Firenze, Italy
Firenze, Italy

The University of Florence is an Italian public research university located in Florence, Italy. It comprises 12 schools and has about 60,000 students enrolled. Wikipedia.


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Maron B.J.,Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation | Ommen S.R.,Mayo Medical School | Semsarian C.,University of Sydney | Spirito P.,Ente Ospedaliero Ospedali Galliera | Olivotto I.,University of Florence
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2014

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common inherited heart disease with diverse phenotypic and genetic expression, clinical presentation, and natural history. HCM has been recognized for 55 years, but recently substantial advances in diagnosis and treatment options have evolved, as well as increased recognition of the disease in clinical practice. Nevertheless, most genetically and clinically affected individuals probably remain undiagnosed, largely free from disease-related complications, although HCM may progress along 1 or more of its major disease pathways (i.e., arrhythmic sudden death risk; progressive heart failure [HF] due to dynamic left ventricular [LV] outflow obstruction or due to systolic dysfunction in the absence of obstruction; or atrial fibrillation with risk of stroke). Effective treatments are available for each adverse HCM complication, including implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) for sudden death prevention, heart transplantation for end-stage failure, surgical myectomy (or selectively, alcohol septal ablation) to alleviate HF symptoms by abolishing outflow obstruction, and catheter-based procedures to control atrial fibrillation. These and other strategies have now resulted in a low disease-related mortality rate of <1%/year. Therefore, HCM has emerged from an era of misunderstanding, stigma, and pessimism, experiencing vast changes in its clinical profile, and acquiring an effective and diverse management armamentarium. These advances have changed its natural history, with prevention of sudden death and reversal of HF, thereby restoring quality of life with extended (if not normal) longevity for most patients, and transforming HCM into a contemporary treatable cardiovascular disease. © 2014 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.


Cairo F.,University of Florence | Nieri M.,University of Florence | Pagliaro U.,Campi Bisenzio Firenze
Journal of Clinical Periodontology | Year: 2014

Background: The aim of this Systematic Review (SR) was to assess the clinical efficacy of periodontal plastic surgery procedures in the treatment of localized gingival recessions (Rec) with or without inter-dental clinical attachment loss (iCAL). Material and Methods: Electronic and hand searches were performed to identify randomized clinical trials (RCTs) on treatment of single gingival recessions with at least 6 months of follow-up. Primary outcome variable was complete root coverage (CRC). Secondary outcome variables were recession reduction (RecRed) and keratinized tissue (KT) gain. To evaluate treatment effect, Odds Ratios were combined for dichotomous data and mean differences in continuous data using a random-effect model. Results: Fifty-one RCTs (53 articles) with a total of 1574 treated patients (1744 recessions) were included in this SR. Finally, 30 groups of comparisons were identified and a total of 80 meta-analyses were performed. Coronally Advanced Flap (CAF) was associated with higher probability of CRC and higher amount of RecRed than Semilunar Coronal Positioned Flap (SCPF). The combination CAF plus Connective Tissue Graft (CAF+CTG) or CAF plus Enamel Matrix Derivative (CAF+EMD) was more effective than CAF alone in terms of CRC and RecRed. The combination CAF plus Collagen Matrix (CAF+CM) achieved higher RecRed than CAF alone. In addition, CAF+CTG achieved CRC more frequently than CAF+EMD, SCPF, Free Gingival Graft (FGG) and Laterally Positioned Flap (LPS). CAF+CTG was also associated with higher RecRed than Barrier Membranes (CAF+GTR), CAF+EMD and CAF+CM. GTR was not able to improve the clinical efficacy of CAF. Studies adding Acellular Dermal Matrix (ADM) under CAF showed a large heterogeneity and not significant benefits compared with CAF alone. Multiple combinations, using more than a single graft/biomaterial under the flap, usually provide similar or less benefits than simpler, control procedures in term of root coverage outcomes. Conclusions: CAF procedures alone or with CTG, EMD are supported by large evidence in modern periodontal plastic surgery. CAF+CTG achieved the best clinical outcomes in single gingival recessions with or without iCAL. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Apollaro T.J.G.,University of Florence | Di Franco C.,University College Cork | Plastina F.,University of Calabria | Paternostro M.,Queen's University of Belfast
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2011

Using recently proposed measures for non-Markovianity, we study the dynamics of a qubit coupled to a spin environment via an energy-exchange mechanism. We show the existence of a point, in the parameter space of the system, where the qubit dynamics is effectively Markovian and that such a point separates two regions with completely different dynamical behaviors. Indeed, our study demonstrates that the qubit evolution can in principle be tuned from a perfectly forgetful one to a deep non-Markovian regime where the qubit is strongly affected by the dynamical backaction of the environmental spins. By means of a theoretical quantum process tomography analysis, we provide a complete and intuitive characterization of the qubit channel. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Guler O.O.,Balikesir University | de Simone G.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

The carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) isozymes IX and XII are predominantly found in tumor cells and show a restricted expression in normal tissues. By efficiently hydrating carbon dioxide to protons and bicarbonate, these CAs contribute significantly to the extracellular acidification of solid tumors. CA IX and XII are overexpressed in many such tumors in response to the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway, and research on the involvement of these isozymes in cancer has progressed in recent years. The report of the X-ray crystal structure of CA IX, which is a dimeric protein with a quaternary structure not evidenced earlier for this family of enzymes, allows for structure-based drug design campaigns of inhibitors against this novel antitumor target. Indeed, it has been known for some time that aro- matic/heterocyclic sulfonamides and sulfamates have good affinity for this isoform, but generally they do not show speci- ficity for the inhibition of the tumor-associated isoform versus the remaining CA isozymes (CA I-VII, and XII-XV) found in mammals. Recently, we reported several classes of compounds with good selectivity for the tumor-associated CAs, be- ing shown that CA IX/XII inhibition reverses the effect of tumor acidification, leading to inhibition of the cancer cells growth. CA IX/XII are now proposed as novel therapeutic antitumor targets. Furthermore, as some types of CA inhibitors (CAIs), such as the fluorescent sulfonamides accumulate only in hypoxic tumor cells overexpressing these enzymes, CAIs may be also used as diagnostic tools for imaging of hypoxic cancer cells. Work from several laboratories recently reported the proof-of-concept studies for the use of CA IX/XII inhibitors as well as antibodies both in the therapy and imaging of hypoxic tumors. © 2010 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.


Amedei A.,University of Florence | D'Elios M.M.,Polyclinic AOUC
Current Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

The role of natural products as a source for remedies has been recognized since ancient times. Despite major scientific and technological progress in combinatorial chemistry, drugs derived from natural product still make an enormous contribution to drug discovery today. Nature is an attractive source of new therapeutic candidate compounds since a tremendous chemical diversity is found in millions of species of plants, animals, marine organisms and microorganisms. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi have been invaluable to discover drugs and lead compounds. These microorganisms produce a large variety of antimicrobial agents which have evolved to give their hosts an advantage over their competitors in the microbiological world. The screening of microorganisms became highly popular after the discovery of penicillin but in recent years the list of antibacterial agents (bacteria- or fungi-derived) has increased considerably with the arrival of cephalosporins, tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, rifamycins, and chloramphenicol. Although most of the drugs derived from microorganisms are used in antibacterial therapy, some microbial metabolites have provided lead compounds in other fields of medicine. For example: the fungal metabolite lovastatin, which was the lead compound for a series of drugs that lower cholesterol levels, the ciclosporin (fungal metabolite) currently used to suppress the immune response after transplantation operations and sirolimus- a bacterium-derived macrolide- used in the treatment of some cancers. The aim of this review is to analyze the current uses and the future applications in therapeutic treatments of microorganism-derived products (MdPs) and discuss the results obtained in the some clinical trials. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.


Gatteschi D.,University of Florence | Fittipaldi M.,University of Florence | Sangregorio C.,CNR Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies | Sorace L.,University of Florence
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

The comparison of the structural and magnetic properties of molecular nanomagnets (MNM) and magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) can be instructive to get a deeper understanding of the magnetic behavior on the intermediate scale between molecular and bulk objects. In this respect iron oxo based clusters are particularly interesting, since they provide an increasing number of molecular systems with sizes close to that of iron oxide MNP. In this Minireview we report a survey of literature data aimed at improving our understanding of the emergence of MNP properties from MNM ones. That's about the size of it: A comparison of structural and magnetic properties of iron oxo based molecular nanomagnets (see picture, right) and magnetic nanoparticles (left) gives a deeper understanding of the magnetic behavior at the intermediate scale between molecular and bulk objects. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Battistelli G.,University of Florence | Mosca E.,University of Florence | Tesi P.,University of Groningen
Automatica | Year: 2014

This paper describes some recent results in multi-model switching control. The scheme here considered embeds a finite family of pre-designed controllers and a high-level unit which selects, at each instant of time, the candidate controller to be placed in feedback to the uncertain plant. The study considers a switching strategy where controller selection is based on windowed cost functions. The key feature of the proposed strategy is that the window (the memory) is not kept constant, but, on the contrary, is adjusted on-line, on the grounds of measured data. The potential benefits of using an adaptive memory switching strategy are discussed and illustrated through a benchmark example. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Otti A.G.,University of Florence | Jaus M.O.,University of Florence | Barale D.,University of Florence | Baiguera S.,Karolinska Institutet | And 6 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Background In 2008, the fi rst transplantation of a tissue-engineered trachea in a human being was done to replace an end-staged left main bronchus with malacia in a 30-year-old woman. We report 5 year follow-up results. Methods The patient was followed up approximately every 3 months with multidetector CT scan and bronchoscopic assessment. We obtained mucosal biopsy samples every 6 months for histological, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopy assessment. We also assessed quality of life, respiratory function, cough refl ex test, and production and specifi city of recipient antibodies against donor human leucocyte antigen. Findings By 12 months after transplantation, a progressive cicatricial stenosis had developed in the native trachea close to the tissue-engineered trachea anastomosis, which needed repeated endoluminal stenting. However, the tissue-engineered trachea itself remained open over its entire length, well vascularised, completely re-cellularised with respiratory epithelium, and had normal ciliary function and mucus clearance. Lung function and cough refl ex were normal. No stem-cell-related teratoma formed and no anti-donor antibodies developed. Aside from intermittent bronchoscopic interventions, the patient had a normal social and working life. Interpretation These clinical results provide evidence that a tissue-engineering strategy including decellularisation of a human trachea, autologous epithelial and stem-cell culture and diff erentiation, and cell-scaff old seeding with a bioreactor is safe and promising.


Rinaldi L.A.,University of Florence | Monaco V.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Year: 2013

Background: Comparison between healthy and hemiparetic gait is usually carried out while subjects walk overground at preferred speed. This generates bias due to the lack of uniformity across selected speeds because they reflect the great variability of the functional level of post-stroke patients. This study aimed at examining coordinative adaptations during walking in response to unilateral brain damage, while homologous participants walked at two fixed speeds. Methods. Five patients with left and five with right chronic hemiparesis, characterized by similar level of motor functioning, were enrolled. Ten non-disabled volunteers were recruited as matched control group. Spatio-temporal parameters, and intralimb thigh-leg and leg-foot coordination patterns were used to compare groups while walking on a treadmill at 0.4 and 0.6 m/s. The likelihood of Continuous Relative Phase patterns between healthy and hemiparetic subjects was evaluated by means of the root mean square of the difference and the cross correlation coefficient. The effects of the group (i.e., healthy vs. hemiparetics), side (i.e., affected vs.unaffected), and speed (e.g., slow vs. fast) were analyzed on all metrics using the Analysis of Variance. Results: Spatio-temporal parameters of all hemiparetic subjects did not significantly differ from those of healthy subjects nor showed any asymmetry between affected and unaffected limbs. Conversely, both thigh-leg and foot-leg coordination patterns appeared to account for pathology related modifications. Conclusion: Comparisons between hemiparetic and healthy gait should be carried out when all participants are asked to seek the same suitable dynamic equilibrium led by the same external (i.e., the speed) and internal (i.e., severity of the pathology) conditions. In this respect, biomechanical adaptations reflecting the pathology can be better highlighted by coordinative patterns of coupled segments within each limb than by the spatio-temporal parameters. Accordingly, a deep analysis of the intralimb coordination may be helpful for clinicians while designing therapeutic treatments. © 2013 Rinaldi and Monaco; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Balan V.,Michigan State University | Chiaramonti D.,University of Florence | Kumar S.,Old Dominion University
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2013

Advanced biofuels produced from lignocellulosic biomass offer an exciting opportunity to produce renewable liquid transportation fuels, biochemicals, and electricity from locally available agriculture and forest residues. The growing interest in biofuels from lignocellulosic feedstock in the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) can provide a path forward toward replacing petroleum-based fuels with sustainable biofuels which have the potential to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The selection of biomass conversion technologies along with feedstock development plays a crucial role in the commercialization of next-generation biofuels. There has been synergy and, even with similar basic process routes, diversity in the conversion technologies chosen for commercialization in the EU and the US. The conversion technologies for lignocellulosic biomass to advanced biofuels can be broadly classified in three major categories: biochemical, thermochemical, and hybrid conversions. The objective of this review is to discuss the US and EU biofuel initiatives, feedstock availability, and the state-of-art conversion technologies that are potentially ready or are already being deployed for large-scale applications. The review covers and compares the developments in these areas in the EU and the USA and provides a comprehensive list of the most relevant ongoing development, demonstration, and commercialization activities in various companies, along with the different processing strategies adopted by these projects. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Popkov V.,University of Cologne | Popkov V.,University of Florence | Prosen T.,University of Ljubljana
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We report a two-parametric irreducible infinitely dimensional representation of the Lax integrability condition for the Fermi Hubbard chain. In addition to being of fundamental interest, hinting at possible novel quantum symmetry of the model, our construction allows for an explicit representation of an exact steady state many-body density operator for a nonequilibrium boundary-driven Hubbard chain with arbitrary (asymmetric) particle source (sink) rates at the left (right) end of the chain and with arbitrary boundary values of chemical potentials. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Van Doorn W.G.,University of California at Davis | Papini A.,University of Florence
Autophagy | Year: 2013

Just as with yeasts and animal cells, plant cells show several types of autophagy. Microautophagy is the uptake of cellular constituents by the vacuolar membrane. Although microautophagy seems frequent in plants it is not yet fully proven to occur. Macroautophagy occurs farther away from the vacuole. In plants it is performed by autolysosomes, which are considerably different from the autophagosomes found in yeasts and animal cells, as in plants these organelles contain hydrolases from the onset of their formation. Another type of autophagy in plant cells (called mega-autophagy or mega-autolysis) is the massive degradation of the cell at the end of one type of programmed cell death (PCD). Furthermore, evidence has been found for autophagy during degradation of specific proteins, and during the internal degeneration of chloroplasts. This paper gives a brief overview of the present knowledge on the ultrastructure of autophagic processes in plants. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.


Guerrini R.,University of Florence | Parrini E.,University of Florence
Epilepsia | Year: 2012

Rett syndrome is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in early childhood with developmental stagnation, and loss of spoken language and hand use, with the development of distinctive hand stereotypies, severe cognitive impairment, and autistic features. About 60% of patients have epilepsy. Seizure onset before the age of 3 years is unlikely, and onset after age 20 is rare. Diagnosis of Rett syndrome is based on key clinical elements that identify "typical" Rett syndrome but also "variant" or "atypical" forms. Diagnostic criteria have been modified only slightly over time, even after discovering that MECP2 gene alterations are present in >90% of patients with typical Rett syndrome but only in 50-70% of atypical cases. Over the last several years, intragenic or genomic alterations of the CDKL5 and FOXG1 genes have been associated with severe cognitive impairment, early onset epilepsy and, often, dyskinetic movement disorders, which have variably been defined as Rett variants. It is now clearly emerging that epilepsy has distinctive characteristics in typical Rett syndrome and in the different syndromes caused by CDKL5 and FOXG1 gene alterations. The progressive parting of CDKL5- and FOXG1-gene-related encephalopathies from the core Rett syndrome is reflected by the effort to produce clearer diagnostic criteria for typical and atypical Rett syndrome. Efforts to characterize the molecular pathology underlying these developmental encephalopathies are pointing to abnormalities of telencephalic development, neuronal morphogenesis, maturation and maintenance, and dendritic arborization. © 2012 International League Against Epilepsy.


Buvat J.,Center Detudes Et Of Traitement Of La Pathologie Of Lappareil Et Of La Psychosomatique | Maggi M.,University of Florence | Guay A.,Center For Sexual Function Endocrinology | Torres L.O.,Clinica de Urologia e Andrologia
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2013

Introduction. Testosterone (T) deficiency (TD) may significantly affect sexual function and multiple organ systems. Aim. To provide recommendations and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) based on best evidence for diagnosis and treatment of TD in men. Methods. Medical literature was reviewed by the Endocrine subcommittee of the ISSM Standards Committee, followed by extensive internal discussion over two years, then public presentation and discussion with other experts. Main Outcome Measure. Recommendations and SOPs based on grading of evidence-based medical literature and interactive discussion. Results. TD is the association of a low serum T with consistent symptoms or signs. T level tends to decline with age. T modulates sexual motivation and erection. It also plays a broader role in men's health. Recent studies have established associations between low T, male sexual dysfunctions and metabolic risk factors. Though association does not mean causation, low T is associated with reduced longevity, risk of fatal cardiovascular events, obesity, sarcopenia, mobility limitations, osteoporosis, frailty, cognitive impairment, depression, Sleep Apnea Syndrome, and other chronic diseases. The paper proposes a standardized process for diagnosis and treatment of TD, and updates the knowledge on T therapy (Tth) and prostate and cardiovascular safety. There is no compelling evidence that Tth causes prostate cancer or its progression in men without severe TD. Polycythemia is presently the only cardiovascular-related adverse-event significantly associated with Tth. But follow-up of controlled T trials is limited to 3 years. Conclusions. Men with sexual dysfunctions, and/or with visceral obesity and metabolic diseases should be screened for TD and treated. Young men with TD should also be treated. Benefits and risks of Tth should be carefully assessed in older men. Prospective, long-term, placebo-controlled, interventional studies are required before screening for TD in more conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, and considering correction of TD as preventive medicine. © 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Winum J.-Y.,National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier | Colinas P.A.,National University of La Plata | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2013

Targeting tumour associated carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) isoforms IX and XII is now considered as a pertinent approach for the development of new cancer therapeutics against hypoxic tumours. In the last period, with the help of X-ray crystallography, much progress has been achieved for the drug-design of selective CA IX inhibitors, by considering the three main structural elements that govern both potency and selectivity, that is, a zinc binding group (ZBG), an organic scaffold, and one or more side chains substituting the scaffold. The use of sugar moiety in the structure of sulfonamide-based CA inhibitors (CAIs), has allowed the discovery of very potent CA IX inhibitors able to impair the growth of both primary tumors and metastases. The search for specific CA IX inhibitors by using the sugar approach has become an important research field, leading to sulfonamides, sulfamates, sulfamides and coumarins with excellent in vitro activity and relevant potency in vivo, in animal models of cancer. This paper will review the latest development in this hot topic. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bonneau A.,National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier | Maresca A.,University of Florence | Winum J.-Y.,National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence
Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2014

Reaction of 6-/7-hydroxycoumarin with metronidazole afforded conjugates which incorporate two interesting chemotypes which may inhibit carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC 4.2.1.1) due to the presence of the coumarin moiety and possess radiosensitizing effects due to the presence of the nitroazole. Another dual action compound, which may act both as CA inhibitor as well as monocarboxylate transporter inhibitor, is 3-cyano-7-hydroxy-coumarin. These compounds have been investigated as inhibitors of 11 human CA isoforms. Submicromolar inhibition was observed against hCA VA, hCA VB, hCA VI, hCA VII, hCA IX, hCA XII and hCA XIV, whereas isoforms hCA I, II and XIII were not inhibited by these compounds. These coumarins thus act as isoform-selective CA inhibitors with the possibility to target isoforms involved in pathologies such as obesity (CA VA/VB) or cancer (CA IX and XII) without inhibiting the physiologically dominant, highly abundant hCA I and II. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.


Leopold L.,University of Florence | Engelhartdt H.,University of Bamberg
International Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Objectives: The model of cumulative inequality predicts that health differences between educational levels increase with age. Using a variety of analytical approaches and measures of health, studies have, however, reported increasing as well as decreasing and constant patterns of educational health inequality. The aim of this study is use a standardized research design to compare different dimensions of health inequality trajectories across educational levels. Methods: We used data from two waves (2004/2005 and 2006/2007) of SHARE. The sample consisted of respondents aged 50-80 (n = 14,818). Using OLS regression models, we analyzed trajectories of health inequality in self-reported measures (ADL, IADL, mobility, chronic diseases, and self-rated health) as well as non-invasive objective measures (grip strength) of physical health. Results: Inequality between higher and lower educated individuals increased significantly in limitations of physical functioning and grip strength. In chronic diseases and self-rated health, the gap between these two groups remained constant. Conclusion: Although our results mainly supported the model of cumulative inequality, they also showed that the trajectory of the education-health gradient is not uniform but varies across different dimensions of physical health. © 2012 Swiss School of Public Health.


McDonald P.C.,Cancer Research Center and Cancer Agency | Winum J.-Y.,National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence | Dedhar S.,Cancer Research Center and Cancer Agency | Dedhar S.,University of British Columbia
Oncotarget | Year: 2012

Carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) is a hypoxia-inducible enzyme that is overexpressed by cancer cells from many tumor types, and is a component of the pH regulatory system invoked by these cells to combat the deleterious effects of a high rate of glycolytic metabolism. CAIX functions to help produce and maintain an intracellular pH (pHi) favorable for tumor cell growth and survival, while at the same time participating in the generation of an increasingly acidic extracellular space, facilitating tumor cell invasiveness. Pharmacologic interference of CAIX catalytic activity using monoclonal antibodies or CAIX-specific small molecule inhibitors, consequently disrupting pH regulation by cancer cells, has been shown recently to impair primary tumor growth and metastasis. Many of these agents are in preclinical or clinical development and constitute a novel, targeted strategy for cancer therapy. © McDonald et al.


Caruso F.,QSTAR | Caruso F.,University of Florence | Caruso F.,University of Ulm | Giovannetti V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 3 more authors.
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2014

Any physical process can be represented as a quantum channel mapping an initial state to a final state. Hence it can be characterized from the point of view of communication theory, i.e., in terms of its ability to transfer information. Quantum information provides a theoretical framework and the proper mathematical tools to accomplish this. In this context the notion of codes and communication capacities have been introduced by generalizing them from the classical Shannon theory of information transmission and error correction. The underlying assumption of this approach is to consider the channel not as acting on a single system, but on sequences of systems, which, when properly initialized allow one to overcome the noisy effects induced by the physical process under consideration. While most of the work produced so far has been focused on the case in which a given channel transformation acts identically and independently on the various elements of the sequence (memoryless configuration in jargon), correlated error models appear to be a more realistic way to approach the problem. A slightly different, yet conceptually related, notion of correlated errors applies to a single quantum system which evolves continuously in time under the influence of an external disturbance which acts on it in a non-Markovian fashion. This leads to the study of memory effects in quantum channels: a fertile ground where interesting novel phenomena emerge at the intersection of quantum information theory and other branches of physics. A survey is taken of the field of quantum channels theory while also embracing these specific and complex settings. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 9.64M | Year: 2012

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 8% of the European population and ultimately results in renal failure due to progressive fibrosis. CDK carries a high mortality risk and the number of affected people rises, increasing the demand on renal replacement therapies while the number of available donor organs stays stable. The STELLAR consortium proposes to develop an alternative to renal replacement therapy, based on the repair capacity of newly discovered kidney mesenchymal stromal cells (kMSCs). By injecting kMSC into affected kidneys, we expect to stop kidney fibrosis and induce tissue repair, ultimately leading to the restoration of normal kidney function. The STELLAR consortium will develop protocols for up scalable, high quality isolation of kMSCs and precisely characterize kMSC function in comparison to other MSCs. test kMSCs in several murine renal disease models, to study their effects on fibrosis and tissue repair. discover mechanisms of kidney repair. invest in developing the technology necessary for up scaled isolation and quality control. The STELLAR consortium combines Australian experts on kMSC isolation and characterisation with European experts on renal failure and compounds the state-of-the-art knowledge, facilities and experience needed to develop and validate this novel form of renal therapy. The inclusion of experienced SMEs, with great technical and scientific know-how about assay and protocol development, further strengthens the consortium and will ensure not only the inclusion of new technology, but also a quick translation from bench to clinical application. In conclusion, the STELLAR consortium is capable of developing and pre clinical validation of this new cellular therapy for CDK, based on a new understanding of stromal cells and fibroblast function, while also providing the technology required for rapid, large scale application of the therapy after clinical validation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-04-2015 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2016

Environmental heating is a growing challenge for our community and problems are already experienced by millions of Europeans during the summertime and aggravated during heat waves or occupational settings. In addition to the well-known health risks related to severe heat stress, a number of studies have confirmed significant loss of productivity due to hyperthermia. Even if countries adopt the EU proposal for limiting global CO2 emissions, climate change and its associated threat to public health will continue for many decades. Thus, it is crucial to develop strategies to mitigate the detrimental health and societal effects of these environmental changes. Stakeholders such as policy makers and the private sector usually lack the technical capabilities or facilities to conduct R&D activities at the level of excellence required for such development. European research institutes have the capacity to conduct the R&D necessary to develop solutions. However, they often lack the capacity to transform these solutions into policies and assess their health, economic and social benefits. The HEAT-SHIELD project will create a sustainable inter-sector framework that will promote health as well as productivity for European citizens in the context of global warming. The project will produce a series of state-of-the-art innovative outcomes including: (i) appropriate technical and biophysical research-based solutions to be implemented when the ambient temperature poses a health threat or impairs productivity (ii) a weather-based warning system with online open access service that anticipates the events that may pose a threat to workers health; (iii) scenario-specific policies and solutions aimed at health promotion and preventing loss of productivity (iv) implementation of the formulated policies and evaluation of their health, economic and social benefits. Consequently, the HEAT-SHIELD project provides a multi-sector approach to address the serious environmental challenge.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2010

The central aim of iSense is to deliver breakthrough enabling technologies and knowledge to push long-anticipated sensor and quantum ICT applications using cold atoms to a broadly accessible and commercially exploitable level.\n\nTo achieve this goal, iSense is structured in two highly interlinked and temporally overlapping phases: In the phase 1 iSense will create a science and technology platform introducing novel integrated optics concepts for cold atom production and interrogation. Phase 2 will pursue the establishment of commercial cold atom devices for a wide variety of integrated quantum sensors as well as in information and communication technologies (ICT). Starting with the realization of an integrated high-precision gravity sensor and strong technology dissemination activities this phase will lay the foundations for applications-specific broadening and wide use of the technol-ogy platform beyond the extension of this project.\n\nThe long term vision is a modular, scalable and portable quantum technology family based on cold atoms, adaptable to a wide variety of applications in diverse working envi-ronments. Potential applications include fundamental physics tests, quantum ICT devices, satel-lite geodesy, oil / mineral prospecting and communication network timing.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.4-8 | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2008

With the increasing rate of end-stage renal failure and limited alternatives for its treatment, potential regenerative approaches for kidney damages are urgently needed. Because of the complexity of the organ, the development of stem cell therapies for kidney is still in its infancy. Identifying which cell types are capable of beneficial effects is the critical step required to realize the potential of this therapeutic approach. Three possible sources of stem cells can be envisioned for the development of this type of treatment: (i) bone-marrow-derived stem cells, (ii) renal adult stem cells, and (iii) fetal renal stem cells. The focus of this project is to assess the regenerative potential of stem cells derived from different sources and investigate the possible obstacles to their utilization, as well as their potential side effects in preclinical models of acute and chronic renal failure. Indeed, the clinical usefulness of the treatment, as well as the need to understand currently discrepant results, require comparative experimental studies that have never been performed before either in SC therapy of kidney injury, or in that of other organs. Hopefully, this comparison will allow to set up standardized protocols of SC isolation and administration for phase I/II trials in patients affected by acute and chronic renal failure.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: GC-ICT-2013.6.7 | Award Amount: 4.92M | Year: 2013

Electric Vehicles (EV) are subject of many R&D projects aimed at improving their components and overall physical (structural) architecture. In addition, several research projects exist that seek to innovate the overall control system that orchestrates the way all these components perform together in passenger EV.\n\nIMPROVE focuses on in-vehicle ICT innovations for commercial (fleet operated) vehicles, which are in some aspects different from private passenger vehicles: different use cases, different trade-offs between comfort, driving dynamics and cost efficiency, and more embedded in a fleet of several vehicles.\n\nWithin this focus, IMPROVE leverages a set of hardware and software innovations that in combination add a targeted 20% of range for the same battery capacity; increase the life of the battery, reduce the cost of key components and uses deeply integrated interconnections between subsystems inside the vehicle and between the vehicle (sub-)system and the outside world (cloud, grid, work, office). All these performance increases are achieved while maintaining safety and increasing comfort and wellbeing for the driver(s) of the vehicle.\n\nIMPROVE integrates an induction e-motor (without permanent magnet) with an inverter to decrease cost; it integrates model embedded predictive controlling into advanced algorithms to optimize energy efficiency and -recovery. It leverages data extracted from cloud, grid and (back)office applications of the driver for in-vehicle control optimisation. All these elements are prototyped and assembled to a drivable test vehicle which will be submitted to extensive tests.\n\nThe IMPROVE consortium combines the strengths of very large, large, mid-sized and small companies with the academic / technological excellence of established academia and research centres, enabling it to optimally apply the project results in future vehicles and services with substantial impact on Europes Green Car objectives.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 602.70K | Year: 2014

The overall aim of this proposal is to create a transnational interdisciplinary research and training network between European and Latin American Universities and Research centres in order to promote transfer of knowledge and to produce innovative research in the field of the multilevel governance of cultural diversity in a comparative perspective. The governance of cultural diversity is a key issue for contemporary Europe. Accommodating increased cultural diversity by balancing the recognition of differences with the promotion of equal participation in the common public sphere is a task that will, for the foreseeable future, be with us to stay. The proposal will represent a crucial moment for a stronger institutionalisation of the existing collaborations among the partner institutions, giving a systematic character to the transfer of knowledge on the issue of cultural diversity, through methodological workshops, which will clarify definitions and conceptualizations, through the implementation of comparative research, the implementation of joint courses (Master programs, doctoral studies) and the launching of a scientific journal in English. The comparative research projects implemented will focus on the relations between, on one side, the institutional framework and the governments policies, and, on the other, the empirical dynamics of the cultural construction, social formation and political mobilization of collective identities, deployed by migrants, ethno-national minorities, religious minorities, indigenous peoples. The proposals research outcomes will enable a better understanding of the complex dynamics in plural and multi-ethnic societies and may possibly suggest new paths for policies and governance at national and at EU-level.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.42M | Year: 2012

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the 4th leading cause of death worldwide. Long-term respiratory support increases the life expectancy and the quality of life of COPD patients and decreases the cost of care. Currently available artificial lungs, such as Novalungs iLA system, fail after ~ one month, mainly due to thrombus formation at the blood/machine interface. The size of current systems restrict patient mobility. We aim to create a wearable bioartificial lung (AmbuLung) for long-term application in an outpatient setting. The goals are to (1) miniaturise the existing iLA system, including the supporting technology and patient monitoring system; (2) cellularise the diffusion membrane with endothelial cells to decrease thrombogenicity and to increase the gas-exchange rate; and (3) evaluate the developed system in pre-clinical and clinical studies. The innovation includes (i) development of a novel alveolo-capillary gas-exchange membrane, functionalised with bioactive molecules and seeded with endothelial cells, ii) miniaturisation of mechanical and electronic device components, and (iii) novel vascular access system. For cellularisation, endothelial cells derived from FDA approved clinical grade human pluripotent stem cells will be used. Cell differentiation, scale-up, seeding, and maintenance will be performed using established automatable and scalable dynamic bioreactor technology. A mathematical model will be developed to predict and refine the function of this complex system in vitro and in vivo. AmbuLung will be evaluated in a pig model, assessing functionality, and non-thrombogenicity. The data will provide information required for potential clinical transfer. If successful, a clinical trial will be carried out on 5 COPD patients after acquisition of necessary regulatory approvals. Evaluation of efficacy of the intervention will be based on multidimensional health status grading.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC.SST.2012.1-2. | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2012

UNPLUGGED project aims to investigate how the use of inductive charging of Electric Vehicles (EV) in urban environments improves the convenience and sustainability of car-based mobility. In particular, it will be investigated how smart inductive charging infrastructure can facilitate full EV integration in the urban road systems while improving customer acceptance and perceived practicality. UNPLUGGED will achieve these goals by examining in detail the technical feasibility, practical issues, interoperability, user perception and socio-economic impacts of inductive charging. As one special variant, inductive en-route charging will be investigated thoroughly. As part of the project, two smart inductive charging systems will be built, taking into consideration requirements from OEMs, energy utilities and end users. The systems will be innovative and will go beyond the current state of the art in terms of high power transfer, allowing for smart communication between the vehicle and the grid, as well as being in line with the latest inductive charging standards and considering interoperability. These innovative inductive charging systems designed and built as part of the project will then be tested and assessed in order to understand their potential impacts on urban mobility and the acceptance of e-mobility. Application in an en-route charging scenario in particular will be examined for different vehicle types, ranging from cars to buses. It is anticipated that UNPLUGGED will provide clear evidence on and demonstrate whether the use of smart inductive charging infrastructure can overcome some of the perceived barriers for e-mobility, such as range and size of on-board energy storage, and practical difficulties associated with installing traditional charging post infrastructure. UNPLUGGED will also include a feasibility study and economic model for dynamic en-route inductive charging. This technology is currently less mature than static en-route charging, however, it ha


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2013.1-3. | Award Amount: 45.04M | Year: 2013

The ENOVAL project will provide the next step of engine technologies to achieve and surpass the ACARE 2020 goals on the way towards Flightpath 2050. ENOVAL completes the European 7th Framework Programme (FP7) roadmap of Level 2 aero engine projects. ENOVAL will focus on the low pressure system of ultra-high by-pass ratio propulsion systems (12 < BPR < 20) in conjunction with ultra high overall pressure ratio (50 < OPR < 70) to provide significant reductions in CO2 emissions in terms of fuel burn (-3% to -5%) and engine noise (-1.3 ENPdB). ENOVAL will focus on ducted geared and non-geared turbofan engines, which are amongst the best candidates for the next generation of short/medium range and long range commercial aircraft applications with an entry into service date of 2025 onward. The expected fan diameter increase of 20 to 35% (vs. year 2000 reference engine) is significant and can be accommodated within the limits of a conventional aircraft configuration. It is in line with the roadmap of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for 2020 to have the technologies ready for Optimised conventional aircraft and engines using best fuel efficiency and noise control technologies, where UHBR propulsion systems are expressively named as a key technology. ENOVAL will be established in a consistent series of Level 2 projects in conjunction with LEMCOTEC for core engine technologies, E-BREAK for system technologies for enabling ultra high OPR engines, and OPENAIR for noise reduction technologies. Finally, ENOVAL will prepare the way towards maturing the technology and preparing industrialisation in coordination with past and existing aero-engine initiatives in Europe at FP7 and national levels.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-01;SST-2007-4.1-02 | Award Amount: 5.28M | Year: 2009

Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) users are greatly over-involved in serious and fatal crashes. They have between 5 and 25 times the risk of having a fatal crash compared to car drivers, depending on the country. The number of PTWs on European roads has more than doubled over the last two decades. The recent MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study) study of PTW crashes in Europe found that behavioural and ergonomic issues were major contributing factors to PTW crashes: the primary accident cause for PTW crashes was the failure of drivers to perceive two-wheelers; and human error was a major contributing factor to most crashes, for both PTW and car drivers. The majority of PTW crashes involved a collision with a car. Many large-scale research programs have been undertaken to understand the behavioural and ergonomic factors that contribute to crashes involving 4-wheeled vehicles. These have been effective in informing countermeasure development, which has led to significant reductions in crashes. To our knowledge, no comparable human factors and behavioural research programs have been initiated in the PTW domain, in Europe or elsewhere. The high rate of motorcycle-related deaths and injuries calls for new and refined countermeasures, deriving from solid behavioural and ergonomics research. In this proposal we outline an innovative program of research, involving partners from Europe, Israel and Australia, that directly targets those behavioural and ergonomic factors cited in the MAIDS study as contributing to PTW crashes. This includes research on crash causes and human error, the worlds first naturalistic riding study involving instrumented PTWs, research on motorcycle rider risk awareness and perception, the development of new research tools to support the research program, in-depth research on the factors that underlie driver failures to see PTWs and their riders, and the development of recommendations for practical countermeasures for enhancing PTW rider safety.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2010

The BioAlgaeSorb collaboration will benefit European SME-AGs in diverse business sectors by developing technologies for remediating and valorising industrial and agricultural/aquacultural effluents via microalgae cultivation. The resultant microalgal biomass will form a carbon neutral, environmentally sustainable raw material that is a source for commercially valuable end products, among them renewable energy. The set task is to utilise unwanted effluents as nutrient sources for photosynthetic microalgae, thereby reducing effluent discharge by SMEs and yielding high quality biomass which will be harvested and upgraded using an integrated biorefinery approach into valuable products. Leading commercial systems for microalgae cultivation will be optimised for capturing inorganic nutrients from aqueous effluents (intensive agriculture and aquaculture; municipal anaerobic digesters) and CO2 from power plants, thereby mitigating the environmental impacts of these sectors and contributing to the European Low Carbon Economy via a new source of biomass-based biofuels, and by reducing the discharge of GHG to the atmosphere. Novel physical processes will be developed to efficiently harvest, stabilise and fractionate microalgae biomass for downstream conversion into valuable products. An innovative biorefinery approach will be adopted incorporating biomass pyrolysis (liquids, gas and char) for bioenergy and biofuel production, as well as separation into lipid, protein and carbohydrate fractions. Processes will be optimised for transforming micoalgal lipids into second generation transport fuels. Biomass extracts and purified compounds (eg, omega 3 fatty acids, pigments) will also be developed for use as food and feed additives. A holistic approach will be used throughout the project, incorporating coupled process and financial models to guide the development of cost efficient microalgae-based remediation of effluents for large numbers of European SMEs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-1.1-03;AAT-2007-4.2-03 | Award Amount: 10.79M | Year: 2008

FUTURE brings together European and international well reputed centres-of-excellence in order to reach major scientific & technical objectives in striving towards flutter-free turbomachine blades. By advancing the state-of-the-art in flutter prediction capabilities and design rules, the FUTURE project will lead to benefits in terms of decreased development cost, reduced weight and fuel consumption, and increased ability to efficiently manage flutter problems occurring on engines at service. Eight interconnected turbine and compressor experiments will be performed in the project, in combination with numerical modelling of vibrating blades and the related unsteady aerodynamics. Cascade experiments will be employed to study unsteady aerodynamic properties in detail. These tests are supporting more complex rotating turbomachinery tests (turbine and compressor) to study the addressed phenomenon in engine-typical environment. The knowledge from both component tests will be then condensed into best practice for both experimental and computational (CFD) set-ups, and will be used towards a combined effort of physical understanding of travelling waves and interferences between the vibrating structures and the surrounding fluid. The acquired knowledge is aimed to be employed by the aeroelastic specialists in the companies, research institutes and universities to identify updated and better aeromechanical design rules. In the process of reaching this unique knowledge status a sophisticated, not yet available, measuring technique will be developed, and a new excitation mechanism will be implemented as back-up to the free-flutter experiments. Furthermore, a unique database with combined structural and unsteady aerodynamic results will be established and made available for further dissemination among the partners. This database will contain significantly more detailed data than any other existing database in the world.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2016 | Award Amount: 160.00K | Year: 2016

The BRIGHT project aims at enhancing the visibility and perception of researchers among the general population in the Tuscany Region, simultaneously with all the European Researchers Night (ERN) initiatives. BRIGHT acronym means Brilliant Researchers Impact on Growth Health and Trust in research, wishing to underline the positive aspect of the research activity in order to convey a positive message to the general public. BRIGHT is planned in for two years - i.e. two events, one in 2016 and another in 2017 - and livens up not only two nights with entertaining and exciting events spread across the main Tuscany cities, but it also creates a lot of initiatives aiming at building permanent Research Urban Trekking paths leading towards the complete awareness of the researchers role in society. Researchers make your life better! is the guiding principle stemming from the passion, the enthusiasm and hard intellectual work of researchers daily work and how this contributes to the well-being of the general population. BRIGHT focuses on creating awareness on the important role played by researchers in addressing the great challenges ahead, such as health and wellbeing, new technologies, sustainable development, physical and biological challenges, cultural heritage. BRIGHT will be successful if it will be able to convince the population of the IMPACT of the researchers and the researchs products for the development of the society, and to make people TRUST the researchers instead of being driven away by hoaxes with no scientific basis.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: DRS-21-2014 | Award Amount: 3.79M | Year: 2015

As risks are not objective but socially and culturally constructed, disaster management which is aware, respects, and makes use of local cultural aspects will be not only more effective but, at the same time, also improve the communitys disaster coping capacities. CARISMAND is setting out to identify these factors, to explore existing gaps and opportunities for improvement of disaster policies and procedures, and to develop a comprehensive toolkit which will allow professional as well as voluntary disaster managers to adopt culturally-aware everyday practices. This goal will be achieved by approaching the links, and gaps, between disaster management, culture and risk perception from the broadest possible multi-disciplinary perspective and, simultaneously, developing a feedback-loop between disaster management stakeholders and citizens to establish, test, and refine proposed solutions for culturally-informed best practices in disaster management. Whilst experts from a variety of fields (in particular legal, IT, cognitive science, anthropology, psychology, sociology) will undertake a comprehensive collation of existing knowledge and structures, a number of Citizen Summits and Stakeholder Assemblies will be organised. Systematically, CARISMAND will use an approach that examines natural, man-made and technical disasters, placing at the centre of attention specific aspects that affect culturally informed risk perceptions, eg whether disasters are caused intentionally or not, the different visibility of hazards, and various time scales of disasters such as slow/fast onset and short- and long-term effects. By organising six Citizen Summits (two per disaster category per year in two separate locations) where such disaster risks are prevalent , and three Stakeholder Assemblies (one per year) where the results are discussed through a wide cross-sectional knowledge transfer between disaster managers from different locations as well as from different cultural backgrounds.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH-2009-8.1 | Award Amount: 660.76K | Year: 2010

WORKCARE SYNERGIES is a support action with the aim of disseminating research findings of previous EU Framework Programme projects in the field of work-care. Our dissemination scheme is based on the concept of local key mediator teams, which are based in each of the seven countries where dissemination will take place and the mediator teams consist of local researchers, knowledge transfer and communication specialists. Local teams will implement local dissemination activities. WORKCARE SYNERGIES will collect, select and prepare relevant findings from different existing FP projects in the form of (theme-specific and target-group oriented) discussion materials and other dissemination tools (e.g. film, newsletter, folder, poster, homepage, etc.) to make existing research findings available to NGOs, policy makers, trade unions, labour representatives, regional organizations and services, companies, other local actors, interested parties, etc. in local dissemination events and summarize material and discussion results for publication. Altogether, local dissemination events will present relevant research findings from 20 research projects within the EU Framework Programmes and initiate their discussion in a local context. All deal with questions of work-care, i.e. how families in different societal frameworks and settings combine their work and (child-)care responsibilities. Chosen to reflect current local concerns and to make use of existing research, actual dissemination themes vary by country: Austrian teams: Work-Care Tensions, Quality of Work and Life, Work-Life Balance across the Life Course; British teams: Social Quality in Work and Care, Labour Market Transitions in Comparative Perspective; Danish team: Citizenship, Flexibility and Diversity in Work-Care Relations; Italian team: Social Care and Work-Care Balance; Portuguese team: Mapping Work-Care Orientations for Gender Equality in Private and Public Contexts; Polish team: Gender Elites and Work-Care Relations and Hungarian team: Family Policies, Working Time Flexibility and Social Cohesion. Discussion materials and the outcome of local dissemination events will be made available online (homepage), through newsletters, at the events and in a final publication. Policy briefs will summarize discussion outcomes in a local context.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: TPT.2011.1-2. | Award Amount: 1.22M | Year: 2011

