Genoa, Italy
Genoa, Italy

The University of Genoa is one of the largest universities in Italy. Located in Liguria on the Italian Riviera, the university was founded in 1481. It currently has about 40,000 students, 1,800 teaching and research staff and about 1,580 administrative staff. Wikipedia.

Time filter

Source Type

Drago N.,University of Genoa | Gerard C.,University Paris - Sud
Letters in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2017

We consider the adiabatic limit of Hadamard states for free quantum Klein–Gordon fields, when the background metric and the field mass are slowly varied from their initial to final values. If the Klein–Gordon field stays massive, we prove that the adiabatic limit of the initial vacuum state is the (final) vacuum state, by extending to the symplectic framework the adiabatic theorem of Avron–Seiler–Yaffe. In cases when only the field mass is varied, using an abstract version of the mode decomposition method we can also consider the case when the initial or final mass vanishes, and the initial state is either a thermal state or a more general Hadamard state. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Straub R.H.,University of Regensburg | Cutolo M.,University of Genoa
Rheumatology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2016

Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that once bound to their receptor interact with the DNA binding domain. Almost 1000-2000 genes are sensitive to their effects, including immune/inflammatory response genes. However, their role in pathophysiology and therapy is still debated. We performed a literature survey using the key words glucocorticoids, inflammation, autoimmune disease, rheumatology and adrenal glands in order to define important targets for this review on glucocorticoids. Considering endogenous/ exogenous glucocorticoids in chronic inflammatory diseases brought up five major points for discussion: inadequately low production of endogenous cortisol relative to systemic inflammation (the disproportion principle); changes of the systemic and local cortisol-to-cortisone shuttle (reactivation and degradation of cortisol); inflammation-induced glucocorticoid resistance; highlights of present glucocorticoid therapy; and the role of circadian rhythms in action of cortisol. Much of this information becomes understandable in the context of neurohormonal energy regulation as recently summarized. The optimization of long-term lowdose glucocorticoid therapy in chronic inflammatory diseases arises from the understanding of the above mentioned aspects. Since glucocorticoid resistance is a consequence of inflammation, adequate antiinflammatory therapy is mandatory. © The Author 2016.

Artini C.,University of Genoa | Artini C.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Journal of the European Ceramic Society | Year: 2017

In this review structural features, stability issues and physical properties of the eleven interlanthanide perovskites prepared at atmospheric pressure are surveyed and discussed. Due to the reduced size difference between cations, the structure of these oxides is strongly distorted with respect to the ideal cubic case. Therefore, in structure maps they are located close to the boundary of the perovskitic stability field; an interesting correlation between stability and the Goldschmidt tolerance factor t shows that the perovskitic temperature range narrows with decreasing t. Magnetic and optical properties are strictly related to the presence of 4f electrons, that determine the existence of many discrete energy levels. Acceptor-doped LaYO3 and LaYbO3 are comparable in terms of protonic conductivity to the well known cerates, and thanks to their better chemical stability against CO2, they are a good alternative to the latter in solid oxide fuel cells. The high dielectric constant of some interlanthanide perovskites makes them interesting candidates as gate oxides in MOSFETs. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Multiple sclerosis is a highly heterogeneous disease; the quantitative assessment of disease progression is problematic for many reasons, including the lack of objective methods to measure disability and the long follow-up times needed to detect relevant and stable changes. For these reasons, the importance of prognostic markers, markers of response to treatments and of surrogate endpoints, is crucial in multiple sclerosis research. Aim of this report is to clarify some basic definitions and methodological issues about baseline factors to be considered prognostic markers or markers of response to treatment; to define the dynamic role that variables must have to be considered surrogate markers in relation to specific treatments. © SAGE Publications.

Delponte I.,University of Genoa | Pittaluga I.,University of Genoa | Schenone C.,University of Genoa
Energy Policy | Year: 2017

The Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), promoted by the Covenant of Mayor, is a key tool for policies aimed at reducing fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions, in accordance with the Kyoto protocol and its updates. To achieve an actual implementation of the SEAP and to obtain its expected targets, monitoring is a crucial component. SEAP monitoring has to look at both the progress of each single action and its global environmental effect, which requires more than one level of development. In the present paper, an integrated strategy for surveying, controlling and managing the SEAP through a “Monitoring and Evaluation” (M&E) process is introduced. The implementation in the city of Genoa, Italy, was used to test the efficacy of this approach and to assess its strengths and weaknesses. In particular, cost benefit analysis, bankability, peer review and participatory level were identified as key elements for obtaining an operative SEAP monitoring and for then fostering an effective environmental energy policy. Some recommendations were proposed to better outline the “Monitoring and Evaluation” methodology and to help other cities to define a strategy for SEAP monitoring and fulfilment. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Lombardi C.,Fondazione Poliambulanza Hospital | Passalacqua G.,University of Genoa
European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2017

Background. During the two last decades, the interest in the role of Vitamin D (VD) in allergic disease has increased. Apart from the well-known actions of VD in bone metabolism, recent studies suggested its possible role as an immune-modulator in allergy. Objective. This study, conducted over the Italian territory, evaluated the possible correlations between VD serum level and diagnosed allergic diseases (rhinitis/asthma, food allergy, atopic dermatitis). Thus, VD was assessed in patients with physician-diagnosed allergic diseases. Methods. The study was carried out in hospital-and private practice-based setting between October 2012 and March 2013, and 18 Centers participated. Only adult patients, with at least one positive skin prick test were included. The diagnostic procedures and the data collection were standardized among the centers. VD levels were assayed by the same laboratory test. Results. Three hundred and nine patients were enrolled (132 male, mean age 37.5 ± 17 years). Of them, 40% reported a positive family history for allergies (asthma/rhinitis). Rhinitis plus asthma was present in 47% of patients, atopic dermatitis in 15%, and a consistent clinical history of food allergy associated with positive skin tests was present in 25% of subjects. There was no significant association between VD level and age, sex, family history, rhinitis, or food allergy. VD levels were overall lower in patients with asthma and rhinitis, but without statistical significance. A significant difference in VD levels was detected between patient with or without atopic dermatitis. VD was not related to seasonal allergens, whereas a significant negative correlation was seen for house dust mite and dog dander. Conclusion. Our data, derived from a cross-sectional study involving only allergic patients, agree partially with the current literature. Nonetheless, the association between VD levels and allergies appeared weak. Studies involving larger samples would be required to better define the association between VD and allergies. © 2017, EDRA LSWR. All rights reserved.

Montagna P.,University of Genoa
Reumatismo | Year: 2015

This study was aimed to standardize the technique for counting monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the synovial fluid (SF) of patients with gout. A total of 52 SF specimens were examined under a polarized light microscope. The amount of SF ranged between 0.1 and 45 mL (median 3 mL). MSU crystals were counted in four areas with the same size at 400x magnification. Cytological examination of the same specimens was also performed. Median leukocyte count was 400 cells/mm3 (range 50-14,000 cells/mm3), with a median percentage of polymorphonuclear leukocytes of 9% (range 0%-98%). Median crystal count was 179.5 (range 3-1600). Inter- reader and intra-reader agreement in crystal counting were good with a weighed k of 0.89 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-0.94] and 0.89 (95% CI 0.84-0.93), respectively. Our data indicate that the SF MSU crystal count is a feasible and highly reliable technique.

Abbott J.,University of Kassel | Bigatti A.M.,University of Genoa
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2016

The CoCoA project began in 1987, and conducts research into Computational Commutative Algebra (from which its name comes) with particular emphasis on Gröbner bases of ideals in multivariate polynomial rings, and related areas. A major output of the project is the CoCoA software, including the CoCoA-5 interactive system and the CoCoALib C++ library. The software is open-source (GPL v.3), and under continual, active development. We give a summary of the features of the software likely to be relevant to the SC-Square community. Copyright © by the paper's authors.

Sorrentino A.,University of Genoa
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2016

We consider reconstruction of the aerosol absorption coefficient from atmospheric Raman LIDAR measurements. We propose an iterative multiplicative algorithm, with non-negativity constraint, regularized by early stopping. We validate the method with synthetic and experimental data. © OSA 2016.

Sonni I.,Stanford University | Sonni I.,Karolinska Institutet | Ratib O.,University of Geneva | Boccardi M.,Laboratory of Neuroimaging and Alzheimers Epidemiology | And 5 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2017

The use of biomarkers (BMs) for accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been proposed by recent diagnostic criteria; however, their maturity is not sufficient to grant implementation in the clinical routine. A proper diagnostic process requires not only confirmation of the disease but also the exclusion of similar disorders entering differential diagnosis, like dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). This review is aimed at evaluating the clinical validity of 123I-ioflupane brain single photon emission tomography and 123I-MIBG cardiac scintigraphy as imaging BMs for DLB. For this purpose, we used an adapted version of the 5-phase oncology framework for BMs development. A review of the literature was conducted using homogenous search criteria with other BMs addressed in parallel reviews. Results of our literature search showed that the rationale for the use of both BMs in the differential diagnosis of DLB and AD is strong (phase 1) and that they allow a good discrimination ability (phase 2), but studies investigating BMs distribution antemortem and postmortem on pathology are lacking. Moreover, thresholds for test positivity have not been defined for 123I-MIBG. The 2 BMs have not been yet assessed in early phases of DLB and AD (phase 3). No phase 4 and phase 5 studies have so far been carried out. This review highlights the priorities to address in future investigations to enable the proper use of 123I-ioflupane and 123I-MIBG for the differential diagnosis of dementia. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Garibotto V.,University of Geneva | Herholz K.,University of Manchester | Boccardi M.,Irccs Centro San Giovanni Of Dio Fatebenefratelli | Boccardi M.,University of Geneva | And 6 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2017

The use of Alzheimer's disease (AD) biomarkers is supported in diagnostic criteria, but their maturity for clinical routine is still debated. Here, we evaluate brain fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG PET), a measure of cerebral glucose metabolism, as a biomarker to identify clinical and prodromal AD according to the framework suggested for biomarkers in oncology, using homogenous criteria with other biomarkers addressed in parallel reviews. FDG PET has fully achieved phase 1 (rational for use) and most of phase 2 (ability to discriminate AD subjects from healthy controls or other forms of dementia) aims. Phase 3 aims (early detection ability) are partly achieved. Phase 4 studies (routine use in prodromal patients) are ongoing, and only preliminary results can be extrapolated from retrospective observations. Phase 5 studies (quantify impact and costs) have not been performed. The results of this study show that specific efforts are needed to complete phase 3 evidence, in particular comparing and combining FDG PET with other biomarkers, and to properly design phase 4 prospective studies as a basis for phase 5 evaluations. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Chiotis K.,Karolinska Institutet | Saint-Aubert L.,Karolinska Institutet | Boccardi M.,Irccs Centro San Giovanni Of Dio Fatebenefratelli | Boccardi M.,University of Geneva | And 9 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2017

The use of biomarkers has been proposed for diagnosing Alzheimer's disease in recent criteria, but some biomarkers have not been sufficiently investigated to justify their routine clinical use. Here, we evaluate in a literature review the clinical validity of amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging using a structured framework developed for the assessment of oncological biomarkers. Homogenous criteria have been addressed in reviews of other Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. There is adequate evidence that the main aims of phases 1 (rationale for use) and 2 (discriminative ability) have been achieved. The aims of phase 3 (early detection ability) have been partly achieved, while phase 4 studies (performance in representative mild cognitive impairment patients) are currently ongoing. Phase 5 studies (quantification of impact and costs) are still to come. This review highlights the priorities to be pursued to enable the proper use of amyloid PET imaging in a clinical setting. Future investigations will primarily be large, phase 4 studies that will assess the utility of amyloid PET imaging in routine clinical practice. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Ferraro F.,University of Genoa
Nuovo Cimento della Societa Italiana di Fisica C | Year: 2017

Most of the elements constituting the universe were produced in stars through a series of nuclear reactions. LUNA performs direct measurements of nuclear cross sections relevant to astrophysics, taking advantage of the low background at LNGS. The 22Ne(p, γ)23Na reaction rate, which belongs to the NeNa cycle of hydrogen burning, has been recently studied. Its rate is still very uncertain because of a lot of resonances lying inside the Gamow window. LUNA discovered three new resonances using two high-purity germanium detectors and considerably improved the existing upper limits on the lower energy resonances using a highefficiency optically-segmented BGO crystal. © CERN on behalf of the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations.

Bartocci C.,University of Genoa | Tacchella A.,University of Genoa
Letters in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2017

We introduce a notion of noncommutative Poisson–Nijenhuis structure on the path algebra of a quiver. In particular, we focus on the case when the Poisson bracket arises from a noncommutative symplectic form. The formalism is then applied to the study of the Calogero–Moser and Gibbons–Hermsen integrable systems. In the former case, we give a new interpretation of the bihamiltonian reduction performed in Bartocci et al. (Int Math Res Not 2010:279–296, 2010. arXiv:0902.0953). © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Chiozzi P.,University of Genoa | Verdoya M.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Earth Sciences | Year: 2017

We review the sea-bottom heat-flow determinations and present a new heat-flow observation on the Mauritius island, which is part of the long-lived Reunion hotspot track. The marine heat flow is on average 66 ± 11 mW m−2 and is consistent with the on-land value of 61 ± 18 mW m−2 found in Mauritius. Since these values do not significantly deviate from the reference cooling-plate model, lithosphere erosion does not seem a likely mechanism for the swell formation. The lack of significant reheating due to a mantle plume impacting the lithosphere base is confirmed by thermal modelling. Moreover, the coherency between on-land and marine data is argument against advective redistribution of heat near the axis of the swell. We also analyse the large-scale features of the ocean lithosphere, which are not simply a function of the plate cooling and can reflect variations in mantle dynamic topography. The predicted topography variation along the swell shows amplitude and wavelength comparable to other hotspots. Both the topographic swell magnitude and the wavelength increase northwards with the increase of the age of volcanism. The estimated flux of material from the mantle follows the same trend, being larger in the northern part of the swell. The result that residual topography and the buoyancy flux are smaller at the active volcano of Reunion could be evidence that the activity of the plume has decreased with time. © 2017 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Striano P.,University of Genoa | Belcastro V.,Santanna Hospital
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2017

Introduction: Myoclonic seizures are brief, involuntary muscular jerks arising from the central nervous system that can occur in different epilepsy syndromes, including idiopathic generalized epilepsies or the most severe group of epileptic encephalopathies. Valproate is commonly the first choice alone or in combination with some benzodiazepines or levetiracetam. However, more treatment options exist today as there is emerging evidence to support the efficacy of some newer antiepileptic drugs. In addition, of major importance remains avoidance of medications (e.g., carbamazepine, phenytoin) that may aggravate myoclonic seizures. This is an updated review on the available therapeutic options for treatment of myoclonic seizures. Areas covered: Key efficacy, tolerability and efficacy data are showed for different antiepileptic drugs with antimyoclonic effect, alone and/or in combination. Expert opinion: Pharmacological treatment of myoclonic seizures is based on clinical experience with little evidence from randomized clinical trials. Valproate, levetiracetam, and some benzodiazepines, are widely used. There is still insufficient evidence for the use of other antiseizure drugs, such as topiramate or zonisamide as monotherapy. Better understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms of myoclonic epilepsies could yield great improvement in the treatment and quality of life of patients. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Altosole M.,University of Genoa | Martelli M.,University of Genoa
Ocean Engineering | Year: 2017

This work deals with the propulsion control aspects relating to some of the most critical emergency manoeuvres of a ship: slam start and crash stop. In these particular situations a very important role is played by the automation system that has to manage the whole propulsive chain (i.e. main engine, mechanical transmission and propeller) in a safe and efficient way. With regard to this, a simulation based design methodology is adopted to develop and test new control schemes for ship propulsion. The proposed control layout is applicable to any type of propulsion systems equipped with controllable pitch propellers, since it is mainly based on the automatic adjustment of the propeller pitch. Thus the desired performance requirements are met through adaptive control strategies able to address the complex issues of slam start, crash stop and similar stressful manoeuvres. The adaptivity of the automation process to several critical propulsive conditions reduces significantly the number of the control parameters to be estimated, as recently demonstrated by the automation design of a new twin-screw ship. For this application, the comparison between simulation results and sea trials data is finally shown for validation design purposes. © 2017

Bacigalupo A.,IMT School for Advanced Studies | Gambarotta L.,University of Genoa
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids | Year: 2017

Dispersive waves in two-dimensional blocky materials with periodic microstructure made up of equal rigid units, having polygonal centro-symmetric shape with mass and gyroscopic inertia, connected with each other through homogeneous linear interfaces, have been analyzed. The acoustic behavior of the resulting discrete Lagrangian model has been obtained through a Floquet–Bloch approach. From the resulting eigenproblem derived by the Euler–Lagrange equations for harmonic wave propagation, two acoustic branches and an optical branch are obtained in the frequency spectrum. A micropolar continuum model to approximate the Lagrangian model has been derived based on a second-order Taylor expansion of the generalized macro-displacement field. The constitutive equations of the equivalent micropolar continuum have been obtained, with the peculiarity that the positive definiteness of the second-order symmetric tensor associated to the curvature vector is not guaranteed and depends both on the ratio between the local tangent and normal stiffness and on the block shape. The same results have been obtained through an extended Hamiltonian derivation of the equations of motion for the equivalent continuum that is related to the Hill-Mandel macro homogeneity condition. Moreover, it is shown that the hermitian matrix governing the eigenproblem of harmonic wave propagation in the micropolar model is exact up to the second order in the norm of the wave vector with respect to the same matrix from the discrete model. To appreciate the acoustic behavior of some relevant blocky materials and to understand the reliability and the validity limits of the micropolar continuum model, some blocky patterns have been analyzed: rhombic and hexagonal assemblages and running bond masonry. From the results obtained in the examples, the obtained micropolar model turns out to be particularly accurate to describe dispersive functions for wavelengths greater than 3-4 times the characteristic dimension of the block. Finally, in consideration that the positive definiteness of the second order elastic tensor of the micropolar model is not guaranteed, the hyperbolicity of the equation of motion has been investigated by considering the Legendre–Hadamard ellipticity conditions requiring real values for the wave velocity. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Darban H.,University of Genoa | Massabo R.,University of Genoa
Meccanica | Year: 2017

A matrix technique is formulated to efficiently solve stationary two-dimensional thermo-elasticity problems in simply supported multilayered beams and plates with an arbitrary number of layers which may be in imperfect mechanical and thermal contact. The method uses local transfer matrices and continuity conditions at the layer interfaces to establish explicit relationships between the unknown integration constants in the solution of a generic layer and those of the first layer. Explicit expressions are then derived for temperature, displacements and stresses through the imposition of the boundary conditions at the top and bottom surfaces of the plate. The dimensionless expressions allow to easily generate exact solutions, also for plates with many layers and interfacial thermal and mechanical imperfections. The solutions can be used for parametric analyses, to investigate the influence of the inhomogeneous material structure and interfacial imperfections on local fields or to verify the accuracy of approximate theories and numerical models. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Lepidi M.,University of Genoa | Bacigalupo A.,IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca
Meccanica | Year: 2017

Lattice materials are often investigated to determine how small parameter variations in the periodic microstructrure can influence the elastic wave propagation. A general hierarchical scheme, based on asymptotic perturbation techniques, is outlined to analytically assess the parametric sensitivity of the material band structure to a generic multi-parametric perturbation (direct problem). Modeling refinements, parameters updates, microstructural damages and manufacturing irregularities can be treated indifferently and simultaneously. According to a converse strategy, based on the inversion of the sensitivity problem, a hierarchical scheme is sketched to identify the parameter combinations which realize a design band structure (inverse problem). The direct and inverse problem are applied to the sensitivity analysis and band structure design of the anti-tetrachiral lattice material. Despite the high spectral density and the high-dimensional parameter space, the multi-parameter perturbation technique demonstrates its suitability in, first, analytically—although asymptotically—describe the material spectrum and, second, designing the material microstructure to obtain the desired spectral components. The inverse problem solution is discussed in terms of existence, uniqueness, asymptotic consistency and physical admissibility. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

Celik I.,Middle East Technical University | Torre I.,University of Genoa
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, Proceedings IUI | Year: 2017

New technologies are changing the way we learn and teach. Emerging technologies such as social semantic web, cloud computing, and the growing popularity of mobile devices, embedded devices and adaptive context-aware technologies are leading to a paradigm shift in the way educational services are provided. Through technologies and approaches such as ubiquitous and adaptive learning, learning becomes personalized, flexible, and suitable to meet diverse and rapidly changing technologies, environments and learner needs, while opening unprecedented possibilities for education. The aim of the "Intelligent Interfaces for Ubiquitous and Smart Learning" workshop has been to bring together researchers from industry and academia to address the challenges of the intelligent user interfaces and smart learning fields, discuss new ideas and present their research to the scientific community in order to enhance the methodologies and techniques for intelligent learning environments for the 21st century. The workshop program, program committee and further details are available on the website ( Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).

Golda C.,University of Genoa
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

Ports, nuclear facilities, LNG facilities, urban areas, bridges, chemical plants and other critical infrastructure are all potential targets for terrorist attacks in Europe. Being the direct point of entry into Europe, especially ports constitute a key element in the comprehensive security system of Europe. In February 2002, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) defined maritime terrorism as "the undertaking of terrorist acts and activities (1) within the marine environment, (2) using or against vessels or fixed platforms at sea or in port, or against any one of their passengers or personnel, (3) against coastal facilities or settlements, including tourist resorts, port areas, and port town or cities". This definition is perfectly suitable for the European case. After 9/11, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has amended the 1974 Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention to include new 'Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety'. These measures include the International Ship and Port Facilities Security (ISPS) Code, which requires governments to carry out security assessments to "identify and evaluate important assets and infrastructures that are critical to the port facility as well as those areas or structures that, if damaged, could cause significant loss of life or damage to the port facility's economy or environment". Satellite technologies may offer benefits to Europe's maritime regions and marine environment. They have enabled the EU and its agencies to monitor large numbers of ships sailing its waters under the Long-Range Identification and Tracking System (LRIT), and have enhanced security by tracking ships that could carry lethal weapons, logistic material or terrorists themselves. Member states can now assess the security risks posed by a ship and take action to reduce that risk. This paper collates a number of research strands in the use of satellites to support maritime security in port areas and for port protection against both terrorist attacks and maritime disasters, and also in how satellite images can be used to identify terrorism risks.

Koceva F.,University of Genoa
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2014

This thesis will discuss a knowledge-based model for the design and development of units of learning and teaching aids. The idea behind this work originates from previous theoretical work on Educational Concept Maps - a logical and abstract annotation system derived from the theories of instructional design. Our work is motivated by the open issues in designing instructional authoring system and from the lack of a well-defined process able to merge pedagogical strategies with systems for the knowledge organization of the domain.

Sormani M.P.,University of Genoa
Multiple Sclerosis | Year: 2017

Subgroup analysis is often conducted as a post-hoc evaluation of clinical trials. The aim of a subgroup analysis is the evaluation of the treatment effect that was tested in the trial, in a specific subgroups of patients. It can be run both on positive trials (to provide information about patients receiving the highest benefit from the treatment) and on negative trials (to test whether the treatment that had no effect on the overall population can be of any benefit in a specific subset of patients). A subgroup analysis is aimed at generating hypotheses for future research. Subgroup analyses have statistical challenges involving multiple testing and unplanned and low powered analyses; however the main issue, at least in subgroup analysis conducted so far in MS studies, seems to be related to the reporting and interpretation of results. In this viewpoint I will try to show the misleading ways of reporting subgroup analysis in MS trials, along with the correct approach based on an interaction test. © The Author(s), 2016.

Sormani M.P.,University of Genoa | Bruzzi P.,Science Epidemiologia Clinica
Multiple Sclerosis | Year: 2017

The size of a treatment effect in clinical trials can be expressed in relative or absolute terms. Commonly used relative treatment effect measures are relative risks, odds ratios, and hazard ratios, while absolute estimate of treatment effect are absolute differences and numbers needed to treat. When making indirect comparisons of treatment effects, which is common in multiple sclerosis (MS), having now many drugs tested in independent trials, we can have different figures if we use relative or absolute measures, and a frequently asked question by clinicians is which approach should be used. In this report, we will try to define these measures, to give numerical examples of their calculation and specify their meaning and their context of use. © SAGE Publications.

Cavattoni T.,University of Genoa | Garbarino G.,University of Genoa
Rendiconti Lincei | Year: 2017

Heterogeneous catalysis has a fundamental role in the development of both gasification and gas cleanup technologies for the production of synthesis gas (syngas) and renewable hydrogen. In this review, a technological perspective of Ni-based catalysts is presented giving particular attention to the interaction of different tars molecules present in tar mixture and to catalyst deactivation by coke deposition and sulphur poisoning. For the effective development of these technologies, several challenges have been still to be undertaken, so that, are outlined in this review: (i) optimization of catalyst formulation; (ii) catalyst stability; (iii) resistance to the different contaminants present in biomass feedstocks; (iv) activity in more complex mixtures, coupling the knowledge available with model mixture and evidence eventual interaction that might be detrimental in start-up and shut-down operations; (v) tests in real biomass tar and in pilot plants; (vi) determination of mechanisms and kinetics for the complex reaction network and coke deposition; and (vii) development of effective regeneration steps applicable in real industrial applications. © 2017 Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Muthuswamy S.,Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design and Manufacturing | Molfino R.,University of Genoa
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice | Year: 2017

Forum papers are thought-provoking opinion pieces or essays founded in fact, sometimes containing speculation, on a civil engineering topic of general interest and relevance to the readership of the journal. The views expressed in this Forum article do not necessarily reflect the views of ASCE or the Editorial Board of the journal. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Tanda G.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer | Year: 2017

Natural convection heat transfer in vertical ribbed channels, using water as working fluid, has been experimentally studied. The investigation encompassed a large range of the channel aspect ratio, defined as the ratio between channel spacing and channel height, while the wall-to-fluid temperature difference was kept fixed. The measurement of local heat transfer coefficient was facilitated by a non-intrusive diagnostic tool, the schlieren technique, whose use for the quantitative study of liquid flows is rarely documented in the literature. Results provided an insight into the nature of free convection heat transfer from ribbed channels, whose geometry is significant in such several engineering devices as electronic equipment. It was found that a general reduction of heat transfer performance, relative to that of a flat vertical surface or a smooth vertical channel, was induced by the presence of ribs, within the range of the parameters investigated. Local and heat transfer characteristics were sensitive to changes in interplate spacing for small channel aspect ratios. Experimental data, recast in dimensionless form, were in excellent agreement with those obtained by this author in a previous research performed for air-cooled channels, using the same experimental technique, the same geometric parameters of the ribbed surface, and a similar Rayleigh number. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Cruz F.F.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Rocco P.R.M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | Pelosi P.,University of Genoa
Critical Care | Year: 2017

This article is one of ten reviews selected from the Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine 2017. Other selected articles can be found online at Further information about the Annual Update in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine is available from © 2017 Cruz et al.

News Article | April 24, 2017

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Matilde Inglese, Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council. She will be sharing her knowledge and expertise on Neuroscience, Neuroimaging and Multiple Sclerosis.   As an Internationally recognized expert in the field of neuroimaging in demyelinating disorders, Dr. Matilde Inglese offers valuable insight in her role as the Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for over fifteen years, Dr. Inglese’s day-to-day responsibilities include clinical research of Multiple Sclerosis patients using neuroimaging techniques. With support from the National Institute of Health, her research is geared towards the development and application of new structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques at high and ultra-high field strength to analyze neurological diseases. Upon receipt of a medical degree magna cum laude from the University of Genoa, Italy in 1992, Dr. Inglese completed her residency at the University of Genoa in 1998.  In 1999, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimaging at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. To further develop her professional career, she completed a fellowship in Radiology at the New York University in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Inglese obtained her PhD from the University of Genoa. Prior to her role as an Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, Dr. Inglese joined the NYU faculty as an Associate Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Biomedical Imaging at New York University in 2011. Her interest in the field of Neurology began while in Italy, when she felt that very little was known about the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and the available treatments were only partially efficacious or not efficacious at all in subgroups of patients. Dr. Inglese thought that understanding how the disease progressed and why some patients have benefit from treatment and other not would eventually lead to improvement of patients’ care and quality of life. Dr. Inglese has authored over a hundred and fifty publications and received multiple grant funding from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in Multiple Sclerosis. Her publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain and Neurology. She has served on the editorial board of peer-reviewed journals and on grant advisory panels for the National Institute of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and for several international funding agencies. Dr. Inglese maintains affiliations with The American Academy of Neurology, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the National Institute of Health study sections. In her free time, Dr. Inglese enjoys reading, bicycling and swimming. Her charitable organizations involvement includes participating in marathons for Multiple Sclerosis, completing peer reviews for the MS Foundation, and volunteering with MS Hope for a Cure. Considering the future, Dr. Inglese hopes to understand the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis progression and contribute to provide new and effective biomarkers to monitor disease progression and response to treatment.

News Article | April 24, 2017

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Matilde Inglese, Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council. She will be sharing her knowledge and expertise on Neuroscience, Neuroimaging and Multiple Sclerosis.   As an Internationally recognized expert in the field of neuroimaging in demyelinating disorders, Dr. Matilde Inglese offers valuable insight in her role as the Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for over fifteen years, Dr. Inglese’s day-to-day responsibilities include clinical research of Multiple Sclerosis patients using neuroimaging techniques. With support from the National Institute of Health, her research is geared towards the development and application of new structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques at high and ultra-high field strength to analyze neurological diseases. Upon receipt of a medical degree magna cum laude from the University of Genoa, Italy in 1992, Dr. Inglese completed her residency at the University of Genoa in 1998.  In 1999, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimaging at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. To further develop her professional career, she completed a fellowship in Radiology at the New York University in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Inglese obtained her PhD from the University of Genoa. Prior to her role as an Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, Dr. Inglese joined the NYU faculty as an Associate Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Biomedical Imaging at New York University in 2011. Her interest in the field of Neurology began while in Italy, when she felt that very little was known about the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and the available treatments were only partially efficacious or not efficacious at all in subgroups of patients. Dr. Inglese thought that understanding how the disease progressed and why some patients have benefit from treatment and other not would eventually lead to improvement of patients’ care and quality of life. Dr. Inglese has authored over a hundred and fifty publications and received multiple grant funding from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in Multiple Sclerosis. Her publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain and Neurology. She has served on the editorial board of peer-reviewed journals and on grant advisory panels for the National Institute of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and for several international funding agencies. Dr. Inglese maintains affiliations with The American Academy of Neurology, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the National Institute of Health study sections. In her free time, Dr. Inglese enjoys reading, bicycling and swimming. Her charitable organizations involvement includes participating in marathons for Multiple Sclerosis, completing peer reviews for the MS Foundation, and volunteering with MS Hope for a Cure. Considering the future, Dr. Inglese hopes to understand the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis progression and contribute to provide new and effective biomarkers to monitor disease progression and response to treatment.

News Article | April 24, 2017

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Matilde Inglese, Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council. She will be sharing her knowledge and expertise on Neuroscience, Neuroimaging and Multiple Sclerosis.   As an Internationally recognized expert in the field of neuroimaging in demyelinating disorders, Dr. Matilde Inglese offers valuable insight in her role as the Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for over fifteen years, Dr. Inglese’s day-to-day responsibilities include clinical research of Multiple Sclerosis patients using neuroimaging techniques. With support from the National Institute of Health, her research is geared towards the development and application of new structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques at high and ultra-high field strength to analyze neurological diseases. Upon receipt of a medical degree magna cum laude from the University of Genoa, Italy in 1992, Dr. Inglese completed her residency at the University of Genoa in 1998.  In 1999, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimaging at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. To further develop her professional career, she completed a fellowship in Radiology at the New York University in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Inglese obtained her PhD from the University of Genoa. Prior to her role as an Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, Dr. Inglese joined the NYU faculty as an Associate Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Biomedical Imaging at New York University in 2011. Her interest in the field of Neurology began while in Italy, when she felt that very little was known about the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and the available treatments were only partially efficacious or not efficacious at all in subgroups of patients. Dr. Inglese thought that understanding how the disease progressed and why some patients have benefit from treatment and other not would eventually lead to improvement of patients’ care and quality of life. Dr. Inglese has authored over a hundred and fifty publications and received multiple grant funding from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in Multiple Sclerosis. Her publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain and Neurology. She has served on the editorial board of peer-reviewed journals and on grant advisory panels for the National Institute of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and for several international funding agencies. Dr. Inglese maintains affiliations with The American Academy of Neurology, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the National Institute of Health study sections. In her free time, Dr. Inglese enjoys reading, bicycling and swimming. Her charitable organizations involvement includes participating in marathons for Multiple Sclerosis, completing peer reviews for the MS Foundation, and volunteering with MS Hope for a Cure. Considering the future, Dr. Inglese hopes to understand the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis progression and contribute to provide new and effective biomarkers to monitor disease progression and response to treatment.

News Article | April 24, 2017

NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Matilde Inglese, Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been selected to join the Education Board at the American Health Council. She will be sharing her knowledge and expertise on Neuroscience, Neuroimaging and Multiple Sclerosis.   As an Internationally recognized expert in the field of neuroimaging in demyelinating disorders, Dr. Matilde Inglese offers valuable insight in her role as the Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for over fifteen years, Dr. Inglese’s day-to-day responsibilities include clinical research of Multiple Sclerosis patients using neuroimaging techniques. With support from the National Institute of Health, her research is geared towards the development and application of new structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques at high and ultra-high field strength to analyze neurological diseases. Upon receipt of a medical degree magna cum laude from the University of Genoa, Italy in 1992, Dr. Inglese completed her residency at the University of Genoa in 1998.  In 1999, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimaging at San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy. To further develop her professional career, she completed a fellowship in Radiology at the New York University in 2002. In 2004, Dr. Inglese obtained her PhD from the University of Genoa. Prior to her role as an Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology and Neuroscience, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, Dr. Inglese joined the NYU faculty as an Associate Professor of Radiology, Neurology and Biomedical Imaging at New York University in 2011. Her interest in the field of Neurology began while in Italy, when she felt that very little was known about the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and the available treatments were only partially efficacious or not efficacious at all in subgroups of patients. Dr. Inglese thought that understanding how the disease progressed and why some patients have benefit from treatment and other not would eventually lead to improvement of patients’ care and quality of life. Dr. Inglese has authored over a hundred and fifty publications and received multiple grant funding from the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in Multiple Sclerosis. Her publications have been featured in peer-reviewed journals such as the Lancet, Lancet Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain and Neurology. She has served on the editorial board of peer-reviewed journals and on grant advisory panels for the National Institute of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and for several international funding agencies. Dr. Inglese maintains affiliations with The American Academy of Neurology, International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, and the National Institute of Health study sections. In her free time, Dr. Inglese enjoys reading, bicycling and swimming. Her charitable organizations involvement includes participating in marathons for Multiple Sclerosis, completing peer reviews for the MS Foundation, and volunteering with MS Hope for a Cure. Considering the future, Dr. Inglese hopes to understand the pathophysiology of Multiple Sclerosis progression and contribute to provide new and effective biomarkers to monitor disease progression and response to treatment.

Brusasco C.,University of Genoa | Pelosi P.,University of Genoa
Current Opinion in Critical Care | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review discusses the role of chest ultrasound in diagnosis and management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and the most recent technical progresses in this field. RECENT FINDINGS: Clinically, suspected ARDS can be easily confirmed by lung ultrasonography through the recognition of a typical pattern characterized by B-lines, spared areas, pleural line thickening, and subpleural consolidations. A visual score based on number and thickness of B-lines permits a semiquantitative evaluation of the amount of extravascular lung water and lung density. Recently, a quantitative lung ultrasound method has been proposed. The heart may be also involved in ARDS either primarily or by the application of positive pressure ventilation. The incidence of acute cor pulmonale during ARDS is, even if under protective ventilation, not negligible. The use of echocardiography combined with lung ultrasound is important for early detection of cor pulmonale, identification of the best ventilator strategy to preserve heart-to-lung interaction, and prediction of weaning success. SUMMARY: An ultrasound-integrated approach combining lung ultrasound and echocardiography should be recommended as a suitable technique to manage ARDS during diagnosis, mechanical ventilation setting, and weaning. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Armirotti A.,Advanced Biotechnology Center | Damonte G.,University of Genoa
Proteomics | Year: 2010

Over the last years, top-down (TD) MS has gained a remarkable space in proteomics, rapidly trespassing the limit between a promising approach and a solid, established technique. Several research groups worldwide have implemented TD analysis in their routine work on proteomics, deriving structural information on proteins with the level of accuracy that is impossible to achieve with classical bottom-up approaches. Complete maps of PTMs and assessment of single aminoacid polymorphisms are only a few of the results that can be obtained with this technique. Despite some existing technical and economical limitations, TD analysis is at present the most powerful instrument for MS-based proteomics and its implementation in routine workflow is a rapidly approaching turning point in proteomics. In this review article, the state-of-the-art of TD approach is described along with its major advantages and drawbacks and the most recent trends in TD analysis are discussed. References for all the covered topics are reported in the text, with the aim to support both newcomers and mass spectrometrists already introduced to TD proteomics. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Piccardo G.B.,University of Genoa
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2014

Ophiolite massifs (i.e., Lanzo, Voltri, Ligurides, Corsica) of the Alpine-Apennine system represent lithosphere remnants of the Jurassic Ligurian Tethys oceanic basin, which separated the Europe and Adria continental margins. Ophiolitic mantle peridotites record structural and compositional features induced by tectonic and magmatic processes in the sub-continental lithosphere by passive rifting leading to continental breakup and sea-floor spreading in the Jurassic Ligurian Tethys.Field, structural, petrologic and geochemical studies of the lithospheric peridotites provide important tools to unravel the processes that drove extension and rifting of the continental Europe-Adria lithosphere towards breakup and oceanic spreading. Extension in the pre-Triassic Europe-Adria continental domain was a classic example of passive rifting, driven by far field tectonic forces. The early stage of rifting was a-magmatic (a-magmatic passive rifting). The far-field tectonic forces induced lithosphere stretching and thinning by means of melt-free extensional shear zones, that allowed passive upwelling of the asthenosphere until it reached melting conditions on decompression. Silica-undersaturated, isolated single melt increments, strongly depleted in trace elements, were formed by fractional melting. They infiltrated unmixed through the extending mantle lithosphere under spinel-facies conditions by diffuse and focused porous flow (magmatic passive rifting) and induced significant melt/peridotite interactions during upward percolation (i.e., thermo-chemical and mechanical erosion, asthenospherization and rejuvenation of the mantle lithosphere). The percolating liquids became silica-saturated by melt/peridotite interaction (pyroxene dissolution/olivine precipitation) and migrated to shallow lithospheric levels (i.e., plagioclase-peridotite facies conditions). There, increasing heat loss by conduction induced their stagnation, storage and progressive crystallization, that impregnated and refertilized the host peridotite (the hidden, non-extrusive magmatism).Melt thermal advection through the extending lithosphere, above the melting asthenosphere, strongly modified the compositional and rheological characteristics of the percolated mantle lithosphere. A wedge-shaped, softened and weakened zone was formed along the axial mantle lithosphere of the extensional system, between the future continental margins. This axial wedge represented a preferential zone where the underlying hotter and deeper asthenosphere upwelled and "intruded" the extending colder sub-continental mantle lithosphere. Further extension led to continental break-up and splitting, to formation of the extended Europe and Adria margins and to sea-floor exposure of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle.The hot upwelling asthenosphere column was characterized by higher degrees of partial melting on decompression, complete aggregation of the single fractional melt increments, and deepening of the melting sources (i.e., onset of partial melting under garnet-peridotite facies conditions). This partial melting event formed the aggregated MORB liquids (the oceanic magmatism) which migrated from the asthenosphere within high porosity dunite channels through the melt-reacted sub-continental peridotites, without significant interaction with the host peridotites. These aggregated MORBs formed olivine gabbro intrusions in the shallow mantle lithosphere and MOR pillow basalt flows and edifices, above the tectonically denudated and sea-floor exposed, lithospheric mantle peridotites.In this scenario, the divergent forces induced by the active upwelling asthenosphere may compete with far-field tectonic forces and even drive the system causing a change from passive rifting to active rifting and the installation of a ridge-type system. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Niazi A.,Islamic Azad University of Arak | Leardi R.,University of Genoa
Journal of Chemometrics | Year: 2012

This review covers the application of Genetic Algorithms (GAs) in Chemometrics. The first applications of GAs in chemistry date back to the 1970s, and in the last decades, they have been more and more frequently used to solve different kinds of problems, for example, when the objective functions do not possess properties such as continuity, differentiability, and so on. These algorithms maintain and manipulate a family, or population, of solutions and implement a "survival of the fittest" strategy in their search for better solutions. GAs are very useful in the optimization and variable selection in modeling and calibration because of the strong effect of the relationship between presence/absence of variables in a calibration model and the prediction ability of the model itself. This review is not a complete summary of the applications of GAs to chemometric problems; its goal is rather to show the researchers the main fields of application of GAs, together with providing a list of references on the subject. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Bozzano F.,University of Genoa | Marras F.,Instituto G Gaslini | De Maria A.,University of Genoa
Mediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

MTB ranks as the first worldwide pathogen latently infecting one third of the population and the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, after the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The development of vigorous and apparently appropriate immune response upon infection with M. tuberculosis in humans and experimental animals conflict with failure to eradicate the pathogen itself and with its ability to undergo clinical latency from which it may exit. From a clinical standpoint, our views on MTB infection may take advantage from updating the overall perspective, that has quite changed over the last decade, following remarkable advances in our understanding of the manipulation of the immune system by M. tuberculosis and of the role of innate components of the immune response, including macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells and NK cells in the initial spread of MTB and its exit from latency. Scope of this review is to highlight the major mechanisms of MTB escape from immune control and to provide a supplementary translational perspective for the interpretation of innate immune mechanisms with particular impact on clinical aspects.

