parenteral phase is the following: alleviation of symptoms in chronic venous disease and especially acceleration of healing of venous leg ulcers; prevention of cardiovascular events in survivors after acute myocardial infarction; marked improvement of intermittent claudication in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease; and abatement of proteinuria in patients with diabetic nephropathy that may contribute to the amelioration or stabilization of kidney function. Although further clinical trials are warranted, SDX is presently widely accepted in many countries as an effective and safe long-term, endothelial-protecting drug. © 2014 Coccheri and Mannello.

Calmet X.,University of Sussex | Casadio R.,University of Bologna | Casadio R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We reconsider perturbative unitarity violation in the standard model Higgs inflation model. We show that the Cutkosky cutting rule implied by perturbative unitarity is fulfilled at one-loop. This is a strong indication that unitarity is restored order by order in perturbation theory. We then resum certain one-loop diagrams and show that the relevant dressed amplitude fulfills the Cutkosky rule exactly. This is an example of the self-healing mechanism. The original Higgs inflation model is thus consistent and does not require any new physics beyond the standard model at least up to the Planck scale. © 2014 The Authors.

Nanni L.,University of Padua | Lumini A.,University of Bologna | Brahnam S.,Missouri State University
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2012

The aim of this work is to find the best way for describing a given texture using a local binary pattern (LBP) based approach. First several different approaches are compared, then the best fusion approach is tested on different datasets and compared with several approaches proposed in the literature (for fair comparisons, when possible we have used code shared by the original authors). Our experiments show that a fusion approach based on uniform local quinary pattern (LQP) and a rotation invariant local quinary pattern, where a bin selection based on variance is performed and Neighborhood Preserving Embedding (NPE) feature transform is applied, obtains a method that performs well on all tested datasets. As the classifier, we have tested a stand-alone support vector machine (SVM) and a random subspace ensemble of SVM. We compare several texture descriptors and show that our proposed approach coupled with random subspace ensemble outperforms other recent state-of-the-art approaches. This conclusion is based on extensive experiments conducted in several domains using six benchmark databases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Remiddi E.,University of Bologna | Tancredi L.,University of Zurich
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

A new class of identities for Feynman graph amplitudes, dubbed Schouten identities, valid at fixed integer value of the dimension d is proposed. The identities are then used in the case of the two-loop sunrise graph with arbitrary masses for recovering the second-order differential equation for the scalar amplitude in d = 2 dimensions, as well as a chained set of equations for all the coefficients of the expansions in (d - 2). The shift from d ≈2 to d ≈4 dimensions is then discussed. © 2014 The Authors.

De Ponti F.,University of Bologna
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2013

Medications are frequently used for the treatment of patients with the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), although their actual benefit is often debated. In fact, the recent progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of IBS, accompanied by a large number of preclinical and clinical studies of new drugs, has not been matched by a significant improvement of the armamentarium of medications available to treat IBS. The aim of this review is to outline the current challenges in drug development for IBS, taking advantage of what we have learnt through the Rome process (Rome I, Rome II, and Rome III). The key questions that will be addressed are: (a) do we still believe in the "magic bullet," i.e., a very selective drug displaying a single receptor mechanism capable of controlling IBS symptoms? (b) IBS is a "functional disorder" where complex neuroimmune and brain-gut interactions occur and minimal inflammation is often documented: do we need to target gut motility, visceral sensitivity, or minimal inflammation? (c) are there validated biomarkers (accepted by regulatory agencies) for studies of sensation and motility with experimental medications in humans? (d) do animal models have predictive and translational value? (e) in the era of personalized medicine, does pharmacogenomics applied to these medications already play a role? Finally, this review will briefly outline medications currently used or in development for IBS. It is anticipated that a more focused interaction between basic science investigators, pharmacologists, and clinicians will lead to better treatment of IBS. © 2013 De Ponti.

The ability of lizards to withstand infections after wounding or amputation of the tail or limbs has suggested the presence of antimicrobial peptides in their tissues. Previous studies on the lizard Anolis carolinensis have identified several beta-defensin-like peptides that may potentially be involved in protection from infections. The present ultrastructural immunocytochemical study has analyzed tissues in different reptilian species in order to localize the cellular source of one of the more expressed beta-defensins previously sequenced in lizard indicated as AcBD15. Beta-defensin-like immunoreactivity is present in some of the larger, nonspecific granules of granulocytes in two lizard species, a snake, the tuatara, and a turtle. The ultrastructural study indicates that only heterophilic and basophilic granulocytes contain this defensin while other cell types from the epidermis, mesenchyme, and dermis, muscles, nerves, cartilage or bone are immunonegative. The study further indicates that not all granules in reptilian granulocytes contain the beta-defensin peptide, suggesting the presence of granules with different content as previously indicated for mammalian neutrophilic leucocytes. No immunolabeling was instead observed in granulocytes of the alligator and chick using this antibody. The present immunocytochemical observations suggest a broad cross-reactivity and conservation of beta-defensin-like sequence or steric motif across lepidosaurians and likely in turtles while archosaurian granulocytes may contain different beta-defensin-like or other peptides. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Partinen M.,Vitalmed Research Center | Partinen M.,University of Helsinki | Kornum B.R.,Molecular Sleep Laboratory | Plazzi G.,University of Bologna | And 5 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2014

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterised by loss of hypothalamic hypocretin (orexin) neurons. The prevalence of narcolepsy is about 30 per 100 000 people, and typical age at onset is 12-16 years. Narcolepsy is strongly associated with the HLA-DQB1*06:02 genotype, and has been thought of as an immune-mediated disease. Other risk genes, such as T-cell-receptor α chain and purinergic receptor subtype 2Y11, are also implicated. Interest in narcolepsy has increased since the epidemiological observations that H1N1 infection and vaccination are potential triggering factors, and an increase in the incidence of narcolepsy after the pandemic AS03 adjuvanted H1N1 vaccination in 2010 from Sweden and Finland supports the immune-mediated pathogenesis. Epidemiological observations from studies in China also suggest a role for H1N1 virus infections as a trigger for narcolepsy. Although the pathological mechanisms are unknown, an H1N1 virus-derived antigen might be the trigger. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Previous studies suggest that patients with Chronic Daily Headache (CDH) have higher levels of anxiety and depressive disorders than patients with episodic migraine or tension-type headache. However, no study has considered the presence of psychiatric comorbidity in the analysis of personality traits. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity and specific personality traits in CDH patients, exploring if specific personality traits are associated to headache itself or to the psychiatric comorbidity associated with headache. An observational, cross-sectional study. Ninety-four CDH patients with and without medication overuse were included in the study and assessed by clinical psychiatric interview and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.) as diagnostic tools. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) were afterwards administered. Patients with and without psychiatric comorbidity were compared. Further analyses were made by splitting the whole group according to the headache diagnosis and the presence or not of medication overuse. Psychiatric comorbidity was detected in 44 patients (46.8%) (group A) and was absent in the remaining 50 patients (53.2%) (group B). Mood and anxiety disorders were the most frequently diagnosed (43.6%).In the overall group, mean scores of MMPI-2 showed a high level in the so-called neurotic triad; in particular the mean score in the Hypochondriasis subscale was in the pathologic area (73.55 ± 13.59), while Depression and Hysteria scores were moderate but not severe (62.53 and 61.61, respectively). In content scales, score in Health Concern was also high (66.73).Group A presented higher scores compared to Group B in the following MMPI-2 subscales: Hypochondriasis (p= .036), Depression (p= .032), Hysteria (p< .0001), Hypomania (p= .030). Group B had a high score only in the Hypochondriasis subscale. No significant differences were found between chronic migraine (CM)-probable CM (pCM) plus probable medication overuse headache (pMOH) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH)-probable CTTH (pCTTH) plus pMOH patients or between patients with and without drug overuse. The so-called "Neurotic Profile" reached clinical level only in CDH patients with psychiatric comorbidity while a high concern about their general health status was a common feature in all CDH patients.