The aim of GOAL is to provide an action plan for innovative solutions to fulfil the transport needs of an ageing society. This action plan will be developed by state-of-the-art reviews, identification of possible and relevant societal developments and alternatives to transport. We identify relevant research gaps and product developments through contacts in the USA and Japan. The focus of GOAL is on land-based transport. Current predictions of EUROSTAT show that The share of people aged 65 years or over in the total population is projected to increase from 17.1% to 30.0% and the number is projected to rise from 84.6 million in 2008 to 151.5 million in 2060. Similarly, the number of people aged 80 years or over is projected to almost triple from 21.8 million in 2008 to 61.4 million in 2060. In order to keep them actively involved in society and maintain independence, it is vital that older people, now and in the future, are able to travel and have access to transport. In GOAL we describe the physical and mental characteristics of older people and use these to develop profiles which will represent the range of characteristics to be formed in the population now and in the future. These profiles will be used to explore in a structured way the needs while driving, using public transport, walking and cycling and the relevant information needed before and during travel. The profiles will also be used to address additional issues of older people and other developments which may impact on travel decisions in the future. There is considerable expertise in the consortium related to all aspects of the project. However, to validate our work and to ensure that it will have the widest acceptance, we will be running a series of workshops to enable the widest constituency of stakeholder bodies and experts to interact with the study team. The research and development needs will be identified and used to develop an action plan to achieve the goal of growing older and staying mobile.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 4.99M | Year: 2012

The TRAINBIODIVERSE ITN will provide professional skills and training for young scientists covering multi-disciplinary aspects of soil biodiversity, ecosystem services, their economic significance and practical implications and implementation. The researchers will gain access to European educational and network facilities and training aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of human populations and the continued availability of sustainable recourses underpinned by soil microbiology. Practical and theoretical training related to monitoring, evaluating and improving the quality of biodiversity in European soils, in combination with training professionals to ensure enhanced intersectorial skills and communications will help to secure the future of European ecosystem services and agricultural production. TRAINBIODIVERSE will fill the gap between specialists in different institutions and administrative bodies providing information and policy on biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe. The consortium encompasses different academic, non-academic industrial economic and political professions in different sectors. An understanding of the interrelationships and communications between the different sectors involved will be made available to European researchers for the first time. This will coincide with increases in related governmental policy and actions. The training will cover the process for applying scientific rational to political implementation. Initial training will commence with field and laboratory work then proceeding through interpretation of results to economic evaluation for managerial administrative and decision making processes and application of the information.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2009-3.4-1 | Award Amount: 8.89M | Year: 2010

In the last two decades, a precise management of agricultural land has been made possible due to the availability of new technologies, including global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), sensors, automation of agricultural machinery, and high resolution image sensing. As a result, the concept of Precision Agriculture has emerged as the management strategy that uses information technologies to collect and process data from multiple sources in order to facilitate decisions associated with crop production. Moreover, the EUs sixth environmental action programme addresses the need to encourage farmers to change their use of plant protection products . RHEA is focused on the design, development, and testing of a new generation of automatic and robotic systems for both chemical and physical mechanical and thermal effective weed management focused on both agriculture and forestry, and covering a large variety of European products including agriculture wide row crops (processing tomato, maize, strawberry, sunflower and cotton), close row crops (winter wheat and winter barley) and forestry woody perennials (walnut trees, almond trees, olive groves and multipurpose open woodland). RHEA aims at diminishing the use of agricultural chemical inputs in a 75%, improving crop quality, health and safety for humans, and reducing production costs by means of sustainable crop management using a fleet of small, heterogeneous robots ground and aerial equipped with advanced sensors, enhanced end-effectors and improved decision control algorithms. RHEA can be considered as a cooperative robotic system, falling within an emerging area of research and technology with a large number of applications as reported by the FP6 Network of Excellence EURON, Special Interest Group on Cooperative Robotics, funded by the European Commission. RHEA will be a unique opportunity to gather a very large number of multidisciplinary research groups with adequate funds to accomplish an authentic step forward in applying precision agriculture techniques in a massive way. This consortium joints a number of multidisciplinary, experienced researchers capable of improving individual scientific knowledge, but a large cooperation project is demanded to sum up the individual efforts in a holistic manner. The success of RHEA could bring a new means of applying automatic systems to agriculture and forestry crops with an important impact in improving the economy and environment as well as in maintaining the sustainability of rural areas by launching new technological jobs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 7.24M | Year: 2010

To achieve lower Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) and CO2/NOx emissions, modern turbomachineries operate at high velocities and high temperature conditions. The lack of confidence in the prediction of combustor-turbine interactions leads to apply extra safety margins on components design. Therefore, the understanding of combustor-turbine flow field interactions is mandatory to preserve High Pressure Turbine (HPT) life and performance when optimising the design of new HPT. The FACTOR objective is to optimise the combustor turbine interactions design to develop low-cost turbines and reduce SFC by 2%, HPT weight by 1.5% and accordingly engine cost by 3% compared to the results from the TATEF2 and AITEB2 projects. To achieve this objective, FACTOR will develop and exploit an innovative test infrastructure coupling a combustor simulator with a HPT for aerodynamic and aerothermal measurements. The infrastructure will improve the knowledge of aerothermal external flows since the inlet profile of the turbine and the secondary flows will be modelled and optimised together in the same facility, under engine representative conditions. Collected data will be fed into the design techniques and simulation software used to optimise HPT components. In parallel, the use of advanced CFD (e.g. LES or DES) will provide new knowledge on wall temperature and heat transfer predictions. This will be particularly important to design future combustor-turbine systems in an integrated manner, especially for the next generation of lean burn combustion systems having complex and severe flow constraints. By optimising the combustor-HPT interaction, FACTOR project will contribute to achieving the 50% CO2 and 80% NOx reductions ACARE 2020 environmental objectives. FACTOR will also strengthen the competitiveness of the European aeroengine industry by making available a new test infrastructure with experimental abilities beyond those of the US.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2015

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) are on the rise due to the synergistic effects of climate change and habitat destruction. The impacts of AIS on Biodiversity, human health, and loss of ecosystem services are well known, but their control and management has now become a worldwide priority. Successful management of AIS is challenging because it requires several steps in succession: (1) early detection, (2) identification of routes of introduction and pathways of dispersal, and (3) development of efficient control measures. However, public awareness and stakeholder involvement are also critical. The main research goal of AQUAINVAD-ED is to exploit novel molecular advances combined with the power of citizen science to develop innovative methods of early detection, control and management of AIS. This will be achieved via a multi-disciplinary network of experts in invasion biology, aquatic biotechnology, citizen science and environmental policy working from 3 different countries. The inter-sectoral dimension of the consortium consists of fundamental and applied scientists from 3 universities, 1 technological institute, 2 government agencies, 1 NGO and 5 SMEs. AQUAINVAD-ED will catalyse research and commercial activity in the detection and management of AIS, as well as in the implementation of codes of good practice for the European industry and Government agencies. This will be achieved by training the next generation of researchers on the principles of invasion biology, providing them with the skills necessary to detect and quantify the ecological and socio-economic impacts of AIS and the ability to communicate science to the general public. The training program will be delivered through individual research projects, active participation in network activities and a unique combination of specialised courses, designed to increase employability in the consultancy sector, government, academia, and the water industry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC1-HCO-02-2016 | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2017

Molecular in vitro diagnostics and biomedical research have allowed great progress in personalised medicine but further progress is limited by insufficient guidelines for pre-analytical workflow steps (sample collection, preservation, storage, transport, processing etc.) as well as by insufficient quality assurance of diagnostic practice. This allows using compromised patients samples with post collection changes in cellular and extra-cellular biomolecules profiles thus often making diagnostic test results unreliable or even impossible. To tackle this, SPIDA4P aims to generate and implement a comprehensive portfolio of 22 pan-European pre-analytical CEN/Technical Specifications and ISO/International Standards, addressing the important pre-analytical workflows applied to personalized medicine. These will also applicable to biomarker discovery, development and validation as well as to biobanks. Corresponding External Quality Assurance (EQA) Schemes will be developed and implemented as well, aiming to survey the resulting quality of samples and diagnostic practice. SPIDIA4P will ensure stakeholder organisations involvements as well as training, education, and counselling as additional major foci of the project. The consortium will closely coordinate with large European public research consortia to obtain access to research and validation studies data serving as evidence for the new standards developments and achieved improvements of diagnosis, patient stratification and prognosis of disease outcome. At this crucial moment in the development of personalised medicine, SPIDIA4P proposes a coordination and support action that reunites 19 highly experienced partners in international standardisation for in vitro diagnostics, coming from private industry including SMEs, public institutions and from one official European Standards Organisation. This strong consortium is balanced and empowered to maximise the impacts of in vitro diagnostics on personalised medicine.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ART-06-2016 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016

Automated Road Transport (ART) is seen as one of the key technologies and major technological advancements influencing and shaping our future mobility and quality of life. The ART technology encompasses passenger cars, public transport vehicles, and urban and interurban freight transport and also extends to the road, IT and telecommunication infrastructure needed to guarantee safe and efficient operations of the vehicles. In this framework, CARTRE is accelerating development and deployment of automated road transport by increasing market and policy certainties. CARTRE supports the development of clearer and more consistent policies of EU Member States in collaboration with industry players ensuring that ART systems and services are compatible on a EU level and are deployed in a coherent way across Europe. CARTRE includes a joint stakeholders forum in order to coordinate and harmonise ART approaches at European and international level. CARTRE creates a solid knowledge base of all European activities, supports current activities and structures research outcomes by enablers and thematic areas. CARTRE involves more than 60 organisations to consolidate the current industry and policy fragmentation surrounding the development of ART.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.08M | Year: 2017

The aim of this Project is to create an International and Intersectoral network to facilitate the exchange of staff to progress developments in reminding technologies for persons with dementia which can be deployed in smart environments. The focus will be on developing staff and partner skills in the areas of user centered design and behavioral science coupled with improved computational techniques which in turn will offer more appropriate and efficacious reminding solutions. This will be further supported through research involving user centric studies into the use of reminding technologies and the theory of behaviour change to improve compliance of usage. A program of work has been established to maximise the transfer of knowledge between the different sectors offering a range of development and training opportunities for staff. Industrial staff will benefit from bi-lateral exchanges from the technical domains of context aware reminding technologies, soft computing, aware intelligent systems, pervasive computing and the psychological domain of behaviour change. The academic beneficiaries will benefit from gaining experience in the development of industrial standard software conforming to ISO and medical standards, engagement with stakeholders through a user centred design process and working with organisations delivering care to the elderly and persons with dementia. The consortium is comprised of an International network of beneficiaries and partners, all of which are committed to progressing the notion of reminding technologies within smart environments.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: RUR-10-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

Organic/low input cereal food systems in the EU are emerging in answer to the sustainability crisis of the conventional agri-food sector. Alternative systems are based on local, decentralized approaches to production and processing, regard to quality and health, and short supply chains for products with strong local identities. Diversity is deeply embedded in these food systems, from the agro-biodiversity grown in farmers fields, which improves resilience and adaptation, to diverse approaches, contexts and actors in food manufacturing and marketing. Diversity thus becomes a cross-sectoral issue, underlying innovations in the agronomic, processing, and marketing phases which respond to consumers demand for healthy products. CEREREs objective is to foster and speed up these innovations to strengthen the economic, social and environmental sustainability of these cereal food systems, consolidate links among practitioners and with researchers, further enhance the resilience of agro-ecosystems and make the overall sector more competitive and better recognized by society. By creating a multi-actor network of researchers and communities of practice, by adopting a bottom-up approach, and by liaising with EIP-AGRI Operational Groups, CERERE will synthesize, share and disseminate existing best practices, research results and co-innovative solutions in organic/low-input cereal food systems, focusing particularly on agro-biodiversity and the associated values of quality and health. Through its activities and training products, CERERE will address the key issues and most urgent needs of these systems: availability/ management of adapted germplasm, use of rotations, soil fertility, weed competitiveness and crop protection strategies, quality-oriented processing techniques, alternative marketing schemes. For each of these, CERERE will identify opportunities for better integrating science and practice, paving the way for more dynamic interactions between the two domains.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-33-2016 | Award Amount: 2.86M | Year: 2017

Despite process heat is recognized as the application with highest potential among solar heating and cooling applications, Solar Heat for Industrial Processes (SHIP) still presents a modest share of about 0.3% of total installed solar thermal capacity. As of todays technology development stage economic competitiveness restricted to low temperature applications; technology implementation requiring interference with existing heat production systems, heat distribution networks or even heat consuming processes - Solar thermal potential is mainly identified for new industrial capacity in outside Americas and Europe. In this context, INSHIP aims at the definition of a ECRIA engaging major European research institutes with recognized activities on SHIP, into an integrated structure that could successfully achieve the coordination objectives of: more effective and intense cooperation between EU research institutions; alignment of different SHIP related national research and funding programs, avoiding overlaps and duplications and identifying gaps; acceleration of knowledge transfer to the European industry, to be the reference organization to promote and coordinate the international cooperation in SHIP research from and to Europe, while developing coordinated R&D TRLs 2-5 activities with the ambition of progressing SHIP beyond the state-of-the-art through: an easier integration of low and medium temperature technologies suiting the operation, durability and reliability requirements of industrial end users; expanding the range of SHIP applications to the EI sector through the development of suitable process embedded solar concentrating technologies, overcoming the present barrier of applications only in the low and medium temperature ranges; increasing the synergies within industrial parks, through centralized heat distribution networks and exploiting the potential synergies of these networks with district heating and with the electricity grid.


Lopez-Ortega A.,University of Florence | Estrader M.,University of Barcelona | Salazar-Alvarez G.,University of Stockholm | Roca A.G.,Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology | And 2 more authors.
Physics Reports | Year: 2015

The applications of exchange coupled bi-magnetic hard/soft and soft/hard ferromagnetic core/shell nanoparticles are reviewed. After a brief description of the main synthesis approaches and the core/shell structural-morphological characterization, the basic static and dynamic magnetic properties are presented. Five different types of prospective applications, based on diverse patents and research articles, are described: permanent magnets, recording media, microwave absorption, biomedical applications and other applications. Both the advantages of the core/shell morphology and some of the remaining challenges are discussed. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Lo Nostro P.,University of Florence
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

Hofmeister's work provided significant information about the importance of ion specificity in biology. Specific ion effects occurred in simple aqueous solutions of electrolytes involving properties such as viscosity, density, refractive index, heat capacity, activity coefficient, freezing point depression and boiling point elevation, and osmotic pressure. Hofmeister's work on the relative effectiveness of different salts on the precipitation of proteins and some other colloids was initiated in the 1870s. He demonstrated that salts and trace amounts of specific ions determined the structure and function of the hierarchically lower structures that supported life. They participated in the osmotic regulation of cells and in the main living processes and any biological system suffered a significant stress when specific salt concentrations were varied or one was replaced with another.


Lombardi L.,Niccolo Cusano University | Carnevale E.,University of Florence | Corti A.,University of Siena
Waste Management | Year: 2015

The aim of this work is to identify the current level of energy recovery through waste thermal treatment. The state of the art in energy recovery from waste was investigated, highlighting the differences for different types of thermal treatment, considering combustion/incineration, gasification and pyrolysis. Also different types of wastes - Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) or Solid Refuse Fuels (SRF) and some typologies of Industrial Waste (IW) (sludge, plastic scraps, etc.) - were included in the analysis. The investigation was carried out mainly reviewing papers, published in scientific journals and conferences, but also considering technical reports, to gather more information.In particular the goal of this review work was to synthesize studies in order to compare the values of energy conversion efficiencies measured or calculated for different types of thermal processes and different types of waste.It emerged that the dominant type of thermal treatment is incineration associated to energy recovery in a steam cycle. When waste gasification is applied, the produced syngas is generally combusted in a boiler to generate steam for energy recovery in a steam cycle. For both the possibilities-incineration or gasification- cogeneration is the mean to improve energy recovery, especially for small scale plants. In the case of only electricity production, the achievable values are strongly dependent on the plant size: for large plant size, where advanced technical solutions can be applied and sustained from an economic point of view, net electric efficiency may reach values up to 30-31%. In small-medium plants, net electric efficiency is constrained by scale effect and remains at values around 20-24%. Other types of technical solutions - gasification with syngas use in internally fired devices, pyrolysis and plasma gasification - are less common or studied at pilot or demonstrative scale and, in any case, offer at present similar or lower levels of energy efficiency. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV-NMP.2011.2.2-5 | Award Amount: 2.53M | Year: 2011

The IMAT project aims to integrate the cutting edge research in nanotechnology with that of cultural heritage conservation for the development of new advanced conservation techniques and materials. A consortium of researchers representing expertise in the areas of art conservation, nanotechnology, and thermo-electrical engineering, has been assembled with the purpose of inventing an advanced precision heating technology and designing a series of portable, highly accurate flexible mild heating devices specifically for broad application in the field of art conservation, employing, but not limited to the new technology of carbon nanotubes (CNT). The new technology and product acknowledges and responds to a glaring omission in fundamental conservation instrumentation. The control over the application of heat often constitutes the core of success in structural treatment of diverse cultural heritage objects, yet sources currently available to conservators are unable to guarantee accuracy, control or uniformity, and therefore may compromise the favourable outcome of treatment. The lack of mobile high precision and accessible instrumentation impacts conservation treatment capacities and the long-term preservation of irreplaceable cultural heritage in the most direct way, since objects may be and are exposed to risk because of inadequate or unavailable instrumentation. This is particularly relevant to treatments that take place in the field, including emergency responses, that often must rely on inadequate tools. The heating table, long considered a basic piece of laboratory equipment for previous methodologies, is now out of sync with the current direction of conservation that favours minimally invasive treatments with respect to those of the past and requires enhanced mobility and versatility. The IMAT goals therefore will hit the core of this problem in many ways and the results will have a lasting impact on conservation methodology and beyond. The unique properties of carbon nanotube (CNT) materials will allow for the design of thin, lightweight, even transparent, stretchable and woven mild heaters with low power needs as an ultra-portable, versatile and efficient alternative for diverse thermal treatments. The development of the IMAT device and methodology will represent a unique opportunity to impact the field of conservation of heritage products in a significant manner, and the full extent of the potential for application will become evident only during the execution of the three-year project. Further application of the technology to fields outside of art conservation, such as art transportation, medical field, aeronautics, car industry, apparel industry and more will be investigated. The project was conceived with a research-based objective, focusing on the creation of the IMAT device in order to improve the quality, accessibility and cost effectiveness of a fundamental tool for art conservators in Europe and globally.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.4.4-2 | Award Amount: 3.79M | Year: 2012

The current approach to diagnosis and management of the rare disease systemic sclerosis (SSc) is based on American College of Rheumatology criteria with low sensitivity and few validated recommendations for the therapy of the disease and its manifold organ manifestations. To overcome these shortcomings, the DeSScipher project will use the multinational, prospective and open EUSTAR (Scleroderma Trials and Research group of the European League Against Rheumatism) SSc cohort based on the established MEDSonline database which covers >30 data items and will evolve into a multimodular tool to answer step-by-step all immanent questions in a long-term setting according to the nature of the disease. The resulting progress will address functionally disabling manifestations affecting the hands (digital ulcers and arthritis), and compare the efficacy and safety of off-label drugs in the treatment of vital organ manifestations. Specifically, the DeSScipher project will evaluate (i) the utility of a combination of easy-to-perform clinical and laboratory investigations in combination with capillaroscopy for identifying SSc patients at risk for the development of digital ulcers at an early stage (ii) the prevention and treatment of digital ulcers and hand arthritis in order to improve long-term disability and quality of life, (iii) the efficacy of different immunosuppressive agents in attenuating or inhibiting pulmonary fibrosis, (iv) the optimal treatment options for reducing morbidity and mortality of pulmonary hypertension and severe heart disease in SSc. Based on the results of these observational trials, the DeSScipher project will develop evidence-based clinical guidelines for the future management of adult and juvenile SSc to be disseminated widely and rapidly to physicians and patients. Novel outcome measures will also be provided as a basis for future clinical trials.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 8.88M | Year: 2011

REFORM is targeted towards development of guidance and tools to make river restoration and mitigation measures more cost-effective and to support the 2nd and future River Basin Management Plans (RMBPs) for the WFD. Aims of REFORM are (1) to provide a framework for improving the success of hydromorphological restoration measures and (2) to assess more effectively the state of rivers, floodplains and connected groundwater systems. The restoration framework addresses the relevance of dynamic processes at various spatial and temporal scales, the need for setting end-points, analysis of risks and benefits, integration with other societal demands (e.g. flood protection and water supply), and resilience to climate change. The consortium comprises scientists and practitioners covering a wide range of disciplines (hydrology, hydraulics and geomorphology, ecology, socio-economics). The workplan is organized in three modules: (1) natural processes, (2) degradation, (3) restoration. Data from monitoring programmes and restoration projects will be pooled and linked with landscape-scale hydromorphological and physiographic data and catchment models. Targeted field and experimental studies using common protocols will fill data gaps on the role of scale in restoration success. A wide range of statistical modeling approaches will improve indicators for hydromorphological change and factors determining restoration success. All work packages are multidisciplinary and will feed into products for application in river basin management, e.g. guidelines for successful restoration and a web-based tool for exchanging experiences with river restoration measures facilitated and enhanced through consultation with stakeholders. In addition to its impact on the RBMPs, REFORM will provide guidance to other EU directives (groundwater, floods, energy from renewable resources, habitats) to integrate their objectives into conservation and restoration of rivers as sustainable ecosystems


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2009-6.3.1. | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2010

BLUE-ETS is a project on official business statistics and, specifically, on one of EU NSIs key challenges; that is, providing high quality and robust statistical information, for better policy and socio-economic research, and to support the renewed Lisbon Strategy, while: (1) reducing the response burden; (2) simplifying and setting priorities; (3) cutting costs on enterprises, that stem from red-tape, over-regulation and duplications; (4) modernizing and re-engineering the methods for the production of statistics; (5) making data collection less burdensome and providing more information . Along with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, BLUE-ETS key aim is to support and contribute to the success of the EU Commission Communications MEETS Decision including Better Regulation for Growth and Jobs in the European Union; Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in the European Union; and the Reduction of the response burden, simplification and priority setting in the field of Community statistics. Accordingly, BLUE-ETS is expected to contribute to the success of the EU MEETS Decision. Accordingly, the project is tailored on MEETS objectives, especially to better and more-cost-effective statistics, by (1) Distilling and spreading EU-wide frontier knowledge, stemming from different EU NSIs lessons from experience, on how to address common issues, which would allow to share problems, which are akin and involve applying knowledge in both collecting, producing and making available business statistics to governments and the public at large; (2) Learning from each other as to how chart best a common strategy and a road to cost-effectively and successfully address the MEETS challenges, without repeating mistakes; (3) Converging towards a coherent, common or compatible, cost-effective and efficient EU state of the art or best practice in Business Statistics.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 16.45M | Year: 2013

DESIRE will focus on epileptogenic developmental disorders EDD, i.e. early onset epilepsies whose origin is closely related to developmental brain processes. A major cause of EDD are malformations of cortical development (MCD), either macroscopic or subtle. EDD are often manifested as epileptic encephalopathies (EE), i.e. conditions in which epileptic activity itself may contribute to severe cognitive and behavioral impairments. EDD are the most frequent drug-resistant pediatric epilepsies carrying a lifelong perspective of disability and reduced quality of life. Although EDD collectively represent a major medical and socio-economic burden, their molecular diagnosis, pathogenic mechanisms (PM) and rationale treatment are poorly understood. Specific objectives of DESIRE are to advance the state of the art with respect to: (1) the genetic and epigenetic causes and PM of EDD, particularly epileptogenic MCD, to elucidate molecular networks and disrupted protein complexes and search for common bases for these apparently heterogeneous disorders. (2) the diagnostic tools (biomarkers) and protocols through the study of a unique and well-characterized cohort of children to provide standardized diagnosis for patient stratification and research across Europe. (3) treatment of EDD using randomized, multidisciplinary clinical protocols and testing preclinical strategies in experimental models to also address novel preventative strategies. The workplan spans from clinical observation, to whole exome studies, cellular and animal models and basic research, identification of biomarkers and improvement of diagnostic methods, and back to the clinical trials and assessment of innovative, targeted treatment strategies. The consortium partners have an outstanding track record in genetics, basic neurophysiology, neuropathology and clinical research. Specialized expertise will be made available by the SMEs involved to develop novel diagnostic tools for tailored treatment approaches.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2010.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 10.02M | Year: 2011

BIOFAT is a microalgae to biofuel Demonstration project with a farming area of 10-ha for microalgae cultivation and a target annual productivity of 100 tons per ha. The project will integrate all the processes from single cell to biofuel production. The production stage will be based on photobioreactors for inocula production, and raceways for production of bulk biomass and induction of oil/starch accumulation, necessary to obtain the biofuel (biodiesel and bioethanol). Carbon dioxide derived from fermentation will be used. Biomass harvesting will be done by pre-concentration and subsequent centrifugation. A low-energy input centrifuge will be used. Extraction will be done by mechanical cell disruption of wet (25-30% dry solids) paste. Oil will be transformed into biodiesel by transesterification, and carbohydrates to bioethanol through fermentation. Oil and carbohydrate accumulation will be obtained by nutrient stress using specific algal strains. Only marine strains will be used to avoid any competition with food crops. BIOFAT will also develop the concept of algorefinery (i.e., high value co-products besides biofuels). BIOFAT will demonstrate at 10-ha scale proven and tested technologies which have been developed by Consortium members at small scale. Innovation will be in the scaling-up of the process to the 10-ha Demo Plant. Specific Engineering and Business Plans for setting up the 10-ha Demo Plant will be based on the results obtained from operation of 2 0,5 ha Pilot Plants (Italy and Portugal). The 2 prototypes existing in Israel and Italy will be used for the training of a development team. The overall sustainability of the algal biofuel and co-products production will be evaluated by LCA. The project will have a duration of 4 years. A funding of 7,733 K will be requested to the EC. A specific investment for the Demo Plant will be provided by investors according to the Business Plan developed by the Consortium and by mobilizing the necessary investment support from RSFF.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.71M | Year: 2010

Persistent infections such as HIV, tuberculosis(TB) in humans and para-tuberculosis (ParaTB)-, mycoplasma- and Haemophilus-infections in farm animals are global health problems of immense social and economic importance . HIV-1 affects about 40 million people and M. tuberculosis infection is even higher world-wide. Co-infection with M. tuberculosis is estimated in about one-third of HIV-1 infected subjects. Globally, there are more than 14 million persons dually infected with TB and HIV. Drug resistance to HIV-treatment and appearance of multiple-drug resistance (MDR) and off late of Extra-Drug Resistance (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis , the causative agent of human TB is steadily leading to a hopeless situation as far as therapy is concerned. To make things worse, there is no effective vaccine available against the persistent infections addresses in this proposal. The four SME members of this consortium with complimentary areas of research and business activities, LIONEX (in TB), Prionics (in ParaTB) , Vichem (in HIV) and IVD (in pig infections) are dedicated to solving the problems of the persistent infections mentioned above by employing novel strategies of product development for diagnosis, prevention and control of these global diseases by outsourcing demanding but feasible work to internationally known research organisations (RTDP) with highly positive track record. The SMEs alone cannot perform the outsourced work but shall validate and exploit the results provided by the RTDPs. Our novel but realistic objectives are: 1. To develop new drug candidates for drug resistant persistent infections (HIV and TB) 2. To identify and isolate novel antigens for the diagnosis of TB, ParaTB and infections in pigs 3. To identify antigens suitable for vaccine development for these persistent infections 4. To develop marketable, improved diagnostic products within a period of three years


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.63M | Year: 2013

Adequate vegetable consumption is fundamental to a healthy balanced diet, however, EU compliance with dietary guidelines is poor and further research is required to overcome consumption barriers. The aim of VeggiEAT is to develop an EU platform for predictive modelling of processed vegetable intake that takes into account individual characteristics (acceptability, intake level, age groups) as well as environmental cues (choice architecture and institutional setting). This aim will be achieved through the development of consumer-oriented products (sensory analysis); the development of recipes for use by food providers (restaurants, canteens, etc.); and the benchmarking of choice architecture facilitating the consumption of vegetables. Results will be gathered and modelled to provide strategic intelligence for decision-making (by Industry) and for policy purposes (by the EU); further, this translational research will be disseminated both at scientific and consumer levels. The application of these results will contribute to operational benefits for European vegetable manufacturers (growers, processors, retailers etc), while adding to the body of knowledge regarding consumer behaviour and preferences towards vegetables. The conceptual model will translate the latest academic research results into a greater understanding of factors determining vegetable consumption while informing a commercially viable vegetable product and therefore strengthen European competitiveness. This Industry-Academia-SME collaboration will invigorate the vegetable sector in Europe while addressing in a constructive way the EU objectives of healthier eating at population level.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-5 | Award Amount: 8.12M | Year: 2011

Among patients with adrenal masses Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) and malignant pheochromocytomas (MPH) are found with a low incidence but very unfavorable prognosis. Due to this poor clinical outcome, concomitant hormone dysregulation and limited treatment options the two cancer entities severely impact on affected patients. However, the rarity of the tumors also impedes clinical studies which are affected by fragmentation and low cohort sizes. The European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENS@T) has recently implemented a collection of adrenal tumor related databases and defined an associated network of Biological Resource Centers devoted to research on adrenal tumors. The concurrence of recent achievements of this evolving network, the progress in the understanding of molecular mechanisms and increasing availability of specific diagnostic and therapeutic tools for adrenal cancers provides the unique opportunity to achieve unmatched progress in the implementation of both translation and clinical research dedicated to ACC and MPH. Specifically, the newly formed ENS@T-CANCER consortium will address the following topics: 1. Structuring European clinical and translational research through implementation of a virtual research environment, 2. Improving clinical outcome of patients with adrenal cancer by conducting interventional trials carried out by European centers of excellence, 3. Improvement of differential diagnosis and risk stratification of adrenal cancer, 4. Identification and validation of tools for follow-up of patients with adrenal cancer, 5. Identification of novel biomarkers for treatment response. The ultimate aim of the ENS@T-CANCER Consortium is to develop research in the field of adrenal cancers to improve diagnosis and treatment abilities. The Network will allow recruiting sufficient patients in all relevant European centers, to harmonize diagnosis criteria and to use the various technological approaches of a number of laboratories.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2016

The calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) is a class C Gprotein-coupled receptor that plays a pivotal role in systemic calcium metabolism by regulating parathyroid hormone secretion and urinary Ca excretion. Abnormal CaSR function is implicated in calciotropic disorders, and in non-calciotropic disorders such as Alzheimers disease (AD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes (DM), sarcopenia and cancer, which account for >25% of the global disease burden. The CaSR is a unique GPCR whose principal physiological ligand is the Ca2\ ion; it is expressed almost ubiquitously; interacts with multiple G subtypes regulating highly divergent downstream signalling pathways, depending on the cellular context. The CaSR Biomedicine is a fully translational project that utilises the concept of a single molecule, the CaSR, influencing a range of physiological and disease processes, to develop a unique, strong multidisciplinary and intersectoral scientific training programme preparing 14 young scientists to become specialists in GPCR biology and signalling. The objectives of CaSR Biomedicine are: 1. Educate and train Early Stage Researchers to become highly innovative scientists to enhance their career perspective. 2. Elucidate ligand- and tissue-dependent differences in CaSR physiology by examining its functions at cellular level and thus to contribute to the understanding of GPCR signalling in general. 3. Assess how CaSR function is altered in AD, CVD, DM, sarcopenia, and cancer, and to find innovative CaSR-based therapeutic approaches for these major, age-related disorders. 4. Establish long-lasting interdisciplinary and intersectoral cooperation among researchers and between researchers and industry, to strengthen the European Research Area. Therefore the CaSR Biomedicine will investigate the complexity of CaSR signalling and function to identify CaSR-based therapeutic approaches to diseases linked to changes in CaSR expression or function (AD, CVD, DM, sarcopenia, and cancer).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.5-01 | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2011

Gentle remediation options (g.r.o.) include various (mostly plant based) approaches to remediate trace element contaminated soils at low cost and without significant negative effects for the environment. Although g.r.o. comprise very innovative and efficient technologies, they are still not widely used as practical site solution due to several reasons of hindrance for applying g.r.o. as practical solution. Greenland is bringing gentle remediation options (phytoremediation, in situ stabilisation) into practical application and to solve the final problems comprising still major reasons of hindrance. The major objectives are: test the remediation efficiency and success in pilot field case studies develop a toolkit to quantify the remediation progress and targets (no total, but bioavailable trace element fractions) test different technologies of biomass valorisation (incineration, gasification, biodiesel production, etc.) develop a decision support tool publish a best practice guide Greenland has defined two groups of end users: 1) companies that will offer gentle remediation options commercially (including the treatment of metal-rich biomass) - these group is part of the project consortium 2) stakeholders (including environmental agencies) that will decide for gentle remediation options - these are not part of the project consortium but of the advisory board. The main task of the advisory board is to take part at 4 Greenland meetings (kick off, 2 midterm, final meeting) to give feedback on the project progress. The members of the advisory board should especially consider if their requirements are met (e.g. do we provide all needed information to allow the future stakeholders deciding for gentle remediation options). The travel costs will be covered by the consoritum.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-5 | Award Amount: 13.82M | Year: 2008

In vitro diagnostics have allowed a great deal of progress in medicine but are limited by two factors: (a) the lack of guidelines in collection, handling, stabilisation and storage of biosamples which limits the reproducibility of subsequent diagnoses, and (b) its scale is restrained to the cellular level. To address this first point, this IP, SPIDIA, built of clinicians, academics, tool and assay developers, aims to develop quality guidelines for molecular in vitro diagnostics and to standardize the pre-analytical workflow in related procedures. Regarding the second point, SPIDIA aims to develop modern pre-analytical tools for diagnostics improving the stabilisation, handling and study of free biomolecules within blood, plasma, serum, tissues and tumours. Recent discoveries have revealed that RNA, DNA or proteins, released from pathological sites, like tumour cells or Alzheimers disease (AD) brain lesions, into the blood or as a secondary blood based response to the disease can serve as biomarkers for early and reliable molecular diagnosis of such debilitating diseases. Further discoveries have shown that the cellular profiles of these molecules and structures in clinical samples can change during transport and storage thus making clinical assay results and pharmaceutical research unreliable or even impossible. It will therefore be a decisive prerequisite for future and current diagnostic assays to develop standards and new technologies, tools and devices that eliminate the human error in the pre-analytical steps of in vitro diagnostics. At this crucial moment in the development of molecular diagnostics, SPIDIA proposes an IP that reunites 7 private research companies (including 4 SMEs), 1 private research institute, 6 public research organisms, including universities, hospitals and biobanks, one management SME and an official European Standards Organisation. This strong consortium is balanced and empowered to maximise the impacts of in vitro diagnostics on human health.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-4.1-06 | Award Amount: 3.36M | Year: 2008

Recent figures from WHO and ETSC reveal frightening statistics on road traffic accidents across Europe and beyond 1.2 million people worldwide are killed in road crashes each year with up to 43,000 dying in Europe Up to 50 million are injured with at least 600,000 hospital admissions on a European level directly attributed to road traffic accidents. This costs European society approximately 160 billion euro and uses up 10% of all health care resources With increased mobilization, these figures will increase by about 65% over the next 20 years unless there is new commitment to prevention. This would mean that by 2020 road traffic injuries will be the third leading contributor to the global burden of disease and injury. World Report on Road Traffic Injury Prevention [WHO, 2004] Report on European Road Transport Safety [Prof. Mackay, ETSC, 2000] Many injuries and deaths are a result of impacts with current road restraint systems especially in the case of vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and passengers where impacts with supports or edges usually result in amputations or sectioning of torsos in a guillotine effect. Furthermore once an accident has occurred; the time between the impact and receiving immediate initial first aid can be crucial; delays in alerting emergency services or incorrect location information given to emergency can cause waste life saving moments for injured people or even result in emergency services going to the wrong location of the accident. This project will develop a new smart road restraint system that will reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused in road traffic accidents by integrating primary and tertiary sensor systems in a new RRS system; providing greater protection to all road users, alerting motorists and emergency services of danger so as to prevent accidents happening, and alerting them of accidents as they happen to maximise response time to the exact location of the incident.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.23 | Award Amount: 11.05M | Year: 2011

Offshore Renewable Conversion systems are mostly at the pre-commercial stage of development. They comprise wave energy and tidal stream converters as well as offshore wind turbines for electrical generation. These devices require research to be undertaken at a series of scales along the path to commercialization. Each technology type is currently at a different stage of development but each one also needs specific research infrastructures to facilitate and catalyze commercialization. The aim of this project is to coordinate research and development at all scales (small models through to prototype scales from Laboratory through to Open Sea tests) and to allow access for researchers and developers into facilities which are not available universally in Europe. The linking together of facilities at different scales together with the incorporation of test facilities for components such as power take-off systems, grid integration, moorings, environmental tests will ensure a focusing of activities in this area. MaRINET brings together an Infrastructure with 42 Facilities from 28 Partners spread across 11 EU countries and 1 ICPC, Brazil. It also brings together a network of expertise in the Offshore Marine Renewable Energy sector with experience at all scales of offshore technology research and development. MaRINET offers over 600 weeks of access to 300 projects and 800 external users. The majority (77%) of the MaRINET budget has been targeted in the areas most prioritized in the EC Call such as networking, training, dissemination and transnational access.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-4.2-01 | Award Amount: 1.34M | Year: 2008

By consolidating and advancing the knowledge on factors that facilitate peace and foster human security, this project meets the goals of the 7th Framework area 8.4.2. Conflicts, Peace, and Human Rights. Namely, it investigates whether, how, and under what conditions multi-stakeholder partnerships can positively impact on human security and thus, facilitate non-violence and long-term peace, and provide a productive framework for relations between local actors and external actors, including third party mediators and international organisations. The project moves from the recognition that there is a widespread agreement among both academics and policy makers on the need to adopt more comprehensive, integrative, and participatory approaches in post-conflict interventions. Within this broader framework, multi-staekholder partnerships are then emerging as one of the preferred tools geared towards enhancing participation, legitimacy and effectiveness of post-conflict interventions. However, there is a clear lack of systematic analysis of the multi-stakeholder partnerships and of evaluation of their concrete impact on effectiveness and sustainability of post-conflict reconstruction initiatives. The project will base its empirical investigation on three core case studies of core political interest to the EU today: Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Afghanistan. By employing a participatory methodology, the project will ensure the highest degree of on-going feedback between its researchers and different local and international actors operating in these settings and will explore opportunities to directly impact on partnerships that are evolving in these societies. By translating its findings into policy recommendations, the project will contribute to enhancing the role of Europe in conflict prevention and resolution as well as in fostering the rule of law.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ICT-SEC-2007-1.0-03 | Award Amount: 4.33M | Year: 2009

The key idea of proposed project is to research and implement a reference methodology for developing security systems based on NEC Information and Integration Services, able to integrate information from many and heterogeneous sources, in order to build up or improve the situation awareness of critical infrastructures. In particular, the main objectives include: Definition of a operational scenarios, analysis and extraction of the system specifications. Definition and design of a NI2S3 for the decision making support regarding the security, resiliency and availability of the subject infrastructures. Definition a set of metrics or tools and setting up validation capabilities to develop the ongoing architecture and system. Develop a NI2S3 application demo. Develop a technology for measuring the performance, robustness and reliability of such system. Dissemination and exploitation of the results


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-9 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2008

The specificity of odor recognition by Anopheles gambiae odorant binding proteins (OBPs) and odorant receptors (ORs) will be investigated and correlated with quantifiable physiological and behavioral responses. For olfactory proteins involved in the detection of human hosts, OBP-OR pairs residing in common antennal olfactory sensilla and recognizing common host-related ligands will be identified using high-throughput screening assays employing purified recombinant OBPs, reconstituted insect cell-based OR expression platforms and libraries of synthetic and natural compounds. OBP crystal-based structure determination and modeling of ligand fitting into OBP and OR ligand-binding pockets will also be carried out in order to design ligand mimetics with improved binding and functional properties. The effectiveness of newly identified ligands will be established by in vivo electrophysiological and behavioral assays on female mosquitoes. Finally, lead compounds acting as disruptors of normal olfactory and host seeking mosquito behavior but lacking mammalian cell toxicity will be tested in model sites in Africa where A. gambiae (and malaria) is endemic to determine efficacy characteristics under conditions that simulate the sites of possible application of newly developed products. This approach to dissecting mosquito vector olfactory function should yield results that will enhance our understanding of the mechanisms that control odor recognition in mosquitoes. The identification of multiple disruptors of host seeking behavior of female mosquitoes will provide multiple new and effective tools to be employed in the effort to reduce the incidence of contact between the human host and the insect vector carrying the malaria parasite. Last but not least, the outcome of the proposed studies should serve as a paradigm for analogous efforts aimed at a reduction in disease transmission by other disease-carrying insect vectors.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-9 | Award Amount: 3.48M | Year: 2008

The research program aims to understand the dynamics of the structural and functional organization of the visual cortex and the implications for amblyopia (lazy eye, the most prevalent visual disorder among young people). We will study these fundamental issues from the molecular level all the way to the network level. To achieve this, members of the consortium have - for the first time - established chronic in vivo two photon imaging of Ca2\ responses in the visual cortex by making use of a novel genetically encoded Ca2\ sensor. Using this powerful new methodology we will study how experience changes firing properties of individual neurons of known identity and how this correlates with changes in inhibitory and excitatory synaptic structures. Using the same approach we will study the neuronal substrate of amblyopia and how it alters coding of visual information. Next we will study how binocular experience leads to recovery from amblyopia and how perceptual learning can improve this in animal models and human subjects. This knowledge will be directly translated into new treatments of amblyopia by one of the participating SMEs. Last we will study the molecular and cellular mechanisms that restrict plasticity in the adult visual system with the aim to achieve increased experience dependent plasticity in the adult brain. This knowledge can be used for the treatment of disorders of the CNS from which recovery is limited due to restricted plasticity. Apart from amblyopia, these include brain tumors, stroke, degenerative diseases and trauma. Together this program will provide comprehensive insight into the neuronal interactions underpinning function and dysfunction of the visual cortex and will contribute directly to improved treatment of amblyopia and development of plasticity based approaches for curing a large array of disorders of the CNS.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EURO-3-2014 | Award Amount: 2.85M | Year: 2015

TransSOL is committed to the systematic, interdisciplinary and praxis-oriented analysis of European solidarity in times of crisis. It has three overarching objectives: (a) it will map and analyse solidarity in Europe by means of a cross-national database that comprises three surveys addressing the general population, organized civil society, and claims-making in the media; (b) it will gather systematic data on the contextual factors and engage into political and legal analyses to ascertain the influence of the socio-economic, political, and legal context on solidarity, in particular the impact of the crisis, the EUs political responses and target-groups specific public policies; and (c) it will identify and develop best practices of transnational solidarity, draft evidence-based policy recommendations, and engage proactive dissemination and communication activities. The project comprises teams from Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the UK, including scientists from various disciplines and civil society practitioners, thus promising to deliver interdisciplinary and comparative analyses, knowledge-transfer and evidence-based, practicable recommendations. The project will enable us to address the three topics of the call. First, TransSOL will provide the first rigorous and comprehensive analysis of transnational solidarity in Europe, its main forms, conditioning factors (e.g., individual features as gender and social class, spatial inequalities, and contextual factors), and underlying conflicts about contending norms, identities, and interests. Secondly, the project will address the impact of Europes cultural diversity and multiple identities on European solidarity by analysing public claims-making and debates within the media. And finally, we engage into a critical reflection about adequate policy responses, in particular about the potentials of social investments balancing civic virtues of solidarity with public responsibilities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.8.4 | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2009