Finocchio E.,University of Genoa | Rossetti I.,CNR Institute of Molecular Science and Technologies | Ramis G.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2013

Co- and Cu-based catalysts prepared by means of a flame pyrolysis (FP) technique are proposed as possible substitutes for Ni-based catalysts, very active for the Ethanol Steam Reforming reaction, but showing poor stability towards coke formation when operating at relatively low temperature. The FP method allowed to achieve a partial incorporation of the active phase into the support, leading to high dispersion and lower reducibility, at least in the case of Co. Cu was much more reducible than both Co and Ni, but it was almost completely inactive for the reforming reaction, mainly leading to ethanol dehydrogenation to acetaldehyde. The two different supports chosen, characterized by semiconducting behaviour and different reducibility (SiO 2 and TiO2), were able to differently interact with the active phase. The best results, especially at 625 and 750 °C, were achieved with 10 wt% Co/SiO2, which led to higher activity, good C balance and low CO/CO2 ratio. This was ascribed to the high initial dispersion of Co into the silica matrix, which led to available Co particles well dispersed and stable on the catalyst surface.

Fossa M.,University of Genoa | Minchio F.,Studio 3F Engineering
Energy | Year: 2013

Vertical BHE (borehole heat exchangers) are a common solution for GCHP applications (ground coupled heat pump). Correct BHE design and sizing are mandatory to either assure long term GCHP performance or reduce the payback period. Most models for performing the time varying analysis of complex borefields are based on the solution of the conduction equation, through the calculation of proper temperature response factors. The DST (Duct Storage Model) is often referred as the benchmark analysis tool, even if it is based on a simplified description of the borefield geometry. In this paper, DST predictions, in terms of hourly fluid temperatures along 20 years, are compared with the corresponding results obtained by implementing the MLAA (Multiple Aggregation Algorithm) approach by Bernier et al. into a model able to employ suitable g-functions generated starting from the Finite Line Source solution. This paper discusses some aspects of the improvements here introduced to the original MLAA method. The study is devoted to the comparison between the predicted fluid temperature values by the DST and MLAA models, with special attention to the influence of the BHE geometry (matrix like vs in line configurations) and to the shape of the yearly hourly load profiles (balanced vs unbalanced ground loads). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bajc B.,Jozef Stefan Institute | Di Luzio L.,University of Genoa
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

We show that judiciously chosen R-parity violating terms in the minimal renormalizable supersymmetric SU(5) are able to correct all the phenomenologically wrong mass relations between down quarks and charged leptons. The model can accommodate neutrino masses as well. One of the most striking consequences is a large mixing between the electron and the Higgsino. We show that this can still be in accord with data in some regions of the parameter space and possibly falsified in future experiments. © 2015, The Author(s).

STUDY QUESTIONIs the amount of cell-free DNA released by human embryos into culture medium correlated with embryo morphological features?SUMMARY ANSWERThe mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content of culture medium is significantly associated with the fragmentation rate on Days 2 and 3 of embryo development, whether the oocyte came from women ≤35 or >35 years old.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYCellular fragmentation is often utilized as one of the morphological parameters for embryo quality assessment. The amount of cellular fragments is considered to be an important morphological parameter for embryo implantation potential. It has been hypothesized that fragments are apoptotic bodies or anuclear cytoplasmatic pieces of blastomeres, although no definitive conclusion has been drawn about their pathogenesis.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONHuman fertilized oocytes were individually cultured from Day 1 to Days 2 and 3. A total of 800 samples (166 spent media from Day 2 and 634 from Day 3) were enrolled into the present study.PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSDouble-stranded DNA (dsDNA) was quantified in 800 spent embryo culture media by Pico Green dye fluorescence assay. After DNA purification, genomic DNA (gDNA) and mtDNA were profiled by specific quantitative PCR. Statistical analyses defined correlations among DNA contents, embryo morphology and maternal age.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEDifferent independent tests confirmed the presence of DNA into embryo culture medium and, for the first time, we demonstrate that both gDNA and mtDNA are detectable in the secretome. The amount of DNA is larger in embryos with bad quality cleavage compared with high-grade embryos, suggesting that the DNA profile of culture medium is an objective marker for embryo quality assessment. In particular, DNA profiles are significantly associated with fragmentation feature (total dsDNA: P = 0.0010; mtDNA; P = 0.0247) and advanced maternal age.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONIt is necessary to establish whether DNA profiling of spent embryo culture medium is a robust onsite test that can improve the prediction of blastulation, implantation and/or pregnancy rate.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSThe approach we are proposing may provide a novel, non-invasive, objective tool for embryo quality grading. The correlation between a high mtDNA concentration and the fragmentation rate of embryos is suggestive that fragments are mainly anuclear cytoplasmatic debris arising during cleavage. Therefore, blastomere shaping as an early event during in vitro development may play a homeostatic role and be related to embryo competence. © The Author 2013.

Morro A.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Solids and Structures | Year: 2012

The paper investigates time-harmonic wave propagation in continuously stratified solids and provides the results of a reflection-transmission process generated by a layer sandwiched between homogeneous half-spaces. The layer is continuously stratified and allows for jump discontinuities at a finite number of planes. The dissipative effects are accounted for through the classical Boltzmann law of viscoelasticity. By using displacement and traction as convenient vector variables, the governing equations are considered in a vector Volterra integral equation and the solution is determined by means of a matricant. Next the matricant is applied to determine the reflection and transmission coefficients of a layer, with a generic piecewise continuous profile of the material properties. The reflection-transmission process produced by an obliquely incident wave, is considered for horizontally-polarized waves. The low-frequency approximation is derived for the reflection and transmission coefficients. Next, the high-frequency approximation is investigated by a WKB-like procedure which involves a complex valued frequency-dependent shear modulus. The displacement solution is obtained for the forward- and the backward-propagating waves in the layer along with the reflection and transmission coefficients. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Caini C.,University of Bologna | Cruickshank H.,University of Surrey | Farrell S.,Trinity College Dublin | Marchese M.,University of Genoa
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2011

Satellite communications are characterized by long delays, packet losses, and sometimes intermittent connectivity and link disruptions. The TCP/IP stack is ineffective against these impairments and even dedicated solutions, such as performance enhancing proxies (PEPs), can hardly tackle the most challenging environments, and create compatibility issues with current security protocols. An alternative solution arises from the delay-and disruption-tolerant networking (DTN) architecture, which specifies an overlay protocol, called bundle protocol (BP), on top of either transport protocols (TCP, UDP, etc.), or of lower layer protocols (Bluetooth, Ethernet, etc.). The DTN architecture provides long-term information storage on intermediate nodes, suitable for coping with disrupted links, long delays, and intermittent connectivity. By dividing the end-to-end path into multiple DTN hops, in a way that actually extends the TCP-splitting concept exploited in most PEPs, DTN allows the use of specialized protocols on the satellite (or space) links. This paper discusses the prospects for use of DTN in future satellite networks. We present a broad DTN overview, to make the reader familiar with the characteristics that differentiate DTN from ordinary TCP/IP networking, compare the DTN and PEP architectures and stacks, as a preliminary step for the subsequent DTN performance assessment carried out in practical LEO/GEO satellite scenarios. DTN security is studied next, examining the advantages over present satellite architectures, the threats faced in satellite scenarios, and also open issues. Finally, the relation between DTN and quality of service (QoS) is investigated, by focusing on QoS architectures and QoS tools and by discussing the state of the art of DTN research activity in modeling, routing, and congestion control. © 2011 IEEE.

Bragazzi N.L.,University of Genoa
Journal of Research in Medical Sciences | Year: 2014

2. evidences for safety in patients with nephrolithiasis and CKD are instead mixed and controversial. On the other handRamadan fasting represents one of the five pillars of the Islam creed according to the Sunnah and the second practice of faith for the Shiaa. Even though patients are exempted from observing this religious duty, they may be eager to share this particular moment of the year with their family and peers. However, there are no guidelines or standardized protocols that can help physicians to properly address the issue of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) fasting in Ramadan and to correctly advise them. Moreover, in a more interconnected and globalized society, in which more and more Muslim patients live in the Western countries, this topic is of high interest also for the general practitioner. For this purpose, we carried out a systematic review, including also articles written in Arabic, Turkish, and Persian languages. Our main findings are that:1. recipients of kidney allograft can safely fast during Ramadan;3. most studies have been carried out during Ramadan falling in cold seasons, and there is scarce information about Ramadan fasting in hot seasons.For these reasons, the findings may be not generalizable and therefore cautions should be taken and applied; the physicians should carefully monitor their patients during the fasting period with an adequate follow-up, in order to avoid any injurious effect. © 2014 Isfahan University of Medical Sciences(IUMS). All rights reserved.

Della Chiesa M.,University of Genoa | Falco M.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini Genoa Quarto | Podesta M.,Centro Cellule Staminali e Terapia Cellulare | Locatelli F.,University of Pavia | And 3 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2012

Natural killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in early immunity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation because they are the first lymphocyte subset recovering after the allograft. In this study, we analyzed the development of NK cells after intrabone umbilical cord blood (CB) transplantation in 18 adult patients with hematologic malignancies. Our data indicate that, also in this transplantation setting, NK cells are the first lymphoid population detectable in peripheral blood. However, different patterns of NK-cell development could be identified. Indeed, in a group of patients, a relevant fraction of NK cells expressed a mature phenotype characterized by the KIR +NKG2A - signature 3-6 months after transplantation. In other patients, most NK cells maintained an immature phenotype even after 12 months. A possible role for cytomegalovirus in the promotion of NK-cell development was suggested by the observation that a more rapid NK-cell maturation together with expansion of NKG2C +NK cells was confined to patients experiencing cytomegalovirus reactivation. In a fraction of these patients, an aberrant and hyporesponsive CD56 -CD16 +p75/AIRM1 -NK-cell subset (mostly KIR +NKG2A -) reminiscent of that described in patients with viremic HIV was detected. Our data support the concept that cytomegalovirus infection may drive NK-cell development after umbilical CB transplantation. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.

Pastorino L.,University of Genoa | Erokhina S.,University of Parma | Erokhin V.,CNR Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism
Current Organic Chemistry | Year: 2013

An ideal drug must be absolutely inert in normal conditions, providing release of active compounds only in diseased areas. Nanoengineered polymeric capsules have required features. We describe here basic methods for the fabrication of such containers and give some particular examples of their use when the drug release is triggered by the presence of the disease itself or by the soft external action, with no side effects on the adjacent tissues. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

Lucchini M.A.,University of Genoa | Canepa F.,CNR Institute of Materials for Electronics and Magnetism
Journal of Nanoparticle Research | Year: 2012

The magnetic contribution of the solvent on the RT ac magnetic susceptibility behaviour of Fe 3O 4 magnetic nanoparticles in solution at different concentrations, is presented and discussed. The room temperature complex susceptibility of the solvent water was studied as a function of several parameters, namely different ac fields, superimposed dc fields, different pHs and temperature: in any case a transition from a diamagnetic behaviour to a paramagnetic one at a characteristic frequency (∼4,500 Hz) was observed. These results were compared with the data obtained for other common organic solvents. A dependence of the complex magnetic susceptibility from the polarity of the solvent was observed. The results were discussed in terms of a paramagnetic contribution of polarization to the whole measured susceptibility proportional to the applied frequency. For the real and imaginary susceptibility of water at room temperature, empirical polynomial equations as a function of the frequency were obtained. On the basis of these fits, the observed complex susceptibilities of the different nanoparticles solutions were corrected from the solvent contribution and the results are presented. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012.

Magnavita N.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Garbarino S.,University of Genoa
American Journal of Industrial Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: Sickness absence due to illness is considered an indicator of work-related stress. Police work is a very stressful job. Sickness absence and sick leave are frequent among policemen. Methods: We tested whether stress variables were predictors of absenteeism in a police unit specifically assigned to the maintenance of law and order. Results: Control, Reward, and Support were negatively related to frequency of absence and short-term absence. Demand and Effort were positively related to total lost days. Absence recorded in the previous year was the best predictor of absenteeism. We also found a positive, albeit weak association between absence in the previous year and subsequent work-related stress. Conclusions: Stress variables are associated with sickness absence, although the association is weak. Both short-term and prolonged sickness absence should be regarded as a warning sign for subsequent sickness absence and distress. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Savi E.,G Da Saliceto Hospital | Peveri S.,G Da Saliceto Hospital | Senna G.,Allergy Unit | Passalacqua G.,University of Genoa
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2013

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is often discontinued, and many patients do not renew the prescription. We evaluated the reasons for discontinuation and set up an educational/follow-up plan to improve the adherence. In a first phase, the adherence at 4 months was directly assessed. Based on those results, an action plan (education, frequent contacts, and strictly scheduled visits) was developed and tested in other patients. A group of matched patients did not undergo the follow-up plan (controls). In the first phase, involving 252 subjects, at 4 months, there were 30% dropouts, mainly due to side-effects. In the second phase, 149 patients underwent education/follow-up and 90 received no intervention. In the first group, discontinuations at 4 months were 5%, vs 18% in the controls (P = 0.01). After one year, 12% of patients were lost in the first group and 35% in the control group (P < 0.001). An adequate education and a strict follow-up can significantly reduce SLIT's discontinuations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Vacca P.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Moretta L.,Giannina Gaslini Institute Largo G Gaslini | Moretta A.,University of Genoa | Mingari M.C.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Mingari M.C.,University of Genoa
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2011

During the early phases of pregnancy, natural killer (NK) cells are the predominant lymphoid cells in the human decidua. Here, rather than act as killers and/or drivers of inflammation, NK cells contribute to tissue building and remodeling and formation of new vessels due to the release of interleukin-8, vascular endothelial growth factor, stromal cell-derived factor-1 and interferon gamma-inducible protein-10. Here, we propose that the interaction of NK cells with CD14 + myelomonocytic cells to promote induction of T regulatory cells plays a pivotal role in immunosuppression and tolerance towards the fetus allograft. Importantly, CD34 + hematopoietic precursors are present in human decidua and may give rise to decidual NK cells. Defects in decidual NK cell generation, or in appropriate functional interactions with other cell types, could have major consequences for successful pregnancy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

van Boven J.F.M.,University of Groningen | Ryan D.,University of Edinburgh | Canonica G.W.,University of Genoa | Barot A.,Patient Connect ServiceSurrey | Foster J.M.,University of Sydney
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice | Year: 2016

Adherence to medication comprises a multiphased temporal process involving (1) initiation of prescribed therapy, (2) implementation as prescribed, and (3) subsequent persistence. Medication adherence remains suboptimal in most patients with long-term respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Interventions have been shown to effectively improve treatment initiation, implementation, and persistence when delivered at the health care professional level or the system level, but demonstration of the cost-effectiveness of these interventions is necessary to ensure their widespread use. This review summarizes how health care professionals can intervene to improve medication adherence in patients with asthma and COPD, provides some examples of effective primary care interventions, and illustrates some of the challenges to optimal implementation arising from cost-effectiveness modeling. Improving adherence is shown to be an economically viable treatment option for patients with asthma and COPD, but there are differences in the health economics pertaining to each condition and setting that can affect whether an intervention is considered cost-effective. Targeting adherence interventions at patients with the greatest to gain, and tailoring them to individual patient needs, may help to optimize cost-effectiveness ratios and improve the probability of positive reimbursement decisions, systemwide implementation, and resultant health benefits. © 2016 The Authors

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.1.2-08 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2011

The two core objectives of BIVALIFE are (i) to provide innovative knowledge related to pathogens infecting oysters and mussels and (ii) to develop practical approaches for the control of infectious diseases and resulting mortality outbreaks these pathogens induce. The project will address the major issue identified by the European commission (i.e. detection and management of infectious diseases in oysters and mussels) at the EU level since the increase in international and intra EU trade and exchanges of animals increases the risk of pathogen transfer and infectious disease outbreak occurrence. In this context, the specific objective of BIVALIFE are: (i) transfer and validate existing methods for detection and identification of oyster and mussel pathogens; (ii) improve the characterisation of oyster and mussel pathogens and develop innovative complementary diagnostic approaches; (iii) characterise culture sites in Europe regarding presence of oyster and mussel pathogens in relation to the presence or absence of mortality; (iv) investigate the life cycle, mechanisms allowing oyster and mussel pathogens to survive outside the host and their original source; (v) identify pathogen intrinsic virulence factors and effects on host defence mechanisms; (vi) assess the relationship between the presence of oyster and mussel pathogens and their role in observed mortality; (vii) develop methods and recommendations for pathogen control and eradication in Europe. The project will focus on three mollusc species, namely the Pacific cupped oyster Crassostrea gigas and two mussel species Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis, the most important species in terms of European production. Interestingly, Pacific oysters and mussels display different levels of susceptibility to diseases. The targeted pathogens will be the virus OsHV-1, Vibrio species including V. splendidus and V. aestuarianus, as well as the parasite Marteilia refringens and the bacterium Nocardia crassostreae.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST.2008.1.1.4. | Award Amount: 25.04M | Year: 2010

The Project aims to develop new powertrain concepts able to give a substantial contribution to the achievement of a 50% CO2 reduction (based on 2005 figures) for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles for the new vehicle fleet in 2020. In particular, the research target on spark ignited (SI) engines powered vehicles is to achieve 40% lower CO2 emissions with respect to the 2005 values and 20% lower CO2 emission than the 2005 level for compression ignition (CI) engine powered vehicles. The objective includes also the target of near-zero emission levels (better than EURO 6) maintained during the useful life of the engines and keeping into account real life emissions, in line with the intention to amend the test procedures in emission legislation in view of real life emissions. Three different concepts will be investigated and implemented: - ultradownsizing gasoline engine integrating VVA, advanced turbocharging and Direct Injection; - two-stroke downsized diesel engine integrating HCCI and low temperature combustion modes; - combined combustion system based on Compression Ignited engine dedicated to new fuel formulation. Transversal supporting activities will be integrated for evaluating and assessing: advanced simulation methodologies for powertrain integration, advanced approaches for friction reduction (design solutions, coatings and surface treatments, lubricants), PEMS methodologies for real world emission analysis.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.1.3 | Award Amount: 13.41M | Year: 2011

The iCore initiative addresses two key issues in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), namely: (a) how to abstract the technological heterogeneity that derives from the vast amounts of heterogeneous objects, while enhancing context-awareness, reliability and energy-efficiency. (b) to consider the views of different users/stakeholders (owners of objects & communication means) for ensuring proper application provision, business integrity and, therefore, maximize exploitation opportunities.The iCore proposed solution is a cognitive framework comprising three levels of functionality, reusable for various and diverse applications. The levels under consideration are: i) virtual objects (VOs), ii) composite virtual objects (CVOs), and iii) functional blocks for representing the user/stakeholder perspectives.VOs are cognitive virtual representations of real-world objects (e.g., sensors, devices, etc.) that allow resolving the underlying technological heterogeneity. CVOs, on the other hand, use the services associated with VOs. In other words, CVOs are cognitive mash-ups of semantically interoperable VOs, delivering services in accordance with the user/stakeholder requirements. In each level there are scalable fabrics, offering mechanisms for the registration, look-up and discovery, and the composition of services. Through these features the cognitive framework constitutes an open networked architecture encompassing highly intelligent (i.e., adaptive, etc.) software.The iCore solution will be attributed with essential security protocols/functionality, which span all levels of the framework, and consider the ownership and privacy of data, as well as the actual access to objects.The validation of the proposed solution will be carried out by considering relevant Future Internet application areas enabled by the IoT. In particular, the use cases addressed by iCore are the following: ambient assisted living, smart office, smart transportation, and supply chain management.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH-2007-3.1-03;SSH-2007-3.2-01 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2008

The extents to which different groups of young adult migrants are socially included or excluded, and the factors that facilitate inclusion or help cause exclusion is a vital issue for young adult immigrants, the nations they have joined, and the European Union whose policies have facilitated large volumes and rapid rates of change in migrant flows. Our central concept is that there are a range of factors that inhibit, or encourage, the abilities of individuals and groups to make the transition from excluded to included within societies. The principal aim of EUMARGINS is to identify and prioritise those factors that matter most (for specific young adult migrant groups and in different countries as well as for all young adult migrant groups and across Europe) and to lay a foundation for recommendations that can assist the transitions from exclusion to inclusion, particularly focusing on dominant factors of unemployment/jobs and the related education aspects. Given these premises the project will focus upon: Young individuals with immigrant origin in seven local urban-metropolitan areas in seven different European countries. In every research setting most and less marginalised immigrant groups will be investigated in order to provide a comparative framework also at the local level. Major social domain will be education and labour market. These are the most important arenas in which young adults have to establish themselves as active social actors in society. Other relevant areas of young adults interest such as leisure and socio-political activism will also be considered. The study focuses upon the experiences of social inclusion/exclusion among young adults with immigrant background living in Oslo, Gothenburg, London, Genoa, Metz, Barcelona and Tallinn. EUMARGINS will be based on a combination of biographical and ethnographical data-collection in the above mentioned cities, and in addition, analysis of available statistical data on relevant

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 4.67M | Year: 2009

This project will develop and demonstrate a range of new robot capabilities based on robot skin tactile feedback from large areas of the robot body. An investigation of these issues until now has been limited by the lack of tactile sensing technologies enabling large scale experimental activities, since so far skin technologies and embedded tactile sensors have been mostly demonstrated only at prototype stage. The new capabilities will improve the ability of robots to operate effectively and safely in unconstrained environments and also their ability to communicate and co-operate with each other and with humans. To support this aim, one part of the project will focus on the investigation of methods and technologies enabling the implementation of skin sensors that can be used with existing robots. Other parts of the project will develop new structures for representing and integrating tactile data with existing cognitive architectures in order to support skin-based cognition, behaviour and communication. As a result, the project will address three main objectives. The first is to develop new sensor technologies that can provide tactile feedback from large areas of the robot body. This development process will be incremental and will take advantage of feedback produced from the application of these technologies in the work done on the other project objectives. The second objective is to develop and integrate fundamental cognitive structures for efficient and safe utilisation of tactile data in terms of a robot body image, safe reflexive reactions to tactile events and flexible representations of spatially and temporally distributed patterns of physical contact. The last objective is to develop cognitive mechanisms that use tactile feedback to improve human-robot interaction capabilities particularly in the domains of programming through demonstration and robot assisted play.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 285.60K | Year: 2014

As software becomes ever more ubiquitous in our lives, the need to ensure it runs without error becomes ever more important. Restarting a phone is a simple, if inconvenient task; restarting an aeroplane in mid-flight is not an option! Correct by construction programming offers a revolutionary approach to program verification where programs can contain not just computations as is normal, but also logical proofs of the correctness of these computations. The simple fact that such programs compile provides formal, i.e. mathematical, guarantees of the correctness of the program. In particular, there is no need for post-hoc testing of software etc. Fundamental to the implicit marriage of computation and logic inherent within correct by construction programming is the choice of the right logical systems and concepts upon which programming languages ought to be built. This reflects the symbiotic relationship between logic, programming, and the design of programming languagesany attempt to sever this connection will diminish each component. This proposal brings together internationally leading researchers from both inside Europe and outside Europe to work on exactly what logical structures are needed for correct by construction programming and how those logical structures can then by turned into concrete programming artefacts. In order to produce fundamental work which stands the test of time, we work not with specific programming languages but with mathematical abstractions of them. The recent development of dependently typed programming languages capable of supporting correct by construction programming makes this a very timely proposal, while the billions spent on software every year makes the potential impact of this proposal very significant.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 280.59K | Year: 2013

The main goal of typing is to prevent the occurrence of execution errors during the running of a program. Milner formalised the idea, showing that ``well-typed programs cannot go wrong. In practice, type structures provide a fundamental technique of reducing programmer errors. At their strongest, they cover most of the properties of interest to the verification community. A major trend in the development of functional languages is improvement in expressiveness of the underlying type system, e.g., in terms of Dependent Types, Type Classes, Generalised Algebraic Types (GADTs), Dependent Type Classes and Canonical Structures. Milner-style decidable type inference does not always suffice for such extensions (e.g. the principal type may no longer exist), and deciding well-typedness sometimes requires computation additional to compile-time type inference. Implementations of new type inference algorithms include a variety of first-order decision procedures, notably Unification and Logic Programming (LP), Constraint LP, LP embedded into interactive tactics (Coqs eauto), and LP supplemented by rewriting. Recently, a strong claim has been made by Gonthier et al that, for richer type systems, LP-style type inference is more efficient and natural than traditional tactic-driven proof development. A second major trend is parallelism: the absence of side-effects makes it easy to evaluate sub-expressions in parallel. Powerful abstraction mechanisms of function composition and higher-order functions play important roles in parallelisation. Three major parallel languages are Eden (explicit parallelism) Parallel ML (implicit parallelism) and Glasgow parallel Haskell (semi-explicit parallelism). Control parallelism in particular distinguishes functional languages. Type inference and parallelism are rarely considered together in the literature. As type inference becomes more sophisticated and takes a bigger role in the overall program development, sequential type inference is bound to become a bottle-neck for language parallelisation. Our new Coalgebraic Logic Programming (CoALP) offers both extra expressiveness (corecursion) and parallelism in one algorithm. We propose to use CoALP in place of LP tools currently used in type inference. With the mentioned major developments in Corecursion, Parallelism, and Typeful (functional) programming it has become vital for these disjoint communities to combine their efforts: enriched type theories rely more and more on the new generation of LP languages; coalgebraic semantics has become influential in language design; and parallel dialects of languages have huge potential in applying common techniques across the FP/LP programming paradigm. This project is unique in bringing together local and international collaborators working in the three communities. The number of supporters the project has speaks better than words about the timeliness of our agenda. The project will impact on two streams of EPSRCs strategic plan: Programming Languages and Compilers and Verification and Correctness. The project is novel in aspects of Theory (coalgebraic study of (co)recursive computations arising in automated proof-search); Practice (implementation of the new language CoALP and its embedding in type-inference tools); and Methodology (Mixed corecursion and parallelism).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-2.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.19M | Year: 2008

Motivation: Nanocomposites are emerging new materials that promise improved properties. Their applicability, however, is presently limited by the cost of manufacture and product reproducibility. Literature shows that on the bench scale, dramatic improvement in polyolefin mechanical properties can be obtained by intercalation and exfoliation of nanoparticles in the matrix. However, when materials produced using conventional equipment are tested, their performance does not meet expectations nor live up to the claims (eg. the impact strength too low). Project Goals: To remove technical barriers to producing high performance polymer nanocomposites on the industrial scale, fundamental insight into the dispersion of particles within the matrix is needed. The goal of this project is to gain this insight through a series of carefully designed studies, using the most advanced experimental techniques, theoretical modeling, carried out by very experienced and skilled partners working together in a targeted and interdisciplinary fashion. The basic objective is to obtain a deeper understanding of the interfacial structure of nanocomposites within a polyolefin matrix. This knowledge will enable realization of the great performance potential of these materials through development of novel multiphase and hybrid nanocomposites. This knowledge will facilitate commercialization of polymer nanocomposite materials with superior properties that will lead to development of new products. To meet this objective, we aim to improve the stiffness of polyolefin nanocomposites while not only maintaining but also improving the toughness of the matrix considerably. The technological objective is to optimize and, through novel interface design, to develop new cost efficient hybrid (nanofillerfiber) nanocomposites as an alternative to heavily filled polymers and expensive engineering polymers and fulfil industry requirements for high performance materials in high tech applications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.4 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2009

A key functionality of embedded systems is the ability to react dynamically to changing conditions and guarantee desired behaviour for the physical system they are embedded into. The design of embedded systems that are capable of such control functionalities must take the interactions between the embedded device and the dynamics of the physical embedding environment into account. The heterogeneity between those parts, the ever growing complexity of the overall system, stricter requirements, and the lack of systematic embedded control system design tools, make the design task very time-consuming, expensive, and error-prone. The standard approach is to decouple the design by splitting the control design and circuit design tasks into two separate phases, often executed by engineers with different backgrounds. The only interaction between the two designs is around specs (such as sampling frequency, memory, flops, etc.), which are possibly negotiated iteratively until a satisfactory design is reached, but more often unidirectionally communicated. The resulting outcome is typically far from optimal.\n\nA coherent and consistent paradigm for the design of embedded control systems is the goal of the MOBY-DIC project. A new methodology and associated tool chain will be developed encompassing in a unique framework the modelling of the physical process, design of the control algorithms, design of embedded circuits, and the assessment of the overall performance properties of the system. MOBY-DIC will achieve such an integrated design flow by developing a core methodology based on piecewise affine representations, that at the same time (i) provide a rather flexible structure for control functions, and (ii) are directly mapped into digital architectures of small-size and low-power. The effectiveness of the developed embedded control design approach will be demonstrated by MOBY-DIC on a set of challenging applications arising in the automotive industry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.37M | Year: 2009

The HUMOUR project will investigate and develop efficient robot strategies to facilitate the acquisition of motor skills. We will address both the (human) trainee and the (robot) trainer sides, by combining behavioural studies on motor learning and its neural correlates with design, implementation, and validation of robot agents that behave as optimal trainers, which efficiently exploit structure and plasticity of the human sensorimotor systems. On the human trainee side, we will focus on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the acquisition of a variety of motor skills, by specifically aiming at understanding the way humans physically cooperate in acquiring a motor skill and how physical assistance affects motor learning. Experiments will enable us to identify determinants and dynamics of the learning process in representative motor tasks, and will provide the foundations for designing efficient schemes of assistance. On the robot trainer side, we will develop several robot agents for the acquisition of a variety of motor skills. They will be capable of generating appropriate schemes of assistance, based on the specific task needs and possibly learned from human experts. Robots will continuously adapt assistance, in terms of the observed performance and of neural and cognitive correlates of adaptation, to the specific user (e.g. patient) and his or her state. Robot trainers will be validated in the context of motor skill learning and robot-assisted rehabilitation. Robot agents that facilitate the capture of new motor skills may potentially benefit large groups of individuals, by helping professionals, e-g- surgeons, to acquire delicate motor skills; by providing older persons greater access to activities like fitness, sports, and arts, thus ultimately improving their quality of life. Furthermore, more effective training agents would also represent an innovative approach to robot therapy, which would likely increase its impact and extend its scope.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 4.17M | Year: 2014

ABYSS is a training and career development platform for young scientists in Geodynamics, Mineralogy, Hydrodynamics, Thermodynamics and (Bio-)Geochemistry focusing on mid-ocean ridge processes and their environmental and economic impacts. It brings together 10 European research groups internationally recognized for their excellence in complementary disciplines and 4 Associated Partners from the Private Sector. ABYSS will provide training for 12 Early Stage Researchers and 3 Experienced Researchers through a structured and extensive program of collaboration, training and student exchange. ABYSS aims at developing the scientific skills and multi-disciplinary approaches to make significant advances in the understanding of the coupled tectonic, magmatic, hydrothermal and (bio-)geochemical mechanisms that control the structure and composition of the oceanic lithosphere and the microbial habitats it provides. An improved understanding of these complex processes is critical to assess the resource potential of the deep-sea. ABYSS will specifically explore processes with implications for economy and policy-making such as carbonation (CO2 storage), hydrogen production (energy generation) and the formation of ore-deposits. ABYSS will also emphasize the importance of interfacial processes between the deep Earth and its outer envelopes, including microbial ecosystems with relevance to deep carbon cycling and life growth on the Primitive Earth. The ABYSS training and outreach programme is set up to promote synergies between research and industry, general public and policy makers. The main outcome of ABYSS will be twofold (i) develop a perennial network of young scientists, sharing a common technical and scientific culture for bridging the gaps in process understanding and make possible the exploitation of far off-shore mining of marine resources; (ii) to address the need to develop pertinent policies at the European and international level for preserving these unique environments.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.3.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.19M | Year: 2012

The proposed REHAB4LIFE project is intended as an advanced activity with the involvement of highly qualified medical and technical partners, as well as real patients - aimed at an extensive investigation of the issues related to long-term physical/cognitive rehabilitation processes and the identification of suitable technical solutions to efficiently support them. REHAB4LIFE will enable elderly people to enjoy high quality rehabilitation for a much longer period than the Health System can currently afford. By investigating and using standard hardware components and devices, suitable medical data processing algorithms, personalized and serious-games based rehabilitation pathways, Web2.0 social and communication tools, the project will develop an efficient, effective and engaging virtual rehabilitation environment for home-based rehabilitation. The basic project idea is inspired by existing commercial platforms, like Wii and Kinect, that allow the user acting within a virtual environment and interacting with other users, thanks to special input devices and suitable technologies able to monitor the real environment and track the users behavior. Having this in mind, REHAB4LIFE aim at the user-centred design and development of an open solution capable to: provide exercises and training - based on serious-games - within a personalized, user friendly and engaging rehabilitation program, offer a cost effective and not bulky infrastructure with sensors integrated, collect relevant physical and medical parameters for patients status inspection and relapse prevention, support off-line/on-line management and monitoring of the rehabilitation protocol, promote patients social participation and community building. In other words, REHAB4LIFE will transform the patients home in a place where physical and cognitive rehabilitation process can be performed in an intensive and engaging though properly controlled way, while promoting social inclusion and quality of life.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 7.59M | Year: 2010

The GaLA motivation stems from the acknowledgment of the potentiality of Serious Games (SGs) for education and training and the need to address the challenges of the main stakeholders of the SGs European landscape (users, researchers, developers/industry, educators). A foundational fault issue in this context is the fragmentation that affects the SG landscape.\nGALA aims to shape the scientific community and build a European Virtual Research Centre (VRC) aimed at gathering, integrating, harmonizing and coordinating research on SGs and disseminating knowledge, best practices and tools as a reference point at an international level. The other two key focuses of the project are (1) the support to deployment in the actual educational and training settings and (2) the fostering of innovation and knowledge transfer through research-business dialogue.\nThe NoE organizations aim to integrate their activities and resources in a long-term view structuring the activities along 3 major axes:\n\n\tResearch integration and harmonization.\no\tStrong integration among leading researchers, users and business;\no\tStrong concern on the current standards of education, in order to favour a real uptake and scaling of the educational games initiatives.\no\tAddress sustainability.\n\n\tJoint research activities.\no\tIdentify key issues and address them through multidisciplinary teams (putting always the users learners and teachers - and stakeholders in the centre of the focus) that will be iteratively explored;\no\tPromote Research and Development team forces organized in thematic areas - that will do focused research (e.g. joint PhD and MSc projects on hot SG research projects, joint project proposals) and continuously inform the project about the latest developments in technology and education;\n\n\n\tSpreading of excellence.\no\tDissemination of the NoE achievements as a flagship EU initiative in the TEL area\no\tStrong coordination with EU TEL activities, offering a specialized focus and expertise on SGs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 2.81M | Year: 2016

PANDORA (Probing safety of nano-objects by defining immune responses of environmental organisms) shall assess the global impact of engineered nanoparticles (NP) on the immune responses of representative organisms covering all evolutionary stages and hierarchical levels from plants to invertebrates and vertebrates. Immunity is a major determinant of the survival and fitness of all living organisms, therefore immunosafety of engineered NP is a key element of environmental nanosafety. PANDORA will tackle the issue of global immunological nanosafety by comparing the impact of widely-used NP (e.g., iron, titanium and cerium oxide) on the human immune response with their effects in representative terrestrial and marine organisms. This comparison will focus on the conserved system of innate immunity/stress response/inflammation, aiming to identify common mechanisms and markers across immune defence evolution shared by plants (Arabidopsis), invertebrate (bivalves, echinoderms, earthworms), and vertebrate (human) species. PANDORAs objectives are: 1. To identify immunological mechanisms triggered by nano-objects, and predictive markers of risk vs. safety; 2. To do so by a collaborative cross-species comparison, from plants to human, of innate immune defence capacity, using selected, industrially-relevant NP; 3. To design predictive in vitro assays to measure the immuno-risk of NP to the environment and human health, as new approaches to industrial and environmental nanosafety testing. PANDORA will train 11 PhD students in an overarching training programme involving training-by-research, joint courses of technical, scientific and transferrable skills, participation to public scientific events, and an intense intersectoral networking exchange plan. The PANDORA consortium encompasses academic institutions, research centres, and SMEs, all with proven experience in higher education and training, and state-of-the art scientific and technical expertise and infrastructures.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 1.81M | Year: 2016

Women with disabilities have more difficulties to find an employment and to integrate in social day life activities than men with disabilities. This project focuses on the collective of women with disabilities from different perspectives, trying to identify needs and best practices in several EU countries, representing different cultural and socio-economic environments, for the integration and improvement of their quality of life in several respects. By applying a novel analysis method, based on the experience acquired by the exchange of researchers, innovation staff and practitioners in the European area among the participating institutions, the project will identify a set of multi-sectorial research lines, to enhance integration and involvement of this population in the society along several dimensions. The delimitation of the scope of the project to this sector of the population has several advantages. First, it is the first relevant study at a global scale that is performed in Europe on this collective. Second, it allows putting into practice and validating a novel social research method, with a strong multidisciplinary approach, with such a well delimited case study. novel potential research lines can be explored in different settings to assess their opportunity and feasibility. Fourth, it will show the impact that this collective may have on a sustainable growth in economy and society, from different respects, by empowering their capacities, so far undervalued. Fifth, it will establish a platform for cooperation among research groups and associations in EU that are aware of the situation of this collective, looking for their synergies. It is worth mentioning that advances on technologies and measures towards a stronger social engagement of disabled people have finally a positive impact also in the whole population as many examples show on how solutions have been transferred to the rest of society in fields such as computer interfaces, ergonomic solutions, etc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-02-2016 | Award Amount: 9.56M | Year: 2016