To compare the efficacy of 1-stage versus 2-stage lateral maxillary sinus lift procedures. Sixty partially edentulous patients requiring 1 to 3 implants and having 1 to 3 mm of residual bone height and at least 5 mm of bone width below the maxillary sinus, as measured on CT scans, were randomised into two equal groups to receive either a 1-stage lateral window sinus lift with simultaneous implant placement or a 2-stage procedure with implant placement delayed by 4 months using a bone substitute in 3 different centres. Implants were submerged for 4 months and loaded with reinforced provisional prostheses, which were replaced, after 4 months, by definitive prostheses. Outcome measures were augmentation procedure failures, prosthesis failures, implant failures, complications and marginal peri-implant bone loss assessed by a blinded outcome assessor. Patients were followed up to 4 months after loading. Only data of implants placed in 1 to 3 mm of bone height were reported. Two patients dropped out from the 1-stage group and none from the 2-stage group. No sinus lift procedure failed in the 1-stage group but 1 failed in the 2-stage group, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 1.00). Two prostheses failed or could not be placed in the planned time in the 1-stage group and 1 in the 2-stage group, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.51). Three implants failed in 3 patients of the 1-stage group versus 1 implant in the 2-stage group, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.28). Two complications occurred in the 1-stage group and 1 in the 2-stage group, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.61). There were no statistically significant differences in bone loss between groups at loading (0.05 mm). Sites treated in 1 stage lost an average of 0.56 mm (SD: 0.36; 95% CI: -0.70 to -0.42; P < 0.001) of peri-implant bone and 2-stage sites approximately 0.61 mm (SD: 0.34; 95% CI: -0.74 to -0.48; P < 0.001). No statistically significant differences were observed between implants placed according to 1- or 2-stage sinus lift procedures. However, this study may suggest that in patients having a residual bone height between 1 and 3 mm below the maxillary sinus there might be a slightly higher risk for implant failures when performing a 1-stage lateral sinus lift procedure.

Metcalf R.B.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Metcalf R.B.,University of Bologna | Amara A.,ETH Zurich
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

We investigate the statistics of flux anomalies in gravitationally lensed quasi-stellar objects as a function of dark matter halo properties such as substructure content and halo ellipticity. We do this by creating a very large number of simulated lenses with finite source sizes to compare with the data. After analysing these simulations, we conclude the following. (1) The finite size of the source is important. The point source approximation commonly used can cause biased results. (2) The widely used R cusp statistic is sensitive to halo ellipticity as well as the lens' substructure content. (3) For compact substructure, we find new upper bounds on the amount of substructure from the fact that no simple single-galaxy lenses have been observed with a single source having more than four well separated images. (4) The frequency of image flux anomalies is largely dependent on the total surface mass density in substructures and the size-mass relation for the substructures, and not on the range of substructure masses. (5) Substructure models with the same size-mass relation produce similar numbers of flux anomalies even when their internal mass profiles are different. (6) The lack of high image multiplicity lenses puts a limit on a combination of the substructures' size-mass relation, surface density and mass. (7) Substructures with shallower mass profiles and/or larger sizes produce less extra images. (8) The constraints that we are able to measure here with current data are roughly consistent with Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) N-body simulations. © 2011 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

To evaluate the efficacy of long implants (10-16 mm) inserted in maxillary sinuses augmented according to a lateral approach versus short (8 mm) implants placed in crestally augmented sinuses, early loaded after 45 days. Forty partially or fully edentulous patients having 3 to 6 mm of residual crestal height and at least 4 mm in thickness below the maxillary sinuses were randomised according to a parallel group design to receive either one to three 10 to 16 mm-long hydroxyapatite-coated implants (20 patients) after lateral sinus lifting with 50% an organic bovine (Bio-Oss) and 50% autogenous bone, or 8 mm implants (20 patients) after crestal sinus lifting with autogenous bone. Implants were submerged and left healing for 45 days before loading the implants. Within 1 week after abutment connection, implants were loaded with screw-retained full acrylic provisional prostheses. Definitive metal-ceramic prostheses were provisionally cemented 45 days after abutment connection. Outcome measures were prosthesis and implant failures, any complications, and radiographic periimplant marginal bone level changes. In addition, the stability of individual implants was assessed with Osstell and Periotest at abutment connection (baseline), and at 1 and 5 years after loading by blinded outcome assessors. All patients were followed up to 5 years after loading. One patient dropped out (death) from the longer implant group. One implant failed in the short implant group versus 5 implants in 3 patients of the longer implant group. The difference was not statistically significant. Four complications occurred in 4 patients of the short implant group versus 8 complications in 7 patients of the long implant group, the difference being not statistically significantly different. However, the 2 major postoperative complications occurred in the longer implant group: 1 abscess, and 1 sinusitis that led to the complete failure of the treatment in 2 patients (4 implants lost). A total of 0.72 mm of peri-implant marginal bone was lost after 5 years at long implants and 0.41 mm at short implants, the difference between the two groups was statistically significant (P = 0.028). Osstell values increased and Periotest decreased over time and there were no differences between groups at any time points. In atrophic maxillary sinuses with a residual bone height of 3 to 6 mm, 8 mm short implants placed in a simultaneously crestally lifted sinus might be a preferable choice than a 1-stage lateral sinus lift for placing longer implants since they appear to be associated with less morbidity. If these implants are placed with an insertion torque >35 Ncm and are joined together under the same prosthesis, they can be early loaded at 6 weeks.

Asperti A.,University of Bologna
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2012

The article describes a compact formalization of the relation between regular expressions and deterministic finite automata, and a formally verified, efficient algorithm for testing regular expression equivalence, both based on the notion of pointed regular expression [8]. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Petkova M.,University of Bologna | Petkova M.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Maio U.,Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

We present the results from self-consistent numerical simulations of cosmic structure formation with a multifrequency radiative transfer scheme and non-equilibrium molecular chemistry of 13 primordial species (e -, H, H +, H -, He, He +, He ++, H 2, H, D, D +, HD and HeH +), performed using the simulation code gadget. We describe our implementation and we show tests for ionized sphere expansion in a static and dynamic density field around a central radiative source, and for cosmological abundance evolution coupled with the cosmic microwave background radiation. As a demonstrative application of radiative feedback on molecular gas, we also run cosmological simulations of early structure formation in a ∼1-Mpc sized box. Our tests agree well with analytical and numerical expectations. Consistent with other works, we find that ionization fronts from central sources can boost H 2 fractions in shock-compressed gas. The tight dependence on H 2 also leads to a corresponding boost of HD fractions. We see a strong lowering of the typical molecular abundances up to several orders of magnitude, which partially hinders further gas collapse of pristine neutral gas. This clearly suggests the need for reionized gas or metal cooling in the formation of the following generation of structures. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Barletta A.,University of Bologna
Transport in Porous Media | Year: 2014

An analytical and numerical study is presented to show that buoyancy-opposed mixed convection in a vertical porous duct with circular cross-section is unstable. The duct wall is assumed to be impermeable and subject to a uniform heat flux. A stationary and parallel Darcy's flow with a non-uniform radial velocity profile is taken as a basic state. Stability to small-amplitude perturbations is investigated by adopting the method of normal modes. It is proved that buoyancy-opposed mixed convection is linearly unstable, for every value of the Darcy-Rayleigh number, associated with the wall heat flux, and for every mass flow rate parametrised by the Péclet number. Axially invariant perturbation modes and general three-dimensional modes are investigated. The stability analysis of the former modes is carried out analytically, while general three-dimensional modes are studied numerically. An asymptotic analytical solution is found, suitable for three-dimensional modes with sufficiently small wave number and/or Péclet number. The general conclusion is that the onset of instability selects the axially invariant modes. Among them, the radially invariant and azimuthally invariant mode turns out to be the most unstable for all possible buoyancy-opposed flows. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Callegari S.,University of Bologna | Bizzarri F.,Polytechnic of Milan
IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers | Year: 2013

The Noise Transfer Function (NTF) of ΔΣ modulators is typically designed after the features of the input signal. We suggest that in many applications, and notably those involving D/D and D/A conversion or actuation, the NTF should instead be shaped after the properties of the output/reconstruction filter. To this aim, we propose a framework for optimal design based on the Kalman-Yakubovich-Popov (KYP) lemma and semi-definite programming. Some examples illustrate how in practical cases the proposed strategy can outperform more standard approaches. © 2004-2012 IEEE.