ASSYST will coordinate research around the call Science of complex systems for socially intelligent ICT (COSI-ICT) in the context of the wider science of complex systems (CS).ASSYST will make Complex Systems science and the potential of COSI-ICT better understood by scientific policy makers and funders at national and international levels in Europe. It will showcase sucessful applications of the science. It will inform European policy makers on the global context of European CS and COSI-ICT and funding polices. It will advise policy makers and scientists on the state of the art, and provide high-quality input and advice for funding policies at national level and for the funding agencies of the European Commission including FP7.ASSYST will promote applications of complex systems and COSI-ICT in the public and private sectors, and publicise successful applications. It will build bridges between complex systems scientists and industry and commerce in Europe, and actively promote civil and commercial applications of the new ICT-driven science.ASSYST will achieve its mission through organising many meetings across Europe and around the world with targeted outcomes related to its objectives, through proactive engagement with policymakers, the business community, and the public sector. It will provide open educational resources to promote complex systems science and COSI-ICT. It will provide conference support for rapid dissemination of complex systems and COSI-ICT research. It will collect information and publish it in easily accessible forms available through an excellent one stop CS and COSI-ICT web site.To make the impact of ASSYST sustainable in the long term, it will work closely with the Complex Systems Society which will take over its assets and continue its mission when the project ends.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2007-3-01 | Award Amount: 1.11M | Year: 2008

Current trends in agricultural production are based on advanced technologies, including the extensive application of information technologies. In particular, the usage of wireless sensor networks (WSN) and remote sensing (RS) ensure timely in-field access to data and enable prompt reactions. Measures can be administered with more precision and effectiveness, thus providing higher food quality, environmental protection and considerable savings. In addition, a better understanding of underlying processes, and validation and adjustments of the used models can be achieved. Agriculture is one of the principal business affairs in WBC region. This especially holds for the Province of Vojvodina, a regional leader in which agriculture represents 40% of GDP. However, the use of IT support is missing, and its introduction in the regional agricultural infrastructure is of the highest importance. Networking and exchange of know-how within this project will lead to the reinforcement of the research potential and provide a substantial support for further development of modern agriculture in the region. Coordinating institution for the project is the Centre for Measurement Technologies in Precision Agriculture (MeTeP@), founded at the University of Novi Sad, the leading academic institution in Vojvodina. The consortium members for this project have been carefully chosen to initiate the coordination of research activities in the fields of WSN and RS applied to the precision agriculture. Through this project MeTeP@ will improve its research potential and human resources by networking with EU partners, which will lead to a long-term cooperation. MeTeP@ expects to broaden both its knowledge and technical basis regarding WSN and RS, and offer new employment possibilities for researchers in the future. As a final point, both the research community and the WBC agricultural system will benefit from the results of this cooperation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2007-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.43M | Year: 2008

Currently, there is strong interest in the development of new bioassay techniques for gene identification, gene mapping, DNA sequencing and medical diagnostics. There are three main families of methods: Polymerase Chain Reaction, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and nano-particles agglutination techniques. All these methods suffer from several disadvantages as they are time-consuming and expensive, they are not quantitative and exclude multiplexing, i.e. the detection of different genotypes simultaneously. The need of a new multiplexing and quantitative bioassay technique is evident. The aim of this project is to develop a high sensitivity multiplexed platform based on a bio-non bio nanostructure able to enhance diagnostic capabilities by exploiting the dimensional shift from bio-systems to nanometric particles, thus overcoming many of the limitations of the existing methods. This method could be adapted to the detection of many kinds of bio-systems, but the project will focus on Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) responsible for cancer. The project idea is based on the development of nanoparticles functionalised with probes complementary to HPV DNA conservative region and an array of specific bio-probes for the different HPV genotypes deposited on a solid substrate. The nanoparticles will bind to the bio-system and then they will diffuse through the suspension docking to the area of the array where the probe specific for that genotype is coated. An array of nanoparticles will be created and the concentration of each HPV genotype can be quantified by estimating the number of particles bounded to each specific area. Considering the global worldwide market of the immune and genetic tests (20 Billion ) the potential economic impact can be up to 100 M. Private/public national or local health service providers will get benefits from NANO-MUBIOP, the single test cost being about 4 for the service provider. Last but not least, the costs will be reduced for the patients.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-4-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 12.00M | Year: 2015

PARTHENOS aims at strengthening the cohesion of research in the broad sector of Linguistic Studies, Humanities, Cultural Heritage, History, Archaeology and related fields through a thematic cluster of European Research Infrastructures, integrating initiatives, e-infrastructures and other world-class infrastructures, and building bridges between different, although tightly, interrelated fields. PARTHENOS will achieve this objective through the definition and support of common standards, the coordination of joint activities, the harmonization of policy definition and implementation, and the development of pooled services and of shared solutions to the same problems. PARTHENOS will address and provide common solutions to the definition and implementation of joint policies and solutions for the humanities and linguistic data lifecycle, taking into account the specific needs of the sector that require dedicated design, including provisions for cross-discipline data use and re-use, the implementation of common AAA (authentication, authorization, access) and data curation policies, including long-term preservation; quality criteria and data approval/certification; IPR management, also addressing sensitive data and privacy issues; foresight studies about innovative methods for the humanities; standardization and interoperability; common tools for data-oriented services such as resource discovery, search services, quality assessment of metadata, annotation of sources; communication activities; and joint training activities. Built around the two ERICs of the sector, DARIAH and CLARIN, and involving all the relevant Integrating Activities projects, PARTHENOS will deliver guidelines, standards, methods, services and tools to be used by its partners and by all the research community. It will exploit commonalities and synergies to optimize the use of resources in related domains.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 2.88M | Year: 2013

ECHONET is an Initial Training Network (ITN) comprising 8 full network participants from 6 countries, spanning 6 academic institutions and two private sector organisations, the latter representing SME and Global fine chemicals companies. The network is also supported by 2 associated partners from the private sector. Taken together, the consortium will offer research training and generic skills development by embarking on state-of-the-art chemical synthesis problems and by employing new approaches in catalysis, computational chemistry, bioactive molecule design and high throughput synthesis. As a whole, ECHONET offers tremendous opportunities for research training in an international interdisciplinary environment. It is anticipated that this network will make a significant contribution to the expertise already present in Europe, and will continue to play an important role in the progress of European fine chemical industries and related fields. ECHONET will be supported by 11 early stage researchers and 2 experienced researchers and their research training will be supplemented by formal courses and industrial experience, therefore offering valuable exposure to commercial environments.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-17-2015 | Award Amount: 9.63M | Year: 2016

The share of renewable energy is growing rapidly driven by the objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The amount of electric power which can be supplied to the grid depends on the time of the day and weather conditions. A conventional fleet of thermal power plants is required to compensate for these fluctuations before large scale energy storage technologies will be mature and economically viable. All power market projections expect this to be the case for the next 50 years at least. For a strong expansion of renewables, this fleet has to operate flexibly at competitive cost. Current power plants cannot fill this role immediately without impeding their efficiency and engine lifetime through increased wear and damage induced by the higher number of (shorter) operating/loading cycles. New technologies need to be introduced to balance demand peaks with renewable output fluctuations at minimal fuel consumption and emissions without negative effects on cycling operation. The FLEXTURBINE partners have developed a medium to long term technology roadmap addressing future and existing power plants. The FLEXTURBINE project presented hereafter is the first step in such technology roadmap and consists of: (1) new solutions for extended operating ranges to predict and control flutter, (2) improved sealing and bearing designs to increase turbine lifetime and efficiency by reducing degradation/damages, and (3) an improved lifecycle management through better control and prediction of critical parts to improve competitive costs by more flexible service intervals and planned downtime, and by reducing unplanned outages. In all areas, individual technologies will be developed from TRL 3 to TRL 4-6. FLEXTURBINE brings together the main European turbine manufacturers, renowned research institutes and universities. It involves plant and transmission system operators to include user feedback and to prepare the take-up of the FLEXTURBINE technologies in power plants world-wide.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: SCC-01-2015 | Award Amount: 29.25M | Year: 2016

The objective of REPLICATE is to demonstrate Smart City technologies in energy, transport and ICT in districts in San Sebastia, Florence and Bristol addressing urban complexity and generate replication plans in other districts and in follower cities of Essen, Nilufer and Lausanne. Main challenges for cities are to increase the overall energy efficiency, to exploit better local resources in terms of energy supply and demand side measures. For successful implementation of Smart City technologies two main elements are considered: - Cities are the customer: considering local specificities in integrated urban plans and the need to develop monitoring systems to extract conclusions for replication. - Solutions must be replicable, interoperable and scalable. REPLICATE considers also the complexity of cities, the tangible benefits for citizens, the financial mechanisms and the new business models. The 3 pillars implemented in the pilots with the engagement of citizens, private actors and authorities are: - Low energy districts: cost-effective retrofitting, new constructive techniques with optimal energy behaviour and high enthalpy RES in residential buildings. Include also efficient measures in public and residential buildings: ICT tools, PV, shading or natural ventilation; district heating is demonstrated hybridising local biomass, recovered heat and natural gas. - Integrated Infrastructure: deployment of ICT architecture, from internet of things to applications, to integrate the solutions in different areas. Smart Grids on electricity distribution network to address the new challenges, connecting all users: consumers, producers, aggregators and municipality. Intelligent lighting will allow automated regulation of the amount of light and integration of IP services via PLC. - Urban mobility: sustainable and smart urban bus service, electric urban bike transport, 3-wheeler delivery and transport services, deployment of EV charging infrastructures and ICT tools.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2012.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 5.94M | Year: 2013

In order to achieve the greening of the European air transport with the deployment of low emission and low noise propulsion systems the reduction of core noise plays an important role. The ability to design low core noise aero-engines requires the development of reliable prediction tools. This development demands extensive research with dedicated experimental test cases and sophisticated numerical and analytical modelling work to broaden the physical understanding of core noise generation mechanisms. This objective is only reachable with an extensive cooperation on the European level. In this proposal Research on Core Noise Reduction (RECORD) the major aero-engine manufacturers of five different European countries collaborate to enable the design of low core noise aero-engines. In RECORD the fundamental understanding of core noise generation and how can it be reduced will be achieved by combining the research competence of all European experts in universities and research organizations working in this field of core noise. This concept of the RECORD project is completed by the technology development of small and medium size enterprises distributed in Europe. RECORD will promote the understanding of noise generating mechanism and its propagation taking the interaction of combustor and turbine into account. The importance of direct and indirect noise will be quantified. Through carefully designed experiments and extensive numerical calculations, the numerical methods and assumptions will be validated and extended. As a result, low-order models will provide a quick approach for the noise design of combustors and subsequent turbine stages while the more time-consuming and expensive LES calculation will provide a more detailed picture of the flow physics. Finally, RECORD will develop means and methods for core noise reduction.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2011.1.6 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2011

The goal of EINS is coordinating and integrating European research aimed at achieving a deeper multidisciplinary understanding of the development of the Internet as a societal and technological artefact, whose evolution is increasingly interwined with that of human societies. Its main objective is to allow an open and productive dialogue between all the disciplines which study Internet systems under any technological or humanistic perspective, and which in turn are being transformed by the continuous advances in Internet functionalities and applications. EINS will bring together research institutions focusing on network engineering, computation, complexity, security, trust, mathematics, physics, sociology, game theory, economics, political sciences, humanities, law, energy, transport, artistic expression, and any other relevant social and life sciences.\nThis multidisciplinary bridging of the different disciplines may also be seen as the starting point for a new Internet Science, the theoretical and empirical foundation for an holistic understanding of the complex techno-social interactions related to the Internet. It is supposed to inform the future technological, social, political choices concerning Internet technologies, infrastructures and policies made by the various public and private stakeholders, for example as for the far-ended possible consequences of architectural choices on social, economic, environmental or political aspects, and ultimately on quality of life at large.\nThe individual contributing disciplines will themselves benefit from a more holistic understanding of the Internet principles and in particular of the network effect. The unprecedented connectivity offered by the Internet plays a role often underappreciated in most of them; whereas the Internet provides both an operational development platform and a concrete empirical and experimental model. These multi- and inter-disciplinary investigations will improve the design of elements of Future Internet, enhance the understanding of its evolving and emerging implications at societal level, and possibly identify universal principles for understanding the Internet-based world that will be fed back to the participating disciplines. EINS will:\nCoordinate the investigation, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, of specific topics at the intersection between humanistic and technological sciences, such as privacy & identity, reputation, virtual communities, security & resilience, network neutrality\nLay the foundations for an Internet Science, based i.a. on Network Science and Web Science, aiming at understanding the impact of the network effect on human societies & organisations, as for technological, economic, social & environmental aspects\nProvide concrete incentives for academic institutions and individual researchers to conduct studies across multiple disciplines, in the form of online journals, conferences, workshops, PhD courses, schools, contests, and open calls


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008.1.3.3.1. | Award Amount: 8.77M | Year: 2009

SafeLand will develop generic quantitative risk assessment and management tools and strategies for landslides at local, regional, European and societal scales and establish the baseline for the risk associated with landslides in Europe, to improve our ability to forecast landslide hazard and detect hazard and risk zones. The scientific work packages in SafeLand are organised in five Areas: Area 1 focuses on improving the knowledge on triggering mechanisms, processes and thresholds, including climate-related and anthropogenic triggers, and on run-out models in landslide hazard assessment; Area 2 does an harmonisation of quantitative risk assessment methodologies for different spatial scales, looking into uncertainties, vulnerability, landslide susceptibility, landslide frequency, and identifying hotspots in Europe with higher landslide hazard and risk; Area 3 focuses on future climate change scenarios and changes in demography and infrastructure, resulting in the evolution of hazard and risk in Europe at selected hotspots; Area 4 addresses the technical and practical issues related to monitoring and early warning for landslides, and identifies the best technologies available both in the context of hazard assessment and in the context of design of early warning systems; Area 5 provides a toolbox of risk mitigation strategies and guidelines for choosing the most appropriate risk management strategy. Maintaining the database of case studies, dissemination of the project results, and project management and coordination are defined in work packages 6, 7 and 8.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-8.3-2016 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2016

The Transportation sector employs over 10 million persons in the EU today. At the same time, Transport is a social sector that is rapidly developing, changing and being influenced to the maximum extent by the development of automation, electrification and greening of transport, among others, thus facing problems in staffing its several domains with appropriate and qualified personnel. This fact, makes the need for changes in training and education content, curricula, tools and methodologies absolutely imperative, incorporating lifelong learning aspects for the professionals in all transports areas. SKILLFUL vision is to identify the skills and competences needed by the Transport workforce of the future and define the training methods and tools to meet them. For all the above trends, employability will be strongly connected by SKILLFUL to future transport job requirements for all transportation modes and multimodal chains (which constitute a key transport of the future trend) and for all levels/types of workers, while all training modes will be included and integrated in a balanced way. To achieve this, SKILLFUL aims to review the existing, emerging and future knowledge and skills requirements of workers at all levels in the transportation sector, to structure the key specifications and components of the curricula and training courses that will be needed to meet these competence requirements optimally and to identify and propose new business roles in the education and training chain, such as those of knowledge aggregator, training certifier and training promoter, in order to achieve European wide competence development. Project results are verified through s wide number of Pilots with low to high skilled workers from all transportation modes Europewide.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2010

The ITN Education as Welfare - Enhancing opportunities for socially vulnerable youth in Europe aims to consolidate research on education and welfare and evaluate its capacity to tackle the multiple challenges and pressures a large proportion of young people in Europe faces. In examining the welfare dimensions of educational settings and the educational dimensions of welfare services, it integrates welfare and educational perspectives into a coherent approach for theoretical analysis and public policy. By focusing on universal conditions of human development, this approach warrants international applicability. It produces knowledge that facilitates the enablement and social integration of young people facing economic, social and personal barriers after leaving compulsory schooling. The scientific objective of the research and training programme is to identify factors with which to extend young peoples opportunities and capabilities in work, autonomy and participation -- the central dimensions of welfare. The ITN will combine and synergise the interdisciplinary research experience and professional capacities of leading European university departments and social, economic and political actors. Alongside their own research projects, the Early-Stage Researchers will design and conduct a comparative Education-as-Welfare survey that will serve as one fundament of their methodological training. The five non-university partners will especially ensure the dissemination of the findings to education and welfare policymakers. The added value of the ITN consists in promoting a new type of governance of education and welfare that transcends traditional national borders. It will develop a theoretically advanced, empirically measurable and internationally comparable conception of education as welfare that the excellent experts in human service provision it has trained will be able to apply from an innovative, analytically sound and practically applicable perspective.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-12 | Award Amount: 16.04M | Year: 2009

Recent research suggests that the hypoxic micro-environment of tumours is one of the major drivers of metastatic spread of cancer. Furthermore, hypoxic tumour micro-environments may result in treatment resistance of cancer cells, therefore causing a double effect of reducing the potential of a successful treatment of the cancer patient. This project seeks to clarify the roles and functions of the hypoxic tumour micro-environment in relation to the survival of solid tumours likely to metastasise. We will gain new knowledge about molecular mechanisms behind hypoxia-driven metastasis, like the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by several routes: (a): mechanisms related to cell growth- and cell proliferation (UPR, mTOR, CA9, HIF, Notch, and VHL), (b): angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, (c): metabolism and pH-regulation (d): the handling of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We will generate animal models for the study of the role of hypoxia in metastases and develop a bio-bank of tumour and blood samples for molecular diagnostic studies. We will identify and develop advanced imaging techniques and biomarkers and identify micro-metastases in bone marrow of patients to assist in the selection of appropriate stratification of the actual primary tumours and metastases micro-environmental conditions. We will also create a machine-learning based classifier of tumour hypoxia. The consortium has the necessary expertise to perform proof-of-principle clinical testing of new treatment strategies. We will thus perform clinical tests of new drugs developed to attack the regulatory mechanisms selected from the pre-clinical work and possible synergisms of combined treatments. We will also test new radiotherapy strategies for treatment of primary as well as metastatic tumours. Cancer types chosen for clinical studies are non-small-cell lung carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, prostate cancer, primary breast cancer and rectal cancer.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.41M | Year: 2009

One of the most effective methods for the abatement and prevention of Legionella and other hazardous pathogens in water is copper-silver ionization. This method is based on channelling water through a device that applies low potential electricity to copper and silver electrodes, releasing Cu and Ag ions which kill the bacteria. Currently there is no device available for monitoring the trace metal content at ppb level in water, essential to gain approval from health authorities. This project develops a new monitoring tool based on Hg-free micro-electrodes capable of monitoring at low concentrations in water. Innovative boron doped diamond electrodes for longer term monitoring, and screen printed electrodes for shorter term monitoring will be incorporated into the analytical device. The device will be linked to a self-adaptive intelligent controller to control the dosing of copper and silver. Further the system will be provided with a wireless communication interface which will allow remote control over the internet as well as operation of a central data recording server. After laboratory calibration and operator training, 5 prototypes will be tested at sites provided by the SME partners in NL, SK, GR, and CY. Development of this tool will strengthen the market position of the SMEs in a field where no comparable device is currently present. Based on the number of copper-silver ionisation systems already sold in Europe, estimates indicate a market value of more than 100m euro over five years for the SILCO device. In addition, promising spin-offs are foreseen since the system will also be capable of measuring range of other trace metals in aqueous environments.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS-2008-1.1.5.1 | Award Amount: 916.70K | Year: 2009

The SciCafe project proposes the notion of networking, exchange of best practices, and co-operation between science cafes (SC) in different cities and regions of Europe, both in their physical vicinities and in virtual space, as a vehicle for the promotion of the public understanding of science and of the public debate on scientific issues, focusing specifically on the promotion of a scientific culture at the local level. The SciCafe proposes an innovative approach that crosscuts the boundaries between the already existing initiatives, focusing both on the improvement of organisers knowledge on how to develop and maintain a SC and on increasing the participants intrinsic motivation to learn and understand about scientific issues, which could potentially change their attitude towards science and encourage them to follow scientific careers in the years to come. It offers tools and activities combining physical presence of its members in the existing SC, and virtual presence of members from across Europe and beyond, ensuring everyones active participation, irrespectively of their physical location and possible disadvantage (rural areas citizens). In this hybrid world of SC, the network will consist of actors from the cities who are involved in science/culture/entertainment/education/local development/citizens participation/media, such as local authorities, universities/research centres, science communication structures, schools, libraries, local civil society organisations, enterprises based on science and technology. Todays participant to a SC has to find it more and more attractive and not static to what it was when these initiatives were begun so such places should follow the new trends and the new technological achievements. The project will focus on: (i) To create a network of SC that will guide the next generation of SCs, (ii) To implement a series of state of the art technologies (virtual presence, social tagging) through a series of innovative scenarios.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-ASP1;SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-ASP5 | Award Amount: 9.65M | Year: 2013

Emerging embedded systems platforms harnessing new heterogeneous, multicore architectures to enable the next generation of powerful mission-critical applications are demanding across-the-board advances in all areas of design and development to fulfil their promise. The integration of component-based design with model-driven development creates a potent combination especially capable of mastering the complexity of these new systems. CONCERTO will deliver a reference multi-domain architectural framework for complex, highly concurrent, and multi-core systems, where non-functional properties (including real-time, dependability, and energy management) will be established for individual components, derived for the overall system at design time, and preserved by construction and monitoring at run-time. The CONCERTO framework will integrate: \ Correctness-by-construction for multicore systems with innovative model-to-code transformation techniques targeted at their special characteristics \ A multi-view, hierarchical cross-domain design space sufficiently rich to enable a compositional approach to the next generation of complex, heterogeneous platform architectures. \ Support for iterative and incremental development of multicore systems through simulation and early model-based analysis, with fully automated back propagation of results to the user model. \ Hardware modeling facilities equipped to cope with the new generation of heterogeneous, multicore platforms. \ Advances in run-time monitoring of mission- and operation-critical non-functional properties such as energy consumption on partitioned and multicore processor architectures. The applicability of the CONCERTO solutions to multiple industrial domains (including aerospace, telecoms, automotive, petroleum and medical) will be ensured through the elaboration of representative industrial use cases. CONCERTO builds on the CHESS project (ARTEMIS-2008-1-100022) results, as well as the results of several other related projects. Approved by ARTEMIS-JU on 05/04/2013


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07a-2014 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2015

Research and development activities are proposed for the benefit of sustainable pork chains based on European local pig breeds and their production systems. Workprogramme is planned to respond to consumer demands for quality and healthiness of pork products with regional identity and societal demands for environment preservation and development of local agro-economy. Description and evaluation of local pig breeds, with an emphasis on untapped ones will be performed using novel genomic tools. Performance of local pig breeds will be evaluated in contrasted agro-geo-climatic conditions and production systems (indoor, outdoor, organic). Focus will be on pig feeding and management strategies and on the use of locally available feeding resources. Intrinsic quality of traditional and new regional high quality pork products and attitudes of consumers from various market areas will be assessed; in particular the motives for the choice and willingness to pay such products. Marketing strategies will be adressed in particular short chain distribution channels. All activities will be driven from the perspective of sustainability (environmental impact, animal welfare, product quality, consumer acceptability and market potential). The activities will engage innovative approaches to answer socio-economic demands of regional pork chains involving partners from different sectors. The ambition is to enhance existing and create new networks between academia and non-academia partners, within and between regions and to tackle the value chain for regional high quality pork products, focusing on diverse and so far untapped pig breeds, their production systems and pork products. Cross-fertilising interactions between research, local agriculture, businesses and end-users will be achieved with partners from these complementary sectors in all research and development activities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.53M | Year: 2008

The proposal aims at the development and clinical validation of advanced non-invasive optical methodologies for in-vivo diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of major neurological diseases (stroke, epilepsy, ischemia), based on diffuse optical imaging by pulsed near infrared light. Established diagnostic imaging modalities (e.g. X-ray Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography) provide 3D anatomical, functional or pathological information with spatial resolution in the millimetre range. However, these methods cannot be applied continuously or at the bedside. Diffuse optical imaging is expected to provide a valuable complementing tool to assess perfusion and blood oxygenation in brain tissue and their time evolution in a continuous or quasi-continuous manner. The devices will be portable and comparably inexpensive and can be applied in adults and in children. Time-domain techniques are acknowledged as offering superior information content and sensitivity compared to other optical methods, allowing for separation between contributions of surface tissues (skin and skull) and brain tissue. Time-domain imaging can also differentiate between the effects of scatter and those of absorption.The consortium plans major developments in technology and data analysis that will enhance time-domain diffuse optical imaging with respect to spatial resolution, sensitivity, robustness of quantification as well as performance of related instruments in clinical diagnosis and monitoring. The diagnostic value of time-domain diffuse optical imaging will be assessed by clinical pilot studies addressing specific neurological disorders, in comparison with established neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques. Perspectives regarding clinical application of time-domain diffuse optical brain imaging will be estimated and a reliable basis for a potential commercialisation of this novel technique by European system manufacturers will be created.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2011

Engineering for future mobility must be inspired by ecology and economy to enable green and silent vehicles. Current university based education is focusing on classical fields like mechanical engineering on one side with some aspects of Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH) and Light Weight Design (LWD) or like electrical engineering covering aspects of Electrification & Hybridisation on the other side. The proposed GRESIMO project (Best Training for Green and Silent Mobility) aims to bring together early stage researchers and experienced specialists from across industry and academia in Europe covering NVH, LWD and H/E disciplines to form a broad range of professional background. Recent research underlines the strong interaction and shows the often conflicting demands of these 3 topics. Consequently, an optimum for future vehicle development requires an interdisciplinary education in this triangle of topics. GRESIMO focus is to motivate and encourage early stage researchers for scientific work in the new interdisciplinary research fields NVH\LWD, LDW\H/E and H/E\NVH. The fellows will be trained and supported in their phase of doctoral thesis to find innovative PhD topics as well as to receive specific education in theoretical and practical trainings. The education will comprise existing lectures in the partner network as well as training specifically developed for the interdisciplinary needs. GRESIMO is formed by a group of participating hosts, combining leading education and research institutions as well as industrial enterprises in 6 countries of the EC. Thus the engineers will participate in both the scientific research work and the practical application of new methods of testing and simulation. They will profit from extended international knowledge after their academic education when starting to work in the industry. Furthermore, the industry will gain from the specific training of the young researchers for the requirements to develop green and silent vehicle.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.1.3. | Award Amount: 6.95M | Year: 2009

The goal of ERICKA is to directly contribute to reductions in aircraft engine fuel consumption with a targeted contribution of 1% reduction in SFC relative to engines currently in service. The fuel efficiency of a jet engine used for aircraft propulsion is dependent on the performance of many key engine components. One of the most important is the turbine whose efficiency has a large influence on the engine fuel consumption and hence its CO2 emissions. The turbine must operate with high efficiency in the most hostile environment in the engine. The design of turbine cooling systems remains one of the most challenging processes in engine development. Modern high-pressure turbine cooling systems invariably combine internal convection cooling with external film cooling in complex flow systems whose individual features interact in complex ways. The heat transfer and cooling processes active are at the limit of current understanding and engine designers rely heavily on empirical tools and engineering judgement to produce new designs. ERICKA will provide a means of improving turbine blade cooling technology that will reduce turbine blade cooling mass-flow relative to that required using existing technology. A reduction in cooling mass-flow leads directly to improved component and engine efficiency. The improved technology for turbine cooling developed by ERICKA will also enable low NOx combustion chambers to be included in future engines. ERICKA will undertake research to furnish better understanding of the complex flows used to internally cool rotating turbine blades. This will be achieved by:- 1) Acquisition of high quality experimental data using static and rotating test facilities 2) Development of cooling design capability by enhancement of computer codes that will exploit these experimental data ERICKA groups 18 partners representing the European aero engine industry, five SMEs and a set of leading academic institutions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2010.2.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 9.23M | Year: 2010

FunDivEUROPE (FUNctional significance of forest bioDIVersity in EUROPE) proposes to quantify the effects of forest biodiversity on ecosystem function and services in major European forest types in the main bioclimatic regions of Europe. FunDivEUROPE will be based on four scientific platforms and seven cross-cutting Work Packages. The project will combine a global network of tree diversity experiments (Experimental Platform) with a newly designed network of observational plots in six focal regions within Europe (Exploratory Platform). Additionally, the project will integrate an in-depth analysis of inventory-based datasets of existing forest monitoring networks to extend the scope to larger spatial and temporal scales (Inventory Platform). FunDivEUROPE will thus combine the strengths of various scientific approaches to explore and quantify the significance of forest biodiversity for a very large range of ecosystem processes and ecosystem services. Using modeling and state-of-the-art techniques for quantitative synthesis, the project will integrate information gained from the different platforms to assess the performance of pure and mixed species stands under changing climate. In addition to the three research platforms, FunDivEUROPE will set up a Knowledge Transfer Platform in order to foster communication, aggregation and synthesis of individual findings in the Work Packages and communication with stakeholders, policy makers and the wider public. The information gained should thus enable forest owners, forest managers and forest policy makers to adapt policies and management for sustainable use of forest ecosystems in a changing environment, capitalizing on the potential effects of biodiversity for ecosystem functioning. The experiences gained within FunDivEUROPE will finally allow contributing to the development of the European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network, complementing existing forest observation and monitoring networks.


The CREDITS4HEALTH projects main goal is to develop a person centric approach based on the credits for health concept to reduce sedentary behavior and enhance the level of physical activity and healthy dietary styles in people living in Euro-Mediterranean Countries. The concept of credits is simple and effective: this means that each participant will earn credits from his local, regional or national Health Authority on the basis of his/her participation and involvement in the achievement of an healthy life-style, and his/her attitude to sponsor this philosophy in his community. The CREDITS4HEALTH vision is therefore to have people directly acting for their health and well being, operating on three fundamental levers to enhance the quality of their lives, through the reduction of sedentary behavior, the active participation to the social life and the adoption of an healthier diet. The CREDITS4HEALTH approach is virtuous and straightforward: 1)First, we will define personalised algorithms containing dietary and physical activity prescriptions, taking into account the medical, psychological, social, and economic background of each person; 2) Once screened by the local Credits4Health Committee, the participant receives an electronic card, which enables him to track his compliance to the regime through a dedicated web based platform; 3)With his electronic card, the participant also gets access to a full range of suppliers which offer him goods for fulfilling his health-related objectives;4)Suppliers must be certified by the local authority, according to a specified set of requirements and they must certify the products they intend to commercialise for this initiative;5)Participants gain credits as far as they comply with their daily, weekly and monthly goals; they are also subject to a six monthly mandatory assessment performed by the Credits4Health Committee, in which the algorithm can be modified and fine-tuned to the needs of the participant.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT-2007-1.4.01 | Award Amount: 39.99M | Year: 2008

Since the publication of the ACARE goals, the commercial and political pressure to reduce CO2 has increased considerably. DREAM is the response of the aero-engine community to this pressure. The first major DREAM objective is to design, integrate and validate new engine concepts based on open rotor contra-rotating architectures to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions 7% beyond the ACARE 2020 objectives. Open rotors are noisier than equivalent high bypass ratio turbofan engines, therefore it is necessary to provide solutions that will meet noise ICAO certification standards. The second major DREAM objective is a 3dB noise emission reduction per operation point for the engine alone compared to the Year 2000 engine reference. These breakthroughs will be achieved by designing and rig testing: Innovative engine concepts a geared and a direct drive contra-rotating open rotor (unducted propulsion system) Enabling architectures with novel active and passive engine systems to reduce vibrations These technologies will support the development of future open rotor engines but also more traditional ducted turbofan engines. DREAM will also develop specifications for alternative fuels for aero-engines and then characterise, assess and test several potential fuels. This will be followed by a demonstration that the selected fuels can be used in aero-engines. The DREAM technologies will then be integrated and the engine concepts together with alternative fuels usage assessed through an enhanced version of the TERA tool developed in VITAL and NEWAC. DREAM is led by Rolls-Royce and is made of 47 partners from 13 countries, providing the best expertise and capability from the EU aeronautics industry and Russia. DREAM will mature technologies that offer the potential to go beyond the ACARE objectives for SFC, achieving a TRL of 4-5. These technologies are candidates to be brought to a higher TRL level within the scope of the CLEAN SKY JTI.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2009

Cancer is responsible for 25% of all deaths in Europe and is the biggest killer of people aged 45-64 and 1 in 3 EU citizens can expect to deal with a cancer episode in their lifetime. The cost of treatment in Europe is over 50 billion and fighting the disease is a major EU priority. Radiotherapy is in the most used treatment and recent advances such as IMRT and other conformal radiotherapy solutions are significantly improving treatment success rates. However, existing dosimetry techniques are not capable of delivering the high resolution, tissue equivalence and high speed measurements required for IMRT calibration. This leads to lengthy set-up times, seriously limiting the number of patients that can be treated. Radi-Cal will look to build on recent breakthroughs in CVD diamond technology (realised with EC support) and develop an innovative, high resolution, monolithic 2D CVD diamond array based dosimeter which will deliver the levels of performance required by IMRT and other conformal radiotherapy solutions whilst reducing calibration and set-up time by a factor of 7, thereby allowing more patients access to conformal radiotherapy which will significantly improve treatment success rates. The science and technology required to do this will be challenging, however our consortium comprises some of Europes leading research and industrial companies. Our innovations are in CVD diamond structure and contacts for a 2D sensor; 2D array sensor fabrication and radiation shielding; ultra-low 2D array readout electronics. The market potential for such a product is over 130 million. Although European SMEs dominate the market for radiotherapy dosimetry systems this situation is being seriously threatened by large non-EU enterprises such as Varian, who are now targeting dosimetry. As European SMEs, we urgently need to beat our competition to an IMRT dosimetry solution to protect our market and enable us to compete against internationally.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2012.1.1-04 | Award Amount: 2.48M | Year: 2013

LAMPRE proposes to execute innovative research and technological developments to increase GMES limited operational capacity to cope with triggered landslide events and their consequences, in Europe and elsewhere. LAMPRE will enhance landslide risk mitigation/preparedness efforts and post-event-landslide recovery and reconstruction activities, in highly vulnerable geographic and geologic regions. The project improves the ability to detect/map landslides, assess/forecast the impact of triggered landslide events on vulnerable elements, and model landscape changes caused by slope failures. These goals are achieved by (i) researching and developing new techniques and products to dynamically integrate satellite/airborne imagery, (ii) designing and using intelligent image processing techniques, (iii) modelling landslide-infrastructure interactions using advanced numerical modelling and ground based thematic information, and (iv) proposing standards for landslide mapping, susceptibility zonation and image processing. Products of LAMPRE, including geo-processing tools, landslide inventory/susceptibility maps, vulnerability/impact assessments, and standards and best practices, will be beneficial to Civil Protection authorities, environmental, agricultural and forestry agencies, organizations managing transportation networks, and Emergency Response and Land Monitoring GMES services. Results of LAMPRE will be relevant to the EU strategy for the prevention, preparedness and response to natural hazards, and the protection of people, property, infrastructures and the environment, to implement the EU Soil Thematic Strategy, and to the design of novel GMES landslide services based on images taken by the ESA Sentinel-2 satellites. To facilitate up take by users and cross boundary cooperation, LAMPRE will test products and services in a range of physiographical and geographical regions, and will use the advice of a specific international stakeholder user group.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.72M | Year: 2012

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and sistemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are two autoimmune diseases that respectively affect an estimated population of 1.537.000 and 1.272.000 of patients in Europe. Such diseases show a long prodrome during which there are no clinical symptoms. In some cases, therapeutic treatments have been developed to improve patients quality of life. Therefore, reliable diagnostic/prognostic tools are necessary not only for an early diagnosis and for monitoring disease activity, but also for setting up personalized therapeutic treatments. The clinical diagnosis of RA and SLE is assisted by the use of in vitro diagnostic tests aimed at the evaluation of the presence/level of few autoantibodies circulating in serum. Yet, this diagnostic approach is unsatisfactory because it can assist the diagnosis only after the first disease onset, it is not useful to evaluate the disease susceptibility for an early prevention, and it does not provide information to follow the disease progression for the set up of personalized therapeutic treatments. To solve these drawbacks, the GAPAID project is aimed at supplying the SME participants of the scientific and technological activities necessary to develop a novel diagnostic / prognostic platform for patients affected by RA and SLE. To this aim the scientific activities will be focused on the discovery of the diagnostic and prognostic value of the genetic and serological profiles associated to RA and SLE. The technological activities will contribute to develop multiplex arrays for the contemporary detection of more analytes and to set up a software for the RA and SLE diagnosis / prognosis by matching the clinical, genetic, and serological data. The exploitation of the scientific and technological results will allow the SME participants to the GAPAID proposal to develop and to further commercialize both for RA and SLE an in vitro diagnostic product composed by a genetic array, a serological array, and a software.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IRSES | Award Amount: 239.40K | Year: 2011

Nowadays, customers purchase habits have changed: they do not buy more goods or services in the traditional sense, perceiving them as two separated entities. They rather look for a solution, whose value encompasses many intertwined components, some of them being services and some being goods. In this context, the Product-Service System (PSS) concept finds its root. The servitization process of a product manufacturer into a provider of a PSS still constitutes a major managerial challenge. This challenge is based on a new kind of solution, which considers the continuum between services and products, where services represent a key element for gaining competitiveness. Theoretical and practical experiences show that servitization pushes organisations to change their strategies, operations and value chain, technologies, people expertise and system integration capabilities. As a consequence, different competences are requested to be analysed to have a complete vision of the PSS phenomenon. An international interdisciplinary working group is important to fulfil the need to provide a complete vision of the PSS. Due to the vastness of the area, it is relevant to bring together, in the context of a collaborative scheme of research exchanges, the reciprocal knowledge of the partners. The project proposal links 10 members: 4 EU, 2 AC, and 4 third country partners, which have agreed for a common exchange program on the analysis of the Product-Service System across Life Cycle. The exchange program aims to facilitate the deployment of a collaborative scheme focused on the exchange of the knowledge required to develop new models/methods/ICT tools to support the PSS across all its Life Cycle phases. Each member provides complementary knowledge on the field. The project will concern the exchange of a set of various activities of PhD students, researchers and professors. The planned exchange scheme will enable the reciprocal transfer of knowledge between the members.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.2.2.1 | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2009

The combustion of plant oils in diesel engines, whether or not after esterification to biodiesel, is possible but for the future less desirable because they are derived from food crops (first generation biofuels). Fast pyrolysis liquids derived from ligno-cellulosic materials (second generation biofuel type), are superior in terms of sustainability. Combustion in prime movers like turbines or engines is however still troublesome, although demonstrated already on a significant scale. The aim of the project is to adapt a diesel engine and a micro gas turbine to enable the combustion of various bio-liquids including pyrolysis oils and blends. A relatively high electric efficiency can be achieved in comparison to other prime movers (like a gas engine) and, in this case, on the small to medium scale (50 1000 kWe). The micro gas turbine and diesel engine should be part of a Combined Heat & Power (and Cooling) system. The project focuses on the required modifications of the engine/turbine, fuel preparation, and emission control (especially NOx). Besides, an assessment will be made of market potential, implementation barriers and sustainability, both for the EU and Russia. Diesel engine combustion of fast pyrolysis oil has been part of earlier EU projects. Unfortunately the success was insufficient due to a lack of involvement of real engine researchers who could develop new engine components. This problem is solved now, a.o. by the participation of a well established, large engine research institute in Moscov. A consortium is created of six complementary partners, including two small industries (SMEs), two big research institutes with established connections to large industries, and two universities. To enhance the communication between EU and Russian partners, one of the SMEs being established in The Netherland but owned by persons of Russian origin, will act as a liaison.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.3.1.1. | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2010

Goals Object of this work is to provide -by means of product and process innovations- an advanced compactable bicycle, making it practical to carry along a bicycle aboard public transportation, easily, safely and for a large number of passengers. The ultimate goal is a synergic, intermodal integration of public transport and cycling, expanding the share of both modalities in the urban mobility. Drivers Bicycling, very efficient in the short range, but not so on longer distances, could be re-introduced into daily travel to handle the trips end portions, enhancing the effectiveness of other modalities through an additive effect, re-balancing in a cost-effective way the modal mix in favor of micro-mobility and public transport. The state of the art doesnt allow a collective, pervasive use of the folding bikes in intermodal duty, because of excessive weight and volume when collapsed -often exceeding the baggage limits of city bus and metros- discouraging their use out of practicality and safety on board. The proposed research aims at providing a solution developing a fully engineered, production-ready, new bike typology, based on an innovative concept for a bike frame already tested on mock-ups and working models. The advantage over the state of the art is an unprecedented compactness (factor 6 over common folders) and low weight (factor 3) obtained combining a collapsible, pre-tensioned space-frame with a modern industrial process centered on the use of contemporary engineering plastics. The process innovation will also allow low cost, quality control, opening-closing automation, electric power assistance and last, but not least in a design-conscious world, aestethic value. The work program will develop a new supply-chain, assembling several application-specific know-how modules of mature and well known technologies, all commonly and economically available. Both direct, project-specific, and extended, broadly applicable results are expected.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2008

The aim of the proposed training network is to provide dedicated research training in the emerging field of vehicle concept modelling for up-front pre-CAD functional performance engineering, bridging between industry and academia across Europe. The research area is of highly strategic importance to European automotive OEMs, who must launch products on an ever shorter time frame, at increased quality of multiple performance attributes. When simulation results become available in an early design stage, problems can already be solved before the first detailed CAD model is created, which will increase the quality of the first detailed simulation models and reduce the time to market. Moreover, early what-if studies can be performed to balance and optimize possibly conflicting performance attributes (safety, NVH, dynamics, durability ...) at an increased feasibility and at reduced costs. Novel methods will be developed to address this industrial need for a novel engineering process in which analysis leads the design. Applications will be worked out across partners and application fields, fully embedded in the vehicle industry context. Apart from benefits to researchers, partners and supervisors (OEMs and other industry), the proposed project will strengthen the competitive position of the European vehicle industry in the increasingly global market.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-03-2014 | Award Amount: 7.65M | Year: 2015

Microalgae are a source of secondary metabolites useful as new bioactive compounds. Activity of these compounds against bacterial pathogens and biofilm formation has not been determined yet. Biofilm formation is especially important in infections and tissue inflammation related to implants and catheters. These problems finally cause a release of the implant, which must be removed and replaced by a new one, entailing an increase in antibiotic consumption, together with a health costs of about 50,000-90,000 per infection episode. Taking both problems in account, the search of new antimicrobial agents that will be effective against the bacteria in their two ways of life, planktonic and biofilm stage, is a priority need in the clinical practice. For this reason, the overall objective of NOMORFILM project is to search for antibiofilm compounds isolated from microalgae that will be useful in the treatment of this kind of infections and could be incorporated in the manufacturing of medical prosthetic devices. For this purpose, 4,000 microalgae species will be deeply screened specifically for new antibacterial and antibiofilm molecules. Structural elucidation of bioactive compounds from these extracts will assure that only new chemical entities, therefore with anticipated new mechanisms of action, will arise to further project stages, those including toxicity tests and animal models. This project also addresses the biosynthesis of the targeted bioactive compounds in sustainable microalgae co-cultures, diminishing cultivation costs by mimicking natural aquatic ecosystems. Most industrially interesting antibiofilm molecules will be incorporated into nanoparticles in order to develop manufacturing methodologies able to incorporate these compounds into real prosthetic devices matrixes. Marketing of results are assured by the presence of diverse SMEs along the manufacture and distribution of prosthetic devices, and the corresponding consortium agreements with respect to IPRs


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.3.1.2.1. | Award Amount: 4.74M | Year: 2008

The multidisciplinary DIGISOIL consortium intends to integrate and improve in situ and proximal measurement technologies for the assessment of soil properties assessment and soil degradation indicators, going from the sensing technologies to their integration and their application in (digital) soil mapping (DSM). In addition, our SMEs experience will allow to take into account the feasibility of such developments based on economical constraints, reliability of the results and needs of the DSM community. In order to assess and prevent soil degradation and to benefit from the different ecological, economical and historical functions of the soil in a sustainable way, there is an obvious need for high resolution and accurate maps of soil properties. The core objective of the project is to explore and exploit new capabilities of advanced geophysical technologies for answering this societal demand. To this aim, DIGISOIL addresses four issues covering technological, soil science and economic aspects: (i) the validation of geophysical (in situ, proximal and airborne) technologies and integrated pedo-geophysical inversion techniques (mechanistic data fusion) (ii) the relation between the geophysical parameters and the soil properties, (iii) the integration of the derived soil properties for mapping soil functions and soil threats, (iv) the evaluation, standardisation and sub-industrialization of the proposed methodologies, including technical and economical studies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2009.1.1.01 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2010