The UPGRADE project aims to support the transition to a high efficient, cleaner and affordable powertrain technology systems, based on Spark Ignited GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) approach, suitable for future Light Duty applications. The project also includes a deep analysis of the phenomenon of the formation of the nanoparticles in relationship to the engine design and its operating conditions and, with regard to the after-treatment solutions, the study and development of new Gasoline Particulate Filter (GPF) technologies. To increase the engine efficiency under Real Driving conditions, the following steps will be carried out: - address stoichiometric combustion approach on the small size engine and lean-burn combustion approach on the medium size one - study and develop the best combinations of technologies, including advanced VVA/VVT capabilities, advanced boosting system (including electrically assisted booster operations), EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) and thermal management systems - Explore and implement advanced fuel injection (direct) and ignition system supported by new dedicated control strategies that will be integrated in the ECU (Engine Control Unit) software. In order to demonstrate the call overall targets (15% improvement on CO2 emissions based on the WLTP cycle and compliancy with post Euro 6 RDE standards) the project will see the realization of two full demonstrator vehicles: one B-segment vehicle, equipped with the small downsized stoichiometric engine, and one D/E vehicle equipped with the medium size lean-burn engine. The vehicle will be fully calibrated and assessed by independent testing, according to on road test procedures, using the available best representative PEMS (Portable Emission Measurement System) technology and considering also PN measurement below 23 nm diameter.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-4.3-2015 | Award Amount: 11.43M | Year: 2016

Most maritime products are typically associated with large investments and are seldom built in large series. Where other modes of transport benefit from the economy of series production, this is not the case for maritime products which are typically designed to refined customer requirements increasingly determined by the need for high efficiency, flexibility and low environmental impact at a competitive price. Product design is thus subject to global trade-offs among traditional constraints (customer needs, technical requirements, cost) and new requirements (life-cycle, environmental impact, rules). One of the most important design objectives is to minimise total cost over the economic life cycle of the product, taking into account maintenance, refitting, renewal, manning, recycling, environmental footprint, etc. The trade-off among all these requirements must be assessed and evaluated in the first steps of the design process on the basis of customer / owner specifications. Advanced product design needs to adapt to profound, sometimes contradicting requirements and assure a flexible and optimised performance over the entire life-cycle for varying operational conditions. This calls for greatly improved design tools including multi-objective optimisation and finally virtual testing of the overall design and its components. HOLISHIP (HOLIstic optimisation of SHIP design and operation for life-cycle) addresses these urgent industry needs by the development of innovative design methodologies, integrating design requirements (technical constraints, performance indicators, life-cycle cost, environmental impact) at an early design stage and for the entire life-cycle in an integrated design environment. Design integration will be implemented in practice by the development of integrated design s/w platforms and demonstrated by digital mock-ups and industry led application studies on the design and performance of ships, marine equipment and maritime assets in general.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SEC-2010.2.3-2 | Award Amount: 5.05M | Year: 2011

AFTER project addresses the challenges posed by the need for vulnerability evaluation and contin-gency planning of the energy grids and energy plants considering also the relevant ICT systems used in protection and control. Project emphasis is on cascading events that can cause catastrophic outages of the electric power systems. The main addressed problems are related to high impact wide spread multiple contingencies, the most significant wide area criticality. This kind of contingencies and the following cascading effects can be caused by deliberate acts of terrorism, sabotage, criminal activity, malicious behaviour etc or they can simply be caused by a combination of accidents, natural disasters, negli-gence. Both risk analysis and risk mitigation will be pursued. In particular, two major objectives are addressed. The first is to develop a methodology and tool for the integrated, global vulnerability analysis and risk assessment of the interconnected Electrical Power Systems considering their interdependencies. This objective meets the TSO (Transmission System Operator) need to overcome current approaches based on separate evaluations of either power system or ICT system. Further, the adoption of risk concepts allows a more in-depth, quantitative evaluation of the security of the electrical power system. The second objective is to develop algorithms and tools supporting contingency planning in a two-fold approach: preventing or limiting system disruption, by means of physical security techniques and defence plans; and re-establishing the system after a major disruption, by means of restoration plans. To this aim, AFTER propose the use of the global risk assessment methodologies as a support to defence plan design. A language to model defence plans functionalities and ICT architecture is de-veloped. New defence plan concepts are also introduced to cope with emergency situations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 2.86M | Year: 2010

PERPETUATE intends to develop European Guidelines for evaluation and mitigation of seismic risk to cultural heritage assets, with innovative techniques for the seismic strengthening of historical buildings and the preservation of artworks (frescos, stucco-works, statues, battlements, banisters, ). The main deliverable of the project will be made by a main document, which outlines the safety and conservation conceptual approach and the overall methodology, and other specific documents, describing the different components of the risk analysis. Two different problems are considered: a) assessment of a single cultural heritage asset (hazard analysis; soil foundation problems; investigations for the building knowledge; seismic analysis; SHM and strengthening interventions); b) policy initiatives for seismic risk mitigation (simplified vulnerability and risk analysis at territorial scale). Other important deliverables will come out from the application and validation of the methodology in several case studies (the Citadel of Algiers and the historical centre of Rhodes, both in the UNESCO list of the World Cultural Heritage, the St.Maria Paganica Cathedral and the Branconio Palace in LAquila Abruzzo Region, the St. Pardo Cathedral in Larino Molise Region, the Cathedral St. Nicholas in Ljubljana Slovenia). The call asks for the development of integrated methodologies and innovative tools for protection .. of the main cultural heritage assets as regards the impact of earthquakes and makes expressly reference to the contribution for improved regulation and standards. The recommendations recently issued by the Italian Ministry of Culture represent the framework for the development of European Guidelines, applicable in the European and the other Mediterranean countries. The methodology proposed in PERPETUATE will use a displacement-based approach for the vulnerability evaluation and the design of interventions; the use of safety verification in terms of displacement, rather than strength, orients to new strengthening techniques and helps in the comprehension of the interaction between structural elements and unmovable artistic assets.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.4 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2013

Over the last few years, the greatest concern of the global political agenda has been to find a way to overcome the crisis and therefore to look for effective policy instruments and even for new theoretical economic frameworks. Some effort has been made in order to respond to this concern, but we still miss adequate tools for exploring and governing the complex global dynamics of our economic and social system. On the top of the urgency to find a way out of the crisis, and to prevent future crises by making the global economy more resilient, we need new tools to explore the possibility of broad societal transitions to sustainable patterns of production and consumption. In particular, it is crucial to explore financial sector regulations and macroeconomic policies that help to trigger these sustainability transitions.SYMPHONY aims at providing a set of innovative ICT tools, integrated in a platform designed to tackle these pressing issues. The work will be developed in strict cooperation with stakeholders and policy-makers, involved in the project to devise appropriate scenarios and modelling requirements. The main objective of the project is to develop a framework for designing and testing policies and regulatory measures regarding:- preventing and mitigating economic and financial crises;- fostering an economically and ecologically sustainable growth path.SYMPHONYs strategy to successfully accomplish its mission is to orchestrate a set of tools that will be able to:- collect and analyze relevant information by means of social media mining tools and web-based information markets;- simulate the complex economic dynamics by means of an agent based model of the global economy, explicitly designed for policy making;- involve citizens in the decision making process through a serious game interface, and through a set of information markets on the artificial economy that will allow us to overcome the huge economic impasse of properly modeling expectations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: GC.SST.2013-1. | Award Amount: 9.00M | Year: 2014

FABRIC addresses directly the technological feasibility, economic viability and socio-environmental of dynamic on-road charging of electric vehicles. FABRIC responds to the need to assess the potential and feasibility of a more extensive integration of electric vehicles in the mobility and transportation system, focusing primarily on dynamic wireless charging which would allow practically all of the drawbacks of on-board battery packs to be avoided. On-road charging would also enable the direct link to renewable energy sources: Ultimately this is the only way to fully decarbonise road transport and hence provide true sustainability from the socio-environmental perspective. Specifically, by engaging a highly-qualified, expert and comprehensive group of key stakeholders within its consortium, FABRIC will determine and assess the end-user requirements that will determine the potential of success in various application sectors, the technology drivers and challenges that impact the widespread implementation of wireless charging technology, and the technology gaps to be bridged in order to provide rational and cost-effective solutions for the grid and road infrastructures. Advanced solutions, conceived to enable full integration in the grid and road infrastructure within urban- and extra-urban environments for a wide range of future electric vehicles, will be implemented and tested. Each key issue will be assessed directly and comprehensively, providing insights through experimental evaluations into the relevant technologies, investigating the present and future opportunities for such solutions, and identifying the future trends and requirements for research and development. The ultimate aim is to provide a pivotal contribution to the evolution of e-Mobility in Europe by identifying the benefits and costs in absolute terms so that the investments required in the coming years for widespread implementation and exploitation can be fully defined and quantified.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.48M | Year: 2012

Falls are a major public health concern that directly affects millions of elderly Europeans, the healthcare system, and the adult children and caregivers of older people. The V-TIME approach combines cutting edge technology with emerging concepts from gerontology, neuroscience and rehabilitation to reduce fall risk in a unique way. The V-TIME multi-modal intervention consists of treadmill training (TT) that promotes walking abilities and physical fitness. A key novel addition is the simultaneous use of a virtual reality (VR) environment that challenges, implicitly teaches and enhances cognitive skills that facilitate the safe execution of many activities of daily living: visual scanning, planning, dual tasking abilities, and obstacle negotiation. Exciting pilot studies support the idea that TT augmented with VR (TT\VR) addresses the limitations of existing fall prevention interventions. Via TT\VR, V-TIME offers task-specific training in a motivating and safe environment that can readily be reproduced and standardized. The major goal of the current proposal is to establish the beneficial effects of V-TIME training in a large (n=300) and diverse group of elderly via a multi-centre, prospective randomized controlled trial. Outcomes include post-training 6 month fall incidence rates (the primary outcome), gait, physical activity (e.g., steps walked in 7 days), cognitive function, quality of life, and neuroimaging measures (fNIRS, fMRI). The effects of dosing and an extension phase will be examined (n=60). The consortium brings together world leaders in ageing, neuroscience, rehabilitation and VR technology to test a new therapy that may dramatically reduce the negative costs of falls, financial and other. The RCT is designed to show that V-TIME offers a significant and clinically relevant greater benefit compared to current clinical management; to probe brain plasticity; and to establish efficacy on fall risk, mobility, cognitive function, and functional independence.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-10b-2015 | Award Amount: 5.41M | Year: 2016

The overarching goal of VIVALDI is to increase the sustainability and competitiveness of the European shellfish industry by improving the understanding of bivalve diseases and by developing innovative solutions and tools for the prevention, control and mitigation of the major pathogens affecting the main European farmed shellfish species: Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), mussels (Mytilus edulis and M. galloprovincialis), European flat oyster (Ostrea edulis), clams (Venerupis philipinarum) and scallops (Pecten maximus ). The project addresses the most harmful pathogens affecting either one or more of these shellfish species: the virus OsHV-1, Vibrio species including V. aestuarianus, V. splendidus, V. harveyi and V. tapetis, as well as the parasite Bonamia ostreae. The project is committed to provide practical solutions based on the most advanced knowledge. VIVALDI will dissect the disease mechanisms associated with pathogen virulence and pathogenesis and host immune responses, develop in vivo and in vitro models, and apply omic approaches that will help the development of diagnostic tools and drugs against pathogen targets, and breeding programmes in a collaborative effort with industrial partners. The proposal will include a global shellfish health approach, recognising that cultured bivalves are often exposed to several pathogens simultaneously, and that disease outbreaks can be due to the combined effect of two or more pathogens. The proposal will also investigate advantages and risks of the used of disease-resistant selected animals in order to improve consumer confidence and safety. VIVALDI will be both multi- and trans-disciplinary. In order to cover both basic and applied levels from molecules to farm, the proposal will integrate partners with a broad range of complementary expertises in pathology and animal health, epidemiology, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, genomics and food safety.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.2.5-01 | Award Amount: 11.91M | Year: 2013

The AQUAVALENS consortium has brought together SMEs, Industries, Universities and Research Institutes with the mission of protecting the health of European Citizens from contaminated drinking water and water used in food processing. We will achieve this by developing sustainable technologies to enable water system managers whether in large or small water systems or within food growers or manufacturers to better control the safety of their water supplies. The work of the project is divided into four main clusters of work packages that sequentially lead to the development of appropriate technologies. These four clusters are: 1. Platform targets, 2. Platform development, 3. Field studies in European drinking water systems, and 4. Improving Public Health through safer water. In cluster 1 we shall generate new knowledge on the molecular genetics of viral, bacterial and parasitic waterborne pathogens. This will enable us to identify gene targets for the identification, and characterisation of these pathogens, that will also enable the determination of their virulence for humans. In cluster 2 we shall use the knowledge gained to develop new technologies that integrate sample preparation and detection into a single platform. These platforms will then be subject to a rigorous process of validation and standardisation. In cluster 3 we will use the validated platforms to undertake a series of field studies in large and small drinking water systems, and in food production. These field studies will generate new knowledge about the risk to public health from waterborne pathogens in Europe and also test the value of the technologies in the field. Finally in cluster 4 we test how these technologies can be used to protect human health, though improving the effectiveness of Water Safety Plans, adaptation to climate change, and control of outbreaks of infectious disease. We will also determine the sustainability and potential economic impacts of these technologies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.8.8.2 | Award Amount: 26.01M | Year: 2013

The CELSIUS City Consortium is going to deploy 12 new technically and economically innovative demonstrators. Another up to 20 state-of-art demonstrators (already in operation) will proof the CELSIUS City Concept covering the full FP7 8.8.2 requirements. CELSIUS has a clear strategy and a pro-active approach to Market Outreach, which will strive to commit 50 new cities to the CELSIUS Roadmap by the end of 2016. When fully implemented, this will lead to 20-45 TWh reduction in the use of primary energy p.a. CELSIUS City is well positioned to deliver those targets due a strong partnership of major front running European cities and their respective utilities, and further outstanding innovative organizations, with track records both in creating technically and economically innovative demonstrators, as well as in understanding and overcoming the barriers for large scale deployment (e.g. Imperial College (UK), SP (S), TU Delft (NL), Cologne University of Applied Sciences (D), DAppalonia (IT), LSE (UK)). CELSIUS has eight work packages targeting on the successful deployment of the 13 new demonstrators (WP3), supported by a collaborative approach to harvest beyond state-of-the-art insights from Tech & Innovation (WP5) and Stakeholder Acceptance (WP6). The local demonstrator perspective is enriched by the Integration & Roadmap (WP2). The final goal for Communication & Market Outreach (WP8) is based on developing the CELSIUS in the Market Uptake (WP7). A powerful project management office (WP1), seconded by rigor monitoring (WP4), coordinates all work packages and assuring over the time of the CELSIUS Consortium, both impactful deployment and sustainable market outreach. The total cost of the CELSIUS 13 new demonstrators is 69m EUR, of which the cities themselves will provide 55m EUR. The requested EU funding enables these activities laying the foundation for the successful large scale deployment of the CELSIUS City Concept across Europe and beyond 2020.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.55M | Year: 2008

The VIT project (Vision for Innovative Transport) is about the development of computer vision technologies for an innovative system for intermodal shipment of containers and swap bodies named Metrocargo. Currently contain-ers are only shipped by complete trains from point A to point B, because they loaded vertically, which cannot be done on the regular railway track under the electric feeding line. Trains must be shunted to loading yards using diesel traction, loaded, brought back to the electrified line with diesel locomotives, have the electric locomotive attached and the brakes checked. These operations are time consuming and costly. Metrocargo loads and unloads trains horizontally on the regular railway track in less than on hour. In the Metrocargo vision a network of terminals, connected by scheduled freight trains, will be set up all over the European territory. Containers will be transferred from one train to another, as it happens to passengers, and carried by lorry to their final destination. In the next few years 8-10% of current long distance road traffic can be transferred to rail, with comparable deliv-ery time and lower costs. To finalize the design of the Metrocargo equipment vision systems need to be devel-oped to assure precise handling, verification of train composition and plant safety and security. The VIT research program will respond to such needs and give the SME participants market-ready and pat-entable know-how . The scientific and technological objectives are the study, design and development of (i) a robust and redundant vision system for precise positioning of the lifting units for automatic load/unload, (ii) vision functionalities to check the correctness of train loading, (iii) an innovative prototype of a low-cost 2D visual mod-ule to scan the train composition, (iv) a video-surveillance system to monitor automatic operation areas where personnel should not enter, (v) a system security infrastructure to detect possible system failures.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2012.6.3-1 | Award Amount: 5.77M | Year: 2012

The proposal IDREEM will create smarter greener growth for one of Europes most important industrial sectors: the aquaculture industry. It will achieve this through taking waste streams that are at present lost to the environment (as pollution) and converting them into secondary raw materials for the production of high value organisms such as seaweed and shellfish. To do this IDREEM will develop, demonstrate and benchmark (against existing production techniques) innovative production technology for the European aquaculture industry. Aquaculture is now a major component of global food security and is the fast growing food production sector globally. However the European industry is stagnating. The industry is facing real questions of economic and environmental sustainability. IDREEM will address these questions by working with a range of SME aquaculture producers across Europe to develop deploy and quantitatively assess the new production technology. Using an integrated approach defining the environmental, economic and social impact of the new production technology, life cycle assessment and life cycle costing will be used to quantify and demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits. Along with this process a combined environmental and economic modelling platform will be used to provide an evidence based decision making framework for aquaculture producers, regulators and policy makers. Throughout the project a dedicated impact coordinator will ensure that the project is fully engaged with the wide range of stakeholders, inviting their participation from the beginning and throughout the project (specifically in the form of a project advisory committee) and ensuring that results are fed back into that community. This will ensure that there is a rapid up take of the new production technology across the European sector, creating opportunity and support for a range of new SME producers, processors and up the value chain

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-16-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016

AUTOSTEM will develop closed, scaleable and automated systems for therapeutic cell manufacture. The project vision is a donor-to-patient system where all aspects of processing, from tissue harvest to patient delivery are fully closed and aseptic. The process will involve new methods of biological cell selection from marrow, fat or other tissues, bioreactors to achieve scale and media formulations that are fully xeno-free. Process monitoring will utilise remote sensing and the automated retrieval of cells for microscopy, flow cytometry, karyotyping, differentiation or other tests. The final product will be a cryobag containing a specified cell dose, ready for thawing and clinical delivery. AUTOSTEM will be the factory of the future for therapeutic cell manufacturing. This system could ultimately be scaled for hospital-based use to produce autologous cells or at industrial scale for allogeneic therapy. It will achieve consistent cell production, minimise contamination, maximise scale and reduce cost of goods, thus enabling routine clinical use of cell therapies. The consortium will be a partnership of academic centres and industry with expertise across the disciplines relevant to the research and development goals. It will also include expertise in GMP and regulatory compliance and in healthcare economic analysis.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.56M | Year: 2008

We propose a two years work, aiming at optimising sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus rearing, in order to enrich pre-existing aquaculture farms (based on sea bass, bream, and/or different bivalves) . Sea urchin breeding will be performed starting from adult specimens obtained from capture. Sea urchin roe (gonads) are first class food and are worldwide commercialised. This project arises from the increasing demand of sea urchin roes and is addressed to the feasibility of sea urchin aquaculture, broodstock and gonad improvement. In the last fifteen years, the aquaculture of sea urchin has been carried out by non-European factories, mainly in Japan, USA and Canada. Unsexed whole sea urchins or their processed gonads are shipped primarily to Japanese markets and to markets in France, Belgium, Greece, Italy and Turkey. The demand in these European Countries is at present partially fulfilled by a high fishing pressure on wild sea urchins, that in some areas (France, Greece) are at risk and protected species. A number of European and ICPC SMEs, dealing with aquaculture, are strongly interested to carry on a research focused at 2 main objectives: 1-to insert sea urchin aquaculture in their activities, in order to enrich and diversify their production, that is already going on with different marine species. 2- to obtain an environmentally friendly expansion of their activity, in order to increase sustainability and prevent environmental impact. The involved SMEs aim at obtaining know how and possibly patents to be invested in their activity, and need RTD activities and training of operators for overcoming problems and enhance competitivity.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-6 | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2011

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) causes 34000 deaths in the EU every year. Conventional cancer treatments have close to no impact on this disease. As a result, almost all patients diagnosed with PDAC develop metastases and eventually die. Given this poor outlook, the search for new therapeutics is mandatory. These will have to target relevant cancer pathways and be designed based on the available knowledge on the genetic alterations that characterize this malignancy. We propose to build a team composed of clinicians, translational cancer researchers, chemists, and two pharmaceutical enterprises, to synthesize and implement new drugs for PDAC. The focus of the participants in this project will be on pathways and cellular functions broadly involved in PDAC metastasis and immune escape. These drugs are meant to work through diverse and novel modes of action and will be validated using genetically engineered PDAC mouse models that we have established at the Center for Integrated Oncology in Bonn. By creating and exploring diverse classes of compounds capable of arresting tumor growth and of interfering with its metastatic spread, this project will deliver a high number of new molecules with potential as anticancer therapeutics. In particular, our consortium will produce new indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO2) inhibitors, galectin-3 inhibitors, edelfosine analogues, inhibitors of the Hippo signaling pathway, alpha-mannosidase inhibitors, SIRT6 inhibitors, and therapeutics acting by synthetic lethality. For compounds with strong proof-of-concept activity, our consortium will perform the Investigational New Drug (IND)-Enabling Studies, with the goal of delivering a new drug ready to be tested clinically by the end of the project. The PANACREAS project is meant to help find better treatments for PDAC, boost research on this form of cancer in the EU, and open new avenues for scientific and technological innovation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH-3.1 | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2010

The state of health of any SOFC system is currently difficult to evaluate, which makes it difficult to respond to a fault or degradation with the appropriate counter measure, to ensure the required reliability level. Therefore, the GENIUS project aims to develop a GENERIC algorithm, based on a validated diagnostic GENERIC approach. This algorithm would only use process values (normal measurements and system control input parameters) and the approach would allow all SOFC developers to use and implement the algorithm in their respective systems according to their specific constraints. To guarantee the GENERIC character of the algoithm, stacks and systems from four different manufacturers will be tested using commonly defined test plan that will be based on the Design Of Experiment method. Three different types of models will be evaluated in parallel by four different academic institutions in order to define the optimal tool for fault detection and degradation identification. This will be done taking into account both on board diagnostic and off-line diagnostic requirements. The diagnosis would generate a set of indicators able to quantify either the drift or the difference of the actual status with respect to nominal or expected performance. A diagnostic hardware integrating the best algorithm will be developed and validated in two different SOFC systems. Finally, physical parameters and interactions will be correlated with degradation mechanisms. This correlation will allow the definition of either counter measures (in case of fault or degradation) or of a more optimal operation point. This will make it possible to reduce maintenance to yearly intervals. It may also help reach a target of tens of thousands hours for stack or system operation lifetime. Finally, it is important to mention that most of participants of the GENIUS project are members of the FCH Joint Undertaking Initiative.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-23-2014 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2015

The WiMUST (Widely scalable Mobile Underwater Sonar Technology) project aims at expanding and improving the functionalities of current cooperative marine robotic systems, effectively enabling distributed acoustic array technologies for geophysical surveying with a view to exploration and geotechnical applications. Recent developments have shown that there is vast potential for groups of marine robots acting in cooperation to drastically improve the methods available for ocean exploration and exploitation. Traditionally, seismic reflection surveying is performed by vessel towed streamers of hydrophones acquiring reflected acoustic signals generated by acoustic sources (either towed or onboard a vessel). In this context, geotechnical surveying for civil and commercial applications (e.g., underwater construction, infrastructure monitoring, mapping for natural hazard assessment, environmental mapping, etc.) aims at seafloor and sub-bottom characterization using towed streamers of fixed length that are extremely cumbersome to operate. The vision underlying the WiMUST proposal is that of developing advanced cooperative and networked control / navigation systems to enable a large number (tens) of marine robots (both on the surface and submerged) to interact by sharing information as a coordinated team (not only in pairs). The WiMUST system may be envisioned as an adaptive variable geometry acoustic array. By allowing the group of surface and submerged vehicles to change their geometrical configuration, an end-user can seamlessly change the geometry of the virtual streamer trailing the emitter, something that has not been achieved in practice and holds potential to drastically improve ocean surveying. The project brings together a group of research institutions, geophysical surveying companies and SMEs with a proven track record in autonomous adaptive and robust systems, communications, networked cooperative control and navigation, and marine robot design and fabrication.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-1.;AAT.2010.4.1-1. | Award Amount: 3.62M | Year: 2011

The RECEPT project will deliver upstream aerodynamics research that will contribute (i) to the drive to strengthen the competitiveness of European manufacturing industry, (ii) to the need to improve the environmental impact of aircraft with regards to emissions. Within the RECEPT project, knowledge about transition phenomena and theoretical/numerical tools obtained during the last 50 years since the eN method was proposed, are used to develop the next generation transition prediction methods. The new method will be an amplitude-based prediction method incorporating true effects of the disturbance environment of the incoming flow, the so called receptivity process, as well as knowledge about actual amplitudes at which disturbances breakdown to turbulence. This will largely remove the need for empirical correlations and render possible accurate prediction of the onset of transition both under wind tunnel and free-flight conditions. Proposed research activities within RECEPT project will also contribute to design of more advanced transition control devices. Consequently, it will contribute to achieving the objectives for technology readiness to reduce fuel consumption and hence emissions. It directly addresses the topic of AAT.2010.1.1.1, AAT.2010.4.1.1 and AAT.2010.4.2.1. The RECEPT consortium consists of 12 organisations from 4 different member states (Sweden, Italy, France Germany) and one of International Cooperation Partner Countries, Russia. It contains 3 aircraft manufacturers (Airbus, SAAB, Piaggio), 5 research organisations (CIRA, DLR, FOI, ITAM, ONERA) and 4 universities (Kungliga Teknika Hgskolan, Universit di Genova, Universit di Salerno, Universitt Stuttgart). Participation of industry will directly transfer the new knowledge and greatly improved method to the more applied work to be performed within the Joint Technology Initiative Clean Sky.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-3 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2012

The aim of CASyM is a combined large scale effort to sustainably implement Systems Medicine across Europe. For that purpose CASyM will function as a managing and coordinating platform in bringing together a critical mass of relevant European stakeholders such as Systems Biology scientists, clinicians, programme managers, industry/SMEs as well as healthcare providers and patient organizations. The goal of that initial nucleus of experts is the development of a strategy to implement the Systems Biology approach into medical practice and research within the 4 years duration of CASyM. For this purpose it is essential that the involved communities build a vision and coordinated strategy. Our joint effort gathers extensive experience in the coordination and realization of such a new, large-scale European effort, thereby providing the basis for an advanced future medicine. The output of CASyM will be a conceptual framework defining the remits, milestones, mechanisms and metrics for the implementation of Systems Medicine. The development of this framework will overcome competitive barriers and proceed to produce a European roadmap for Systems Medicine as concerted project result.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.55M | Year: 2014

Sea urchin roe (gonad) is consumed worldwide, and is considered a luxury product which sells for lucrative prices in a number of markets. Because the demand for sea urchin roe - called uni in sushi bars - has grown dramatically over the past decade, many traditional fisheries have been heavily overfished and subsequently virtually depleted of sea urchins. Because of its great commercial value and it limited supply due to overfishing, there has been much interest in the production of sea urchins through aquaculture. For these reason there is a general perception within the sector for a need to innovate to meet the following the increasing demand for sea urchin roe suitable for European and international markets, the need to reduce harvesting pressure on wild populations, making sea urchin aquaculture profitable. The technology for maintaining urchin broodstocks, spawning, larval rearing and the production of high quality roe product has been well established. However, practical knowledge regarding the grow out phase (from juvenile to market size) which is the most expensive and time consuming production activity, is lagging behind.This proposal directly addresses an industry indentified bottleneck in the adoption of echinoculture by the European aquaculture industry. For these reasons, RESURCH, a 24 months project, is proposed to further develop the technology required to make commercial sea urchin production a reality across Europe. The project will use cutting edge research from leaders in the field to address industry defined bottlenecks in sea urchin aquaculture. The proposed project will enhance the competitiveness and profitability of the Partner SMEs. An additional benefit of the enhancement of sea urchin aquaculture will be the possibility to reduce the harvesting pressure on wild stocks (presently occurring in a number of European countries as well as other countries around the world) to cope with increasing market demand.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-17-2014 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2015

GLORIA aims to prove that the addition of chronic low dose glucocorticoids (GC) to current antirheumatic therapy is highly cost-effective and safe in elderly patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is a frequent (affecting > 2% of the elderly population), painful and disabling chronic disease with high societal costs. RA is associated with multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy and adverse events; these problems, together with challenges in compliance (adherence) are dramatically increased in the elderly population. About 50% of patients are chronically treated with low-dose glucocorticoids (GC) in combination with other antirheumatic drugs, but without good evidence on the balance of benefit and harm. Thus, existing guidelines and information on safety and efficacy of GC are inadequate. GLORIA will address these problems by conducting a large pragmatic trial: 800 elderly (>65y) RA patients receiving standard of care will be randomized to additionally receive 5 mg prednisolone daily or placebo for 2 years. Very liberal eligibility criteria will ensure representativeness to the target population, and most data will be collected from routine clinical practice, minimizing patient and physician load, and operating costs. A novel tool will monitor compliance; it can send personalized reminders to a patients smart device. The efficacy of this technology will be tested in a nested trial. Compliance and other characteristics will be entered into a model that will allow personalized risk and benefit assessment in the future. Qualitative research in patients and physicians of member states will explore expectations and challenges in guideline implementation. This information and the study results will enable an update to existing guidelines and patient information, in collaboration with guideline committees and regulatory agencies. Networking conferences will improve health technology assessment in the elderly in general.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2012.1.4-2. | Award Amount: 30.14M | Year: 2012

Future aero engines will need to be more efficient and contribute to the reduction on environmental impact of air transportation. They must reach some standards of performance by reducing emissions and creating some savings on operation costs. EIMG consortium has launched since several years some initiatives to develop future engines in the frame of the European Committee research programmes. Within different project such as DREAM, VITAL, NEWAC or LEMCOTEC, EIMG is ensuring the development of innovative technologies in order to further reduce the fuel burn, emissions and noise. In order to ensure the technological breakthrough, future aero-engines will have higher overall pressure ratios (OPR) to increase thermal efficiency and will have higher bypass ratios (BPR) to increase propulsive efficiency. These lead to smaller and hotter high pressure cores. As core engine technologies have been addressed in the previous project, E-BREAK project will ensure the mandatory evolution of sub-systems. It is indeed required for enabling integration of engine with new core technologies to develop adequate technologies for sub-systems. E-BREAK will aim to adapt sub-systems to new constraints of temperature and pressure. The overall picture of these initiatives bring all technology bricks to a TRL level ensuring the possibility to integrate them in a new aero engines generation before 2020. In its 2020 vision, ACARE aims to reduce by 50% per passenger kilometer CO2 emissions with an engine contribution targeting a decrease by 15 to 20% of the SFC. NOX emissions would have to be reduced by 80 % and efforts need to be made on other emissions. E-BREAK will be an enabler of the future UHOPR integrated engine development, completing efforts done in previous or in on-going Level 2 programs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2010-2 | Award Amount: 11.59M | Year: 2010

The ambition of this project is to enable the utilisation of the full potential of renewable energy (up to covering 100% of the energy demand on district level). In order to reach this goal, the E-hub concept is developed, which is crucial for the implementation of such a large share of renewables. An E-Hub is a physical cross point, similar to an energy station, in which energy and information streams are interconnected, and where the different forms of energy can be converted into each other and/or can be stored. The E-hub exchanges energy via the energy grids between the different actors (e.g. households, renewable energy plants, offices), who may be a consumer at one time, and a supplier at another time. The consumers and suppliers exchange information on their energy needs and energy production with the energy hub, the hub then distributes the energy available in the most efficient way. For proper matching of supply and demand, the E-hub uses conversion and storage of energy, as well as load shifting. The consumers and suppliers should be connected to this E-hub by means of bi-directional energy grids (low and/or high temperature heat grid, cold grid for cooling, electrical grid (AC and/or DC), gas grid (H2, biogas, syngas). The renewable energy may be generated locally (e.g. from PV on residences) or by centralised means (a geothermal plant or a large CHP located within the district that may be fuelled by biofuel or H2). The E-Hub concept holds for all types of energy flow, from heating and cooling to electricity, biogas and H2, and may connect not only households but also (electrical) cars, commercial buildings or industry. The aim of the proposed project is: to develop the e-hub as a system, to develop technologies that are necessary to realize the system, to develop business models in order to overcome institutional and financial barriers, and to demonstrate an E-hub in the form of a real situation and in a few case studies/feasibility studies.

News Article | November 4, 2016

An Italian technology startup called Eyra Ltd will soon release a wearable device known as the Horus that allows the visually impaired to explore public space beyond the limitations of the walking cane. "The white cane is not enough because it only solves the issue of detecting obstacles touching the ground," said Saverio Murgia, CEO and co-founder of Eyra. "It can never detect obstacles like tree branches or cars parked near crosswalks." This new headset and pocket computer, which hits the market in January, is meant to act like an audio personal assistant—it reads out words from books and public signs, detects obstacles and has a facial recognition feature. Worn like a pair of headphones and powered by a smartphone in your pocket, it has two cameras placed in the headset to capture 3D images of the environment, sends them to the Tegra pocket computer (the size of a smartphone), and translates it into sound. It is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra K1, a popular mobile processor (a variant will be used in Nintendo's upcoming Switch console). It is also used for display units inside of Audi cars and electric Sedans. "It has GPU-accelerated computer vision, deep learning and sensors that process, analyze and describe images from two cameras," said Murgia. The Horus works by scanning the surrounding area of the visually impaired person and translates visual information into verbal messages. The headset's battery lasts roughly 12 hours and it is currently offered in three languages: Italian, English and Japanese. "It can detect text on curved surfaces, virtually unwarp it and then translate that text into sound that the user can listen to," said Murgia. "There is no need for an internet connection as every step of the computation is performed locally." The development of Horus started when Murgia and his colleague Luca Nardelli were leaving the University of Genoa, where they were working as computer vision researchers in 2014. "One day, we met a blind person on the street asking for help to reach the bus stop from the main train station in Genoa," said Murgia. "He was having issues because street construction disrupted his usual route to the bus stop. Talking with him, we discovered a world of issues caused by the fact that the world is not designed for blind people and we realized that we could bring algorithms and technology from robotics to a wearable device that can improve the life of millions of people." The wearable helps the visually impaired avoid obstacles with an audible, 3D soundscape where each object in front of the user corresponds to a sound coming from the place where the object is. "If there is a pole or a wall on the right, the user will hear a sound coming from the right," said Murgia. "It is similar to parking sensors: there is a beeping sound coming from either the front, left or right side and the closer the obstacle is the higher the frequency becomes." The facial recognition feature is taught individually by each different user. "The first time it sees a person, the user has to teach that person to the device, taking pictures of them and then saying their name out loud," said Murgia. And from that moment on, Horus is able to recognize that person in real time, even at a distance. "Horus continuously detects all the faces in front of the person and checks them against all the people who have been taught to the device." When the English language version of Horus goes for sale in January, it will cost roughly $2,000. But it still needs fine tuning before its launch. "We are mostly improving the user interface, making it easy for everyone, even people who don't regularly use technology," said Murgia, who has tested it out on 100 visually impaired people since 2014. "Blind people always tell us that it will make a huge difference in their everyday life."

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2008.6.1.4 | Award Amount: 17.19M | Year: 2009

The overall objective of this project is to provide and demonstrate technical solutions which will allow the use of state-of-the-art highly efficient, reliable gas turbines in the next generation of IGCC plants, suitable for combusting undiluted hydrogen-rich syngas derived from a pre-combustion CO2 capture process, with high fuel flexibility. The recognised challenge is to operate a stable and controllable gas turbine on hydrogen-rich syngas with emissions and process parameters similar to current state-of-the-art natural gas turbine engines. This objective will have severe implications on the combustion technology, hot gas path materials, the aerodynamic performance of turbomachinery components, and the system as a whole. The project will address these issues in Subprojects: SP1: Combustion; SP2: Materials; SP3: Turbomachinery and SP4: System analysis. In addition, the project will also look into gas turbine fuel flexibility, which will be demonstrated in order to allow the burning of back-up fuels, such as natural gas, without adversely affecting the reliability and availability. This is an important operational requirement to ensure optimum use of the gas turbine. The H2-IGCC project coordinated by the European Turbine Network - gathers the whole value chain of gas turbine power plant technology, including Original Equipment Manufacturers, GT users/operators and research institutes with diverse key expertise needed to fulfil the objectives. Successful dissemination and implementation of the results will open up the market for IGCC with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), as it will improve the commercial competitiveness of IGCC technology. In particular, the integrated approach used in the project will enhance confidence and significantly reduce deployment times for the new technologies and concepts developed in this project. The vision is that this will allow for the deployment of high efficiency gas turbines in competitive IGCC plants with CCS technology by 2020.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-2.1-2014 | Award Amount: 18.00M | Year: 2015

IN2RAIL is to set the foundations for a resilient, consistent, cost-efficient, high capacity European network by delivering important building blocks that unlock the innovation potential that exists in SHIFT2RAIL: innovative technologies will be explored and resulting concepts embedded in a systems framework where infrastructure, information management, maintenance techniques, energy, and engineering are integrated, optimised, shared and exploited. IN2RAIL will make advances towards SHIFT2RAIL objectives: enhancing the existing capacity fulfilling user demand; increasing the reliability delivering better and consistent quality of service; reducing the LCC increasing competitiveness of the EU rail system. To achieve the above, a holistic approach covering Smart Infrastructures, Intelligent Mobility Management (I2M)and Rail Power Supply and Energy Management will be applied. Smart Infrastructure addresses the fundamental design of critical assets - switches and crossings and tracks. It will research components capable of meeting future railway demands and will utilise modern technologies in the process. Risk and condition-based LEAN approaches to optimise RAMS and LCC in asset maintenance activities will be created to tackle the root causes of degradation. I2M researches automated, interoperable and inter-connected advanced traffic management systems; scalable and upgradable systems, utilising standardised products and interfaces, enabling easy migration from legacy systems; the wealth of data and information on assets and traffic status; information management systems adding the capability of nowcasting and forecasting of critical asset statuses. Rail Power Supply and Energy Management create solutions to improve the energy performance of the railway system. Research on new power systems characterised by reduced losses and capable of balancing energy demands, along with innovative energy management systems enabling accurate and precise estimates of energy flows.