Simani S.,University of Ferrara | Castaldi P.,University of Bologna
International Journal of Robust and Nonlinear Control | Year: 2014

This paper describes the design of an active fault-tolerant control scheme that is applied to the actuator of a wind turbine benchmark. The methodology is based on adaptive filters obtained via the nonlinear geometric approach, which allows to obtain interesting decoupling property with respect to uncertainty affecting the wind turbine system. The controller accommodation scheme exploits the on-line estimate of the actuator fault signal generated by the adaptive filters. The nonlinearity of the wind turbine model is described by the mapping to the power conversion ratio from tip-speed ratio and blade pitch angles. This mapping represents the aerodynamic uncertainty, and usually is not known in analytical form, but in general represented by approximated two-dimensional maps (i.e. look-up tables). Therefore, this paper suggests a scheme to estimate this power conversion ratio in an analytical form by means of a two-dimensional polynomial, which is subsequently used for designing the active fault-tolerant control scheme. The wind turbine power generating unit of a grid is considered as a benchmark to show the design procedure, including the aspects of the nonlinear disturbance decoupling method, as well as the viability of the proposed approach. Extensive simulations of the benchmark process are practical tools for assessing experimentally the features of the developed actuator fault-tolerant control scheme, in the presence of modelling and measurement errors. Comparisons with different fault-tolerant schemes serve to highlight the advantages and drawbacks of the proposed methodology. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Regeneration of cartilaginous tissues is limited in mammals but it occurs with variable extension in lizards (reptiles), including in their vertebrae. The ability of lizard vertebrae to regenerate cartilaginous tissue that is later replaced with bone has been analyzed using tritiated thymidine autoradiography and 5BrdU immunocytochemistry after single pulse or prolonged-pulse and chase experiments. The massive cartilage regeneration that can restore broad vertebral regions and gives rise to a long cartilaginous tube in the regenerating tail, depends from the permanence of some chondrogenic cells within adult vertebrae. Few cells that retain tritiated thymidine or 5-bromodeoxy-uridine for over 35 days are mainly localized in the inter-vertebral cartilage and in sparse chondrogenic regions of the neural arch of the vertebrae, suggesting that they are putative resident stem/progenitor cells. The study supports previous hypothesis indicating that the massive regeneration of the cartilaginous tissue in damaged vertebrae and in the regenerating tail of lizards derive from resident stem cells mainly present in the cartilaginous areas of the vertebrae including in the perichondrium that are retained in adult lizards as growing centers for most of their lifetime. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Rizzi S.,University of Bologna
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing | Year: 2012

The idea of collaborative BI is to extend the decision-making process beyond the company boundaries thanks to cooperation and data sharing with other companies and organizations. Unfortunately, traditional BI applications are aimed at serving individual companies, and they cannot operate over networks of companies characterized by an organizational, lexical, and semantic heterogeneity. In such distributed business scenarios, to maximize the effectiveness of monitoring and decision making processes there is a need for innovative approaches and architectures. Data warehouse integration is an enabling technique for collaborative BI, and has been investigated along three main directions: warehousing approaches, where the integrated data are physically materialized, federative approaches, where the integration is virtual and based on a global schema, and peer-to-peer approaches, that do not rely on a global schema to integrate the component data warehouses. In this paper we explore and compare these three directions by surveying the available work in the literature. Then we outline a new peer-to-peer framework, called Business Intelligence Network, where peers expose querying functionalities aimed at sharing business information for the decision-making process. The main features of this framework are decentralization, scalability, and full autonomy of peers. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

To evaluate the outcome of 2 versus 4 implants placed flapless in fully edentulous mandibles and immediately restored with metal-resin screw-retained cross-arch prostheses. Sixty patients from two different centres were randomised: 30 to the allon- 2 group and 30 to the all-on-4 group according to a parallel group design. To be immediately loaded, implants had to be inserted with a minimum torque of 40 Ncm. Outcome measures were prosthesis and implant failures, complications, and marginal bone level changes. Flaps were raised in 18 patients. A total of 2 implants in 2 patients did not reach the planned insertion torque and were immediately replaced by larger diameter ones. One year after loading, no drop-out or implant failure occurred. Eight biomechanical complications occurred in the all-on-2 group versus 8 complications in the all-on-4 group. There were no statistically significant differences for complications between groups. There were no statistically significant differences for marginal peri-implant bone levels between the two groups (estimate of the difference = -0.16; 95%CI -0.40 to 0.08; P (ANCOVA) = 0.074), with both groups losing a statistically significant amount of marginal bone (0.74 mm for all-on-2 implants and 0.58 mm for all-on-4 implants). There were statistically significant differences between the two centres, with more bone being lost for the Bologna centre (0.26 mm versus 1.07 mm). These preliminary results, up to 1 year after loading, suggest that immediately loaded mandibular cross-arch fixed prostheses can be supported by only 2 dental implants. Longer followups (approximately 10 years) are needed to properly evaluate this therapeutic option.

Montanari G.C.,University of Bologna
IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine | Year: 2013

This article starts from the same points that generated the John Tanaka review, as an homage to his unforgettable contribution to the science of dielectrics and electrical insulation. © 2006 IEEE.

Biffi M.,University of Bologna
Indian Heart Journal | Year: 2014

Background Appropriate ICD programming is the key to prevent inappropriate shock delivery, that is closely associated to a negative patients' outcome. Methods Review of the literature on ICD therapy to generate ICD programmings that can be applied to the broad population of ICD and CRT-D carriers. Results Arrhythmia detection should occur with a detection time ranging 9″-12″ in the VF zone, and 15″-60″ in the VT zone. Discriminator should be applied at least up to 200 bpm. ATP therapy is applied to all VTs up to 250 bpm, with a success rate of 70%. Inappropriate shocks should occur in <3.6% of patients. Conclusion Tailored ICD programming can be achieved following evidence from large ICD trials. Pre-defined settings that are saved on the programmer and that can be uploaded at device implantation help to ensure optimal programming and to avoid random errors. © 2013, Cardiological Society of India. All rights reserved.

Casadio R.,University of Bologna | Casadio R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Ovalle J.,Simon Bolivar University of Venezuela
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

We study stars in the brane-world by employing the principle of minimal geometric deformation and find that brane-world black hole metrics with a tidal charge can be consistently recovered in a suitable limit. This procedure allows us to determine the tidal charge as a function of the ADM mass of the black hole (and brane tension). A minimum mass for semiclassical microscopic black holes can then be derived, with a relevant impact for the description of black hole events at the LHC. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Fabbri L.,University of Genoa | Fabbri L.,University of Bologna
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

When in general geometric backgrounds the metric is accompanied by torsion, the metric conformal properties should correspondingly be followed by analogous torsional conformal properties; however a combined metric torsional conformal structure has never been found which provides a curvature that is both containing metric-torsional degree of freedom and conformally invariant: in this Letter we construct such a metric-torsional conformal curvature. We proceed by building the most general action, then deriving the most general system of field equations; we check their consistency by showing that both conservation laws and trace condition are verified. Final considerations and comments are outlined. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Ozyilmaz E.,Cukurova University | Ugurlu A.O.,Baskent University | Nava S.,University of Bologna
BMC Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2014