DORIS is an advanced downstream service for the detection, mapping, monitoring and forecasting of ground deformations, that integrates traditional and innovative Earth Observation (EO) and ground based (non-EO) data and technologies. The service delivers innovative products tailored for Civil Defense authorities. DORIS integrates state-of-the-art technological and scientific capabilities with existing European upstream services, complies with guidelines provided by the Emergency Response Core Services Interdisciplinary Group, and is linked to existing Core Services, including SAFER and GMES EMERGENCY. DORIS goes beyond the state-of-the-art technologies used to detect, map, monitor and forecast ground deformations. DORIS uses the unique ERS-1/2 and ENVISAT C-band SAR archives to provide unprecedented, very long time-series of ground deformations. DORIS evaluates new SAR sensors, including ALOS, COSMO-SkyMed and TERRASAR-X, exploiting the different bands (L/X), the significantly reduced revisiting time, and the higher spatial resolution offered by these sensors. DORIS moves forward the integration of satellite and ground-based SAR interferometry, coupled with GPS measurements and geophysical probing. DORIS exploits multi-spectral images to map ground deformations, to identify the elements at risk, and for dynamic risk scenarios design. Finally, DORIS investigates the possibility of using thermal images for the assessment of landslide susceptibility and hazard. DORIS will be tested in six study areas in Europe. Successful application of the service in these areas guarantees that the downstream service will work in Europe. DORIS will provide a business model for long term self-sustainability of the service; the project is proposed by a unique team of public administrations, research institutes, and enterprises with experience in EO technologies for Civil Defence applications. DORIS favors knowledge and technology transfer, and will stimulate European competitiveness.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2011.1.4-2. | Award Amount: 67.80M | Year: 2011

The main objective of the LEMCOTEC project will be the improvement of core-engine thermal efficiency by increasing the overall pressure ratio (OPR) to up to 70 leading to a further reduction of CO2. Since NOx increases with OPR, combustion technologies have to be further developed, at the same time, to at least compensate for this effect. The project will attain and exceed the ACARE targets for 2020 and will be going beyond the CO2 reductions to be achieved by on-going FP6 and FP7 programmes including Clean Sky: 1.) CO2: minus 50% per passenger kilometre by 2020, with an engine contribution of 15 to 20%, 2.) NOx: minus 80% by 2020 and 3.) Reduce other emissions: soot, CO, UHC, SOx, particulates. The major technical subjects to be addressed by the project are: 1.) Innovative compressor for the ultra-high pressure ratio cycle (OPR 70) and associated thermal management technologies, 2.) Combustor-turbine interaction for higher turbine efficiency & ultra-high OPR cycles, 3.) Low NOx combustion systems for ultra-high OPR cycles, 4.) Advanced structures to enable high OPR engines & integration with heat exchangers, 5.) Reduced cooling requirements and stiffer structures for turbo-machinery efficiency, 6.) HP/IP compressor stability control. The first four subjects will enable the engine industry to extend their design space beyond the overall pressure ratio of 50, which is the practical limit in the latest engines. Rig testing is required to validate the respective designs as well as the simulation tools to be developed. The last two subjects have already been researched on the last two subjects by NEWAC. The technology developed in NEWAC (mainly component and / or breadboard validation in a laboratory environment) will be driven further in LEMCOTEC for UHPR core engines. These technologies will be validated at a higher readiness level of up to TRL 5 (component and / or breadboard validation in a relevant environment) for ultra-high OPR core-engines.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009.1.1.6.1 | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2010

Assessment of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation requires a combination of generic and context-specific knowledge. Currently, the availability of such knowledge in Europe is fragmented and incomplete. MEDIATION addresses this challenge through six activities: (i) analysis of the decision-making context; (ii) inventory, review and improvement of methods and metrics for impacts and vulnerability analysis; (iii) likewise for costing of impacts and adaptation options; (iv) development of an overarching integrated methodology; (v) development of a flexible, interactive common platform for knowledge sharing; and (vi) dissemination of this knowledge and training. The components of the project will be connected in an iterative fashion, using case studies which combine selected regional, sectoral and cross-sectoral characteristics and policy questions. The consortium combines eleven top European scientific institutions with a high reputation and long experience in impacts, vulnerability and adaptation research and assessment. They represent different regions in Europe with contrasting vulnerabilities, cover the wide array of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge required to assess sectoral and cross-sectoral vulnerabilities, already participate in numerous related European and national research programmes, and have extensive expertise in science-policy interactions. The project will establish an Advisory Group of key international scientific experts and climate change policy makers to strengthen the scientific basis of the project as well as the policy relevance. In addition to scientific innovation, MEDIATION aims at supporting national and international policy development through targeted interactions, including the UNFCCC process (notably the Nairobi Work Programme), and the EU White Paper process, the latter by systematically addressing the components of the 3rd pillar of the EU Green Paper related to knowledge development and sharing.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: GC.SST.2012.1-6. | Award Amount: 4.28M | Year: 2012

Following the Green Car Initiative (GCI) included in the European Economic Recovery Plan there is a high demand for electrification of transport in Europe. There are currently several concepts for FEV (fully electric vehicle) and HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) that support this electro mobility demand. The development and improvement of the different concepts require a huge effort in analysis, design, implementation and testing and not to forget feeding back experience, results and knowledge to new generations of Electric Vehicles. Advanced modelling tools and testing procedures going from one-dimension to three dimensional approaches have a fundamental role to play in optimizing during the earliest project phases for the energy dimensioning of FEV & HEV as well as their energy management strategies while reducing projects development lead-time as well as to build-up requirements for subsystems and their related control units. Research in this project will focus on the development and validation of numerical simulation tools, virtual prototyping and advanced physical testing procedures and on the standardization of such tools in order to: Investigate solutions for improving the efficiency and performance of future generation EV and their constituent components and sub-systems that may be critical from the energy efficiency point of view. The development of these sub-systems is however excluded. Assess the effect of different sub-systems solutions in terms of energy efficiency and related increase of autonomy on different specific real life driving cycles that will take into account traffic constraints, road slope evolution, etc. Verify technological feasibility and economic viability of the advanced solutions proposed. ASTERICS project aim is to develop advanced modelling and testing tools and methods that will be the base for future developments of FEV & HEV trough all Europe, contributing to the competitiveness in this sector, in all its aspects.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-1.1-01 | Award Amount: 40.31M | Year: 2009

SAFER aims at implementing preoperational versions of the Emergency Response Core Service. SAFER will reinforce European capacity to respond to emergency situations: fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, humanitarian crisis. The main goal is the upgrade of the core service and the validation of its performance with 2 priorities: First priority is the short term improvement of response when crisis occurs, with the rapid mapping capacity after disastrous events, including the relevant preparatory services (reference maps). For validation purposes, the project will deliver as from 2008 services at full scale for real events or during specific exercises. The main performance criterion is the response time. RTD work addresses technical, operational and organisational issues. The content of this first action is consistent with the definition of the preparatory action recently decided. The second priority is the extension to core service components before and after the crisis. It targets the longer term service evolution, through the provision of thematic products, to be added in the portfolio of services. The main performance criterion is the added-value of products with risk-specific information. In SAFER, thematic products will cover mainly the meteorological and geophysical risks. SAFER includes also some transverse RDT actions, with the objective to increase added-value of the overall service chain. Users involvement is a key driver and a specific task addresses the federation of the key users, both for interventions in Europe and outside Europe. The emphasis put on quality assurance and validation methodology is reflected in the work plan. The consortium is built around a core team of European service providers, already involved in the former or ongoing projects, in the frame of FP6 or ESA programmes. A wide network of scientific partners and service providers will extend the European dimension, in particular in the new member states.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-04-2016 | Award Amount: 9.95M | Year: 2017

The EOSCpilot project will support the first phase in the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) as described in the EC Communication on European Cloud Initiatives [2016]. It will establish the governance framework for the EOSC and contribute to the development of European open science policy and best practice; It will develop a number of pilots that integrate services and infrastructures to demonstrate interoperability in a number of scientific domains; and It will engage with a broad range of stakeholders, crossing borders and communities, to build the trust and skills required for adoption of an open approach to scientific research . These actions will build on and leverage already available resources and capabilities from research infrastructure and e-infrastructure organisations to maximise their use across the research community. The EOSCpilot project will address some of the key reasons why European research is not yet fully tapping into the potential of data. In particular, it will: reduce fragmentation between data infrastructures by working across scientific and economic domains, countries and governance models, and improve interoperability between data infrastructures by demonstrating how data and resources can be shared even when they are large and complex and in varied formats, In this way, the EOSC pilot project will improve the ability to reuse data resources and provide an important step towards building a dependable open-data research environment where data from publicly funded research is always open and there are clear incentives and rewards for the sharing of data and resources.


Nativi S.,University of Florence | Craglia M.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Pearlman J.,Ocean Research Coordination Network
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

For disciplinary and domain applications, systems interoperability largely deals with the adoption of agreed technologies, standards, specifications and interfaces with a disciplinary/domain service bus or means of information exchange, if available. However, multi-disciplinary efforts make more complex demands on the type of systems and arrangements needed to support cross-domain activities. Thus, interoperability among diverse disciplinary and domain systems must be pursued adopting more flexible and sustainable approaches. This paper discusses the challenges for multi-disciplinary interoperability. The recent Brokering approach is introduced; this solution aims at interconnecting the heterogeneous disciplinary and domain service buses, avoiding the imposition of any federated or common specification. It can deliver a range of services such as discovery and access through a Broker Framework. The Brokering approach has been successfully introduced by the EuroGEOSS research project and recently adopted by the GEOSS Common Infrastructure (GCI). US NSF EarthCube initiative also has recognized the importance of brokering for its reference architecture. The GI-* technology, empowering the EuroGEOSS and the GCI brokering frameworks, is presented and discussed. © 2013 IEEE.


Corona G.,University of Florence | Corona G.,Maggiore Bellaria Hospital | Rastrelli G.,University of Florence | Maggi M.,University of Florence
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) is a relatively common conditions affecting the aging male. The aim of this review is to summarize the available evidence regarding LOH and its interaction with general health. LOH is often comorbid to obesity and several chronic diseases. For this reason lifestyle modifications should be strongly encouraged in LOH subjects with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and good treatment balance of chronic diseases. Medical therapy of LOH should be individualized depending on the etiology of the disease and the patient's expectations. Available evidence seems to suggest that testosterone replacement therapy is able to improve central obesity (subjects with MetS) and glycometabolic control (patients with MetS and T2DM), as well as to increase lean body mass (HIV, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), along with insulin resistance (MetS) and peripheral oxygenation (chronic kidney diseases). However, it should be recognized that the number of studies on benefits of T supplementation is too limited to draw final conclusions. Longer and larger studies are needed to better clarify the role of TRT in such chronic conditions. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Gandini S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Massi D.,University of Florence | Mandala M.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2016

Background: Despite the success of immunotherapy directed at inhibiting of programmed death-1 (PD-1)/PD-ligand (L)1 signaling, it is not established whether PD-L1 expression correlates with the clinical response and outcome in different tumors. The present meta-analysis investigates whether the PD-L1 status, detected by immunohistochemistry, is associated with clinical response and mortality in patients treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. Methods: A systematic literature search and quantitative analysis were planned, conducted and reported following CONSORT and QUORUM checklists, up to December 2015, to identify clinical trials with information on cancer outcome by PD-L1 immunohistochemical expression in tumor tissues. We used random effects models to estimate Summary Objective Response Rates (SORRs) and Summary Odd Ratio (SOR) for the comparison of PD-L1 positive and negative patients. Results: We summarized 20 trials carried out in metastatic melanoma (MM), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients receiving anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies (4230 MM, 1417 NSCLC and 312 RCC patients). Positive PD-L1 MM patients showed a significant decrease (53%) in the risk of mortality vs. negative cases with no heterogeneity. Furthermore, SORRs were 45% and 27% in PD-L1 positive and negative patients, respectively, and SOR indicates a significant difference in term of responses: 2.14 (95% CI: 1.65, 2.77), with low between-study heterogeneity (I2 = 35%). Furthermore, results from randomized clinical trials on MM showed that PD-L1 expression is significantly associated with greater clinical response rates to anti-PD1 treatments (SOR 1.89; 95%CI: 1.35, 2.64) but not to other treatments (SOR 0.96; 95%CI: 0.5, 1.87).In non-squamous NSCLC SORRs were 29% and 11% in PD-L1 positive and negative patients, respectively, and SOR indicates a significant difference between responses: 3.78 (1.54, 9.24), with no between-study heterogeneity. Squamous NSCLC and RCC did not show any significant difference in response according to the PD-L1 status. Conclusion: PD-L1 expression is significantly associated with mortality and clinical response to anti-PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies in MM patients and with clinical response in patients with non-squamous NSCLC. © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Karevski D.,CNRS Jean Lamour Institute | Popkov V.,University of Florence | Popkov V.,Max Planck Institute for Complex Systems | Schutz G.M.,Jülich Research Center
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We demonstrate that the exact nonequilibrium steady state of the one-dimensional Heisenberg XXZ spin chain driven by boundary Lindblad operators can be constructed explicitly with a matrix product ansatz for the nonequilibrium density matrix where the matrices satisfy a quadratic algebra. This algebra turns out to be related to the quantum algebra U q[SU(2)]. Coherent state techniques are introduced for the exact solution of the isotropic Heisenberg chain with and without quantum boundary fields and Lindblad terms that correspond to two different completely polarized boundary states. We show that this boundary twist leads to nonvanishing stationary currents of all spin components. Our results suggest that the matrix product ansatz can be extended to more general quantum systems kept far from equilibrium by Lindblad boundary terms. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Tefferi A.,Mayo Medical School | Thiele J.,University of Cologne | Vannucchi A.M.,University of Florence | Barbui T.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital
Leukemia | Year: 2014

Disease-specific mutations facilitate diagnostic precision and drug target discovery. In myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), this is best exemplified by the chronic myeloid leukemia-associated BCR-ABL1. No other mutation in MPN has thus far shown a similar degree of diagnostic accuracy or therapeutic relevance. However, JAK2 and KIT mutations are detected in more than 90% of patients with polycythemia vera and systemic mastocytosis, respectively, and are therefore used as highly sensitive clonal markers in these diseases. JAK2 and MPL mutations also occur in essential thrombocythemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF), but their diagnostic value is limited by suboptimal sensitivity and specificity. The molecular diagnostic gap in JAK2/MPL-unmutated ET/PMF is now partially addressed by the recent discovery of calreticulin (CALR) mutations in the majority of such cases. However, bone marrow morphology remains the central diagnostic platform and is essential for distinguishing ET from prefibrotic PMF and diagnosing patients those do not express JAK2, MPL or CALR (triple-negative). The year 2013 was also marked by the description of CSF3R mutations in the majority of patients with chronic neutrophilic leukemia (CNL). Herein, we argue for the inclusion of CALR and CSF3R mutations in the World Health Organization classification system for ET/PMF and CNL, respectively. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Marotte H.,Hopital Nord | Cimaz R.,University of Florence
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy | Year: 2014

TNF blockers have been available to treat various inflammatory disorders since more than a decade. T cells and macrophages mainly express TNF and activate many cells through two types of receptors. Pharmaceutical companies developed two types of TNF blockers: soluble receptors and monoclonal antibodies. Understanding of differences of structure and function can explain divergence of efficacy or side effects. Etanercept has the best retention rate in rheumatic diseases, but is less or not effective in granulomatous diseases, such as inflammatory bowel diseases or uveitis. However, etanercept induces less tuberculosis infections than anti-TNF blocker monoclonal antibodies. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.


Stanghellini G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Ballerini M.,University of Florence
Psychopathology | Year: 2011

This is a critical review of research on the subjective experience of social dysfunction in persons with schizophrenia. Studies from the phenomenological and cognitive paradigms are examined, and significant outcomes and shortcomings are pointed out. Clinical phenomenologists have mainly interpreted schizophrenic dissociality as an anomaly of prereflexive attunement. The main shortcoming of phenomenological research is that it lacks adequate methodology to collect reliable data since most studies are based on the analysis of a few typical cases. Cognitivism has reliably documented disorders of social functioning in large-scale experimental studies. The main shortcoming of most cognitive paradigms is that they do not properly investigate the personal level of experience in real-world functioning. We conclude that there is a need to reliably collect data through quantitative as well as qualitative methodology as established and accepted by the scientific community in the area of schizophrenic dissociality, reflecting the subjective experiences of people with schizophrenia in the real world. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Padeletti L.,University of Florence | Paoletti Perini A.,University of Florence | Gronda E.,FESC Gruppo Multimedica
Heart Failure Reviews | Year: 2012

Cardiac resynchronization therapy reduces mortality and morbidity in heart failure patients with wide QRS and severe impairment of left ventricular systolic function, who are symptomatic despite optimal medical therapy. However, a high percentage of patients fail to show clinical or echocardiographic response to this treatment. Beyond current selection criteria, other elements, such as QRS duration and morphology, concomitant medical therapy, degree of right ventricle dysfunction, myocardial viability, presence of left ventricular dyssynchrony, and associated renal dysfunction, play a crucial role in modulating the response to cardiac resynchronization. Consequently, they should be part of the standard pre-implant evaluation, as they could be used to identify patients who are very unlikely to be responders. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Mandala M.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Massi D.,University of Florence
Virchows Archiv | Year: 2014

Cutaneous melanoma (CM) causes the greatest number of skin cancer-related deaths worldwide. Predicting CM prognosis is important to determine the need for further investigation, counseling of patients, to guide appropriate management (particularly the need for postoperative adjuvant therapy), and for assignment of risk status in groups of patients entering clinical trials. Since recurrence rate is largely independent from stages defined by morphological and morphometric criteria, there is a strong need for identification of additional robust prognostic factors to support decision-making processes. Most data on prognostic biomarkers in melanoma have been evaluated in tumor tissue samples by conventional morphology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) as well as DNA and RNA analyses. In the present review, we critically summarize main high-quality studies investigating IHC-based protein biomarkers of melanoma outcome according to Reporting Recommendations for Tumor Marker Prognostic Studies (REMARK)-derived criteria. Pathways have been classified and conveyed in the "biologic road" previously described by Hanahan and Weinberg. Data derived from genomic and transcriptomic technologies have been critically reviewed to better understand if any of investigated proteins or gene signatures should be incorporated into clinical practice or still remain a field of melanoma research. Despite a wide body of research, no molecular prognostic biomarker has yet been translated into clinical practice. Conventional tissue biomarkers, such as Breslow thickness, ulceration, mitotic rate and lymph node positivity, remain the backbone prognostic indicators in melanoma. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.


Merelli B.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Massi D.,University of Florence | Cattaneo L.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Mandala M.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2014

A dynamic interplay exists between host and tumor, and the ability of the tumor to evade immune recognition often determines the clinical course of the disease. Significant enthusiasm currently exists for a new immunotherapeutic strategy: the use of immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies that directly enhance the function of components of the anti-tumor immune response such as T cells, or block immunologic checkpoints that would otherwise restrain effective anti-tumor immunity. This strategy is based on the evidence that development of cancer is facilitated by the dis-regulation and exploitation of otherwise physiological pathways that, under normal circumstances, down-regulate immune activation and maintain tolerance to self. Among these pathways an important role is covered by the Programmed death-1 (PD-1)/PD-Ligand (L) 1 axis. An emerging concept in cancer immunology is that inhibitory ligands such as PD-L1 are induced in response to immune attack, a mechanism termed "adaptive resistance". This potential mechanism of immune resistance by tumors suggests that therapy directed at blocking the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1 might synergize with other treatments that enhance endogenous antitumor immunity. The anti-PD-1 strategy can be effective in several solid tumors such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC) or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), however in this review we summarize the biological role of PD-1/PD-L1 on cancer by focusing our attention in the biological rationale, clinical challenges and opportunities to target the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in melanoma. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Mandala M.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Merelli B.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Massi D.,University of Florence
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2014

RAS belongs to the guanosine 5'-triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins' family, and oncogenic mutations in codons 12, 13, or 61 of RAS family occur in approximately one third of all human cancers with N-RAS mutations found in about 15-20% of melanomas. The importance of RAS signaling as a potential target in cancer is emphasized not only by the prevalence of RAS mutations, but also by the high number of RAS activators and effectors identified in mammalian cells that places the RAS proteins at the crossroads of several, important signaling networks. Ras proteins are crucial crossroads of signaling pathways that link the activation of cell surface receptors with a wide variety of cellular processes leading to the control of proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Furthermore, oncogenic ras proteins interfere with metabolism of tumor cells, microenvironment's remodeling, evasion of the immune response, and finally contributes to the metastatic process. After 40 years of basic, translational and clinical research, much is now known about the molecular mechanisms by which these monomeric guanosine triphosphatase-binding proteins promote cellular malignancy, and it is clear that they regulate signaling pathways involved in the control of cell proliferation, survival, and invasiveness. In this review we summarize the biological role of RAS in cancer by focusing our attention on the biological rational and strategies to target RAS in melanoma. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Poli D.,Struttura Operativa Dipartimentale SOD Malattie Aterotrombotiche | Miniati M.,University of Florence
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine | Year: 2011

Purpose of Review: Pulmonary embolism is the most serious complication of venous thromboembolism, with an elevated case/fatality rate. Patients who survived a first episode of pulmonary embolism should be evaluated for the risk of recurrence and of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH). Recent Findings: The risk of recurrence is higher in patients with unprovoked pulmonary embolism than in those with transient risk factors. Persistent risk factors, such as active cancer and antiphospholipid antibodies, are associated with high risk of recurrence. Recently, elevated D-dimer levels after discontinuation of therapy have been identified as a risk factor for recurrence. CTEPH is characterized by intravascular organization of emboli and occurs in 0.5-1% of cases. Some patients with CTEPH have impaired fibrinolysis, likely due to a structural abnormality of fibrin or fibrin clot. Echocardiography often reveals signs of pulmonary hypertension. This should be confirmed by direct measurement of pulmonary artery pressures at right heart catheterization. Summary: CTEPH patients should receive life-long anticoagulation for preventing recurrent pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary endarterectomy is the treatment of choice for patients with proximal pulmonary vascular occlusion. Patients with predominantly distal pulmonary vascular occlusion are candidates for pharmacological treatment. All patients with unprovoked pulmonary embolism should be evaluated for long-term anticoagulation. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Mias C.,University of Warwick | Freni A.,University of Florence
IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters | Year: 2013

Wait's formulation on plane-wave scattering from wire grids is adapted, for the first time, to the electromagnetic analysis of lumped-element periodically loaded vertical wire-grid connected array antennas. Starting from this formulation, a novel analytical expression for the scan impedance of the array is derived, assuming an infinitesimal lumped element. We also report that as the period decreases and the wavelength increases, there is a simple relation between the scan impedance of the connected array antenna and the transmission-line equivalent circuit impedance of the lumped-element periodically loaded vertical wire-grid frequency selective surface. Consequently, to reduce the variation of the resonance frequency of the scan impedance with the scan angle, we employ the concept of adding an appropriate lumped element inductance to stabilize the resonance frequency of the frequency selective surface. © 2013 IEEE.


Romagnani P.,Excellence Center for Research | Romagnani P.,University of Florence | Anders H.-J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Kidney International | Year: 2013

Cultures of stem or progenitor cells have made critical contributions to the comprehension of tissue regeneration. In the kidney, primary cultures of human tubular progenitors became available only recently and allow dissection of the functional properties of tubular progenitors vs. differentiated tubular epithelia. Toll-like receptor-mediated activation now appears as a previously unknown mechanism of progenitor-mediated tubular regeneration, implying that proinflammatory factors activate regenerative processes in the kidney. © 2012 International Society of Nephrology.


Gupta S.,University Paris - Sud | Campa A.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Ruffo S.,University of Florence
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2014

We study the dynamics of a system of coupled oscillators of distributed natural frequencies, by including the features of both thermal noise, parametrized by a temperature, and inertial terms, parametrized by a moment of inertia. For a general unimodal frequency distribution, we report here the complete phase diagram of the model in the space of dimensionless moment of inertia, temperature, and width of the frequency distribution. We demonstrate that the system undergoes a nonequilibrium first-order phase transition from a synchronized phase at low parameter values to an incoherent phase at high values. We provide strong numerical evidence for the existence of both the synchronized and the incoherent phase, treating the latter analytically to obtain the corresponding linear stability threshold that bounds the first-order transition point from below. In the limit of zero noise and inertia, when the dynamics reduces to the one of the Kuramoto model, we recover the associated known continuous transition. At finite noise and inertia but in the absence of natural frequencies, the dynamics becomes that of a well-studied model of long-range interactions, the Hamiltonian mean-field model. Close to the first-order phase transition, we show that the escape time out of metastable states scales exponentially with the number of oscillators, which we explain to be stemming from the long-range nature of the interaction between the oscillators. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Modugno M.,University of the Basque Country | Modugno M.,Ikerbasque | Pettini G.,University of Florence
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

We discuss a method for constructing generalizedWannier functions that are maximally localized at the minima of a one-dimensional periodic potential with a double well per unit cell. By following the approach of Marzari and Vanderbilt (1997 Phys. Rev. B 56 12847), we consider a set of band-mixing Wannier functions with minimal spread and design a specific two-step gauge transformation of the Bloch functions for a composite two-band system. This method is suited for efficiently computing the tight-binding coefficients needed for mapping the continuous system to a discrete lattice model. The behaviour of the tight-binding coefficients is analyzed here as a function of the symmetry properties of the double well (including the possibility of parity-breaking), in a range of feasible experimental parameters. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


Banci L.,University of Florence | Bertini I.,University of Florence | Ciofi-Baffoni S.,University of Florence | Kozyreva T.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2010

Copper is an essential trace element for eukaryotes and most prokaryotes. However, intracellular free copper must be strictly limited because of its toxic side effects. Complex systems for copper trafficking evolved to satisfy cellular requirements while minimizing toxicity. The factors driving the copper transfer between protein partners along cellular copper routes are, however, not fully rationalized. Until now, inconsistent, scattered and incomparable data on the copper-binding affinities of copper proteins have been reported. Here we determine, through a unified electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)-based strategy, in an environment that mimics the cellular redox milieu, the apparent Cu(I)-binding affinities for a representative set of intracellular copper proteins involved in enzymatic redox catalysis, in copper trafficking to and within various cellular compartments, and in copper storage. The resulting thermodynamic data show that copper is drawn to the enzymes that require it by passing from one copper protein site to another, exploiting gradients of increasing copper-binding affinity. This result complements the finding that fast copper-transfer pathways require metal-mediated protein-protein interactions and therefore protein-protein specific recognition. Together with Cu,Zn-SOD1, metallothioneins have the highest affinity for copper(I), and may play special roles in the regulation of cellular copper distribution; however, for kinetic reasons they cannot demetallate copper enzymes. Our study provides the thermodynamic basis for the kinetic processes that lead to the distribution of cellular copper. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Danese S.,IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital | Fiorino G.,IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital | Peyrin-Biroulet L.,University of Lorraine | Lucenteforte E.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2014

Biological agents are emerging treatment options for the management of ulcerative colitis (UC). Purpose: To assess the comparative efficacy and harm of biological agents in adult patients with moderately to severely active UC who are naive to biological agents. Data Sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library from inception through December 2013, without language restrictions, and ClinicalTrials.gov, European Medicines Agency, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web sites. Study Selection: Randomized, placebo-controlled or head-to-head trials assessing biological agents as induction or maintenance therapy for moderately to severely active UC. Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently abstracted study data and outcomes and rated each trial's risk of bias. Data Synthesis: There were no head-to-head trials. There were 7 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that were rated as low risk of bias and showed that all biological agents (adalimumab, golimumab, infliximab, and vedolizumab) resulted in more clinical responses, clinical remissions, and mucosal healings than placebo for induction therapy. The results of network meta-Analysis suggested that infliximab is more effective to induce clinical response (odds ratio, 2.36 [95% credible interval, 1.22 to 4.63]) and mucosal healing (odds ratio, 2.02 [95% credible interval, 1.13 to 3.59]) than adalimumab. No other indirect comparison reached statistical significance. For maintenance, 6 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that were rated high risk of bias showed that all biological agents have greater clinical efficacy than placebo. The occurrence of adverse events was not different between biological agents and placebo. Limitation: Few trials, no head-to-head comparisons, and inadequate follow-up in maintenance trials. Conclusion: Biological agents are effective treatments for UC, but head-to-head trials are warranted to establish the best therapeutic option. Primary Funding Source: Centro Ricerca e Cura delle Malattie Infiammatorie Croniche Intestinali, IRCCS Istituto Clinico Humanitas. (PROSPERO registration number: CRD42013005459). © 2014 American College of Physicians.


Corona G.,Maggiore Bellaria Hospital | Maseroli E.,University of Florence | Maggi M.,University of Florence
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2014

Introduction: Injectable testosterone undecanoate (TU) is a long-acting testosterone (T) formulation available for the treatment of male hypogonadism (HG) since 2003.Areas covered: The efficacy and safety of injectable TU are assessed, as obtained by meta-analyzing available evidence. An extensive Medline, Embase and Cochrane search was performed. All uncontrolled and placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials (RCTs), evaluating the effect of injectable TU on different outcomes, were included. Of the 98 retrieved articles, 33 were included in the study. Among those, 11 were placebo-controlled RCTs. Injectable TU was significantly associated with a reduction of fat mass and HbA1c in both controlled and uncontrolled trials, in particular when hypogonadal subjects were enrolled. Similar results were observed for the improvement of erectile function. In addition, TU ameliorated several other outcomes, including blood pressure, lipid profile, waist circumference and body mass index in uncontrolled studies, but these data were not confirmed in placebo-controlled trials. The treatment was well tolerated and no risk of prostate cancer or cardiovascular disease was observed.Expert opinion: Injectable TU is a safe and effective treatment for male HG. The possibility of a therapeutic intervention just four to five times per year frees the patient, at least partially, from having a chronic condition, thus maintaining a positive, active role in self-caring. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.


Objective: This is an empirical study exploring the personal level of experience of social dysfunction in persons with schizophrenia. Method: We adopted a qualitative method of inquiry based on a review of transcripts of individual therapy sessions conducted for 52 persons with chart diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizotypal disorder. Results: In our interviews, the experience of the social world in persons with schizophrenia emerged as an overall crisis of immediate, prepredicative, prereflexive attunement, typically accompanied by feelings of invasiveness and abnormalities in bodily and emotional sensations; a hyperreflexive mode for understanding the intentions of other persons, and a sceptical, aversive and sometimes utopian attitude towards sociality. Conclusion: Social dysfunction in persons with schizophrenia may reflect a disorder of the process of corporeal identification/differentiation that allows both for the intersubjective understanding through body-to-body attunement and for the demarcation between self and other. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Isidori A.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Buvat J.,Center ETPARP | Corona G.,Maggiore Bellaria Hospital | Goldstein I.,Alvarado Hospital | And 6 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Context Androgen modulation of erectile function (EF) is widely accepted. However, the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in men with erectile dysfunction (ED) has generated an unprecedented debate. Objective To summarize the relevant data on the incidence, diagnosis, and management of ED coexisting with hypogonadism and to develop a pathophysiology-based treatment algorithm. Evidence acquisition We reviewed the relevant medical literature, with a particular emphasis on original molecular studies, prospective observational data, and randomized controlled trials performed in the past 20 yr. Evidence synthesis Testosterone modulates nearly every component involved in EF, from pelvic ganglions to smooth muscle and the endothelial cells of the corpora cavernosa. It also regulates the timing of the erectile process as a function of sexual desire, coordinating penile erection with sex. Epidemiologic studies confirm the significant overlap of hypogonadism and ED; however, most guidelines do not consider the differential diagnosis of hypogonadism or the relevance of subclinical disease. Various clinical tools can help the physician to assess and restore androgen levels in men with ED. Special attention is given to fertility-sparing treatments, due to the increasing number of older men desiring fatherhood. The simultaneous use of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5-Is) and TRT has recently been questioned. Originally proposed as a salvage therapy for nonresponders to PDE5-Is, this approach has been inappropriately transformed into a combination therapy. Clinical data are consistent when reinterpreted in the proper framework, whereas molecular evidence remains controversial. Conclusions A body of molecular and clinical evidence supports the use of TRT in hypogonadal patients with ED, although the benefit-risk ratio is uncertain in advanced age. Critical appraisal of this evidence enabled the development of a pathophysiology-oriented algorithm designed to avoid inappropriate treatments and support whether to start with TRT, PDE5-I only, or both. Apparently divergent findings are reconciled when TRT is correctly indicated. An improved diagnosis and individualized management is desirable in light of the many available options. © 2013 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Mandala M.,Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital | Massi D.,University of Florence | De Giorgi V.,University of Florence
Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology | Year: 2013

Somatic mutations in the BRAF gene have been identified as the most frequent and relevant to develop targeted molecular therapies in melanoma. Recently, seminal clinical trials have provided indisputable evidence that BRAF inhibitors improve response rate, progression free and overall survival in BRAFV600 mutated metastatic melanoma patients, thus representing the novel standard of care. Dermatological "off target" effects of these so-called 'targeted therapies' have to be considered, however, and among them the most intriguing are cutaneous adverse reactions. Skin toxicity is of relevance for at least three reasons: (1) it worsens the patient's quality of life and may be difficult to manage, (2) its heterogeneous clinical presentation differs from the clinico-pathological pictures observed in patients who do not receive BRAF inhibitors, and; (3) onset of skin cancer represents a model of carcinogenesis which may help to better understand the potential visceral tumorigenesis induced by BRAF inhibitors. This manuscript summarizes and critically reviews the state of the art of skin toxicity associated with BRAF inhibitors. Special attention will be paid to clinical presentation and histopathological findings, as well as related challenges for clinicians, pathologists, and basic scientists. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-5-2014 | Award Amount: 6.92M | Year: 2015

RESOLVE proposal aims at enabling the development of a range of cost-effective, energy efficient and comfortable ELVs (Electric L-category Vehicles) that will primarily attract ICE car drivers to switch to ELVs for daily urban commutes. EU cities are increasingly congested due to the demand and usage of motor vehicles that results in emissions and noise levels increase and scarcer parking, affecting the quality of life and health of city-dwellers. To tackle such issue, European-wide emission targets are becoming stricter and urban mobility plans are being drawn. Future scenarios for EU urban centres see a modal shift in personal mobility from cars to lighter, smaller, more specialised and environmentally friendly alternatives. ELVs are such alternatives that can cater to the average commuters needs because of their smaller size, lighter weight, lower on board energy requirement and thus smaller batteries, which supports lower costs and faster recharge. However this modal shift has not been without challenges: many car drivers do not consider LVs as a viable and comfortable option. To achieve that, the project will develop components and systems that meet the very low cost requirements for the segment, particularly modular and scalable LV-specific electric powertrains and battery architectures. At the same time the project will deliver an exciting and attractive ELV driving experience by proposing new concepts (tilting & narrow track), while keeping the vehicle energy consumption at very low level. All the advances will be demonstrated in two tilting four wheelers demonstrator ELVs (L2e and L6e category), though a large number of such advances will also be applicable to the complete range of ELVs (including powered-two wheelers). The RESOLVE consortium is optimally positioned to drive such innovations: PIAGGIO and KTM are the 2 largest LV manufacturers in the EU and the whole ELV value chain is represented, complemented by top component suppliers and universities.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EINFRA-22-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

Open Science is around the corner. Scientists and organizations see it as a way to speed up, improve quality and reward, while policy makers see it as a means to optimize cost of science and leverage innovation. Open Science is an emerging vision, a way of thinking, whose challenges always gaze beyond its actual achievements. De facto, todays scientific communication ecosystem lacks tools and practices to allow researchers to fully embrace Open Science. OpenAIRE-Connect aims to provide technological and social bridges, and deliver services enabling uniform exchange of research artefacts (literature, data, and methods), with semantic links between them, across research communities and content providers in scientific communication. It will introduce and implement the concept of Open Science as a Service (OSaaS) on top of the existing OpenAIRE infrastructure, delivering out-of-the-box, on-demand deployable tools. OpenAIRE-Connect will adopt an end-user driven approach (via the involvement of 5 prominent research communities), and enrich the portfolio of OpenAIRE infrastructure production services with a Research Community Dashboard Service and a Catch-All Notification Broker Service. The first will offer publishing, interlinking, packaging functionalities to enable them to share and re-use their research artifacts (introducing methods, e.g. data,software, protocols). This effort, supported by the harvesting and mining intelligence of the OpenAIRE infrastructure, will provide communities with the content and tools they need to effectively evaluate and reproduce science. OpenAIRE-Connect will combine dissemination and training with OpenAIREs powerful NOAD network engaging research communities and content providers in adopting such services. These combined actions will bring immediate and long-term benefits to scholarly communication stakeholders by affecting the way research results are disseminated, exchanged, evaluated, and re-used.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: DRS-07-2014 | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2015

Increasing Europes resilience to crises and disasters is a topic of highest political concern in the EU and its Member States and Associated Countries. Regarding the specific case of transport systems, it can be said that those have developed a prominent safety and business critical nature, in view of which current management practices have shown evidence of important limitations in terms of resilience management. Furthermore, enhancing resilience in transport systems is considered imperative for two main reasons: such systems provide critical support to every socio-economic activity and are currently themselves one of the most important economic sectors and secondly, the paths that convey people, goods and information, are the same through which risks are propagated. RESOLUTE is answering those needs, by proposing to conduct a systematic review and assessment of the state of the art of the resilience assessment and management concepts, as a basis for the deployment of an European Resilience Management Guide (ERMG), taking into account that resilience is not about the performance of individual system elements but rather the emerging behaviour associated to intra and inter system interactions. The final goal of RESOLUTE is to adapt and adopt the identified concepts and methods from the defined guidelines for their operationalization and evaluation when addressing Critical Infrastructure (CI) of the Urban Transport System (UTS), through the implementation of the RESOLUTE Collaborative Resilience Assessment and Management Support System (CRAMSS), that adopts a highly synergic approach towards the definition of a resilience model for the next-generation of collaborative emergency services and decision making process.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP | Award Amount: 1.34M | Year: 2014

Worldwide, 278 million people are estimated to have moderate to profound hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbyacusis, affects approximately half of the population over 60 years old, making it the second most common cause of disability in older people. There is no restorative treatment for deafness but functional replacement by means of prosthesis. Therefore, prevention and treatment of hearing loss is an unmet medical need. The TARGEAR project is constituted by experienced research groups in complementary fields ranging from the molecular to the clinical aspects of age-related hearing loss. The general objective is to develop a collaborative strategy between public research centres and private companies, based in transfer of knowledge, to design and implement preclinical studies for presbyacusis. A second general objective is to contribute to the formation of early-stage researchers in the experimental design, transfer and translation of knowledge in the field of hearing loss. It is essential for Europe future aged population to have well-trained people available to understand hearing loss from a general perspective. According to this, the foreseen secondments and training activities will involve a total of 15 experienced and early-stage researchers. In the end, TARGEAR project will develop a stronger biomedical research in hearing loss for a better future for the deaf people.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2010

Autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by an antibody response to citrullinated proteins. Periodontitis (PD) is largely caused by infection, in which Porphyromonas gingivalis is a major pathogen. The two diseases combine specific HLA-DRB1alleles and smoking as risk factors, and have a similar pathophysiology characterised by destructive inflammation. A possible causative link between RA and PD is based on the ability of P. gingivalis to citrullinate proteins and thereby generate autoantigens that drive autoimmunity in RA. We hypothesise that anti-citrullinated protein antibodies can be generated, in genetically susceptible individuals, as a consequence of P. Gingivalis-induced citrullination in the gingiva. In the context of genetic risk factors, during chronic exposure to danger signals, such as bacterial lipopolysacharides and DNA, tolerance to citrullinated proteins may be broken, with production of a pathogenic antibody response, which at a later time point cross-reacts with joint proteins and causes chronic RA. We will use a multidisciplinary approach (genetics, epidemiology, molecular immunology and animal models) to study susceptibility factors and immune responses in RA and PD, with an aim to identify novel etiological and pathogenic pathways, forming the basis for new therapies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.60M | Year: 2009

This collaborative project will develop a European methodology to assess the implementation of research evidence into practice (the European Implementation Score (EIS)), in primary, secondary and specialist care from the perspectives of different target groups (users and carers, voluntary organisations, range of health and social care professionals and health policy makers). The EIS will measure how well new knowledge is implemented into clinical practice in Europe. The EIS will address implementation of research knowledge at different levels of the health care system (micro-, meso- and macro-level) and in different health care settings (e.g. primary care, hospital, specialised care). The focus of the project will be in stroke because of the emerging new evidence of effective new treatments available and because of the national initiatives and governmental policies in this area. We will test the transferability of the develop methods using coronary heart disease as another vascular disease example. General recommendations for measuring effective implementation of research results will be developed from the perspectives of users, health care professionals and health policy, hence widening the theoretical framework for effective implementation from a focus on patients and professionals alone. The different components of the EIS will be refined according to their ability to predict successful implementation of evidence based stroke care in different settings in Europe. The identification of factors determining effective implementation will be data driven, analysing available data from national audits and population-based registers. The EIS will benchmark the current status of implementation of research results in different health care settings at different levels of the health care system and will inform health policy of a possible set of processes required for closing the research/practice gap.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.4.1.2. | Award Amount: 3.94M | Year: 2010

The objective of the ALARP project is therefore to study, design and develop an innovative more efficient Automatic Track Warning System (ATWS) to improve the safety of railway trackside workers. ALARP ATWS will able to selectively inform the trackside workers about approaching trains on the track, maintenance events on power lines and/or safety equipment in the concerned tracks that may put at risk workers safety (e.g. being hit by a train or by an electric shock) emergencies on tracks and tunnels nearby the workers (e.g. fires in a tunnel, toxic smoke, etc.), escape routes in case of emergencies; keep track of the status and localisation of the workers (and especially those at risk, not responding) and of the operating conditions of devices; The proposed ALARP concept) will be based on the following main components: the track-side train presence alert device (TPAD), able to sense an approaching train on the interested track without interfering with the signalling system; a set of distributed, low-cost, wearable, context-aware, robust, trustable and highly reliable, wireless Mobile Terminals (MTs) to inform the workers about possible approaching trains and/or other events that could put at risk their safety.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.3 | Award Amount: 3.09M | Year: 2010

Partners to this proposal include the six major global programmes exploring the full extent of species diversity, a core dimension in human knowledge of global biodiversity.\nThey are: GBIF and distribution modelling, the EBI/INDSC, and Barcode of Life initiatives and molecular diversity, IUCN Red Lists and the species conservation movement, and the Species 2000 Catalogue of Life taxonomic framework. These will work closely with ELIXIR and LifeWatch, the ESFRI Infrastructures covering biodiversity, and build on the 4D4Life Project that develops the internal e-infrastructure of the Catalogue of Life.\nThe i4Life project is to establish a Virtual Research Community that will enable each of these global projects to engage in a common programme enumerating the extent of life on earth. It builds on the common need of each organisation to specify the entire set of organisms, their growing use of the Catalogue of Life as a common taxonomic resource alongside their own catalogues, and the different expertise that each programme brings to the task.\nThese key players present particular hurdles to Catalogue integration because they a) have established their own architectures, standards and protocols, b) have special requirements, and c) have their own partial catalogues that need to be integrated with the Catalogue of Life in a two way flow.\nIn each case i4Life will design, implement and test the necessary special pipelines, as well as contributing significantly to enhancement of the Catalogue of Life for all to use through the inflows from the partners. By providing access to a common species catalogue within each of the organisations, we expect to contribute a much needed level of knowledge integrity across the various scientific and community studies of the global biota. To make sense of global biodiversity it is vital that these organisations can communicate through a unified view of the extent of life.