News Article | December 13, 2016

MILANO, ITALY, December 13, 2016-- Dr. Luca Giacomelli has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.In preparation for his career as a research scientist and consultant, Dr. Giacomelli graduated with a degree in pharmaceutical biotechnology and a Master of Science in science communication, cum laude, from the University of Milan, and a Ph.D. in biophysics, also earned cum laude, from the University of Genoa. He immediately hit the ground running in the biology field, becoming an oral biology research coordinator at the Istituto Stomatologico Tirreno in 2007. Coupled with Dr. Giacomelli's work at the Institute were his contributions to a staggering number of academic journals and science papers: he is listed as an author on such works as "Metformin with everolimus and octreotide in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor patients with diabetes," "Imaging in rheumatology: ultrasafe + ultrasure = ultrasound," and "Biomaterials for orthopedics: a roughness analysis by atomic force microscopy." Dr. Giacomelli began dedicating more of his time to consulting, writing, and editing in 2016, in addition to becoming a visiting professor of medical physics at the University of Genoa's (UniGe) School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.A tireless dedication to research has opened doors to a wealth of achievements and, in turn, a wealth of praise for Dr. Giacomelli. For developing theoretical and experimental methods for the study of genes and DNA with application in different biological and pathological processes, the nanoscale characterization of different materials used in orthopedics and implant surgery, new materials for dental implants, and new algorithms and tools in molecular genomics, he was the recipient of the Best Science Contribution at the Federazione Italiana Società Malattie Apparato Digerente in 2015, among other awards. Notably, Dr. Giacomelli has been included in the 11th and 12th editions of Who's Who in Science and Engineering and the 31st edition of Who's Who in the World.Outside of his standard work-related contributions to his field of work, Dr. Giacomelli has been a post-graduate assistant, an assistant professor of bioinformatics and nanomedicine at UniGe, and a research advisor at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and UCLA. Today, he is the chairman of the CCT, the IADR, and the International Association for Dental Research, and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Translational Medicine and Dental Hypotheses. Further, Dr. Giacomelli offers services to several research and pharmaceutical institutions, is a science communication consultant for several editorial companies, is a member of the Permanent Science Committee for the Ceramic, Cells and Tissues International Meeting, and is on the advisory board of the International Forum Evidence-Based Dentistry & Comparative-Effectiveness Research.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis now publishes many Who's Who titles, including Who's Who in America , Who's Who in the World , Who's Who in American Law , Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare , Who's Who in Science and Engineering , and Who's Who in Asia . Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2011.1.3-3 | Award Amount: 19.77M | Year: 2012

Clearing large civilian areas from anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions is a difficult problem because of the large diversity of hazardous areas and explosive contamination. A single solution does not exist and many mine action actors have asked for a toolbox from which they could choose the tools best fit to a given situation. Some have built their own toolboxes, usually specific to some precise tasks, such as clearance. The TIRAMISU project aims at providing the foundation for a global toolbox that will cover the main mine action activities, from the survey of large areas to the actual disposal of explosive hazards, including mine risk education. The toolbox produced by the project will provide mine action actors with a large set of tools, grouped into thematic modules, that will help them do their job. These tools will have been designed with the help of end-users and validated by them in mine affected countries. To reach the level of expertise needed the TIRAMISU team includes organisations that were involved in some of the most important European and international research projects in mine action of the last fifteen years. The TIRAMISU partners will build on their past experience of this topic, their long tradition to work with each other, and the strong links they have forged over the years with mine action centres and mine action authorities, demining companies and non-governmental organisations, to bring a toolbox that will represent a step forward in mine action by being the basis for a unifying, comprehensive and modular integrated solution to the clearing of large areas from explosive hazards. The philosophy of the TIRAMISU project is to concentrate most of its efforts, not on already existing technology, but on the most mature technologies and methods that are still to be fielded and on promising and innovating solutions even if they may require more work to be fielded

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2011-2 | Award Amount: 5.07M | Year: 2011

Several industrial sectors today are still using linear sequences of operations where the same manual and automated tasks are repeated in each cycle. This paradigm is efficient when aiming at maximum capacity and considering no breakdowns, but very inefficient in case of line de-saturation. AUTORECON proposes the enablement, development and introduction of a) autonomous, exchangeable and mobile production units which can change tasks and position in the shop floor, b) highly interactive robotic structures c) random production flow and all these, integrated under a common and open architecture. The factory of the future as envisaged by AUTORECON encompasses: - Reconfigurable Transformers like tools that enable autonomous assembly equipment which can adapt production process to process disturbances and market variations. The concept integrates novel actuators, end effectors with multiple connection points and advanced sensing capabilities as well as mobile robotic units, fostering efficient multi-variant production. - Intelligent Control & Monitoring systems enabling enhanced performance and high reconfiguration abilities using distributed controls. AUTORECON unit control will fuse data coming from a peripheral sensing network to allow resource awareness of disturbances. At the line control level a service oriented architecture will enable a) autonomous communication between resources for deciding on adaptation actions and b) the effortless integration of new equipment. A demonstration in the automotive industry will involve the live reconfiguration of an assembly line in the case of a simulated breakdown. The AUTORECON intelligent control will evaluate alternative actions (e.g. use of mobile robotic units etc.) and select the optimal one. A second demonstration in the consumer goods industry case will use the AUTORECON reconfigurable grippers and sensing network in order to pick randomly placed components and route them by using cooperative robot handling.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2013-AIPP5 | Award Amount: 93.92M | Year: 2014

Embedded systems are the key innovation driver to improve almost all mechatronic products with cheaper and even new functionalities. Furthermore, they strongly support todays information society as inter-system communication enabler. Consequently boundaries of application domains are alleviated and ad-hoc connections and interoperability play an increasing role. At the same time, multi-core and many-core computing platforms are becoming available on the market and provide a breakthrough for system (and application) integration. A major industrial challenge arises facing (cost) efficient integration of different applications with different levels of safety and security on a single computing platform in an open context. The objective of the EMC project (Embedded multi-core systems for mixed criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments) is to foster these changes through an innovative and sustainable service-oriented architecture approach for mixed criticality applications in dynamic and changeable real-time environments. The EMC2 project focuses on the industrialization of European research outcomes and builds on the results of previous ARTEMIS, European and National projects. It provides the paradigm shift to a new and sustainable system architecture which is suitable to handle open dynamic systems. EMC is part of the European Embedded Systems industry strategy to maintain its leading edge position by providing solutions for: . Dynamic Adaptability in Open Systems . Utilization of expensive system features only as Service-on-Demand in order to reduce the overall system cost. . Handling of mixed criticality applications under real-time conditions . Scalability and utmost flexibility . Full scale deployment and management of integrated tool chains, through the entire lifecycle Approved by ARTEMIS-JU on 12/12/2013 for EoN. Minor mistakes and typos corrected by the Coordinator, finally approved by ARTEMIS-JU on 24/01/2014. Amendment 1 changes approved by ECSEL-JU on 31/03/2015.

Nouar C.,CNRS Mechanical Energy, Theories, and Applications Laboratory | Bottaro A.,University of Genoa
Journal of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

It has been recently shown that the flow of a Bingham fluid in a channel is always linearly stable (Nouar et al., J. Fluid Mech., vol. 577, 2007, p. 211). To identify possible paths of transition we revisit the problem for the case in which the idealized base flow is slightly perturbed. No attempt is made to reproduce or model the perturbations arising in experimental environments which may be due to the improper alignment of the channel walls or to imperfect inflow conditions rather a general formulation is given which yields the transfer function (the sensitivity) for each eigenmode of the spectrum to arbitrary defects in the base flow. It is first established that such a function, for the case of the most sensitive eigenmode, displays a very weak selectivity to variations in the spanwise wavenumber of the disturbance mode. This justifies a further look into the class of spanwise homogeneous modes. A variational procedure is set up to identify the base flow defect of minimal norm capable of optimally destabilizing an otherwise stable flow; it is found that very weak defects are indeed capable to excite exponentially amplified streamwise travelling waves. The associated variations in viscosity are situated mostly near the critical layer of the inviscid problem. Neutrally stable conditions are found as function of the Reynolds number and the Bingham number, providing scalings of critical values with the amplitude of the defect consistent with previous experimental and numerical studies. Finally, a structured pseudospectrum analysis is performed; it is argued that such a class of pseudospectra provides information well suited to hydrodynamic stability purposes. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

Sacca S.C.,St Martino Hospital | Pulliero A.,University of Genoa | Izzotti A.,University of Genoa | Izzotti A.,Italian National Cancer Institute
Journal of Cellular Physiology | Year: 2015

Primary open angle glaucoma is a multi-tissue disease that targets, in an ascending order, the trabecular meshwork, the optic nerve head, the lateral geniculate nuclei, and the visual cortex. Oxidative stress and vascular damage play major roles in triggering apoptotic cell loss in these tissues. Molecular alterations occurring in the ocular anterior chamber during the early course of glaucoma trigger this cell loss. These molecular events are mainly of endogenous origin and related to the long-term accumulation of oxidative damages arising from mitochondrial failure and endothelial dysfunction. This situation results in decreased antioxidant defences in aqueous humour and apoptosis activation in trabecular meshwork cells as triggered by severe mitochondrial damage altering tissue function and integrity. The presence of neural proteins in glaucomatous aqueous humour indicate that a molecular interconnection exists between the anterior and the posterior chamber tissues. Trabecular meshwork and lamina cribrosa share a common neuro-ectodermal embryological, which contribute to explain the interconnection between anterior and the posterior chamber during glaucoma pathogenesis. During glaucoma, proteins deriving from the damage occurring in endothelial trabecular meshwork cells are released into aqueous humour. Accordingly, aqueous humour composition is characterised in glaucomatous patients by the presence of proteins deriving from apoptosis activation, mitochondrial damage, loss of intercellular connections, antioxidant decrease. Many questions remain unanswered, but molecular events illuminate TM damage and indicate that trabecular cell protection plays a role in the treatment and prevention of glaucoma. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company.

Belcastro V.,SantAnna Hospital | D'Egidio C.,University of Chieti Pescara | Striano P.,University of Genoa | Verrotti A.,University of Perugia
Epilepsy Research | Year: 2013

Treatment of epileptic patients with valproic acid (VPA) may be associated with substantial weight changes that may increase morbidity and impair adherence to the treatment regimen. VPA-induced weight gain seems to be associated with many metabolic disturbances; the most frequent are hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance, hyperleptinemia and leptin resistance. Patients who gain weight during VPA therapy can develop dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome that are associated with long-term vascular complications such as hypertension and atherosclerosis. Moreover, an elevation in the levels of uric acid and homocysteine, together with oxidative stress, may contribute to atherosclerotic risk in patients under long-term therapy with VPA.The aim of this review is to discuss the metabolic and endocrine effects of VPA chronic treatment in patients with epilepsy. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Carassale L.,University of Genoa | Kareem A.,University of Notre Dame
Journal of Engineering Mechanics | Year: 2010

The Volterra-series expansion is widely employed to represent the input-output relationship of nonlinear dynamical systems. This representation is based on the Volterra frequency-response functions (VFRFs), which can either be estimated from observed data or through a nonlinear governing equation, when the Volterra series is used to approximate an analytical model. In the latter case, the VFRFs are usually evaluated by the so-called harmonic probing method. This operation is quite straightforward for simple systems but may reach a level of such complexity, especially when dealing with high-order nonlinear systems or calculating high-order VFRFs, that it may loose its attractiveness. An alternative technique for the evaluation of VFRFs is presented here with the goal of simplifying and possibly automating the evaluation process. This scheme is based on first representing the given system by an assemblage of simple operators for which VFRFs are readily available, and subsequently constructing VFRFs of the target composite system by using appropriate assemblage rules. Examples of wind and wave-excited structures are employed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique. © 2010 ASCE.

Bonati C.,University of Pisa | D'Elia M.,University of Pisa | Mariti M.,University of Pisa | Negro F.,University of Genoa | Sanfilippo F.,University Paris - Sud
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

We propose a method to determine the total magnetic susceptibility of strongly interacting matter by lattice QCD simulations and present numerical results for the theory with two light flavors, which suggest a weak magnetic activity in the confined phase and the emergence of strong paramagnetism in the deconfined, quark-gluon plasma phase. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Cella Zanacchi F.,Italian Institute of Technology | Lavagnino Z.,Italian Institute of Technology | Lavagnino Z.,University of Genoa | Perrone Donnorso M.,Italian Institute of Technology | And 5 more authors.
Nature Methods | Year: 2011

We demonstrate three-dimensional (3D) super-resolution live-cell imaging through thick specimens (50-150 μm), by coupling far-field individual molecule localization with selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM). The improved signal-to-noise ratio of selective plane illumination allows nanometric localization of single molecules in thick scattering specimens without activating or exciting molecules outside the focal plane. We report 3D super-resolution imaging of cellular spheroids. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ball R.D.,University of Edinburgh | Bonvini M.,German Electron Synchrotron | Forte S.,University of Edinburgh | Forte S.,University of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2013

We construct an approximate expression for the cross section for Higgs production in gluon fusion at next-to-next-to-next-to-leading order (N3LO) in αs with finite top mass. We argue that an accurate approximation can be constructed by exploiting the analyticity of the Mellin space cross section, and the information on its singularity structure coming from large N (soft gluon, Sudakov) and small N (high energy, BFKL) all order resummation. We support our argument with an explicit comparison of the approximate and the exact expressions up to the highest (NNLO) order at which the latter are available. We find that the approximate N3LO result amounts to a correction of 17% to the NNLO QCD cross section for production of a 125 GeV Higgs at the LHC (8 TeV), larger than previously estimated, and it significantly reduces the scale dependence of the NNLO result. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Deschout H.,Ghent University | Zanacchi F.C.,Italian Institute of Technology | Zanacchi F.C.,University of Genoa | Mlodzianoski M.,University of Maine, United States | And 5 more authors.
Nature Methods | Year: 2014

Methods based on single-molecule localization and photophysics have brought nanoscale imaging with visible light into reach. This has enabled single-particle tracking applications for studying the dynamics of molecules and nanoparticles and contributed to the recent revolution in super-resolution localization microscopy techniques. Crucial to the optimization of such methods are the precision and accuracy with which single fluorophores and nanoparticles can be localized. We present a lucid synthesis of the developments on this localization precision and accuracy and their practical implications in order to guide the increasing number of researchers using single-particle tracking and super-resolution localization microscopy. © 2014 Nature America, Inc.

Tagliafico A.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Tagliafico G.,Genova Engineering, LLC. | Martinoli C.,University of Genoa
Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

The possibility to realize a quantitative evaluation of nerve density on ultrasound is clinically important to enhance the evaluation of peripheral nerve disorders. We developed software that quantifies the ratio between the hypoechoic and hyperechoic areas of peripheral nerves on ultrasound. Nerve density was defined as (hypoechoic pixels)/(total pixels) and the purpose of our study was to asses if nerve density can be used to differentiate pathologic conditions affecting peripheral nerves. Ultrasound images of peripheral nerves were obtained with a high-frequency probe (17-5 MHz, 288 elements). Sixty-five different patients and (n = 65) controls (age range, 35-81 years; mean 55 years) were prospectively evaluated. Thirty-five patients had carpal tunnel syndrome and 30 patients had neurofibromas. Three radiologists performed a semiautomated evaluation with intra and interobserver agreement. A complete automatic evaluation was performed with no need of intra and interobserver evaluation. With the semiautomated evaluation, mean intraobserver agreement was good (K = 0.85). Interobserver agreements was good as well (reader 1 vs reader 2: k = 0.72; reader 2 vs reader 3: k = 0.80; reader 3 vs reader 1: k = 0.72). Differences among value of nerve density in normal nerves, CTS and neurofibromas were statistically significant (p < 0.0001). There were no statistically significant differences between the results obtained using the automatic or the semiautomatic method. Nerve density is capable of discriminating between normal and pathologic nerves of patients affected by carpal tunnel syndrome or neurofibromas. Moreover, nerve density measure is useful to discriminate between patients with mild and severe CTS. (E-mail: © 2010 World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology.

Bonati C.,University of Pisa | D'Elia M.,University of Pisa | Mariti M.,University of Pisa | Negro F.,University of Genoa | Sanfilippo F.,University Paris - Sud
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

We determine the free energy of strongly interacting matter as a function of an applied constant and uniform magnetic field. We consider Nf=2+1 QCD with physical quark masses, discretized on a lattice by stout improved staggered fermions and a tree-level improved Symanzik pure gauge action, and we explore three different lattice spacings. For magnetic fields of the order of those produced in noncentral heavy ion collisions (eB∼0.1GeV2), strongly interacting matter behaves like a medium with a linear response, and is paramagnetic both above and below the deconfinement transition, with a susceptibility which steeply rises in the deconfined phase. We compute the equation of state, showing that the relative increase in the pressure due to the magnetic field gets larger around the transition and is of the order of 10% for eB∼0.1GeV2. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Monokrousos A.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Bottaro A.,University of Genoa | Brandt L.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Di Vita A.,University of Genoa | Henningson D.S.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

We determine the initial condition on the laminar-turbulent boundary closest to the laminar state using nonlinear optimization for plane Couette flow. Resorting to the general evolution criterion of nonequilibrium systems we optimize the route to the statistically steady turbulent state, i.e., the state characterized by the largest entropy production. This is the first time information from the fully turbulent state is included in the optimization procedure. We demonstrate that the optimal initial condition is localized in space for realistic flow domains. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Bagheri S.,University of Genoa | Bagheri S.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Mazzino A.,University of Genoa | Mazzino A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Bottaro A.,University of Genoa
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Elastic filamentous structures found on swimming and flying organisms are versatile in function, rendering their precise contribution to locomotion difficult to assess. We show in this Letter that a single passive filament hinged on the rear of a bluff body placed in a stream can generate a net lift force without increasing the mean drag force on the body. This is a consequence of spontaneous symmetry breaking in the filament's flapping dynamics. The phenomenon is related to a resonance between the frequency associated with the von Kármán vortex street developing behind the bluff body and the natural frequency of the free bending vibrations of the filament. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Bagheri S.,University of Genoa | Bagheri S.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Archives of Computational Methods in Engineering | Year: 2012

This paper considers the analysis and control of fluid flows using tools from dynamical systems and control theory. The employed tools are derived from the spectral analysis of various linear operators associated with the Navier-Stokes equations. Spectral decomposition of the linearized Navier-Stokes operator, the Koopman operator, the spatial correlation operator and the Hankel operator provide a means to gain physical insight into the dynamics of complex flows and enables the construction of low-dimensional models suitable for control design. Since the discretization of the Navier-Stokes equations often leads to very large-scale dynamical systems, matrix-free and in some cases iterative techniques have to be employed to solve the eigenvalue problem. The common theme of the numerical algorithms is the use of direct numerical simulations. The theory and the algorithms are exemplified on flow over a flat plate and a jet in crossflow, as prototypes for the laminar-turbulent transition and three-dimensional vortex shedding. © 2012 CIMNE, Barcelona, Spain.

Pelosi P.,University of Genoa | Rocco P.R.,Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics | De Abreu M.G.,University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus
Current Opinion in Critical Care | Year: 2011

Purpose of review: We discuss the possible role of computed tomography (CT) to guide protective mechanical ventilation in acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS), especially tidal volume (VT) and positive-end expiratory pressure (PEEP) settings and recruitment manoeuvres. Recent findings: CT should be used as early as possible after the onset of ALI/ARDS and then repeated after 1 week in the absence of clinical improvement. Advantages of CT include: the regional response to recruitment can be determined; it is objective; the morphofunctional correlations obtained are useful for a comprehensive patient evaluation. CT should be performed at different pressure levels to identify potential for recruitment. Initially, one single whole-lung CT scan is performed at end-expiration at PEEP 5-10 cmH 2O to evaluate aeration and compute lung weight. Afterwards, two lung CT slices are performed to assess lung recruitability (at PEEP = 5-10 cmH 2O; inspiratory plateau pressure of the respiratory system = 45 cmH2O). Summary: In ALI/ARDS patients, CT reveals discrepancies between bedside chest radiograph and various clinical and physiological parameters, and it is essential to assess lung morphology and recruitability. Specific algorithms, including or not CT, should be used to better identify ALI/ARDS with potential of recruitment and setting of VT and PEEP. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Sormani M.P.,University of Genoa | Bruzzi P.,Italian National Cancer Institute
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2013

Background: A meta-analysis of randomised trials in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis published in 2009 showed a quantitative relation between the treatment effects detected on MRI lesions and clinical relapses. We aimed to validate that relation using data from a large and independent set of clinical trials in multiple sclerosis. Methods: We searched Medline for clinical trials that assessed disease-modifying drugs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis published from Sept 1, 2008, to Oct 31, 2012. We extracted data for the treatment effects on MRI lesions and on relapses from each trial, and the correlation of log transformed relative measures of these treatment effects was assessed with a weighted linear regression analysis. The R2 value was estimated to quantify the strength of the correlation, and we used an interaction test to test for a difference in slope from the previously estimated equation. We also ran several sensitivity analyses. Findings: We identified 31 eligible trials, which provided data for 18 901 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The regression equation derived using data from these studies showed a relation between the concurrent treatment effects on MRI lesions and relapses (slope = 0·52; R2 = 0·71), much the same as was previously estimated (pinteraction = 0·45). Analysis of trials that tested the same drugs in phase 2 and phase 3 studies showed that the effects on MRI lesions over short follow-up periods (6-9 months) can also predict the effects on relapses over longer follow-up periods (12-24 months), with reported effects on relapses that were within the 95% prediction intervals in eight of nine trials. Interpretation: Our findings indicate that the effect of a treatment on relapses can be accurately predicted by the effect of that therapy on MRI lesions, implying that the use of MRI markers as primary endpoints in future clinical trials of treatments for multiple sclerosis can be considered, in specific situations, such as in trials testing generics or biosimilars of drugs with a well known mechanism of action or in paediatric trials testing drugs already approved for adults. Funding: None. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bagatin R.,ENI S.p.A | Klemes J.J.,University of Pannonia | Reverberi A.P.,University of Genoa | Huisingh D.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

This Special Volume of the Journal of Cleaner Production focuses on "water Efficient Processes". It highlights the issues of a global challenge to use water resources more efficiently and more effectively in various fields of human activity. For the process industry the new paradigm of profitable cleaner production means the adoption of complex strategies that are build upon the most advanced developments in several areas of science and technology: chemistry, physics, engineering, ecology and economics, which can and do provide essential contributions to better and cleaner production processes. Because of the sheer size of the problems involved, some issues of special relevance call for intensified efforts. The most significant topics are dealt with eleven contributors from ten countries in Europe, Asia and South America. In the first part of this paper, selected themes concerning the most pressing environmental challenges are reviewed, with particular attention to environmental remediation, pollution control and water decontamination. The second part, where the selected papers are presented and discussed, within the spirit of the making improvements in water resource management. Several novel technical solutions in terms of materials, processes and software are proposed and designed to achieve pollution prevention orientated methodologies with beneficial real-world applications. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Bassolino M.,Italian Institute of Technology | Campanella M.,Italian Institute of Technology | Bove M.,University of Genoa | Pozzo T.,Italian Institute of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Cerebral Cortex | Year: 2014

Limb immobilization and nonuse are well-known causes of corticomotor depression. While physical training can drive the recovery from nonuse-dependent corticomotor effects, it remains unclear if it is possible to gain access to motor cortex in alternative ways, such as through motor imagery (MI) or action observation (AO). Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to study the excitability of the hand left motor cortex in normal subjects immediately before and after 10 h of right arm immobilization. During immobilization, subjects were requested either to imagine to act with their constrained limb or to observe hand actions performed by other individuals. A third group of control subjects watched a nature documentary presented on a computer screen. Hand corticomotor maps and recruitment curves reliably showed that AO, but not MI, prevented the corticomotor depression induced by immobilization. Our results demonstrate the existence of a visuomotor mechanism in humans that links AO and execution which is able to effect cortical plasticity in a beneficial way. This facilitation was not related to the action simulation, because it was not induced by explicit MI. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Ruilope L.M.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Pontremoli R.,University of Genoa
Current Medical Research and Opinion | Year: 2013

Objectives: In this article, the results of clinical and experimental studies that examine the association of hyperuricemia and gout with hypertension and kidney disease are presented and discussed. Methods: Key papers for inclusion were identified by a PubMed search, and articles were selected according to their relevance for the topic, according to the authors' judgment. Results and conclusions: Increasing evidence supports a causal role for Uric acid (UA) in hypertension. Further larger studies are needed to confirm the possible beneficial role of UA lowering drugs and/or xantine-oxidase (XO) inhibitors. Overall, clinical evidence suggests a relationship of UA level with incident chronic kidney disease (CKD). In addition, the results of clinical trials using urate lowering therapy provide some promising evidence that lowering UA levels may retard the progression of CKD. Reviewed data indicate the need for large, well designed studies in these patients to evaluate XO inhibitors or uricosuric drugs in cardio-renal diseases and further elucidate the role of UA in the development and progression of CKD. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.

Garcia-Dieguez M.,University of Malaga | Finocchio E.,University of Genoa | Larrubia M.A.,University of Malaga | Alemany L.J.,University of Malaga | Busca G.,University of Genoa
Journal of Catalysis | Year: 2010

Two bimetallic PtNi catalysts supported on a nanostructured γ-Al 2O3 together with the corresponding monometallic materials, employed for the dry reforming of methane, have been prepared and characterized. Characterization of the catalysts, in reduced form, has been performed by FTIR spectroscopy of adsorbed carbon monoxide at low and room temperature. XRD, TEM and XPS analysis have also been performed. IR spectra of adsorbed CO indicate that the surface of the PtNi catalysts is dominated by Pt centers, whose electron-withdrawing character is increased by Ni. It has also been confirmed the formation of PtNi alloy, which is enriched at the surface by Pt and has smaller metal crystal size than metal particles in monometallic Pt and Ni catalysts. The alloy formation is associated with higher activity and lower production of carbonaceous materials upon dry reforming of methane. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Izzotti A.,University of Genoa | Izzotti A.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pulliero A.,University of Genoa
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2014

The first evidence that microRNA expression is early altered by exposure to environmental chemical carcinogens in still healthy organisms was obtained for cigarette smoke. To date, the cumulative experimental data indicate that similar effects are caused by a variety of environmental carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitropyrenes, endocrine disruptors, airborne mixtures, carcinogens in food and water, and carcinogenic drugs. Accordingly, the alteration of miRNA expression is a general mechanism that plays an important pathogenic role in linking exposure to environmental toxic agents with their pathological consequences, mainly including cancer development.This review summarizes the existing experimental evidence concerning the effects of chemical carcinogens on the microRNA machinery. For each carcinogen, the specific microRNA alteration signature, as detected in experimental studies, is reported. These data are useful for applying microRNA alterations as early biomarkers of biological effects in healthy organisms exposed to environmental carcinogens.However, microRNA alteration results in carcinogenesis only if accompanied by other molecular damages. As an example, microRNAs altered by chemical carcinogens often inhibits the expression of mutated oncogenes. The long-term exposure to chemical carcinogens causes irreversible suppression of microRNA expression thus allowing the transduction into proteins of mutated oncogenes.This review also analyzes the existing knowledge regarding the mechanisms by which environmental carcinogens alter microRNA expression. The underlying molecular mechanism involves p53-microRNA interconnection, microRNA adduct formation, and alterations of Dicer function.On the whole, reported findings provide evidence that microRNA analysis is a molecular toxicology tool that can elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms activated by environmental carcinogens. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.

Sormani M.P.,University of Genoa | Bruzzi P.,Italian National Cancer Institute
Nature Reviews Neurology | Year: 2015

The gold standard for measuring treatment effects is the randomized controlled trial. In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), trial durations are typically 2-3 years, and the long-term effects of drugs for MS can only be assessed through trial extensions or observational studies that take advantage of data from registries or large single-centre databases. The main limitation of observational studies is an unavoidable selection bias that is introduced through nonrandom assignment of the intervention. Propensity score methods can mitigate this bias by balancing the groups with respect to baseline covariates, but this approach cannot correct for unmeasurable confounding factors. Extensions of clinical trials are free from selection biases because of the initial randomization, but they can only provide an assessment of early versus delayed treatment effects. Here, we discuss these methodological issues and analyse how they have been managed in studies of the long-term effects of IFN-β in patients with MS.

D'Elia M.,University of Genoa | Mukherjee S.,Brookhaven National Laboratory | Sanfilippo F.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2010

We investigate the properties of the deconfining/chiral restoring transition for two flavor QCD in the presence of a uniform background magnetic field. We adopt standard staggered fermions and a lattice spacing of the order of 0.3 fm. We explore different values of the bare quark mass, corresponding to pion masses in the range 200-480 MeV, and magnetic fields up to |e|B∼0.75GeV2. The deconfinement and chiral symmetry restoration temperatures remain compatible with each other and rise very slightly (<2% for our largest magnetic field) as a function of the magnetic field. On the other hand, the transition seems to become sharper as the magnetic field increases. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Fabbri L.,University of Bologna | Fabbri L.,University of Genoa | Mannheim P.D.,University of Connecticut
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

While one can in principle augment gravity theory with torsion, it is generally thought that any such torsion effects would be too small to be of consequence. Here we show that this cannot, in general, be the case. We show that the limit of vanishing torsion is not necessarily a continuous one, with the theory obtained in the limit not necessarily coinciding with the theory in which torsion had never been present at all. However, for a standard torsion tensor that is antisymmetric in two of its indices, we have found two cases in which the vanishing torsion limit is in fact continuous, namely Einstein gravity and conformal gravity. For other gravity theories of common interest to possess a continuous limit the torsion tensor would need to be antisymmetric in all three of its indices. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Delzanno G.,University of Genoa | Rosa-Velardo F.,Complutense University of Madrid
Theoretical Computer Science | Year: 2013

We apply language theory to compare the expressive power of infinite-state models that extend Petri nets with features like coloured tokens and/or whole place operations. Specifically, we consider extensions of Petri nets in which tokens carry pure names dynamically generated with special ν-transitions (ν-PN) and compare their expressiveness with transfer and reset nets with black indistinguishable tokens (Affine Well-Structured Nets), and nets in which tokens carry data taken from a linearly ordered domain (Data nets and CMRS). All these models are well-structured transition systems. In order to compare these models we consider the families of languages they recognize, using coverability as the accepting condition. With this criterion, we prove that ν-PNs are in between AWNs and Data Nets/CMRS, but equivalent to an extension of ν-PN with whole-place operations. These results extend the currently known classification of the expressive power of well-structured transition systems. Finally, we study several problems regarding (coverability) languages of AWN and ν-PN. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

The rapid escalation in health care costs has led to the idea to deliver better care at lower costs, reshaping the responsibilities of the health care system to achieve the goal of creating value for the patient. The pressure for fiscal containment and the progressive reduction in available health care resources originated very short term strategies consisting of abrupt reductions in expenditure, specifically in the provision of clinical pathology laboratory medicine services. However, the impact of laboratory test results on diagnostic and therapeutic interventions has increased enormously in the past decade, due to advances in personalized medicine and to the strictly correlated requirement to use new biomarkers with increasing sensitivity and specificity in clinical practice. In order to create savings by delivering better care there is the need to invest financial resources in purchasing high technology and new sophisticated tests and to promote the expertise of clinical pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals. This approach to creating value in patient health care is more productive and sustainable ethically, morally and economically as a long-term strategy. It can be successfully achieved by applying defined rules that make public-private cooperation clearer, skipping incompatible solutions such as transforming clinical laboratories to 'industrially productive premises', outsourcing laboratory medicine services and using central acquisition of diagnostic systems. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2012.1.1-1. | Award Amount: 4.20M | Year: 2012

Recent directives outline the need to mitigate underwater noise footprint due to shipping, to prevent negative consequences to marine life. In that context, the final goal of AQUO project is to provide to policy makers practical guidelines, acceptable by shipyards and ship owners. The list of solutions will be split into solutions regarding ship design (including propeller and cavitation noise), and solutions related to shipping control and regulation. Exploitation of the AQUO project results is expected to have significant impacts, meeting the requirements of the MSFD. The project is supported by relevant methods and tools, which will be used to assess the effectiveness of noise mitigation measures in order to select the most appropriate: - A noise footprint assessment tool will be derived from Quonops an existing operational underwater noise prediction system, connectable with AIS shipping data. The tool will be adapted to the problem considered and validated by comparison with in-situ measurements at sea. - Dedicated bio-acoustic studies will be conducted on different marine species representative to European maritime areas, with the goal to derive criteria regarding shipping underwater noise acceptable limits. - Computer methods will be developed and scale model experiments will be done to predict radiated noise from ship propellers, including cavitation effects and interaction with ship hull. These predictive techniques will be validated by comparison to measurements. - To support the analysis, several vessels, including commercial ships, will be tested at sea. Indeed, the project will benefit from the strong expertise of the consortium in the field of ship noise and vibrations, relying on long term experience on many ships, and a dedicated database. A proposal for ship Underwater Radiated Noise measurement European standard will also be produced. The consortium is a well-balanced team composed of ship industry, specialized companies, a classification society, research centers and academics. Different European countries are represented. The team includes a large panel of specialists covering the different technical topics to address, allowing a multi-disciplinary approach.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.2.1 | Award Amount: 4.27M | Year: 2010

TRIDENT proposes a new methodology for multipurpose underwater intervention tasks with diverse potential applications like underwater archaeology, oceanography and offshore industries, going beyond present-day methods typically based on manned and / or purpose built systems.A team of two cooperative heterogeneous robots with complementary skills, an Autonomous Surface Craft (ASC) and an Intervention Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (I-AUV) endowed with a dexterous manipulator, will be used to perform underwater manipulation tasks.The proposed methodology is based on two steps.During the first step, the I-AUV is deployed from the ASC to perform a cooperative path following survey, where it gathers optical/acoustic data from the seafloor whilst the ASC provides geo-referenced navigation data as well as communication with the end user. During this phase of the mission the I-AUV will be doing accurate path following and terrain tracking, to maximize bottom coverage and data quality. The motion of the ASC will be coordinated with that of the I-AUV to achieve precise USBL (Ultra Short Base Line) positioning and reliable acoustic communications. After the survey, the I-AUV docks with the ASC and sends the data back to a ground station where a map is set up and a target object is identified by the end user.At the second step, the ASC navigates towards a waypoint near the intervention area where the I-AUV is launched to search for the object. When the object (i.e. the target of the intervention) has been found, the I-AUV switches to free floating navigation mode. The manipulation of the object takes place through a dexterous hand attached to a redundant robot arm and assisted with proper perception. Particular emphasis will be put on the research of the vehicles intelligent control architecture to provide the embedded knowledge representation framework and the high-level reasoning agents required to enable a high degree of autonomy and on-board decision making of the platform. The new methodology will allow the user to specify an intervention task, among a set of predefined ones, to be undertaken with regards to a particular target object selected by the end user by means of the map previously built. Hence the intervention task is seen as a semi-automatic process where the target is manually selected but then it is automatically recognized and manipulated by the robot in a complete autonomous way. The TRIDENT project brings together research skills specific to marine environments in navigation and mapping for underwater robotics, multi-sensory perception and a range of control techniques relating to intelligent control architectures, vehicle-manipulator systems and dexterous manipulation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC5-11d-2015 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2015

There is a need to develop an autonomous, reliable, cost effective technology to map vast terrains, in terms of mineral and raw material contents which will aid in reducing the cost of mineral exploration, currently performed by ROVs and dedicated SSVs and crew. Furthermore there is a need to identify, in an efficient and non-intrusive manner (minimum impact to the environment), the most rich mineral sites. This technology will aid the seabed mining industry, reduce the cost of exploration and especially the detailed identification of the raw materials contained in a mining sites and enable targeted mining only of the richest resources existing. The ROBUST proposal aims to tackle the aforementioned issue by developing sea bed in situ material identification through the fusion of two technologies, namely laser-based in-situ element-analyzing capability merged with underwater AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) technologies for sea bed 3D mapping. This will enable resource identification done by robotic control enabled by the synergy between AUV hovering and manipulator capabilities. The underwater robotic laser process is the Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), used for identification of materials on the sea bed. The AUV Robotic vehicle will dive, identify the resources that are targeted for LIBS scanning through 3D real time mapping of the terrain (hydro-acoustically, laser scanners, photogrammetry) and position the LIBS in the required locations of mineral deposits on the ocean floor to autonomously perform qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2007-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.95M | Year: 2008

EXCELL is a novel innovative approach to explore interaction mechanisms between biological materials and systems/nanostructures. It involves a forward-looking cross-disciplinary and design-based research to generate an integrated, biologically inspired technological platform of high complexity, able to monitor cell dynamics at nano-scale. Expertise in cellular and molecular biology, nanosciences, material engineering, biophysics, biotechnology, modelling, and analytical chemistry, are combined to address the targeted goals, which go beyond the state of the art methods used in traditional biotechnology and systems biology. EXCELL will provide a complete Lab-in-a-Cell (LIC) sensor and actuator platform, which is capable of: (1) studying single cells in their natural environment surrounded by other cells or a complex mixture of different cells/tissue, (2) following the dynamics and interdependence of single cell processes from gene, protein, metabolite to compound secretion, exocytosis and cell-to-cell communication, (3) testing how and where various stimuli affect the different levels of the molecular machinery and finally (4) programming cells to be able to differentiate into a particular phenotype. A major task is the design of suitable biocompatible nano/bio interfaces that ensures a sustainable cellular environment. EXCELL provides a unique opportunity for developing advanced, novel experimental tools to address fundamental problems of stem cell research and poses a potential for possible diversification and modulation of developmental programs of stem cells to differentiate them into specific phenotypes. EXCELL has the capacity to drive new discoveries having a significant impact not only in the field of stem cell research and clinical use, but also on molecular engineering, nanosciences, sensor development, diagnostics, therapeutics, biotechnology and industry (smart materials, medical diagnostics, pharmaceutical companies, start-ups)

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.2-6 | Award Amount: 3.43M | Year: 2009

The main purpose of the EVINCI-study is to test the impact of combined anatomo-functional non invasive cardiac imaging for detection and characterization of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD). The EVINCI-study is a prospective clinical European multicenter trial performed in a cohort of 700 patients with suspected IHD. Patients with intermediate pre-test probability will undergo clinical and biohumoral characterization, including novel circulating markers of cardiovascular risk. They will be admitted to a non-invasive cardiac evaluation, consisting of anatomic imaging, by multislice computerized tomography, combined with functional tests among radionuclide, magnetic resonance and ultrasound imaging. Heart catheterization will be performed to validate non-invasive diagnosis and follow-up to assess outcome. The diagnostic accuracy of combined non-invasive anatomo-functional imaging will be tested against reference methods for diagnosing epicardial coronary lesions (coronary angiography), vessel wall atherosclerosis (intracoronary ultrasound) and impaired coronary flow reserve (intracoronary doppler/pressure wire). The individual profiles from anatomo-functional cardiac imaging and clinical-biohumoral data will be combined and tested against outcome. A cost-benefit analysis (including an estimate of procedural/radiological risks) of the new diagnostic work-up will also be performed. A relevant part of the EVINCI-study will be dedicated to the development, in cooperation with the industry, of an advanced informatics platform able to synthetically present to the end-user (patients, physicians, etc.) the integrated cardiological diagnostic profile of the individual patient as resulting from clinical-biohumoral and multi-imaging assessment. Overall results will be disseminated in cooperation with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and will guide the work of a dedicated ESC Commission which will release specific European Recommendations.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SEC-2011.2.4-1 | Award Amount: 14.99M | Year: 2012

SAFEPOST aims to raise the current level of postal security by integrating innovative screening solutions suitable for uninterrupted flow of the enormous volumes of parcels and letters with operational postal processes and the criminal and customs intelligence work in a European wide cooperative distributed model. Starting from the perspective of the partner postal operations, the project will first identify the main security threats and threat actors and the main security gaps in postal operations. Secondly, it will describe security measures and process improvements to maintain or augment the efficient and secure operation of postal services to address the identified threats. After making an inventory of security gaps these will be developed into generic postal security models which will be integrated into a Postal Security Target Operating Model, which will enable postal operators, customs and other relevant actors to understand how to securely exchange information related not only to security but also to the optimisation of postal flows. To support the Postal Security Target Operating Model, a Postal Security Platform will be developed that will help extending the current MEDICI effort, and will exploit developments made in FP7 projects on e-Freight and secure supply chains. SAFEPOST will extend the concept of its Postal Security Target Operating Model to propose a Common Postal Security Space with a view to create in the future a European/World Postal Security standard security information sharing system.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 466.20K | Year: 2013

BETRAPOCYS is a knowledge transfer project aimed at conducting research and exchanging know-how on a new generation of bimodal polyethylene reactor blends with strongly enhanced processing characteristics and properties. The transfer of experience and skills will be secured through the exchange of researchers between Brazil and Europe, and a detailed program of courses, events and coaching. BETRAPOCYS will be carried out by three Brazilian and five European research organisations. The successful development of novel, improved polymeric materials and products from academic research to industrial practice requires an integrated Chain-of-Knowledge approach. This chain is now partly broken due to different industrial and academic foci. BETRAPOCYS aims to bridge this gap by exploiting the ultimate properties of the macromolecular knowledge chain in new sophisticated applications. The knowledge transfer programme in support of this goal consists of dedicated training courses aligned with the WPs, and common knowledge-transfer events to facilitate knowledge exchange between researchers within and outside the consortium. Bulk polyolefins are now produced using gas- and slurry phase processes with heterogeneous multi-site catalysts, allowing for good polymer particle morphology control and high bulk density without reactor fouling. However, it is more difficult to fine-tune the properties than with homogeneous single-site catalysts. The latter require immobilization to reach/exceed the same performance level; a serious challenge to be faced. BETRAPOCYS aims to study the supportation of multiple single-site catalysts onto silicate-type nano-fillers, graphene and carbon nanotubes, to produce well-processible reactor blends of tailor-made composition. The consortium will study catalyst systems, the preparation and characterisation of the bimodal blends, and the resultant properties of the systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.06M | Year: 2013