Background: Identifying the predictors of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) failure has attracted significant interest because of the strong link between failure and poor outcomes. However, very little attention has been paid to the timing of the failure. This narrative review focuses on the causes of NIV failure and risk factors and potential remedies for NIV failure, based on the timing factor.Results: The possible causes of immediate failure (within minutes to <1 h) are a weak cough reflex, excessive secretions, hypercapnic encephalopathy, intolerance, agitation, and patient-ventilator asynchrony. The major potential interventions include chest physiotherapeutic techniques, early fiberoptic bronchoscopy, changing ventilator settings, and judicious sedation. The risk factors for early failure (within 1 to 48 h) may differ for hypercapnic and hypoxemic respiratory failure. However, most cases of early failure are due to poor arterial blood gas (ABGs) and an inability to promptly correct them, increased severity of illness, and the persistence of a high respiratory rate. Despite a satisfactory initial response, late failure (48 h after NIV) can occur and may be related to sleep disturbance.Conclusions: Every clinician dealing with NIV should be aware of these risk factors and the predicted parameters of NIV failure that may change during the application of NIV. Close monitoring is required to detect early and late signs of deterioration, thereby preventing unavoidable delays in intubation. © 2014 Ozyilmaz et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Scarpi D.,University of Bologna
Animal Cognition | Year: 2011

Context-dependent choice is an important aspect of decision making. The paper examines context-dependent choice in cats (Felis catus), with particular reference to the effect of local context, on the basis of hypotheses developed in the field of human decision making. Cats were initially confronted with two different feeding options. This binary choice set was later manipulated incorporating a decoy that was better than the available options but ultimately unavailable (a phantom). By means of a within-subjects manipulation of phantom location in the attribute space, the author compared the effects of close and distant phantoms on the final choices. The main finding is that close phantom decoys affected choice behavior of cats by altering the overall share of the available options, leading some animals to reject even some of the available feeding options, and by causing the animals to favor the available option that was more similar to the phantom decoy. No significant effects emerged for phantoms that were far from the alternatives in the attribute space. The strengths of this paper lie in its novel approach and high originality. No other study has used dominating decoys with animals or decoys that are unattainable. This paper provides strong links to the human decision making literature, the presentation of the predictions of a range of different choice models, and the novelty of the application to animals. The use of a phantom decoy is particularly interesting because the phantom cannot actually be chosen, and thus the binary and trinary choice sets both have the very same choices available. Overall, the effect of phantoms is real, interesting and new. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Carricato M.,University of Bologna
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics | Year: 2013

This paper studies the direct geometrico-static problem (DGP) of underconstrained cable-driven parallel robots (CDPRs) with three cables. The task consists in determining the end-effector pose and the cable tensile forces when the cable lengths are assigned. The problem is challenging, because kinematics and statics are coupled, and they must be tackled simultaneously. An effective elimination procedure is proposed and a leastdegree univariate polynomial free of spurious factors is obtained in the ideal governing the problem. This is proven to admit 156 solutions in the complex field. Several approaches for the efficient computation of the complete solution set are presented, including an eigenproblem formulation and homotopy continuation. © 2013 by ASME.

Carricato M.,University of Bologna
Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics | Year: 2013

This paper studies underconstrained cable-driven parallel robots (CDPRs) with three cables. A major challenge in the study of these robots is the intrinsic coupling between kinematics and statics, which must be tackled simultaneously. Effective elimination procedures are presented which provide the complete solution sets of the inverse geometrico-static problems (IGPs) with assigned orientation or position. In the former case, the platform orientation is given, whereas the platform position and the cable lengths and tensions must be computed. In the latter case, the platform position is known, whereas the platform orientation and the cable lengths and tensions are to be calculated. The described problems are proven to admit at the most 1 and 24 real solutions, respectively. © 2013 by ASME.

Felice P.,University of Bologna
The International journal of periodontics & restorative dentistry | Year: 2013

This report describes a successful implant prosthetic rehabilitation in an atrophic left posterior mandible in a 62-year-old man using a cancellous equine bone block as grafting material. Four months later, two bone specimens were retrieved for histologic evaluation and two dental implants were placed. Computed tomography and conventional radiography showed a 5-mm mean vertical bone gain. The biopsies showed new bone formation within the cancellous portion of the blocks and no foreign body reaction. Cancellous equine bone grafts may be an effective alternative to autogenous bone and inorganic bovine bone grafting for reconstruction of the posterior mandible using the inlay technique.

The proper management of newly diagnosed prostate cancer (PCa) requires the choice of the appropriate treatment plan. A crucial factor is the accurate evaluation of the tumor local extension. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) plays an important role in the local staging of prostate cancer, although its use in clinical practice is widely debated. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of T2-weighted MR imaging in association with DCE-MRI, performed using an endorectal coil, in preoperative local staging of patients with prostate cancer, by using the histopathologic findings as the reference standard. From April 2010 to May 2011, 65 patients (mean age, 65 years; range, 51-77 years) with clinical localized PCa, underwent radical prostatectomy at our institution, performed by 2 experienced surgeons. All patients were prospectively evaluated with eMRI in association with DCE-MRI prior to radical prostatectomy. In all patients MRI was performed at least 6 weeks after biopsy and within 2 weeks before Radical Prostatectomy (RP). Histologic analysis was our diagnostic "gold standard". To ensure that the histopathological findings matched with MR images, the assessment of radiological images and the RP specimens were performed dividing the prostate in 14 regions. First, we performed a "per-patient" analysis, considering the entire prostate as a single region. Then, we performed a "per-emigland" analysis, finally a "per-region" analysis. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and AUC in predicting ECE in the analysis "per-emigland" were respectively 66.7, 95.7, 66.7, 95.7, 0.824. The evaluation of SVI reported similar results: 62.5, 97.5, 62.5, 97.5, 0.797. DCE-MRI did not improve the diagnostic accuracy of T1-T2-weighted MR images in the evaluation of ECE or SVI. T1-, T2-weighted MRI adds important information regarding the preoperative local staging of PCa. DCE-MRI does not improve the diagnostic accuracy of MRI in the local staging of PCa.

Borghi C.,University of Bologna
Current Medical Research and Opinion | Year: 2015

The main purpose of the present supplement, which is based on a symposium held in Bologna, 6-8 November 2014, is twofold: first of all, to reinforce the role of uric acid in the pathogenesis of gout and gout-related non-rheumatic diseases including renal involvement; second, to provide an updated review of the evidence supporting the relevant role of elevated uric acid as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. © 2015 © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Puzzarini C.,University of Bologna
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2013

Rotational spectroscopy is known to be a technique that is widely used to infer information on molecular structure and dynamics. In the last few decades, its role in the field of atmospheric and astrophysical investigations has rapidly grown. However, several are the challenging aspects in rotational spectroscopy, since the detection and analysis of spectra as well as interpretation of obtained results are not at all straightforward. Quantum chemistry has reached such an accuracy that can be used to disentangle these challenging situations by guiding the experimental investigation, assisting in the determination of the spectroscopic parameters, and extracting information of chemical interest. This perspective provides an overview of the theoretical background and computational requirements needed for the accurate evaluation of the spectroscopic parameters of relevance to rotational spectroscopy. The role of theory in guiding and supporting experiment is detailed through a few examples, and the interplay of experiment and theory is discussed in terms of the information of physical and chemical interest that can be derived. © 2013 the Owner Societies.

The capability to express an innate antimicrobial action through the production of beta-defensins in the skin of chick embryos has been studied by immunocytochemistry. The immunolabeling of periderm granules present in the initial embryonic epidermis of the chick is obtained with a lizard anti-defensin antibody (Ac-BD-15) that recognizes a homologous peptide in the chick beta-defensin 9. Similar granules, termed honeycomb granules, are also stored in some basophilic granulocytes of adult and hatchling chicks, but did not show immunoreactivity to the antibody. It is unclear whether this morphology indicates different organelles, content or lack of available antigens due to organelle packaging. The remarkable ultrastructural similarity between periderm granules and the honeycomb granules present in basophil granulocytes further indicates that embryonic keratinocytes can synthesize antimicrobial peptides together with corneous proteins. These peptides may participate in the formation of an epidermal microbial barrier during ontogenesis or protect the embryo in case of damage to the amniotic-periderm barrier. These transient organelles, apart from the early keratinization of the epidermis that forms the initial barrier before hatching may also contribute to the formation of an efficient anti-microbial barrier against the penetration of microbes during embryonic life until hatching when the adaptive immunity system is still immature. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.