Metabolomics is an important phenotyping technique for molecular biology and medicine. It assesses the molecular state of an organism or collections of organisms through the comprehensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of all small molecules in cells, tissues, and body fluids. Metabolic processes are at the core of physiology. Consequently, metabolomics is ideally suited as a medical tool to characterise disease states in organisms, as a tool to assessment of organism for their suitability in, for example, renewable energy production or for biotechnological applications in general.\nWe now see the emergence of metabolomics databases and repositories in various subareas of metabolomics and the emergence of large general e-infrastructures in the life sciences. In particular the BioMedBridges project is set to link a variety of European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)s projects, such as ELIXIR and BBMRI.\nMetabolomics generates large and diverse sets of analytical data and therefore impose significant challenges for the above mentioned e-infrastructures.\nWe will therefore develop policies to ensure that Metabolomics data is\n\n1.\tEncoded in open standards to allow barrier-free and wide-spread analysis.\n2.\tTagged with a community-agreed, complete set of metadata (minimum information standard).\n3.\tSupported by a communally developed set of open source data management and capturing tools.\n4.\tDisseminated in open-access databases adhering to the above standards.\n5.\tSupported by vendors and publishers, who require deposition upon publication\n6.\tProperly interfaced with data in other biomedical and life-science e-infrastructures (such as ELIXIR, BioMedBridges, EU-Openscreen).\n\nIn order to achieve this, we have assembled the COSMOS (CCOordination of Standards in MetabOlomicS) consortium of leading European groups in Metabolomics and we will interface with all interested players in Metabolomics world-wide in the Metabolomics community and beyond.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: GC.SST.2012.1-1.;GC.NMP.2012-2 | Award Amount: 10.47M | Year: 2012

Lightweight materials such as carbon-fibre reinforced plastics have been used up to now mostly in high-performance cars with relatively high cost & low production volumes. Instead the electric cars of the future require lightweight solutions that not only enable specific design requirements to be respected but are also cost effective and sustainable throughout their lifecycle. ENLIGHT aims to accelerate the technological development of a portfolio of innovative thermoset, thermoplastic, bio-based and hybrid materials which together offer a strong potential to reduce weight and overall carbon footprint to enable their viable application to medium-high volume EVs in 2020-25. Through the collaboration of EUCAR, CLEPA and EARPA, ENLIGHT will act as an open innovation platform, integrating valuable insights from other EU research projects with a holistic design approach. Five demonstrator modules of a future EV architecture will be developed, validating the performance of the materials in structurally demanding parts of the car. The demonstration and evaluation of the lightweight potential will be supported virtually with a full vehicle model.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2013

The project has four main objectives: To provide advices to stakeholders on how to foster Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation; to draft an Evolutionary Theory of Social Entrepreneurship to explain the different evolutionary paths of Social Entrepreneurship in Europe and how Social Entrepreneurship and institutions co-evolved during time; to identify the features of an enabling eco-system for Social Entrepreneurship; to identify the New Generation of Social Entrepreneurs, its features, needs and constraints as well as their contribution to Social Innovation. In pursuing these four main objectives other objectives will be reached: increasing the understating of their functioning of Social Enterprises, increase the visibility of the local, domestic and international role of Social Entrepreneurship, understand which are the main problems in accessing resources for Social Entrepreneurs, understand the degree of inappropriateness of the legal environments in relation with the daily operation of the Social Enterprise


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.88M | Year: 2012

The main objectives of FUTUREVOLC are to establish an integrated volcanological monitoring procedure through European collaboration, develop new methods to evaluate volcanic crises, increase scientific understanding of magmatic processes and improve delivery of relevant information to civil protection and authorities. To reach these objectives the project combines broad European expertise in seismology, volcano deformation, volcanic gas and geochemistry, infrasound, eruption monitoring, physical volcanology, satellite studies of plumes, meteorology, ash dispersal forecasting, and civil defence. This European consortium leads the way for multi-national volcanological collaboration with the aim of mitigating the effects of major eruptions that pose cross-border hazards. Iceland is selected as a laboratory supersite area for demonstration because of (i) the relatively high rate of large eruptions with potential for long ranging effects, and (ii) Icelands capability to produce the near full spectrum of volcano processes at its many different volcano types. Based on present monitoring networks and ongoing research, the project will bridge gaps and combine efforts for a coherent close-to-real-time evaluation of the state of Icelandic volcanoes and their unrest. The project will provide timely information on magma movements from combined interpretation of earthquake sources relocated in three-dimensional velocity models, magma sources inferred from ground and space geodetic data, and measurements of volcanic volatiles. For better response during eruptions, the project will develop operational models of magma discharge rate, contributing directly to improved forecasts of ash dispersion. They will help to minimise economic disruption on a European scale during eruptions. By integrating a Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre and a civil protection unit into the project, European citizens will benefit directly from the scientific work of FUTUREVOLC.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2013

MYCORRAY addresses a need identified by winegrowing sector SMEs for early, reliable, simultaneous identification of the 11 most relevant grapevine trunk fungi responsible for the most harmful diseases of grapevines, with crop losses estimated at thousands of millions of Euros in the EU alone every year. With an estimated commercial price of 1,500 per device and 30 per test, MYCORRAY will allow to effectively control grapevine trunk diseases, reducing the losses caused by these pathogens and their spread by means of immediate, precise and efficient interventions. The main innovations of MYCORRAY system are the application of the DNA microarray approach to the detection of different fungi involved in grapevine trunk diseases, and the development of a cost-effective, standalone (no PC needed) array reader for routine laboratory use, overcoming the limitations of the state of the art in terms of simultaneous detection, test and platform price, time-to-result, ease of use and interpretation and self-sufficiency. Additionally, a Guide for Best Practices will provide the most appropriate indications for reducing inoculum presence, avoiding new infections and reducing symptom development, based on the type and frequency of the pathogens found, improving disease control strategies. The consortium brings together a very diverse and representative sample of the three key main groups of potential customers of the technology (large wine producer, vine nursery and diagnostic test provider SMEs) and expert European SMEs for the development, manufacture and commercialization of MYCORRAY to guarantee the best exploitation route to a market worth an estimated 5,3 million over five years.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2011

Farming practices that lead to declining returns and inputs of carbon (C) to soils pose a threat to soil functions by reducing availability of organic matter for soil microbes and by affecting soil structure, and soil C stocks that are key to regulating greenhouse gas emissions. SmartSOIL focuses on arable and mixed farming systems in Europe and will develop an innovative approach using the soil C flow and stocks concept to assess the impact of C management on crop productivity, soil organic C (SOC) stocks and other ecosystem services. SmartSOIL will identify and develop options to increase C stocks and optimise C use (flows) whilst maintaining sustainable SOC stocks. The flow and stocks concept will delineate short- versus long-term management effects on vital soil functions through meta-analyses of data from European long-term experiments (LTEs), as well as new measurements within LTEs. The new understanding will be used to improve existing soil and crop simulation models and test the models against independent LTE data. The models will then be used to derive a simplified model to estimate the short- and long-term effects of management on crop productivity and SOC storage. Scenarios of future management systems in Europe for improved productivity and enhanced SOC sequestration will be evaluated under current and future climate. The cost-effectiveness of alternative policy measures and options for managing SOC flows and stocks for improved productivity and SOC storage will be assessed based on the simplified model. SmartSOIL will develop a decision support tool (DST) to enable farmers, advisors and policy makers to discuss and select the most appropriate and cost-effective practices for particular farming systems, soils and climates. SmartSOIL will engage key stakeholders in case study regions and the wider EU in the development of the DST, guidelines and policy recommendations, and will inform the scientific and user community on progress and results.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: HEALTH.2013.4.1-4 | Award Amount: 554.66K | Year: 2013

Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Chronic kidney (DCC) -diseases are relentlessly increasing globally, causing enormous human suffering, premature deaths and unsustainable costs. Leading European research has indisputably pointed that the kidney filtration barrier and its epithelial cell, the podocyte, is a common denominator for the DCC-diseases. However, European excellence and expertise have remained uncoordinated in separate pockets and, consequently, underutilised for full societal benefits and capacity creation to combat the challenges of diabetic, hypertensive and primary kidney diseases. Notably, these diseases are of major healthcare interest and of key importance for discovery intensive biopharma industry. KidneyConnect brings together teams of excellence to underpin nationally funded programs under a) Discovery and Future Technologies b) New Research Platforms c) Translational and d) Clinical Podocyte Research to create connected capacities, access to well trained talents and to optimize strategies for industry-academia cowork. In addition to resource maps, KidneyConnect supports international congresses, training courses, talent coaching, special seminars and builds systematically relations to key stakeholders. Due to the limited funds available, main aims are to provide roadmaps for future efforts, outlines for shared data -and sample repositories, targeted training, societal outreach and, as a result, competitive European funded programs. Our events are arranged as satellites of established meetings and supported by in-kind contribution from partners. The goal is to establish faster translation from discovery to clinical practices by creating dynamic networks, sustainable capacities and outlines for improved kidney disease management. High cohesion and shared resources together with the most prominent European authorities included will guarantee optimized resource usage. Substantial benefits and competitiveness in the huge global markets are to be expected


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.1 | Award Amount: 2.09M | Year: 2012

We aim at designing, prototyping, and validating a new generation of ICT hardware and software technologies inspired from plant roots, called PLANTOIDS, endowed with distributed sensing, actuation, and intelligence for tasks of environmental exploration and monitoring. PLANTOIDS take inspiration from, and aim at reproducing, the amazing penetration, exploration, and adaptation capabilities of plant roots. Plants have evolved very robust growth behaviours to respond to changes in their environment and a network of highly sensorized branching roots to efficiently explore the soil volume, mining minerals and up-taking water. PLANTOID has two major goals: 1) to abstract and synthesize with robotic artefacts the principles that enable plant roots to effectively and efficiently explore and adapt to underground environments; 2) to formulate scientifically testable hypotheses and models of some unknown aspects of plant roots, such as the role of local communication among root apices during adaptive growth and the combination of rich sensory information to produce collective decisions. The PLANTOID artefact will be composed of a network of sensorized and actuated roots, displaying rich sensing and coordination capabilities as well as energy-efficient actuation and high sustainability, typical of the Plant Kingdom. Each PLANTOID root will consist of an apex that comprises sensors, actuators, control units, and by an elongation zone that mechanically connects the apex and the trunk of the robot. The new technologies expected to result from PLANTOID concern energy-efficient actuation systems, chemical and physical micro-sensors, sensor fusion techniques, kinematics models, and distributed, adaptive control in networked structures with local information and communication capabilities. The foundational research program of PLANTOID will be carried out by a consortium of engineers, plant biologists, and computer scientists with demonstrated experience in interdisciplinary work.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 606.90K | Year: 2013

The overall aim of the proposal is to implement an exchange program and to promote a mutual and beneficial transfer of knowledge between Europe (Spain, Portugal, Italy and France) and Latin America (Argentina and Mexico) in the field of Gender Studies, in order to enrich the theoretical framework, to consolidate the institutional dimension of the different research programs having gender as focus and to set up new research activities. The proposal focuses issues of gender and citizenship, which are crucial both for the advancement of gender theories and of gender policies. Specific objectives of the proposal are in fact: a) The opening of interdisciplinary, original and innovative research perspectives; b) The contribution to the assessment and the definition of gender policies at international, national and local level in the two continents; c) the establishment of a network that will allow the reciprocal transfer of knowledge between Europe and Latin America The three objectives are extremely relevant, both for the ERA the European Research Area-, considering that the field of Gender Studies is still underdeveloped in comparison with the United States, and for the EU policy that has put gender equality as a main goal to reach. The exchange program will allow senior and junior researchers to take part in PhD courses, Master programs, Intensive programs, Summer Schools; will encourage co-direction of PhD and will produce publication of books and articles in peer reviewed journals. Outreach activities are foreseen outside the academic world reaching politicians, stakeholders and the general public with the aim of suggesting strategies and proposing recommendations for promoting gender equality.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-03 | Award Amount: 7.18M | Year: 2011

Microalgae are a highly promising resource for the sustainable production of a wide variety of biomaterials for a wide range of applications. Microalgae can transform solar energy at high efficiency directly into valuable biological products using marginal water resources, waste nutrients and exhaust CO2 without the needs for high value cropland. A wide variety of eukaryotic microalgae of high evolutionary diversity produce naturally valuable products like polyunsaturated fatty acids, carotenoids, medically active carbohydrates etc. Nevertheless only a few commercially viable algal products have entered the market. Algal cultivation and induction of high value product accumulation is a complex problem, algae grow in diluted solutions and require large areas and water volumes, causing high cultivation and harvesting costs and posing contamination problems and variable productivities due to climate variability. Genetic modifications to make microalgae better suit industrial applications are possible over a wide range of target mechanisms: stress tolerance, product accumulation pathways, cellular chlorophyll contents, novel metabolic pathways, resistance to pathogens and competition, etc. Due to the wide variability of algal strains under consideration, available techniques for genetic manipulations have to be adapted or developed for all algal strains of interest. Our consortium will adapt genetic engineering techniques to various algal strains of economic interest focusing on carotenoid and PUFA production and the overexpression of peptides of commercial value. In parallel we will develop cultivation technologies, harvesting and extraction methods for lipids, carotenoids and proteins using existing model algae strains that will then be adapted to suitable improved strains. Furthermore products will be tested for energy, pharmaceutical, nutritional or medical applications for economic evaluation of the production processes and their economic exploitation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007.1.3.2.1. | Award Amount: 2.65M | Year: 2008

MOVE will create knowledge, frameworks and methods for the assessment of vulnerability to natural hazards in Europe. It will use indices and indicators to help improve societal and environmental resilience. Floods, temperature extremes, droughts, landslides, earthquakes, wildfires and storms will be studied. Emphasis will be placed on clear, capable measurement and accounting for uncertainties. MOVE will identify gaps in existing methodologies. It will produce a conceptual framework that is independent of scale and hazard type. It analyse physical (technical), environmental, economic, social, cultural and institutional vulnerability. These will be measured for specific hazards and at different geographical scales. Methodologies will be tested in case study regions on vulnerable elements and appropriate hazard types. Case studies will enable the availability and quality of existing data at sub-national (NUTS 3-5) and local scales to be examined. MOVE will evaluate statistical data (for cities, from EUROSTAT, etc.) and remote sensing information. The case studies will integrate and combine economic damage and social vulnerability methods. The generic framework, data analysis and applicability tests will result in a standard approach to vulnerability assessment in Europe. Stakeholders will be consulted systematically in order to understand their needs and to enable MOVE to draw attention to the practical value of its methodologies. There will be six work-packages. First, terms will be defined and gaps in existing methodologies identified. Next, a generic framework will be developed, with variants for particular scales, hazards and situations. Thirdly, the methods will be applied to case studies. The fourth and fifth packages will develop co-operation processes with stakeholders and ensure that the framework and the methods are disseminated for the benefit of European citizens. Project co-ordination will occupy the final package.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.5 | Award Amount: 3.15M | Year: 2010

RECOGNITION will develop a radically new approach for embedding self-awareness in ICT systems. This will be based on the cognitive processes that the human species exhibits for self-awareness, seeking to exploit the fact that humans are ultimately the fundamental basis for high performance autonomic processes. This is due to the cognitive ability of the brain to efficiently assert relevance (or irrelevance), extract knowledge and take appropriate decisions, when faced with partial information and disparate stimuli. Using the psychological and cognitive sciences as concrete inspiration, our approach is to develop functional models of the core cognitive processes that allow humans to assert relevance and achieve knowledge from information. This involves mechanisms such as inference, belief, similarity and trust. These will be translated to the ICT domain by development of flexible RECOGNITION algorithms that can be imbedded in ICT on a flexible basis for self-awareness.\nWe will demonstrate this new paradigm for Internet content. The future Internet will see ever-increasing amounts of content that needs to be effectively managed and acquired, often from portable devices and in diverse spatial and social situations. The massive scale of content will swamp the user with information, impeding effective management and relevant acquisition by the user. By exploiting the self-awareness capability we will enable the users, content and network to cope effectively in a scalable manner, thus making unprecedented amounts of relevant content available and unleashing new classes of applications that extract maximum utility from content.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.1 | Award Amount: 1.86M | Year: 2013

Primary goal of the proposed research action is the development of a novel strategy for hybridizing silicon based photonic devices, exploiting semiconducting carbon nanotubes (CNT) as integrated light source, modulator and detector. Photonics in Information and Communication Technologies is more and more investigated for a broad application domain. These applications require efficient optoelectronic devices to emit, modulate and detect light. To facilitate photonic and electronic convergence, the envisioned approach is based on the silicon platform. However, the definition of optoelectronic devices requires several kinds of materials (Si, Ge and III-V) as silicon is an indirect-gap material with poor electro-optic properties. This project aims at investigating a new and innovative field through the use of CNT in the near infrared wavelength range. The main breakthrough will come from the development of CNT-based optoelectronic components directly co-integrated within a silicon platform to address the major challenges of photonics. Such integration has never been investigated so far and thanks to a joint experimental and theoretical investigation our major goal is to establish the potential of CNT technology for nanophotonics applications. The project reposes on three major cornerstones: (i) A waveguide detector in the 1.3-1.6m wavelength range, (ii) integrated optical modulators using Kerr (electro-refraction) and Stark (electro-absorption) effects and (iii) An integrated electrically pumped optical nanosource. Each of these cornerstones will be a worlds premiere and will constitute a breakthrough. Inherently, this makes it a high risk/high gain yet achievable proposal with a foundational impact both in knowledge and technology for nanophotonics. In a long term vision the establishment of new state of the art and advanced know-how on optoelectronic devices based on CNT will allow developing and addressing a broad range of applications in information technologies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: COMPET-04-2015 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2016

Microbiological contamination can be attenuated, never eliminated. Space exploration requires development of reliable rapid significant and safe methods for preventing, monitoring and control the biocontamination within manned closed environments. These methods have to be automated, simple and conceived to decrease the (re-)supply mass from ground. Both space and terrestrial monitoring and prevention/mitigation methods are currently working separately instead of working in synergy. The proposed BIOWYSE project foresees development and demonstration of an integrated system suitable for future accommodation aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and from a long-term viewpoint, within Moon and Mars habitats. The BIOWYSE consortium will design, build and test single prevention, monitoring and mitigation modules. Thus, they will be integrated in a single system inside a compact breadboard and tested. Critical aspects or gravity-dependent technologies of the breadboard will be designed with the perspective of a future accommodation within a rack of the ISS (e.g.: in EDR-2 of Columbus), as a precursor of elements for long-duration space missions and future planetary outposts (e.g. Mars). In order to validate key technologies for the biocontamination control integrated system in real conditions and with representative features, the BIOWYSE project is based on the following major objectives: 1. Exploitation of ISS data from recent project related to the system functionalities 2. Designing single modules taking into account the intent of a demonstration aboard an International Standard Payload Rack 3. Building a system in order to test integrated key technologies 4. Developing and demonstrating operational techniques and processes for preventing, monitoring and mitigating the microbiological risk in water loops 5. Actively leveraging synergies between space and non-space partners, evaluating the system efficiency in real platforms for water loops and wet surfaces


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.3. | Award Amount: 8.43M | Year: 2013

ARIADNE is a proposal to bring together and integrate the existing archaeological research data infrastructures so that researchers can use the various distributed datasets and new and powerful technologies as an integral component of the archaeological research methodology. There is now a large availability of archaeological digital datasets that altogether span different periods, domains and regions; more are continuously created as a result of the increasing use of IT. They are the accumulated outcome of the research of individuals, teams and institutions, but form a vast and fragmented corpus and their potential is constrained by difficult access and non-homogenous perspectives. This integrating activity will enable trans-national access of researchers to data centres, tools and guidance, and the creation of new Web-based services based on common interfaces to data repositories, availability of reference datasets and usage of innovative technologies. It will stimulate new research avenues in the field of archaeology, relying on the comparison, re-use and integration into current research of the outcomes of past and on-going field and laboratory activity. Such data are scattered amongst diverse collections, datasets, inaccessible and unpublished fieldwork reports grey literature, and in publications, the latter still being the main source of knowledge sharing. It will contribute to the creation of a new community of researchers ready to exploit the contribution of Information Technology and to incorporate it in the body of established archaeological research methodology. To achieve this result the project will use a number of integrating technologies that build on common features of the currently available datasets, and on integrating actions that will build a vibrant community of use. The overall objective outlined above will be achieved through subordinate goals, which altogether will enable the provision of advanced Integrated Infrastructure.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRASUPP-01-2016 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

RISCAPE will provide systematic, focused, high quality, comprehensive, consistent and peer-reviewed international landscape analysis report on the position and complementarities of the major European research infrastructures in the international research infrastructure landscape. To achieve this, RISCAPE will establish a close links with a stakeholder panel representing the main user groups of the report, including representatives from ESFRI, the OECD and Member state funding agencies to ensure usability and the focus of the Report. It will also benefit from close co-operation with other projects and initiatives in the European research infrastructures development to ensure consistency with the existing landscape work. Particularly, RISCAPE builds on the European Research Infrastructures (RIs) in the ESFRI landscape report (2016) and on the landscape analysis done or currently underway in the H2020 cluster projects. RISCAPE leverages the experts on the European RIs with extensive knowledge on the disciplines involved and RI development in Europe and the project benefits from the contacts and tools developed in the cluster- and international RI collaboration projects to maximize the discipline-specific usability of the results. A key factor in the RISCAPE analysis is that the complementarities will be analyzed in a way which is natural and suitable for the discipline and RI in question. The resulting Report and the used methods will be independently peer reviewed to maximize the usability and objectivity of the information provided for the EU strategic RI development and policy. The project answers directly to the European Commission strategy on EU international cooperation in research and innovation, particularly on the need to obtain objective information in order to help implement the (EC) strategic approach.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.medicalnewstoday.com

A tiny snail may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief. Scientists at the University of Utah have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Research in rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound have cleared the body. The findings were reported online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Opioids is highly addictive and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The medical community is in need of alternative therapies that do not rely on the opioid pathways to relieve pain. "Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated and can have unexpected applications," begins Baldomera Olivera, Ph.D., professor in biology at the University of Utah. "We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system." Conus regius, a small marine cone snail common to the Caribbean Sea, packs a venomous punch, capable of paralyzing and killing its prey. In this study, the researchers found that a compound isolated from snail's venom, Rg1A, acts on a pain pathway distinct from that targeted by opioid drugs. Using rodent models, the scientists showed that a9a10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) functions as a pain pathway receptor and that RgIA4 is an effective compound to block this receptor. The pathway adds to a small number of nonopioid-based pathways that could be further developed to treat chronic pain. Interestingly, the duration of the pain relief is long, greatly outlasting the presence of the compound in the animal's system. The compound works its way through the body in 4 hours, but the scientists found the beneficial effects lingered. "We found that the compound was still working 72 hours after the injection, still preventing pain," said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah Health Sciences. The duration of the outcome may suggest that the snail compound has a restorative effect on some components of the nervous system. "What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention," said McIntosh. "Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offer a new therapy to patients who have run out of options." The researchers will continue to the next step of pre-clinical testing to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a new drug therapy. Previous research had shown that RgIA was effective in rodents, but the scientists wanted to ensure they had a compound that would work in people. To do this, they used synthetic chemistry to engineer 20 analogs of the compound. In essence, the scientists started with a key (RgIA) that fits into a lock (the pain pathway receptor a9a10 nAChR). Using the key as a template, they developed new keys (analogs) with slightly different configurations. The scientists found one key that best fit the lock: the analog RgIA4 tightly bound to the human receptor. To test whether the compound relieved pain, the scientists administered it to rodents that were exposed to a chemotherapy drug that causes extreme cold sensitivity, as well as hypersensitivity to touch. "Interactions that are not normally painful, like sheets rubbing against the body or pants against the leg, becomes painful," said McIntosh. While the untreated rodents experienced pain after exposure to the chemotherapy drug, rodents given the compound did not experience pain. Nor did rodents that were genetically altered rodents to lack the pain pathway receptor. This work demonstrates that a9a10 nAChR acts as a pain pathway receptor, and that RgIA4 prevents the receptor from being activated. Most pain medications available today work through a limited number of pathways and are not sufficient to alleviate chronic pain. "RgIA4 works by an entirely new pathway, which opens the door for new opportunities to treat pain," said McIntosh. "We feel that drugs that work by this pathway may reduce burden of opioid use." McIntosh and Olivera collaborated with colleagues from University of Utah, University of Florence, Italy, A.T. Still University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Kineta, Inc., Seattle, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City. The research was funded by National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Kineta, Inc.


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A tiny snail may offer an alternative to opioids for pain relief. Scientists at the University of Utah have found a compound that blocks pain by targeting a pathway not associated with opioids. Research in rodents indicates that the benefits continue long after the compound have cleared the body. The findings were reported online in the February 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The opioid crisis has reached epidemic proportions. Opioids is highly addictive and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The medical community is in need of alternative therapies that do not rely on the opioid pathways to relieve pain. "Nature has evolved molecules that are extremely sophisticated and can have unexpected applications," begins Baldomera Olivera, Ph.D., professor in biology at the University of Utah. "We were interested in using venoms to understand different pathways in the nervous system." Conus regius, a small marine cone snail common to the Caribbean Sea, packs a venomous punch, capable of paralyzing and killing its prey. In this study, the researchers found that a compound isolated from snail's venom, Rg1A, acts on a pain pathway distinct from that targeted by opioid drugs. Using rodent models, the scientists showed that ?9?10 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) functions as a pain pathway receptor and that RgIA4 is an effective compound to block this receptor. The pathway adds to a small number of nonopioid-based pathways that could be further developed to treat chronic pain. Interestingly, the duration of the pain relief is long, greatly outlasting the presence of the compound in the animal's system. The compound works its way through the body in 4 hours, but the scientists found the beneficial effects lingered. "We found that the compound was still working 72 hours after the injection, still preventing pain," said J. Michael McIntosh, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of Utah Health Sciences. The duration of the outcome may suggest that the snail compound has a restorative effect on some components of the nervous system. "What is particularly exciting about these results is the aspect of prevention," said McIntosh. "Once chronic pain has developed, it is difficult to treat. This compound offers a potential new pathway to prevent pain from developing in the first place and offer a new therapy to patients who have run out of options." The researchers will continue to the next step of pre-clinical testing to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a new drug therapy. Previous research had shown that RgIA was effective in rodents, but the scientists wanted to ensure they had a compound that would work in people. To do this, they used synthetic chemistry to engineer 20 analogs of the compound. In essence, the scientists started with a key (RgIA) that fits into a lock (the pain pathway receptor ?9?10 nAChR). Using the key as a template, they developed new keys (analogs) with slightly different configurations. The scientists found one key that best fit the lock: the analog RgIA4 tightly bound to the human receptor. To test whether the compound relieved pain, the scientists administered it to rodents that were exposed to a chemotherapy drug that causes extreme cold sensitivity, as well as hypersensitivity to touch. "Interactions that are not normally painful, like sheets rubbing against the body or pants against the leg, becomes painful," said McIntosh. While the untreated rodents experienced pain after exposure to the chemotherapy drug, rodents given the compound did not experience pain. Nor did rodents that were genetically altered rodents to lack the pain pathway receptor. This work demonstrates that ?9?10 nAChR acts as a pain pathway receptor, and that RgIA4 prevents the receptor from being activated. Most pain medications available today work through a limited number of pathways and are not sufficient to alleviate chronic pain. "RgIA4 works by an entirely new pathway, which opens the door for new opportunities to treat pain," said McIntosh. "We feel that drugs that work by this pathway may reduce burden of opioid use." McIntosh and Olivera collaborated with colleagues from University of Utah, University of Florence, Italy, A.T. Still University, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Kineta, Inc., Seattle, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City. The research was funded by National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Kineta, Inc.


Camici P.G.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Olivotto I.,University of Florence | Rimoldi O.E.,National Research Council Italy
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology | Year: 2012

Two distinct types of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) have been described: the so called "physiologic" hypertrophy, which is normally found in professional athletes, and "pathologic" LVH which is found in patients with inherited heart muscle disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) or patients with cardiac and systemic diseases characterized by pressure or volume overload. Patients with pathologic LVH have often symptoms and signs suggestive of myocardial ischemia despite normal coronary angiograms. Under these circumstances ischemia is due to coronary microvascular dysfunction (CMD). The abnormalities of the coronary microcirculation may be unrelated to the degree of LVH and cause a reduction in maximum myocardial blood flow which, in the absence of epicardial stenoses, is suggestive of CMD. There is no technique that enables direct visualization of coronary microcirculation in vivo in humans. Therefore, its assessment relies on the measurement of parameters which reflect its functional status, such as myocardial blood flow and coronary flow reserve which is an integrated measure of flow through both the large epicardial coronary arteries and the microcirculation. In this review article we discuss the pathophysiological mechanisms responsible for CMD in patients with primary and secondary LVH and how the recognition of this phenomenon is providing new important information on patient stratification and prognosis. Finally, we discuss how assessment of CMD may be used as a valuable surrogate marker to test the efficacy of old and new drugs. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Coronary Blood Flow". © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Sessoli R.,University of Florence | Boulon M.-E.,University of Florence | Caneschi A.,University of Florence | Mannini M.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2015

Magneto-chiral dichroism is a non-reciprocal-that is, directional-effect observed in magnetized chiral systems, featuring an unbalanced absorption of unpolarized light depending on the direction of the magnetization. Despite the fundamental interest in a phenomenon breaking both parity and time-reversal symmetries, magneto-chiral dichroism is one of the least investigated aspects of light-matter interaction most likely because of the weakness of the effect in most reported experiments. Here we have exploited the element selectivity of hard X-ray radiation to investigate the magneto-chiral properties of enantiopure crystals of two isostructural molecular helicoidal chains comprising either cobalt(II) or manganese(II) ions. A strong magneto-chiral dichroism, with Kuhn asymmetry of the order of a few per cent, has been observed in the cobalt chains system, whereas it is practically absent for the manganese derivative. The spectral features of the X-ray magneto-chiral dichroism signal differ significantly from the natural and magnetic dichroic contributions and have been rationalized here using the multipolar expansion of matter-radiation interaction. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Parri M.,Externautics | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence
Cell Communication and Signaling | Year: 2010

Rho GTPases represent a family of small GTP-binding proteins involved in cell cytoskeleton organization, migration, transcription, and proliferation. A common theme of these processes is a dynamic reorganization of actin cytoskeleton which has now emerged as a major switch control mainly carried out by Rho and Rac GTPase subfamilies, playing an acknowledged role in adaptation of cell motility to the microenvironment. Cells exhibit three distinct modes of migration when invading the 3 D environment. Collective motility leads to movement of cohorts of cells which maintain the adherens junctions and move by photolytic degradation of matrix barriers. Single cell mesenchymal-type movement is characterized by an elongated cellular shape and again requires extracellular proteolysis and integrin engagement. In addition it depends on Rac1-mediated cell polarization and lamellipodia formation. Conversely, in amoeboid movement cells have a rounded morphology, the movement is independent from proteases but requires high Rho GTPase to drive elevated levels of actomyosin contractility. These two modes of cell movement are interconvertible and several moving cells, including tumor cells, show an high degree of plasticity in motility styles shifting ad hoc between mesenchymal or amoeboid movements. This review will focus on the role of Rac and Rho small GTPases in cell motility and in the complex relationship driving the reciprocal control between Rac and Rho granting for the opportunistic motile behaviour of aggressive cancer cells. In addition we analyse the role of these GTPases in cancer progression and metastatic dissemination. © 2010 Parri and Chiarugi; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Noskov B.A.,Saint Petersburg State University | Loglio G.,MPI fur Kolloid und Grenzflachenforschung | Miller R.,University of Florence
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2011

Recent application of the methods of surface dilational rheology to solutions of the complexes between synthetic polyelectrolytes and oppositely charged surfactants (PSC) gave a possibility to determine some steps of the adsorption layer formation and to discover an abrupt transition connected with the formation of microaggregates at the liquid surface. The kinetic dependencies of the dynamic surface elasticity are always monotonous at low surfactant concentrations but can have one or two local maxima in the range beyond the critical aggregation concentration. The first maximum is accompanied by the generation of higher harmonics of induced surface tension oscillations and caused by heterogeneities in the adsorption layer. The formation of a multilayered structure at the surface for some systems leads to the second maximum in the dynamic surface elasticity. The hydrophobicity and charge density of a polymer chain influence strongly the surface structure, resulting in a variety of dynamic surface properties of PSC solutions. Optical methods and atomic force microscopy give additional information for the systems under consideration. Experimental results and existing theoretical frameworks are reviewed with emphasis on the general features of all studied PSC systems. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Feo L.,University of Salerno | Focacci F.,University ampus
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2013

The effectiveness of externally bonded strengthening for reinforced concrete (RC) elements strongly depends on the bond between the strengthening material and the concrete and on the mechanical properties of the concrete cover. In this paper the bond between fiber reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) materials made out of a poliparafenilenbenzobisoxazole (PBO) net embedded in a cement based matrix and the concrete is experimentally analyzed. Experimental results of double shear tests involving different bond lengths and fibers cross sections are presented. The results allow to estimate the effective anchorage length and evidence that the debonding occurs at the fibers/matrix interface after a considerable fibers/matrix slip. They also confirms the effectiveness of the FRCM materials as external reinforcements for concrete. The obtained experimental results can be used to calibrate a local bond-slip relation to be used in the design of the external reinforcement. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Feo L.,University of Salerno | Focacci F.,University eCampus
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2013

Historical masonry constructions often need to be strengthened and upgraded to satisfy current seismic code requirements. Recently many interventions have been done bonding composite materials to the surface of existing masonry elements. The effectiveness of these interventions strongly depends on the bond between the strengthening material and the masonry and on the mechanical properties of the masonry substrate. In this paper the bond between fiber reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) materials made out of a Carbon net embedded in a cement based matrix and the masonry is experimentally and analytically investigated. Experimental results of double shear tests involving different bond lengths are presented. The results evidence that the debonding occurs at the fibers/matrix interface after a considerable fibers/matrix slip. They also confirms the effectiveness of the Carbon-FRCM materials as external reinforcements for masonry structures. The obtained experimental results are used to calibrate a local bond-slip relation that is essential in the modeling of the structural behavior of masonry elements strengthened with Carbon-FRCM. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Feo L.,University of Salerno | Focacci F.,University eCampus
Composite Structures | Year: 2013

In this paper an analytical model to evaluate the structural behavior of masonry arches and vaults strengthened with composite unbonded tendons placed at the extrados is presented. The tendons are fixed at the imposts. The model is formulated under the assumption of finite displacements. The displaced equilibrium configurations are identified by the stationarity of the potential of the acting forces. It is shown that when the tendon is not pretensioned an increase of the arch collapse load can be achieved only if the axial stiffness of the tendon is sufficiently large. Instead if the tendon is pretensioned an increase of the load that induces the first displacement of the arch is always achieved. If the stiffness of the tendon is sufficiently large the collapse load will be greater than the load that produces the first displacement of the arch. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Faraco G.,New York Medical College | Cavone L.,University of Florence | Chiarugi A.,University of Florence
Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a devastating autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) for which there is no efficacious cure. Thanks to numerous preclinical and clinical studies, drugs able to mitigate the inexorable course of the disease have been made available recently. Still, there is a terrible need for compounds capable of reducing the severity of the autoimmune attack and of blocking progression of the disorder. Also, besides the classic immunosuppressive strategies, it is now appreciated that compounds directly targeting neuronal death can be of relevance to the treatment of MS patients. Acetylation homeosta-sis is a key regulator of both immune cell activation and neuronal survival. Of note, potent histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) endowed with antiinflammatory and neuroprotective properties have been identified. Efficacy of HDACi in experimental models of MS has been reported consistently. In this review, we provide an appraisal of the literature on HDACi and MS, also discussing the mechanisms by which HDACi can suppress the autoimmune attack to the CNS. © 2011 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.


Massignan P.,ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences | Zaccanti M.,University of Florence | Bruun G.M.,University of Aarhus
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2014

In this review, we discuss the properties of a few impurity atoms immersed in a gas of ultracold fermions - the so-called Fermi polaron problem. On one hand, this many-body system is appealing because it can be described almost exactly with simple diagrammatic and/or variational theoretical approaches. On the other, it provides a quantitatively reliable insight into the phase diagram of strongly interacting population-imbalanced quantum mixtures. In particular, we show that the polaron problem can be applied to the study of itinerant ferromagnetism, a long-standing problem in quantum mechanics. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Cigna F.,University of Florence | Cigna F.,British Geological Survey | Bianchini S.,University of Florence | Casagli N.,University of Florence
Landslides | Year: 2013

We provide a step-by-step analysis and discussion of the 'PSI-based matrix approach', a methodology employing ground deformation velocities derived through Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) for the assessment of the state of activity and intensity of extremely to very slow landslides. Two matrices based on PSI data are designed respectively for landslides already mapped in preexisting inventories and for newly identified phenomena. Conversely, a unique intensity scale is proposed indiscriminately for both. Major influencing factors of the approach are brought to light by the application in the 14 km2 area of Verbicaro, in Northern Calabria (Italy). These include lack of PSI data within the landslide boundaries, temporal coverage of the available estimates, and need of field checks as well as the operative procedures to set the activity and intensity thresholds. For the area of Verbicaro, we exploit 1992-2011 PSI data from ERS1/2 and RADARSAT1/2 satellites, projecting them along the maximum slope directions. An activity threshold of ±5 mm/year is determined by applying the average projection factor of local slopes to the PSI data precision. The intensity threshold between extremely and very slow phenomena (16 mm/year) is reduced by ~20 % to account for temporal and spatial averages being applied to attribute representative velocities to each landslide. The methodology allows assessing the state of activity and the intensity for 13 of the 24 landslides premapped in the 2007 inventory and for two newly identified phenomena. Current limitations due to characteristics and spatial coverage of PSI data are critically tackled within the discussion, jointly with respective implications. © 2012 The Author(s).


D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Feo L.,University of Salerno | Focacci F.,University ampus
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2012

Existing reinforced concrete (RC) structures often need to be repaired, strengthened and upgraded to satisfy current code requirements. In recent years many interventions have been done bonding composite materials to the surface of existing RC elements. The structural effectiveness of these interventions strongly depends on the bond between the strengthening material and the concrete and on the mechanical properties of the concrete cover. In this paper the bond between fiber reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) materials made out of a poliparafenilenbenzobisoxazole (PBO) net embedded in a cement based matrix and the concrete is analytically analyzed with reference to the approach generally adopted for the fiber reinforced polymers (FRP) materials, which is based on the local bond-slip relation between the strengthening fibers and the supporting concrete. A local bond-slip relation is calibrated on the base of the results of an experimental investigation previously performed by the authors. The bond-slip relation is essential in the modeling of the structural behavior of RC elements strengthened with PBO-FRCM, in that it allows to calculate the force that can be transferred to the concrete, the effective anchorage length, the concrete cracks distance and opening. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bindi M.,University of Florence | Olesen J.E.,University of Aarhus
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2011

Human activities are projected to lead to substantial increases in temperature that will impact northern Europe during winter and southern Europe during summer. Moreover, it is expected that these changes will cause increasing water shortages along the Mediterranean and in the south-west Balkans and in the south of European Russia. The consequences on the European agricultural ecosystems are likely to vary widely depending on the cropping system being investigated (i. e. cereals vs. forage crops vs. perennial horticulture), the region and the likely climate changes. In northern Europe, increases in yield and expansion of climatically suitable areas are expected to dominate, whereas disadvantages from increases in water shortage and extreme weather events (heat, drought, storms) will dominate in southern Europe. These effects may reinforce the current trends of intensification of agriculture in northern and western Europe and extensification and abandonment in the Mediterranean and south-eastern parts of Europe. Among the adaptation options (i.e. autonomous or planned adaptation strategies) that may be explored to minimize the negative impacts of climate changes and to take advantage of positive impacts, changes in crop species, cultivar, sowing date, fertilization, irrigation, drainage, land allocation and farming system seem to be the most appropriate. In adopting these options, however, it is necessary to consider the multifunctional role of agriculture and to strike a variable balance between economic, environmental and economic functions in different European regions. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Vultaggio A.,Universitaria Careggi | Maggi E.,University of Florence | Matucci A.,Universitaria Careggi
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Purpose of review: The rapid expansion of the use of biologics has resulted in an increase in adverse drug reactions, some of which can be life-threatening, due to the immunogenicity of these new drugs. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms of biologics-induced hypersensitivity reactions and highlights the most useful diagnostic and prophylactic tools now available in the clinical management of immunogenicity associated with biologics. Recent findings: Over the last few years, many drug-related or patient-related factors contributing to the immunogenicity of biologics have been identified, thus allowing a better identification of patients at risk of reaction. Recent studies show that different mechanisms sustain hypersensitivity reactions toward biologics, and the application of novel methods for detecting antidrug antibodies has allowed the involvement of specific IgE isotypes. Additionally, experience with procedures of desensitization to biologics continues to grow. Summary: Considering the increased use of the biological therapies in different clinical conditions, the definition of diagnostic and prophylactic strategies represents an unavoidable necessity in the management of potentially reactive patients in order to improve the safety profile of biologics. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Focacci F.,Biomedical University of Rome
Journal of Composites for Construction | Year: 2011

In this paper, the effectiveness of fiber-reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) materials for the strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) beams is experimentally investigated. Bending tests on RC beams strengthened with different FRCM materials, made out of (1)carbon fiber nets; and (2)poliparafenilenbenzobisoxazole (PBO) fiber nets embedded in cement-based matrix, are performed. For case (2), different net shapes, cementitious matrices, and a number of net layers were considered. Depending on the type of fibers and matrix, different flexural debonding failure modes are identified. The fiber strain at debonding is evaluated by comparing the experimental results with those obtained with two different theoretical models. The results obtained in this study confirm the effectiveness of FRCM materials for the strengthening of RC structures and encourage further experimental and theoretical work on the topic. A better understanding of the debonding phenomenon is crucial for an optimal design of the strengthening material. The way in which the nature of fibers and matrices and the number of layers control the performance of the strengthened members is also investigated in the present paper. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Guerrini R.,University of Florence | Oguni H.,Tokyo Women's Medical University
Epilepsia | Year: 2011

The term "borderline" severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEIB) has been used to designate patients in whom myoclonic seizures or generalized spike and wave activity are absent. It has also been used loosely to indicate mild forms of the syndrome. It is now acknowledged that the course and outcome of patients with SMEIB are the same as in the core syndrome. The rate of patients exhibiting SCN1A gene mutations is also similar, and it has been observed that the same mutations can cause both typical and " borderline" forms, indicating causal homogeneity. Defining a borderline form of a syndrome would mean setting the criteria of semiology and severity whereby a given phenotype falls within and outside the core syndrome. Such process has never been made for Dravet syndrome and is of course unrealistic in view its polymorphic expression. The eponym Dravet syndrome has been preferred to designate a syndrome spectrum that also embraces SMEIB. Therefore the term "borderline" Dravet syndrome is improper. The definition "mild form" of Dravet syndrome would certainly be more suitable to indicate those patients exhibiting a less severe or incomplete form of the syndrome. Variability in severity favors the concept that SCN1A loss of function causes a spectrum of epilepsy phenotypes in which seizures, often prolonged and precipitated by fever, are the prominent feature and schematic subdivisions would be inappropriate, at least in the early stages. An initial definition of SCN1A gene-related epilepsy would perhaps be more suitable when a mutation of this gene is ascertained and the clinical picture is still ill defined. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 2011 International League Against Epilepsy.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 214.70K | Year: 2013

The project is focused on the ecological and morphological characteristics of river channels and related processes of erosion, sediment transport and deposition under changing boundary conditions described by socio economic and climate change scenarios. We will study effects of these changes on river systems at different spatial and temporal scales. The specific focus of the project is addressing the interface between the river channel and related slope systems. We will study historic evolution of river systems and will simulate future developments using scenarios. The main projects scopes are: 1) Exchange of experience, methods and knowledge in fluvio-morphologic processes research. 2) Developing and harmonization of tools and models for monitoring and management of hillslope-river channel-systems. 3) Assessment of hydromorphological processes, and pressures across multiple temporal and spatial scales in different European river systems; We will examine the links between erosive processes and hydromorphology in the context of integrated river basin management, considering the interactions with other elements of the whole system such as anthropogenic pressures and environmental changes. The new tools will help to assess the processes dynamics at the interface between hydrogeomorphological river processes and slope systems in a qualitative way. Moreover, new innovative techniques will be developed and applied that allow a quantification of the processes. The special focus is on remote sensing, aerial photography, field measurements with total stations, GPS, statistical analysis, all integrated in a GIS. We will reach these targets as a multidisciplinary team across Europe, sharing knowledge, developing new approaches and applying them in different environments. We will explicitly aim to identify and integrate the different and overlapping conceptual understandings of scientists from the different disciplines carrying out joined research in this project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2011