Current applications of microwave technologies in communications, remote sensing and in industry are based on the properties of the interaction of microwaves with matter at supra-wave length scales (above centimetres). The developments performed in Nanotechnology in recent years makes now conceivable to explore the interaction of microwaves with matter at much smaller scales, from micrometres to nanometres. At these sub-wave length scales it is expected that fascinating new physical phenomena may appear, which will give rise to new applications of microwave technologies with high added value, in particular, in field such as nano-electronics, nano-spintronics, nanobiology and nano-medicine. Being an emerging technology there is a need for training early stage researchers in this field of research so that enough critical mass can be achieved. The main objective of this network is to train a whole generation of researchers in the field of nanoscale microwave technologies and related emerging applications in the fields of semiconductor industry and life sciences. The researchers of the network will acquire a state of the art multidisciplinary scientific training in this field of research, covering from basic science to industrial applications, thus enabling them to generate new knowledge with high impact. In addition, they will receive a practical training on transferable skills in order to increase their employability perspectives and to qualify them to access to responsibility job positions in the private and public sector. The final aim of the network is to help Europe to position and consolidate in a leading position in the field of nanoscale microwave technologies and related applications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2011.1.1-2. | Award Amount: 4.19M | Year: 2012

Traditionally, the environmental performance of ships in terms of air emissions has never been among the primary concerns of the maritime industry. However, this situation is bound to change considering that the greening of the transportation sector is imminent and unavoidable. This tendency is manifested with activities ranging from regularly published statistics regarding the air pollution of general industrial activity up to the Energy Efficiency Design and Operation Index that are currently being considered at IMO. The greening of shipping operations has to do with more than just the amount of NOx, SOx and CO2 gases emitted at any period of time: the fact that for every tonne of fuel burnt approximately three tonnes of CO2 are produced indicates that the environmental performance of ships is linked to their cost-effectiveness. As a result, consistent energy management onboard will become a priority for rule compliance, and robustness against unpredictable financial fluctuations. Acknowledging that newly build ships will comply with the environmental regulations from the outset and will be more advantageous in comparison to existing ones, REFRESH will address the aspects of retrofitting that are essential for improving the energy efficiency onboard. The central concept of REFRESH is the dynamic energy modelling, i.e. the simulation of the energy production, consumption and losses over time. This idea will be implemented in a decision support tool that will allow onboard and ashore personnel to monitor the performance of the ship and adopt appropriate practices as a function of its operational profile. The objectives of REFRESH are: Development of dynamic energy modelling routines; Optimisation of the energy efficiency and air emissions for retrofitting and operation; Development of a monitoring and management methodology for operation; and Development of a decision support tool for operation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2009.5.1.1 | Award Amount: 5.16M | Year: 2010

Membranes for oxygen and hydrogen separation play a key-role in the development of CO2 emission-free coal or natural gas power plants. In addition, cost-effective oxygen and hydrogen production processes are urgently needed in gas supply industry. Today existing membranes, however, are not able to meet the requirements for an economical use because of the high costs in combination with limited permeability values and long-term stability in the operating environment. The objective of this project is, therefore, the development of thin mixed conducting membranes for O2 and H2 separation by using a new deposition technique Low Pressure Plasma Spraying Thin Film (LPPS-TF) in combination with nanoporous, highly catalytic layers. TF-LPPS is a technique based on a combination of thermal spray and Physical Vapour Deposition technology. It allows the cost-effective production of thin, dense coatings on large areas at low substrate temperatures and has already successfully been used for the deposition of membranes for the solid oxide fuel cells. In this project both ceramic and metallic substrates will be used for deposition. It is expected that, by using the LPPS-TF process a dense, stable deposit with thickness lower than 20 micron can be obtained. This would allow to increase membrane performances while decreasing their manufacturing costs. Catalytic layers will be also applied to enhance the surface reactions becoming rate limiting for thin membranes. Membrane performances will be assessed in pilot loops in order to meet specific targets in terms of permeability and stability at temperature. A modelling study concerning the integration of the developed membranes in power and hydrogen production plants will be also performed. This will provide inputs for process scale-up and cost evaluation in the selected plant configurations in order to approach zero CO2 emission and a CO2 capture cost of 15 /ton.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 3.48M | Year: 2010

The MIROR Project deals with the development of an innovative adaptive system for music learning and teaching based on the reflexive interaction paradigm. The platform will be developed in the context of early childhood music education. It will act as an advanced cognitive tutor, designed to promote specific cognitive abilities in the field of music improvisation, both in formal learning contexts (kindergartens, primary schools, music schools) and informal ones (at home, kinder centres, etc.). The reflexive interaction paradigm is based on the idea of letting users manipulate virtual copies of themselves, through specifically designed machine-learning software referred to as interactive reflexive musical systems (IRMS). By definition IRMS are able to learn and configure themselves according to their understanding of learners behaviour. We propose to extend the IRMS paradigm with the analysis and synthesis of multisensory expressive gesture to increase its impact on the musical pedagogy of young children, by developing new multimodal interface. The project will be based on a novel spiral design approach involving coupled interactions between the technical partners and the psycho-pedagogical ones. The project will integrate both psychological case-study experiments, aiming to experiment cognitive hypothesis concerning the mirroring behaviour and the learning efficacy of the platform, and validation studies aiming at developing the software in concrete educational settings. The project will contribute to promoting the reflexive interaction paradigm not only in the field of music learning but more generally as a new paradigm for establishing a synergy between learning and cognition in the context of child/machine interaction.\nThe project mostly addresses target c) concerning the development of adaptive and innovative learning systems. However, objectives of target d) are also pursued through the development of a novel music learning appliance.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.6.7 | Award Amount: 17.11M | Year: 2012

TEAM aims at developing systems for participants in transportation networks, which help them to behave better by explicitly taking into account the needs and constraints of other participants and the network itself. Focus will be placed upon decision-making in a time interval, above what is commonly associated with reactive safety (typically less than 5 seconds) and below long-term planning applications (typically 5 minutes and longer). In this interval human actors can employ modern technology to collaboratively devise socially optimal strategies. Thereby, we believe we will be able to reduce the social cost of traffic while increasing its efficiency and flexibility.\n\nThe project is built around four basic themes:\n\n1. Basic technologies to realise collaborative mobility: We will advance communication technologies that underpin V2X by integrating LTE technologies, and by developing an automotive cloud-computing platform to support advanced and decentralised traffic management algorithms.\n\n2. Infrastructure-centric technologies and algorithms for elastic mobility: We will develop proactive infrastructure-centric algorithms and technologies to enable behavioural change in order to improve transportation networks in a way that takes into account real-time needs and constraints of all network users.\n\n3. Distributed technologies and algorithms to realise elastic mobility: We will develop proactive user-, community- and group-centric algorithms and technologies to achieve (and complement) the goals of theme 2. The vision is to use nomadic devices such as smart phones or on-board units to realise massively distributed collaborative control and optimisation concepts.\n\n4. Demonstration: The success of the project will be demonstrated via innovative leading-edge cooperative applications and a Europe-wide mobility experiment to illustrate the systems benefits in a pan-European setting.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2009

Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) represent one of the most challenging frontiers for robotics research. AUVs work in an unstructured environment and face unique perception, decision, control and communications difficulties. Currently, the state of the art is dominated by single AUVs limited to open-sea preplanned trajectories with offline postprocessing of the data gathered during the mission. The use of multiple AUVs as propagated in this project is still in a very early research phase. Some of the research issues addressed in this project are even completely uncharted territory, especially the development of functionalities to seamlessly monitor critical underwater infrastructures and to detect anomalous situations (e.g., missions related to harbour safety and security) and the study of advanced AUVs capable of interacting with humans to perform such functions as companion/support platforms during scientific and commercial dives. The aim of the Co3-AUVs project is to develop, implement and test advanced cognitive systems for coordination and cooperative control of multiple AUVs. Several aspects will be investigated including 3D perception and mapping, cooperative situation awareness, deliberation and navigation as well as behavioral control strictly linked with the underwater communication challenges. As a result, the team of AUVs will cooperate in challenging scenarios in the execution of missions where all data is online processed. In doing so, the team will be robust with respect to failures and environmental changes. These key features will be tested in a harbor scenario where additional difficulties with respect to open sea applications arise and in a human diver assistance scenario that also illustrates human robot interaction issues.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.3.4 | Award Amount: 7.11M | Year: 2011

The main objectives of this proposal is to evaluate different process alternatives and find optimal process and mechanical solutions for the cathode and stack subsystems with the aim of having commercially feasible and technologically optimised subsystem solutions ready for future ~ 250 kWe atmospheric SOFC systems. The aspects taken into account in the development are mainly electrical efficiency, controllability, reliability, mass production and costs effectiveness of developed subsystems and individual components. This project is focused on the development of SOFC systems air side fluid and thermal management and mechanical solutions, i.e. cathode subsystem and individual components. In large SOFC systems the cathode subsystem is typically the largest source of auxiliary losses and a major factor decreasing electrical efficiency of the system. The reason for this is that almost all components are based on existing products developed for some other purposes and are not optimized for certain SOFC systems. By making cathode side components from the SOFC system point of view, i.e. optimizing the overall system solutions, significant improvements in terms of costs, reliability, performance and lifetime will be achieved. A parallel optimization of the anode subsystem is carried out in the EU funded ASSENT project. The project will further focus on the integration of SOFC stacks in large systems. If large SOFC systems would be realized by simple multiplication of smaller SOFC stacks, the cost of the so-called Balance of Stack components would be very large. The Balance of Stack components includes air- and gas manifolding, stack compression, thermal insulation, electrical insulation, wiring, lead-ins and sealing. Based on state-of-the-art SOFC stacks this project will develop scalable, cost-efficient Balance of Stack solutions suitable for ~ 250 kW SOFC systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.87M | Year: 2010

The SPECIAL project aims at delivering breakthrough technologies for the biotechnological production of cellular metabolites and extracellular biomaterials from marine sponges. These include a platform technology to produce secondary metabolites from a wide range of sponge species, a novel in vitro method for the production of biosilica and recombinant technology for the production of marine collagen. Research on cellular metabolites will be based upon our recent finding that non-growing sponges continuously release large amounts of cellular material. Production of biosilica will be realized through biosintering, a novel enzymatic process that was recently discovered in siliceous sponges. Research on sponge collagen will focus on finding the optimal conditions for expression of the related genes. Alongside this research, the project will identify and develop new products from sponges, thus fully realizing the promises of marine biotechnology. Specifically, the project will focus on potential anticancer drugs and novel biomedical/industrial applications of biosilica and collagen, hereby taking advantage of the unique physico-chemical properties of these extracellular sponge products. The consortium unites seven world-class research institutions covering a wide range of marine biotechnology-related disciplines and four knowledge-intensive SMEs that are active in the field of sponge culture, drug development and nanobiotechnology. The project is clearly reflecting the strategic objectives outlined in the position paper European Marine Strategy (2008); it will enhance marine biotechnology at a multi-disciplinary, European level and provide new opportunities for the European industry to exploit natural marine resources in a sustainable way. In particular the biotechnological potential of marine sponges, which has for a long time been considered as an eternal promise, will be realized through the SPECIAL project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SST.2013.6-2. | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2013

PORTOPIA aims to develop, next to extensions of existing indicators within the different perspectives of port performance, innovative approaches for the industrys stakeholders, such as: Development of a forecasting dimension in port performance management within the market trends and structure category; Development of top-down methods for harmonised socio-economic impact calculation; Development of an innovative, port-individualized tool for environmental and safety performance; Development of European port-related logistics chain connectivity indicators; Development of new governance indicators based on the changing role of port authorities, including indicators on financial capabilities and transparency; Development of a method to capture user perceptions of port performance; Development of a dedicated performance management system for the inland ports sector, including attention to the interaction between sea and inland ports; Development of a strategy map and an integrated benchmarking tool taking into account the specificities of ports. Furthermore, PORTOPIA aims to increase substantially the efficiency (user friendliness) of the data collection, to automate the calculations and the management system, and to build a solid data warehouse ensuring data confidentiality of individual contributors in all phases (collection, calculation, reporting). Also, further professionalizing of the communication and dissemination of results through a dedicated website, professional reporting, annual events on port performance, etc. belongs to PORTOPIAs objectives. The end result of PORTOPIA will be a state-of-the-art, sustainable, self-supporting European Ports Observatory, endorsed by port stakeholders, that provides superior value to the industry and its stakeholders by supplying transparent, useful and robust indicators and the contextual analysis of thereof, leading to improved resource efficiency, effectiveness and societal support for the European Port System.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-06-2014 | Award Amount: 5.34M | Year: 2015

Underwater operations (e.g. oil industry) are demanding and costly activities for which ROV based setups are often deployed in addition to deep divers contributing to operations risks and costs cutting. However the operation of a ROV requires significant off-shore dedicated manpower such a setup typically requires a crew consisting of: (1) an intendant, (2) an operator, and (3) a navigator. This is a baseline, and extra staffing is often provisioned. Furthermore, customers representatives often wish to be physically present at the off-shore location in order to advise on, or to observe the course of the operations. Associated costs are high. In order to reduce the burden of operations, DexROV will work out more cost effective and time efficient ROV operations, where manned support is in a large extent delocalized onshore (i.e. from a ROV control center), possibly at a large distance from the actual operations - thus with latencies in the communication. As a main strategy to mitigate them, DexROV will develop a real time simulation environment to accommodate operators requests on the onshore side with no delays. The simulated environment will exploit cm accuracy 3D models of the environment built online by the ROV, using data acquired with underwater sensors (3D sonar and vision based). A dedicated cognitive engine will analyse users control requests as done in the simulated environment, and will turn them into primitives that the ROV can execute autonomously in the real environment, despite the communication latencies. Effective user interfaces will be developed for dexterous manipulation, including a double advanced arm and hand force feedback exoskeleton. The ROV will be equipped with a pair of new force sensing capable manipulators and dexterous end-effectors: they will be integrated within a modular skid. The outcomes of the project will be integrated and evaluated in a series of tests and evaluation campaigns, culminating with a realistic offshore trial.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: SPIRE-02-2014 | Award Amount: 11.04M | Year: 2014

Methanol represents one of the most common and widespread platform chemicals and precursors for further synthesis, and is traditionally produced from synthesis gas, obtained by the reforming of natural gas. This methanol synthesis process operates in a stable, high-throughput manner and demands low carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide ratios in feed. The current project, nonetheless, is to encompass flexible (in operation and feed) methanol synthesis with high carbon dioxide concentration-streams as an input, the latter originating from thermal power stations using fossil fuels. The demonstrational technology may alternatively be intended for the application of existing biomass combustion and gasification system streams, operating for the production of electric/thermal energy, as opposed to chemical synthesis. The other synthesis reactant, hydrogen, is to originate from water hydrolysis using surplus energy, which would be conversely difficult to return to the grid. The three main benefits of the process would thus be as follows; the mitigation of exhaust carbon dioxide and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (1), stabilisation of electric grid by the consumption of the electric energy at its peaks (2), and the production of methanol as a versatile chemical for further conversion (3). Implications of such technology would have a strong connection to the pending exploration of alternative energy carriers and their synthesis as opposed to conventional resources of fuels and chemicals. The principal technological challenge to be overcome is anticipated to be the development of a suitable catalyst and process, which would allow for high-CO2-content feeds, relatively transient operation (save for an upstream buffering technology is developed), and economically viable operating conditions. The primary advantages of this technology are to be its flexibility, medium-scale operation (deployed at exhaust location), and facile integration capacities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.1.1.3. | Award Amount: 5.08M | Year: 2009

Transports are well known to be major contributors to noise pollution. Noise and vibrations (N&V) abatement naturally appears as an important objective for in the greening of surface transports. The SILENV project is a response to this requirement for the maritime domain. The consequences of N&V emissions from the ships are multiple. N&V emissions constitute a disturbance for both passengers and harbour area residents, and in some cases it may be a health issue for crew members. Moreover, the increasing ship traffic-generated underwater noise causes ecological nuisances on marine wildlife. This project proposes a holistic approach to reduce ship-generated Noise & Vibration pollution. After a definition of realistic target levels, existing experimental data from main types of ships and on-site measurements will be analysed to identify the most critical sources of noise and vibration. Innovative solutions will be listed and individually assessed on technical and economical criteria. These solutions shall subsequently be virtually tested and refined on numerical models of entire ships, thus allowing us to scientifically grade N&V improvements. SILENV final main deliverable is a green label proposal that includes recommended target levels for N&V and associated design guidelines.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PROTEC-1-2014 | Award Amount: 2.42M | Year: 2015

Space weather can have detrimental, and in some cases catastrophic, effects upon a multitude of technologies on which we depend as part our daily lives. Adverse space weather is now known to result from solar flares and coronal mass ejections released from the turbulent and highly complex magnetic fields of active regions. Understanding how active region magnetic fields evolve and produce these events is therefore of fundamental importance to developing accurate and reliable space-weather monitoring and forecasting capabilities. We therefore propose to develop an advanced flare prediction system (Flare Likelihood And Region Eruption Forecasting; FLARECAST) that is based on automatically extracted physical properties of active regions coupled with state-of-the-art flare prediction methods and validated using the most appropriate forecast verification measures. Active region properties, such as area, magnetic flux, shear, magnetic complexity, helicity and proxies for magnetic energy, will be extracted from solar magnetogram and white-light images in near-realtime using advanced image-processing techniques. Once active region properties have been extracted, they will be correlated with solar flare activity and used to optimize prediction algorithms based on statistical, unsupervised clustering and supervised learning methods. This will enable us to validate our image processing and flare prediction algorithms before launching a near-realtime flare forecasting service, the first of its kind in the world. FLARECAST will therefore form the basis of the first quantitative, physically motivated and autonomous active region monitoring and flare forecasting system, which will be of use to space-weather researchers and forecasters in Europe and around the globe.

Optimal, healthy pregnancy followed by normal birth is the ideal. Caesarean section (CS) doubles the risk of mortality and morbidity (hysterectomy, blood transfusion), and increases the risk of postnatal infection by 5, compared with vaginal birth (WHO Global Survey on Maternal and Perinatal Health). The European Perinatal Health Report (2008) notes widespread concern over rising CS rates, which vary from 15% in the Netherlands to 38% in Italy. Much of the rise is due to routine CS following previous CS, despite calls for increased vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC), which results in less mortality and morbidity and is the preferred option for the majority of women. VBAC rates in Ireland, Germany, and Italy are significantly lower (29-36%) than those in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Finland (45-55%), a difference that equates to 160,000 unnecessary CSs per annum in Europe, at an extra direct annual cost of 156m. Using a cluster randomised trial in Ireland, Germany and Italy, with 15 clusters of 94 women, the OptiBIRTH study will attempt to increase VBAC rates from 33 to 53% through increased women-centred care and womens involvement in their care, making savings of 2m for every 100,000 births in future. The intervention involves evidence-based education of women and clinicians, introduction of communities of practice (women and clinicians sharing knowledge), opinion leaders, audit and peer review of CSs in each site, and joint decision-making by women and clinicians. The experienced project team developed from an ESF-funded workshop Promoting Normality in Childbirth and a COST Action (IS0907: Creating a Dynamic EU Framework for Optimal Maternity Care), and includes 12 partners from 8 countries representing service users, midwifery, obstetrics, epidemiology, sociology, bioethics, health economics and industry (SME). The project, through meaningful patient centred care, will influence EU health policymaking, as advocated by the European Patients Forum.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2011.8.1-2 | Award Amount: 7.37M | Year: 2012

The overall objective of EFENIS is to facilitate and accelerate a move to low carbon manufacturing processes and site management by deployment and demonstration of innovative energy management systems and enabling efficiency technologies, which extend the scope of energy management outside the boundaries of a single plant to total site and then beyond the total site to district heating/cooling systems. The potential is demonstrated across a selection of the EUs most energy-intensive sectors thereby enabling integration across industries and processes while at the same time ensuring wide-spread deployment post-project. The EFENIS project will significantly advance the state-of-the-art with regards to site optimisation and Energy Management Systems. Currently, no deployed solution with a similar holistic scope exists. The major novelty of the project will be the creation of the foundation required for comprehensive, high-impact industrial deployment of energy systems based on Total Site Integration approach in the target industries and subsequent commercial exploitation. The project is focused on allowing integration of the developed technologies and solutions to both new designs and as retrofits to existing sites to ensure fast, widespread and cost-efficient industrial deployment. Until now, both technical and non-technical barriers have prevented the exploitation of this potential.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.3 | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2010

DECIDE (Diagnostic Enhancement of Confidence by an International Distributed Environment), aims at creating a e-Infrastructure to enhance the diagnostic confidence in chronic brain diseases such as Alzheimer and dementia. Proper management of these neurodegenerative diseases are thought to be very important in terms of health-economical point of view. The DECIDE infrastructure will provide the medical community with neuroimaging applications that can take advantage of the use of large reference databases and advanced, computationally intensive algorithms to detect disease biomarkers in individual patients based on structural Magnetic Resonance (MR), functional Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT), and electroencephalographic (EEG) images. The DECIDE infrastructure will be built on different layers: networks, GRID and storages, neuroimaging applications, user-friendly customized GUI. The workplans of RTD and SVC activities explain how the e-Infrastructure will be deployed and validated, whilst the NAs activities will take care of dissemination, training and outreach to the medical community. This infrastructure will enable clinicians from hospitals across the Eeurope not owning large sets of normal subject images or/and not equipped with high computation resources or/and not providing computer-aided sophisticated algorithms to support neurological diagnosis, to carry out analyses, remotely and efficiently, by the use of a centralized, user friendly, web-Grid service. The project would like to exploit the state-of-the-art neuroimaging data acquisition, analysis and grid based technology to reduce the burden of huge cost for the management of the neurodegenerative diseases.

Ogunsola A.,Parsons International | Mariscotti A.,University of Genoa | Sandrolini L.,University of Bologna
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery | Year: 2012

DC-electrified traction systems are a potential source of stray current that may corrode internal and external structures and installations. The stray current intensity depends on several factors (traction current, rail insulation, concrete mat and piers resistance), that are accounted for in the proposed model. The case of a viaduct and a victim-buried pipeline is considered in detail, and the estimated impressed voltage on the pipe is compared successfully with experimental results. © 1986-2012 IEEE.

News Article | August 22, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rising global temperatures are clearly linked to increasing waterborne food poisoning, particularly from eating raw oysters, along with other nasty infections, a new study shows. About a dozen species of vibrio (VIB'-ree-oh) bacteria make people sick from eating raw or undercooked seafood or drinking or swimming in tainted water. It also causes cholera, although that was not the focus of the research. Lab-confirmed vibrio infections in the United States have increased from an average of about 390 a year from the late 1990s to an average of 1,030 in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But most cases aren't confirmed by tests and reported. "It's a remarkable increase on an annual basis," said study lead author Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland, a top microbiologist who used to head the National Science Foundation. The study examined Europe and North America, but the most consistent tracking of vibrio illnesses were in the United States. The CDC blames about 100 deaths a year on vibrio on average. Even Alaska, where such outbreaks used to be unheard of because the bacteria needs warm water, is getting cases from people eating vibrio-infected oysters, Colwell said. Her study, published in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , highlights an unprecedented wave of vibrio illnesses from swimming in northern Europe during heat waves in 1994, 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2010. Until now, researchers had indirectly linked climate change to an increase in illnesses from the bacteria, Colwell said. Using DNA, a 50-year database of plankton, water temperatures and disease reports, she shows a more comprehensive connection. "Now we have linked very directly the increase and the trend in number of cases, so it's all coming together in great detail," Colwell said. With the giant database of plankton and DNA, the international team of scientists was able to monitor how pervasive the vibrio bacteria have become in waterways around the world by creating an index. The index doesn't show the number of vibrio, but its relative abundance, said study author Luigi Vezzulli of the University of Genoa. That index has about tripled in many of the areas they examined, including the North Atlantic. That type of examination of vibrio levels in plankton hasn't been done before and "is critical to understand the regional scale of changes in climate to potential increases in human risk," said Erin Lipp, a University of Georgia, professor of environmental health sciences. She wasn't part of the study but praised it as exciting and important. Follow Seth Borenstein at and his work can be found at

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2010-6 | Award Amount: 12.83M | Year: 2011

The nSHIELD project is, at the same time, a complement and an improvement of pSHIELD, a pilot project funded in ARTEMIS Call 2009 as the first investigation to build the SHIELD Architectural Framework for SPD. The roadmap proposed in this pilot project aims at addressing Security, Privacy and Dependability (SPD) in the context of Embedded Systems (ESs) as built in rather than as add-on functionalities, proposing and perceiving with this strategy the first step toward SPD certification for future ES. Within this scope, the role of nSHIELD will be to realize, demonstrate and validate this roadmap. The leading concept is to demonstrate composability of SPD technologies. Starting from current SPD solutions in ESs, the project will develop new technologies and consolidate the ones already explored in pSHIELD in a solid basement that will become the reference milestone for a new generation of SPD-ready ESs. SHIELD will approach SPD at 4 different levels: node, network, middleware and overlay. For each level, the state of the art in SPD of single technologies and solutions will be improved and integrated (hardware and communication technologies, cryptography, middleware, smart SPD applications, etc.). The SPD technologies will be enhanced with the composable functionality that are being studied and designed in pSHIELD, in order to fit in the SHIELD architectural framework. To achieve these challenging goals the project aims to create an innovative, modular, composable, expandable and high-dependable architectural framework, concrete tools and common SPD metrics capable of improving the overall SPD level in any specific application domain, with minimum engineering effort. The whole ESs lifecycle will be supported to provide the highest cross-layer and cross-domain levels of SPD and guaranteeing their maintenance and evolution in time In order to verify these important achievements, the project will validate the SHIELD integrated system by means of fourt scenarios

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2012-AIPP1 | Award Amount: 81.51M | Year: 2013

CRYSTAL aims at fostering Europes leading edge position in embedded systems engineering in particular regarding quality and cost effectiveness of safety-critical embedded systems and architecture platforms. Its overall goal is to enable sustainable paths to speed up the maturation, integration, and cross-sectoral reusability of technological and methodological bricks of the factories for safety-critical embedded systems engineering in the areas of transportation (aerospace, automotive, and rail) and healthcare providing a critical mass of European technology providers. CRYSTAL perfectly fits to other ARTEMIS projects, sharing the concept of a reference technology platform (RTP) as a consistent set of integration principles and seamless technology interoperability standards. Based on the methodologies of a service-oriented architecture and the results of previous projects CRYSTAL focuses on an industry-driven approach using cross-domain user stories, domain-specific use cases, public use cases, and technology bricks. This shall have a significant impact to strengthen European competitiveness regarding new markets and societal applications. In building an overall interoperability domain embedded systems, CRYSTAL will contribute to establishing a standard for model-based systems engineering in a certification and safety context which is expected to have global impact. By bringing together large enterprises and various industrial domains CRYSTAL will setup a sustainable innovation eco-system. By harmonizing the demands in the development of safety-relevant embedded systems including multi-viewpoint engineering and variability management across different industrial domains, CRYSTAL will achieve a strong acceptance from both vendors and the open-source community. CRYSTAL will drive forward interoperability towards a de facto standard providing an interoperable European RTP. Approved by the JU on 20-03-2015

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2009-6 | Award Amount: 5.39M | Year: 2010


Montanari T.,University of Genoa | Castoldi L.,Polytechnic of Milan | Lietti L.,Polytechnic of Milan | Busca G.,University of Genoa
Applied Catalysis A: General | Year: 2011

Adsorbents and catalyst supports produced by loading different amounts of potassium acetate on alumina followed by calcination are characterized using IR spectroscopy and TPD. CO, CO2 and NOx adsorption is studied. Two different ranges of potassium loading on alumina are found, namely light and heavy doping corresponding to 1% and more than 3% K wt/wt, respectively. Light doping results in the weak adsorption of CO2 as bicarbonate species and NO2 as bidentate nitrates. Heavy doping results in the adsorption of CO2 as bidentate carbonates and NO 2 as polydentate nitrate species. Three families of exposed K + ions are observed at increasing loading. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Fagnola F.,Polytechnic of Milan | Umanita V.,University of Genoa
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2010

We find the structure of generators of norm-continuous quantum Markov semigroups on B(h) that are symmetric with respect to the scalar product tr (ρ1/2x*ρ1/2y) induced by a faithful normal invariant state ρ and satisfy two quantum generalisations of the classical detailed balance condition related with this non-commutative notion of symmetry: the so-called standard detailed balance condition and the standard detailed balance condition with an antiunitary time reversal. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Ravelli A.,University of Genoa | Grom A.A.,University of Cincinnati | Behrens E.M.,University of Pennsylvania | Cron R.Q.,University of Alabama at Birmingham
Genes and Immunity | Year: 2012

Macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) is a severe, frequently fatal complication of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA) with features of hemophagocytosis leading to coagulopathy, pancytopenia, and liver and central nervous system dysfunction. MAS is overt in 10% of children with sJIA but occurs subclinically in another 30-40%. It is difficult to distinguish sJIA disease flare from MAS. Development of criteria for establishing MAS as part of sJIA are under way and will hopefully prove sensitive and specific. Mutations in cytolytic pathway genes are increasingly being recognized in children who develop MAS as part of sJIA. Identification of these mutations may someday assist in MAS diagnosis. Defects in cytolytic genes have provided murine models of MAS to study pathophysiology and treatment. Recently, the first mouse model of MAS not requiring infection but rather dependent on repeated stimulation through Toll-like receptors was reported. This provides a model of MAS that may more accurately reflect MAS pathology in the setting of autoinflammation or autoimmunity. This model confirms the importance of a balance between pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines. There has been remarkable progress in the use of anti-pro-inflammatory cytokine therapy, particularly against interleukin-1, in the treatment of secondary forms of MAS, such as in sJIA. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Moser G.,University of Genoa | Serpico S.B.,University of Genoa | Benediktsson J.A.,Reykjavik University
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2013

Markov models represent a wide and general family of stochastic models for the temporal and spatial dependence properties associated to 1-D and multidimensional random sequences or random fields. Their applications range over a wide variety of subareas of the information and communication technology (ICT) field, including networking, automation, speech processing, genomic-sequence analysis, or image processing. Focusing on the applicative problem of land-cover mapping from very-high-resolution (VHR) remote sensing images, which is a relevant problem in many applications of environmental monitoring and natural resource exploitation, Markov models convey a great potential, thanks to their capability to effectively describe and incorporate the spatial information associated with image data into an image-classification process. In this framework, the main ideas and previous work about Markov modeling for VHR image classification will be recalled in this paper and processing results obtained through recent methods proposed by the authors will be discussed. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Vignolo S.,University of Genoa | Carloni S.,University of Lisbon | Fabbri L.,University of Genoa
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We investigate some cosmological models arising from a nonminimal coupling of a fermionic field to gravity in the geometrical setting of Einstein-Cartan-Sciama-Kibble gravity. In the presence of torsion, we discuss the role played by the nonminimal coupling together with fermionic self-interaction potentials in facing problems such as cosmological singularity, inflation, and dark energy. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Ghizzoni T.,Corporate Underwriting Geo Risks | Roth G.,University of Genoa | Rudari R.,CIMA Research Foundation
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

This contribution presents an assessment of the joint probability distribution able to describe multi-site multi-basin flood scenarios in a high dimensionality framework. This goal will be pursued through two different approaches: the multivariate skew-t distribution and the Student copula with arbitrary margins. While copulas have been widely used in the modeling of hydrological processes, the use of the skew-t distribution in hydrology has been only recently proposed with reference to a trivariate application (Ghizzoni et al., 2010, Adv. Water Resour., 33, 1243-1255). Both methods are here applied and discussed in a context of considerably higher dimensionality: the Upper Mississippi River floods. In fact, to enhance the characteristics of the correlation structure, eighteen nested and non-nested gauging stations were selected, with significantly different contributing areas. Such conditions represent a challenge for both the skew-t and the copula approach. In perspective, the ability of such approaches in explaining the multivariate aspects of the relevant processes is needed to specify flood hazard scenarios in terms of their intensity, extension and frequency. When this is associated to the knowledge of location, value and vulnerability of exposed elements, comprehensive flood risk scenarios can be produced, and risk cumuli quantified, for given portfolios, composed of wherever located risks. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Norell H.,University of Lisbon | Moretta A.,University of Genoa | Silva-Santos B.,University of Lisbon | Moretta L.,Instituto Giannina Gaslini
Journal of Leukocyte Biology | Year: 2013

NK cells and γδ T lymphocytes display potent cytolytic activity against leukemias and CMV-infected cells and are thus, prosmising immune effector cells in the context of allo-HSCT. NK cells express HLA class I-specific inhibitory receptors and preferentially kill HLA class Ilow tumors or virus-infected cells. Killing occurs upon engagement of activating NKRs with ligands that are up-regulated on tumors and infected cells. A similar activating receptor/ligand interaction strategy is used by γδ T cells, which in addition, use their TCRs for recognition of phosphorylated antigens and still largely undefined ligands on tumor cells. In the haploidentical allo-HSCT setting, alloreactive NK cells, derived from donor HSCs, can exert potent antileukemia activity and kill residual patient DCs and T cells, thus preventing GvHD and graft rejection. However, generation of KIR+ alloreactive NK cells from HSCs requires many weeks, during which leukemia relapses, and life-threatening infections may occur. Importantly, mature NK cells and γδ T cells can control certain infectious agents efficiently, in particular, limit CMV reactivation, and infusion of such donor cells at the time of HSCT has been implemented. Development of novel, cell-based immunotherapies, allowing improved trafficking and better targeting, will endow NK cells and γδ T lymphocytes with enhanced antitumor activity, also making them key reagents for therapies against solid tumors. The clinical aspects of using NK cells and γδ T lymphocytes against hematological malignancies, including the allo-HSCT context, are reviewed in the related side-by-side paper by Locatelli and colleagues [1]. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

Cesca F.,Italian Institute of Technology | Baldelli P.,Italian Institute of Technology | Baldelli P.,University of Genoa | Valtorta F.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | And 2 more authors.
Progress in Neurobiology | Year: 2010

The synapsins are a family of neuronal phosphoproteins evolutionarily conserved in invertebrate and vertebrate organisms. Their best-characterised function is to modulate neurotransmitter release at the pre-synaptic terminal, by reversibly tethering synaptic vesicles (SVs) to the actin cytoskeleton. However, many recent data have suggested novel functions for synapsins in other aspects of the pre-synaptic physiology, such as SV docking, fusion and recycling. Synapsin activity is tightly regulated by several protein kinases and phosphatases, which modulate the association of synapsins to SVs as well as their interaction with actin filaments and other synaptic proteins. In this context, synapsins act as a link between extracellular stimuli and the intracellular signalling events activated upon neuronal stimulation. Genetic manipulation of synapsins in various in vivo models has revealed that, although not essential for the basic development and functioning of neuronal networks, these proteins are extremely important in the fine-tuning of neuronal plasticity, as shown by the epileptic phenotype and behavioural abnormalities characterising mouse lines lacking one or more synapsin isoforms.In this review, we summarise the current knowledge about how the various members of the synapsin family are involved in the modulation of the pre-synaptic physiology. We give a comprehensive description of the molecular basis of synapsin function, as well as an overview of the more recent evidence linking mutations in the synapsin proteins to the onset of severe central nervous system diseases such as epilepsy and schizophrenia. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Luchini P.,University of Salerno | Bottaro A.,University of Genoa
Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2014

The objective of this article is to review some developments in the use of adjoint equations in hydrodynamic stability theory. Adjoint-based sensitivity analysis finds both analytical and numerical applications much beyond those originally imagined. It can be used to identify optimal perturbations, pinpoint the most receptive path to break down, select the most destabilizing base-flow defect in a nominally stable configuration, and map the structural sensitivity of an oscillator. We focus on two flow cases more closely: the noise-amplifying instability of a boundary layer and the global mode occurring in the wake of a cylinder. For both cases, the clever interpretation and use of direct and adjoint modes provide key insight into the process of the transition to turbulence. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Carmeli C.,University of Genoa | Carmeli C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Heinosaari T.,Turku Center for Quantum Physics | Toigo A.,Polytechnic of Milan
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2012

We show that there are informationally complete joint measurements of two conjugated observables on a finite quantum system, meaning that they enable the identification of all quantum states from their measurement outcome statistics. We further demonstrate that it is possible to implement a joint observable as a sequential measurement. If we require minimal noise in the joint measurement, then the joint observable is unique. If d is odd, then this observable is informationally complete. But if d is even, then the joint observable is not informationally complete, and one has to allow more noise in order to obtain informational completeness. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Lombardi C.,SantOrsola Hospital | Canonica G.W.,University of Genoa | Passalacqua G.,University of Genoa
Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology | Year: 2011

Background: Respiratory allergy is influenced and determined by genetic and environmental factors. Migration is a good model to indirectly evaluate the possible influence of environment. Objective: To assess the clinical characteristics of respiratory allergy in immigrants to Italy, in comparison with the Italian population. Methods: The clinical/demographic data of those immigrants stably living in Italy and referred for the first time to allergy services for respiratory allergy were collected in a multicenter survey. All the patients underwent a standard diagnostic workup. A matched Italian population was also examined. Results: Six hundred ninety-eight immigrants and 859 Italians had at least one positive skin test and were analyzed. Most of the patients were referred to the allergy units by their general practitioners. In those patients, the demographic characteristics were not different, except for family size. Immigrants had less family history of atopy. Only 16% had a clinical history of allergy before migration. The time elapsed between migration and onset of symptoms was 5.3 ± 3.1 years, with a minimum of 0.5 and a maximum of 7 years. A higher rate of monosensitization was seen among immigrants, and the severity of their asthma/rhinitis was greater than in Italians. No difference was seen in the pattern of sensitizations. Conclusion: In this population of immigrants, environmental factors play a relevant role in the onset of respiratory allergies. © 2011 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Izzotti A.,University of Genoa | Cartiglia C.,University of Genoa | Steele V.E.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | De Flora S.,University of Genoa
Mutation Research - Reviews in Mutation Research | Year: 2012

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in many biological processes, cancer, and other diseases. In addition, miRNAs are dysregulated following exposure to toxic and genotoxic agents. Here we review studies evaluating modulation of miRNAs by dietary and pharmacological agents, which could potentially be exploited for inhibition of mutagenesis and carcinogenesis. This review covers natural agents, including vitamins, oligoelements, polyphenols, isoflavones, indoles, isothiocyanates, phospholipids, saponins, anthraquinones and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and synthetic agents, including thiols, nuclear receptor agonists, histone deacetylase inhibitors, antiinflammatory drugs, and selective estrogen receptor modulators. As many as 145 miRNAs, involved in the control of a variety of carcinogenesis mechanisms, were modulated by these agents, either individually or in combination. Most studies used cancer cells in vitro with the goal of modifying their phenotype by changing miRNA expression profiles. In vivo studies evaluated regulation of miRNAs by chemopreventive agents in organs of mice and rats, either untreated or exposed to carcinogens, with the objective of evaluating their safety and efficacy. The tissue specificity of miRNAs could be exploited for the chemoprevention of site-specific cancers, and the study of polymorphic miRNAs is expected to predict the individual response to chemopreventive agents as a tool for developing new prevention strategies. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Angrisani L.,S Giovanni Bosco Hospital | Santonicola A.,University of Salerno | Iovino P.,University of Salerno | Formisano G.,Misericordia Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Obesity Surgery | Year: 2015

Background: The first global survey of bariatric/metabolic surgery based on data from the nations or national groupings of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Diseases (IFSO) was published in 1998, followed by reports in 2003, 2009, 2011, and 2012. In this survey, we report a global overview of worldwide bariatric surgery in 2013. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire evaluating the number and the type of bariatric procedure performed in 2013 was emailed to all members of bariatric societies belonging to IFSO. Trend analyses from 2003 to 2013 were also performed. Results: There were 49/54 (90.7 %) responders; 37 of the 49 with national registries. The total number of bariatric procedures performed worldwide in 2013 was 468,609, 95.7 % carried out laparoscopically. The highest number (n = 154,276) was from the USA/Canada region. The most commonly performed procedure in the world was Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), 45 %; followed by sleeve gastrectomy (SG), 37 %; and adjustable gastric banding (AGB), 10 %. Most significant were the rise in prevalence of SG from 0 to 37 % of the world total from 2003 to 2013, and the fall in AGB of 68 % from its peak in 2008 to 2013. Conclusions: SG is currently the most frequently performed procedure in the USA/Canada and in the Asia/Pacific regions, and second to RYGB in the Europe and Latin/South America regions. The accuracy of the IFSO-based world survey of procedures would be enhanced if each nation or national group would create a national registry. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Merlo A.,Biomedical University of Rome | Merlo A.,University of Genoa
Future Generation Computer Systems | Year: 2013

The access to Grid resources depends on policies defined by the administrators of the physical organizations and of the Grid middleware. This approach does not require support for access control in the middleware, but since changes in the access control policy of the Virtual Organization imply the involvement of one or more administrators, it lacks the flexibility needed in several Grid application scenarios. In this paper we propose a novel Cooperative Access Control model for Grid environments that increases the flexibility of the access control model offered by state-of-the-art Grid platforms without requiring changes in the middleware. The approach is based on collaboration among Grid users and allows them to exchange access permissions to Virtual Resources without the intervention of administrators. We also propose a solution based on Broadcast Encryption which allows to enforce a Cooperative Access Control model on Grids avoiding misuse and granting anonymity. Finally, we show that our solution can be defined on top of the access control mechanisms offered by state-of-the-art Grid middleware and illustrate how the proposed model has been implemented as a service in a service-oriented Grid environment. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mosbech H.,Copenhagen University | Deckelmann R.,Center for Clinical Trials | De Blay F.,University of Strasbourg | Pastorello E.A.,Ospedale Niguarda Ca Granda | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2014

Background Investigations meeting current standards are limited for the effect of house dust mite (HDM) allergy immunotherapy in asthmatic patients. Objective This trial investigated the efficacy and safety of a standardized quality (SQ; allergen standardization method proprietary to the trial sponsor) HDM SLIT-tablet (ALK, Hørsholm, Denmark) in adults and adolescents with HDM respiratory allergic disease. This publication reports the results of the endpoints related to asthma. Methods Six hundred four subjects 14 years or older with HDM allergic rhinitis and mild-to-moderate asthma were randomized 1:1:1:1 to double-blind daily treatment with one of 3 active doses (1, 3, or 6 SQ-HDM) or placebo. Their use of inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) was standardized and adjusted at baseline and the end of treatment to the lowest dose providing asthma control. The primary end point was a reduction in ICS dose from the individual subject's baseline dose after 1 year of treatment. Results The primary analysis revealed a mean difference between 6 SQ-HDM and placebo in the reduction in daily ICS dose of 81 μg (P =.004). Relative mean and median reductions were 42% and 50% for 6 SQ-HDM and 15% and 25% for placebo, respectively. No statistically significant differences were observed for the other assessed asthma parameters, reflecting the intended controlled status of the trial subjects. The most common adverse events were local reactions in the mouth. The rate and severity of adverse events were higher for 3 and 6 SQ-HDM than for 1 SQ-HDM and placebo. Conclusion Efficacy in mild-to-moderate asthma of 6 SQ-HDM relative to placebo was demonstrated by a moderate statistically significant reduction in the ICS dose required to maintain asthma control. All active doses were well tolerated. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Martinez F.A.C.,University of Sao Paulo | Balciunas E.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Converti A.,University of Genoa | Cotter P.D.,Alimentary Pharmabiotic Center | De Souza Oliveira R.P.,University of Sao Paulo
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2013

Bacteriocins are ribosomally-synthesized antibacterial peptides. These compounds are produced by a broad variety of different bacteria belonging mainly to the genus Bifidobacterium, to which health promoting properties have frequently been attributed. However, despite the fact that the identification of Bifidobacterium-associated bacteriocins was first reported in 1980 and that they exhibit antimicrobial activity against pathogenic microorganisms such as Listeria monocytogenes, Clostridium perfringens, and Escherichia coli, relatively little information is still available about the antimicrobial compounds produced by strains of this genus. More detailed understanding of the action mechanisms of these antimicrobials could allow us to determine the extent to which their production contributes to the probiotic properties of specific bifidobacteria strains and, potentially, be of crucial significance for ultimate preservation of functional foods or pharmaceutical applications. Here we review what is already known about their structure, classification, mode of action, functionality, immunity, production and purification. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Grillo S.,Polytechnic of Milan | Marinelli M.,University of Genoa | Massucco S.,University of Genoa | Silvestro F.,University of Genoa
IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid | Year: 2012

The paper proposes the modeling and the optimal management of a hot-temperature (sodium nickel chloride) battery system coupled with wind generators connected to a medium voltage grid. A discrete-time model of the storage device reproducing the battery main dynamics (i.e., state of charge, temperature, current, protection, and limitation systems) has been developed. The model has been validated through some experimental tests. An optimal management strategy has been implemented based on a forward dynamic programming algorithm, specifically developed to exploit the energy price arbitrage along the optimization time horizon (generation shifting). Taking advantage of this strategy wind generation performances can be enhanced and adapted to load demand, obtaining an increased economic gain measured by the difference between the economic revenue obtained with and without the proposed generation shifting policy. © 2012 IEEE.