Gorji N.E.,University of Bologna
Physica B: Condensed Matter | Year: 2013

Impedance spectroscopy is widely applied for the characterisation of CdTe and CuInGaS thin film solar cells. We apply this method to verify the current transport in specific voltage and temperature regions where space charge limited current is the dominant conduction mechanism. A modified equivalent circuit is proposed under specific illumination and temperature conditions. The reasonable results assess that voltage dependency of capacitance and resistance in such cases might be modified. Such modified voltage dependency represents the relevant trap distribution of space charge limited current. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Bolognesi M.L.,University of Bologna
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2013

Polypharmacology offers a model for the way drug discovery must evolve to develop therapies most suited to treating currently incurable diseases. It is driven by a worldwide demand for safer, more effective, and affordable medicines against the most complex diseases, and by the failures of modern drug discovery to provide these. Polypharmacology can involve combinations and/or multitarget drugs (MTD). Although not mutually exclusive, my premise is that MTDs have inherent advantages over combinations. This review article focuses on MTDs from a medicinal chemistry perspective. I will explore their use in current clinical practice, their likely application in the future, and the challenges to be overcome to achieve this goal. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

The maturation of the corneous material of feathers is a special case of cornification in vertebrate epidermis and is believed to occur mainly by the accumulation of small proteins of about 100 amino acids and a central beta-pleated sheet region known as feather keratins. The present immunocytochemical study carried out using double-labeling immunogold shows that a small amount of alpha-keratins of intermediate filament type form the early keratin clumps in barb and barbule cells. These initial nuclei of formation of corneous material are rapidly coated by the deposition of large amounts of small feather keratin-associated beta-proteins (feather keratins). The latter proteins turn the keratin bundles of barb and barbule cells into a compact and apparently amorphous mass of corneous material where no sign of intermediate filaments are seen. Feather beta-proteins however form an irregular filamentous network of 2-3. nm thick electron-pale filaments and produce the characteristic feather X-ray pattern due to their prevalent amount over any other protein present in feather cells. The modality of cornification in feathers is discussed in relation to the process of formation of corneous material in the skin of vertebrates in general that occurs by the association of intermediate filament proteins and keratin-associated proteins. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH.

Morandi A.,University of Bologna
Superconductor Science and Technology | Year: 2012

Some issues concerning the numerical analysis of superconductors are discussed and a novel approach to 2D modelling is proposed. Both axial and translational symmetric as well as current driven and voltage driven systems are examined in detail. The E-J power law is chosen instead of the critical state model as a constitutive relation of the material and the need to modify this relation in order to account for the normal state transition at high currents is discussed. A linear space reconstruction of the current density by means of nodal shape functions is used in order to build the finite dimensional model. A method to relax the tangential continuity of the current density, which is inherent to the discretization method used, is discussed. The performance of the proposed approach, both in terms of current distribution and AC loss, is evaluated with reference to some cases of practical interest involving composite materials. The role of the electric field as a natural state variable for superconducting problems is also pointed out. The use of the method as an alternative to the circuit approach or edge elements for modelling the superconductors is finally discussed. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Naeije R.,Erasme University Hospital | Manes A.,University of Bologna
European Respiratory Review | Year: 2014

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a right heart failure syndrome. In early-stage PAH, the right ventricle tends to remain adapted to afterload with increased contractility and little or no increase in right heart chamber dimensions. However, less than optimal right ventricular (RV)–arterial coupling may already cause a decreased aerobic exercise capacity by limiting maximum cardiac output. In more advanced stages, RV systolic function cannot remain matched to afterload and dilatation of the right heart chamber progressively develops. In addition, diastolic dysfunction occurs due to myocardial fibrosis and sarcomeric stiffening. All these changes lead to limitation of RV flow output, increased right-sided filling pressures and under-filling of the left ventricle, with eventual decrease in systemic blood pressure and altered systolic ventricular interaction. These pathophysiological changes account for exertional dyspnoea and systemic venous congestion typical of PAH. Complete evaluation of RV failure requires echocardiographic or magnetic resonance imaging, and right heart catheterisation measurements. Treatment of RV failure in PAH relies on: decreasing afterload with drugs targeting pulmonary circulation; fluid management to optimise ventricular diastolic interactions; and inotropic interventions to reverse cardiogenic shock. To date, there has been no report of the efficacy of drug treatments that specifically target the right ventricle. © ERS 2014.

Palareti G.,University of Bologna
Blood | Year: 2014

Thromboses limited to infrapopliteal leg deep veins (isolated distal deep vein thrombosis [IDDVT]) are frequently diagnosed in subjects with suspected pulmonary embolism or DVT and account for one-fourth to one-half of all diagnosed leg DVTs. Despite their frequency, the natural history of IDDVTs and their real risk of thromboembolic complications are still uncertain because of the scarcity of prospective, blind, nonintervention studies. Therefore it is still debated whether they warrant diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is based on ultrasonographic examination, which is more operator dependent and less sensitive in distal than in proximal veins. The available data seem to support the view that most IDDVTs are self-limiting and inconsequential for patients, though in some cases they can be associated with complications and warrant diagnosis and treatment. The available guidelines for treatment of IDDVTs give different indications ranging from serial imaging of the deep veins for 2 weeks to detect and treat only in case of proximal extension, to giving oral anticoagulation in all IDDVT patients for 3 months. I review this issue, focusing on possible and suggested treatments in symptomatic IDDVT patients, and describe our current therapeutic approach to these patients. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.

The Italian National Scientific Qualification (ASN) was introduced as a prerequisite for applying for tenured associate or full professor positions at state-recognized universities. The ASN is meant to attest that an individual has reached a suitable level of scientific maturity to apply for professorship positions. A five member panel, appointed for each scientific discipline, is in charge of evaluating applicants by means of quantitative indicators of impact and productivity, and through an assessment of their research profile. Many concerns were raised on the appropriateness of the evaluation criteria, and in particular on the use of bibliometrics for the evaluation of individual researchers. Additional concerns were related to the perceived poor quality of the final evaluation reports. In this paper we assess the ASN in terms of appropriateness of the applied methodology, and the quality of the feedback provided to the applicants. We argue that the ASN is not fully compliant with the best practices for the use of bibliometric indicators for the evaluation of individual researchers; moreover, the quality of final reports varies considerably across the panels, suggesting that measures should be put in place to prevent sloppy practices in future ASN rounds. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Olmi G.,University of Bologna
Journal of Testing and Evaluation | Year: 2012

The 26 NiCrMoV 14 5 and 18Mn18Cr steels have wide applications in the manufacturing of rotors and coil retaining rings. Current studies in the literature mainly regard their metallurgical properties, while little information is available about their cyclic and fatigue behavior. There is also little information regarding possible anisotropic behavior along the tangential and radial forming directions of the aforementioned components. The cited items were tackled by running an experimental campaign with specimens machined from real components in the tangential and radial directions. The experimental procedure was very careful from the points of view of methodology, of strain control, and of fracture evaluation. Static, cyclic, and low cycle fatigue curves were determined. The data were processed for the computation of curve parameters. While an original statistical analysis inspired by ASTM E739-10 was conducted to determine hyperbolic confidence bands "wrapped around" the entire fatigue curves, relating total strain amplitudes to lives. To tackle the question of anisotropy, a novel formulation of the analysis of variance was applied to compare the fatigue curves of both materials along the two forming directions. Copyright © 2012 by ASTM Int'l all rights reserved.