A range of new applications will be enabled by ultra-precise optical clocks, some of which by using them in space, near or far distant from Earth. They cover the fields of fundamental physics (tests of General Relativity), time and frequency metrology (comparison of distant terrestrial clocks, operation of a master clock in space), geophysics (mapping of the gravitational potential of the Earth), and potential applications in astronomy (local oscillators for radio ranging and interferometry in space). We propose to (1) develop two engineering confidence ultra-precise transportable lattice optical clock demonstrators with relative frequency instability < 110-15/root(tau)1/2, inaccuracy < 510-17, one of which as a breadboard. They will be based on trapped neutral Ytterbium and Strontium atoms. Goal performance is about 1 and 2 orders better than todays best transportable clocks, in inaccuracy and instability, respectively. The two systems will be validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4) and performance will be established by comparison with laboratory optical clocks and primary frequency standards. (2) We will develop the necessary laser systems (adapted in terms of power, linewidth, frequency stability, long-term reliability, and accuracy), atomic packages with control of systematic (magnetic fields, black-body radiation, atom number), where novel solutions with reduced space, power and mass requirements will be implemented. Some of the laser systems will be developed towards particularly high compactness and robustness. Also, crucial laser components will be tested at TRL 5 level (validation in relevant environment). The work will build on the expertise of the proposers with laboratory optical clocks, and the successful development of breadboard and transportable cold Sr and Yb atomic sources and ultrastable lasers during the ELIPS-3 ESA development project Space Optical Clocks (SOC).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

Photofuel studies and advances the biocatalytic production of alternative liquid transportation fuels, which require only sunlight, CO2 and water. Microbial cells directly excrete hydrocarbon and long chain alcohol fuel compounds to the medium from which they are separated, without the need to harvest biomass. This significantly improves the costs and energy balances as only a minimum of nutrients is required for self-replication of the biocatalyst, whilst cell harvesting, drying and lipid extraction is omitted. Such minimum-input systems are compatible with operation on degraded or desert land which avoids the pitfalls of most of the currently available biofuel technologies. The products are drop-in fuels that fully or partially replace their fossil counterparts without the need for new infrastructure. To set a benchmark for alternative solar fuels, three research groups will collaborate in the advancement of the biocatalysts from TRL 3. The best biocatalytic system(s) will be up-scaled and operated outdoors in photobioreactors modified for direct fuel separation at a scale of several cubic meters (TRL 4-5). The identification of optimal future fuel blends with a fossil fuel base and Photofuel biofuels as additives, as well as the analysis of performance and emissions in car or truck engines, will be evaluated by the oil- and automotive-industry partners. The entire pathway will be assessed for environmental and economic performance as well as social acceptance of large scale production in rural communities and by the consumer. All results will be combined to a business development plan, which clearly identifies the opportunities but also the challenges prior to an economic fuel production in compliance to the EC Fuel Quality Directive.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.24M | Year: 2015

It has been robustly demonstrated that variations in the circulation of the middle atmosphere influence weather and climate throughout the troposphere all the way to the Earths surface. A key part of the coupling between the troposphere and stratosphere occurs through the propagation and breaking of planetary-scale Rossby waves and gravity waves. Limited observation of the middle atmosphere and these waves in particular limits the ability to faithfully reproduce the dynamics of the middle atmosphere in numerical weather prediction and climate models. ARISE2 capitalizes upon the work of the EU-funded first ARISE project combining for the first time international networks with complementary technologies such as infrasound, lidar and airglow. This joint network provided advanced data products that started to be used as benchmarks for weather forecast models. The ARISE network also allows enhanced and detailed monitoring of other extreme events in the Earth system such as erupting volcanoes, magnetic storms, tornadoes and tropical thunderstorms. In order to improve the ability of the network to monitor atmospheric dynamics, ARISE2 proposes to extend i) the existing network coverage in Africa and the high latitudes, ii) the altitude range in the stratosphere and mesosphere, iii) the observation duration using routine observation modes, and to use complementary existing infrastructures and innovative instrumentations. Data will be collected over the long term to improve weather forecasting to monthly or seasonal timescales, to monitor atmospheric extreme events and climate change. Compared to the first ARISE project, ARISE2 focuses on the link between models and observations for future assimilation of data by operational weather forecasting models. Among the applications, ARISE2 proposes infrasound remote volcano monitoring to provide notifications to civil aviation. The data portal will provide high-quality data and advanced data products to a wide scientific community.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2015

As wind energy is considered one of the most promising renewable energy resources, energy production technologies relying on wind energy are currently flourishing under the EU ambitious plan for 2020. Market demands to prepare a generation of researchers within the EU that are able to face the challenge of fulfilling the EU ambitious plan, to sustain the production of wind energy and to innovate and promote wind energy systems (WES) for the future needs, are clearly met in AEOLUS4FUTURE. The primary research aim is to develop a sustainable WES for a variety of EU needs. There are a number of detailed scientific and technical issues that will be addressed by the project starting from identifying the wind energy potential (off-shore and on-shore, including the built environment) to the design of a sustainable and highly efficient WES. Also the new challenging load conditions imposed on wind farms located on places where existing type of wind turbine towers are not suitable require the development of new type of support structures for wind energy converters. This fosters new structural concepts taking advantage of high performance materials e.g. high strength steel and novel maintenance free fasteners. In addition, while most research efforts and practical applications of wind energy have focused on large-scale wind installations in remote offshore or onshore areas, much less attention has been given to wind energy installations near buildings. The project has a major training aim to create technical experts who will be able to lead the necessary industrial developments in the WES, and have a broad overview of a new and emerging multi-disciplinary field. The project will thus enable a number of young scientists and engineers to obtain high level training in various technical aspects of the problem, to gain an overall understanding of how this work fits into the wider EU Directives and plans for the future and in doing so to improve their career prospects.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-1.2-2015 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2016

For decades, most of the aviation research activities have been focused on the reduction of noise and NOx and CO2 emissions. However, emissions from aircraft gas turbine engines of non-volatile PM, consisting primarily of soot particles, are of international concern today. Despite the lack of knowledge toward soot formation processes and characterization in terms of mass and size, engine manufacturers have now to deal with both gas and particles emissions. Furthermore, heat transfer understanding, that is also influenced by soot radiation, is an important matter for the improvement of the combustors durability, as the key point when dealing with low-emissions combustor architectures is to adjust the air flow split between the injection system and the combustors walls. The SOPRANO initiative consequently aims at providing new elements of knowledge, analysis and improved design tools, opening the way to: Alternative designs of combustion systems for future aircrafts that will enter into service after 2025 capable of simultaneously reducing gaseous pollutants and particles, Improved liner lifetime assessment methods. Therefore, the SOPRANO project will deliver more accurate experimental and numerical methodologies for predicting the soot emissions in academic or semi-technical combustion systems. This will contribute to enhance the comprehension of soot particles formation and their impact on heat transfer through radiation. In parallel, the durability of cooling liner materials, related to the walls air flow rate, will be addressed by heat transfer measurements and predictions. Finally, the expected contribution of SOPRANO is to apply these developments in order to determine the main promising concepts, in the framework of current low-NOx technologies, able to control the emitted soot particles in terms of mass and size over a large range of operating conditions without compromising combustors liner durability and performance toward NOx emissions.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 2.57M | Year: 2011

With the rapid proliferation of inexpensive acquisition and storage devices multimedia objects can be easily created, stored, transmitted, modified and tampered with by anyone. During its lifetime, a digital object might go through several processing stages, including multiple analog-to-digital (A/D) and digital-to-analog (D/A) conversions, coding and decoding, transmission, editing (either aimed at enhancing the quality, creating new contents mixing pre-existing materials, or tampering with the content). The REWIND (REVerse engineering of audio- VIsual coNtent Data) project is aimed at synergistically combining principles of signal processing, machine learning and information theory to answer relevant questions on the past history of such objects. The REWIND proposal starts from the observation that each of these processing steps necessarily leaves a characteristic footprint, which can be potentially detected to trace back the past history of the available multimedia object in a blind fashion, i.e. without having access to the original content. Note that, in many cases, these processing steps introduce undesired and irreversible distortions (misprints) in the original multimedia object, e.g. due to insufficient sampling rate in the acquisition phase, coding artifacts in lossy compression, or imperfect error concealment strategies. Considerable efforts in multimedia processing research have been directed therefore towards a more comprehensive understanding of how to prevent these artifacts through, for instance, error-resilience mechanisms or techniques to avoid undesired or unauthorized modifications of the content streams.\nREWIND intends to develop innovative tools and approaches to reverse this perspective completely: footprints are considered as an asset, i.e. a source of additional information about the multimedia object history, which can be leveraged to reconstruct the processing chain applied to the audio-video digital object.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.5 | Award Amount: 7.94M | Year: 2010

Future software-intensive systems, such as sensor networks, power grids, satellite and robot swarms, will generally exhibit a number of characteristic features:* Massive numbers of nodes, nodes with complex behavior, or complex interactions between nodes.* Operation in open and non-deterministic environments with variable network topology.* Need for adaptation, e.g., to changing environments and requirements.We call this future generation of software-intensive systems ensembles. The potentially huge impact - both positive and negative - of ensembles means that we need to understand ways to reliably and predictably model, design, and program them.Although there is a lot of research in this area, so far no theoretically well-founded technique for building ensembles exists. The goal of the ASCENS project is to develop such a method and to demonstrate its feasibility in three important application domains: robot swarms, cloud computing and e-mobility.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 7.41M | Year: 2011

The environmental benefits of low emissions lean burn technology in reducing NOx emissions up to 80% will only be effective when these are deployed to a large range of new aero-engine applications. While integrating and developing low emission combustion design rules, IMPACT-AE will deliver novel combustor design methodologies for advanced engine architectures and thermodynamic cycles. It will support European engine manufacturers to pick up and keep pace with the US competitors, being already able to exploit their new low emission combustion technology to various engine applications with short turn-around times. Key element of the project will be the development and validation of design methods for low emissions combustors to reduce NOx and CO emissions by an optimization of the combustor aero-design process. Preliminary combustor design tools will be coupled with advanced parametrisation and automation tools. Improved heat transfer and NOx models will increase the accuracy of the numerical prediction. The advanced representation of low emission combustors and the capability to investigate combustor scaling effects allow an efficient optimisation of future combustors targeting a cut of combustor development time by 50%. IMPACT-AE is split into four technical work packages: WP1Development of smart design methodologies for clean combustion as central WP to deliver the new methodology for combustor design, WP2Modelling and design of advanced combustor wall cooling concepts for combustor liner design definition as key technology area, WP3Technology validation by detailed flame diagnostics to substantiate fuel injector design rules implemented into the design methodology and WP4Methodology demonstration for efficient low NOx combustors will validate the combustor design. The consortium consists of all major aero-engine manufactures in Europe, 7 universities and 3 research establishments with recognised experience in low emission combustion research and 10 SMEs.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.65M | Year: 2012

The Reproductive Biology Early Research Training network (REPRO-TRAIN) aims to provide all the elements required to train the next generation of researchers with the latest skills to solve the current societal problems in male reproductive biology (Andrology). The decline in sperm counts and concomitant increase in testicular cancer demands research in this field as an urgent priority. Spermatogenesis is the essential physiological process for male gamete production. It also provides a ideal paradigm model system to study cellular development and differentiation; necessary for an understanding of dysfunction. An innovative aspect of this ITN is to harness Systems biology into Reproductive Science. Here, we offer a high calibre, multidisciplinary research environment involving frontier omic approaches in male reproductive biology for the first time with the aim of identifying the gene networks that are deregulated in the infertile testis. The REPRO-TRAIN programme will integrate this highly interdisciplinary training with knowledge transfer to strategic stakeholders. We will include universities and research institutes with internationally recognized experience in postgraduate training, hospitals recognized for high quality clinical training and key private companies. This trans-national, inter-disciplinary research network will provide a robust platform for the success of the proposed ITN. Ten ESR and four ER researchers will perform studies in genetics and epigenetics, molecular male reproductive medicine, molecular and structural biology, and biotechnology with hands-on training in cutting-edge technologies relevant to current molecular-genetic and medical research. A clear definition of their Personnel Career Development Plans, training in complementary skills allied to business and the coordination between the elements that compose this plan are detailed herein.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.2-6 | Award Amount: 4.08M | Year: 2012

ARROWS proposes to adapt and develop low cost autonomous underwater vehicle technologies to significantly reduce the cost of archaeological operations, covering the full extent of archaeological campaign. Benefiting from the significant investments already made for military security and offshore oil and gas applications, the project aims to demonstrate an illustrative portfolio of mapping, diagnosis and excavation tasks. ARROWS approach is to identify the archaeologists requirements in all phases of the campaign, identify problems and propose technological solutions with the technological readiness levels that predict their maturation for exploitation within 3-5 years. The individual technologies are then developed during the course of the project using agile development method comprising rapid cycles of testing and comparison against the end user requirements. To ensure the wide exploitability of the results the requirements are defined and the solutions are tested in two historically significant but environmentally very different contexts, in The Mediterranean Sea and in The Baltic Sea. Both immediate, low risk and long term, high risk developments will be pursued. In particular: Fast a low cost horizontal surveys of large areas using customised AUVs with multimodal sensing. Fast and low cost semi-automated data analysing tools for site and object relocation High quality maps from better image reconstruction methods and better localization abilities of AUVs. Shipwreck penetration and internal mapping using small low cost vehicles localising using fixed pingers. Soft excavation tool for diagnosis and excavation of fragile objects. Mixed reality environments for virtual exploration of archaeological sites. Monitoring of changes via back-to-the-site missions. The ARROWS consortium comprises expertise from underwater archaeology, underwater engineering, robotics, image processing and recognition from academia and industry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: FoF-04-2014 | Award Amount: 7.92M | Year: 2014

It is the high ambition of the project to create FACTorieS for WORKERS (FACTS4WORKERS), therefore a serious effort will be put into integrating already available IT enablers into a seamless & flexible Smart Factory infrastructure based on worker-centric and data-driven technology building blocks. As FACTS4WORKERS is underpinned by a clear human-centric approach: usability, user experience and technology acceptance are of the utmost project interest. FACTS4WORKERS will develop and demonstrate workplace solutions that support the inclusion of increasing elements of knowledge work on the factory floor. These solutions will empower workers on the shop floor with smart factory ICT infrastructure. Advancement will be gained through integrating several building blocks from a flexible smart factory infrastructure, focusing on workers needs, expectations and requirements, and being supported by organisational measures and change management. In line with our assumptions on impacts on productivity we therefore estimate that that we can increase job satisfaction for 800,000 European workers by the year 2025. These solutions will be developed according to the following four industrial challenges which are generalise-able to manufacturing in general: personalised augmented operator (IC1), worked-centric rich-media knowledge sharing/management (IC2), self-learning manufacturing workplaces (IC3) and in-situ mobile learning in the production (IC4). Moreover, FACT4WORKERs objectives in terms of measureable indicators are: To increase problem-solving and innovation skills of workers; To increase cognitive job satisfaction of workers; To increase average worker productivity by 10%; To achieve TRL 5-7 on a number of worker-centric solutions through which workers become the smart element in smart factories The smart factory demonstrator will be run within the automotive supply chain. The consortium is composed by 15 partners from 7 different EU member states.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SME-2013-3 | Award Amount: 691.20K | Year: 2013

Tuberculosis (TB) in humans and bovine TB in farm animals are global health problems of immense social and economic importance. Human TB: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is a slowly replicating bacillus that resides intracellularly within phagosomes of macrophages and commonly causes latent infections of the lung and in about 5% of the infected individuals it leads to active disease. Co-infection with M. tuberculosis is estimated in about one-third of HIV-1 infected subjects. Indeed, the risk of developing M. tuberculosis as an opportunistic infection is increased up to 200-fold in HIV-1\ subjects. Drug resistance to HIV-treatment and appearance of multiple-drug resistance (MDR) and off late of Extra-Drug Resistance (XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis, the causative agent of human TB is steadily leading to a hopeless situation as far as the therapy is concerned.Bovine TB: Bovine tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis, which is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the cause of human tuberculosis. M. bovis can be transmitted to humans through the ingestion of unpasteurised milk and milk products as well as aerosols, from infected cows. The introduction of pasteurisation eliminated transmission through contaminated milk and greatly reduced the human health problem1. The principal hosts for bovine tuberculosis are cattle and buffalo, however many other domestic and wild animals can become infected e.g. goats, cervids, pigs, wild boars, dogs, cats, camels, badgers, primates, hares, amongst others. Bovine tuberculosis is found worldwide. All developed countries currently have a TB eradication program in place for many years. These programs have been largely successful; however, incidences are increasing in many countries (e.g. UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany). The specific objectives achievable within DEMO-NOPERSIST project are 1. Development and evaluation of prototype test kits for active human TB (LIONEX, SME). This test shall be the Worlds first blood test for discriminating latent from active TB in humans. 2. Development and evaluation of prototype test kits for active Bovine TB (PRIONICS, SME) 3. To develop marketable, improved diagnostic products for human and bovine TB within a period of 2-3 years . Thus, both human and bovine active TB tests are directly linked to the NOPERSIST project and shall be an excellent demonstration of a Res4SME project NOPERSIST.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST-2007-5.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2009

Noise and vibration have a very large impact on the competitiveness of transportation vehicles, not only driven by the increasing customer demand for vibro-acoustic comfort, but also by the tightening legal regulations regarding noise and vibration emissions and immissions. Since noise and vibration as functional performance attributes often conflict with other attributes, such as weight and CO2 emission, concurrent design and analysis procedures are required. Such processes involve multi-attribute optimisation and are facilitated by the use of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools. Also, there is an increasing trend towards virtual prototyping to reduce costs and development times. As a result, good CAE tools are essential in modern vehicle design. Ideally CAE tools would be applicable in the whole frequency range of interest, which is the audio-frequency range. In practice specific methods are applicable in a limited frequency region. A class of deterministic low frequency methods is both well developed and well established. At high frequencies energy based methods are valuable, but less well-established. There is however a mid-frequency gap in current modelling capabilities: too high for deterministic and too low for energy based tools. This is important, since it strongly affects product performance and competitiveness. The lack of CAE tools for mid-frequency issues forms the target for this collaborative project. In this project a well balanced consortium of both academic and industrial partners will develop robust CAE tools, applicable for the analysis of mid-frequency noise and vibration problems. In a second stage, these tools will be applied on industrial problems, filling the currently existing gap. A third important aspect of the project is the dissemination of mid-frequency analysis and modelling skills throughout the EU engineering community to spread crucial knowledge and skills in strengthening EU transportation vehicle competitiveness.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2012.3.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2013

DISCIT aims to produce new knowledge enabling Member States, affiliated European countries and the European Union to achieve full and effective participation of persons with disabilities in society and the economy. In investigating the social and political conditions for making such participation a reality, the project adopts a multifaceted understanding of Active Citizenship. Adopting a multilevel and institutional perspective, DISCIT examines how different types of policies (social benefits, social services and social regulation instruments) can be mutually supportive in enhancing Active Citizenship for persons with disabilities. Using the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a framework of reference, DISCIT identifies more effective ways to remove and prevent physical, attitudinal, social and organisational barriers to Active Citizenship and participation on an equal basis with others, in a context of rapid social and economic change and evolving conceptions of disability across European societies. DISCIT synthesises policy lessons from a strategic sample of European states: Liberal (Ireland, United Kingdom), Conservative (Germany, Italy), Social Democratic (Norway, Sweden) and Post-Communist (Czech Republic, Serbia) regimes. DISCIT involves consortium members from all these countries in addition to Switzerland and Belgium. DISCITs results provide new insight into how the European Union can support Member States and affiliated European countries in working towards the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities as expressed in the Fundamental Rights under the EC Treaty and the CRPD. By clarifying the possibilities for a strengthened synergy between policies at diverse levels of governance, DISCIT contributes to knowledge for realizing the ambitions of the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. DISCIT has a duration of 36 months; is coordinated by Norwegian Social Research (NOVA); the consortium members are universities, research institutes and two civil society organisations (EDF and MDRI-S). The consortium is supported by a Scientific Advisory Committee with distinguished members mainly from countries not covered by the consortium members, a European Stakeholder Committee and eight National Stakeholder Committees. www.discit.eu


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2010

The EUTV project designs and develops an open source framework to provide a portal that ag-gregates multimedia information streams coming from podcasts, media RSS, and publicly available audio and video sources and develop personalised, adaptive and topic-oriented chan-nels for professionals and consumers. This framework will build-in profile-based access to in-formation, content and services, which not only bring together and extend several state-of-the-art technologies for information access, but also conform to standards and guidelines available for accessibility, usability, scalability and adaptability. Our modern use of multimedia information requires that information and services accommodate different presentations and interaction designs at the user interface level, on the basis of re-quirements that include user needs, preferences, personalisation, customisation, adaptation and constraints; characteristics of the tasks to be performed (e.g. repetitive, knowledge-intensive, collaborative); capabilities of available access devices; and contextual information. EUTV will accomplish this by providing an approach based on topic of interest detection, track-ing and presentation in a multidimensional profile space. The topic domains EUTV will focus are news, sports and documentaries. The project results will be implemented for networked and aggregated audio-visual content re-sources that are publicly available on the web. The application scenarios are following a user-centric design and involvement approach to ensure that user requirements will be met. The EUTV project partners have complementary expertise and form an ideal mix of competencies for the successful completion of the project. They are ready and committed to properly support and spread the results of the technology at a large scale and to their direct partners and clients.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.1.3. | Award Amount: 7.82M | Year: 2009

For the time being, the European engine industry does not have at its disposal methodologies adapted to predict the unsteady behaviour of low NOx combustors. Consequently and in order to be able to set up the development of low NOx technologies, KIAI will deliver reliable unstationary CFD tools which will allow a deep comprehension of unsteady phenomena. The main objective of the KIAI project is to provide reliable methodologies to predict the stability of industrial low NOx combustors, as well as their ignition process from spark to annular combustion. When used at an early stage in the conception cycle of low NOx combustors, KIAI CFD methodologies will play a key role and considerably accelerate the delivery process of lean combustion technology with a proven capability to reach the 80% NOx emissions reduction required for introduction into service before 2020 with the necessary reliability, safety and economical viability. As already demonstrated by past and ongoing studies and European projects, low NOx technologies lead to crucial unsteady phenomena that are neither controlled nor predictable at the moment. The scientific objectives of KIAI are directly linked to a better understanding and prediction of these unsteady phenomena: 1) Predict the coupling between the acoustics and the flame. 2) Determine the acoustic boundary conditions of multiperforated plates surrounding the combustion chamber; 3) Account for non-premixed spray flows in the combustion process; 4) Explore aerodynamic unsteadiness in strutted pre-diffusers adapted to high mass flow injectors and develop a liquid film break-up model for an injector; 5) Evaluate the sensitivity of LES predictions to small technological variations of geometry


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-08-2016 | Award Amount: 9.02M | Year: 2016

6 of the European carmakers (DAIMLER, VW, TME, CRF, VOLVO, Opel), under the coordination of EUCAR, have joined forces to commonly address the high cost issue of innovations in vehicle lightweighting, having identified it as the major bottleneck towards their implementation in vehicle series and mass production. The AffordabLe LIghtweight Automobiles AlliaNCE (ALLIANCE) has the ambition to develop novel advanced materials (steel, aluminium, hybrid) and production technologies, aiming at an average 25% weight reduction over 100k units/year, at costs of <3 /kg. Additionally, ALLIANCE will develop a mass-optimizer software tool and a multi-parameter design optimisation methodology and process, aiming at an accelerated pre-assessment of technologies over existing designs in a holistic framework. ALLIANCE will work on 8 different demonstrators of real vehicle models, 6 of which will be physically tested, aiming at market application by OEMs within 6 years from project end (in 2025). A transferability and scalability methodology will also be developed for results replication across other vehicle components and models in other segments. ALLIANCE aims at becoming a central hub for innovation in lightweight design in Europe. To do so, it will establish an open inclusive framework towards external centres and clusters in this field, involving them in ALLIANCE development through an open lightweight design contest and dedicated workshops.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-4.1-02 | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2008

Solar cooling technologies use solar thermal energy provided through solar collectors to power thermally driven cooling machines. Cooling demand is rapidly increasing in many parts of the world: the combination of solar thermal and cooling has a high potential to replace conventional cooling machines based on electricity and depleting refrigerants. However, while larger solar cooling systems have been successfully demonstrated, smaller systems have not yet entered the market due to various technical and economical reasons. Until today, there is a lack of small scale units, fully automated and autonomous package-solutions for residential and small commercial or industrial applications, low temperature cooling systems: ALONE aims at overcoming these barriers. The main aim of ALONE proposal is to improve solar cooling technologies based on systems able to cope with low temperature cooling applications. Effort will be concentrated on absorption chiller optimisation for providing both heating and cooling in solar systems: in fact, components adaptation and control logic optimisation is a necessary step towards higher conversion performances and reduced costs. This objective will be achieved through the development and improvement of new components of small capacity cooling systems, collectors and control systems, as well as a plant characterised by pre-engineered solutions. Advanced modelling and simulation will also support the design. The whole system will work in a fully automated way throughout the year. In order to foster the market penetration and widespread use of sustainable technology, major attention is paid to the simplification of installation effort and the minimisation of the need maintenance, what is of utmost importance for such kind of plants which in any case will run without operator. The project will demonstrate this innovative system at four selected end-user sites, collecting real data and assessing performances under full plant operation.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 7.27M | Year: 2010

FIRST will deliver key enabling technologies for combustion emission reduction by developing improved design tools and techniques for modelling and controlling fuel sprays and soot. Aviations environmental impact must be reduced to allow sustainable growth to benefit European industry and society. This is captured in ACAREs 2020 goals of reducing CO2 by 50%, NOx by 80% and in SRA1/2 proposed reductions in soot and development of alternative fuels. CFD tools are essential to design combustors for emissions, soot, thermo-acoustic noise, flame stability, cooling and the outlet temperature profile. The two most significant gaps in todays CFD capability are fuel injector spray and soot modelling. The fuel injector is critical to the design of low emission combustors. By understanding and controlling the complex physics of fuel atomisation and mixing, the emissions performance can be directly improved. CFD simulations have for many years relied upon over-simplistic definition of the fuel spray. The availability of methods developed in the automotive industry and faster computers make their application to aero-engines timely. The FIRST project will deliver a step change in the detail and accuracy of the fuel spray boundary conditions; through novel physics based modelling techniques, advanced diagnostic measurements and the derivation of sophisticated correlations. CFD computations of the combustion system also provide the information needed to allow soot emissions to be controlled and minimised. These calculations require the improved fuel spray boundary condition described but also need higher fidelity physical and chemical models describing the soot production and consumption processes. FIRST will deliver improved CFD soot models, enabling the reduction of soot in aero-engine combustors. The design of future alternative fuels will be enhanced by FIRST by performing predictions and measurements of both fuel sprays and soot across a number of alternative fuels.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: INFRA-2011-2.1.1. | Award Amount: 5.62M | Year: 2012

ARISE proposes to design a new infrastructure that integrates different station networks in order to provide a new 3D image of the atmosphere from the ground to the mesosphere with unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution. Three existing networks are involved: 1) the International infrasound network developed for the verification of the Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), 2) the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Changes (NDACC) which uses Lidar to measure stratospheric dynamics, 3) the Network for the Detection of Mesopause Changes (NDMC), dedicated to airglow layer measurements in the mesosphere. In addition the network will incorporate complementary infrasound station and satellite data. The infrastructure extends across Europe and outlying regions, including polar and equatorial regions. The network will play a particularly important role in improving atmospheric measurement in the stratosphere. A great deal of recent work has shown that stratospheric variability, primarily caused by large, planetary-scale waves, is important for prediction of tropospheric weather and climate. Additionaly, the network will provide important new measurements of atmospheric gravity waves. Parameterization of gravity waves is needed for accurate simulation of mean climate and variability, but parameters are uncertain due to lack of long-term high-resolution observations. The expected benefits of ARISE are two-fold. First, the measurements will allow a better description of the atmosphere state, leading to an improved accuracy in short and medium range weather forecasts. Second, the measurements will be used to improve the simulation of middle atmosphere climate and its tropospheric impact. In the long term, data will be used for monitoring changes in the occurrence of extreme events and trends in the middle atmosphere climate. The benefits also include civil applications related to monitoring of natural hazards as volcanoes.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2011

The key and direct objective of DYNANO is to provide training with a deep knowledge and expertise on Dynamic Interactive Nanosystems for biomedical and biotechnological applications on the basis of the existing scientific and technological areas: dynamic chemistry / glycosciences / biology / nanosciences. DYNANO will expose researchers in training to the process of design, generation, optimization and biomedical / biotechnological / industrial applications of a variety of functional systems like membranes, biosensors, microarrays and nanodevices. This multidisciplinary approach brings together scientists and key private industry players with complementary backgrounds, as essential developmental pillars. DYNANO is a 48-month Initial Training Network aiming to provide: Advanced inter-disciplinary training in an integrated setting using a dynamic chemistry / glycosciences / nanotechnology platform. Inter-national and inter-cultural training for researchers in a network of highly skilled research groups throughout Europe. Inter-sectorial training between academic groups and participating industry Partners, with special emphasis on corporate R&D and entrepreneurship. Advanced knowledge from the design and generation of dynamic nanosystems adapted to glycoscience applications. New applications of dynamic nanosystems in biomedicine / biotechnology / industry, potentially leading to new products.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-1.1-03 | Award Amount: 11.95M | Year: 2008

Due to continuous efforts through past and ongoing European projects, lean combustion by means of internally staged injectors now appears to be the promising technology for obtaining the required emission reductions compatible with a sustainable growth of aviation transport. (cf ACARE 2020) Recognising that putting into service such a technology as soon as possible is the only way to effectively reduce the aviation environmental impact, TECC-AE addresses some unavoidable issues in order to: 1) Solve the main limitations identified during past and ongoing projects appearing when lean combustion is pushed toward its maximum potential about NOx emissions reduction. In particular, TECC-AE will a) Provide full combustor operability in terms of ignition, altitude relight and weak extinction performance b) Suppress the occurrence of thermo-acoustic instabilities by reducing the combustor sensitivity to unsteady features to a level such instabilities will not happen 2) Ensure injection system robustness with respect to coking that can appears during transient operations of the engine. 3) Optimise the combustion systems operational and environmental performance through all the flight phases 4) Develop, demonstrate and validate design rules, CFD capabilities and scaling laws 5) Provide a global optimisation of the multiplicity of combustion parameters of lean combustion systems to achieve lower flame temperatures and thus lower thermal NOx formation To look even further ahead and to overcome the complexity issues inherent to staged lean combustors, TECC-AE will also focused on the design and assessment of an innovative, compact, lighter and simplified lean combustion combustor concept, and on the development of a compact Ultra Low NOx (ULN) injection system. A Global technology assessment taking into account results of LOPOCOTEP, TLC, INTELLECT DM, and TECC-AE will be established in order to define the combustion technology able to meet ACARE 2020 targets.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES | Award Amount: 174.60K | Year: 2011

Driven by the increasing demands in Mathematics, Philosophy and Computer Science, the last two decades witnessed a growing interest in non-classical and many-valued logics. Until not too many years ago, many-valued logics were nearly a curiosity. The situation has now changed and the weaponry of tools in use to current researchers has acquired solid foundations and a respectable amount of applications to other fields. Many important results have enlighten deep connections with other fields of Mathematics such as ordered algebraic structures, combinatorial counterparts of toric geometry, feedback coding theory. Many-valued logics are recognized as the main tool to reason formally in presence of vagueness. Nevertheless new breakthroughs open new challenges, and the knowledge acquired so far empowers the study of more complex phenomena. The aim of this project is to put together some prominent European and Latin-American researchers in many-valued logic in a coordinated effort towards the delivery of a uniform formal system in which uncertain and vague aspects, which pervade phenomena in the real world, can be treated together in an integrated manner. This is desirable both from the Mathematical and the application point of view as many concrete systems (e.g., medical expert systems) deal with both phenomena and currently not in a completely satisfactory way. This joint enterprise is feasible owing to the pre-existing longstanding collaborations among the researchers involved in the project. Accordingly, beside the joint scientific achievements, we aim at the creation of Latin-American and European Consortium on vague and uncertain reasoning, whose aim will be to draw into focus the manifold strengths of Mathematical Logic in vagueness and uncertainty, by supporting and promoting activities such as: international conferences and workshops; multi-disciplinary research collaborations; short and long-term exchanges.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.73M | Year: 2014

Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) are an efficient and flexible transport system and their use is beneficial especially in the more and more congested European cities. Unfortunately the PTW riders are exposed to a high risk of becoming a victim in a crash mainly due to the difficulty to control a PTW under all circumstances but also due to limited conspicuity. In addition when PTW riders are crash victims limited protection is offered to prevent injuries when compared to vehicle occupants. The aim of the research activities within the project is to make the use of PTWs safer such that fewer accidents occur and if an accident is unavoidable the consequences for the rider to sustain injuries are minimal. The project is divided in three work packages (WPs) with three separate but related goals . The first work package aims to improve the riders skills with training strategies that are derived from in-depth accident data and from a quantification of rider behaviour in critical situations. The second work package aims at developing advanced safety systems that improve the interaction between the rider and the PTW by modelling the rider, also based on the in WP1 quantified rider behaviour. The third work package considers the cases where the crash is unavoidable and will develop personal protective equipment to protect the riders, given the input conditions from WP2 at the moment right before impact. The end result of this project will be a set of rider training guidelines that are proven to be effective, safety system concepts implemented on PTWs and improved personal protective equipment and accompanying standards. These can be used by PTW industry partners in product development processes and by stakeholders such as ACEM and the EU to educate riders. This will ultimately improve the safety of PTWs and moreover the perceived safety, which will make more people decide to use a PTW as a good alternative to other means of transport.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.52M | Year: 2008

The IM3I project provides a new integrated scenario for media and content use in the converged world, and transforms the way intra- and inter-company media production processes in SMEs are organised and in particular how media content providers structure and offer content and how people search for information. IM3I offers an open architecture with integrated services and advanced solutions for experiencing, searching and accessing creative audio-visual content enabling intuitive media production, delivery and handling both for professional and non-professional users and will move away from todays widely prevalent text search paradigm, towards mixed-media queries and more efficient digital content presentation, opening content interfaces to 3D. IM3I provides personalised and context-aware, multimedia services and applications that can be dynamically composed for a variety of roles (consumer, prosumer, etc.), locations and contexts. Through careful consideration and focus on user interaction processes, IM3I enables new ways to both describe and retrieve information and significantly enhances creative industry workflows and frameworks and support creative industry workers in delivering new forms of interactive, immersive and very high quality media and release thereby the creative potential of Europe. For that the project will also examine and apply flexible business models that enable those forms of networked SME enterprises and can be adapted to the project-specific nature of the creative industry work. The initial IM3I uses cases that will be tested, evaluated, implemented and applied at two SME users (NAVA and mica) of the consortium, are: a) support of inter- and intra-networked SME enterprises in creative content and media search; examination of collaborative media production environments and workflows and distributed media authoring and b) instant user-generated media content broadcasting through various networks (internet, mobile, DVB-T, DVB-H, IPTV).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.3.4 | Award Amount: 3.41M | Year: 2013

The objective of this research proposal is to bring time awareness and evolution into the design of System-of-Systems (SoS), to establish a sound conceptual model, a generic architectural framework and a design methodology, supported by some prototype tools, for the modeling, development and evolution of time-sensitive SoSes with possible emergent behaviors. Special emphasis is placed on evolution, emergence, dependability (e.g. safety, availability) and security, considering embedded devices and the cloud as the execution platform. The concept of evolution will be addressed from two complementary perspectives, considering both long-term evolution and short-term unexpected changes (e.g., failures) in the constituent systems. The project starts with a study of fielded industrial SoSs, where the handling of time and the evolution aspects will be in the center of the analysis, in the domains of disaster management, transport, and smart grid applications. The following development of the conceptual model, the architectural framework, the design methodology and some extensions to UML-based tools will form the core of the project work. In place of the traditional guarantees that were the target for more closed and static systems, the architectural framework will be based on the concept of guaranteed best adaptation under the given constraints, sometimes just monitoring how the environment evolves, and influencing how the SoS takes mitigating actions. The viability of the framework will be validated on a case study of a CPS, a small smart grid application, where guaranteed responsiveness, evolution, dependability and security are essential requirements. The research is based on the in-depth experience of some of the key researchers of the consortium in the fields of architecture design, real-time systems, dependability, security and the development of large systems-of-systems in such diverse domains as disaster management, the transport sector, and energy distribution.


Berzigotti A.,Hospital Clinic | Berzigotti A.,Research Center Biomedica En Red Of Enfermedades Hepaticas gestivas | Seijo S.,Hospital Clinic | Arena U.,University of Florence | And 5 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Background & Aims: Noninvasive methods are needed to identify clinically significant portal hypertension (CSPH) and esophageal varices (EVs) in patients with compensated cirrhosis. We looked for markers of the presence of CSPH and EVs in patients with cirrhosis. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study that included a training set of 117 patients with compensated cirrhosis, confirmed by histology, from a tertiary referral center. Spleen diameter was measured by ultrasound, and liver stiffness (LS) was measured by transient elastography; endoscopy was used as the standard for detection of EVs, and measurements of hepatic venous pressure gradient were used as the standard for identifying CSPH. We assessed the ability of platelet count, spleen diameter, LS, and combinations of these factors (ie, ratio of platelet count to spleen size, and LS × spleen size/platelet count [LSPS]) to identify patients with CSPH and EV. The analysis included 2 new statistical models: the PH risk score and the varices risk score. Results were validated using an independent series of 56 patients with compensated patients from another center. Results: LS was the best single noninvasive variable for identifying patients with CSPH (area under the receiver operating characteristic, 0.883; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.824-0.943; P <.0001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic value increased when LS was combined with platelet count and spleen size, either as LSPS (0.918; 95% CI, 0.872-0.965; P <.0001) or PH risk score (0.935; 95% CI, 0.893-0.977; P <.0001). More than 80% of patients were accurately classified using LSPS and PH risk score. Analyses of the varices risk score and LSPS were superior to all other noninvasive tests for identifying patients with EVs (area under the receiver operating characteristic, 0.909; 95% CI, 0.841-0.954 and 0.882; 95% CI, 0.810-0.935, respectively); they correctly classified 85% of patients in the training set and 75% in the validation set. Conclusions: Combined data on LS, spleen diameter, and platelet count can be used to identify patients with compensated cirrhosis most likely to have CSPH and EV. © 2013 AGA Institute.


Menchetti M.,University of Florence | Mori E.,University of Turin
Ethology Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2014

More than 16% of parrot species (Aves Psittaciformes) of the world have currently established at least one breeding population outside their natural distribution ranges. Though including the most introduced bird species all over the world, their interactions with native biodiversity and environments are still poorly known. In this paper, we summarize current knowledge about impacts of introduced Psittaciformes and we identify possible gaps to be filled with future research. Breeding site requirements of alien parrots, e.g. trunk cavities, indicate potential routes of direct and indirect competition with native hole-nesting bird species. Interactions with arboreal rodents, bats and insects are poorly documented, but appear to be limited. Psittaciformes potentially affect economy and human wellness, being responsible for damage to crops and to electrical infrastructures. Association with noise pollution has also been suggested, as many alien populations breed in urban parks or close to human settlements. Psittaciformes are potential reservoirs of Chlamydophila psittaci, the etiological agent of human psittacosis, and other diseases transmittable to humans and wildlife. Less is known about impact on native flora as well as on ecosystem functions. Predictive research and information on ecosystem recovery after parrot removal are scarce too, as eradication programs are often hampered by the emotional affiliation linked to these birds. © 2014 Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Firenze, Italia.


Bertini A.,University of Florence | Martinetto E.,University of Turin
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology | Year: 2011

The first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the main micro (pollen) - and macro (leaves, fruits and seeds) - palaeobotanical data from northern and central Italian sites, allows four transects of ancient vegetation for the Messinian to Piacenzian interval to be constructed. Standard criteria for the reconstruction of vegetation transects are established, so that our approach could be extended to other basins or regions bearing Neogene palaeofloras, and would permit readily comparable reconstructions of past vegetation to be obtained. Messinian to Piacenzian lowland plant communities, as reconstructed by means of this integrated and standardized approach, show the dominance of warm temperate forest taxa in northern and central Italy, with the highest floristic affinity to present day forests of the eastern part of central China. Some panholartic conifers, usually interpreted as "cool temperate" taxa in Neogene assemblages, are assigned to the upland vegetation; they are scarcely represented in Messinian and Zanclean pollen records (with the exception of some intervals characterized by increases in Picea and Cedrus) and almost completely lacking in leaf and carpological ones; during the Piacenzian, notably from 2.8. Ma, the pollen percentage of such taxa, in particular Picea, progressively increased. The overall scantiness of non-aquatic herbs, not only in the macrofossil record, but also in the pollen one, indicates the absence of dry conditions and excludes long-lasting expansion of open vegetation. The type of vegetation ("subtropical humid forest") reconstructed for the evaporitic Messinian (ca. 5.9 to 5.6. Ma) suggests that the Adriatic-Padane basin would have been under predominant moist conditions, even during the deposition of evaporites. Slightly drier phases in the post-evaporitic Messinian are suggested at first by the short period of increase of Lygeum, a steppe plant, close to 5.5. Ma, then by the ecological preferences of some unusual macrofossil taxa (Cupressus, Medicago, Vitex). These are, however, still associated with arboreal plants which require humid conditions, definitely indicating that forested environments persisted ("subtropical sub-humid forest"). The Zanclean and Piacenzian transects are extremely similar to the evaporitic Messinian one, and the mesic lowland (zonal) vegetation can still be defined as "subtropical humid forest". © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Muniz-Miranda M.,University of Florence | Muniz-Miranda M.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara
Journal of Raman Spectroscopy | Year: 2013

The adsorption of 4-nitroanisole on silver colloidal nanoparticles was investigated by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Actually, the chemical binding with a metal substrate may play a role in changing the electronic structure of this molecule, which can be considered a push-pull chromophore, because an internal charge-transfer occurs between methoxy and nitrogroup. A SERS signal could be detected only in chloride-activated silver colloids, but the spectrum recorded with green-light excitation was not related to adsorbed 4-nitroanisole, but to its azoderivative, formed by photoreduction of the nitrogroup on the surface of the silver substrate. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Moriondo M.,CNR Institute for Biometeorology | Giannakopoulos C.,Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development | Bindi M.,University of Florence
Climatic Change | Year: 2011

This work was aimed at assessing the role of climate extremes in climate change impact assessment of typical winter and summer Mediterranean crops by using Regional Circulation Model (RCM) outputs as drivers of a modified version of the CropSyst model. More specifically, climate change effects were investigated on sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) development and yield under the A2 and B2 scenarios of the IPCC Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). The direct impact of extreme climate events (i. e. heat stress at anthesis stage) was also included. The increase in both mean temperatures and temperature extremes under A2 and B2 scenarios (2071-2100) resulted in: a general advancement of the main phenological stages, shortening of the growing season and an increase in the frequency of heat stress during anthesis with respect to the baseline (1961-1990). The potential impact of these changes on crop yields was evaluated. It was found that winter and summer crops may possess a different fitting capacity to climate change. Sunflower, cultivated in the southern regions of the Mediterranean countries, was more prone to the direct effect of heat stress at anthesis and drought during its growing cycle. These factors resulted in severe yield reduction. In contrast, the lower frequency of heat stress and drought allowed the winter wheat crop to attain increased yields with respect to the baseline period. It can be concluded that the impact of extreme events should be included in crop-modelling approaches, otherwise there is the risk of underestimating crop yield losses, which in turn would result in the application of incorrect policies for coping with climate change. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Locatelli M.,University of Turin | Schoen F.,University of Florence
Journal of Global Optimization | Year: 2015

In this paper we derive a lower bound, independent from the number of atoms N, for the minimal interatomic distances between atoms in a cluster whose total energy is modelled by means of the so called Morse potential. A similar result was previously proven for Lennard–Jones clusters but the proof can not be extended to Morse clusters. Besides the theoretical interest, the derivation of this lower bound is important for the definition of efficient procedures for the computation of the total energy of clusters with a large number of atoms. © 2002Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.