Fagnola F.,Polytechnic of Milan | Umanita V.,University of Genoa
Infinite Dimensional Analysis, Quantum Probability and Related Topics | Year: 2012

A generic quantum Markov semigroup T of a d-level quantum open system with a faithful normal invariant state p admits a dual semigroup T̃ with respect to the scalar product induced by p. We show that the difference of the generators L? L̃ can be written as the sum of a derivation 2i[H,] and a weighted difference of automorphisms σ cσCσcp -1/2(1/dσ d j=i(U (c) j (c)*xU (c) j-U (c) jxU (c) j*))p 1/2, where C is a family of cycles on the d levels of the system, c are positive weights and U(c)j are unitaries. This formula allows us to represent the deviation from equilibrium (in a "small" time interval) as the superposition of cycles of the system where the difference between the forward and backward evolution is written as the difference of a reversible evolution and its time reversal. Moreover, it generalises cycle decomposition of Markov jump processes. We also find a similar formula with partial isometries instead of unitaries.. © 2012 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: YOUNG-3-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016

Most European Lifelong Learning (LLL) policies have been designed to create economic growth and, at the same time, guarantee social inclusion (EC 2010). First, we will study how different LLL policies are compatible with each other in terms of their orientations and objectives and how each policy considers the needs of young adults. Second, we will research the intended and unintended effects of policies on young adults. In this regard, we will look into relevant social developments such as life course de-standardisation processes and into an emerging new political economy of skills. Third, we will generate new knowledge about regional and local policymaking, with particular attention to actors, dynamics, and trends. By focusing on their regional/local context, we will elucidate the interaction and complementarity of LLL policies with other sectors of society, thus contributing to a better understanding of current fragmentation and discrepancies, in order to set parameters for future decision-making support systems. The project will first contribute new knowledge of the impact of LLL policies on young adults life courses, yielding insights on the conditions, strategies, and necessities for policies to become effective. In addition, it will provide insights on the innovations and potentials they unlock, in particular with view to informal and non-formal learning to better address vulnerable groups. Second, the project contributes to a better understanding of the structural relationships and functional match between education/training and the labour market sectors. Third, the project will provide a thorough review of regional policies and initiatives in the countries studied, laying bare distinct dynamics and trends, but also mismatches and redundancies. In particular, the project aims at identifying successful programmes in terms of sustainable solutions in integrating labour market with, social inclusion as well as their transferability to other contexts.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2011.1.4-3 | Award Amount: 5.46M | Year: 2012

Every year, Alzheimers disease (AD) affects about 800,000 new patients in Europe and directly causes 50% of dependency of aged persons. Currently there is no test to diagnose this disease. There is a great need to improve outcomes for patients with lung cancer which causes between 15-28% of all cancer deaths in Europe. Chemical and structural imaging with nanoresolution under ambient conditions can significantly advance our understanding of biological processes at the sub-cellular level and provide understanding of early stage AD and lung cancer, improve the efficacy of therapeutic drugs and evaluate the real impact of nanomaterials to health and safety. In production processes the ability to image defects with nanometre resolution is critical for robust quality control of industrially important products e.g. organic photovoltaic devices, antimicrobial textiles and functional coatings on biomedical implants. Nanoscale imaging available today does not permit in situ sub-cellular analysis and integrated metrology. This restricts our ability to optimise nanomaterials processes. Vibrational spectroscopy based imaging tools such as Infra-Red microscopy can provide a solution. Lateral resolutions of such techniques are currently limited to the micrometre range due to diffraction-limits. This project proposes a novel imaging tool Infra Red Nanoscope (IRN) that will break away from this diffraction limit. IRN will significantly improve the lateral resolution of IR microscopy on a table-top set up from the current state-of-the-art of 100 micron to 70 nm. It will also perform 3D imaging at a resolution of 500 nm, which is currently not possible in IR microscopy. A detailed methodology and instrumentation plan exists to implement a ready to commercialise table-top, nanoresolution, IRN. The instrument offers easy operation, flexibility and label free imaging of structure and chemistry that will stimulate new research in cancer treatments and early stage diagnostics of AD.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.7.1 | Award Amount: 786.62K | Year: 2008

The aging of society is the single most important aspect of health care in the 21st century. Many intriguing ICT solutions are being developed within the EU, USA, and Japan for helping older people remain independent longer. However, these solutions tend to be fragmented and heterogeneous. The CAPSIL CSA team is a coalition of University and Industrial partners that already have extensive teams developing hardware/software/knowledge solutions to independent living based on established clinical requirements. All partners of CAPSIL are already members of regional and national centres on aging engaged in the process of helping to establish public policy and international standards. This support action is to launch initiatives, coordinated and disseminated by a series of workshops in the US, EU, and Japan (two per year for two years), with two fundamental goals: 1. to develop a detailed CAPSIL Roadmap for EU research to achieve effective and sustainable solutions to independent living based on an in-depth analysis of clinical requirements and the ICT scenarios developed or under development in the EU, as well as the US and Japan (societies where the aging of the population are currently on par or exceeding the challenges that will be found within the EU). 2. to support aging research by proposing procedures to incorporate all of these diverse solutions into WiKi entries (CAPSIL WiKi) which describe interoperable ICT solutions to clinical requirements for independent living that can then be deployed throughout the EU, US, and Japan for verification and testing. These CAPSILs will enable clinicians and other care-givers to get the information they need to quickly and easily test solutions for prolonging independent living within the many and various heterogeneous communities. Only with this knowledge will the relevance and efficacy of technological solutions be maintained and be empowered with the capability to be adapted for various cultures.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.65M | Year: 2015

Photonics will play a major, enabling role in the future of ICT and healthcare. However, to fulfill its potential and deliver on its promises, photonics will heavily rely on novel and more performing materials, that can be manufactured cheaply for the specific requirements of photonic applications. To lead this photonics revolution and rip the societal benefits of being at the leading-edge of novel technological and scientific developments, the EC needs a highly-skilled scientific and technical workforce that can effectively implement the transition to a truly knowledge-based society. SYNCHRONICS mission is to synergistically address both needs by training a pool of future science-leaders in the synthesis, characterisation and application to photonics of supramolecularly-engineered functional materials within state-of the-art photonic nanostructures fabricated thanks to the top-quality facilities and unique expertise available within the network. This kind of research requires an inter-multidisciplinary, intersectorial approach by specialized and skilled scientists from different disciplines, each one bringing a particular expertise: organic and supramolecular synthesis (UNI-OX,UNI-W, SURFLAY), theory (UNI-GE, IBM, UNI-GE), surface studies (UdS, UCL), photophysics (IIT, IBM, UCL, UNI-GE,UNI-CY, UNI-MO), device fabrication and characterisation (IBM, AMO, SURFLAY, UCL, IIT, UNI-PI, UNI-GE). The SYNCHRONIX Network, through the trans-national and trans-disciplinary coordination and integration of these 12, highly specialised and internationally-leading teams, consolidates the European training efforts in the emerging area of both supramolecular nanoscience and nanophotonics. SYNCHRONICS will deliver 540 person-months of unparalleled multidisciplinary and intersectorial training that is carefully and intensively structured through local, network wide, and extra-network training in both scientific/technical topics, as well as complementary and managerial skills.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-SEC-2007.1.7 | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2008

The UAN project aims at conceiving, developing and testing at sea an innovative and operational concept for integrating in a unique system submerged, surface and aerial sensors with the objective of protecting critical infrastructures, such as off-shore platforms and energy plants. The security of such economically vital infrastructures requires an integrated approach involving underwater and land/air sensors and actuators for surveillance, monitoring and deterrence. In particular UAN focuses on a security oriented underwater wireless network infrastructure, realized by hydroacoustic communication. The UAN concept is to gather environmental information during the acoustic transmission and use it to predict the acoustic propagation conditions and the optimal obtainable performance at any given time. This information is used in the communication system for precise tuning. This tuning will take place at two different levels: i) by improving the basic point-to-point connection, by introducing physical and geometric constraints in the channel equalization and optimization process of the communication settings and ii) at the macro network configuration level by adapting node geometric configuration to the acoustic propagation conditions predicted from the environmental observations. This can be done in depth or in range by moving nodes placed on AUVs either to increase the point-to-point communication capacity or by serving as relay nodes to more distant, and at that time, inaccessible fixed nodes. This is a rather new approach that requires a better understanding of the acoustic propagation physics as well as a capacity to include that knowledge into technologically advanced communications modules and algorithms for underwater communications. The UAN project builds on a multidisciplinary consortium of technologically advanced industries, field experienced university labs and governmental agencies, thus grouping the required knowledge and experience.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 45.27K | Year: 2012

Its now very clear how much Genoa and Liguria need to reinforce the researchers role, especially after the 2010 Researchers Night edition. The C4R consortium worked hardly to guarantee the researchers engagement in the three cities events. On that occasion they will meet citizens also for introducing themselves and speak about their private and professional life. Researchers in Liguria are numerous and have an key scientific role in a European and Mediterranean perspective, and, thanks to their common past experiences, the network is now able to involve a high number of researchers from the excellence centres in Liguria (IIT, CNR, UNIGE, ENEA, INGV, etc) which are engaged in different scientific fields: nanotechnology, environmental engineering, robotics, healthcare and biomedical, software, electronic hardware, technological engineering, marine engineering, environmental sustainability and ecology. This Night will present a higher number and a great variety of events: researchers will organize lab areas, adventures and special tours, welcoming occasions, theatre, music, performing and visual art, workshops, talks and happy hours, ice-creams breaks, puzzles, scientific dinners, cinema, awards and interviews. These activities will take place on the public transport (boats and buses), along the rivers, in gardens and parks, in museums, palaces and central squares. All the locations chosen are very close or have huge indoor spaces available for hosting all the events planned during the Night. In this way we intend to prevent from the risk of a limited participation caused by bad weather conditions as happened in the 2010 edition. Palazzo Ducale in Genoa represents the widest and fascinating indoor space of the whole region being also very close to the main streets of the old town where movida takes place especially during weekends. Here and in Palazzo Scotto Niccolari in Albenga and in the Fortress in Sarzana events will take place and go on till late at night.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2010.3.3 | Award Amount: 7.87M | Year: 2011

Solid oxide fuel cells for stationary power have been researched since the late 1980s as potentially high efficiency and environmentally friendly means to generate electricity. Since that time substantial progress has been made however obstacles remain to reach industrial exploitation. For end users, the cost of electricity not only the cost of the fuel cell is of primary concern. This cost is driven by: the capital cost of the installed plant; the net plant efficiency that determines the fuel cost; the availability of the plant due to the reliability and ease of maintenance; and the emissions of pollutants including NOx and CO2 that may limit where the plant can be sited or incur additional costs. Most of these parameters are driven by the balance of plant which is hence critical to the success of SOFCs and to reaping their enormous benefits for Europe. Hybrid SOFCs offer the best potential for low cost and high efficiency but are also the most challenging in terms of balance of plant. Many components need to work together in a high temperature and pressure environment. Finding low cost and reliable solutions is therefore demanding and suitable off the shelf components are not available. By changing the scale at which balance of plant functions are integrated, the C3SOFC project aims to develop solutions that satisfy the functional specifications of different users and achieve the corresponding measurable targets in terms of availability and cost. Large components with thermal expansion challenges will be reduced from system to block scale. Others requiring fabrication will be reduced to a scale where they can be integrated with other components manufactured by mass production techniques such as pressing. The future system architecture will be fault tolerant, greatly enhancing plant reliability. The final C3SOFC outcome will enable a technology and field demonstration that exceeds all the criteria of cost, performance and availability defined within the call.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.1.1-01 | Award Amount: 3.18M | Year: 2011

The project ENDORSE aims at a user-driven development of downstream services in renewable energies by exploiting the GMES Core Services (MACC, SAFER and Geoland 2) together with other EO/in-situ data and modelling. It addresses regional services promoting the energy use from sun, wind, and biomass, electricity grid management and building engineering through daylighting in buildings. The consortium has teamed with relevant users to stimulate the development of sustainable and transferable downstream services. ENDORSE will 1) develop and validate pre-market downstream services in collaboration with well-defined end-users by performing R&D activities; 2) assess the conditions for self-sustainability of these services through surveys and workshops with end-users; 3) disseminate the achievements of the project to foster the use of Core Services data and other EO data by the renewable energies community; 4) stimulate the market of downstream services in renewable energies towards the end-users community, and the development of such services by SMEs and other service-oriented companies by demonstrating precursors with documented conditions of sustainability. The expected major outcomes of ENDORSE are 1) scientific advances in assessment of surface air temperature and solar radiation, and data fusion; 2) a set of validated and documented innovative methods exploiting Core Services data and other EO data; 3) a portfolio of pre-market services, serving as precursors and examples of best practices for similar downstream services (other regions, other providers), with documented conditions of sustainability; 4) a stimulation of the renewable energies community towards exploitation of Core Services data and other EO data; 5) a stimulation of the service industry towards development of downstream services; 6) feedbacks to Core Services on their data, and as a whole to GMES and GEOSS on the exploitation of EO data in renewable energies area.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-03 | Award Amount: 2.21M | Year: 2010

Hard X-ray observations provide a direct observational link to the acceleration and transport of highly energetic particles in solar flares, a phenomenon that has many significant solar-terrestrial consequences. We propose to mainstream the exploitation of high energy solar physics data in Europe. To achieve this overall objective, we will proceed with three complementary activities: theory, computation, and technology. The theory activity will build the background necessary to generalize the use of these data. The computation activity will focus on mathematical techniques to efficiently extract information out of the data. The technology activity will build up on these two work packages to generate science ready data products. These products will be easy to use by both the broader solar and heliospheric physics community, and the space weather community. More specifically, these communities will be able to use these data to build flare prediction models and to integrate them to test their own data analysis projects. The three activities will pave the way not only for the exploitation of the sheer amount of data already available today, but also for the future high energy solar space missions planned. This way, the project as a whole will guarantee a stable and long term positioning of Europe in the sustainable exploitation of such data products.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-14-2016 | Award Amount: 2.08M | Year: 2017

The groundbreaking objective of CARESSES is to build culturally competent care robots, able to autonomously re-configure their way of acting and speaking, when offering a service, to match the culture, customs and etiquette of the person they are assisting. By designing robots that are more sensitive to the users needs, CARESSES innovative solution will offer elderly clients a safe, reliable and intuitive system to foster their independence and autonomy, with a greater impact on quality of life, a reduced caregiver burden, and an improved efficiency and efficacy. The need for cultural competence has been deeply investigated in the Nursing literature. However, it has been totally neglected in Robotics. CARESSES stems from the consideration that cultural competence is crucial for care robots as it is for human caregivers. From the users perspective, a culturally appropriate behavior is key to improve acceptability; from the commercial perspective, it will open new avenues for marketing robots across different countries. CARESSES will adopt the following approach. First, we will study how to represent cultural models, how to use these models in sensing, planning and acting, and how to acquire them. Second, we will consider three (physically identical) replicas of a commercial robot on the market and integrate cultural models into them, by making them culturally competent. Third, we will test the three robots, customized for three different cultures, in the EU (two cultural groups) and Japan (one cultural group), on a number of elderly volunteers and their informal caregivers. Evaluation will be conducted through quantitative and qualitative investigation. To achieve its groundbreaking objective, CARESSES will involve a multidisciplinary team of EU and Japanese researchers with a background in Transcultural Nursing, AI, Robotics, Testing and evaluations of health-care technology, a worldwide leading company in Robotics and a network of Nursing care homes.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-02-2014 | Award Amount: 5.78M | Year: 2015

To reach the goals of improving the efficiency of CHP systems while simultaneously widening the biomass feedstock base as well as increasing operational flexibility, the project aims to develop a full scale technology demonstrator of a hybrid power plant using biogas as main fuel in lab environment. A combined hybrid heat and power plant combines a micro gas turbine (MGT) and a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). The focus of the technology demonstration plant is to prove the functional capability of the plant concept, followed by detailed characterization and optimization of the integration of both subsystems. The main objective is to move the technology beyond the state of the art to TRL 4. Electrical efficiencies of more than 60% and total thermal efficiencies of more than 90% are intended to reach at base load conditions. An operational flexibility ranging from 25% to 100% electric power should be achieved. The emission levels should not exceed 10 ppm NOx and 20 ppm CO (at 15% vol. residual oxygen). The system should allow the use of biogas with methane contents varying from 40-75%, thus covering the biogas qualities from the fermentation of the entire biomass feedstock range. To achieve the objectives the subsystems MGT and SOFC including their subcomponents have to be adjusted and optimized by a multidisciplinary design approach using numerical and experimental measures to ensure a proper balance of plant. In addition an integrated control system has to be developed and implemented to achieve a reliable operation of the coupled subsystems. A detailed analysis of different European markets, economic and technical constraints in terms of biogas production potentials will clarify the regional suitable sizes and attractive performance conditions of the power plant system. To identify cost reduction potentials a thermo-economic analysis will be performed. Here, an internal rate of return (IRR) of the system of higher than 15% should be achieved over a 20 years.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-8.2a-2014 | Award Amount: 4.18M | Year: 2015

Container terminals serve thousands of ships, store billions of TEUs, compete to serve the next vessel, and introduction of larger ships will result in new challenges. While advances have been made in terminal automation (Automated Ground Vehicle (AGV), gate control, yard cranes, etc.), with current technologies terminals are limited by their ability to maintain growth and quality of service. To address these trends and demands the Robotic Container Management System (RCMS) has been developed. As a contribution to its implementation, Project main objectives are: A. to develop a detailed simulation model for RCMS to be evaluated in 2 Terminals (Gdansk and Koper) plus a set of generic simulation tools to be used in all terminals; B. to assess and compare RCMS performance with other state-of-the-art container handling technologies for 2 Terminals (Gdansk and Koper) with different features; C. to assess and compare RCMS performance with other state-of-the-art container handling technologies for 2 ports (Gdansk and Koper), with focus on comparison between RCMS solution and port surface extension; D. to assess impact of RCMS in a simulated transport network in terms of efficiency, reliability, capacity, performance indicators (travel times, average speed, etc.) and impacts (noise and air pollution) in the Port of La Spezia. Main results will be: a well-defined RCMS control logic; a dynamic physical AGV model to test AGV behavior; definition of operational procedures for RCMS; a generic simulation tool enabling testing of RCMS for various sites by non-simulation experts; an efficient entire terminal design with RCMS; a set of validated and quantified benefits of RCMS compared to commonly used handling systems; a set of Key Performances Indicators of the transport network using RCMS. Consortium is made by leading industries, SMEs, Research/Academic Centers and 3 ports/terminals as End-users. Project duration is 21 months and estimated eligible costs are 4 million

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.1.4 | Award Amount: 5.60M | Year: 2010

The vision of the Internet of Services (IoS) entails a major paradigm shift in the way ICT systems and applications are designed, implemented, deployed and consumed: they are no longer the result of programming components in the traditional meaning but are built by composing services that are distributed over the network and aggregated and consumed at run-time in a demand-driven, flexible way. In IoS, services are business functionalities that are designed and implemented by producers, deployed by providers, aggregated by intermediaries and used by consumers. However, the new opportunities opened by IoS will only materialise if concepts, techniques and tools are provided to ensure security.\nState-of-the-art security validation technologies, when used in isolation, do not provide automated support to the discovery of important vulnerabilities and associated exploits that are already plaguing complex web-based security-sensitive applications, and thus severely affect the development of the IoS. Moreover, security validation should be applied not only at production time but also when services are deployed and consumed.\nTackling these challenges is the main objective of the project, which will lay the technological foundations for a new generation of analysers for automated security validation at service provision and consumption time, thereby significantly improving the security of the IoS. This will be achieved by developing and combining state-of-the-art technologies for penetration testing, security testing, model checking, model extraction and automatic learning. These will all be integrated into the SPaCIoS Tool, which we shall apply proof of concept on a set of security testing problem cases drawn from industrial and open-source IoS application scenarios. This will pave the way to transfer project results successfully in industrial practice. We shall execute 2 concrete migration paths: to SAP and SIEMENS business units, and to industrial interest groups, standardisation bodies and open-source communities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 174.80K | Year: 2013

MEDCHANGe focuses on the analysis of the relationships between global networks (Internet), flows (virtual and spatial mobilities of individuals, information i.e. migration also in light of gender issues such those of Moroccon female migrants; climate change migrants; tourism and heritage valorisation flows) and geographical localities in terms of local development and marginalisation/segregation. MEDCHANGe will shed lights on changing relationships at the spatial scales of some Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain) due to the dialectics of global flows, borders crossing and local structural changes. Our network of scholars will work in synergy and complementarities thru joint field research, workshops and seminars by investigating both the spatial and behavioural origins and development of our topics and their contemporary changing dynamics in selected territorial cases (Tel Aviv, Algier, Lisbon, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Naples-Caserta, Zaragoza, Genoa). In order to achieve this goal, MEDCHANGe activities are structured into three main levels: 1) a theoretical-methodological level; 2) an empirical analysis of case studies in different countries; 3) an operational level. Theoretically we will contribute to the redefinition of the concepts that denote the field of investigation,Mediterranean changing relationships namely mobility, connectivity, gender, heritage,spatial justice, entrepreneurship, inclusion, climate migration, and the idea of the Mediterranean integration in a frame of uneven development. Empirically, we aims to exchange skills, knowledge, expertise, mobilities to document the different ways in which transformations of the Mediterranean cities and villages take place, and grasp the implications of the so-called virtual spatial mobilities in terms of inclusion, citizenship, security, intercultural dialogue. At the operational level we look forward for studying successful stories and practices of cooperation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-NIGHT | Award Amount: 57.10K | Year: 2010

ROCKNaims to favour a direct contact between researchers and the large public in way that people could understand and give the right value to the great contribution they give to our daily life. At the same time, the project intends to offer researchers opportunities to meet the public at large in informal situations, not only sharing with it experiences, emotions, difficulties, but also involving it in significant aspects of their life not only regarding their professional ones. The scheduled events had been selected to offer public surprising and unexpected approaches to attract the interest of different target groups: researchers and public will appreciate themselves walking, playing music, dances, cooking, playing games... The project will develop in fascinating locations where researches on the mystery of our origin will be compared with the results of the most modern and future scientific field: primates and the iCub robot, archaeology and virtual reality, botanic and nanotechnologies, everything experienced by amusing and shared fun. ROCKNwill reinforce the main Genoese scientific institutions not only at local but also at regional, national and European level and, at the same time, it will give support to young researchers to make easier their relations with entrepreneurs and companies favouring their career development. Moreover, the project will impact also in the Mediterranean countries by the 2010 Biennale del Mediterraneo involving, in this way, researchers from the third countries as well. The project is included in the extraordinary process aiming at developing the hi-tech pole in Genoa and at promoting the citizens interest in researchers activity, by mean of the Festival of Science that, since 8 years, is having an extraordinary success. The combination between science and Archaeological Museum offers a further interesting element for the public at large, promoting a wider idea of culture able to overcome the traditional academic boundaries.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: TPT-2008.0.0.13 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2010

HERMES project will provide development and analysis of new mobility schemes and associated organisational patterns at the interface and interconnection between long distance transport networks and local/regional transport network. Although these are conceptually simple operations, requiring only some real-time telecommunication, there are organizational and contractual difficulties in its realisation. The first part should concentrate on identification of the key requirements of the travellers, the corresponding services and necessary underlying company agreements to provide them, followed by a business plan for the operation. The second part of the project would have demonstrations in the selected corridors for a period of at least 6 months of field experience. The final product of the project should be a handbook of recommendations based on the analytical part and on the demonstration part of the project. Prototypes for the business model of the innovative services will be developed and further tested in case studies for validation of its functional, economic and organizational aspects aiming to provide recommendations regarding enhanced co-ordination between decision-making levels on issues related to the interconnection of transport networks of different scales and modes, addressing institutional, legal, design, planning, technical and deployment aspects.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.4-7 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2008

Stem cells offer a promising avenue to therapy for a wide range of complaints. However, for this potential to be realized, a consistent and plentiful supply of well-characterised stem cells is essential. There has been relatively little progress in the development of new culture technologies for the large-scale manufacture of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). There is a strong possibility that this limited ability to produce stem cells will result in delays to the translation of new therapies to the clinic. This will have a direct negative effect on the health of European citizens suffering from diseases untreatable by conventional medical technology and delay European efforts to promote NanoMedicine - Nanotechnology for Health. PurStem will progress the state of the art in the production of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in large quantities. The current state of the art has several weaknesses - there are no standards for characterisation, isolation or identification of MSCs from any tissue, nor are there standard protocols for differentiation of MSCs to various lineages. Additionally, surface markers used for MSC characterization lack specificity and cryopreservation protocols are not standardized. Critically, current production methods for MSC require the use of animal products with major contaminant implications. PurStem will Identify the MSC receptome and Use this repertoire of growth factor receptors to Develop novel serum-free media for MSC production. PurStem will also result in novel antibody reagents for specific MSC characterization and contribute to GMP manufacturing standards to enable rapid progression to production of serum-free MSC for clinical applications. The impact on a range of therapeutic and research domains of having a reliable supply of industrial levels of categorised MSCs will be significant. PurStem represents a key enabler for stem cell applications in a range of therapeutic fields.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.2 | Award Amount: 6.74M | Year: 2013

SCHeMA is a multi-disciplinary collaborative project aiming to provide an open and modular sensing solution for in situ high resolution mapping of a range of anthropogenic and natural chemical compounds. Key targets are chemicals that may adversely affect marine ecosystems, living resources and ultimately human health. The SCHeMa tools will enhance ocean observing system capabilities to evaluate the impact of these compounds on marine water quality trends, thereby allowing one to rapidly localise problems and alert targeted groups. To achieve this, SCHeMA will develop: 1) chemical solid state miniaturized sensors functionalized using innovative analytical procedures to insure reliable and selective electrochemical and optical measurements of inorganic (micro-)nutrients/pollutants, VOCs, biotoxins, HABs, species relevant to the carbon cycle, as well as effective minimisation of chemical and physical interferences; 2) micro- and mini-analytical and mechanical fluidic systems; 3) miniaturized multichannel probes, incorporating the new sensors and fluidic systems, based on advanced hardware, firmware and wired/wireless interfaces allowing their plug-and-play integration to moored or free floating devices; 4) ad-hoc ICT solutions allowing remote control of data transfer and mapping system reconfiguration according to the OGC standard; 5) Web-based data information system for data storage, standardization, modelling and user-friendly accessibility by public authorities, scientists and existing observation/monitoring systems. The SCHeMA sensing tools will be optimised throughout their development via short field tests and inter-comparison with data obtained using established laboratory techniques. Long-term field applications in estuary and coastal systems will also be performed to (i) evaluate their ruggedness and reliability for high resolution spatial and temporal monitoring, and (ii) define their suitability for different applications and commercial production.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2013.3.1 | Award Amount: 4.41M | Year: 2014

The project aims at developing reliable predictive models to estimate long-term (i.e. > 20 kh) performance and probability of failure of SOFC stacks based on existing materials and design produced by the industrial partners. This will allow the realization of stacks with extended service intervals and reduced maintenance cost with respect to the present stack technology. The extension of service life will be supported by the introduction of Early Warning Output Signals triggered counterstrategies. The project is structured into three phases: consolidation of knowledge and refinement of models on a previously operated State of Art stack (1st Loop); enhancement of materials, design and predictive models via iterative loops (Improvement Iterative Loop); statistical validation of achieved improvements via standard and accelerated tests (Validation Process). The stack is a system of interfaces/interphases giving rise to complex phenomena that which have to be separated in single phenomena processes. The single phenomena are generated by the minimum of interfaces/interphases in a quasi-independent way and therefore suitable for a separate deep investigation via micro-samples studies. The improvements will be especially validated by: the application of accelerated test protocols; the evaluation of robustness of stacks and components toward load cycles and thermal cycles. The comparison with an operating not cycled stack will give the value of performance (voltage) loss for the rated stack life cycle that has to be <5% for 100 load cycles (idle to rated load) or 50 thermal cycles (room temperature to operating temperature). The outcomes will be statistically demonstrated by operating 6 stacks in standard conditions and a minimum of 3 micro-sample per interphase in standard, cycled and accelerated conditions with constant monitoring via modelling.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2014 | Award Amount: 160.53K | Year: 2014

Party do not stop includes the proposal of two editions of the Researchers Night to be carried out in Liguria in 2014 and 2015. The partnership of Party dont stop has decided to organize a big party where all citizens are invited on the 26th September 2014 and the 25th September 2015. The festival will take place in three cities, which together cover the entire coast of Liguria: Genoa, La Spezia and Albenga. The locations of the Night are of great interest to the general public and of great importance in the imagination of the population. The magnificent Villa Bombrini and its park in the district of Cornigliano (Genoa), the Port of Genoa, one of the main crossroads in the Mediterranean area, the Port of La Spezia, the Giardino Letterario Delfino (a literary garden in Albenga) and the downtown of Albenga. The partners have focused the program of the Nights on a topic: The researchers change the world. The activities aim at attracting and involving people of any age, origin, social and cultural background in a friendly way and researchers worked in order to fully involve little girls, teen girls and women and turn them into the protagonists of the events. We really do believe that the experiments, workshops, talks, observation of stars and of sea animals, contests, sports, skill, imagination and costume competitions, cooking courses and tests, theater performances and concerts, which are planned and proposed by researchers, will make Party do not stop and unforgettable experience for everyone.

Agency: European Commission | 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.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2007-3.1-3 | Award Amount: 12.50M | Year: 2008

Current practices in risk assessment and management for industrial systems are characterized by its methodical diversity and fragmented approaches. In retrospect these risk and safety paradigms resulted from diverse industries driven and limited by available knowledge and technologies. A change based on industry driven R&D work is needed. At present the European Industry recognised their obligation to reconsider their risk and safety policies, having a more competitive industry and more risk informed and innovation accepting society in vision. Therefore the large collaborative project IRIS is proposed to identify, quantify and mitigate existing and emerging risks to create societal cost-benefits, to increase industrial safety and to reduce impact on human health and environment. The project is led and driven by the industry to consolidate and generate knowledge and technologies which enable the integration of new safety concepts related to technical, human, organizational and cultural aspects. The partnership represents over 1 million workers. The proposed project relates to strategic research topics defined by ETPIS and ECTP and is underpinning relevant EU policies on industrial safety.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2011.2.5-1. | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2011

The current authorisation process for placing into service rail vehicles according to Technical Specifications for Interoperability and national safety rules is a very long and costly process. The Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) provide common regulations for the placing in service of rail vehicle, when such common understanding and harmonized rules exist. This is not the case for Electromagnetic Compatibility between rail vehicle and installed track circuits, which represents one of the major cost drivers in the authorisation process. Indeed each country has developed its own requirements and assessment process in many cases on an empirical basis and/or not even written down. The EUREMCO objective is to harmonise and reduce the certification process of rail vehicle against Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC). The main concept of the project is to specify the conditions for cross-accepted certification all around Europe, through sound scientific methodologies allowing for the identification of the transfer functions to be applied to results obtained on different test tracks in different countries, for the same power supply system. For this purpose, a common understanding of transients very short and very high interference currents and a harmonized test procedure will be also developed. By addressing also non electrified lines, the EUREMCO project will cover the whole European railway network. By closing the corresponding open points in the TSIs, the EUREMCO project will lead to a time and cost reduction of the certification process of rail vehicle against Electromagnetic Compatibility issues, which correspond to an estimated saving of 60m for the next 15 years.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.6 | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2010

Writing parallel programs has traditionally been considered a difficult task, even when parallelism is taken into account from the beginning. Moreover there is an urgent need to parallelize the massive amounts of legacy sequential code so as to increase its performance on processors and systems that refocus from single-thread acceleration to increasing the overall throughput. At the same time, memory (in particular cache) performance is essential to achieve the full gain from a parallelized application. However, while processor architecture tends to be relatively standard across applications within a domain, huge performance and power improvements can be achieved by tailoring the cache architecture to the application at hand, and not just to an entire domain.\n\nThe HEAP project faces these challenges directly, by developing:\n1.\tAn innovative toolset that helps software developers profile and parallelize existing sequential implementations by exploiting top-level pipeline-style parallelism.\n2.\tA highly configurable cache architecture that can be tailored to an application by using the same profiling data as those that were used for parallelization, in order to fully exploit the available computing power.\n\nIn particular, the HEAP project will provide\n1.\ta novel SMP multicore platform supporting a group of novel cache coherence protocols; each application will be profiled so as to select and tune the most appropriate cache coherency mechanism.\n2.\tan innovative toolflow that complements this architecture; this tool will ease and/or automate the parallelisation of sequential C-code based on an analysis of the dataflow while it will provide configuration and tuning data (e.g. in terms of which variables are local, and which are mostly written or mostly read by a thread) to the cache coherency mechanisms so as to optimize them for the given application\n\nIn order to increase the exploitability of the end-results, the toolflow (an incarnation of which will be also distributed in an open source manner) will be implemented in such a way that it will be able to perform sequential-to-multicore migration for any multicore architecture (not only the HEAP one). Moreover, the architecture will be capable of running multithreaded code compiled by any compiler/toolset (not only the one implemented by HEAP). However, in order to take full advantage of the HEAP results, the combined toolset and architecture should be utilized.\n\nWe innovate in the first domain by using both pessimistic and optimistic estimates of the available parallelism, by refining those estimates using metric-driven verification techniques, and by supporting dynamic recovery of excessively optimistic parallelization.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-20-2015 | Award Amount: 3.33M | Year: 2016

Whole-Body Interaction Learning for Dance Education WhoLoDance is aiming at both researching and innovating contemporary learning theories of embodied cognition and dance education, building on advances on neuroscience, pedagogical and learning theories, educational psychology together with new technologies in artificial intelligence and knowledge management. Dance is a diverse and heterogeneous practice and WhoLoDance will develop a protocol for the creation and/or selection of dance sequences drawn from different dance styles and appropriate for different teaching and learning modalities that can provide the base content for the capture, cataloguing and analysis of dance movement for the creation of different interactive and immersive learning tools. WhoLoDance will support learning the essential components of dance, enhancing movement skills, and creating solutions for supporting the composition, re-use, and distribution of interactive educational content and services, with assessment and feedback functionalities making use of immersive real-time tools to learn dance choreographies. WhoLoDance will explore smart learning environments for providing dance students with adaptive and personalised learning and assessment, through multi-modal/multi-sensory interaction technologies and advanced immersive real-time training interfaces. WhoLoDance will create and deliver the proof-of-concept of a motion capture repository of dance motions built in a method allowing interpolations, extrapolations and synthesis through similarity search to enable new and powerful dance teaching paradigms. Finally WhoLoDance aim is to create a digital environment that will provide dance educators and students, as well as creators (choreographers) the opportunity for capacity building and networking, bringing together practitioners from different physical spaces, and will allow them to communicate chorographical ideas and movement concepts online and work collaboratively.