Galatolo R.,University of Bologna | Margutti P.,University of Perugia
Patient Education and Counseling | Year: 2016

Objective: In specialized healthcare visits with a team of practitioners, the examination phase is a collaborative work where multiple professional competences are indexed and activated, contributing to a complex ecology of knowledge. The doctors' need to consult their colleagues might take over and collide with patients' understanding and willingness to participate. We describe the practices through which practitioners accomplish teamwork and how these impact on patients' participation. Methods: Using conversation analysis we investigate 30 video-recorded visits where patients with an injured upper limb meet a team of practitioners in an Italian centre for prosthesis construction and application. Results: Analysis shows the collaborative practices and division of labour through which practitioners activate their territories of knowledge in the service of the joint activity of evaluating the patient limbs' conditions. Whereas professionals orient to their different competences, patients keep their body available for inspection, monitor the ongoing activity, draw assumptions about their own conditions and tentatively claim their epistemic rights. Conclusions: Doctors' orientation to teamwork involves the enactment of tacit communicative practices and the use of technical language, which might prevent or mislead patients' participation. Practice implications: Doctors should employ communicative practices to ensure patients' understanding and participation in the unfolding examination activities. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

An ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and electrophoretic study on keratinocytes formation in the horny beak of tadpoles of the frog Rana dalmatina was conducted. The study showed that hard cornification in amphibians occurs with similar cytological details as the hard corneous structures of amniotes. Dense corneous bundles containing scarce keratin intermediate filaments and mainly inter-keratin (matrix) proteins accumulated in central keratinocytes (cone cells) of the horny beak. Ribosomes appeared to be associated with these bundles indicating that newly synthesized matrix molecules immediately aggregated on the keratin filaments, turning the complex into an amorphous and electron-dense material. In the 2 corneous sheaths surrounding the cone cells, the oral and labial sheaths, tonofilaments made up of individual keratin intermediate filaments were initially present. The filaments were later transformed into an amorphous keratin mass as cornification progressed. Two-dimensional electrophoretic analysis determined that most proteins of the beak are acidic to neutral keratins. However protein spots outside the keratin range were also isolated for the 1st time. These proteins of 16-17 or 30 kDa with a isoelectric point of 9-9.5 are believed to represent the 1st keratin-associated proteins found in amphibian corneous tissue, and are likely responsible for the intense cornification of the horny beak.

Zanchini E.,University of Bologna | Beretta G.P.,University of Brescia
Entropy | Year: 2014

The principal methods for the definition of thermodynamic entropy are discussed with special reference to those developed by Carathéodory, the Keenan School, Lieb and Yngvason, and the present authors. An improvement of the latter method is then presented. Seven basic axioms are employed: three Postulates, which are considered as having a quite general validity, and four Assumptions, which identify the domains of validity of the definitions of energy (Assumption 1) and entropy (Assumptions 2, 3, 4). The domain of validity of the present definition of entropy is not restricted to stable equilibrium states. For collections of simple systems, it coincides with that of the proof of existence and uniqueness of an entropy function which characterizes the relation of adiabatic accessibility proposed by Lieb and Yngvason. However, our treatment does not require the formation of scaled copies so that it applies not only to collections of simple systems, but also to systems contained in electric or magnetic fields and to small and few-particle systems. © 2014 by the authors.

Passini S.,University of Bologna
Addictive Behaviors | Year: 2012

A large number of studies have focused on the relationship between drug use and violent delinquency in adolescence. Most of these studies underline that even if substance use and delinquency often co-occur, they may result from common causes that increase the risk for both outcomes. In particular, the delinquency-drug relationship may be mediated both by the type of drug and the incidence of other variables. In this article, social reputation and moral disengagement are studied as predictors of both drug use and violent delinquency in a 336 adolescent participants. Results confirm the hypotheses that social reputation and moral disengagement predict drug use and delinquency and that heavy drug use predicts delinquency. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Benfenati V.,CNR Institute of Nanostructured Materials | Ferroni S.,University of Bologna
Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The physiological ability of the mammalian CNS to integrate peripheral stimuli and to convey information to the body is tightly regulated by its capacity to preserve the ion composition and volume of the perineuronal milieu. It is well known that astroglial syncytium plays a crucial role in such process by controlling the homeostasis of ions and water through the selective transmembrane movement of inorganic and organic molecules and the equilibration of osmotic gradients. Astrocytes, in fact, by contacting neurons and cells lining the fluid-filled compartments, are in a strategic position to fulfill this role. They are endowed with ion and water channel proteins that are localized in specific plasma membrane domains facing diverse liquid spaces. Recent data in rodents have demonstrated that the precise dynamics of the astroglia-mediated homeostatic regulation of the CNS is dependent on the interactions between water channels and ion channels, and their anchoring with proteins that allow the formation of macromolecular complexes in specific cellular domains. Interplay can occur with or without direct molecular interactions suggesting the existence of different regulatory mechanisms. The importance of molecular and functional interactions is pinpointed by the numerous observations that as consequence of pathological insults leading to the derangement of ion and volume homeostasis the cell surface expression and/or polarized localization of these proteins is perturbed. Here, we critically discuss the experimental evidence concerning: (1) molecular and functional interplay of aquaporin 4, the major aquaporin protein in astroglial cells, with potassium and gap-junctional channels that are involved in extracellular potassium buffering. (2) the interactions of aquaporin 4 with chloride and calcium channels regulating cell volume homeostasis. The relevance of the crosstalk between water channels and ion channels in the pathogenesis of astroglia-related acute and chronic diseases of the CNS is also briefly discussed. © 2010 IBRO.

Margiotta A.,University of Bologna
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2014

KM3NeT is a deep-sea research infrastructure being constructed in the Mediterranean Sea. It will host the next generation Cherenkov neutrino telescope and nodes for a deep sea multidisciplinary observatory, providing oceanographers, marine biologists, and geophysicists with real time measurements. The neutrino telescope will complement IceCube in its field of view and exceed it substantially in sensitivity. Its main goal is the detection of high energy neutrinos of astrophysical origin. The detector will have a modular structure with six building blocks, each consisting of about 100 Detection Units (DUs). Each DU will be equipped with 18 multi-PMT digital optical modules. The first phase of construction has started and shore and deep-sea infrastructures hosting the future KM3NeT detector are being prepared in offshore Toulon, France and offshore Capo Passero on Sicily, Italy. The technological solutions for the neutrino detector of KM3NeT and the expected performance of the neutrino telescope are presented and discussed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Falchi F.,Italian Institute of Technology | Caporuscio F.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia | Recanatini M.,University of Bologna
Future Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

As the pivotal role of protein-protein interactions in cell growth, transcriptional activity, intracellular trafficking, signal transduction and pathological conditions has been assessed, experimental and in silico strategies have been developed to design protein-protein interaction modulators. State-of-the-art structure-based design methods, mainly pharmacophore modeling and docking, which have succeeded in the identification of enzyme inhibitors, receptor agonists and antagonists, and new tools specifically conceived to target protein-protein interfaces (e.g., hot-spot and druggable pocket prediction methods) have been applied in the search for small-molecule protein-protein interaction modulators. Many successful applications of structure-based design approaches that, despite the challenge of targeting protein-protein interfaces with small molecules, have led to the identification of micromolar and submicromolar hits are reviewed here. © 2014 Future Science Ltd.