Chelli R.,University of Florence | Chelli R.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2010

In serial generalized-ensemble simulations, the sampling of a collective coordinate of a system is enhanced through non-Boltzmann weighting schemes. A popular version of such methods is certainly the simulated tempering technique, which is based on a random walk in temperature ensembles to explore the phase space more thoroughly. The most critical aspect of serial generalized-ensemble methods with respect to their parallel counterparts, such as replica exchange, is the difficulty of weight determination. Here we propose an adaptive approach to update the weights on the fly during the simulation. The algorithm is based on generalized forms of the Bennett acceptance ratio and of the free energy perturbation. It does not require intensive communication between processors and, therefore, is prone to be used in distributed computing environments with modest computational cost. We illustrate the method in a series of molecular dynamics simulations of a model system and compare its performances to two recent approaches, one based on adaptive Bayesian-weighted histogram analysis and the other based on initial estimates of weight factors obtained by potential energy averages. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Morandi A.,University of Florence | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence | Chiarugi P.,Tuscany Tumor Institute ITT
Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2014

The metabolic properties of cancer cells significantly differ from those of normal cells. In particular, cancer cells are largely dependent on aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon that has been exploited clinically by using labelled glucose for positron emission tomography imaging. Importantly, cancer-associated alterations in metabolism are not merely due to the resulting response to cell proliferation and survival. Indeed, direct metabolic regulation could be driven by tumor oncogenes and/or suppressors, as demonstrated in several solid tumors, including breast cancer. Despite the fact that most breast cancer studies have focused on the intrinsic characteristics of breast tumor cells, it is now widely accepted that tumor microenvironment plays an important role in defining and reprogramming cancer cell metabolism. Tumor:stroma crosstalk, as well as inflammatory cues, concurs to outlining the cancer metabolism, impact on cancer aggressiveness and ultimately on patient survival and therapeutic responses. The aim of this review is to (i) gather the most recent data regarding the metabolic alterations in breast cancer, (ii) describe the role of tumor microenvironment in breast cancer cell metabolic reprogramming, and (iii) contemplate how targeting metabolic pathways aberrantly activated in breast cancer could help current therapeutic regimens. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Ghezzo E.,University of Florence | Palchetti A.,B and P Archeologia | Rook L.,University of Florence
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Equi Terme is a hamlet located in northern Tuscany, in Apuan Alps regional Park. An outstanding fossil vertebrate collection housed in Florence is the result of excavations in the Equi cave and shelter during the period 1911-1919. This faunal assemblage (associated with Mousterian artefacts) may be correlated with the middle of MIS 3. All of the specimens recovered at Equi early in the last century were collected with attention to their stratigraphical positions. Detailed field annotation for nearly every specimen allowed us to organize them and attempt a stratigraphical and spatial reconstruction of the fossiliferous deposits.We present the results of the study of the spatial and stratigraphic distribution of the carnivoran species in the Equi cave and shelter, and re-evaluate the taphonomic agents of accumulation and the fossil distribution within the stratigraphic record. In particular, we evaluated the distribution of Panthera pardus, which, unusually for Europe, is abundant in the Equi cave assemblage.This analysis highlights the importance of the re-evaluation of historical collections and allows for future comparisons with data from more recent excavations at the Equi site. The analysis also provides an account of the distribution of carnivorans throughout the stratigraphic record. The constant presence and the predominance of leopards and wolves over lions and smaller carnivorans, allow for evaluations of their ethology and may be related to a short period of sediment accumulation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Arpino B.,Bocconi University | Mealli F.,University of Florence
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2011

The use of multilevel models for the estimation of the propensity score for data with a hierarchical structure and unobserved cluster-level variables is proposed. This approach is compared with models that ignore the hierarchy, and models in which the hierarchy is represented by a fixed parameter for each cluster. It is shown, by simulation, that simple models with dummy variables outperform both random effect models and models ignoring the hierarchy in terms of balance of cluster-level unobserved covariates and omitted variable bias. The representation of the clusters by fixed or random effects defines a model more general than would be ideal if the relevant cluster-level variables were available. The general conclusion confirms that when conducting propensity score analysis it is safer to specify a more general model than pursuing model parsimony. © 2010 Published by Elsevier B.V.


Harrison C.N.,Guys and St Thomas National Health Service Foundation Trust | Vannucchi A.M.,University of Florence
Blood | Year: 2016

In this issue of Blood, Milosevic Feenstra et al1 and Cabagnols et al2 report the discovery of heterogeneous novel mutations in MPL and JAK2 genes in 5% to 10% of essential thrombocythemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) patients who lacked what are regarded as classical mutations in these myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and were thereby considered as having a "triple-negative" (TN) disease. The concept of TN ET and PMF patients was developed after the discovery of calreticulin (CALR) mutations.3,4 The term "triple negativity" was first employed for breast cancer patients who had tumors negative for estrogen or progesterone receptor and HER2 mutations, but it is no longer scientifically correct. TN breast cancers have subsequently been shown to harbor pathogenic mutations in several other genes, including PI3KCA, BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2,which are now of increasing importance in clinical management.5 The findings in these 2 manuscripts for TN ET and PMF patients are similarly important and raise several questions for both future research and clinical practice. © 2016 by The American Society of Hematology.


Goto A.,Tohoku University | Ripepe M.,University of Florence | Lacanna G.,University of Florence
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2014

Wideband acoustic waves, both inaudible infrasound (<20 Hz) and audible component (>20 Hz), generated by strombolian eruptions were recorded at 5 kHz and correlated with video images. The high sample rate revealed that in addition to the known initial infrasound, the acoustic signal includes an energetic high-frequency (typically >100 Hz) coda. This audible signal starts before the positive infrasound onset goes negative. We suggest that the infrasonic onset is due to magma doming at the free surface, whereas the immediate high-frequency signal reflects the following explosive discharge flow. During strong gas-rich eruptions, positively skewed shockwave-like components with sharp compression and gradual depression appeared. We suggest that successive bursting of overpressurized small bubbles and the resultant volcanic jets sustain the highly gas-rich explosions and emit the audible sound. When the jet is supersonic, microexplosions of ambient air entrained in the hot jet emit the skewed waveforms. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Onorato M.,University of Turin | Onorato M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Residori S.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Bortolozzo U.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | And 3 more authors.
Physics Reports | Year: 2013

Rogue waves is the name given by oceanographers to isolated large amplitude waves, that occur more frequently than expected for normal, Gaussian distributed, statistical events. Rogue waves are ubiquitous in nature and appear in a variety of different contexts. Besides water waves, they have been recently reported in liquid Helium, in nonlinear optics, microwave cavities, etc. The first part of the review is dedicated to rogue waves in the oceans and to their laboratory counterpart with experiments performed in water basins. Most of the work and interpretation of the experimental results will be based on the nonlinear Schrödinger equation, an universal model, that rules the dynamics of weakly nonlinear, narrow band surface gravity waves. Then, we present examples of rogue waves occurring in different physical contexts and we discuss the related anomalous statistics of the wave amplitude, which deviates from the Gaussian behavior that were expected for random waves. The third part of the review is dedicated to optical rogue waves, with examples taken from the supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers, laser fiber systems and two-dimensional spatiotemporal systems. In particular, the extreme waves observed in a two-dimensional spatially extended optical cavity allow us to introduce a description based on two essential conditions for the generation of rogue waves: nonlinear coupling and nonlocal coupling. The first requirement is needed in order to introduce an elementary size, such as that of the solitons or breathers, whereas the second requirement implies inhomogeneity, a mechanism needed to produce the events of mutual collisions and mutual amplification between the elementary solitons or wavepackets. The concepts of "granularity" and "inhomogeneity" as joint generators of optical rogue waves are introduced on the basis of a linear experiment. By extending these concepts to other systems, rogue waves can be classified as phenomena occurring in the presence of many uncorrelated "grains" of activity inhomogeneously distributed in large spatial domains, the "grains" being of linear or nonlinear origin, as in the case of wavepackets or solitons. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Chelli R.,University of Florence | Chelli R.,CNR Institute of Applied Physics Nello Carrara
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation | Year: 2012

Configurational freezing (J. Chem. Theory Comput.2011, 7, 582) is a method devised for steered Monte Carlo simulations aimed at improving free energy estimates via nonequilibrium work theorems (see Jarzynski in Phys. Rev. Lett.1997, 78, 2690 and Crooks in J. Stat. Phys.1998, 90, 1481). The basic idea is to limit the sampling to particles located in the region of space where dissipation occurs, while leaving the other particles fixed. Therefore, the method is based on the reasonable assumption that dissipation is a local phenomenon in single-molecule nonequilibrium processes, a statement which holds for many processes including, for example, folding of biopolymers and protein-ligand binding/unbinding. In this article, the configurational freezing approach, based on the sampling of particles located around hot-spot sites encompassing the high dissipation domain, is supplemented by the possibility of selecting such particles (for trial Monte Carlo moves) dependent on their distance from the hot spots. This is accomplished by exploiting an extension of the Owickis preferential sampling (J. Am. Chem. Soc.1977, 99, 7413) in the original configurational freezing machinery. The combined strategy is shown to improve the accuracy of free energy estimates in physically sound cases: the calculation of the water to methane relative hydration free energy and the calculation of the potentials of mean force of two solvated methane molecules and two solvated benzene molecules along the direction connecting the centers of mass. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Luzon J.,Centro Universitario Of La Defensa | Luzon J.,University of Zaragoza | Sessoli R.,University of Florence
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2012

Due to their usual large magnetic moments and large magnetic anisotropy lanthanide ions are investigated for the search of Single Molecule Magnets with high blocking temperature. However, the low symmetry crystal environment, the complexity of the electronic states or the non-collinearity of the magnetic anisotropy easy-axes in polynuclear systems make the rationalization of the magnetic behaviour of lanthanide based molecular systems difficult. In this perspective article we expose a methodology in which the use of additional characterization techniques, like single crystal magnetic measurements or luminescence experiments, complemented by relativistic ab initio calculations and a suitable choice of spin Hamiltonian models, can be of great help in order to overcome such difficulties, representing an essential step for the rational design of lanthanide based Single Molecule Magnets with enhanced physical properties. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2011.1.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 2.15M | Year: 2011

CreativeCH will promote cooperation and mutual innovation among organisations of Science & Technology (S&T), Cultural Heritage (CH) and Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI), and highlight the contribution of such cooperations and innovations to vital European economic, social and cultural objectives. The goals of the CreativeCH Action Plan are, a) enable cities and regions across Europe to benefit from CH assets through the cooperation of S&T, CH and CCI organisations, b) encourage and involve students in such cooperations. On the European level CreativeCH will promote sharing of knowledge and experiences in S&T CH - CCI cooperation through an open peer-learning network, a series of workshops at major European events, and a virtual forum for students and practitioners. These activities will include collecting examples of innovative S&T - CH - CCI cooperations, identifying success factors, and providing recommendations on good practice. On the Local level, CreativeCH will realise showcases of S&T - CH - CCI cooperations that demonstrate how such cooperations can help overcome barriers in the access to, and understanding of, cultural heritage. The focus is on issues of glocal character, i.e., that are common to cultural heritage worldwide but tackled in an exemplary way in a concrete local setting. The showcases will also have a particular focus on involving and training students.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.5-1 | Award Amount: 7.81M | Year: 2010

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become one of the top concerns for the practising hepatogastroenterologist due to the obesity epidemic and its potential to progress to advanced liver disease which significantly impacts on overall and liver-related mortality. The aim of the FLIP (Fatty Liver: Inhibition of Progression) project is to understand and prevent the progression of liver disease in NAFLD. FLIP is a consortium of basic scientists and practising clinical hepatologists with an established track record and focus on research into the underlying mechanisms and management of patients with NAFLD. Therefore FLIP provides a unique opportunity to assemble the largest European cohort of patients with histologically diagnosed NAFLD with clinical and epidemiological data and with biobanks of DNA, frozen liver tissue and serum. These will be used in a wide range of collaborative inter-disciplinary research projects aimed at addressing key unanswered questions related to the mechanisms and consequences of liver injury in NAFLD and the development of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies. The main outcomes of FLIP will be new insights in the progression of liver disease in NAFLD in terms of initiating mechanisms and patients at risk, innovative diagnostic methods particularly adapted for large-scale screening and prognostic evaluation, improved implementation of lifestyle changes, collaboration with leading biotechnological or pharmaceutical companies in order to translate to the market diagnostic tests or newly identified molecular targets for pharmacological therapy. By disseminating the projects results, FLIP will further help the European Community to suggest guidelines on the management of this emerging liver disease. The long-term goal is to lay the foundations for the future of NAFLD research in Europe by creating a Collaborative Research Network on NAFLD that will continue the work initiated by the FLIP consortium.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.2 | Award Amount: 1.45M | Year: 2012

Plants have amazing and significant sensing capabilities. For instance, each single root apex can simultaneously and continuously monitor many chemical and physical parameters. Natural organisms, including human beings, have often inspired works of science and science fiction on how to augment their abilities or interface them with machines. As a remarkable example, electroencephalography (EEG) enables the transduction of electrical activity in the brain into machine understandable signals of non-verbalised patterns.In this project, we plan to extend this approach to the realm of plants, shifting focus from interfacing a single entity (e.g. a human brain that controls a prosthetic device) to a network of entities (a community of plants) that renders an orchestrated response to the environment in which it lives. While artificial sensing devices exist that can monitor environmental parameters of interest, such as temperature or humidity, the focus of our research will be on the use of plants themselves as sensing and decision-making devices.The holistic approach we propose is novel: while plants as bio-sensors have been the object of previous studies, prior work has focused on the study of the sensing capabilities of individual plants in a controlled laboratory environment. In contrast, we plan to consider real field scenarios (e.g. a forest or a meadow) in which plants often receive uncontrollable and unpredictable stimuli. We will consider the case of multiple points of observations, in which readings from several plants are collected over a wireless network and integrated in a suitable way to obtain a consistent and global view of an environment of interest. Eco-compatible, self-sustainable and cost effective plant-based solutions will be studied to tackle two relevant problems of the modern society: air pollution and the use of chemicals in organic agriculture.We are used to thinking of plants as inanimate objects. A nice aphorism well describes our vision: One day you will step into the garden to look at the flowers and the flowers will look back at you. Even more interestingly, we also claim that plants will gossip about you!


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-5 | Award Amount: 2.27M | Year: 2011

European health systems are committed to meeting the challenge of understanding the needs of migrant populations and adapting their services to meet these needs. The difficulties inextricably linked to this challenge are caused by the complexity of migration patterns and the differences between migrant population across EU countries. At present, the limited available data show that attempts to incorporate migrants health needs, in particular those of migrants from non-EU countries, into EU health systems have remained scattered and uncoordinated. COHEMIs general objective is to coordinate referral centres dealing with specific Latin American (LA) diseases in order to provide a clear understanding of the full migration cycle in relation with the health systems in Europe and Latin America and to provide a in-depth insight into priority health-related aspects of LA migration in order to facilitate the development of and transfer of evidence and information relevant to migrant health policies.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.77M | Year: 2013

In vapour-compression cycles (VCC) and more specifically in heat pumps, mechanical work is supplied to the compressor for increasing the pressure of the evaporated refrigerant. Heat is rejected in the condenser (effective heating at heating mode), for the condensation of the refrigerant, which is then expanded in a throttle valve (no power produced), in order to decrease its pressure, resulting to a two-phase mixture. The heat supply to the evaporator (effective cooling at cooling mode) evaporates further the refrigerant. The aim of the EXP-HEAT project is to develop a dedicated component and to integrate it in heat pump units. This component is actually a positive displacement liquid expander with capacity of around 1-2 kW and will replace the throttle valve used in vapour-compression units. Its purpose is to recover the energy of the high-pressure liquid refrigerant, by producing power and assisting in the compression process, reducing the compression work by up to 10-15%. At the same time the heat removed is increased by around 5%, since the expansion of the liquid refrigerant is not isenthalpic. The resulting increase of the Coefficient Of Performance (COP) is expected to reach even 20% at specific operating conditions and for both heating/cooling modes, significantly improving the performance of a heat pump, without major interventions and keeping the additional cost low, in order to ensure the cost-effectiveness of this concept. In order to achieve these targets, the developed expander will be extensively tested under a wide range of operating conditions, in order afterwards to be delivered and integrated in a re-designed heat pump with a capacity of 10-20 kW, and also used for the proper retrofitting of an already installed unit of the same capacity.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EJD | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2015

Many natural and artificial systems are often composed of oscillatory elements which, besides evolving according to their own non-trivial internal dynamics, mutually interact. As a result, many temporal and spatial scales are typically present, often accompanied by the spontaneous emergence of collective properties. Altogether, such features make the task of understanding the resulting evolution a challenging interdisciplinary problem. Zero-knowledge methods do generally require too large amount of data to allow drawing meaningful conclusions. In order to overcome this limitation, it is necessary to add skilful hypotheses about the structure of the underlying model and, thereby, on the relevant variables. This task is often tackled in an ad hoc way and the approach is based rather on personal preferences than on objective elements. The goal of this project is to fill the gap, by developing a general and coherent set of tools for the system identification and control, as well as to improve our ability to make predictions. The task will be pursued by combining top-down with bottom-up approaches which will be used to identify the most appropriate variables. Such analysis will be integrated by performing suitable case studies and mutually validating the various techniques to test the correctness of the underlying assumptions (both in the context of theoretical models as well as in experimental time series, such as physiological and neural data). A user-friendly software package will be ultimately developed to make the methods accessible to a broad set of potential users, including those with minimal theoretical competences. Furthermore, we will train a new generation of scientists able to implement a broad range of interdisciplinary approaches to the multivariate time signals that may be generated by the evolution of complex systems.


News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.bbc.co.uk

Footprints made by early humans millions of years ago have been uncovered in Tanzania close to where similar tracks were found in the 1970s. The impressions were made when some of our distant relatives walked together across wet volcanic ash. Their makers, most likely Australopithecus afarensis, appear to have had a wide range of body sizes. Scientists say this gives clues to how this ancient species of human lived. Australopithecus afarensis is one of the longest-lived and best-known early human species. The fossil of "Lucy", a young adult female who lived in Ethiopia 3.2 million years ago, is perhaps the most famous individual. The newly discovered footprints may have been made by a male walking with smaller females. "This novel evidence, taken as a whole with the previous findings, portrays several early hominins moving as a group through the landscape following a volcanic eruption and subsequent rainfall. But there is more," said lead researcher Prof Giorgio Manzi, director of the archaeological project in Tanzania. "The footprints of one of the new individuals are astonishingly larger than anyone else's in the group, suggesting that he was a large male member of the species. "In fact, the 165cm stature indicated by his footprints makes him the largest Australopithecus specimen identified to date." In 1976, preserved footprints thought to be made by Australopithecus were discovered at a site in Laetoli, Tanzania. At 3.66 million years old, they are the oldest documented bipedal footprint trails. Now, the discovery of a second set of footprints has been revealed in the journal, eLife. "Now that we've found a new set of footprints it opens up a completely different window and there could be a number of new possibilities to study what is a photograph in time of the everyday life of this species," said Jacopo Moggi-Cecchi of the University of Florence. The tracks were found during excavations for a museum only 150m south of the original discovery. The researchers, based in Italy and Tanzania, think the two sets could belong together, giving clues to the lifestyle of Australopithecus. "A tentative conclusion is that the group consisted of one male, two or three females, and one or two juveniles, which leads us to believe that the male - and therefore other males in the species - had more than one female mate," said Dr Marco Cherin, director of the school of paleoanthropology at the University of Perugia. The finding of a male perhaps walking with several females could mean their social structure was "closer to a gorilla-like model than to chimpanzees or modern humans". In gorillas, one male and a number of females form a mating and child-rearing group. The study also raises questions about how human feet were made for walking. Australopithecus were capable of walking upright on two legs, but we don't know how much they resembled modern humans in the way they walked. Prof Robin Crompton of the University of Liverpool, who is not connected to the study, said the latest footprints will give more information, once statistical work is done. "Some people have argued that they have a slightly different gait, but I don't think there's any good evidence for that," he told BBC News. "If humans have been walking the same way as we do now for more or less 3.65 million years, and human ancestors - in another genus - Australopithecus - then that's really fairly exciting."


Bucciantini M.,University of Florence | Rigacci S.,University of Florence | Stefani M.,University of Florence | Stefani M.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2014

Several human degenerative diseases involve amyloidogenic peptides/proteins with high conformational plasticity and propensity to self-aggregate into polymeric fibrillar assemblies sharing the cross-β structure and endowed with cytotoxic potential. Although the mechanisms of amyloid growth and toxicity are not fully understood, a common property of amyloids is their ability to interact with lipid bilayers disturbing membrane integrity. Lipid bilayers can also act as conformational catalysts, favoring protein misfolding and inducing the growth of aggregation nuclei, early oligomers, and mature fibrils with specific biophysical, structural, and toxicity features. This Perspective will highlight these effects in the context of a membrane-oligomer system where the conformational/biophysical features of either component affect those of the other. In this context, we will highlight the modulation of the protein-cell surface interaction by the content of membrane cholesterol and gangliosides, notably GM1. In particular, we will discuss data that indicate how these interactions affect the structural and stability properties of both protein and bilayers as well as the final cytotoxic effect. Our goal is to propose shared membrane-based mechanisms that could apply to any amyloidogenic peptide/protein, providing a biochemical background for amyloid growth and toxicity. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Huang Y.J.,Rutgers University | Rosato A.,University of Florence | Singh G.,Rutgers University | Montelione G.T.,Rutgers University | Montelione G.T.,Johnson University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

We describe the RPF web server, a quality assessment tool for protein NMR structures. The RPF server measures the 'goodness-of-fit' of the 3D structure with NMR chemical shift and unassigned NOESY data, and calculates a discrimination power (DP) score, which estimates the differences between the fits of the query structures and random coil structures to these experimental data. The DP-score is an accuracy predictor of the query structure. The RPF server also maps local structure quality measures onto the 3D structure using an online molecular viewer, and onto the NMR spectra, allowing refinement of the structure and/or NOESY peak list data. © 2012 The Author(s).


Bartolini F.,University of Florence | Barausse A.,University of Padua | Portner H.-O.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research | Giomi F.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

Integrating long-term ecological observations with experimental findings on species response and tolerance to environmental stress supports an understanding of climate effects on population dynamics. Here, we combine the two approaches, laboratory experiments and analysis of multi-decadal time-series, to understand the consequences of climate anomalies and ongoing change for the population dynamics of a eurythermal littoral species, Carcinus aestuarii. For the generation of cause and effect hypotheses we investigated the thermal response of crab embryos at four developmental stages. We first measured metabolic rate variations in embryos following acute warming (16-24 °C) and after incubation at 20 and 24 °C for limited periods. All experiments consistently revealed differential thermal responses depending on the developmental stage. Temperature-induced changes in metabolic activity of early embryonic stages of blastula and gastrula suggested the onset of abnormal development. In contrast, later developmental stages, characterized by tissue and organ differentiation, were marginally affected by temperature anomalies, indicating enhanced resilience to thermal stress. Then, we extended these findings to a larger, population scale, by analyzing a time-series of C. aestuarii landings in the Venice lagoon from 1945 to 2010 (ripe crabs were recorded separately) in relation to temperature. Landings and extreme climatic events showed marked long-term and short-term variations. We found negative relationships between landings and thermal stress indices on both timescales, with time lags consistent with an impact on crab early life stages. When quantitatively evaluating the influence of thermal stress on population dynamics, we found that it has a comparable effect to that of the biomass of spawners. This work provides strong evidence that physiological responses to climatic anomalies translate into population-level changes and that apparently tolerant species may be impacted before the ontogeny of eurythermy. These ontogenetic bottlenecks markedly shape population dynamics and require study to assess the effects of global change. copy; 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Mariani S.,University of Florence | Minunni M.,University of Florence | Minunni M.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2014

In the last 20 years, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and its advancement with imaging (SPRi) emerged as a suitable and reliable platform in clinical analysis for label-free, sensitive, and real-time monitoring of biomolecular interactions. Thus, we report in this review the state of the art of clinical target detection with SPR-based biosensors in complex matrices (e.g., serum, saliva, blood, and urine) as well as in standard solution when innovative approaches or advanced instrumentations were employed for improved detection. The principles of SPR-based biosensors are summarized first, focusing on the physical properties of the transducer, on the assays design, on the immobilization chemistry, and on new trends for implementing system analytical performances (e.g., coupling with nanoparticles (NPs). Then we critically review the detection of analytes of interest in molecular diagnostics, such as hormones (relevant also for anti-doping control) and biomarkers of interest in inflammatory, cancer, and heart failure diseases. Antibody detection is reported in relation to immune disorder diagnostics. Subsequently, nucleic acid targets are considered for revealing genetic diseases (e.g., point mutation and single nucleotides polymorphism, SNPs) as well as new emerging clinical markers (microRNA) and for pathogen detection. Finally, examples of pathogen detection by immunosensing were also analyzed. A parallel comparison with the reference methods was duly made, indicating the progress brought about by SPR technologies in clinical routine analysis. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Binzoni T.,University of Geneva | Martelli F.,University of Florence
Applied Optics | Year: 2015

It is shown that an analytical noise-free implementation of Monte Carlo simulations [Appl. Opt. 54, 2400 (2015)] for diffuse correlation spectroscopy (DCS) may be successfully used to check the ability of a given DCS model to generate a reliable estimator of tissue blood flow. As an example, four different DCS models often found in the scientific literature are tested on a simulated tissue (semi-infinite geometry) with a Maxwell- Boltzmann probability distribution function for red blood cell speed. It is shown that the random model is the best model for the chosen speed distribution but that (1) some inaccuracies in the DCS model in taking into account red blood cell concentration and (2) some inaccuracies, probably due to a low-order approximation of the DCS model, are still observed. The method can be easily generalized for other speed/flow probability distribution functions of the red blood cells. © 2015 Optical Society of America.


Catani S.,University of Florence | Grazzini M.,University of Zürich | Grazzini M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Torre A.,University of Zürich
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015

We consider the production of a pair of heavy quarks (QQ-) in hadronic collisions. When the transverse momentum qT of the heavy-quark pair is much smaller than its invariant mass, the QCD perturbative expansion is affected by large logarithmic terms that must be resummed to all orders. This behavior is well known from the simpler case of hadroproduction of colorless high-mass systems, such as vector or Higgs boson(s). In the case of QQ- production, the final-state heavy quarks carry color charge and are responsible for additional soft radiation (through direct emission and interferences with initial-state radiation) that complicates the evaluation of the logarithmically-enhanced terms in the small-qT region. We present the all-order resummation structure of the logarithmic contributions, which includes color flow evolution factors due to soft wide-angle radiation. Resummation is performed at the completely differential level with respect to the kinematical variables of the produced heavy quarks. Soft-parton radiation produces azimuthal correlations that are fully taken into account by the resummation formalism. These azimuthal correlations are entangled with those that are produced by initial-state collinear radiation. We present explicit analytical results up to next-to-leading order and next-to-next-to-leading logarithmic accuracy. © 2014 The Authors.


Bigazzi F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Cotrone A.L.,University of Florence
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: Gravity solutions describing the Witten-Sakai-Sugimoto model of holographic QCD with dynamical flavors are presented. The field theory is studied in the Veneziano limit, at first order in the ratio of the number of flavors and colors. The gravity solutions are analytic and dual to the field theory either in the confined, low temperature phase or in the deconfined, high temperature phase with small baryonic charge density. The phase diagram and the flavor contributions to vacuum (e.g. string tension and hadron masses) and thermodynamical properties of the dual field theory are then deduced. The phase diagram of the model at finite temperature and imaginary chemical potential, as well as that of the unflavored theory at finite θ angle are also discussed in turn, showing qualitative similarities with recent lattice studies. Interesting degrees of freedom in each phase are discussed. Covariant counterterms for the Witten-Sakai-Sugimoto model are provided both in the probe approximation and in the backreacted case, allowing for a standard holographic renormalization of the theory. © 2015, The Author(s).


Valtancoli P.,University of Florence | Valtancoli P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Annals of Physics | Year: 2015

The decomposition in normal modes of a scalar field conformally coupled to an AdS black hole leads to a Heun equation with simple coefficients thanks to conformal invariance. By applying the Damour-Ruffini method we can relate the critical exponent of the radial part at the horizon surface to the Hawking radiation of scalar particles. © 2015 Elsevier Inc..


Anglani R.,CNR Institute of Intelligent Systems for Automation | Casalbuoni R.,University of Florence | Ciminale M.,dellUniversita e della Ricerca | Ippolito N.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | And 3 more authors.
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2014

Inhomogeneous superconductors and inhomogeneous superfluids appear in a variety of contexts including quark matter at extreme densities, fermionic systems of cold atoms, type-II cuprates, and organic superconductors. In the present review the focus is on properties of quark matter at high baryonic density, which may exist in the interior of compact stars. The conditions realized in these stellar objects tend to disfavor standard symmetric BCS pairing and may favor an inhomogeneous color superconducting phase. The properties of inhomogeneous color superconductors are discussed in detail and in particular of crystalline color superconductors. The possible astrophysical signatures associated with the presence of crystalline color superconducting phases within the core of compact stars are also reviewed. © 2014 American Physical Society.


Lusanna L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Villani M.,University of Florence
International Journal of Geometric Methods in Modern Physics | Year: 2014

By using the York canonical basis of ADM tetrad gravity, in a formulation using radar 4-coordinates for the parametrization of the 3+1 splitting of the space-time, it is possible to write the 4-Riemann tensor of a globally hyperbolic, asymptotically Minkowskian space-time as a Hamiltonian tensor, whose components are 4-scalars with respect to the ordinary world 4-coordinates, plus terms vanishing due to Einstein's equations. Therefore, "on-shell" we find the expression of the Hamiltonian 4-Riemann tensor. Moreover, the 3+1 splitting of the space-time used to define the phase space allows us to introduce a Hamiltonian set of null tetrads and to find the Hamiltonian expression of the 4-Ricci scalars of the Newman-Penrose formalism. This material will be used in the second paper to study the 4-Weyl tensor, the 4-Weyl scalars and the 4-Weyl eigenvalues and to clarify the notions of Dirac and Bergmann observables. © 2014 World Scientific Publishing Company.


Catani S.,University of Florence | Cieri L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | de Florian D.,University of Buenos Aires | Ferrera G.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

We consider QCD radiative corrections to the production of colorless high-mass systems in hadron collisions. The logarithmically-enhanced contributions at small transverse momentum are treated to all perturbative orders by a universal resummation formula that depends on a single process-dependent hard factor. We show that the hard factor is directly related to the all-order virtual amplitude of the corresponding partonic process. The direct relation is universal (process-independent), and it is expressed by an all-order factorization formula that we explicitly evaluate up to the next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO) in QCD perturbation theory. Once the NNLO scattering amplitude is available, the corresponding hard factor is directly determined: it controls NNLO contributions in resummed calculations at full next-to-next-to-leading logarithmic accuracy, and it can be used in applications of the q T subtraction formalism to perform fully-exclusive perturbative calculations up to NNLO. The universality structure of the hard factor and its explicit NNLO form are also extended to the related formalism of threshold resummation. © 2014 The Authors.


Valtancoli P.,University of Florence | Valtancoli P.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Annals of Physics | Year: 2016

We study the Klein-Gordon equation of a scalar field conformally coupled to a charged BTZ black hole. The background metric is obtained by coupling a non-linear and conformal invariant Maxwell field to (2. +. 1) gravity. We show that the radial part is generally solved by a Heun function and, in the pure gravity limit, by a hypergeometric function. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.


Spoto G.,University of Catania | Spoto G.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Minunni M.,University of Florence
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

This Perspective discusses recent advances in the field of surface plasmon resonance imaging (SPRi) for the label-free, multiplex, and sensitive study of biomolecular systems. Large efforts have been made during the past decade with the aim of developing even more sensitive and specific SPRi-based platforms. Metal nanostructures have been used to enhance SPRi sensitivity and to build a specific SPR-active surface, while special effects such as long-range SPR have been investigated to develop more effective SPRi platforms. Here, we review some of the significant work performed with SPRi for the ultrasensitive detection of biomolecular systems and provide a perspective on the challenges that need to be overcome to enable the wide use of SPRi in emerging key areas such as health diagnostics and antidoping controls. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Catani S.,University of Florence | Cieri L.,University of Buenos Aires | De Florian D.,University of Buenos Aires | Ferrera G.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We consider direct diphoton production in hadron collisions, and we compute the next-to-next-to-leading order QCD radiative corrections at the fully differential level. Our calculation uses the q T subtraction formalism, and it is implemented in a parton-level Monte Carlo program. The program allows the user to apply arbitrary kinematical cuts on the final-state photons and the associated jet activity and to compute the corresponding distributions in the form of bin histograms. We present selected numerical results related to Higgs boson searches at the LHC and corresponding results at the Tevatron. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Rosato A.,University of Florence | Tejero R.,University of Valencia | Montelione G.T.,Rutgers University
Current Opinion in Structural Biology | Year: 2013

Biomolecular NMR structures are now routinely used in biology, chemistry, and bioinformatics. Methods and metrics for assessing the accuracy and precision of protein NMR structures are beginning to be standardized across the biological NMR community. These include both knowledge-based assessment metrics, parameterized from the database of protein structures, and model versus data assessment metrics. On line servers are available that provide comprehensive protein structure quality assessment reports, and efforts are in progress by the world-wide Protein Data Bank (wwPDB) to develop a biomolecular NMR structure quality assessment pipeline as part of the structure deposition process. These quality assessment metrics and standards will aid NMR spectroscopists in determining more accurate structures, and increase the value and utility of these structures for the broad scientific community. © 2013 The Authors.


McKenna R.,University of Florida | Supuran C.T.,University of Florence
Sub-Cellular Biochemistry | Year: 2014

Inhibition of the metalloenzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) has pharmacologic applications in the field of antiglaucoma, anticonvulsant, an-tiobesity, and anticancer agents but is also emerging for designing anti-infectives (antifungal and antibacterial agents) with a novel mechanism of action. As a consequence, the drug design of CA inhibitors (CAIs) is a very dynamic field. Sulfonamides and their isosteres (sulfamates/sulfamides) constitute the main class of CAIs which bind to the metal ion in the enzyme active site. Recently the dithiocarbamates, possessing a similar mechanism of action, were reported as a new class of inhibitors. Other families of CAIs possess a distinct mechanism of action: phenols, polyamines, some carboxylates, and sulfocoumarins anchor to the zinc-coordinated water molecule. Coumarins and five/six-membered lactones are prodrug inhibitors, binding in hydrolyzed form at the entrance of the active site cavity. Novel drug design strategies have been reported principally based on the tail approach for obtaining all these types of CAIs, which exploit more external binding regions within the enzyme active site (in addition to coordination to the metal ion), leading thus to isoform-selective compounds. Sugar-based tails as well as click chemistry were the most fruitful developments of the tail approach. Promising compounds that inhibit CAs from bacterial and fungal pathogens, of the dithiocarbamate, phenol and carboxylate types have also been reported. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 16.03M | Year: 2009

Arrhythmias are common manifestations of heart disease which frequently cause sudden cardiac death (SCD) or other devastating health problems. In Europe, prevention of SCD by device and drug therapy is expensive and increasingly strains public health resources due to a growing population at risk. However, identification of patients at increased risk for SCD is ineffective, and SCD prevention strategies are not directed at the underlying risk mechanisms. To address this challenging situation, new insights into genetic and environmental modulators of SCD risk, arrhythmia initiating mechanisms (Triggers) and therapeutic strategies (Treatments) are urgently needed. The EUTrigTreat consortium proposes a translational project strategy based on interactive objectives (modules). Module 1 investigates novel genetic arrhythmia mechanisms in patients and is supported by Module 2 which investigates genetic and environmental SCD risk modulators in animals with arrhythmias. Module 3 elucidates common environmental arrhythmia risk mediators including obesity and diabetes. Module 4 applies molecular and biophysical imaging techniques to identify novel risk biomarkers. Module 5 translates experimental data through computer modeling and prediction analysis. Modules 6 develops new SCD risk identification strategies through combined patient and experimental studies. Module 7 develops and validates novel therapeutic drug compounds and a new form of anti-arrhythmic device therapy. The pre-clinical and clinical activities will potentially result in patents of diagnostic and therapeutic applications, licensing strategies, early clinical trials and a spin-off company. Module 8 manages, advises and reviews the project progress of EUTrigTreat. Ultimately, we aim to better understand and educate about arrhythmia initiating mechanisms and associated risk biomarkers. Such knowledge will provide strong rationales towards improved prevention and treatment of patients at risk for SCD.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.4.3 | Award Amount: 11.31M | Year: 2008

The 3D-COFORM project will advance the state-of-the-art in 3D-digitsation and make 3D-documentation an everyday practical choice for digital documentation campaigns in the cultural heritage sector. The project addresses all aspects of 3D-capture, 3D-processing, the semantics of shape, material properties, metadata and provenance, integration with other sources (textual and other media); search, research and dissemination to the public and professional alike. A strong technical research program is complemented by research into practical business aspects: business models for exploitation of 3D assets, workflow planning and execution for mass digitisation, socio-economic impact assessment; and above all the creation of a Virtual Centre of Competence in 3D digitization. The VCC-3D will act as a catalyst in enhancing the sectors capacity for mass digitization of 3D assets the tangible artefacts of the physical cultural heritage of the world. The 3D-COFORM consortium brings together 19 partners, mainly former core partners in the EPOCH NoE, to form a world class team on 3D-digisation complemented by an equally prestigious group of Cultural Heritage organizations, with the Victoria and Albert Museum as a full partner and signed-up collaborations from the Louvre, the Florentine Museums authority, the Museum of the Imperial Forums in Rome, World Heritage Sites in Cyprus and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The consortium also contains organizations tasked at a national level with helping museums move in these directions: CNRS-LC2RMF, the research arm of the French National Museums and CultNat the digitization body for cultural and natural heritage funded by the Egyptian Government. The combination in 3D-COFORM of research and take-up activities (VCC-3D) will contribute decisively to reinforce 3D-digitisation capability and to the realisation of the objectives of the European initiative on digital libraries and its flagship project Europeana (European Digital Library).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENERGY.2009.3.2.1 | Award Amount: 869.00K | Year: 2010

AquaFUELS intends to focus on establishing the state of the art on research, technological development and demonstration activities regarding the exploitation of various algal and other suitable non-food aquatic biomasses for 2nd generation biofuels production. In this frame an overall assessment, critical thinking and reasoning are necessary to draft the lines of future developments. This will respond to the need of understanding the place of algae and aquatic biomass in the present and future renewable energy sources portfolio in EU, with a careful eye to sustainability and social implications. Such action can be effective only involving major stakeholders, defining the present situation in a realistic perspective and this way providing a valuable contribution to shape future developments. AquaFUELS aims to draw the detailed, comprehensive and concrete picture of the actual status quo of EU and international initiatives on algae biofuels. Based on this work, AquaFUELS will successively elaborate an overall assessment on the technology, and identify major research and industrial needs. The surveys and assessments produced by AquaFUELS will address the full life cycle analysis - from collection to fuel use - in terms of environmental, economic and social sustainability. A major mean to reach project goals will be the coordination of a critical mass of ongoing research activities, that will be actively involved in the preparation of surveys as well as in the elaboration of the assessment studies and identification of future needs. Creating and maximizing synergies among these initiatives is one of major project results. Finally, the project will establish the first European Algae Association that will promote mutual interchange and cooperation in the field of algal biomass research, production and use


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2013

During the last decades atomic clocks and frequency standards have become an important resource for advanced economies with impact ranging from satellite navigation (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo) to high speed communication networks, where they ensure synchronisation of data packets at ever higher bit rates. In this field the wake of the new millennium has been marked by the invention of frequency comb technology, a discovery so important that it was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Femtosecond comb technology enables two major advances (i) a factor of 1000 improvement in sensitivity and accuracy over current atomic clock technology and (ii) the possibility to create a precision frequency synthesizer ranging from the Hz level up to 10^17 Hz or even higher, i.e. covering the electromagnetic spectrum from DC to the soft x-ray regime. The technological impact of this current development is likely to be tremendous, opening new applications, e.g. in relativistic geodesy, where ultraprecise clocks sense the gravitational potential via the redshift arising from general relativity. This might open new markets in oil and mineral exploration, supervision of CO2 sequestration and hydrology and climate research. However the technologies associated with optical clocks and frequency standards are still in the laboratory stage and experts in the field are desperately needed for developing commercially viable systems and applications. This ITN is addressing this issue by implementing a training programme covering all aspects from the atomic reference and ultrastable lasers to frequency comb synthesis, precision frequency distribution and commercial system technology. It focuses on technological developments enhancing the technology readiness level of the new optical atomic clocks, enhancing the chance that they are picked up by the commercial sector. At this initial stage the vehicle will be space technology, which is promising the first high-precision applications.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.8.9 | Award Amount: 752.55K | Year: 2010

The CA QUIE2T aims at strengthening and advancing the European scientific and technological excellence in the field of Quantum Information Foundations and Technologies (QIFT). To achieve this objective, QUIE2T will maintain and expand a set of high-quality coordination measures specifically designed for the QIPC research area.To this purpose the QUIE2T initiative is committed to setting up an ultimately sustainable research architecture and to promoting it at the European level. This architecture will be structured around a set of four Virtual Institutes (VIs), mapped to the major QIPC sub-domains as identified by the scientific and technological roadmap Quantum Information Processing and Communication: Strategic report on current status, visions and goals for research in Europe prepared by the QUIE2T predecessor QUROPE. Integration of the VIs is achieved by the execution of the QUIE2T Work-Packages activities which cut across all the VIs, and in particular by the elaboration of a common vision for the future of the whole QIFT field (and which will be reflected by the update of the aforementioned Strategic Report). In addition QUIE2T will have a proactive role in taking the first steps to ensure the future sustainability of the field.To guarantee that the expertise and the knowledge gained through the CA activities will be of benefit to the European QIFT community (both academic and industrial), QUIE2T will organize a set of activities to spread its results, achievements and excellence. In particular a public web site is one of the essential communication mechanisms towards the international QIPC community to present the CA and its Virtual Institutes. A set of QUIE2T publications will be accessible via this web site. The CA will also organize a set of thematic conferences on a bi-annual basis, targeting especially young researchers. Finally, a dedicated activity will target mainly industries in the field to ensure a strong interaction and involvement.