Malavasi F.,University of Turin | Deaglio S.,University of Turin | Damle R.,Feinstein Institute for Medical Research | Cutrona G.,University of Genoa | And 2 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

This review highlights a decade of investigations into the role of CD38 in CLL. CD38 is accepted as a dependable marker of unfavorable prognosis and as an indicator of activation and proliferation of cells when tested. Leukemic clones with higher numbers of CD38 + cells are more responsive to BCR signaling and are characterized by enhanced migration. In vitro activation through CD38 drives CLL proliferation and chemotaxis via a signaling pathway that includes ZAP-70 and ERK1/2. Finally, CD38 is under a polymorphic transcriptional control after external signals. Consequently, CD38 appears to be a global molecular bridge to the environment, promoting survival/proliferation over apoptosis. Together, this evidence contributes to the current view of CLL as a chronic disease in which the host's microenvironment promotes leukemic cell growth and also controls the sequential acquisition and accumulation of genetic alterations. This view relies on the existence of a set of surface molecules, including CD38, which support proliferation and survival of B cells on their way to and after neoplastic transformation. The second decade of studies on CD38 in CLL will tell if the molecule is an effective target for antibody-mediated therapy in this currently incurable leukemia. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Boffetta G.,University of Turin | Mazzino A.,University of Genoa | Musacchio S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Vozella L.,University of Genoa
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We study the effects of polymer additives on turbulence generated by the ubiquitous Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Numerical simulations of complete viscoelastic models provide clear evidence that the heat transport is enhanced up to 50% with respect to the Newtonian case. This phenomenon is accompanied by a speed-up of the mixing layer growth. We give a phenomenological interpretation of these results based on small-scale turbulent reduction induced by polymers. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Frixione M.,University of Genoa | Lieto A.,University of Turin
Journal of Universal Computer Science | Year: 2014

In this paper we propose a possible solution for the problem of the computational representation of non-classical concepts (i.e. concepts that cannot be characterized in terms of necessary and sufficient conditions) in the field of formal ontologies. In particular, taking into account empirical evidences coming from cognitive psychology, according to which concept representation is not a unitary phenomenon, we suggest that a similar approach to the representation of conceptual knowledge could be useful also in the field of ontology based technologies. Finally we propose, in a linked open data perspective, conceptual spaces as a suitable framework for developing some aspects of the presented proposal. © J.UCS.

Holzinger D.,University of Munster | Kessel C.,University of Munster | Omenetti A.,University of Genoa | Gattorno M.,G Gaslini Scientific Institute
Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year: 2015

Translational research approaches brought major changes to the understanding and treatment options of autoinflammatory diseases. Patients with common complex multifactorial diseases such as systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), and particularly those with rare monogenic autoinflammatory diseases such as cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS) or TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), benefited from a deeper understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms and new treatment options emerging from preclinical studies. The study of IL-1 and IL-6 in this context led to novel therapies by forward translation. Conversely, effective treatment of sJIA and TRAPS with IL-1 blockade stimulated reverse translational efforts to study the pathophysiology of these cytokines in autoinflammatory diseases. These translational efforts led to the discovery of biomarkers such as S100 proteins, IL-18 or serum amyloid A, which are components of the inflammatory process, support diagnosis and allow for monitoring of disease activity, helping to predict patient outcomes. The ongoing characterization of autoinflammatory diseases in individual patients has led to classification into heterogeneous subgroups. Further characterization of relevant subgroups and the design of tailored treatment regimens, as well as the identification of new therapeutic targets and treatment options, are the major future challenges in the field of autoinflammatory diseases, particularly for paediatric rheumatologists. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Thrush S.F.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Thrush S.F.,University of Genoa | Dayton P.K.,University of California at San Diego
Annual Review of Marine Science | Year: 2010

Modern fishing changes the ocean environment in many ways, including disturbing the sea floor, altering the food webs, and shifting many important ecosystem functions. Natural history, oceanographic, habitat, behavior, and ecological information must be integrated to implement meaningful ecosystem-based management. We discuss the urgent need to expand the concept of essential fish habitat to include important food-web relationships. The need for a broader perspective in terms of ecosystem function and the effects of interactive stressors is emphasized to maintain the vitality and resilience of valued ecosystems. Maintenance of multiple ecosystem functions is a key factor in the adaptive capacity of ecosystems to change. We argue that an ecological understanding of resilience embraces uncertainty and encourages multiple approaches to the management of humans such that ecosystem functions are maintained. © 2010 by Annual Reviews.

Amoretti A.,University of Genoa | Amoretti A.,Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics | Musso D.,Abdus Salam International Center For Theoretical Physics
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: We obtain explicit expressions for the thermoelectric transport coefficients of a strongly coupled, planar medium in the presence of an orthogonal magnetic field and momentum-dissipating processes. The computations are performed within the gauge/gravity framework where the momentum dissipation mechanism is introduced by including a mass term for the bulk graviton. Relying on the structure of the computed transport coefficients and promoting the parameters to become dynamical functions, we propose a holography inspired phenomenology open to a direct comparison with experimental data from the cuprates. © 2015, The Author(s).

Caselle M.,University of Turin | Costagliola G.,University of Turin | Magnoli N.,University of Genoa
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We propose a general method for the numerical evaluation of operator product expansion coefficients in three dimensional conformal field theories based on the study of the conformal perturbation of two point functions in the vicinity of the critical point. We test our proposal in the three dimensional Ising model, looking at the magnetic perturbation of the (r)σ(0) (r)ε(0) and (r)ε(0) correlators from which we extract the values of C=1.07(3) and Cεεε=1.45(30). Our estimate for C agrees with those recently obtained using conformal bootstrap methods, while C, as far as we know, is new and could be used to further constrain conformal bootstrap analyses of the 3d Ising universality class. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Massobrio P.,University of Genoa | Tessadori J.,Italian Institute of Technology | Chiappalone M.,Italian Institute of Technology | Ghirardi M.,University of Turin
Neural Plasticity | Year: 2015

Brain functions are strictly dependent on neural connections formed during development and modified during life. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis and plastic changes involved in learning and memory have been analyzed in detail in simple animals such as invertebrates and in circuits of mammalian brains mainly by intracellular recordings of neuronal activity. In the last decades, the evolution of techniques such as microelectrode arrays (MEAs) that allow simultaneous, long-lasting, noninvasive, extracellular recordings from a large number of neurons has proven very useful to study long-term processes in neuronal networks in vivo and in vitro. In this work, we start off by briefly reviewing the microelectrode array technology and the optimization of the coupling between neurons and microtransducers to detect subthreshold synaptic signals. Then, we report MEA studies of circuit formation and activity in invertebrate models such as Lymnaea, Aplysia, and Helix. In the following sections, we analyze plasticity and connectivity in cultures of mammalian dissociated neurons, focusing on spontaneous activity and electrical stimulation. We conclude by discussing plasticity in closed-loop experiments. © 2015 Paolo Massobrio et al.

Flindt C.,Harvard University | Novotny T.,Charles University | Braggio A.,University of Genoa | Jauho A.-P.,Technical University of Denmark | Jauho A.-P.,Aalto University
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

Recent experimental progress has made it possible to detect in real-time single electrons tunneling through Coulomb blockade nanostructures, thereby allowing for precise measurements of the statistical distribution of the number of transferred charges, the so-called full counting statistics. These experimental advances call for a solid theoretical platform for equally accurate calculations of distribution functions and their cumulants. Here we develop a general framework for calculating zero-frequency current cumulants of arbitrary orders for transport through nanostructures with strong Coulomb interactions. Our recursive method can treat systems with many states as well as non-Markovian dynamics. We illustrate our approach with three examples of current experimental relevance: bunching transport through a two-level quantum dot, transport through a nanoelectromechanical system with dynamical Franck-Condon blockade, and transport through coherently coupled quantum dots embedded in a dissipative environment. We discuss properties of high-order cumulants as well as possible subtleties associated with non-Markovian dynamics. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Pirro V.,University of Turin | Eberlin L.S.,Purdue University | Oliveri P.,University of Genoa | Cooks R.G.,Purdue University
Analyst | Year: 2012

Desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is an ambient mass spectrometry (MS) technique that can be operated in an imaging mode. It is known to provide valuable information on disease state and grade based on lipid profiles in tissue sections. Comprehensive exploration of the spatial and chemical information contained in 2D MS images requires further development of methods for data treatment and interpretation in conjunction with multivariate analysis. In this study, we employ an interactive approach based on principal component analysis (PCA) to interpret the chemical and spatial information obtained from MS imaging of human bladder, kidney, germ cell and prostate cancer and adjacent normal tissues. This multivariate strategy facilitated distinction between tumor and normal tissue by correlating the lipid information with pathological evaluation of the same samples. Some common lipid ions, such as those of m/z 885.5 and m/z 788.5, nominally PI(18:0/20:4) and PS(18:0/18:1), as well as ions of free fatty acids and their dimers, appeared to be highly characterizing for different types of human cancers, while other ions, such as those of m/z 465.5 (cholesterol sulfate) for prostate cancer tissue and m/z 795.5 (seminolipid 16:0/16:0) for germ tissue, appeared to be extremely selective for the type of tissue analyzed. These data confirm that lipid profiles can reflect not only the disease/health state of tissue but also are characteristic of tissue type. The manual interactive strategy presented here is particularly useful to visualize the information contained in hyperspectral MS images by automatically connecting regions of PCA score space to pixels of the 2D physical object. The procedures developed in this study consider all the spectral variables and their inter-correlations, and guide subsequent investigations of the mass spectra and single ion images to allow one to maximize characterization between different regions of any DESI-MS image. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Castillo Martinez F.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Balciunas E.M.,University of Sao Paulo | Salgado J.M.,University of Vigo | Dominguez Gonzalez J.M.,University of Vigo | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Lactic acid was discovered in 1780 by C.W. Scheele in sour milk, and in 1881 Fermi obtained lactic acid by fermentation, resulting in its industrial production. The yearly world lactic acid production is expected to reach 259,000 metric tons by the year 2012. The interest in lactic acid is related to many aspects, among which is its relatively high added-value. In addition, such a chemical is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), being recognized as harmless by the United States Food and Drug Administration, has a market with great growth potential, can be alternatively produced by fermentation or chemical synthesis and can employ a large variety of different waste materials as substrates. Lactic acid has many applications. Its existence in the form of two stereoisomers does in fact make the application of one of them or of the racemic mixture of great concern in different fields. In particular, the food and pharmaceutical industries have a preference for the isomer l(+), the only one that can be metabolized by the human body; however, the chemical industry requires one of the pure isomers or a mixture of both, according to the application. This review describes biotechnological processes to obtain lactic acid from polymeric substrates such as starchy and lignocellulosic materials. Open challenges are related to the technological optimization of the fermentation process and product purification and recovery. In addition, the opportunities and difficulties associated with using raw materials for lactic acid production are discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Fabbri L.,University of Genoa | Vignolo S.,University of Genoa | Carloni S.,Charles University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

We will consider the torsional completion of gravity for a background filled with Dirac matter fields, studying what happens when fermionic nonminimal coupling is taken into account: we will show that, although nonminimal couplings are usually disregarded because of their ill-defined behavior in ultraviolet regimes, this is due to the fact that torsion is commonly neglected, whereas when torsion is not left aside, even nonminimal couplings behave properly. In detail, we will see that nonminimal coupling allows one to renormalize the Dirac equation even when torsion is taken into consideration and that in some type of nonminimally coupled models parity oddness might be present even in the gravitational sector. In addition, we will show that in the presence of the considered nonminimal coupling, torsion is able to evade cosmological singularities as it can happen in the minimal coupling case and in some other nonminimally coupled theory. In the course of the paper, we shall consider a specific interaction as prototype to study this fermionic nonminimal coupling, but we will try to present results that do not depend on the actual structure of the nonminimal couplings by investigating alternative types of interaction. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Panizza M.,University of Genoa | Oturan M.A.,University Paris Est Creteil
Electrochimica Acta | Year: 2011

The removal of the anthraquinone dye Alizarin Red S (AR) has been investigated by electro-Fenton process using a commercial graphite-felt to electrogenerate in situ hydrogen peroxide and regenerate ferrous ions as catalyst. The effect of operating conditions such as applied current, catalyst concentration, and initial dye content on AR degradation has been studied. AR decay kinetic, the evolution of its oxidation intermediates and the mineralization of the aqueous solutions were monitored during the electrolysis by UV-Vis analysis and TOC measurements. The experimental results showed that AR was completely removed by the reaction with OH radicals generated from electrochemically assisted Fenton's reaction, and the decay kinetic always follows a pseudo-first-order reaction. Applying a current of 300 mA and with catalyst concentration of 0.2 mM Fe 2+, 95% of the initial TOC was removed in 210 min of electrolysis, meaning the almost complete mineralization of the organic content of the treated solution. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sires I.,University of Barcelona | Brillas E.,University of Barcelona | Oturan M.A.,University Paris Est Creteil | Rodrigo M.A.,University of Castilla - La Mancha | Panizza M.,University of Genoa
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

In recent years, new advanced oxidation processes based on the electrochemical technology, the so-called electrochemical advanced oxidation processes (EAOPs), have been developed for the prevention and remediation of environmental pollution, especially focusing on water streams. These methods are based on the electrochemical generation of a very powerful oxidizing agent, such as the hydroxyl radical (•OH) in solution, which is then able to destroy organics up to their mineralization. EAOPs include heterogeneous processes like anodic oxidation and photoelectrocatalysis methods, in which •OH are generated at the anode surface either electrochemically or photochemically, and homogeneous processes like electro-Fenton, photoelectro-Fenton, and sonoelectrolysis, in which •OH are produced in the bulk solution. This paper presents a general overview of the application of EAOPs on the removal of aqueous organic pollutants, first reviewing the most recent works and then looking to the future. A global perspective on the fundamentals and experimental setups is offered, and laboratory-scale and pilot-scale experiments are examined and discussed. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Dal Monte O.,University of Turin | Schintu S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Pardini M.,University of Genoa | Berti A.,University of Turin | And 3 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2014

Deficit in the ability to understand and predict the mental states of others is one of the central features of traumatic brain injury (TBI), leading to problems in social-daily life such as social withdrawal and the inability to maintain work or family relationships. Although several functional neuroimaging studies have identified a widely distributed brain network involved in the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), the necessary brain regions engaged in this capacity are still heavily debated. In this study, we combined the RMET with a whole-brain voxel-based lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) approach to identify brain regions necessary for adequate RMET performance in a large sample of patients with penetrating TBI (pTBI). Our results revealed that pTBI patients performed worse on the RMET compared to non-head injured controls, and impaired RMET performance was associated with lesions in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Our findings suggest that the left IFG is a key region in reading the mind in the eyes, probably involved in a more general impairment of a semantic working memory system that facilitates reasoning about what others are feeling and thinking as expressed by the eyes. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Luecke T.,University of Heidelberg | Corradi F.,University of Genoa | Pelosi P.,University of Genoa
Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology | Year: 2012

Purpose of review : Computed tomography (CT) has fostered pivotal advancements in the understanding of acute lung injury/ acute respiratory distress syndrome and ventilator-induced lung injury. Apart from CT-based studies, the past years have seen fascinating work using positron emission tomography, electrical impedance tomography and lung ultrasound as diagnostic tools to optimize mechanical ventilation. This review aims to present the major findings of recent studies on lung imaging. Recent findings : Patients presenting with a focal loss of aeration on CT may not be suitable candidates for recruitment maneuvers and high levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) in supine position. PET/CT has provided valuable insights into the inflammatory response of the lung. Electrical impedance tomography has been used to assess lung recruitability and to titrate PEEP. Finally, lung ultrasound has proven to be reliable diagnostic tool for assessing PEEP-induced recruitment. Summary : Whereas quantitative CT remains the gold standard to assess lung morphology, recruitment and hyperinflation of lung tissue at different inflation pressures, EIT and LUS have emerged as valuable, radiation-free, noninvasive bedside lung imaging tools that should be used together with global parameters like lung mechanics and gas exchange to acquire additional information on recruitability and ventilation distribution. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2012-1 | Award Amount: 8.09M | Year: 2012

Growing investments in distributed energy resources (DER) renewable distributed energy generation combined with demand response, energy storage, plug-in electric vehicles and active management of distribution networks will require new business and technology platforms to manage the increased level of diversity and complexity of global energy management. The increasing variability of both generation and loads will also require more sophisticated and decentralized decision making. The RESILIENT project aims to design, develop, install and assess the energy and environmental benefits of a new integrated concept of interconnectivity between buildings, DER, grids and other networks at a district level. The RESILIENT approach will combine different innovative technologies including smart ICT components, optimized energy generation and storage technologies, also for RES, integrated to provide real time accounts of energy demand and supply at a district level and assist in decision-making process. The project strategy relies on a comprehensive R&D and demonstration approach. The proposed integrated concept will be first modelled and simulated for different typologies of buildings and different climates and then installed, monitored and evaluated in three pilot projects (including residential and non residential buildings) in the UK, Belgium and Italy. These demonstrators will be used to assess the energy and environmental benefits of the new integrated concept and also to validate models and technologies in order for the concept to be easily replicable throughout different climatic areas. The major impact from RESILIENT will be the development of a complete value chain where the annual primary energy demand of buildings collated at a district level is decreased by at least 20% compared to their expected energy performance summed on an individual building basis, this energy gain being associated with a decrease of more than 20% of the CO2 emission reference level.

The weDRAW project comes from the renewed neuroscientific understanding of the role of communication between sensory modalities during development: specific sensory systems have specific roles to learn specific concepts. Starting from these results, in weDRAW we will develop an multisensory technology and three serious games that will exploit the best modality for learning arithmetic and geometrical concepts. In particular weDRAW: - will provide the elements to the teacher to determine which is the best modality (visual, audio or haptic) to teach each specific concepts to the students; - will provide the technology to exploit the best sensory signal; - will permit to teach different concepts together. This will be possible by using a multisensory approach, that will open a new teaching/learning channel, personalized for each student, based on multisensory interactive technology (i.e., audio, tactile, motor and visual), including a serious game platform. - will show that it is possible to learn arithmetical concepts from multisensory rhythm exploration and music and geometrical concepts from body movement and multisensory drawing. - will permit a deeper learning of Science and Mathematics combined with Arts improving creative capacities of learners. Besides application to typical children, a major goal and output of this project consists of applying the proposed multisensory approach and technologies to two specific populations: visually impaired and dyslexic children. In particular, dyslexic children have problems with rhythm, whereas visually impaired children have problems with space and geometry. With weDRAW we expect to improve the spatial and temporal impairments of these two groups of children braking down social barriers.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.5.5 | Award Amount: 3.27M | Year: 2011

Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC, frequently defined as ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorders) are neurodevelopmental conditions, characterized by social communication difficulties and restricted and repetitive behaviour patterns. Current studies suggest 1% of the population might fit an ASC diagnosis. Alongside their difficulties individuals with ASC tend to have intact and sometimes superior abilities to comprehend and manipulate closed, rule-based, predictable systems, such as computerized environment. Their affinity for the computerized environment has led to several attempts to teach emotion recognition and expression, and social problem solving to individuals with ASC, using computer-based training.\n\nIn the last decade, web applications have been increasingly used for social interaction, forming online communities and social networks. Anecdotal reports of the emergence of online autistic communities, and the use of forums and virtual-worlds, show the great promise the internet holds for better inclusion and social skills training for users/people with ASC. Since intervention into ASC has been shown to be more effective when provided early in life, using the internet as a platform for the support of younger individuals with ASC could significantly promote their social inclusion.\n\nThe proposed project aims to create and evaluate the effectiveness of such an internet-based platform, directed for children with ASC (and other groups like ADHD and socially-neglected children) and those interested in their inclusion. This platform will combine several state-of-the art technologies in one comprehensive virtual world, including analysis of users gestures, facial and vocal expressions using standard microphone and webcam, training through games, text communication with peers and smart agents, animation, video and audio clips. Users environment will be personalized, according to individual profile & sensory requirements, as well as motivational. Carers will be offered their own supportive environment, including professional information, reports of childs progress and use of the system and forums for parents and therapists.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-3.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.03M | Year: 2010

The consumption of alcohol among young people in Europe is rising the last years. Several studies indicate that one quarter to one third of all the students has been drinking alcohol during the last month. Also the problematic drinking is a growing issue. Especially in the age group 12 until 14 year the use of alcohol has increased the last decade. The proposed multilevel research project aims to study the different possible effective strategies for the prevention of alcohol abuse among adolescents in different European countries. It will therefore analyse existing environmental strategies of public and private actors at different governance levels and confront these with outcomes of a study to identify and analyse risk factors that influence the initiation of alcohol use among young people in Europe. The study will build upon a unique dataset from a previous survey of self reported delinquency among 74,000 young people in 33 countries, realised with active involvement of the same research consortium. The (intermediate) outcomes of the study will be largely disseminated through experts and stakeholders conferences in different European regions and a web-based prevention policy guidance book

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.6.4 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2013

Cities are expected to play a key role in the implementation of Europe 2020 strategy. The city authorities need to lead relevant actions towards energy-efficient neighborhoods. Engaging city authorities in this respect is of paramount importance.\nAlthough there are plenty of energy and other related data sets available in city level, their appropriate integration for local authorities decision support remains a challenge. Indeed, there are no approaches and respective systems using multidisciplinary data sources to analyze and integrate them in a smart way, towards cities energy optimization.\nThe overall vision of the project OPTIMising the energy USe in cities with smart decision support systems (OPTIMUS) is the design, development and implementation of a Decision Support System (DSS) addressed to city authorities, in order to assist them to optimize the energy use in their premises and reduce CO2 emissions.\nOPTIMUS will provide an integrated ICT platform that will collect and structure open data sets from five domains (namely: weather conditions, social mining, buildings energy profiles, energy prices, energy production). Moreover, OPTIMUS will use semantic/intelligent technologies so as to combine them and propose energy optimization plans. The resulting web-based DSS will be validated through pilot applications in three different cities: Savona (Italy), Sant Cugat del Valls (Spain) and Zaanstad (The Netherlands).\nOPTIMUS will have, by design, the necessary degree of generalization so as to be easily adapted to cities with different characteristics. This is related to another goal of the project, i.e. to produce an advanced and intelligent turn-key solution addressed to any city that has as purpose to implement and monitor sustainable energy action plans.

Sulli A.,University of Genoa | Pizzorni C.,University of Genoa | Smith V.,Ghent University | Zampogna G.,University of Genoa | And 2 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2012

Objective To investigate the timing of transition through different patterns of nailfold microvascular damage in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods In this medium-term longitudinal study, 38 SSc patients (median disease duration 12 months) with the early scleroderma pattern of microangiopathy seen on baseline nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) were followed up by NVC for a median of 84 months. The evolution of the NVC pattern over time was monitored and recorded. Results At the end of followup, the NVC pattern was still that of early scleroderma in 47% of the patients. The active scleroderma pattern was seen in 34%, the late scleroderma pattern in 13%, and a normal pattern in 5%. The mean± SD time of progression from the early to the active pattern and from the early to the late pattern was of 28 ± 20 months and 36± 29 months, respectively. In the subgroup of patients whose microangiopathy progressed from the early to the late NVC pattern, the time of progression from the early to the active pattern was only 8± 1 months (P = 0.01), demonstrating that there is a subset of patients with rapid progression of microangiopathy. Clinical symptoms progressed in accordance with the nailfold morphologic changes in 60% of the SSc patients. Conclusion The results of this longitudinal study demonstrate dynamic transition of microvascular damage through different NVC patterns of microangiopathy in ∼50% of SSc patients. It is recommended that patients exhibiting rapid progression from the early to the active NVC pattern (<1 year) should be monitored closely, since the evidence suggests that they are at risk of rapid progression to the advanced (late) NVC pattern of microangiopathy that is associated with further clinical manifestations of SSc. Copyright © 2012 by the American College of Rheumatology.

Maron-Gutierrez T.,Oswaldo Cruz Institute | Laffey J.G.,University of Toronto | Pelosi P.,University of Genoa | Rocco P.R.M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Current Opinion in Critical Care | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a multifaceted lung disease with no current effective therapy. Many clinical trials using conventional pharmacologic therapies have failed, suggesting the need to examine alternative approaches. Thus, attention has focused on the therapeutic potential of cell-based therapies for ARDS, with promising results demonstrated in relevant preclinical disease models. We review data concerning the therapeutic promise of cell-based therapies for ARDS. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent experimental studies provide further evidence for the potential of cell-based therapies in ARDS. A number of cell types, particularly mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and embryonic stem cells have been demonstrated to reduce mortality and modulate the inflammatory and remodeling processes in relevant preclinical ARDS models. Multiple insights have emerged in regard to the mechanisms by which cell therapies - particularly MSCs - exert their effects, with evidence supporting direct cell-mediated and paracrine-mediated mechanisms of action. Diverse paracrine mechanisms exist, including the release of cytokines, growth factors (such as keratinocyte growth factor), and antimicrobial peptides, and transfer of cellular contents such as peptides, nucleic acids, and mitochondria via either microvesicular or direct cell-cell contact-mediated transfer. SUMMARY: Cell-based therapies offer considerable promise for the treatment of ARDS. While MSC-based therapies are being rapidly advanced toward clinical testing, clear therapeutic potential exists for other cell types for ARDS. A greater understanding of current knowledge gaps should further enhance the therapeutic potential of cell-based therapies for ARDS. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Chiorazzi N.,Feinstein Institute for Medical Research | Ferrarini M.,Instituto Nazinale Per la Ricerca Sul Cancro | Ferrarini M.,University of Genoa
Blood | Year: 2011

Several cell types have been suggested as giving rise to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), and these suggestions have reflected the sophistication of technology available at the time. Although there is no consensus as to the normal cellular counterpart(s) in the disease, an antigen-experienced B lymphocyte appears required based on surface membrane phenotypes and gene expression profiles. However, what is still unclear is whether a single or multiple normal precursors were stimulated to evolve into CLL and at what stage(s) this occurred. A unifying, parsimonious theory is that CLL clones with either mutated or unmutated IGHVs derive from marginal zone B cells. However, evidence for remarkably similar B-cell receptor amino acid sequence and striking differences in polyantigen and autoantigen-binding activity, found in some but not all CLL clones, challenge a single-cell derivation for CLL. In this Perspective, we summarize data regarding normal counterparts of CLL cells and suggest that a multistep process of leukemogenesis is important to consider when assigning a cellular origin for this disease. Finally, although available data do not definitively identify the cell(s) of origin, we offer possibilities for single- and multiple-cell origin models as straw men that can be improved on and hopefully lead to final answers to this puzzle. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Rosa G.M.,University of Genoa | Ferrero S.,University of Genoa | Nitti V.W.,NYU Langone Medical Center | Wagg A.,University of Alberta | And 2 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2016

Context Mirabegron, the first β3-adrenoceptor agonist in clinical practice, is approved for treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) syndrome symptoms. Because β3-adrenoceptors are expressed in cardiovascular (CV) tissues, there are concerns that OAB treatment with β3-adrenoceptor agonists may affect the heart and vasculature. Objective To provide a summary of CV effects of β3-adrenoceptor agonists in clinical studies. Evidence acquisition A systematic literature search from inception until November 2014 was performed on studies in PubMed and Medline. Evidence synthesis Twenty papers, published between 1994 and 2014, were identified: mirabegron (16), solabegron (2), AK-677 (1), and BRL35135 (1). More detailed CV data from mirabegron studies were available in online regulatory documents filed with the US Food and Drug Administration and the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Conclusions The CV safety of mirabegron appears to be acceptable at therapeutic doses and comparable with that of antimuscarinic agents, currently first-line therapy for OAB. Patient summary In this review we looked at the cardiovascular (CV) effects of β3-adrenoceptor agonists used for the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB). The CV safety of mirabegron (the only clinically approved β3-adrenoceptor agonist) appears to be acceptable at therapeutic doses and comparable with that of antimuscarinic agents, the current first-line therapy for OAB. © 2015 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Cutolo M.,University of Genoa | Ravera F.,University of Genoa | Smith V.,Ghent University | Sulli A.,University of Genoa
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2014

Objective. To evaluate the longterm effects of endothelin-1 (ET-1) antagonism on peripheral blood perfusion (PBP) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. Twenty-six patients with SSc already receiving cyclic intravenous iloprost (ILO) for severe Raynaud phenomenon were enrolled. Thirteen patients continued the treatment for a further 3 years (ILO group) and 13 patients, because of the appearance of digital ulcers, received in addition bosentan (BOS; 125 mg twice/day) for 3 years (ILO + BOS group). Both PBP at fingertips and nailfold microangiopathy were evaluated yearly by laser Doppler flowmetry and nailfold videocapillaroscopy, respectively. Results. A progressive significant increase of PBP was observed in the ILO + BOS group during the 3 followup years (p = 0.0007, p = 0.0002, p = 0.01, respectively). In contrast, an insignificant progressive decrease of PBP was observed in the ILO group. Difference of perfusion between the PBP evaluations at basal temperature and at 36°C (to test capillary dilation capacity), was found progressively decreased during the 3-year followup only in the ILO group (p = 0.05, p = 0.26, p = 0.09, respectively). A progressive increase of nailfold capillary number was observed only in the ILO + BOS group after 2 and 3 years of followup (p = 0.05). Conclusion. Longterm treatment of SSc patients with ET-1 antagonism, in combination with ILO, seems to increase fingertip blood perfusion, as well as both capillary dilation capacity and number. © 2014. All rights reserved.

Straub R.H.,Laboratory of Experimental Rheumatology and Neuroendocrino Immunology | Buttgereit F.,Charite University Hospital | Cutolo M.,University of Genoa
Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology | Year: 2011

The investigation of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic inflammation has demonstrated: 1) an anti-inflammatory influence of the HPA axis; 2) low serum levels of adrenal androgen; 3) equivocal results with respect to levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and Cortisol; 4) inadequately low secretion of adrenal hormones in relation to inflammation (the disproportion principle); 5) modulating role of TNF and IL-6 on the HPA axis; 6) disturbed cooperativity of HPA axis and sympathetic nervous system (uncoupling); 7) observable glucocorticoid resistance; 8) the circadian rhythmicity explains morning symptoms; 9) new medications based on malfunction of the HPA axis (e.g. adapted to the circadian rhythm of hormones and cytokines); and 10) the newly described role of the HPA axis in the context of misguided energy regulation in chronic inflammatory diseases. This review discusses items 1-6 and 10, while the other items are presented elsewhere in this Supplement. Evidence is presented that the basis for many alterations is in an adaptive program positively selected for short-lived inflammatory responses (energy appeal reaction), which becomes a disease-inherent pathogenetic factor, if it continues too long, that can drive systemic disease sequelae of chronic inflammatory diseases such as the metabolic syndrome. © CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY 2011.

Aveyard R.,University of York | Ferrando R.,University of Genoa | Johnston R.L.,University of Birmingham | Yuan J.,University of York
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

High-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy in conjunction with image simulation is an important tool to determine the structure of nanomaterials. We show that molecular dynamics calculations can be combined with multislice image simulations to account for the large effects of surface-enhanced thermal vibrations and structural relaxation on image intensities. Application to a catalytically important gold cluster shows that the image intensity is sensitive to these surface dominated effects with important implications for three-dimensional structural characterizations. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Cutolo M.,University of Genoa | Sulli A.,University of Genoa | Smith V.,Ghent University
Nature Reviews Rheumatology | Year: 2010

Microvascular damage and dysfunction represent the earliest morphological and functional markers of systemic sclerosis (SSc), a progressive connective tissue disease characterized by vascular abnormalities and diffuse fibrosis in the skin and internal organs. These early microvascular changes are clinically mirrored by Raynaud phenomenon, which can be primary (idiopathic) or secondary to several different conditions including SSc. Morphological and functional assessment of the cutaneous microvasculature have crucial implications for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy in SSc and secondary Raynaud phenomenon. Most importantly, imaging with nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) enables the early differentiation between primary and secondary Raynaud phenomenon by identifying morphological patterns specific to various stages of SSc ('early', 'active' and 'late' patterns); the inclusion of these NVC patterns could increase the sensitivity of classification criteria for SSc. Findings on NVC are also markers of SSc severity and progression, as reduced capillary density has been associated with a high risk of developing digital skin ulcers and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Laser Doppler imaging and thermal imaging demonstrate the dysfunctional cutaneous blood flow in response to cold stimuli. Therapies targeting underlying vascular disease in SSc have been successfully designed to improve the symptoms of Raynaud phenomenon and to reduce ischemic injury to involved organs, and NVC patterns have been found to improve following targeted therapy; however, treatment of later fibrosis remains a challenge. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Ismail R.,University of Birmingham | Ismail R.,Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research | Ferrando R.,University of Genoa | Johnston R.L.,University of Birmingham
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2013

Bimetallic nanoparticles composed of palladium and gold are particularly interesting from the viewpoint of their catalytic properties, for example, for selective hydrogenation and alcohol oxidation. More accurate catalytic modeling is achieved by the inclusion of the substrate (e.g., metal oxides). In this work, the structures and chemical ordering (atomic segregation) of Pd-Au clusters supported on MgO(100) were studied using a combined empirical potential-density functional theory approach. The focus is on 30-and 40-atom clusters, including variation in the bimetallic composition. Consistent with the available experimental findings, Pd atoms preferentially bind to the substrate oxygen sites. Good cluster-substrate epitaxy is observed, but there is a strong dependence on the size and composition of the clusters. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Capasso M.,Ospedale Civile Ave Gratia Plena | Varricchio A.,ENT Unit | Ciprandi G.,University of Genoa
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Relevant relationship exists between upper and lower airways. Bronchial obstruction is a paramount feature of asthma and its reversibility is considered a diagnostic step for asthma diagnosis. Objective: This study aimed at evaluating a large group of children with allergic rhinitis alone for investigating the degree of brochodilation and possible factors related to it. Methods: Two hundred patients with allergic rhinitis and 150 normal subjects were consecutively evaluated. Clinical examination, skin prick test, spirometry, and bronchodilation test were performed in all patients. Results: Rhinitics showed a significant FEV1 increase after bronchodilation test (P < 0.0001) in comparison both to basal values and to controls' levels. More than 20% of rhinitics had reversibility (≥12% basal levels). Patients with reversibility had lower FEV1 levels, longer rhinitis duration, and perennial allergy. Conclusion: This study highlights the close link between upper and lower airways and the relevance of performing bronchodilation test in patients with allergic rhinitis and these characteristics. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Santopinto E.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Giannini M.M.,University of Genoa
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2012

We report in a systematic way the predictions of the nonrelativistic hypercentral constituent quark model for the electromagnetic excitations of baryon resonances. The longitudinal and transverse helicity amplitudes are calculated with no free parameters for fourteen resonances, for both protons and neutrons. The calculations lead to an overall fair description of data, especially in the medium-Q2 range, where quark degrees of freedom are expected to dominate. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Braunersreuther V.,University of Geneva | Viviani G.L.,University of Genoa | Mach F.,University of Geneva | Montecucco F.,University of Geneva
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) includes a variety of histological conditions (ranging from liver steatosis and steatohepatitis, to fibrosis and hepatocarcinoma) that are characterized by an increased fat content within the liver. The accumulation/deposition of fat within the liver is essential for diagnosis of NAFLD and might be associated with alterations in the hepatic and systemic inflammatory state. Although it is still unclear if each histological entity represents a different disease or rather steps of the same disease, inflammatory processes in NAFLD might influence its pathophysiology and prognosis. In particular, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (the most inflamed condition in NAFLDs, which more frequently evolves towards chronic and serious liver diseases) is characterized by a marked activation of inflammatory cells and the upregulation of several soluble inflammatory mediators. Among several mediators, cytokines and chemokines might play a pivotal active role in NAFLD and are considered as potential therapeutic targets. In this review, we will update evidence from both basic research and clinical studies on the potential role of cytokines and chemokines in the pathophysiology of NAFLD. © 2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Cutolo M.,University of Genoa | Sulli A.,University of Genoa | Smith V.,Ghent University
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology | Year: 2013

The essence of capillaroscopy is to examine, noninvasively and safely the morphology of nailfold dermal papillary capillaries using a magnification system (microscopical lenses). Capillaroscopy may be performed with lenses with low (×20) and with high magnification (×200 up to ×600). The video-capillaroscope consists of an optical/digital probe which is moved to the finger of the patient and allows direct contact with the nailfold. Through qualitative assessment a normal capillaroscopy can be distinguished from a pathognomonic abnormal one due most frequently to systemic sclerosis (SSc). This pattern recognition relies on evaluating the morphology of the capillaries, their density (number) and dimensions 'at sight' of the capillaries and their architecture. In SSc three progressive capillaroscopic patterns have been described ('early', 'active' and 'late'). Quantitative assessment (quantitation of certain characteristics and semi-quantitative scoring) of the capillaroscopic pictures may also be performed. Qualitative and semi-quantitative assessments are used to predict SSc clinical complications. In other connective tissue diseases (CTDs) prospective clinical studies resulting in indices which can predict future clinical complications have not been published, as yet. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Fabbri L.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Fabbri L.,University of Bologna | Fabbri L.,University of Genoa
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

Recently we have constructed the conformal gravity with metric and torsion, finding the gravitational field equations that give the conservation laws and trace condition; in the present paper we apply this theory to the case of ELKO matter field, proving that their spin and energy densities once the matter field equations are considered imply the validity of the conservation laws and trace condition mentioned above. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Lenglet S.,University of Geneva | MacH F.,University of Geneva | Montecucco F.,University of Geneva | Montecucco F.,University of Genoa
Mediators of Inflammation | Year: 2013

Plaque rupture is the main cause of acute myocardial infarction and stroke. Atherosclerotic plaques have been described to be vulnerable and more prone to rupture when they are characterized by thin, highly inflamed, and collagen-poor fibrous caps and contain elevated levels of proteases, including metalloproteinases (MMPs). Initiation of collagen breakdown in plaques requires interstitial collagenases, a MMP subfamily consisting of MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-13. Previous reports demonstrated that MMP-1 and MMP-13 might be overexpressed in both human and experimental atherosclerosis. Since neutrophils have been only recently reported in atherosclerotic plaques, the role of MMP-8 (formerly known as "neutrophil collagenase") was only marginally evaluated. In this paper, we will update and comment on evidence of the most relevant regulatory pathways and activities mediated by MMP-8 in atherogenesis. © 2013 Sébastien Lenglet et al.

Cutolo M.,University of Genoa | Smith V.,Ghent University
Rheumatology (United Kingdom) | Year: 2013

Capillaroscopy is a non-invasive and safe tool to morphologically study the microcirculation. In rheumatology it has a dual use. First, it has a role in differential diagnosis of patients with RP. Second, it may have a role in the prediction of clinical complications in CTDs. In SSc, pilot studies have shown predictive associations with peripheral vascular and lung involvement hinting at a role of capillaroscopy as putative biomarker. Also and logically, in SSc, microangiopathy, as assessed by capillaroscopy, has been associated with markers of the disease such as angiogenic/static factors and SSc-specific antibodies. Moreover, morphological assessments of the microcirculation (capillaroscopy) seem to correlate with functional assessments (such as laser Doppler). Because of its clinical and research role, eyes are geared in Europe to expand the knowledge of this tool. Both the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the ACR are stepping forward to this need. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved.