This review describes the current status of antiplatelet therapy in prevention of cardiovascular events of an atherothrombotic nature. The efficacy of aspirin clearly outweighs bleeding risk in secondary prevention, with the relevant exception of patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). In trials of primary prevention, aspirin has a limited advantage, which is challenged by the risk of major bleeding. A typical example is primary prevention in type 2 diabetes mellitus, in which a number of trials and a recent meta-analysis have confirmed these limitations.In various settings, clopidogrel has been shown to be marginally more effective than aspirin. Despite a non-negligible bleeding risk, the combination of aspirin-clopidogrel has provided satisfactory results in conditions at high thrombotic risk but rather disappointing results in the long-term treatment of chronic stable cardiovascular disease. The combination of aspirin-dipyridamole was shown to be superior to aspirin alone and equivalent to clopidogrel alone for secondary prevention in cerebrovascular patients.Limitations in the efficacy of antiplatelet agents are partly inherent in their mechanism of action and should not be considered simply as 'treatment failures'. Among other factors, individual variability of response to antiplatelet drugs also plays a meaningful role. Variability of response and 'resistance' may result from drug interactions, baseline and residual platelet hyperactivity, increased platelet turnover, pharmacogenetic factors and others. Poor biological response to aspirin andor clopidogrel is also frequent in clinical settings such as diabetes, obesity and acute coronary syndromes. The correlation between biological resistance and impaired clinical efficacy of aspirin, and especially clopidogrel, is currently accepted, although with limitations due to the different methods used to assess platelet response. Indeed, the concept of individual 'tailoring' of antiplatelet regimens on the basis of previous laboratory or 'point of care' platelet function tests has been validated in a number of recent trials.The search for and validation of new antiplatelet agents with already known, or totally new, mechanisms of action have also been undertaken with increasing eagerness. Among new adenosine diphosphate receptor antagonists, prasugrel is already registered, and ticagrelor and cangrelor are being developed. New mechanisms being explored are blockade of thrombin-induced platelet aggregation (vorapaxar SCH 530398), and inhibition of collagen and ristocetin-mediated platelet functions (DZ-697b).Reappraisal of the neglected class of direct thromboxane A2 antagonists was followed with less interest. Besides blocking the effects of thromboxane produced from platelets, drugs of this class (such as terutroban sodium and picotamide) may also protect cells from thromboxane produced by sources other than platelets, and some of them may preserve or enhance prostacyclin production. Terutroban is presently being tested in PAD and stroke prevention. Picotamide, marketed in Italy, was shown to reduce cardiovascular events and mortality in studies of PAD patients with diabetes. The results available with thromboxane inhibitors are particularly interesting because they are being obtained in conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and PAD, which are known to be refractory to aspirin. © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.

Franceschi C.,University of Bologna | Franceschi C.,CNR Institute for Organic Syntheses and Photoreactivity | Campisi J.,Buck Institute for Research on Aging | Campisi J.,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

Human aging is characterized by a chronic, low-grade inflammation, and this phenomenon has been termed as "inflammaging." Inflammaging is a highly significant risk factor for both morbidity and mortality in the elderly people, as most if not all age-related diseases share an inflammatory pathogenesis. Nevertheless, the precise etiology of inflammaging and its potential causal role in contributing to adverse health outcomes remain largely unknown. The identification of pathways that control age-related inflammation across multiple systems is therefore important in order to understand whether treatments that modulate inflammaging may be beneficial in old people. The session on inflammation of the Advances in Gerosciences meeting held at the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging in Bethesda on October 30 and 31, 2013 was aimed at defining these important unanswered questions about inflammaging. This article reports the main outcomes of this session. © 2014 The Author.

Castellazzi G.,University of Bologna
Journal of Constructional Steel Research | Year: 2012

In this paper a new beam finite element is proposed for the solution of framed structures with semi-rigid connections. The element uses the second order Timoshenko's beam model. Power series expansion of kinematic relations is employed to improve solution stability. Effect of flexible and eccentric connections is considered by means of rotational and linear springs plus rigid end-offset. The proposed approach has the same computational cost of a standard beam element since additional degrees of freedom are condensed out. The resulting element stiffness matrix expression is given as the summation of the second order Timohenko's beam stiffness matrix and corrective matrices. The proposed element is readily implementable in existing finite element codes. Some benchmark problems are used to test the efficiency of the proposed procedure. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bromo F.,University of Bologna
Minerva stomatologica | Year: 2011

Molars and premolars are the most vulnerable teeth to caries attack. The high susceptibility of these teeth to caries is directly related to morphology of their occlusal surface that prevents both chemical cleaning by saliva and mechanical cleaning by toothbrush. Pit and fissures are therefore the most prone areas to caries and need special protection to prevent carious lesions. Fluoride is the only chemical element used for caries prevention. In fact, it favors the remineralisation of initial lesions, prevents the production of polysaccharides essential for the development and sustainment of bacterial plaque, and the absorption of salivary glycoprotein. Fluoride also reinforces enamel, making it less susceptible to caries. Two methods of fluoroprophylaxis have been proposed: the first is the systemic fluoroprophylaxis which is particularly efficient in preventing interproximal caries, but it does not form an adequate protective barrier on the occlusal surfaces; the other is the topical application of a fluoride gel to the tooth surface, although this second method does not significantly reduce the incidence of caries. The efficacy of the sealing procedures depends on the correct application technique. Observing an operative protocol will ensure a longer lasting retention of the sealant on the occlusal surface and subsequently prolongs the protection against caries.

Alibardi L.,University of Bologna
Progress in Histochemistry and Cytochemistry | Year: 2014

The present review summarizes biochemical, histochemical and immunocytochemical aspects of the process of tissue regeneration in lizards, non-mammalian amniotes with high regenerative power. The amputated tail initially mobilizes the glycogen and lipid reserves during wound healing. In the following stage of formation of the regenerative blastema tissue remodeling produces a typical embryonic tissue, initially increasing the amount of water and glycosaminoglycans such as jaluronate, which are later replaced by sulfated glycosaminoglycans and collagen during tail elongation. In blastematic and early differentiating stages the initial anaerobic metabolism utilizes glycolysis and hexose monophosphate pathways to sustain high RNA production and lipid catabolism for energy production. This stage, after formation of blood vessels, is replaced by the energy-efficient aerobic metabolism based on the Krebs' cycle that is needed for the differentiation and growth of the new tissues of the regenerating tail. Specific proteins of the cytoskeleton, extracellular matrix, cell junctions, transcriptional and growth factors are actively produced in the embryonic environment of early stages of regeneration and allow for cell movement, signaling and differentiation. During wound healing, the production of anti-microbial peptides in granulocytes is likely involved in limiting inflammation and stimulates tissue regeneration in the tail while the lasting inflammatory reaction of the limb and spinal cord limits their potential of regeneration. Activated hemopoiesis, circulating blood, endocrine glands, liver, kidney and spleen supply the regenerating tissues with metabolites and hormones but also with phagocytes and immuno-competent cells that can inhibit tissue regeneration after repetitive amputations that elicit chronic inflammation. The latter aspect shows how successful tissue regeneration in an amniote can be turned into scarring by the alteration of the initial microenvironment and inflammatory course, an inspiring model for understanding failure of tissue regeneration in higher vertebrates and humans. The participation of 5-Bromo-deoxyuridine (5BrdU) long retention cells, indicated as putative stem cells, for the following regeneration is analyzed and it shows that different tissue sites of the original tail contain putative stem cells that are likely activated from the wounding signal. In particular, the permanence of stem cells in the central canal of the spinal cord can explain the limited but important neurogenesis present in the caudal but also in the lumbar-thoracic spinal cord. In the latter, the limited number of glial and neurons regenerated is however sufficient to recover some limited hind limb movement after injury or spinal transection. Finally, the presence of stem cells in the spinal cord, in the regenerative blastema and skin allow to use these organs as a source of cells for studies on gene activation during cell differentiation in the new spinal cord, tail and in the epidermis. The above information form the basic knowledge for the future molecular studies on the specific gene activation capable to determine tail regeneration in lizards, and more in general genes involved in the reactivation of regeneration process in amniotes and humans. © 2013 Elsevier GmbH.

Masetti M.,University of Bologna | Rocchia W.,Italian Institute of Technology
Frontiers in Bioscience - Landmark | Year: 2014

Molecular simulation is increasingly used in many theoretical as well applicative fields in both Life and Material sciences. It relies on the capability of estimating the forces acting both inter- and intra-molecularly, providing configurations of minimum energy and sampling the configurational space consistently with the main statistical ensembles. In this context, the engine that approximates the temporal evolution and the force field that expresses the instantaneously occurring forces, i.e. Molecular Dynamics and Molecular Mechanics, respectively, are the crucial bases that need to be known and handled. Here, the fundamentals of these tools are provided, with particular attention to numerical and simulative aspects.