21 février 2017                                                                                                                                                                Sophia Antipolis, France   Nicox S.A. (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX, éligible PEA-PME), société internationale de Recherche et Développement en ophtalmologie, annonce aujourd'hui la présentation de résultats précliniques pour son nouveau composé donneur d'oxyde nitrique (NO), le NCX 667, à la 13ème réunion scientifique de l'Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AOPT) qui s'est tenue du 16 au 19 février 2017 à Florence, Italie. Le NCX 667, molécule synthétisée par Nicox, est le composé leader d'une nouvelle classe de donneurs d'oxyde nitrique purs de nouvelle génération conçus pour optimiser la dose d'oxyde nitrique et réduire la pression intraoculaire (PIO) chez des patients atteints de glaucome à angle ouvert (GAO) ou d'hypertension oculaire.   Les résultats précliniques du NCX 667 présentés à la réunion annuelle de l'AOPT par Impagnatiello et al1 dans des modèles d'hypertension oculaire et de glaucome chez le lapin et des primates non humains après administration unique ou répétée ont montré une réduction de la pression intraoculaire (PIO) de 20% ou plus indépendante du modèle et de l'espèce animale utilisée. En outre, l'administration répétée du NCX 667 entraîne une réduction prolongée de la PIO sans signes de tachyphylaxie ou d'inconfort oculaire.   Des données issues de divers modèles expérimentaux d'animaux couplées à de récentes études cliniques étayent l'importance du rôle de l'oxyde nitrique dans la réduction de la pression intraoculaire en améliorant le drainage de l'humeur aqueuse par la voie d'écoulement conventionnelle.   Le glaucome à angle ouvert est une pathologie oculaire fréquente affectant environ 2% de la population adulte de plus de 40 ans et est la deuxième cause de cécité dans le monde2.   A propos du NCX 667   Le NCX 667, développé par Nicox, a déjà démontré des résultats précliniques prometteurs dans deux modèles d'hypertension oculaire et de glaucome. Dans ces deux modèles, le NCX 667 s'est révélé bien toléré et efficace pour réduire la pression intraoculaire (PIO). Ces résultats ont été choisis par le comité d'organisation du congrès ARVO 2015 comme « sujet d'intérêt » (Hot Topic), une sélection saluant les travaux de recherche les plus récents et les plus innovants.   Notes : NCX 667, a lead nitric oxide (NO)-donating compound for a new class of ocular hypotensive agents  F. Impagnatiello1, E. Bastia1, N. Almirante1, C. Toris2, C. Lanzi3, E. Ongini1, E. Masini3, M.V.W Bergamini4  1Nicox Research Institute, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 3Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4Nicox Ophthalmics, Inc., Fort Worth, TX, USA Glaucoma, Open-angle - https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/glaucoma, accessed February 13, 2017


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

February 21, 2017    Sophia Antipolis, France   Nicox S.A. (Euronext Paris: FR0013018124, COX), the international ophthalmic R&D company, today announced that preclinical results from its novel nitric oxide (NO) donating compound, NCX 667, were presented at the Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (AOPT) 13th Scientific Meeting, held from February 16-19, 2017, in Florence, Italy. NCX 667, synthesized by Nicox, is the lead compound of a new class of next-generation stand-alone NO-donors, which are designed to optimize NO dosing and enable intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering in patients with open angle glaucoma (OAG) or ocular hypertension.   The AOPT 2017 abstract by Impagnatiello et al1 presented preclinical results obtained with NCX 667 in rabbit and non-human primate models of ocular hypertension and glaucoma following single and repeated treatment schedules. NCX 667 appeared to lower IOP by 20% or more regardless of the specific model and animal species used. Furthermore, repeated acute dosing of NCX 667 elicits sustained IOP-lowering activity over time with no signs of tachyphylaxis or ocular discomfort.   Data from a variety of experimental animal models coupled with recent clinical studies strongly support an important role of NO in lowering IOP by enhancing aqueous humor drainage via the conventional outflow route.   Open angle glaucoma is a common ocular disorder affecting about 2% of the adult population over 40 years old and is the second-leading cause of blindness worldwide.2   About NCX 667   Developed by Nicox, NCX 667 already demonstrated promising preclinical results in two preclinical models of ocular hypertension and glaucoma. In both models, NCX 667 appeared well-tolerated and effective in reducing intra-ocular pressure (IOP). These results were selected by the ARVO 2015 Annual Meeting Program Committee as a 'Hot Topic', as representing the newest and most innovative research being conducted.     Notes: NCX 667, a lead nitric oxide (NO)-donating compound for a new class of ocular hypotensive agents   F. Impagnatiello1, E. Bastia1, N. Almirante1, C. Toris2, C. Lanzi3, E. Ongini1, E. Masini3, M.V.W Bergamini4   1Nicox Research Institute, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA; 3Department of NEUROFARBA, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 4Nicox Ophthalmics, Inc., Fort Worth, TX, USA Glaucoma, Open-angle - https://nei.nih.gov/eyedata/glaucoma, accessed February 13, 2017


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: news.mit.edu

Nature has had billions of years to perfect photosynthesis, which directly or indirectly supports virtually all life on Earth. In that time, the process has achieved almost 100 percent efficiency in transporting the energy of sunlight from receptors to reaction centers where it can be harnessed — a performance vastly better than even the best solar cells. One way plants achieve this efficiency is by making use of the exotic effects of quantum mechanics — effects sometimes known as “quantum weirdness.” These effects, which include the ability of a particle to exist in more than one place at a time, have now been used by engineers at MIT to achieve a significant efficiency boost in a light-harvesting system. Surprisingly, the researchers at MIT and Eni, the Italian energy company, achieved this new approach to solar energy not with high-tech materials or microchips — but by using genetically engineered viruses. This achievement in coupling quantum research and genetic manipulation, described this week in the journal Nature Materials, was the work of MIT professors Angela Belcher, an expert on engineering viruses to carry out energy-related tasks, and Seth Lloyd, an expert on quantum theory and its potential applications; research associate Heechul Park; and 14 collaborators at MIT, Eni, and Italian universities. Lloyd, the Nam Pyo Suh Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, explains that in photosynthesis, a photon hits a receptor called a chromophore, which in turn produces an exciton — a quantum particle of energy. This exciton jumps from one chromophore to another until it reaches a reaction center, where that energy is harnessed to build the molecules that support life. But the hopping pathway is random and inefficient unless it takes advantage of quantum effects that allow it, in effect, to take multiple pathways at once and select the best ones, behaving more like a wave than a particle. This efficient movement of excitons has one key requirement: The chromophores have to be arranged just right, with exactly the right amount of space between them. This, Lloyd explains, is known as the “Quantum Goldilocks Effect.” That’s where the virus comes in. By engineering a virus that Belcher has worked with for years, the team was able to get it to bond with multiple synthetic chromophores — or, in this case, organic dyes. The researchers were then able to produce many varieties of the virus, with slightly different spacings between those synthetic chromophores, and select the ones that performed best. In the end, they were able to more than double excitons’ speed, increasing the distance they traveled before dissipating — a significant improvement in the efficiency of the process. The project started at a workshop held at Eni's laboratories in Novara, Italy. Lloyd and Belcher, the James Mason Crafts Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering, were reporting on different projects they had worked on, and began discussing, along with Eni researchers, the possibility of a project encompassing their very different expertise. Lloyd, whose work is mostly theoretical, pointed out that the viruses Belcher works with have the right length scales to potentially support quantum effects. In 2008, Lloyd had published a paper demonstrating that photosynthetic organisms transmit light energy efficiently because of these quantum effects. When he saw Belcher’s report on her work with engineered viruses, he wondered if that might provide a way to artificially induce a similar effect, in an effort to approach nature’s efficiency. “I had been talking about potential systems you could use to demonstrate this effect, and Angela said, ‘We’re already making those,’” Lloyd recalls. Eventually, after much analysis, “We came up with design principles to redesign how the virus is capturing light, and get it to this quantum regime.” Within two weeks, Belcher’s team had created their first test version of the engineered virus. Many months of work then went into perfecting the receptors and the spacings. Once the team engineered the viruses, they were able to use laser spectroscopy and dynamical modeling to watch the light-harvesting process in action, and to demonstrate that the new viruses were indeed making use of quantum coherence to enhance the transport of excitons. “It was really fun,” Belcher says. “A group of us who spoke different [scientific] languages worked closely together, to both make this class of organisms, and analyze the data. That’s why I’m so excited by this.” While this initial result is essentially a proof of concept rather than a practical system, it points the way toward an approach that could lead to inexpensive and efficient solar cells or light-driven catalysis, the team says. So far, the engineered viruses collect and transport energy from incoming light, but do not yet harness it to produce power (as in solar cells) or molecules (as in photosynthesis). But this could be done by adding a reaction center, where such processing takes place, to the end of the virus where the excitons end up. “This is exciting and high-quality research,” says Alán Aspuru-Guzik, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University who was not involved in this work. The research, he says, “combines the work of a leader in theory (Lloyd) and a leader in experiment (Belcher) in a truly multidisciplinary and exciting combination that spans biology to physics to potentially, future technology.” “​Access to controllable excitonic systems is a goal shared by many researchers in the field,” Aspuru-Guzik adds. “This work provides fundamental understanding that can allow for the development of devices with an increased control of exciton flow.” The research was supported by Eni through the MIT Energy Initiative. In addition to MIT postdocs Nimrod Heldman and Patrick Rebentrost, the team included researchers at the University of Florence, the University of Perugia, and Eni.


Capineri L.,University of Florence | Falorni P.,University of Florence
IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters | Year: 2014

A method is presented for isolating the overlapping hyperbolic arcs found when a radar scan is made over several adjacent buried objects. The reflected signal is first converted into a series of data pairs (y-{j}, t-{j})giving, for a radar antennae position yj along the scan, the times-of-flight tj of the maxima or minima in the reflected radar amplitude. The generalized Hough transform method is extended to record in an associative store the sets of data pairs contributing to each bin in the Hough accumulator space. A cluster of high bins, defining a peak in this space, may then be broken down to reveal its contributing data pairs. This gives the important advantage that a conventional least-squares algorithm can be used to reveal the object position, depth, and radius or velocity. The method is demonstrated on real radar data from buried pipes. The radius of a 0.18-m radius concrete pipe at 1-m depth is estimated at 0.14 m. © 2013 IEEE.


Sciagra R.,University of Florence
Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging | Year: 2016

In the setting of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), ischemia plays a possibly under-evaluated role. In particular, a large body of evidence indicates that structural and functional abnormalities in the coronary microcirculation contribute to myocardial ischemia and are key elements for HCM pathophysiology and clinical evolution. Measurement of myocardial blood flow (MBF) at rest and under maximal hyperemia (hMBF) by means of perfusion positron-emission tomography (PET) is the most effective way to assess microvascular dysfunction in humans. Therefore, hMBF abnormalities reflect HCM severity and correlate with other important features, such as ischemic symptoms and myocardial fibrosis. Most importantly, it has been demonstrated that severely blunted hMBFimplies an adverse outcome in HCM patients. Therefore, PET could be helpful for stratifying patient prognosis and should be used in selected patient subsets to identify those at risk of unfavorable evolution. © 2016 EDIZIONIMINERVAMEDICA.


Bertini I.,University of Florence | Gonnelli L.,University of Florence | Luchinat C.,University of Florence | Mao J.,University of Florence | Nesi A.,University of Florence
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2011

The amyloid fibrils of beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptides play important roles in the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Comprehensive solid-state NMR (SSNMR) structural studies on uniformly isotope-labeled Aβ assemblies have been hampered for a long time by sample heterogeneity and low spectral resolution. In this work, SSNMR studies on well-ordered fibril samples of Aβ 40 with an additional N-terminal methionine provide high-resolution spectra which lead to an accurate structural model. The fibrils studied here carry distinct structural features compared to previous reports. The inter-β-strand contacts within the U-shaped β-strand-turn-β-strand motif are shifted, the N-terminal region adopts a β-conformation, and new inter-monomer contacts occur at the protofilament interface. The revealed structural diversity in Aβ fibrils points to a complex picture of Aβ fibrillation. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Sorace S.,University of Udine | Terenzi G.,University of Florence
Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2014

The study of two motion control-based seismic retrofit solutions for a low-rise reinforced concrete school building is presented in this paper. The building was assumed as a benchmark structure for a Research Project financed by the Italian Department of Civil Protection, and is representative of several similar public edifices designed with earlier Technical Standards editions, in Italy as well as in other earthquake-prone European countries. The two solutions refer to the alternative earthquake protection strategies based on the concepts of supplemental damping and seismic isolation, respectively. Namely, they consist in the installation of: (1) a dissipative bracing system incorporating pressurized fluid viscous spring-dampers; and (2) a base isolation system including double friction pendulum sliding bearings. The structural characteristics of the building, and a synthesis of the investigation campaigns developed on it, are initially presented. The mechanical parameters, dimensions, locations and installation details of the constituting elements of the two protective systems are then illustrated, along with the performance assessment analyses carried out in original and rehabilitated conditions according to a full non-linear dynamic approach. The results of the analyses show a remarkable enhancement of the seismic response capacities of the structure for both retrofit hypotheses. This allows reaching the mutual high performance levels postulated in the two rehabilitation designs with remarkably lower costs and architectural intrusion as compared to traditional rehabilitation interventions designed for the same objectives. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Morsanyi K.,Queen's University of Belfast | Busdraghi C.,University of Florence | Primi C.,University of Florence
Behavioral and Brain Functions | Year: 2014

Background: When asked to solve mathematical problems, some people experience anxiety and threat, which can lead to impaired mathematical performance (Curr Dir Psychol Sci 11:181-185, 2002). The present studies investigated the link between mathematical anxiety and performance on the cognitive reflection test (CRT; J Econ Perspect 19:25-42, 2005). The CRT is a measure of a person's ability to resist intuitive response tendencies, and it correlates strongly with important real-life outcomes, such as time preferences, risk-taking, and rational thinking.Methods: In Experiments 1 and 2 the relationships between maths anxiety, mathematical knowledge/mathematical achievement, test anxiety and cognitive reflection were analysed using mediation analyses. Experiment 3 included a manipulation of working memory load. The effects of anxiety and working memory load were analysed using ANOVAs.Results: Our experiments with university students (Experiments 1 and 3) and secondary school students (Experiment 2) demonstrated that mathematical anxiety was a significant predictor of cognitive reflection, even after controlling for the effects of general mathematical knowledge (in Experiment 1), school mathematical achievement (in Experiment 2) and test anxiety (in Experiments 1-3). Furthermore, Experiment 3 showed that mathematical anxiety and burdening working memory resources with a secondary task had similar effects on cognitive reflection.Conclusions: Given earlier findings that showed a close link between cognitive reflection, unbiased decisions and rationality, our results suggest that mathematical anxiety might be negatively related to individuals' ability to make advantageous choices and good decisions. © 2014 Morsanyi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Harris A.J.L.,CNRS Magmas and Volcanoes Laboratory | Ripepe M.,University of Florence | Hughes E.A.,CNRS Magmas and Volcanoes Laboratory
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research | Year: 2012

Using high frame rate (33Hz) thermal video data we describe and parameterize the emission and ascent dynamics of a mixed plume of gas and particles emitted during a normal explosion at Stromboli (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Analysis of 34 events showed that 31 of them were characterized by a first phase characterized by an initial diffuse spray of relatively small (lapilli-sized) particles moving at high velocities (up to 213ms -1; average 66-82ms -1). This was followed, typically within 0.1s, by a burst comprising a mixture of ash and lapilli, but dominated by larger bomb-sized particles, moving at lower exit velocities of up to 129ms -1, but typically 46ms -1. We interpret these results as revealing initial emission of a previously unrecorded high velocity gas-jet phase, to which the lapilli are coupled. This is followed by emission of slower moving larger particles that are decoupled from the faster moving gas-phase. Diameters for particles carried by the gas phase are typically around 4cm, but can be up to 9cm, with the diameter of the particles carried by the gas jet (D) decreasing with increased density and velocity of the erupted gas cloud (ρ gas and U gas). Data for 101 particles identified as moving with the gas jet during 32 eruptions allow us to define a new relation, whereby U gas=U particle+a [ρ gas D] b. Here, U particle is the velocity of bombs whose motion is decoupled from that of the gas cloud, and a and b are two empirically-derived coefficients. This replaces the old relation, whereby U gas=U particle+k D; a relation that requires a constant gas density for each eruption. This is an assumption that we show to be invalid, with gas density potentially varying between 0.04kgm -3 and 9kgm -3 for the 32 cases considered, so that k varies between 54m 1/2s -1 and 828m 1/2s -1, compared with the traditionally used constant of 150m 1/2s -1. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Casetti L.,University of Florence | Nardini C.,University of Florence | Nerattini R.,University of Florence
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

A relation between a class of stationary points of the energy landscape of continuous spin models on a lattice and the configurations of an Ising model defined on the same lattice suggests an approximate expression for the microcanonical density of states. Based on this approximation we conjecture that if a O(n) model with ferromagnetic interactions on a lattice has a phase transition, its critical energy density is equal to that of the n=1 case, i.e., an Ising system with the same interactions. The conjecture holds true in the case of long-range interactions. For nearest-neighbor interactions, numerical results are consistent with the conjecture for n=2 and n=3 in three dimensions. For n=2 in two dimensions (XY model) the conjecture yields a prediction for the critical energy of the Berežinskij-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, which would be equal to that of the two-dimensional Ising model. We discuss available numerical data in this respect. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Arecchi F.T.,University of Florence | Arecchi F.T.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Bortolozzo U.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Montina A.,Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics | Residori S.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

In the presence of many waves, giant events can occur with a probability higher than expected for random dynamics. By studying linear light propagation in a glass fiber, we show that optical rogue waves originate from two key ingredients: granularity, or a minimal size of the light speckles at the fiber exit, and inhomogeneity, that is, speckles clustering into separate domains with different average intensities. These two features characterize also rogue waves in nonlinear systems; thus, nonlinearity just plays the role of bringing forth the two ingredients of granularity and inhomogeneity. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Ferrera G.,University of Florence | Grazzini M.,University of Florence | Grazzini M.,University of Zürich | Tramontano F.,CERN
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

We consider QCD radiative corrections to standard model Higgs-boson production in association with a W boson in hadron collisions. We present a fully exclusive calculation up to next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO) in QCD perturbation theory. To perform this NNLO computation, we use a recently proposed version of the subtraction formalism. Our calculation includes finite-width effects, the leptonic decay of the W boson with its spin correlations, and the decay of the Higgs boson into a bb̄ pair. We present selected numerical results at the Tevatron and the LHC. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Romagnani P.,University of Florence | Crescioli C.,Foro Italico University of Rome
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2012

Interferon (IFN) γ-induced protein 10. kDa (IP-10) or C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) is a small cytokine belonging to the CXC chemokine family. This family of signaling molecules is known to control several biological functions and to also play pivotal roles in disease initiation and progression. By binding to its specific cognate receptor CXCR3, CXCL10 critically regulates chemotaxis during several immune-inflammatory processes. In particular, this chemokine controls chemotaxis during the inflammatory response resulting from allograft rejection after transplantation.Interestingly, a strong association has been described between CXCL10 production, immune response and the fate of the graft following allotransplantation. Enhanced CXCL10 production has been observed in recipients of transplants of different organs. This enhanced production likely comes from either the graft or the immune cells and is correlated with an increase in the concentration of circulating CXCL10. Because CXCL10 can be easily measured in the serum and plasma from a patient, the detection and quantitation of circulating CXCL10 could be used to reveal a transplant recipient's immune status.The purpose of this review is to examine the critical role of CXCL10 in the pathogenesis of allograft rejection following organ transplantation. This important role highlights the potential utilization of CXCL10 not only as a therapeutic target but also as a biomarker to predict the severity of rejection, to monitor the inflammatory status of organ recipients and, hopefully, to fine-tune patient therapy in transplantation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..


Luconi M.,University of Florence | Mannelli M.,University of Florence
Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology | Year: 2012

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a very rare but aggressive tumor, whose biological and cellular features and processes underlying the development, progression and metastatic evolution are still obscure. Despite many attempts to use general cytostatic and cytotoxic drugs, the only available drug therapy for advanced ACC is still represented by mitotane (MTT). However, the mechanism of action of this adrenolytic derivative of the pesticide DDT has still been poorly characterized. In this context, the development of more specific drugs for ACC treatment is based on the knowledge of the molecular pathways involved in the tumor growth. Xenograft models for the screening of such drugs at preclinical levels is mandatory. In the first part of this review, we will summarize the " pro" and " con" of the different xenograft models available for anticancer drug testing in different types of tumors in general and in the last part, we will focus on the preclinical evidence obtained so far with the use of such models applied to drug screening for anticancer effects in ACC. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Cavone L.,University of Florence | Chiarugi A.,University of Florence
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

Despite significant advancement in developing therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), drugs that cure this devastating disorder are an unmet need. Among the remedies showing efficacy in preclinical MS models, inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 have gained great momentum. Emerging evidence demonstrates that PARP-1 inhibitors epigenetically regulate gene expression and finely tune transcriptional activation in immune and neural cells. In this review, we present an appraisal of the effects of PARP-1 and its inhibitors on immune activation, with particular emphasis on the processes taking place during the autoimmune attack directed against the central nervous system. One explanation is that drugs inhibiting PARP-1 activity protect from neuroinflammation in MS models via immunomodulation and direct neuroprotection. PARP-1 inhibitors have already reached the clinical arena as cancer treatments, and observations made in treating these patients could help advance treatments for MS. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Fiaschi T.,University of Florence | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence
International Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Conversely to normal cells, where deregulated oxidative stress drives the activation of death pathways, malignant cells exploit oxidative milieu for its advantage. Cancer cells are located in a very complex microenvironment together with stromal components that participate to enhance oxidative stress to promote tumor progression. Indeed, convincing experimental and clinical evidence underline the key role of oxidative stress in several tumor aspects thus affecting several characteristics of cancer cells. Oxidants influence the DNA mutational potential, intracellular signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation and survival and cell motility and invasiveness as well as control the reactivity of stromal components that is fundamental for cancer development and dissemination, inflammation, tissue repair, and de novo angiogenesis. This paper is focused on the role of oxidant species in the acquisition of two mandatory features for aggressive neoplastic cells, recently defined by Hanahan and Weinberg as new hallmarks of cancer: tumor microenvironment and metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. Copyright © 2012 Tania Fiaschi and Paola Chiarugi.


Cirri P.,University of Florence | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence
Cancer and Metastasis Reviews | Year: 2012

Several recent papers have now provided compelling experimental evidence that the progression of tumours towards a malignant phenotype does not depend exclusively on the cell-autonomous properties of cancer cells themselves but is also deeply influenced by tumour stroma reactivity, thereby undergoing a strict environmental control. Tumour microenvironmental elements include structural components such as the extracellular matrix or hypoxia as well as stromal cells, either resident cells or recruited from circulating precursors, as macrophages and other inflammatory cells, endothelial cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). All these elements synergistically play a specific role in cancer progression. This review summarizes our current knowledge on the role of CAFs in tumour progression, with a particular focus on the biunivocal interplay between CAFs and cancer cells leading to the activation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition programme and the achievement of stem cell traits, as well as to the metabolic reprogramming of both stromal and cancer cells. Recent advances on the role of CAFs in the preparation of metastatic niche, as well as the controversial origin of CAFs, are discussed in light of the new emerging therapeutic implications of targeting CAFs. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Giannoni E.,University of Florence | Parri M.,University of Florence | Chiarugi P.,University of Florence
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2012

Significance: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is emerging as a driving force in tumor progression, enabling cancer cells to evade their "homeland" and to colonize remote locations. In this review, we focus on the emerging views dealing with a redox control of EMT and with the importance of a pro-oxidant environment, both in cancer and stromal cells, to attain an improvement in tumor malignancy. Recent Advances: The variety of signals able to promote EMT is large and continuously growing, ranging from soluble factors to components of the extracellular matrix. Compelling evidence highlights reactive oxygen species (ROS) as crucial conspirators in EMT engagement. Critical Issues: Tumor microenvironment exploits a fascinating role in ensuring EMT outcome within the primary tumor, granting for the achievement of an essential selective advantage for cancer cells. Cancer-associated fibroblasts, macrophages, and hypoxia are major players in this scenario, exerting a propelling role for EMT, as well as for invasiveness, stemness, and dissemination of metastatic cells. Future Directions: Future research focused on EMT should address some key points that are still unclear. They include: i) the role of the reverse phenomenon (i.e., mesenchymal-epithelial transition) that is likely regulated in the final stages of tumor progression, or that of mesenchymal-amoeboid transition, a plasticity program of cancer cells, which often follows EMT and offers a further metastatic advantage, and ii) the molecular basis of the correlation between stemness, EMT and ROS content. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Andreini C.,University of Florence | Bertini I.,University of Florence
Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry | Year: 2012

Thanks to the contributions of scientists like Bert Vallee, zinc enzymology is an area of research with a rich history and a strong basis of biochemical and biophysical knowledge. In recent years, the dramatic development of the genomic and post-genomic research has provided this as well as all other fields of life sciences with a massive body of new data, including, but not limited to, protein sequence and structural data. By integrating these new data with the wealth of information available in the literature, it is possible to achieve an unprecedented overview of the properties and functions of zinc enzymes in the context of biological systems. To this aim, the role of bioinformatics is essential. In this work, we use bioinformatics tools and databases that we have developed for the study of metalloproteins to gain insights into the functions of zinc in zinc enzymes, its coordination properties, and the usage of zinc enzymes in living organisms. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Felli I.C.,University of Florence | Pierattelli R.,University of Florence
IUBMB Life | Year: 2012

Thanks to recent fast progress, NMR is now in a strategic position to provide unique atomic resolution information on a variety of different biological macromolecules in different conditions (solution, solid state, in-cell). We would like here to present recent developments that enable to focus on intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) or intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins of increasing size and complexity. They have attracted the attention of the scientific community challenging well accepted ideas and concepts and demanding an expansion of the structure function paradigm. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


Becattini F.,University of Florence | Tinti L.,University of Florence
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

It is shown that different pairs of stress-energy and spin tensors of quantum relativistic fields related by a pseudo-gauge transformation, i.e., differing by a divergence, imply different mean values of physical quantities in thermodynamical nonequilibrium situations. Most notably, transport coefficients and the total entropy production rate are affected by the choice of the spin tensor of the relativistic quantum field theory under consideration. Therefore, at least in principle, it should be possible to disprove a fundamental stress-energy tensor and/or to show that a fundamental spin tensor exists by means of a dissipative thermodynamical experiment. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Chiarugi A.,University of Florence | Dolle C.,University of Florence | Felici R.,University of Florence | Ziegler M.,University of Bergen
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2012

NAD is a vital molecule in all organisms. It is a key component of both energy and signal transduction - processes that undergo crucial changes in cancer cells. NAD + -dependent signalling pathways are many and varied, and they regulate fundamental events such as transcription, DNA repair, cell cycle progression, apoptosis and metabolism. Many of these processes have been linked to cancer development. Given that NAD + -dependent signalling reactions involve the degradation of the molecule, permanent nucleotide resynthesis through different biosynthetic pathways is crucial for incessant cancer cell proliferation. This necessity supports the targeting of NAD metabolism as a new therapeutic concept for cancer treatment. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Burr D.,University of Florence | Burr D.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Thompson P.,University of York
Vision Research | Year: 2011

This review traces progress made in the field of visual motion research from 1985 through to 2010. While it is certainly not exhaustive, it attempts to cover most of the major achievements during that period, and speculate on where the field is heading. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Brocchi S.,University of Florence
International Symposium on Image and Signal Processing and Analysis, ISPA | Year: 2013

In this paper we propose an algorithm for the reconstruction of binary images composed by geometrical objects, specifically formed by circles inside a ring. We studied how features of these objects are reflected onto the projections of the image itself, and how by an accurate analysis of the projections, even from a single direction, we can obtain a good amount of information about the position of the circles by searching for interest points. In this case, by computing the discrete derivatives of the projections we can often determine with precision the positions of the circles in the original image. We compared the experimental results of our procedure with previous works to prove how our algorithm obtains very promising results. Finally, we discuss how a similar approach could be extended to many other more complex classes of images that may describe real world applications. © 2013 University of Trieste and University of Zagreb.


Pieraccini M.,University of Florence
The Scientific World Journal | Year: 2013

Ground-based radar interferometry is an increasingly popular technique for monitoring civil infrastructures. Many research groups, professionals, and companies have tested it in different operative scenarios, so it is time for a first systematic survey of the case studies reported in the literature. This review is addressed especially to the engineers and scientists interested to consider the applicability of the technique to their practice, so it is focused on the issues of the practical cases rather than on theory and principles, which are now well consolidated. © 2013 Massimiliano Pieraccini.


To compare the efficacy and safety of adalimumab versus infliximab in an open-label prospective, comparative, multicenter cohort study of childhood noninfectious chronic uveitis. Thirty-three patients (22 females, 11 males, median age 9.17 years) with refractory, vision-threatening, noninfectious active uveitis were enrolled, and received for at least 1 year infliximab (5 mg/kg at weeks 0, 2, and 6, and then every 6-8 weeks) or adalimumab (24 mg/m2 every 2 weeks). The primary outcome was to assess, once remission was achieved, the time of a first relapse. Time to remission, time to steroid discontinuation, and the number of relapses were also considered. Sixteen children (12 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis [JIA], 3 with idiopathic uveitis, and 1 with Behçet's disease) were recruited in the adalimumab cohort and 17 children (10 with JIA, 5 with idiopathic uveitis, 1 with early-onset sarcoidosis, and 1 with Behçet's disease) were recruited in the infliximab group. Cox regression analysis did not show statistically significant differences between the two groups with regard to time to achieve remission and time to steroid discontinuation, whereas a higher probability of uveitis remission on adalimumab during the time of treatment was shown (Mantel-Cox χ2=6.83, P<0.001). At 40 months of followup, 9 (60%) of 15 children receiving adalimumab compared to 3 (18.8%) of 16 children receiving infliximab were still in remission on therapy (P<0.02). Even if limited to a relatively small group, our study suggests that over 3 years of treatment, adalimumab is more efficacious than infliximab in maintaining remission of chronic childhood uveitis. Copyright © 2011 by the American College of Rheumatology.


Di Ninni P.,University of Florence | Martelli F.,University of Florence | Zaccanti G.,University of Florence
Optics Express | Year: 2010

The optical properties of India ink, an absorber often used in preparation of tissue simulating phantoms, have been investigated at visible and near infrared wavelengths. The extinction coefficient has been obtained from measurements of collimated transmittance and from spectrophotometric measurements, the absorption coefficient from multidistance measurements of fluence rate in a diffusive infinite medium with small concentrations of added ink. Measurements have been carried out on samples of India ink from five different brands, and for some brands also from different batches. As also reported in previously published papers the results we have obtained showed large inter-brand and inter-batch variations for both the absorption and the extinction coefficient. On the contrary, our results showed small variations for the ratio between the absorption and the extinction coefficient. The albedo is therefore similar for all samples: The values averaged over all samples investigated were 0.161, 0.115, and 0.115 at λ = 632.8, 751, and 833 nm respectively, with maximum deviations of 0.044, 0.019, and 0.035. These results indicate that, using the values we have obtained for the albedo, it should be possible to obtain with uncertainty smaller than about 4% the absorption coefficient of a sample of unknown ink from simple measurements of extinction coefficient. A similar accuracy is not easily obtained with the complicated procedures necessary for measurements of absorption coefficient. © 2010 Optical Society of America.


Morgentaler A.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Khera M.,Baylor College of Medicine | Maggi M.,University of Florence | Zitzmann M.,University Clinics
Journal of Sexual Medicine | Year: 2014

Introduction: Despite increasing use of testosterone therapy (TTh) for men with testosterone deficiency (TD), there remains uncertainty determining who is a candidate for treatment. Aim: The aim if this study was to report the opinions of international experts on TTh, as initially presented at the meeting of the World Meeting on Sexual Medicine in Chicago, United States in August 2012. Methods: Expert responses to questions regarding the diagnosis of TD based on their own clinical and research experience. Results: All experts emphasized the primacy of symptoms for the diagnosis of TD. Total testosterone (T) thresholds used to identify TD ranged from 350ng/dL to 400ng/dL (12-14nmol/L); however, experts emphasized the diagnostic limitations of this test. Free T was obtained by all, with some valuing this test more than total T for clinical decision making. Only one expert routinely used a screening questionnaire. None used age-adjusted values. Bioavailable T and the free androgen index were not used. Luteinizing hormone (LH) and sex hormone-binding globulin levels were routinely obtained at evaluation. Additional supportive evidence for TD diagnosis included small testicular volume, high androgen receptor CAG repeats, elevated LH, and presence of diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Two T tests were generally obtained but not always required. Some experts did not require morning testing in men 50 years and older. All monitored prostate-specific antigen and hematocrit after initiation of TTh. All but one expert would consider a trial of TTh to a symptomatic man with total T within the normal range. Recent studies suggesting increased cardiovascular risk with T therapy were not found to be credible. Conclusions: Determining who is a candidate for TTh requires clinical assessment based on symptoms and signs, with confirmatory laboratory evaluation. These expert opinions differed from some published guidelines by the emphasis on symptoms as paramount, recognition of the limitations of total T as a diagnostic test, and the potential utility of a therapeutic trial in symptomatic cases with normal total T concentrations. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


Calamai M.,University of Florence | Pavone F.S.,University of Florence
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2011

Several models have been proposed to explain the cytotoxicity of Aβ oligomers. The structural polymorphism of the oligomers can account for the various toxic effects observed. By combining the use of conformation-specific antibodies and single particle tracking techniques, we have investigated the mobility of individual Aβ1-42 oligomers on the plasma membrane of living cells. Distinct structural types of Aβ1-42 oligomers were labeled with two different conformation-specific antibodies. While both types of oligomers showed a heterogeneous dynamic behavior, their overall mobility was found to be significantly different. Conversely, we discovered that other amyloid oligomers sharing a similar conformation but composed of different peptides (amylin and prion Sup35NM) display dynamic behaviors comparable to those found for Aβ1-42 oligomers. This study provides evidence for a link between the quaternary structure and the membrane mobility of proteins, revealing that structurally analogous supramolecular assemblies diffuse similarly in cells. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Abbate E.,University of Florence | Sagri M.,University of Florence
Quaternary International | Year: 2012

Although the Pleistocene human dispersal is one of the most intriguing issues of paleoanthropology, large sectors along possible migratory pathways are ill-defined or poorly documented. This paper examines the geological, geomorphological, climatic and environmental conditions that could have determined hominin transit from their motherland in the East Africa Rift Valley toward the circummediterranean regions or Arabian Peninsula. For their choice between these two alternatives, the Danakil Depression (Afar Rift) immediately north of the Ethiopian Rift Valley was a strategic area. They could reach the Mediterranean Sea through a northern route along the Nile River valley, the trans-Sahara megalake or riverine belts, or else navigate an eastern route into the Arabian Peninsula after crossing the Bab el Mandeb Straits. It is assumed all of these pathways were possible during convenient geological, climatic and/or sea-level conditions. Hominins had three additional choices once they arrived at the Mediterranean Sea shores with Eurasia as their final destination. The Levant corridor was the easiest because walkable and almost always under favorable conditions. Two other possibilities were the Sicily Channel and the Strait of Gibraltar. These sea arms are located in two extremely active settings of the Mediterranean Sea and were at their embryonic stage during the Early Pleistocene. Because large-scale deformations of the sea floor were associated to prolonged sea-level lowstands, these two sea arms could have been passable. Similar considerations apply to the Bab el Mandeb Straits region. For the trans-Mediterranean and the trans-Red Sea routes of dispersal, the environmental conditions and the submarine and terrestrial topographical features that could have made sea transit possible even without land bridges are underscored. To track the dispersal relations between Northern Africa and Eurasia, three schematic maps are presented to show the distribution of the archeological and paleoanthropological sites currently regarded as reliably dated. They document three groups of dates: between 2.0 and 1.5 Ma, 1.4 and 0.7 Ma, and 0.6 and 0.1 Ma. Their distribution is matched with coeval paleoclimatic proxies such as marine oxygen isotope stages, aeolian dust in the Atlantic Ocean, and sapropels levels and dust fluxes in the Eastern Mediterranean. Dispersal was temporally arranged into cycles of four major exodus waves (2.0-1.6 Ma, 1.4-1.2 Ma, 1.0-0.8 Ma, and 0.6-0.1 Ma) controlled by climatic and environmental changes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.


Spillantini P.,University of Florence
Advances in Space Research | Year: 2012

The equilibrium temperature of a system in space can be lowered by a suitable choice of its geometry and its attitude. This remark is important for devices based on medium temperature and high temperature superconducting materials, and offers the possibility of their fully passive cooling without or with a marginal recourse to active systems. General parameterizations are given and simple schemes discussed. The adopted geometrical configuration and the attitude can enhance the role of passive cooling of the large superconducting magnetic systems required for protecting from ionizing radiation manned habitats in deep space. A specific example based on MgB 2 cable for protecting large volume habitats (500 and 1000 m 3) is treated. The systems can be run in deep space at equilibrium temperatures around 20 K mainly by passive cooling, provided that their geometry and attitude would be suitably chosen. © 2012 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Baluska F.,University of Bonn | Mancuso S.,University of Florence
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology | Year: 2013

In the course of plant evolution, there is an obvious trend toward an increased complexity of plant bodies, as well as an increased sophistication of plant behavior and communication. Phenotypic plasticity of plants is based on the polar auxin transport machinery that is directly linked with plant sensory systems impinging on plant behavior and adaptive responses. Similar to the emergence and evolution of eukaryotic cells, evolution of land plants was also shaped and driven by infective and symbiotic microorganisms. These microorganisms are the driving force behind the evolution of plant synapses and other neuronal aspects of higher plants; this is especially pronounced in the root apices. Plant synapses allow synaptic cell-cell communication and coordination in plants, as well as sensory-motor integration in root apices searching for water and mineral nutrition. These neuronal aspects of higher plants are closely linked with their unique ability to adapt to environmental changes. © 2013 Baluška and Mancuso.


Minatti L.,University of Florence
Water Resources Research | Year: 2015

This work focuses on the implementation of a Shallow Water-Exner model for compound natural channels with complex geometry and movable bed within the finite volume framework. The model is devised for compound channels modeling: cross-section overbanks are treated with fixed bed conditions, while the main channel is left free to modify its morphology. A capacitive approach is used for bed load transport modeling, in which the solid flow rates are estimated with bed load transport formulas. The model equations pose some numerical issues in the case of natural channels, where bed load transport may occur for both subcritical and supercritical flows and geometry varies in space. An explicit path-conservative scheme, designed to overcome all these issues, is presented in the paper. The scheme solves liquid and solid phases dynamics in a coupled manner, in order to correctly model near critical currents/channel interactions and is well-balanced, that is able to properly reproduce steady states. The Roe and Osher Riemann solvers are implemented, so as to take into account the spatial geometry variations of natural channels. The scheme reaches up to second-order accuracy. Validation is performed with fixed and movable bed test cases whose analytical solution is known, and with flume experimental data. An application of the model to a real case study is also shown. © 2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


Landi S.,University of Florence | Matteini L.,University of Florence | Pantellini F.,University of Paris Descartes
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

We present numerical simulations of the solar wind using a fully kinetic model which takes into account the effects of particle's binary collisions in a quasi-neutral plasma in spherical expansion. Starting from an isotropic Maxwellian velocity distribution function for the electrons, we show that the combined effect of expansion and Coulomb collisions leads to the formation of two populations: a collision-dominated cold and dense population almost isotropic in velocity space and a weakly collisional, tenuous field-aligned and antisunward drifting population generated by mirror force focusing in the radially decreasing magnetic field. The relative weights and drift velocities for the two populations observed in our simulations are in excellent agreement with the relative weights and drift velocities for both core and strahl populations observed in the real solar wind. The radial evolution of the main moments of the electron velocity distribution function is in the range observed in the solar wind. The electron temperature anisotropy with respect to the magnetic field direction is found to be related to the ratio between the collisional time and the solar wind expansion time. Even though collisions are found to shape the electron velocity distributions and regulate the properties of the strahl, it is found that the heat flux is conveniently described by a collisionless model where a fraction of the electron thermal energy is advected at the solar wind speed. This reinforces the currently largely admitted fact that collisions in the solar wind are clearly insufficient to force the electron heat flux obey the classical Spitzer-Härm expression where heat flux and temperature gradient are proportional to each other. The presented results show that the electron dynamics in the solar wind cannot be understood without considering the role of collisions. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Bartolini C.,University of Florence
Bollettino di Geofisica Teorica ed Applicata | Year: 2012

The paper tries to investigate whether tectonics played or not a significant role in shaping a few selected relief forms, as reported in the literature. All reviewed case histories, except for the last one, deal with fault-connected relief features. It may be stated that, in general, the pervasive role of differential erosion induced by lithologic hetereogeneities is often overlooked. © 2012-OGS.


Gacci M.,University of Florence
Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases | Year: 2013

Epidemiological data indicate that lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)/BPH can be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS). Chronic inflammation has been proposed as a candidate mechanism at the crossroad between these two clinical entities.Aim of study is to examine the correlation among pre-operatory LUTS/BPH severity, MetS features and inflammatory infiltrates in prostatectomy specimens. A total of 271 consecutive men treated with simple prostatectomy were retrospectively selected for this study in two tertiary referral centers for LUTS/BPH. Prostate diameters and volume were measured by transrectal ultrasound, LUTS scored by International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and obstruction by uroflowmetry. The International Diabetes Federation and American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute was used to define MetS. The inflammatory infiltrate was investigated combining anatomic location, grade and extent of flogosis into the overall inflammatory score (IS); the glandular disruption (GD) was used as a further marker. Eighty-six (31.7%) men were affected by MetS. Prostatic volume and anterior-posterior (AP) diameter were positively associated to the number of MetS components. Among MetS determinants, only dyslipidaemia (increased serum triglycerides and reduced serum high-density lipoprotein) was associated with an increased risk of having a prostatic volume >60 cm(3) (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.268, P < 0.001). A significant positive correlation between the presence of MetS and the IS was observed. MetS patients presented lower uroflowmetric parameters as compared with those without MetS (Maximum flow rate (Q(max)): 8.6 vs 10.1, P = 0.008 and average flow rate (Q(ave)): 4.6 vs 5.3, P = 0.033, respectively), and higher obstructive urinary symptoms score (P = 0.064). A positive correlation among both IS-GD and IPSS Score was also observed (adjusted r = 0.172, P = 0.008 and adjusted r = 0.128, P = 0.050). MetS is associated with prostate volume, prostatic AP diameter and intraprostatic IS. The significantly positive association between MetS and prostatic AP diameter could support the observation that MetS patients presented lower uroflowmetric parameters. In conclusion, MetS can be regarded as a new determinant of prostate inflammation and BPH progression.


Procacci P.,University of Florence
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling | Year: 2016

We present a new release (6.0β) of the ORAC program [Marsili et al. J. Comput. Chem. 2010, 31, 1106-1116] with a hybrid OpenMP/MPI (open multiprocessing message passing interface) multilevel parallelism tailored for generalized ensemble (GE) and fast switching double annihilation (FS-DAM) nonequilibrium technology aimed at evaluating the binding free energy in drug-receptor system on high performance computing platforms. The production of the GE or FS-DAM trajectories is handled using a weak scaling parallel approach on the MPI level only, while a strong scaling force decomposition scheme is implemented for intranode computations with shared memory access at the OpenMP level. The efficiency, simplicity, and inherent parallel nature of the ORAC implementation of the FS-DAM algorithm, project the code as a possible effective tool for a second generation high throughput virtual screening in drug discovery and design. The code, along with documentation, testing, and ancillary tools, is distributed under the provisions of the General Public License and can be freely downloaded at www.chim.unifi.it/orac. © 2016 American Chemical Society.


Tamminen M.,University of Helsinki | Virta M.,University of Helsinki | Fani R.,University of Florence | Fondi M.,University of Florence
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2012

Plasmids are vessels of genetic exchange in microbial communities. They are known to transfer between different host organisms and acquire diverse genetic elements from chromosomes and/or other plasmids. Therefore, they constitute an important element in microbial evolution by rapidly disseminating various genetic properties among different communities. A paradigmatic example of this is the dissemination of antibiotic resistance (AR) genes that has resulted in the emergence of multiresistant pathogenic bacterial strains. To globally analyze the evolutionary dynamics of plasmids, we built a large graph in which 2,343 plasmids (nodes) are connected according to the proteins shared by each other. The analysis of this gene-sharing network revealed an overall coherence between network clustering and the phylogenetic classes of the corresponding microorganisms, likely resulting from genetic barriers to horizontal gene transfer between distant phylogenetic groups. Habitat was not a crucial factor in clustering as plasmids from organisms inhabiting different environments were often found embedded in the same cluster. Analyses of network metrics revealed a statistically significant correlation between plasmid mobility and their centrality within the network, providing support to the observation that mobile plasmids are particularly important in spreading genes in microbial communities. Finally, our study reveals an extensive (and previously undescribed) sharing of AR genes between Actinobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria, suggesting that the former might represent an important reservoir of AR genes for the latter. © 2011 The Author.


Fantechi A.,University of Florence
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

Since more than 25 years, railway signalling is the subject of successful industrial application of formal methods in the development and verification of its computerized equipment. However the evolution of the technology of railways signalling systems in this long term has had a strong influence on the way formal methods can be applied in their design and implementation. At the same time important advances had been also achieved in the formal methods area. The scope of the formal methods discipline has enlarged from the methodological provably correct software construction of the beginnings to the analysis and modelling of increasingly complex systems, always on the edge of the ever improving capacity of the analysis tools, thanks to the technological advances in formal verification of both qualitative and quantitative properties of such complex systems. The thesis we will put forward in this paper is that the complexity of future railway systems of systems can be addressed with advantage only by a higher degree of distribution of functions on local interoperable computers - communicating by means of standard protocols - and by adopting a multi-level formal modelling suitable to support the verification at different abstraction levels, and at different life-cycle times, of the safe interaction among the distributed functions. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.