Bielory L.,Rutgers University | Chun Y.,UMDNJ | Bielory B.P.,University of Miami | Canonica G.W.,University of Genoa
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Background: Intranasal corticosteroids (INSs) are a mainstay of treatment of allergic rhinitis (AR) nasal symptoms. The INS mometasone furoate nasal spray (MFNS) has well-documented efficacy and safety for the treatment and prophylaxis of nasal symptoms of seasonal AR (SAR) and for the treatment of nasal symptoms of perennial AR (PAR). Increasing interest has focused on whether INSs, including MFNS, may have beneficial effects on the ocular symptoms frequently associated with AR. Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of 10 randomized, placebo-controlled trials of the efficacy of MFNS 200 mcg daily in relieving ocular allergy symptoms, including itching/burning, redness, and tearing/watering in both SAR and PAR. Four PAR studies and six SAR studies are included in the analysis. A fixed-effect inverse variance model was used to calculate weighted mean differences, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each comparison, and a combined overall treatment effect (Z) with P-value. Results: In both analyses of SAR and PAR studies, including 3132 patients, all individual ocular symptoms were reduced in patients treated with MFNS. Overall treatment effect was significant for all three individual ocular symptoms in the SAR studies (Z = 9.18 for tearing, Z = 10.15 for itching, and Z = 8.88 for redness; P < 0.00001 for all) and in the PAR studies (Z = 5.94, P < 0.00001 for tearing; Z = 2.43, P = 0.02 for itching; and Z = 2.42, P = 0.02 for redness). Conclusions: Our findings add to the growing body of literature supporting the positive class effect of INSs, including MFNS, on ocular symptoms associated with SAR and PAR. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Fanos V.,University of Cagliari | Van den Anker J.,Childrens National Medical Center | Noto A.,University of Cagliari | Mussap M.,University of Genoa | Atzori L.,University of Cagliari
Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine | Year: 2013

The newest 'omics' science is metabolomics, the latest offspring of genomics, considered the most innovative of the 'omics' sciences. Metabolomics, also called the 'new clinical biochemistry', is an approach based on the systematic study of the complete set of metabolites in a biological sample. The metabolome is considered the most predictive phenotype and is capable of considering epigenetic differences. It is so close to the phenotype that it can be considered the phenotype itself. In the last three years about 5000 papers have been listed in PubMed on this topic, but few data are available in the newborn. The aim of this review, after a description of background and technical procedures, is to analyse the clinical applications of metabolomics in neonatology, covering the following points: gestational age, postnatal age, type of delivery, zygosity, perinatal asphyxia, intrauterine growth restriction, prenatal inflammation and brain injury, respiratory, cardiovascular renal, metabolic diseases; sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis and antibiotic treatment; nutritional studies on maternal milk and formula, pharma-metabolomics, long-term diseases. Pros and cons of metabolomics are also discussed. All this comes about with the non-invasive collection of a few drops of urine (exceptionally important for the neonate, especially those of low birth weight). Only time and large-scale studies to validate initial results will place metabolomics within neonatology. In any case, it is important for perinatologists to learn and understand this new technology to offer their patients the utmost in diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ciprandi G.,University of Genoa | Cirillo I.,Navy Medical Service
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2011

Background: Polysensitization is common in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and may affect clinical feature. However, there are patients who remain monosensitized. Objective: This cross-sectional study aimed at evaluating a large cohort of AR patients to define the percentage and the features of mono- and poly-sensitized subjects. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study included a large group of AR patients: 2415 subjects (1958 males, mean age 24.6 ± 5 years) were consecutively evaluated. Symptom severity, type and number of sensitizations, and AR duration were considered. Results: 621 patients (25.7%) were monosensitized: 377 to Parietaria, 194 to house dust mites, 19 to birch, 17 to grasses, 12 to molds, 2 to olive, and 1 to cypress. There was no difference between mono- and polysensitized patients concerning the duration of rhinitis (6 ± 2.14 years vs 6 ± 3.7). Severity of symptoms was higher in polysensitized patients than in monosensitized (p < 0.05); in addition, there was a difference among monosensitized patients: Parietaria-allergy induces the most severe symptoms. Conclusion: This study conducted in a large AR population might suggest that monosensitized and polysensitized AR patients could constitute two different categories. In addition, the specific type of allergy may condition the clinical feature. © 2011 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

D'Alessandro A.,University of Genoa | D'Elia M.,University of Genoa | Shuryak E.V.,State University of New York at Stony Brook
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2010

We investigate the connection between color confinement and thermal Abelian monopoles populating the deconfined phase of SU(2) Yang-Mills theory, by studying how the statistical properties of the monopole ensemble change as the confinement/deconfinement temperature is approached from above. In particular, we study the distribution of monopole currents with multiple wrappings in the Euclidean time direction, corresponding to two or more particle permutations, and show that multiple wrappings increase as the deconfinement temperature is approached from above, in a way compatible with a condensation of such objects happening right at the deconfining transition. We also address the question of the thermal monopole mass, showing that different definitions give consistent results only around the transition, where the monopole mass goes down and becomes of the order of the critical temperature itself. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

D'Elia M.,University of Genoa | D'Elia M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Negro F.,University of Genoa | Negro F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We investigate the chiral properties of QCD in the presence of a magnetic background field and in the low temperature regime, by lattice numerical simulations of Nf=2 QCD. We adopt a standard staggered discretization, with a pion mass around 200AMeV, and explore a range of magnetic fields (180MeV)2≤|e|B≤(700MeV)2, in which we study magnetic catalysis, i.e. the increase of chiral symmetry breaking induced by the background field. We determine the dependence of the chiral condensate on the external field, compare our results with existing model predictions and show that a substantial contribution to magnetic catalysis comes from the modified distribution of non-Abelian gauge fields, induced by the magnetic field via dynamical quark loop effects. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Carbone F.,University of Genoa | Nencioni A.,University of Genoa | Mach F.,University of Geneva | Vuilleumier N.,University of Geneva | And 2 more authors.
Thrombosis and Haemostasis | Year: 2013

The pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction is known to be mediated by systemic, intraplaque and myocardial inflammatory processes. Among different immune cell subsets, compelling evidence now indicates a pivotal role for neutrophils in acute coronary syndromes. Neutrophils infiltrate coronary plaques and the infarcted myocardium and mediate tissue damage by releasing matrix-degrading enzymes and reactive oxygen species. In addition, neutrophils are also involved in post-infarction adverse cardiac remodelling and neointima formation after angioplasty. The promising results obtained in preclinical models with pharmacological approaches interfering with neutrophil recruitment or function have confirmed the pathophysiological relevance of these immune cells in acute coronary syndromes and prompted further studies of these therapeutic interventions. This narrative review will provide an update on the role of neutrophils in acute myocardial infarction and on the pharmacological means that were devised to prevent neutrophil-mediated tissue damage and to reduce post-ischaemic outcomes. © Schattauer 2013.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.17M | Year: 2008

The research intends to investigate the interplay existing between vision and motion control, and to study how to exploit this interaction to achieve a knowledge of the surrounding environment that allows a robot to act properly. Robot perception can be flexibly integrated with its own actions and the understanding of planned actions of humans in a shared workspace. The research relies upon the assumption that a complete and operative cognition of visual space can be achieved only through active exploration of it: the natural effectors of this cognition are the eyes and the arms.\nCrucial but yet unsolved issues we address are object recognition, dynamic shifts of attention, 3D space perception including eye and arm movements including action selection in unstructured environments. We propose a flexible solution based on the concept of visual fragments, which avoids a central representation of the environment and rather uses specialized components that interact with each other and tune themselves on the task at hand. \nIn addition to a high standard in engineering solutions the development and application of novel learning rules enables our system to acquire the necessary information directly from the environment.\nThe study and models of human/primate behavior, based on specific experiments, guide many of our envisaged solutions.\nThree main objectives will be addressed:\n- a robotic system for interactive visual stereopsis {composed of: an anthropomorphic mechatronic binocular system; and software vision modules based on cortical-like population, to be used as an experimental platform}.\n- a model of a multisensory egocentric representation of the 3D space {constructed on binocular visual cues, signals from the oculomotor systems, signals about reaching movements performed by the arm}.\n- a model of human-robot cooperative actions in a shared workspace {relaying on the concept of shared attention to understand the intention or goal of the communicating partner}.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SoU | Phase: EEB.ENERGY.2012.8.8.3 | Award Amount: 14.86M | Year: 2013

R2CITIES aims to develop and demonstrate an open and easily replicable strategy for designing, constructing, and managing large scale district renovation projects for achieving nearly zero energy cities. For this purpose, it will be developed a demonstration and dissemination framework of very innovative strategies and solutions for building energy renovation at district level, based in the following pillars: Three demonstrations of residential district retrofitting, in different countries, climate conditions, users habits, etc. A very ambitious dissemination programme focused on public and professional audiences. Several studies of cost-effective solutions for the holistic improvement of the energy performance of buildings at district level (definition of standard indicators and new diagnosis approach, analysis of existing energy technologies in a systemic approach, new strategies for urban energy planning, ) Deployment of a rigorous measurement and verification of energy performance and savings plan for each demonstration, taking into account standard protocols as IPMVP. A market and replication deployment plan, in order to ensure the project impact at business level, and a results exploitation strategy suitable for achieve a wide impact. 3 demo sites will be addressed for demonstrating the framework and associated impacts by developing real cases going beyond current market standards but ensuring the replicability of the concepts deployed. R2CITIES makes a difference from current state of the art, as it will be far away from current expensive and stand alone pilots that have failed into reaching the market. Valladolid, Genoa and Kartal (Itanbul) municipalities will provide three demo sites for a very ambitious renovation of three residential districts, involving more than 65.000 m2, more than 700 dwellings and more than 1500 users, with a potential of energy consumption reduction near to 60 %.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 7.74M | Year: 2013

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and morbidity is predicted to increase in Europe and worldwide in the next decades due to aging and the rise of diabetes and obesity. The link between metabolic and inflammatory disease is getting stronger, raising hopes for novel therapeutic targets to be exploited clinically. Clinical evidence generated by the Academic partners of the Athero-B-Cell Consortium demonstrates that CVD is associated with pro- and anti-atherogenic B cell responses. We aim to use existing proteomic, transcriptomic and miRNA data generated from large-scale clinical studies in previous EU-funded collaborative efforts to decipher the pathways that favor pro- and anti-atherogenic B cell functions in order to unravel a new set of therapeutic targets and refine potential vaccine strategies for CVD. The selection and validation of targets will be made possible by substantial technological advance achieved by the participating SMEs that are world leaders in the field of bioinformatics, genetic modification including humanised mouse models, and 3rd generation antisense drugs with locked nucleic-acid (LNA) design that are in Phase II human trials. Academia-led innovation includes high-resolution methodologies such as CyTOF and ImageStream to interrogate available samples from clinical trials and the ability to validate the targets of interest in accredited models of CVD. The validation in vivo and in vitro of such targets will feed into the SME pipeline accelerating the process of drug discovery. The recent clinical success of 3rd generation antisense drugs underscores the advantage of the Athero-B-Cell approach: the seamless transition from validation tools to clinical applications. Harnessing protective or abating unwanted B cell responses has the potential to improve health, innovation and competitiveness of European SME and Academia, while shedding light on the pathogenesis of CVD, the worlds biggest killer.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-COFUND | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-COFUND-2008 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2011

In 2002 the Italian Ministry of Health established Alliance Against Cancer (ACC), an association working together with the Italian National Institute for Health (ISS), with the aim to better coordinate cancer research and care, and to stimulate innovation and competitiveness. In light of the growing complexity of cancer research, ISS and ACC are committed to enhancing the Italian participation in the building of the European Research Area where continuous education must be given highest priority. Italy encounters difficulties to retain many of its most talented scientists and to provide an environment capable of attracting experienced scientists trained abroad. To partially overcome this strongly felt problem and to promote traslational cancer research, ISS and ACC are setting up a three-year international mobility scheme called Training through Research Application Italian iNitiative (TRAIN). This will consist of a total of 30 outcoming, incoming and reintegration fellowships which could be increased to 51 with the support of COFUND. TRAIN is regulated by Art.1 of Law No. 138 of 26 May 2006 Joint national network and international cooperation initiatives of the Italian Ministry of Health. It is addressed to post-doc scientists or scientists having at least four years of FTE research experience who wish to improve their training spending one year abroad. Part of the scheme is targeted at Italian experienced scientists having carried out at least three years of research in a Third Country and interested in returning to Italy. The mobility is also open to non-Italian and non-residing experienced scientists wishing to spend one year in Italy. Therefore, the TRAIN mobility scheme is open to the whole scientific community. Each application will be anonymously evaluated by an international panel of independent experts randomly chosen and fulfilling selection criteria based on topic related keywords, gender and different nationalities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 4.34M | Year: 2011

Innovation is the most important engine of growth and jobs in knowledge-based bio-economies. The scope of BAMMBO (Biologically Active Molecules of Marine Based Origin) is ambitious. This is intentional. BAMMBO will provide innovative solutions to overcome existing bottle-necks associated with culturing marine organisms in order to sustainably produce high yields of value-added products for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and industrial sectors. BAMMBO will screen and identify target marine organisms (e.g. bacteria, fungi, sponges, microalgae, macroalgae and yeasts) from diverse global locations for potential as sustainable producers of highadded value molecules (HVABs). Our project will apply analytical methods for the extraction, purification and enrichment of targeted bioactive compounds. A detailed life cycle analysis of the production pathways developed in the project will be undertaken to fully evaluate the sustainability of production of biologically active products from marine organisms. BAMMBO will exploit knowledge and technologies developed during the project and effectively manage their transfer to relevant stakeholders in industry and the research community, as well as to policy-makers. We have brought together a multidisciplinary consortium of specialist Research and SME partners representing 8 countries including partners from ICPC countries Russia and Brazil, and from EU member states at Mediterranean, Adriatic and Atlantic coasts. In adhering to the European Strategy for Marine and Maritime Research this three year project will encourage capacity-building, integration and synergies across relevant marine sectors. Innovative technologies developed in the project will be demonstrated with the involvement of industry partners, and the results will be of interest not only to companies directly involved in the marine sector, but to other large scale industry players such as pharmaceutical companies with interest in added-value bioactive compounds.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 2.82M | Year: 2010

SIEMPRE develops research theoretical and methodological frameworks, computational models, and algorithms for the analysis of creative communication within groups of people, important also for future ICT (e.g. social media, on-line and mobile communities, web 2.0). Focus is on ensemble musical performance and audience experience, ideal testbed for the development of models and techniques for measuring creative social interaction in ecological framework. We focus on entrainment, emotional contagion, co-creation, each studied at two levels between performers, between performer and audience - both during explicit communication process (e.g., between orchestra conductor and musicians) and during implicit synchronisation in emotionally intense experiences (joint music performance; audience live experience). Methodological framework will enable novel approaches to research challenges, including the integration in research teams of outstanding artists (funded by external projects). Expressive Movement, Audio, Physiological (eMAP) multi-layer multimodal features will be extracted from participants using real-time, synchronized, multi-modal feature extraction techniques, and are inputs for theoretical and computational models. Challenges and objectives: key factors driving interpersonal synchronisation of participants; identify specific roles inside the group (e.g., leadership, hierarchy); general principles concerning influence of individuals over others; factors that determine feelings of group cohesion or a sense of shared meaning; how eMAPs confirm the validity of reports by participants; how social context affects individual intrapersonal synchronization of eMAP and vice-versa; how emotion of the individual affects the collaborative creative product; neurophysiological foundations of creative group communication. A publicly available annotated database of behavioral data will be created. External US and Japan partners: Stanford Univ. and Waseda Univ.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2015

We propose a set of integrated Activities in the High Energy Astrophysics Domain (AHEAD) in response to the INFRAIA-2014-2015 call Research Infrastructures for High EnergyAstrophysics. The overall objective of AHEAD is to integrate national efforts in high-energy Astrophysics and to promote the domain at the European level, to keep its community at the cutting edge of science and technology in this competitive research area and ensure that space observatories for high-energy astrophysics are at the state of the art. AHEAD will integrate key research infrastructures for on-ground test and calibration of space-based sensors and electronics and promote their coordinated use. In parallel, the best facilities for data analysis of high-energy astrophysical observatories will be made available to the European community. The technological development will focus on the improvement of selected critical technologies, background modeling, cross calibration, and feasibility studies of space-based instrumentation for the benefit of future X-ray and gamma-ray missions, and the best exploitation of existing observatories. AHEAD will support the community via grants for collaborative studies, dissemination of results, and promotion of workshops. A strong public outreach package will ensure that the domain is well publicized at national, European and International level. The virtual circle infrastructure - networking - joint research activities, as devised in AHEAD, serves to establish strong connections between institutes and industry to create the basis for a more rapid advancement of high-energy astrophysical science, space-oriented instrumentation and cutting-edge sensor technology in Europe. This enables the development of new technologies and the associated growth of the European technology market, - with a dedicated technology innovation package - as well as the creation of a new generation of researchers.

University of Genoa, Columbia University and Maastricht University | Date: 2015-02-10

Compounds of formula (I), wherein Z=cyclopentyl. cyclopropylmethyl, CH_(3); R=CH_(3), CHF_(2), X=formula (II) (III) (IV) (V) Y=CO; CO(CH_(2)), CH(OH)CH_(2), CH_(2)CO, CH_(2)CH_(2)CO; CH_(2)CH(OH)CH_(2), CH_(2)CH(OCOR_(1))CH_(2 )NR_(2)=N(CH_(2)CH_(2)OH)_(2), formula (VI) (VII) (VIII) (IX) (X) (XI) R_(1)=optionally substituted C_(1)-C_(8 )alkyl, optionally substituted aryl; optionally substituted aralkyl, preferably C_(1)-C_(3 )alkyl, more preferably CH_(3); and enantiomers, diastereoisomers and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof; these compounds have a PDE4D inhibiting activity and can be used as a medicament for treating dementia, in particular Alzheimer disease, and for improving memory.

University of Genoa, Columbia University and Maastricht University | Date: 2015-08-19

Compounds of formula (I),_(3);R = -CH_(3), CHF_(2),X=_(2)), -CH(OH)-CH_(2), -CH_(2)-C=O, -CH_(2)-CH_(2)-C=O; -CH_(2)-CH(OH)-CH_(2), -CH_(2)-CH(OCOR_(1))-CH_(2);NR_(2) = -N(CH_(2)-CH_(2)OH)_(2),_(1) = optionally substituted C_(1)-C_(8) alkyl, optionally substituted aryl; optionally substituted aralkyl, preferably C_(1)-C_(3) alkyl, more preferably CH_(3);and enantiomers, diastereoisomers and pharmaceutically acceptable salts thereof. These compounds have a PDE4D inhibiting activity and can be used as a medicament for treating dementia, in particular Alzheimer disease, and for improving memory.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-31-2014 | Award Amount: 1.28M | Year: 2015

The baby, assailed by eyes, ears, nose, skin, and entrails at once, feels it all as one great blooming, buzzing confusion (W.James Principles of Psychology, 1890). The hyper-connected teenager may not be far from such a state of confusion. Information overload leads to new cognitive and attention problems with social consequences, as seen in dramatic growth of attention disorders. Too much information leads to emotional and social malfunctioning, such as in autism. In the non-clinical population, continuously bombardment of the senses from multiple sources may lead to blunting and cause a cognitive or emotional blindness that has undesirable social and cultural consequences. DANCE addresses the role of multisensory information and the risks of overload by creating sensory deprivation as a means of sharpening the senses. DANCE not only want to look at how dance can influence socio-emotional perception in healthy individuals, but also focus on the congenitally blind. DANCE will compare social perception of dance and participation-blindness, found naturally in the congenitally blind, and induced in normally seeing subjects. DANCE will lead to the development of ICT (1) to treat the individual as an interactive participant in auditory perception rather than as a passive receiver; (2) to enable blind people to perceive movement by sensory substitution by means of innovative techniques of interactive sonification and active (embodied) music experience; (3) to integrate the individual experience and social creation process; (4) to assess and measure cognitive and cultural enhancement through non-verbal, full-body expression, emotion,and entrainment, and to explore how non verbal emotion dimensions can contribute to sensory substitution in the perception of dance and movement in general, for both blind and seeing people; (5) to explore and integrate theories of artistic creativity and to inspire novel scientific research challenges.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 3.68M | Year: 2011

Laughter is a significant feature of human communication, and machines acting in roles like companions or tutors should not be blind to it. So far very limited progress has been made towards allowing computer-based applications to deal with laughter.ILHAIRE will lay the foundations of truly multimodal, multicultural laughter-enabled man-machine interaction, by associating experts of the different disciplines linked to this objective. The project developments will be assessed through the following measurable outcomes:1.A multicultural and multimodal database of laughter. This database will contain meta-data on the triggering conditions, and perceptual interpretation of it, annotated by psychologists.2.A classification of laughs depending on their types and meaning, as well as algorithms for audio-visual laughter analysis and classification3.Generative models of laughter based on statistical parametric synthesis algorithms; parameters will include results obtained from the abovementioned classification step.4.A characterization of temporal features of laughter and of the temporal relationship between multimodal signals (breathing and inhalation; motion of thorax, shoulder, etc.)5.A test-case man-machine dialogue system capable of laughing in real interactive situations. We will study how and when to respond to human laughter, as in a contagion loop, and when to trigger machine laughter.6.An understanding of the impact of such a laugh-enabled machine on users (benefits: loosening up the atmosphere, avoiding frustration; drawbacks: fear of being laughed at; humiliation; malicious laugh).This document describes these challenges as well as proposed methods to take them up. The project is also positioned in relation with the state-of-the-art and the benefits Ilhaire will bring to connected projects. Finally, the project participants, the overall management strategy and the vision to address the related issues (like IPR, ethics, etc.) are presented.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: FETOPEN-3-2015 | Award Amount: 499.60K | Year: 2016

The use of advanced methods to solve practical and industrially relevant problems by computers has a long history. Whereas Symbolic Computation is concerned with the algorithmic determination of exact solutions to complex mathematical problems, more recent developments in the area of Satisfiability Checking tackle similar problems but with different algorithmic and technological solutions. Though both communities have made remarkable progress in the last decades, they still need to be strengthened to tackle practical problems of rapidly increasing size and complexity. Their separate tools (computer algebra systems and SMT solvers) are urgently needed to examine prevailing problems with a direct effect to our society. For example, Satisfiability Checking is an essential backend for assuring the security and the safety of computer systems. In various scientific areas, Symbolic Computation enables dealing with large mathematical problems out of reach of pencil and paper developments. Currently the two communities are largely disjoint and unaware of the achievements of each other, despite strong reasons for them to discuss and collaborate, as they share many central interests. However, researchers from these two communities rarely interact, and also their tools lack common, mutual interfaces for unifiying their strengths. Bridges between the communities in the form of common platforms and roadmaps are necessary to initiate an exchange, and to support and to direct their interaction. These are the main objectives of this CSA. We will initiate a wide range of activities to bring the two communities together, identify common challenges, offer global events and bilateral visits, propose standards, and so on. We believe that these activities will initiate cross-fertilisation of both fields and bring mutual improvements. Combining the knowledge, experience and the technologies in these communities will enable the development of radically improved software tools

News Article | October 26, 2015

In space stations, robots are playing an increasingly important role. These days, if an astronaut needs to carry out a minor fix, it might well be that a mechanical arm hands them their tools. But human–robot teamwork in weightlessness can be tricky. If the astronaut is unused to working with a mechanical arm, the tool might go floating off. So when ESA decided to build a robot assistant they wanted a way for astronauts to practise grasping tools proffered in space – before ever leaving Earth. Working with Italy's Thales Alenia Space, ESA built a replica – the Eurobot Wet Model – and put it in a swimming pool for astronauts gain experience with the robot in weightlessness. With experience developing robotic manipulators, Italian company Graal Tech came onboard to help. Their robot has three limbs, each of which does double duty as a walking leg or a grasping arm. Next, they covered the robot with floatation devices. "We had to add a lot of 'fat,' to each single arm," said Graal Tech's Alessio Turetta. "In the end it looked like the Michelin Man." While this created a robot with neutral buoyancy in each and every part, it was too fat and difficult to manoeuvre. "It's just like an overweight person," said Alessio. "One leg rubbed against the other." To solve this, the team tinkered with its movement pattern. They introduced a 'crab walk' that gave the limbs all the room they needed. It worked: Graal Tech's robot has been used ever since by astronauts practising in the pool at ESA's European Astronaut Centre in Cologne, Germany. From space to under the sea Working in space led the companyto take to the seas. After the ESA project ended, in 2006, Graal Tech capitalised on the underwater expertise. Most existing underwater robots on the market are hydraulic. While they offer strength, they have relatively little fine control. Graal Tech's is electric-powered, however, capable of both fine movement and targeted actions. "We realised that our ESA astronaut robot technology was good enough to commercialise," said Alessio. With the help of European Commission funding, they did just that. One of the first requests came from Giuseppe Casalino, robotics professor at the University of Genoa in Italy. He wanted to prototype a robot that might one day scour the ocean's floor for archaeological itemsor even a blackbox from a lost aircraft. He liked the electrical arms developed for the Eurobot Wet Model because of their ability to perform precise tasks, without compromising too much on strength. "Strong but blunt hydraulic lifts exist for heavy-duty operations," explained Giuseppe. "There is also equipment out there for biologists, and archaeologists, who need very fine work. We believed something in between should be developed." As part of three EC-funded projects, Graal Tech began working with Giuseppe and his team. Attaching a Graal Tech 'astronaut arm' to an underwater vehicle, the first goal was to create a system that could work autonomously underwater on different grasping tasks. This was tested successfully at depths of 10–30 m in the Mediterranean Sea near the Balearic Islands. Now, the Italian Maris national project is testing two separate vehicles each equipped with one of the special arms. They grasp large objects, manipulate them and carry them from one place to another, underwater. An imminent oil and gas project will be equipped with one or two arms. "Commercial applications are foreseen," continues Giuseppe. "The oil and gas industry need this to cut costs." Tests will be carried out in the North Sea or the Mediterranean, some 500 m deep within a year. Finally, an underwater mining project, Robust, has just been given the green light for EC funding. "Underwater mining is a very promising field, which is expected to grow in the near future," Giuseppe adds. Noting that working underwater poses challenges similar to those encountered in space, Alessio and Giuseppe both believe that underwater robots might one day be used for many dangerous tasks currently performed by human divers, such as maintaining offshore plants and inspecting ocean pipes. For Graal Tech, these developments are very welcome. Alessio credits ESA with having played a central role in the creation of their underwater arm, "We can say our experience with ESA was the start of it all. Without the space development, we would not have such a great arm now." Graal Tech ‘astronaut arm’ mounted on the underwater Trident robot. Credit: Genoa Robotics and Automation Laboratory, University of Genova Explore further: A robot turtle will help underwater archaeologists to inspect shipwrecks

Bottasso A.,University of Genoa | Conti M.,University of Genoa
Journal of Transport Economics and Policy | Year: 2012

In this paper we analyse the cost structure of the UK airport industry by estimating a variable cost function for the period 1994-2005. Overall results suggest that average costs decrease until passenger traffic reaches 5 million, remain constant over the range between 5 million and 14 million passengers, and afterwards start to increase. Moreover, we find evidence consistent with the existence of overcapitalisation for the largest regulated airports. Finally, private airports seem to be characterised by lower costs, although cost differentials associated with ownership status shrank over time. The main results are robust to unobserved heterogeneity and to endogeneity biases.

Stocchino A.,University of Genoa | Brocchini M.,Marche Polytechnic University
Journal of Fluid Mechanics | Year: 2010

The generation and evolution of large-scale vortices with vertical axis (macro-vortices) in a straight compound channel under quasi-uniform flow conditions is investigated. We discuss possible similarities and clear differences with free shear layer flows induced by the meeting of shallow streams of different speeds. An experimental investigation based on particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements of free-surface velocities forms the basis for an analysis of both the specific features of macro-vortices and of the related mean flow characteristics. Dynamical properties strongly depend on the ratio rh between the main channel flow depth (h*mc) and the floodplain depth (h*fp), and three flow classes can be identified. Shallow flows (rh > 3) are dominated by strong shearing and large macro-vortices populating the transition region between the main channel and the floodplains. The mean streamwise velocity induced in intermediate flows (2 ≤ rh ≥ 3) is characterized by a dip in the transition region, while it closely resembles that occurring in a rectangular channel in the case of deep flows (rh < 2). For both the latter cases the shear in the transition region decreases and the macro-vortices are also generated in the wall boundary layer of the floodplains. The typical size of the quasi-two-dimensional macro-vortices, generated at the transition region, is found to be independent of the streamwise coordinate. This and the non-monotonic behaviour of the mean streamwise velocity suggest that in straight compound channels the topographic forcing is so dominant that conceptual models interpreting these flows as free shear layers may largely fail to describe the physics of compound channels flows. © 2009 Cambridge University Press.

Gattorno M.,G Gaslini Institute | Martini A.,University of Genoa
Current Opinion in Pediatrics | Year: 2010

Purpose of Review: Inherited autoinflammatory diseases are experiments in nature in which mutations of proteins playing a pivotal role in the regulation of the innate immunity lead to unprovoked episodes of inflammation. The understanding of the molecular pathways involved in these disorders has shed a new light on the pattern of activation and maintenance of the inflammatory response and disclosed new molecular therapeutic targets. In this review, we outline the more recent novelties in the treatment of autoinflammatory diseases and their possible implications for some multifactorial pediatric conditions. Recent Findings: Cryopyrin-associated periodic syndrome (CAPS) represents the prototype of autoinflammatory diseases. The study of the pathophysiological consequence of mutations of the cryopyrin gene (NLRP3) allowed the identification of the intracellular pathways thought to play a pivotal part in the activation and secretion of the potent inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-1β. The dramatic effect of IL-1 blockade in CAPS opens new perspectives for the treatment of other inherited and multifactorial inflammatory disorders. A number of IL-1 blockers are now available on the market. Summary: Studies on the pathogenesis and treatment of inherited autoinflammatory diseases are also changing the approach to some multifactorial inflammatory conditions. © 2010 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Salvidio S.,University of Genoa
Amphibia Reptilia | Year: 2011

Amphibians are declining worldwide and different ecological traits, such as population growth rate and demographic stochasticity have been associated with their risk of extinction. However the population annual return rate, a parameter that gives information on the rapidity at which a population returns to equilibrium after an external perturbation, has never been analysed. In this study the annual return rates of 21 amphibian time series, belonging to 16 species, were estimated through non-linear (theta) logistic modelling. Annual return rates of salamanders (0.73) did not differ from those of frogs (0.79) and all return rate values were below the threshold for chaos. These results show that, in general, amphibian populations are regulated and do not differ in their dynamics from other vertebrate taxa. © 2011 BRILL.

Omenetti A.,University of Genoa | Carta S.,Instituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Delfino L.,Instituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro | Martini A.,University of Genoa | And 2 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2014

Objectives: To define in patients affected by familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) whether or not interleukin (IL)-1β secretion (1) is enhanced, (2) correlates with the type of MEFV mutation and (3) is mediated by NLRP3. Methods: Freshly isolated monocytes from 21 patients with FMF (12 homozygous and 9 heterozygous), 14 MEFV healthy carriers and 30 healthy donors (HDs), unstimulated or after lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced activation, were analysed for redox state (production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant responses) and IL-1β and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) secretion. NLRP3 down-modulation was induced by in vitro silencing of the NLRP3 gene. Results: LPS-stimulated monocytes from patients with FMF displayed enhanced IL-1β secretion, which correlated with number and penetrance of MEFV mutations. Silencing of NLRP3 consistently inhibited IL-1β secretion. As in other autoinflammatory diseases, FMF monocytes produced more ROS than genetically negative cells from HDs. Unlike in cryopyrin-associated periodic fever syndromes (CAPS), however, they were characterised by a conserved and sustained antioxidant response. Consistent with this finding, activated MEFV-mutated monocytes did not exhibit the functional indicators of oxidative stress observed in CAPS, including accelerated IL-1β secretion and deficient production of IL-1Ra. Conclusions: MEFV-mutated monocytes display enhanced IL-1β secretion, which correlates with number of high-penetrance mutations and level of endogenous ROS. Unlike NLRP3-mutated cells, monocytes carrying MEFV mutations withstand oxidative stress and preserve IL-1Ra production, thereby limiting inflammation. Finally, in contrast with that found in the animal model, the increased secretion of IL-1β by LPS-stimulated FMF monocytes is NLRP3-dependent.

Bellini C.,University of Genoa | Hennekam R.C.,University of Amsterdam
American Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A | Year: 2012

Hydrops fetalis is an excessive accumulation of fetal fluid. Hydrops is traditionally classified into either immune or non-immune hydrops (NIHF), but in practice, nowadays in the Western world >90% of hydrops is of non-immune origin. The basis of the disorder is an imbalance in the regulation of fetal fluid movement between the vascular and interstitial space. We previously suggested a diagnostic flow-chart for NIHF. In this short review we describe the main mechanisms leading to NIHF. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Senna G.,University of Verona | Caminati M.,University of Verona | Canonica G.W.,University of Genoa
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2013

Purpose of review Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is effective in allergic rhinitis and asthma. Apart from its efficacy, safety is crucial as this treatment is usually self-administered at home. Tolerability also plays a pivotal role, as mild local reactions, although not life-threatening, may represent a risk for treatment withdrawal and can therefore negatively affect clinical outcomes. The present study addresses this issue by reviewing doubleblind, placebo-controlled, randomized trials and real-life studies. Recent findings The number of life-threatening SLIT-related reactions is negligible. SLIT-related adverse events are not always consistently reported nor uniformly classified in published studies. However, systemic reactions are rare and side effects mostly consist of mild, self-limiting local reactions. No treatment-related risk factors for adverse events have been clearly defined, as far as type of allergen, dose or schedule. Summary SLIT provides an optimal safety profile both in children and in adults. Apart from life-threatening reactions, the lack of standardization of adverse events reporting may account for the wide variability of the prevalence of side effects in clinical trials and in real-life setting. It can lead to a possible underestimation of adverse events, concerning, in particular, local reactions. Since poor tolerability may affect adherence and cause treatment discontinuation, adopting shared strategies in order to recognize, grade and manage adverse events is mandatory. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Bracco S.,University of Genoa | Siri S.,University of Genoa
Energy | Year: 2010

Combined cycle power plants have been studied in this paper with the aim of optimizing the heat recovery steam generator using a first and second law approach. To this end, a mathematical model has been developed for determining the optimal steam pressure in a one pressure level heat recovery steam generator, considering that the gas turbine is known. Different objective functions have been analysed in this study, some of which refer only to the exergy balance of the heat recovery steam generator while others involve the whole bottoming cycle. Some constraints for the operating parameters of the power plant have also been taken into account, regarding for instance the steam quality at the turbine outlet and the steam turbine blade height. Some numerical results have been reported in the paper, comparing the different objective functions for heat recovery steam generators coupled with several gas turbines; the developed parametric analysis has been performed in order to evaluate the influence of some parameters on both the heat recovery steam generator and the whole bottoming cycle. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Di Vita A.,University of Genoa
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2010

Ten necessary criteria for stability of various dissipative fluids and plasmas are derived from the first and the second principle of thermodynamics applied to a generic small mass element of the system, under the assumption that local thermodynamic equilibrium holds everywhere at all times. We investigate the stability of steady states of a mixture of different chemical species at the same temperature against volume-preserving perturbations. We neglect both electric and magnetic polarization, and assume negligible net mass sources and particle diffusion. We assume that both conduction- and radiation-induced heat losses increase with increasing temperature. We invoke no Onsager symmetry, no detailed model of heat transport and production, no "Extended Thermodynamics," no "Maxent" method, and no "new" universal criterion of stability for steady states of systems with dissipation. Each criterion takes the form of-or is a consequence of-a variational principle. We retrieve maximization of entropy for isolated systems at thermodynamic equilibrium, as expected. If the boundary conditions keep the relaxed state far from thermodynamic equilibrium, the stability criterion we retrieve depends also on the detailed balance of momentum of a small mass element. This balance may include the p -related force, the Lorenz force of electromagnetism and the forces which are gradients of potentials. In order to be stable, the solution of the steady-state equations of motion for a given problem should satisfy the relevant stability criterion. Retrieved criteria include (among others) Taylor's minimization of magnetic energy with the constraint of given magnetic helicity in relaxed, turbulent plasmas, Rayleigh's criterion of stability in thermoacoustics, Paltridge 's maximum entropy production principle for Earth's atmosphere, Chandrasekhar' minimization of the adverse temperature gradient in Bénard's convective cells, and Malkus' maximization of viscous power with the constraint of given mean velocity for turbulent shear flow in channels. It turns out that characterization of systems far from equilibrium, e.g., by maximum entropy production is not a general property but-just like minimum entropy production-is reserved to special systems. A taxonomy of stability criteria is derived, which clarifies what is to be minimized, what is to be maximized and with which constraint for each problem. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

This paper presents an updated review of recent field/structural and petrologic/geochemical studies on orogenic peridotites from the Alpine-Apennine ophiolites (NW Italy). Results provide determinant constraints to the evolution of the lithospheric mantle during passive rifting of the fossil Ligurian Tethys oceanic basin.The pre-rift, spinel lherzolites precursors, preserved in the mantle section of the Ligurian ophiolites, were resident in the lithosphere along an intermediate geothermal gradient (T about 1000. °C, P compatible with spinel-peridotite facies). Passive rifting by far-field tectonic forces induced whole-lithosphere extension and thinning (the a-magmatic stage). After significant thinning of the lithosphere, the passively upwelling asthenosphere underwent decompression melting along the axial zone of extension. Silica-undersaturated melt fractions infiltrated via diffuse/focused porous-flow through the lithospheric mantle under extension (the magmatic stage) and underwent pyroxenes-dissolving/olivine-crystallizing interaction with the percolated host peridotite.Pyroxenes assimilation and olivine deposition modified the melt compositions into silica-saturated. These derivative liquids migrated to shallower, plagioclase-peridotite facies levels, where they stagnated and impregnated/refertilized the lithospheric mantle. Melt thermal advection by melt infiltration heated to temperatures higher than 1200. °C the lithospheric mantle column above the melting asthenosphere.The syn-rift magmatic and tectonic processes induced significant rheological softening/weakening that destabilized the lithospheric mantle of the Europe-Adria plate along the axial zone of extension. The presence of destabilized lithospheric mantle between the future continental margins played a determinant role in promoting the geodynamic evolution from pre-oceanic rifting to oceanic spreading.The active upwelling of hotter/deeper asthenosphere inside the destabilized axial zone promoted transition to active rifting, enhancing continent break-up. Asthenosphere underwent partial melting and formed aggregated MORB liquids that migrated inside high-porosity dunite channels. The MORB liquids formed olivine-gabbro intrusions and pillowed lava flows (the oceanic crustal rocks).This paper evidences the primary role of mantle destabilization by melt infiltration in the geodynamic evolution of the Ligurian Tethys rifting. © 2016 International Association for Gondwana Research.

Martucciello G.,University of Genoa
Italian journal of pediatrics | Year: 2012

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2B (MEN 2B) is an autosomal dominant complex oncologic neurocristopathy including medullary thyroid carcinoma, pheochromocytoma, gastrointestinal disorders, marphanoid face, and mucosal multiple ganglioneuromas. Medullary thyroid carcinoma is the major cause of mortality in MEN 2B syndrome, and it often appears during the first years of life. RET proto-oncogene germline activating mutations are causative for MEN 2B. The 95% of MEN 2B patients are associated with a point mutation in exon 16 (M918/T). A second point mutation at codon 883 has been found in 2%-3% of MEN 2B cases. RET proto-oncogene is also involved in different neoplastic and not neoplastic neurocristopathies. Other RET mutations cause MEN 2A syndrome, familial medullary thyroid carcinoma, or Hirschsprung's disease. RET gene expression is also involved in Neuroblastoma. The main diagnosis standards are the acetylcholinesterase study of rectal mucosa and the molecular analysis of RET. In our protocol the rectal biopsy is, therefore, the first approach. RET mutation detection offers the possibility to diagnose MEN 2B predisposition at a pre-clinical stage in familial cases, and to perform an early total prophylactic thyroidectomy. The surgical treatment of MEN 2B is total thyroidectomy with cervical limphadenectomy of the central compartment of the neck. When possible, this intervention should be performed with prophylactic aim before 1 year of age in patients with molecular genetic diagnosis. Recent advances into the mechanisms of RET proto-oncogene signaling and pathways of RET signal transduction in the development of MEN 2 and MTC will allow new treatment possibilities.