Mishra P.,California Institute of Technology | Carelli V.,University of Bologna | Manfredi G.,Cornell University | Chan D.C.,California Institute of Technology | Chan D.C.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Cell Metabolism | Year: 2014

Mitochondrial fusion is essential for maintenance of mitochondrial function. The mitofusin GTPases control mitochondrial outer membrane fusion, whereas the dynamin-related GTPase Opa1 mediates inner membrane fusion. We show that mitochondrial inner membrane fusion is tuned by the level of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), whereas outer membrane fusion is insensitive. Consequently, cells from patients with pathogenic mtDNA mutations show a selective defect in mitochondrial inner membrane fusion. In elucidating the molecular mechanism of OXPHOS-stimulated fusion, we uncover that real-time proteolytic processing of Opa1 stimulates mitochondrial inner membrane fusion. OXPHOS-stimulated mitochondrial fusion operates through Yme1L, which cleaves Opa1 more efficiently under high OXPHOS conditions. Engineered cleavage of Opa1 is sufficient to mediate inner membrane fusion, regardless of respiratory state. Proteolytic cleavage therefore stimulates the membrane fusion activity of Opa1, and this feature is exploited to dynamically couple mitochondrial fusion to cellular metabolism. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna | Fabbri L.,University of Genoa
General Relativity and Gravitation | Year: 2014

We will consider the most general least-order derivative action for the torsional completion of gravitational backgrounds filled with left-handed and right-handed semi-spinorial fields, accounting for all parity-even as well as parity-odd contributions; we will proceed by performing the customary analysis, decomposing torsion and substituting it in terms of the semi-spinorial density currents, in order to obtain the effective action with the torsionally-induced self-interacting potentials among the chiral fermionic fields: we shall see that the resulting effective non-linear potentials will turn eventually out to be parity conserving after all. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Zanchini E.,University of Bologna
Physica Scripta | Year: 2012

Consider a light source S, an observer O at rest with respect to S and an observer O in motion with respect to O. Suppose that, at a given instant of time, O and O are in the same position and a light signal produced by S strikes both of them. Two important special cases may occur: either the motion of the source is orthogonal to the straight line that interconnects source and observers, or the motion of the source is orthogonal to the direction of the light signal, as judged by O. In the first case, the Doppler shift perceived by O is blue; in the second it is red. In the literature, the first condition is often confused with the second; this confusion caused the misinterpretation of two important experiments (Hay et al 1960 Phys. Rev. Lett. 4 165-6; Kündig 1963 Phys. Rev. 129 2371-5), where the first configuration occurs, but the results were interpreted as evidence of a red shift. In this paper, it is proved that the Doppler shift occurring in these experiments is blue, and that only a blue shift is compatible with the outcomes of the experiment performed by Kündig. © 2012 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Pellegrini S.,University of Bologna
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

Nuclear hard X-ray luminosities (L X,nuc) for a sample of 112 early-type galaxies within a distance of 67 Mpc are used to investigate their relationship with the central galactic black hole mass M BH (coming from direct dynamical studies or the M BH-σ relation), the inner galactic structure (using the parameters describing its cuspiness), the hot gas content, and the core radio luminosity. For this sample, L X,nuc ranges from 1038 to 1042ergs -1, and the Eddington ratio L X,nuc/L Edd from 10-9 to 10-4, with the largest values belonging to four Seyfert galaxies. Together with a trend for L X,nuc to increase on average with the galactic luminosity LB and M BH, there is a wide variation of L X,nuc (and L X,nuc/L Edd), by up to 4 orders of magnitude, at any fixed LB > 6 × 109 L B, or M BH > 107 M ⊙. This large observed range should reflect a large variation of the mass accretion rate , and possible reasons for this difference are searched for. On the circumnuclear scale, in a scenario where accretion is (quasi) steady, at fixed LB (or M BH) could vary due to differences in the fuel production rate from stellar mass return linked to the inner galactic structure; a trend of L X,nuc with cuspiness is not observed, though, while a tendency for L X,nuc/L Edd to be larger in cuspier galaxies is present. In fact, is predicted to vary with cuspiness by a factor exceeding a few only in hot gas-poor galaxies and for large differences in the core radius; for a subsample with these characteristics the expected effect seems to be present in the observed L X,nuc values. L X,nuc does not show a dependence on the age of the stellar population in the central galactic region, for ages >3 Gyr; less luminous nuclei, though, are found among the youngest galaxies or galaxies with a younger stellar component. On the global galactic scale, L X,nuc shows a trend with the total galactic hot gas cooling rate (L X,ISM): it is detected both in gas-poor and gas-rich galaxies, and on average increases with L X,ISM, but again with a large scatter. The observed lack of a tight relationship between L X,nuc and the circumnuclear and total gas content can be explained if accretion is regulated by factors overcoming the importance of fuel availability, as (1) the gas is heated by black hole feedback and varies due to an activity cycle, and (2) the mass effectively accreted by the black hole can be largely reduced with respect to that entering the circumnuclear region, as in radiatively inefficient accretion with winds/outflows. Finally, differently from L X,nuc, the central 5 GHz VLA luminosity shows a clear trend with the inner galactic structure that is similar to that shown by the total soft X-ray emission; therefore, it is suggested that they could both be produced by the hot gas. © 2010 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Volonteri M.,CNRS Paris Institute of Astrophysics | Volonteri M.,University of Michigan | Ciotti L.,University of Bologna
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

We explore how the co-evolution of massive black holes (MBHs) and galaxies is affected by environmental effects, addressing in particular MBHs hosted in the central cluster galaxies (we will refer to these galaxies in general as "CCGs"). Recently, the sample of MBHs in CCGs with dynamically measured masses has increased, and it has been suggested that these MBH masses (M BH) deviate from the expected correlations with velocity dispersion (σ) and mass of the bulge (M bulge) of the host galaxy: MBHs in CCGs appear to be "overmassive." This discrepancy is more pronounced when considering the M BH-σ relation than the M BH-M bulge one. We show that this behavior stems from a combination of two natural factors: (1) CCGs experience more mergers involving spheroidal galaxies and their MBHs and (2) such mergers are preferentially gas poor. We use a combination of analytical and semi-analytical models to investigate the MBH-galaxy co-evolution in different environments and find that the combination of these two factors is in accordance with the trends observed in current data sets. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Ciotti L.,University of Bologna | Ostriker J.P.,Princeton University | Proga D.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

We find, from high-resolution hydro simulations, that winds from active galactic nuclei effectively heat the inner parts (≈ 100 pc) of elliptical galaxies, reducing infall to the central black hole; and radiative (photoionization and X-ray) heating reduces cooling flows at the kpc scale. Including both types of feedback with (peak) efficiencies of 3 × 10 -4 ≲ εw ≲ 10-3 and of εEM ≃ 10-1.3 respectively, produces systems having duty cycles, central black hole masses, X-ray luminosities, optical light profiles, and E+A spectra in accord with the broad suite of modern observations of massive elliptical systems. Our main conclusion is that mechanical feedback (including energy, momentum, and mass) is necessary but the efficiency, based on several independent arguments, must be a factor of 10 lower than is commonly assumed. Bursts are frequent at z > 1 and decline in frequency toward the present epoch as energy and metal-rich gas are expelled from the galaxies into the surrounding medium. For a representative galaxy of final stellar mass ≃3 × 1011 M ⊙, roughly 3 × 10 10 M ⊙ of recycled gas has been added to the interstellar medium (ISM) since z ≃ 2 and, of that, roughly 63% has been expelled from the galaxy, 19% has been converted into new metal-rich stars in the central few hundred parsecs, and 2% has been added to the central supermassive black hole (SMBH), with the remaining 16% in the form of hot X-ray emitting ISM. The bursts occupy a total time of ≃170 Myr, which is roughly 1.4% of the available time. Of this time, the central supermassive black hole would be seen as a UV or optical source for ≃45% and ≃71% of the time, respectively. Restricting to the last 8.5 Gyr, the bursts occupy ≃44 Myr, corresponding to a fiducial duty cycle of ≃5 × 10-3. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Fabbri E.,University of Bologna
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2015